things-to-do-before-launching-businessPreparing to launch your own business is no easy feat. It takes months of planning, strategy, and hard work to put together the many pieces of the puzzle required in order to hit “GO!” One question we get a lot is from entrepreneurs wanting to know how much of something they need. They’ve already identified and created the various pieces of their online marketing puzzle, but are curious to learn how extensive each of those pieces needs to be before they introduce their Big Idea to the world.

6 Things you Need to Do Before Launching your New Small Business

Website Pages – Having a website is an absolute must in today’s business world. But you’ll need something more than just a static home page if you really want to be successful. What your business is will impact the right mix of pages for you (e.g. a restaurant will need an online menu), but in general, an About Page, Contact page, and at least 1 page dedicated to your products or services is going to be required.

Blog Posts – 2014 is the year of Content Marketing! Congratulations on creating a business blog! The benefits are endless, and include SEO perks as well as relevant content to share on your social media channels. So, how many blog posts should be live on your site before launch? At least 3-5 would be good.

Social Media Accounts – One well-utilized social media account is going to serve your new business better than 3 or 4 barely-used accounts. The most important thing here is to be sure your social media account is full complete. A profile picture, header/cover (where applicable), and complete bio are all musts.

Social Media Activity – When you introduce your new business to your personal network, many people will likely follow all the links you have to check out your little corner of the internet. Their first impression of your new brand will be greatly enhanced if you already have some social media updates posted. So, go ahead and send out a handful of tweets, and post a few updates about your business and what you have to offer.

Branded ImageryYour logo is the foundation of your brand. It is the visual representation of the business you are beginning to build. It also is what sets you apart from everyone else out there. Even starting with a stock image that you modify with one of the various online image editing tools can be enough to begin. You have a lot more leeway with cover/header images, but you definitely need a strong logo that is uniquely you.

Listed Products or Services – There’s no sense in officially launching your business if you have nothing you are obviously selling. Not that you need to have every possible service you can offer on your site, or every single product you sell listed in your online store in order to launch, but you do need to have some products or services listed on your site that represent each customer type that you have. If you sell pet supplies, you should have products for both cats AND dogs visible to a website visitor. If you offer HVAC services, make sure you have services beyond just furnace services listed on your site.

Separating the “Musts” from the “Would Be Nices” is of the utmost importance as your work to build your brand new business. It can also be hard to allow yourself to launch your new business if everything is not 100% perfect. Strive to achieve the essentials for your website and social media presence, and later build from there.

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