Starting a Small Business in 2017? 5 Tips for Success

Cheerful businesswoman taking paperwork from her colleague in the office.If you’re preparing to launch a small business in 2017, now is the time to inhale as much advice as you can. Here are five tips to help jumpstart your success in the new year: 

  1. Get with the social media times. Relying on Twitter or Facebook for all your business’s social media needs is already old school. In 2017, small businesses will need more than static posts and boring descriptions. People want to feel, hear, and experience products and events on a visceral level.  Invite your new audience into your experience in real-time. Arm yourself with some snazzy equipment to shoot live video demonstrations or tours, as well as 360 degree images and video. Check out strong new social platforms like Snapchat, and don’t forget to invest in your own content powerhouse: a robust website to act as your home base for content sharing.
  2. Stand out, really far out. 2016 was noisy in the startup arena. In 2017, it’s going to be even noisier.  You’ll have to stand out from the crowd in bolder ways than were previously required.  Your target audience will need to recognize your brand in a flash (and feel good about it). The easiest way to do that is by choosing the right packaging for your product.  This doesn’t have to be the most expensive option. What is important is that, when stacked up against your competitors, your packaging sells your product. Think outside the box or get creative help (see #3).
  3. Think outside the box or get creative branding help. Right now you’re thinking, “wasn’t it enough that I created the business idea?” No, it’s not enough.  This may be hard to do alone, especially with so much conflicting information on the web.  Your business plan should contain detailed branding and marketing strategies. If you struggle in this area, outsource the creative work as soon as you are able. Spending a little cash on branding will be worth the investment.
  4. Consult with a fulfillment specialist early. In 2017, the Internet has the potential to increase your sales in a nano-second. Are you going to hunker down in your back storeroom and organize the packaging and shipping during the spike? When you have several orders a day, that may work.  When your product takes off, however, internal fulfillment likely won’t be the best option.  You risk delayed shipping, lost orders, poor work quality and potential lost savings in the mad rush to get it out the door.  Do your research now, before you need a business partner. You can schedule a free tour of Goodwill’s fulfillment operation today. With 100 years of business experience, Goodwill has the experience and know-how to help.
  5. Get to know the Millennials. The oldest Millennials are now entering their thirties, which means they are coming into their own as a huge source of buying power. As a business owner, you need to direct some of that buying power to your product. Millennials don’t like rules or the way things have always been done. Read up and develop a Millennial strategy that that can harnass the power of this incredible consumer audience.