While many businesses sell products, the service industry is huge; every home and business owner has a need for local services and if you are thinking about setting up a business to service your local community, here are some important aspects to consider.
- Create a concept – You should think of a way to make your business stand out; offer something that other providers do not; it might be the best service, the lowest prices or even an all-inclusive service. Something that sets you apart from your competition will pay dividends, as you strive to increase your share of the market.
- Supply/demand – Whether you are looking to offer printing in Brisbane or a/c servicing in Melbourne, you need to be sure the demand is adequate; there is a finite amount of business in any given area and that means heavy competition. If there are too many providers, some will inevitably fold due to lack of customers; the ideal situation is an ever-growing market that is under-supplied.
- Reputation is everything – It takes years to forge a good reputation within a community and that can be destroyed in a single day! Customers always have a choice and by focusing your efforts on the customer experience, you should have high customer retention, as well as regular referrals.
- Location – Buy a large map and pin it to the wall; search out all providers and mark them with pins, then look at locations where there are fewer pins, plus drive around looking for industrial zones and residential areas, as these are your potential customers. Parking is something to consider when looking at potential business venues; if people can’t park, they won’t stop.
- Working capital – Not only do you need the money to launch the business, you also have to keep it afloat during the first few months. All it takes is a few unpaid invoices to put you in hot water; bills have to be paid and having a separate emergency fund is the best approach.
- Marketing & branding – Every new business needs initial branding and marketing and we recommend using a local digital marketing agency to create a plan. A great deal of thought should go into your logo design, which should be displayed at every opportunity. Let the professionals handle all your marketing & branding and that will pay dividends.
- Community participation – Look for every opportunity to support your local community, sponsor local sports teams, advertise on local radio stations and do what you can to get your name and logo out there.
It can take a long time to become an established name within a community and you should always be aware that bad news spreads much faster than good. Stay focused, be determined and plan thoroughly, which should see you enjoy a level of success.