As any struggling business knows, or startups who are in the process of getting going, it is hard to get a business off the ground. This difficulty is due to a variety of factors that can be anything from marketing, to location, visibility, or even simply lack of client engagement. However, there are numerous tools, tips, and tricks that can help you learn how to successfully relaunch your business or launch it correctly the first time. Many of the tips and tricks for relaunching are the same ones that startups themselves need to be aware of and by covering them together the relaunched business can learn how to do it correctly and the startup business can avoid costly mistakes. So what are some of the best tips and tricks for relaunching, rebranding, retooling, or starting your enterprising business?
Learn from mistakes
If you are relaunching your business, it is most likely because in some way it previously failed or did not meet your expectations. This is not actually a true failure as the only true failure is when we do not learn from the mistakes of our past. Finding out what went wrong, how it went wrong, and finding ways to fix it in the future to avoid those pitfalls are all ways of turning your failure into success. This is just as true for startups as well as startups have the benefit of the hindsight of hundreds of different failed or struggling businesses that they can learn from. With research tools, numerous classes online or classes at local community colleges, or information from government agencies, startups and relaunches alike can learn the best ways of modernizing their business to reach the clientele of the 21st century.
Don’t be old school
Of course one of the most important things for any business to remember is to simply not look old. This has nothing to do with the character of the individuals involved in running the store and neither does it mean that you should not specialize in a kind of vintage feel for your store. However, there are some things where old has a negative connotation and learning how to be aware of what is cool old versus not cool old is an important part of successfully relaunching or starting your business.
For instance, suppose you are a business or service who desires to give a kind of vintage feel to your business; regardless of how you attempt to achieve that, is important to not look run-down or trashy. You may feel you’re getting a great deal by buying a lot of your business items or decorations at local yard sales or thrift stores. The problem is too much of that and it does become apparent what you have done and your business looks less vintage and more dilapidated. The same is true of your online presence as well and this topic will be discussed later in this article, but in short getting an old-style website or failing to utilize modern advertising and social media is a big knock against your credibility with modern customers.
Even if you are going for an old-fashioned or vintage feel and your business even specializes in those kinds of things you still need to be accessible in modern ways and successfully convey the wow factor to a modern audience. The truth is, by and large you are not selling to people in 1960 even if you are selling 1960s themes or services. You need to find a way of selling the 1960s to the modern audience in a way that they will receive.
High quality visuals
This is most important for those relaunching but it is also an incredibly important facet for those who are simply starting up and don’t want to lose all of their money on costly mistakes and that is to ensure that you have high quality visuals. High quality visuals can include any number of things such as the flyers that you put out on local cork boards to let people know about a grand opening or things you hand out to people at your store, but also includes things like your trademark, iconography, logo and truly anything else which is designed to set your business apart and make it unique from others. Many businesses fail to take this step and instead opted for more utilitarian symbols, text, or pictures which are readily available online. Although this can be a good option in the very earliest stages or to use as placeholders, the fact is if you got it for free it is fairly apparent.
Worse still is seeking to have something uniquely designed but you still want it done for free so you do it yourself or have unqualified family like Aunt Sally make your visuals. Unless Aunt Sally happens to be a graphics art major, you are taking a big risk, at offending her if you don’t like it, and worse at using symbols, pictures, or business logos that look like they were designed using Microsoft Paint. To engage and reach modern audiences you have to look like quality and effort were put into the final product. If something looks cheap or feels cheap people will assume that your services and products are cheap as well and not in the affordability sense. High quality logos, high quality pictures, and high-quality text are all essential elements for both your in-person solicitations and your online advertising, and they are the very foundation of what begins to give your business its unique character. Overlooking this stage can be a huge mistake as dull, uninteresting, or un-engaging businesses are the very ones which clients easily forget or refuse to patronize.
Utilize social media effectively
Social media has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 10 years. 10 years ago places like YouTube and Facebook were virtual ghost towns and things like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others barely existed if they existed at all.
Nowadays, though, these platforms have billions of users. If you could even get a fraction of those people to even take a look at your product or peruse your store you would be one of the most successful businesses on earth. The potential is truly limitless in a way that past business models simply cannot account for or understand. However, the competition is fierce for getting noticed on social media but there are new programs, new tools, and new tips for being able to successfully reach and engage this limitless audience with your message in a way that they will respond.
One key strategy as before is to make use of high quality images n your social media and tools like PromoRepublic are excellent for this purpose.
another way is to simply utilize programs which help to target advertising. Facebook has some built-in programs which allow you to target your advertising to people who are most likely to engage with your product. Say you are looking to open up a dog grooming service in your area, by utilizing advertising on Facebook, whether with Facebook or with a third-party system, you will easily be able to access the publicly posted social data of millions of people in your area or state and begin to whittle down your advertising to specific groups of people. For instance, you can filter your advertising to aim directly towards people with dogs, or you can filter your advertising to reach specific age demographics whom you may feel are more likely to need your pet grooming services. You can even narrow your field to include specific religions, political ideologies and even lifestyle choices. If the data is available online it is possible for you to utilize it as a filter.
Targeting this kind of advertising in a very narrow band helps increase your business conversion rates. Some programs are even more intelligent and are able to filter the targeting band to an even higher level. For instance, if somebody were to click on your advertisement but then immediately clicked away in less than a second that is unlikely to be a potential client and is more likely an accidental click. Whereas somebody who clicked on your link and read it and spent some time on your website is the kind of person who is interested potentially in your services and there are many programs online that can help you to target these individuals who actually show engagement with your products. Regardless of how you choose to do it, having a social media presence, keeping it up-to-date, and utilizing its far-reaching abilities to precisely target your specific clientele are all important ways of successfully utilizing this new medium for your business launch or relaunch.
Website modernization is beyond important. Thousands of businesses all over the world have very poor quality websites and the truth is people who see a poor quality website will also assume that your services or products are equally poor. People who won’t take the time and effort to make a quality site which is likely the first interaction a customer may ever have with your business are unlikely to believe that you will show quality in other areas of your business as well. Bad quality websites do not necessarily start off as bad quality websites either. If you are a business which began your work and launched your website five or six years ago and paid a top-of-the-line internet designer to help create a high-quality and engaging website, you may be sad to see it go and may be disbelieving that your website has simply fallen out of fashion and it is time to build a new one. However, if you are utilizing older website styles, templates, fonts, and even color schemes it is very evident to your clients especially to the younger generation who spend a lot of time surfing websites. What was trendy 5 years ago and modern then is not modern now. Even the very richness of the colors has changed.
Just as old computers used to have 16 default colors and nowadays have innumerable permutations, older web design programs also have limitations with colors, style, symbols, pictures, and borders that make them look primitive even if they were well designed for their time. If you are just beginning your startup you might think that you can avoid this pitfall but don’t be too quick to assume that! The fact is there are still many of these outdated programs online available and for free right now.
There are many good high quality programs that can assist you in doing it for free but your best bet if you are truly looking to have your website done correctly in a way that is modern and keeps the needs of the modern audience first is to either consult a web designer or simply hire a website designer outright. Website designers will not only know how to assemble these things together but also keep their fingers on the pulse of modern website trends and features and can help your site be one that truly stands out from the websites which do not update regularly or modernize their information.
Build for the present, leave space for the future
One of the things which may have killed your previous business or potentially could be a death sentence to your brand new startup is the failure to see emerging trends. Even if your business model is sound for the moment, always leave room for future kinds of growth and even spend small portions of your business finance and planning time developing those future strategies. By planning for the future even while you live in the present, you can help your business succeed when technology, culture, or the industry changes and you will not be scrambling to make up for lost opportunities while everybody else is seizing them.
A perfect example of living in the present while keeping an eye towards the future could look something like delivery services. If your service or product can be delivered still in the next 10 to 15 years, automated drones will very likely be doing the delivery. Automated drones are already being tested in a variety of delivery capacities and not only can they deliver faster, they also have a lower carbon footprint than a delivery car or van does for each delivery as they are able to fly direct and oftentimes use batteries as opposed to gas engines. Does this mean that your delivery service should buy a thousand drones right now? Of course not. The technology has not reached that level yet and having delivery drivers or delivery services take your goods to individuals is where we live now but investing too heavily in those areas could be a potential money loser for you in the near future as the technology is already changing before our eyes.
This was seen most notably with the failure of Blockbuster. Once a blockbuster business, it continued to utilize old methods and styles of DVD and VHS rentals even though the industry had changed to allow for streaming services. Failure to see this trend while it was emerging and failure to get ahead of it destroyed a multimillion-dollar business and if it can do it to a multimillion-dollar business it can certainly do it for your relaunch or startup if you do not keep one eye on the future.
There are far more tips and wisdom for starting up your business or relaunching and rebranding your old business that can be covered in a textbook worth of articles. To distill the information down to a simpler form it can be looked at like this: respect the past, live and cater to the present, and prepare for the future. Respecting the past not only because there are many people alive today who could still be potential clients who you could attract with older vintage methods but remembering that we do live in the modern era and catering to your modern audience and culture is paramount to your business success.
Catering to your modern audience means having high quality pictures, high quality websites, high quality social media interaction, and other modern methods and ways of communicating with the audience of the 21st century. Bearing all that in mind, though, it is also important to keep apprised of emerging trends, technologies, and even cultural views and shifts which can potentially affect your business. By having one eye on the future and preparing for it, your business can make these shifts seamlessly and cater to the needs of your future clients and personnel as well. Set up your business for success and that success is found by meeting the needs of your clients where they are at, and helping them with your products or services in such a way that you stand out among businesses. If you can follow these simple tips and tricks for rebranding, retooling, relaunching, or starting up your business, yours will be a business which lasts.