Figures suggest that setting up and running your own business has never been more popular as a record 5.7m Brits took the plunge last year to go it alone, 2.2 million more than those who did so in 2000.
Undoubtedly, many are attracted by the idea of being their own boss, the more flexible working patterns or perhaps just a desire to put their idea or new product into practice. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that entrepreneurs play an important role in the UK’s economy as they offer a combined annual turnover of around £1.9 trillion, which is equal to 51% of all private sector turnover in the UK.
Whether you see these entrepreneurs as brave, ambitious or even foolhardy one thing for sure is that it’s not an easy ride. Figures released by the FSB show that the process can be fraught with dangers and that as many as half of new start-up businesses fail within the first four years.
Our top tips to get you started
Although this may be a scary statistic, conversely half go on to create a viable business and a successful outcome for the entrepreneur behind them. To help those in the process of setting up their own business, here are a few tips that we believe will help keep your new venture on track:
- Keep an eye on the prize – focus on what you are doing, why you are doing it and who you are doing it for.
- Make a plan (but be flexible!) – plans are the blueprint for success and help to keep you on track and focused, but use your agility to react to changes in the market.
- Know your customer – understand their needs, wants and desires and develop a strategy to communicate with them.
- Focus on the finances – keep an eye on your costs but don’t be afraid to spend if it will bring you the returns you want.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel – don’t waste time building new systems if there’s one that exists and can be simply installed.
- Don’t burn out – if you need help ask for it or if you don’t have the skills bring them in.
- Keep your sense of humour – running your own business can be challenging but when done right hugely rewarding. Celebrate the successes and remain positive.
From the list above, perhaps the most important is to keep a focus on the finances. It’s important to keep an eye on effective forecasting to ensure you know your costs and can budget effectively. Always try and identify any cash flow issues in advance and make plans to address the challenges.
How Textlocal can help
Don’t be afraid to spend if you feel it will generate the returns you want. At Textlocal we support thousands of SMEs with their customer communications, whether in the marketing of their products or services, the delivery of important transactional information or customer surveys.
Whatever your spend, keep an eye on the returns and be confident if they are working for you. Our own research has recently highlighted how adopting a mobile strategy can deliver great results for SMEs, as there are nearly 80m active mobile phones in circulation in the UK, providing an unparalleled opportunity to communicate directly with customers.
The opportunity is highlighted by the fact that 98% of branded or business-related texts are opened by mobile users, with 90% being read within 3 minutes of receiving them. Our latest research highlights that more than 42% of people receiving businesses SMS responded when requested, and 37% made a direct purchase as a result of a message from a business. Clearly evidencing the role mobile can play in marketing to customers or providing that all-important post-sale service.
Whatever stage of business development you are in now, our team is here to help and can provide insight and access to marketing information and behaviours. Contact our customer service team and let us show how SMS can support your business and make that start up a success.