Here at CB Digital Design, we celebrated our one-year anniversary last month. It made us reflect on how far we’ve come in just 12 months and the steps we had to take to create a successful business.
Before we delve into our top tips, we think it is important to explain a little bit about our background. Chloe, founder of CB, started by designing Instagram highlight icons for friends and local businesses. She saw an opportunity to build on this, focusing on helping small businesses regain online momentum post-pandemic.
As the months went by, the need for our services increased. We are now a full-service marketing agency, powered by a team of 5 superwomen who are experts in the industry. We are a remote business, helping brands across the country achieve their goals.
Everyone starts somewhere, so if you’re a start-up reading this, I encourage you to follow these steps and dream big…
1. Walk The Talk
Most businesses have mission statements. When is the last time you truly revisited it? We’re not talking about hiring an outside consultancy to create a new slogan, creed, or promise for your brand. Rather, it’s necessary to look at what your customers already come to expect from you and ask, “are we doing this?”
Identify the gaps between what you claim to do in your business and what you’re putting on the table. Make a list of two major opportunities to deliver, and map out how you can start keeping those promises you made when you first began. Customers –and employees—will notice, and good things will start to happen as a result.
2. Find Your Unique Selling Point (USP)
Whether you’re a start-up or an established brand, it is important to recognise and update your unique selling point.
Over 627,000 new businesses launch each year, therefore it is crucial to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Once you master your USP, market it! Get the message out there that you can provide your customers something that no one else in your industry can.
3. Upgrade Customer Service
In keeping with my tip for revising your mission statement, your focus had better involve the customer. One way to see through on that promise is to examine every step of the customer service process. Is it easy to reach you with questions? When is the last time you sent out a customer satisfaction survey or feedback opportunity? Are there redundancies in the resolution cycle? Can everyone who works for your company direct customer issues to the appropriate channel?
Remember, every worker is an ambassador to your business; make sure that they know why they are in business and how the customer creates the demand for their skills.
4. Don’t Push Too Hard
Careful planning, open communication, and a capable team are necessary to push you to your next product launch, building expansion, or rebranding. You may also need to work a little bit more than you usually do, but do not make this a habit.
While occasional streaks of working at a maddening pace are sometimes needed (like the night before a new offering reveal), it shouldn’t be your new normal. The only place frantic, reckless work schedules will get you is in the hospital. Your company needs you. Your customers need you. Don’t put your health at risk in the name of working harder.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No!
Following on from my last point, it is important to recognise when to say NO. The key to keeping a healthy work/life balance is knowing which opportunities are worth your businesses time, and which will stunt progression.
If a job is taking your team hours and hours, but it will not improve your portfolio, why are you doing it? To create success, you must think in the mindset of a prospect customer. Agree to jobs that will attract them, if you always think with money at the forefront your USP will be distorted, and customers will not understand your mission statement.
6. Build A Strong Online Presence
There is so much I can say on this topic, however in short, an online presence will be a defining factor in the make or break of your business.
Post pandemic, so many people are now shopping online for EVERYTHING! Therefore, understanding the power of social media, a website, consistent branding etc. is incredibly important.
One top tip is to put a face to your brand, people buy from people. Show the behind the scenes, encourage user generated content, talk to your customers (albeit it be through a screen). This will all drive engagement and increase brand awareness.
7. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!
Why should you ensure consistency throughout all components of a business? Because it increases brand recognition, customer loyalty, awareness, return on investment and so much more.
For example, make sure your branding colours are present in all marketing efforts. Consistency is a way of educating customers about who you are. On average, a person needs to see a brand seven times before registering/remembering it!
Quote from Chloe Bucknell, Director of CB Digital Design Ltd: “Remember, every major company was a start-up at some point. One of the best things I stopped doing was always looking at successful entrepreneurs and CEOs.
Use them as inspiration but never compare or belittle yourself. Be aware of the impact of scaling your business and take actions to continuously simplify the operations and strategy of your business.”