New businesses are NOT to be opened quietly. Use these expert tips to create buzz, establish brand identity and make your presence known in the community…
To survive and thrive, you likely made a lot of noise when you emerged on your first day on earth. Your first day in business needs to be marked with a whole lot of noise too because silence never brought customers to anyone’s door, online or off. When you take the reins as the owner of a business, you must ride the momentum of your entrepreneurial initiative from the very moment you open your door to welcome your first clients. Making the most out of the first day of business means preparing for it well in advance through designing a hearty marketing campaign with the help, ideally, of digital print, design and marketing specialists able to provide you with everything from business cards, signage and promotional items to an integrated strategy for steady growth. In this way, from day one, you can start generating excitement and waste no time developing a healthy, loyal customer base.
Johan Barnard, Nelspruit, South Africa, reflects on the early days as owner of his own business and offers his advice to get a bigger boost from your opening day. He believes in keeping with the concept of propelling your business forward by starting, from day one, with determination, organization, problem solving and excellent customer service. Johan shares his thoughts, saying, “During the preparation phase you have dreamt and developed what you want to achieve with the new business. You have mentally prepared yourself to run the business. You need to take control of your conflicting emotions opening the shop on the first day. Manage the excitement of your own venture but manage the nervousness and fear as well as the sheer responsibility your own venture brings.
Johan offers his top 7 tips for your BEST first day as a business owner:
1. Be Prepared: On day one, start working on time and be fully prepared for business. You have considered all possible problems and developed plans to handle these problems should they occur.
2. Don’t panic: The day the shop opens things may go wrong. Problems you have not conceived may be a reality. Expect these setbacks. Don’t ponder them – smile and be optimistic and find a way to overcome them.
3. Mind your cash: Remember from day one to work conservatively with money. Cash tends to dry up quicker than you think so remember to watch every dollar and triple-check every expense. One of the biggest mistakes made is business owners living from the cashbox/petty cash.
4. Be a strong leader: From day one be consistent in dealing with the staff ie discipline staff doing things wrong, praise staff doing things right and create a culture of winners.
5. Make it personal: Be friendly to all customers and attend to their needs with excellence and individualized attention!
6. Roll-up your sleeves: Prepare yourself for the long hours you have to work to make your business succeed. Remember that mistakes will happen daily, but acknowledge your mistakes, learn from it and keep on working!
7. Create hype: Get going on social media to coincide with the launch of your business and to kick-start your marketing campaign for the business.”
Let them HEAR YOU!
3 in 5 Americans (59%) would try a new brand or company for a better service experience. – White House Office of Consumer Affairs
Bob Ylinen, Regional Vice-President in Northern California for Minuteman Press International, emphasizes the importance of personalized customer service as an edge you can give yourself from your first day in business that will continue to pay dividends as you generate momentum. He talks about the little things that you can do early in the customer relationship that can pay off in big ways from repeat business to referrals. Bob shares, “Your customers want to know that you appreciate and value their patronage. With that in mind, take the necessary steps to build stronger relationships with your clientele Send a thank-you note for that last purchase they placed. Get to know them on a more personal level, know when they have a birthday or anniversary coming up. People like to do business with people they know, like and trust, so do the little extra things that builds a stronger rapport with your customers.”
Make some noise on social media
Once you are covered in terms of expertly designed and printed marketing collateral, it is time to make some noise online for your new business. Part of an integrated marketing strategy includes getting your name and brand online with a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn presence that really stands out. You can start this buzz in the weeks leading up to your grand opening and if your content is engaging and you offer special incentives, you can collect many valuable “followers”. In this way, you initiate social listening and collaboration while adding another way to collect analytics without delay. Online interaction provides a venue for you to offer timely responses and engagement with your potential and current clients. You can also broadcast what the world needs to know about your products and services, create additional brand awareness and maximize exposure for your business.
Your staff awaits your command – Lead and generate pride
You simply cannot do it all yourself, even if you want to have your hands in every pot because it is your business. Whether you have a small or large staff of employees, start your business off by having a meeting that includes informal questions that will help everyone become familiar and then take time to determine which tasks will be assigned to each employee. You need to weigh each skill set with the workload you put upon it and be conscious not to overwhelm anyone and make it known that you are a constant presence as a manager.
In other words, find the sweet spot between needed management and micromanagement so that you can create a business culture that minimizes frustration and maximizes trust. As they gain more responsibility, they will develop more pride in what will now feel like “their” company and they will work harder for you and be happier doing it. While you are at it, shake them by the hands and give them attractive branded apparel to wear. They will appreciate it and they will want to “make some noise for you” in the community and online as well.
Dan Murias, owner of Minuteman Press in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, greeted his first day as the owner of an existing franchise opportunity by channeling his great excitement and some nervousness into a positive force that he used to be a strong leader and put fire into short and long term goals. Dan shares, “My first day was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I bought an existing location that needed to be put back on the right course. I walked up to the front door and put the key in. I remember saying to the one employee I had at the time, “Here we go, we need to sell $400 today just to make bills. It’s going to be a great ride”. I set long term goals as well but I have always had that “one day at a time” goal-setting mindset. Even today, I still do that. Not every day, but many mornings I’ll slide the key in and think to myself “Wow. I’ve got to go hard today”. I need to make money to make this work the way I want it to work. Ironically, the team at home office put that very tool into Flex, our proprietary software. The first day, the second day and now the 365th day are the same; get into the office and make sales to grow the business. It is still exciting, just not as nerve-wracking. That’s part of what makes this business great. Every day is different.”
How to Broadcast Your Brand from Day 1
Gerhard, Miemie and Daantjie Snyman, owners of Minuteman Press in Hatfield, South Africa advise their clients to be proactive and create a booming presence for your business that will not be easy to forget. There are unique angles in customer service that you can use to your distinct advantage.
The winning Snyman team of Minuteman Press franchise owners share 4 tips to help you come out with a strong voice on your first day in business:
1. Take to the streets in your area and introduce yourself – get as many quotes out as possible, some WILL be ordered and that is the beginning of your future growth.
2. Get that first order – produce it at great quality and deliver it personally and on-time.
3. Have as much personal contact with customers as possible – for the first year I wore a bow tie and customers remembered me for that unique feature.
4. Leave something useful behind – the basic old notepad still is our most popular giveaway after nearly 20 years!
Do not go quietly into entrepreneurship!
Day one is the right time to make some noise as a new business owner, without delay. Lead with the triumphant call that liberated you from the instability of the job market cycle and into a position of power as a business owner. Go out into the greater community armed with the sharpest marketing collateral and go online to engage conversations about your business. Get your staff pumped-up to be on your team and make sure everyone knows that the mission is to make money. Then, broadcast to your target audience – loudly – that they need you. Prove it with exceptional products and service, and over time, enjoy the progression of a business that is pumped with enthusiasm from the very first turn of the key.
To learn more about joining the #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise family, call us at 1-800-645-3006 or simply fill out the contact form on this page.