Beginners Guide to Starting a Business in 2024

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Starting a new business? We have your launch strategy! Read our beginner's guide to starting a business in 2024. We cover everything from registration to branding and even how to calculate your monthly marketing budget! From business to business, you got this!

Registration

We recommend registering your business through Ownr. There are other options to register your business in Ontario of course, we have just been through the Ownr process and found it very straightforward.

Follow all the steps here

Domain and Professional Email

  1. Secure a domain name. Aim for a domain name that includes your business name with .com or .ca extensions. If both are available, acquire both and set up a redirect to capture all those searching for your business. You can check domain availability on GoDaddy.com.
  2. After securing your domain, establish a GSuite account for your business email. This allows you to have a primary email address (e.g., name@yourbusiness.com) and set up email redirects for addresses like info@yourbusiness.com and billing@yourbusiness.com. This helps you manage emails based on customer needs and inquiries efficiently.

Branding

Your branding is your company’s complete identity. Imagine meeting your company as a person. What would you notice at first glance? How do they appear? What characteristics do they possess? Who do you envision as their friends beyond your initial encounter? This is what you’re crafting when developing your brand. Before diving into the items listed below, you need to address these questions to truly understand the brand you’re building:

  1. Define your target audience— who do you want to serve? What do you know about their life, characteristics and unmet needs? Gain a deeper understanding of them by conducting interviews with individuals you picture as your perfect customer.
  2. Create a custom logo, colour scheme, and font that clearly represents your brand to your target audience. For example, choose a font size that’s easiest for your target audience to read, as some people may have difficulty reading small font sizes or seeing certain colours. To build a logo, we recommend working with a professional; however, there are free tools like Canva where you can create it yourself.
  3. Establish your brand’s language and identity – this is your brand voice. Are you adopting a corporate and professional tone, injecting humour, or reflecting an extension of your personality?
  4. Transform into your own walking billboard – Utilize the elements above to design a uniform featuring your logo and company name, apply decals to all your vehicles, and make your brand visible everywhere possible.

Lead Generation Website

Now that your branding is in place, you need a platform where people can research your business, find answers to FAQs, compare you to competitors, read reviews, and contact you. 80% of your potential customers will conduct research on your website before reaching out to you. We strongly recommend working with professionals to build a website capable of functioning as a 24/7 lead generator for your business.

  1. Look for website inspiration from competitors or websites that your target audience frequently visits and has a track record of converting visitors into customers. Share these insights with your marketing professional during the website creation process.
  2. Once your website is live, promote it extensively across all channels.

80% of your potential customers will conduct research on your website before reaching out to you.

Google My Business Profile

Set up your free Google My Business profile immediately. Even if you don’t have a physical business location, you can hide that information and display your service area. 

  1. Once your website is live, ensure it’s linked to your profile, along with updated contact information and current business hours. Your team should keep this profile updated. 
  2. Upload photos of your work, your logo, and anything else relevant to your business. 
  3. Ask every customer to leave a Google review. You can distribute QR codes for easy review submission on their mobile devices and incentivize reviews by conducting monthly draws for coffee gift cards
  4. A profile with reviews, including before-and-after photos, significantly influences customers when choosing your business.

Free Vendor Websites

Depending on your industry, you can sign up for free directories to showcase your services and websites. This helps with overall SEO for your business name and is a free way to acquire leads over time. 

  • Create a free Kijiji listing under services. Be specific about what you’re offering in each ad. You can have 2 ads live in this category at a time. Pick 2 different locations or 2 different services. Make at least 2 profiles (giving you 4 ads total) and update them each month to keep pushing yourself to the front. 

Social Media

Creating accounts on Instagram, Facebook Business, Twitter (X), TikTok, LinkedIn and more is entirely free. Although maintaining these profiles requires time, you don’t need to focus on every single platform initially. Secure all your social media profiles/handles and aim for consistency in usernames, like @yourbusinessname. If the name is already taken, try adding your service location to the end of your name. Here’s a guide to get started:

  1. When setting up your profiles, emphasize the following in your name, description, and bio:

Name: Business Name | The primary value you provide

Bio line 1: What followers can expect from your profile

Bio line 2: Offer a lead generation incentive that’s free 

Link: Usually your website or a Linktree where you can host multiple links at once with a clear display/ description of each. 

For example:

Rayne’s Roofing | Enhancing Your Home’s Value

📈 Learn more about roofing options and home investments

➡️ Contact us for a FREE roofing consultation.

  1. Consistently deliver the value you promised through your posts. Educate your followers about the primary service you offer. Assist them in making informed decisions, whether it’s selecting the right shingles, understanding when a reroof is necessary, or taking proper precautions before selling their homes. Use photos of your own services, projects, merchandise and clients.  Steer clear of stock photos.
  2. There are no posting limits. Share as much as you can, as often as you can.

Digital Paid Advertising

Ensure that all the components mentioned above are in place before any digital advertising campaigns. You need a destination for interested leads and information to facilitate their decision making process. When discussing advertising spend and lead generation, consider the following:

  1. Calculate the value of a lead to your business. What is their lifetime value (LTV) if they become a customer? Also, determine your average close rate. If five interested leads reach out, how many are likely to convert into customers, and what barriers might hinder conversions? Once you have these answers, you can formulate your digital advertising strategy.

If a customer’s LTV is at least $6,000 and your close rate is 50%, a lead cost of less than $3,000 would be considered excellent. While it’s possible to acquire leads for less than $3,000, this benchmark helps determine your advertising budget.

You need a destination for interested leads and information to facilitate their decision making process.

  1. Begin slow and scale up gradually. Allocate a monthly budget of $3,000- $5,000 for digital advertising. Start on Meta with a short video, test a few hooks, and invest approximately $70 per day. Connect your business’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and run a conversion campaign to drive traffic to your new website. Pose the right questions on your contact form to pre-qualify potential clients before scheduling a call. Google Ads search campaigns tend to be slightly more expensive, we recommend spending around $100 per day. Create a search campaign with dynamic elements and direct visitors to your website lead form.

Word of Mouth (WOM) and Print

Map the entire client experience and how your work can serve as a promotion for your business. Real estate agents and lawn care companies use this strategy frequently. Depending on your industry and services, you can get permission to add a lawn sign to your client’s property or if you offer digital services, you can hand out direct mail pieces that include some sort of value to businesses or your target audience. When participating in trade shows, create branded backdrops and banners that represent your company, your value and services.

Digital Organic Content

Continuously update your website to increase its ranking in Google search results compared to competitors. Transform common questions from leads and customers into blog posts on your website. When selecting a website, ensure that your agency provides an easy-to-use blog section that your team can easily update and adjust as needed. Establish a weekly habit of adding new blog posts.

When constructing your website, offer your audience something valuable in exchange for their email addresses. Nowadays, requesting email addresses isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. Many companies misuse private information or over-email their subscribers. You must demonstrate your value and provide something worthwhile in exchange for contact information. Keep this in mind when determining what incentive you’ll offer to those seeking information but not yet ready to make a purchase.

Referral Program

Give back to your clients that bring you new leads and customers. Put a plan in place where you give back a percentage of the sale if they bring you someone who converts into a customer. This is easy to add to your website and allows you to easily share with clients who you feel would be interested. 

If you have any questions, book a free 30-minute strategy session with us! We’d love to share more tips on getting your business off the ground.

Contact Us To Start Your Business

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