How to Start a Business

Starting a business is something you may or may not have wanted to do for quite a while, but  every time you want to start something happens and you postpone. Procrastination is one of the biggest dampers on reaching success. I noticed that many of the successful people I know do things NOW. They dont wait, if it needs to get done they dive in and do it.

If you are ready to start your business you have to do your homework. Do research on the idea you have and pitch it to a few friends. Consider their opinions you not obligated to listen to them, their opinions and questions prepares you to answer market queries. So, consider their opinions and find solutions before you go-to-market.

Don’t forget to ask yourself a few questions:Start your business

  • Who is my competitors and what is their market  position? (Are they making money)
  • Does my product or service meet the demand and can I meet the supply?
  • Where does my business fit into the market?

After you have done your homework or business research it’s time to put together a plan or road map on how to reach your goals or objectives. Bear in mind the business plan you are putting together is your plan and road map not for investors or prospective business partners. For samples and templates you can have a look at https://www.bplans.com/sample_business_plans.php If you need some assistance we can assist.

 

Starting your business does not have to cost a fortune but you will need to invest time and money. Calculate what percentage you can afford to allocate to your business monthly, why not start saving while you in planning phase. You will need operating and marketing costs for your business to run.

Once you have decided what your business will do and you have compiled a set of business objectives use these objectives to develop your business name and mission statement. You can register your business at CIPC   or you can ask us to register it for you and receive a free logo design. You will need a list of four names in order preference, your business address and a certified copy (PDF Format) not older than 3 months.

Your company registration can take from 2 to 24 days, we advise during this period you get started on your marketing materials. You will require a range of business tools that include; a domain and monthly hosting, website, business cards, a digital letterhead, company profile, email address and signature. You will also require sales and marketing tools that drive customers to your business like a flyer or brochure.

Strategic Digital Marketing offers business development solutions which include sales and marketing strategies to suit your start-up business needs.

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Why should I have a website?

Having a website has become one of the most important ways to successfully present your company and to reach customers who are most likely to use the internet to find information about a certain product and ultimately buy it. At most, creating a website is the easier part, but in order for people to find you, your website must appear at the top of search results.  

When users look up a word or phrase using the search engines, they get a displayed list of search results. They go through this list and try to find the result they need, the result that is actually related to the word or phrase that has been used in the search query. However, based on the researches, more than half of users will only scan through the first couple of results, and they are most likely to click on the first one. This is the reason why being positioned at the top of the search result page is an important goal if you want to reach your target audience.
The discipline that explores different strategies in order to help you get better positioning in the search engines, and thus promote your business online, is called search engine marketing or now referred to as just Search Marketing.

The main goal is to increase the visibility of a website and gain traffic, in order to increase sales and conversions. Search marketing should be an inseparable segment of the marketing department in a company, as it can significantly promote a company, as well as collect relevant data about the customers, which helps with market analysis.

Search marketing requires a comprehensive strategy which will include the goals, as well as planned actions that should be conducted for the purpose of achieving those goals. The actions in the process of realization of the strategy will differ, depending on the type of search marketing that is used.

Besides the different strategies involved, various tools are used for the purpose of analyzing the performance of the website and the efficiency of the strategy that is being implemented. Tools are required with both free and paid search marketing, as they enable the realization of different sets of actions that will help with realization of the goals.

SEO (Search engine optimization) and PPC (Pay per click) are the two types of search marketing. These two represent two different approaches which both have the same goal, how to increase the position, i.e. the visibility of a website in the search engines. The main difference between SEO and PPC is the type of reach you want to achieve.

Search engine optimization increases so-called organic reach. This means that working on search engine optimization you try to increase the number of users who will find your website “naturally”, through the search engine.
The main goal with search engine optimization is to use a set of strategies and tools, while following the best practices and recommendations, in the purpose of improving the position of the website in relation to specific keywords or keyword phrases. It is essential for these keywords to be related to your business, so the selection of keywords is one of the first tasks in the process of search engine optimization. In this case, your goal is to increase the position of your website in the search results, which is based on the keywords you suppose the users would search for.

Search engine optimization is a comprehensive process that requires a lot of work which will pay off in the increased visibility of your website in the search engine result pages. This process is also considered to be long-term, since the benefits of the website optimization are longlasting as opposed to paid reach.

PPC, on the other hand, uses paid reach to help you reach online customers. Although paid search marketing is most often referred to as PPC (pay per click), it actually includes other types of paid marketing, such as CPC (cost per click) and CPM (cost per thousand impressions).

Paid search engine marketing requires paying for ads that will be displayed in the search engines. In this case, there is no need to look for the ways to improve the position of your website organically, but instead, all you have to do is to set up a campaign through an advertising program. This way, your website will be displayed as the paid result every time a user searches for a certain keyword that is related to the keywords you have provided when creating a campaign.

Comparing the results in several search engines can help you find out how your website is ranked in different search engines, as well as which websites are shown as paid results for the keywords that are relevant to your website.

You should remember that the digital world is constantly changing. There are numerous websites being created every day, and people are starting to use search engine marketing to compete on the internet. At the same time, there are those who give up or turn to different projects instead. This is why it is essential to monitor the digital situation, to monitor your competitors and to stay up to date with recommendations and best practices that can help you increase the visibility of your website.

Regardless of the type of search engine marketing, you decide to use, you need to monitor your work and the performance of your efforts in order to evaluate the efficiency of SEM. With paid search engine marketing you will be able to monitor the performance of the campaign through the advertising program used to create the campaign, while with SEO you will need to use external tools for monitoring the performance of the website and organic reach.

No matter how the situation develops in the future and regardless of how search engine algorithms change, the fact remains that websites will be competing with one another for the top position in the search engine result pages. 

At SDM we increase the chances of a potential buyer finding your products or services. We incorporate a hybrid digital strategy that leads to:

  • Increased sales leads
  • Quality contacts
  • Insight into your business performance
  • Professional brand Affinity 
  • Increased online sales

SDM, Can assist you in rolling out an affordable comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Email us: info@strategicdigitalmarketing.co.za 

Market Effectively: Co-Brand

Some call it co-branding others call it brand partnerships or short term joint ventures! What ever it’s called the basic definition does not change. Co-Branding is when two brands offer beneficial services to the same target market thus complimenting each other and providing the client with an effective service experience.

By planned effective implementation this form of branding could drastically increase the marketing activities in turn client reach. By co-branding companies essentially half the investment cost for the same return. Not all available marketing tools are effective when we evaluate co-branding.

We have listed some effective tools that could work:

  • PPC: Development of one ad, increase the reach by splitting the spend. Eg: A plumber and electricians ad may read, Emergency Plumbing | Electrical Call: 081 245 7031 | 065 831 1887
  • Printed Flyer Distribution: Distribution to one targeted area, Jpegs per individual Social Media Pages
  • Affiliate referral programs: When the client is referred by the branding partner an additional discount could be offered.
  • Digital Display Screens: Co-branded videos shown to 150+ niche consultancies.
  • Co branded video or App development.

At SDM our core function is to develop customised 360 degree solutions that grow your business (short or long term). Once, we have developed a plan we have inhouse capabilities to implement or we reffer you to our partners. give us a call or drop an email if you require a consultation.

: 081 245 7031 | 065 831 1887 or drop an email info@strategicdigitalmarketing.co.za if you require a consultation.

Complete the below form:

Quote Request

Call or WhatsApp Us: 081 245 7031
Email: info@strategicdigitalmarketing.co.za www.strategicdigitalmarketing.co.za

How a professionally designed logo can elevate your brand!

IMAGE: PIXABY

A strong logo is critical to strong branding, and you can’t have strong branding without a strong logo. But before diving further into this partnership, there’s one more piece of the puzzle that needs to be addressed: brand identity. You see, when it comes to creating a successful business, your identity is the foundation that holds everything together.

Brands can be thought of as the complete emotional and intellectual image of a company. Brands encompass the feelings that consumers learn to associate with a company. These physical and emotional feelings are triggered by the company name, logo, and visual identity.

A companies brand identity encompasses all of the visual aspects that contribute to the brand. These include color schemes, fonts, products, packaging, and most importantly, logos.

Logos are recognizable and distinct symbols, which identify an organization. They are the visual cues, which can spark the emotional and physical responses related to the brand. In essence, logo designs are the foundation of a company’s brand and an integral part of visual identity. Some of the best logo designs can effectively launch a brand into global stardom.

 

The Siren Example 

Take, for example, the wildly successful Starbucks siren. Originally selected for the company’s seafaring roots—the name Starbuck hails from Moby Dick and Seattle is a major port city—the infamous siren logo has evolved right alongside the brand, which is now a global powerhouse with more than 20,000 stores worldwide and a market value of $77.87 billion.

(Image taken from Logo Design Love.)

With its most recent rebranding scheme, the Starbucks’ creative team no longer feels the need for the company name, or the word “coffee,” to be a part of its logo. For this billion-dollar biz, the siren is enough.

“She is not a real person, but we kind of think of her as one. She’s the biggest symbol of our brand, really, other than our partners [employees]. She’s the face of it,” says Steve Murray, creative director for Starbucks, on the company’s blog.

And with more than $21 billion in sales for 2016, it’s clear that she’s working.

 

Web design

The Starbucks Company is a stunning example of what a universally strong logo can do for the global success of a brand. But remember, the logo is just one piece of a company’s identity. In order to stake a claim in today’s massive marketplace, companies have to brand themselves digitally and traditionally. This starts by incorporating logos into web design, digital branding into print media and packaging.

 

We live in a world that is consumed by information overload. Whether we like it or not, information overload is trending and the truth is that it is hear to stay.

 

Digital branding is, therefore, dependent on the use of impactful images—images which identify, but don’t explain; images which allow a lifetime of memories and experiences to flood the mind in a matter of milliseconds; images which are interactive and have the ability to bring a brand to life on the screen. Logos are these images.

 

Incorporating logos into web design has thus become an integral part of global branding. Well-executed logos should invoke a sense of trust and loyalty in the company, and the best designs around the globe are the ones dialing in on this. Take, for example, Apple, Coca-cola, and Microsoft. These powerhouse brands all have a firm handle on logo-integrated web design. In fact, more often than not, logos for these companies function as the home button for the site. So essentially what you have here are the same logos, which invoke feelings of trust and security in a company, now being used to invoke similar functions and feelings on the web.

 

Integrated Solutions

Clearly, we have proven that we are a digital society but the world has not completely adapted. We are in a transition phase.

Consumers want interactive experiences that engage them and make data come to life on the screen.

To briefly recap: effective logos identify brands, but they don’t explain. The logo is simply the “touch face”—the visual cue—which triggers brand-related memories and experiences for the consumer.

So, where exactly does all of this leave us? In short, we are a global economy on the move, and there’s no hint of slowing down anytime soon. Without effective integrated marketing platforms, businesses are inevitably lost in a sea of powerhouse competitors. Truth be told, establishing a strong digital presence is paramount to establishing your brand. But establishing an effective digital presence and building a successful brand requires, first, a strong foundation of visual identity. The first step in establishing that identity?—an effective logo design.

 

 Strategic Digital Marketing, a full service digital agency focused on growing brands on and offline.

 

 

How to Start a Business with Limited Finances!

Guidelines on Starting a Business with limited Finances!
 
Starting a business will always cost you money, but there are ways of doing it that could prevent you from having to come up with huge amounts of capital.
 
The trick here is to start off very slowly, developing your ideas and your products in your spare time, doing your own research, selling a few products to test the market, getting feedback from customers, listing on government databases, applying for tenders and getting yourself “READY TO TRADE” 
Here are some tips:
Don’t quit your day job: If you are fortunate enough to be employed, use your current income to experiment with your business idea. Work on your products in your spear time, and talk to people who are in the industry you plan to enter. Talk to prospective customers about what they think of your idea, and give them samples to look at or try out. Also, talk to the suppliers of the equipment and materials you will need. This will pave the way for you to make some sales of your product so that you can be sure that there is a market. It will also hopefully give you some cash to start putting aside.
Develop and use a business & marketing plan: Taking a slower approach to starting your business will give you the time to think through all the hurdles and challenges that can and do arise. A business plan is a useful tool to help you through this thinking process. Start working on a business and marketing plan as soon as your ideas begin to come together, then develop and modify your plan as your ideas develop and change. (Remember: a business and marketing plan is a working document, the purpose won’t change but the plan will differ) It is there to ensure that you know what you’re aiming for and that you’ve thought about how you’ll get there. The plan, it is said, never survives the first battle! So you need to keep updating it.)
Build up sales before you launch: Your marketing plan will assist with growing or building your client base. Ideally, get a few regular customers before you go into the business full-time. Get all your paper work sorted and register on a few government supplier databases. Try out some inexpensive marketing techniques, there are various ways available. You may even consider employing someone or hiring a firm to build you a client base on a temporary, part-time basis. This will take the pressure off you when you launch the business officially and give the business a bit of time to ‘warm up’ before you try to draw a salary from it.
Get some suppliers on your side: One of the cheapest forms of ‘credit’ can be your suppliers. While you should never drag your heels when it comes to paying your debts, you might be able to find some material suppliers who will agree to give you a few months to pay while you are starting up. This could benefit your business enormously, as you could get supplies without having to go to a lender for the money; and from the suppliers’ point of view, you could become a good customer for them.
Phase your business into operation gradually: Depending on the type of business you plan to start, it may be possible to get it going gradually, reducing the amount of money you need to put in initially. There may be certain products that will sell better than others, with less infrastructure or with less capital outlay. Start with these, and get the cash flowing. Be strict about putting a portion of this cash aside to fund your expansion into other products.
Get as much paperwork and Marketing collateral done: Attend to all the regulatory requirements (such as trading licences) early, so that it doesn’t waste your valuable selling time once your business is launched. Register your company, get your tax requirements sorted out, register for VAT if necessary, find out what insurance you will need, open your business bank account, etc. Develop your brand identity and required marketing collateral If, you do not have the time consult a business development agency to guide you on the processes.
Get your systems in place early: Don’t launch before you have a proper record-keeping system, processes in place, invoicing system, bookkeeping system, customer care system, marketing and client retention plan in place. These will form the foundation of your office administration and will keep your business running on oiled wheels. Get this organised early, as you will be working flat out when you launch to visit possible customers, to present your product, and to produce what the orders require.
At SDM we offer you 360-degree business development solutions that assist you in your journey to entrepreneurship.
Contact us for a free consultation, by emailing info@strategicdigitalmarketing.co.za or call 0861 000 801 | 065 831 1887

Start you business right!

It’s very easy to start your own business, now more than ever! That’s great for many, but most people just plunge in without any thought and preparation.

I am here to tell you that you do not have to struggle unnecessarily. Most businesses close their doors within 1 to 3 years and do not even reach their 5 year mark, yet I am convinced that no business should fail

The solution? Planning.

Starting a business takes a lot of preparation, and you have to do your homework. So many entrepreneurs have great ideas, yet what they need is an actionable plan for getting to the next level. Ask yourself one question!

Why do I want to start a business?

It makes sense; money and success certainly know how to inspire. But hype isn’t a reason to start a business. Any entrepreneur, investor, or even editor will tell you the best businesses solve a problem.

Be honest with yourself and with your team. Why do you want to start a business? Is it because you want to make a lot of money, or do you see a real need that you have the skills (or the determination) to address?

What’s stopping you?

In the next article, we will consider more questions…