People start their own businesses for a variety of reasons, but what many of them find once they have taken this route, is that their work life balance suffers.
“They may have gone into business for themselves confident that it would realign how they spend their time, only to find that instead it eats up all the time they have available,” observes Hywel Griffiths of APD Resolutions.
What Hywel advises is they look beyond a philosophy of work-is-life, and approach business strategically and methodically, to make better use of their time, and to restore their work life balance.
Hywel’s advice is to focus on four key areas:
- Your USP
- Your financial analysis
- Your target market
- What your competitors are doing
What is Your USP?
A USP, or unique selling proposition, is what you hang your marketing strategy on, so that you can target your sales effectively.
It might be something that differentiates your product or service. It could be around price structure or customer service, or it may involve specific distribution channels.
“Finding your USP requires analysis and creativity, an understanding of the market, your competitors, your niche, and where you will fit in”
From the perspective of time, a USP allows you to focus your marketing rather than be scattershot in your approach. It encourages efficiency and a streamlining of your activities.
Planning your finances is not the most exciting aspect of starting a business. But it is an essential one. It can also save you a great deal of trouble, and time, later.
“Most businesses fail because of cash-flow problems so a crucial part of your planning should focus on this”
It is also vital to look at what funding you will require before you launch, in time to find the right source.
“A sound financial analysis should also look at what future investment you will require for projects, because this will affect the more immediate choices you make,” explains Hywel.
“Getting a clear financial picture early on will save you time, and energy later,” Hywel says.
Who Are Your Customers?
Closely related to your USP, understanding your target market is the key to launching and running your business as efficiently and effectively as possible.
“To make your marketing count you must know who your potential customers are,” advises Hywel. “Anything less, and you risk becoming a busy fool, spending time, money and resources chasing an elusive market.”
What About the Competition?
Any startup must understand where it fits in a wider context. This means analysing the competition.
“Always looking over your shoulder is distracting and draining,” says Hywel.
“Gaining knowledge about who your competitors are and what they’re doing will help you deal with potential threats and make the most of opportunities”
This knowledge will then inform your overall business strategy, helping you understand the probable consequences of the decisions you make.
“Yes, people who start up their own businesses are dedicated to them,” Hywel concludes. “This doesn’t mean they should feel completely drained by them.”
To strengthen your business strategy and regain your work life balance, please call APD Resolutions on 07530 262855.
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