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Why New Businesses Fail Before They Ever Opened Their Doors


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Don’t Make This Fatal Mistake Before You Launch Your Business

why new business fail before they open their doors
A bad business owner doesn’t have a plan going into the launch of their business. If you plan on opening your doors and the flood gates to open because you have a great location and great prices you are sorely mistaken. The Goal of every business is to serve the customer the best. Everyone looks for a great location and the best prices. Those two differentiors are not enough to developing a thriving business. A new business owner needs to start planning for the launch of their business 3 months prior (or more) to the date of the grand opening.

Increase Your Small Business’s Brand

Unless you bought into a franchise, your business will need a steady dose of advertising, reliability/trust, and great service to get off the ground. Building a brand from the ground up is no easy feat. You have to prove yourself to your target customers, and as soon as you open your doors everyone is judging you. These first impressions are so important, because this will determine if they are going to spread the word about your business or not. A bad experience for customers on their first visit will almost ensure they will never come back to you.

However, you can also use your grand opening for something else. If you opened your doors to do business a new way that better fits the needs of your customers, and you truly care about your customers you can leverage this great service into testimonials & reviews, press, news coverage, and more. When you are getting ready to launch a new business there is literally a million things you need to do to get ready.  Time is a precious commodity and every minute that ticks by there seems to be more piling on. As a new business owner you need to create time to think about your brand and how you are going to increase it’s value.

Today’s post will discuss ways you can build your brand from the few months leading up to your opening to your launch day. Every new business owner should have a plan for their grand opening and how they are going to generate buzz in their community.

 

3 Month’s Before You Open Your Doors

target audience media
You should start prepping for your launch 3 months before you plan on opening your doors. You have so much going on that you need to give yourself the proper amount of time to build buzz. As a new business owner you will likely fail on several occasions to get the attention of writers, the township committee, and bloggers.  By giving yourself a few months you will have time to recover if your first impressions don’t go so well. You will also have plenty of time to write and rewrite press releases until your local newpapers accept them. The additional time will give you a chance to set up interviews with local reporters, radio stations , and more. If you wait until the last minute it will be too late to build the relationships necessary with the right people to generate a ton of buzz around your brand.

Building Your Brand 3 Months From Launch

During the first month of your 3 month process you need to begin developing your launch day strategy. What media outlets will you pursue, what networks you will tap into, and what relationships you can develop to get coverage. The first step in developing your launch day strategy is to decide what media outlets will reach your target customers. For instance if your target audience is teens you may consider social media, website development, and radio apps like Pandora.  However, if your target audience is seniors you might consider radio stations, newspapers, and daytime TV programming.

You want to begin researching your target audience and what media and social outlets they are likely to be using. The first step is finding the correct media outlets to reach your customers.

Once you have found the appropriate media outlets you need to start developing relationships with the people who run them. This could include bloggers, journalists, news reports, radio hosts,  township committees, and more.

What I have learned from years of marketing and running businesses is that you can’t just reach out to someone and ask them for something without providing something valuable in returns. If you plan on asking a newspaper journalist for a write-up a few days before your launch they will likely ignore you in favor of the person who has been building a relationship with them over the last few months. Think of developing relationships with a reporter like a  marriage. You don’t just walk up to someone and ask them to marry you, just like you don’t email a blogger and ask them for a link to your website.

As a side note a lot of local newspapers only publish monthly or bi-weekly and you want to have the proper time to get your press releases in the paper just before your launch.

 

Two Months Before Your Launch

networking
By the time you reach 2 months from launch you should have narrowed down all your targets. You should be actively developing relationships with them and you should be offering them something of value so they owe you a favor. You also want to search for any influential people in your community you can enlist to help spread the word.

How to Reach Out To Bloggers, Journalists, and Reports

When reaching out to the writers the first thing you want to do is introduce yourself and start a conversation. You want to get to the point where they know your name and will open your emails or respond to your phone calls. An easy way to get on their good side is to offer something of value. It can be experience or advice or something physical such as a sample product or service or even a compliment. You want to do this without asking for anything in return (right off the bat). The idea behind this strategy is to get them to recognize your name. Without experience this is extremely hard for new business owners and is the reason why you need to give yourself ample time before te launch of your business. You will undoubtedly fail a few times before you succeed.

 

One Month Before Launch

As your going into the final month before you open your doors things can get pretty hectic. Now its time to cash in on all those relationships you developed. With one month left you want to start generating buzz for your launch within your community. Your goal should be to get your target customers interested in your brand and what you have to offer. Your pre-launch advertising should aim to generate curiosity and interest in your brand.

customer reviews

Cashing in on Your Network

Now that you have established relationships with various reporters and writers it’s time to ask for a favor in return. Let them know you are opening a new business and that you have something great for customers that their audience would be interested in. Now is the time to culminate all your key differentiators and leverage them to develop an interesting article, interview, or story.

Start developing reviews for your business right off the bat. Customer reviews and testimonials are often key components of customer purchase decisions. Think about how amazon has reviews for each of their products. When you shop on Amazon for off brand items you only have customer reviews to decide whether the product is worth it or not.  Your new business is in a similar position. You don’t have a baseline to go off of and people don’t have any trust or expectations for you. People like to see both positive and negative reviews because they trust that they are more authentic. Don’t fret if you don’t get all five star reviews. Everyone has different needs so a great review will strike a cord with a particular customer and a negative review will tell a different type of customer that this business are not from them. This is okay. You cannot be everything to everyone and you don’t want customers to have bad experiences solely because your offerings are not what they are looking for.

Note:  An easy trick for this step is to offer samples. If you want honest reviews for your business you can offer free samples of your products or services to the various connections you have formed. Since you are only going to be serving one customer at a time you will have the ability to produce extraordinary service and presentation.

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