Whether you have dreams of becoming a market leader or of global domination in a number of markets, every business has to start somewhere. Whilst starting small may seem like the long road to success the phrase ‘learning to walk before you can run’ reigns true when it comes to business. Launching on a global scale requires time, resources and a considerable amount of investment; it is not for the faint hearted!
It is notable that some of the biggest brands in the world started out from small and often humble beginnings. Apple for instance was started in a garage, Virgin was born from a market stall and social media giant Facebook started out as a means of connecting college students. Today they are some of the best known brands in the world but their path to the top relied on time, innovation and spotting the opportunities when they arose.
Even if your business ambitions are on more of a grass roots level you can take solace in the fact that many of the oldest businesses in the world have never expanded beyond their original location. Stores that opened some 150 years ago are still going strong having built a good reputation and trust in their logo trademark amongst the locals. For some, customers will come from far afield because of that reputation and others find their history will always set them apart from the competition. Small businesses like this may have weathered many storms down the years but it was by responding to market changes that kept them in business for so long.
The internet provides businesses with the opportunity to hit a global market in what seems like an instant and whilst most will dream of becoming an over night sensation with millions of customers hitting them in the space of a few hours, the reverse is often true. Unfortunately few achieve success in 24 hours even if they do their homework and hit the ground running when they launch.
You could argue that launching online is by no means small, especially with a potential global audience of billions. Many seem to think that simply by publishing a website customers will come, but setting up online is no different to opening a store in your local town – you have to tell people you are there! However getting noticed online requires a different set of tactics to that of opening a physical store. Success with search engine marketing will take time and effort and is far easier if you start small and build on your efforts over time.
For any business growth comes by identifying market changes and responding to them. Remember those opportunities I mentioned earlier? Well, expanding a business relies on being able to spot them. Whether it is expansion to meet demand or expanding a product line to keep up with current trends, businesses big or small need to keep their finger on the pulse albeit on a global or local level. For some businesses the catalyst for change may come from identifying what you got wrong at the start. Perhaps the products were wrong, your logo design sent out the wrong message or you targeted the wrong market. Knowing when change is necessary is another part of creating a successful business and one you need to be prepared to embrace.
For those businesses online, search engine marketing provides the perfect means of identifying opportunities and trends as they happen. These days big businesses employ an army of personnel to monitor and watch internet metrics like the search engines and social media to identify markets they need to hit. This level of monitoring means they can respond in an instant and fill demand as it happens. Whilst small businesses may not have the resources to do the same, they can at least watch trends unfold before determining whether or not to expand their business in a certain direction.
The measure of success is dependant on the ambitions of those behind the business. There is no set formula for success, it is dependant on too many factors and market forces however, it can be said that if you can give customers what they want when they want it, you will be successful. Nonetheless aiming to be all things to all people is a foolhardy approach, starting small will ensure you can see the wood from the trees and grow your business steadily and inline with consumer demands.
Written by Georgina Clatworthy, a freelance author writing on subjects related to business, marketing and technology. Although I am not associated with Logomojo I can recommend them as an experienced and professional logo design company.