Deciding to start your own business is a huge, but exciting step. Oklahoma City has undergone huge development over the past 20 years as the hospitality, energy, transportation and biotechnology industries have continued to thrive, bringing a new economic outlook to the area.
Before you launch your business, you want to make sure that you’ve given yourself the right conditions to succeed. Here are four things you should do before you launch your business.
Research your target market
Knowing your customer is one of the most vital aspects of a successful business. To ensure you have a product or service that they want. To do this, you will need to conduct market research. For example, if you open a coffee shop in a certain area of the town to appeal to younger people and students, how far away will you be from the areas most frequented by that demographic? Where do they get their coffee now, and are there too many similar coffee shops vying for the attention of a small audience?
Define your target market, research them, find out if there is a demand for your product and where they currently buy similar services from. You can do this by hosting a forum, going out into the community to ask questions, or hiring a market research company to look into it for you.
Create a marketing strategy
Now that you know who your target market is, you can develop a marketing plan to appeal to them. A marketing strategy is vital to ensure that you are focusing your time and money on the right channels. A basic strategy will include an online, and social media presence, SEO, PR and direct marketing.
Many start-ups use marketing agencies or freelancers to help them market their business. Luckily, Oklahoma City is seeing a rise in the number of marketing and creative companies in the area so there are many to research and choose from.
Have a good IT setup
There aren’t many businesses around that don’t rely on technology in some way. While it might be tempting to try and do everything yourself, unless you have a professional IT resource, you open yourself up to all sorts of problems. Luckily, there are options you can take to ensure that your IT infrastructure gets set up correctly so that you can work efficiently and securely.
You might want to consider finding an IT partner to help you. There are Oklahoma City managed IT services companies out there, and they will have the experience and expertise you handle your requirements.
Have the right equipment and office space
Finding the perfect place to set up your business is important, especially if you are a service or customer-facing business. Your premises need to be in a good location for your target market and look the part to attract the right demographic.
Even if your business doesn’t deal with customers face-to-face, you want to create a relaxed, efficient working environment for your employees. Ensure they have all the correct equipment to effectively do their job.
Many areas of the city are incentivizing businesses to launch there, giving them reduced rents and rates and other perks. It would be worth investigating this when you are choosing a location.