Be Your Own Boss To Achieve Financial Independence

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Millions of people start their own businesses every year because they want to be their own boss. They want the freedom and independence that comes from doing business their way. 

When you work for someone else, you seldom have the freedom to follow your intuition or express your talent. Since you can lose your job for a variety of unexpected reasons, the financial security you believe regular employment gives you is only a comforting illusion. When you run the show, you don't answer to anyone but yourself. Depending on your preference, you can work from home, in a coffee shop, or in an office space. 

Here are 5 strong steps you need to take to start your own business. 

1. Choose A Business Model 

You need to choose a business model that aligns with your passion before you can achieve financial freedom. 

First, think about the products or services you want to offer and then the type of customer you are trying to attract. Next, consider how to structure your business and what resources you have. 

An eCommerce business would be a logical step, for instance, if you have experience in retail as a salesperson, assistant manager, store manager, financial manager, or corporate recruiter. It’s easy to build your online store with a low-risk venture like Amazon FBA business. You’ll save on shipping, storage, and inventory costs with the lowest fees of any online store platform. 

2. Create A Legal Entity 

After deciding on your business model, choose the legal entity you want to use when you start your new venture. You can form a company as a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company. 

Each type has its own tax implications and fiscal responsibilities. Just make sure whichever business structure you decide on protects your personal assets and finances. 

3. Develop Key Business Skills 

When you are self-employed, you will need to be able to manage your own time and productivity. You are responsible for finding clients, managing finances, marketing yourself, and running every aspect of your business on your own. 

Although you will need a variety of hard and soft skills to run a business, you won’t make much progress unless you are especially good at marketing and selling. While marketing involves creating a need for your product, selling is about getting someone to buy it. 

When you work for someone else, your knowledge and experience in a high-demand skill will get you far. However, you won’t make it on technical talent alone when you’re self-employed. To be a successful entrepreneur, you must excel at promoting your offer and converting prospects into buyers. This is the core knowledge necessary to succeed in business. 

You can learn basic business-building skills from many diverse sources, such as online business courses. Once you master them, your enterprise will soar to new heights. 

However, if you don’t have the time or inclination to learn essential business skills, then hire the right people to do it for you. If you can’t afford employees in the beginning, then either find a partner or outsource the work. 

4. Build Your Brand 

Your brand separates you from the competition. It includes things like your logo, slogan, and even how you answer the phone. 

A strong brand increases the chances of customers returning to do business with you and recommending you to their friends. Creating a recognizable online presence starts by understanding what makes your business unique and communicating that to your target audience. 

To start building your brand, brainstorm what makes your company unique in its industry. By identifying your unique selling points, you can develop a strategy that will help you reach your target audience. 

5. Set Yourself Up for Success 

Running your own business is challenging. However, you can achieve financial independence with it by planning and executing carefully. Start by deciding on the right business model for your venture, establishing a legal entity, developing your business skills, and building your brand. 

Then the final step is evolving, adapting, putting in the work, and setting yourself up for future success. Get going and good luck!

B2B Startups Paid Advertising vs Organic Marketing

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B2B Branding Introduction

If you run a B2B startup, you are familiar with the challenges that come with it from what decision to make to what action to take. It's not easy to be decisive, but that is what is required as a startup founder, CEO, investor, CMO, or marketing manager. You get paid to make the tough decisions, including whether or not to pay for advertising or marketing campaigns.

B2B companies sell products or services to other businesses (and sometimes to consumers, too). Paid marketing at a B2B startup can be more tricky than a B2C startup given end users are usually buying on behalf of the organization. And it gets even more confusing if we are talking branding, marketing, and advertising for a B2B2C organization.

Meaningful Marketing Metrics

B2Bs use a lot of metrics that analyze their target audience before pitching and selling a product to them. B2Bs can attract both inbound (when the customer comes to you) and outbound (when you contact the potential customer lead) by: 

• Defining its target customer 
• Using the appropriate communication channels 
• Maintaining communication  

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B2Bs (business to business companies) first consider the size of their audience before they start marketing and pitching them. They filter by SMB / SME small and medium businesses (0-100 employees), mid-market businesses (100-1000 employees), to enterprise businesses (1,000 employees and above). 

Effective business-to-business marketing depends on the size of the audience as marketing is not a one-size fits all process;  it is not possible to design a strategy that works for every size audience. Without understanding your target audience, marketing strategies will be ineffective. 

All You Need To Know About B2B Marketing 

To make the most of any B2B marketing strategy, it is important to consider the goal you wish to achieve. Is the strategy designed to just create visibility? Is it to drive partnerships and collaborations with other businesses? Or is it just simply to maximize profits? 

B2B startups unlike B2Cs (business to consumer models) focus on strategies that help them to pitch their products and services to businesses that need them. The end goal of doing this is so that they can gain visibility and make profits. 

The primary goal of every business is to maximize revenue and profits. Marketing strategies are used to reach your target market and drive awareness of your brand, product, and service. Strategies used differ from one business to another and are dependent on some basic factors. 

Factors that cause marketing strategies to differ include goals, purchase motivation, purchase purpose, purchase process, content, and the people involved in the purchase. 

Factors Impacting B2B Marketing

1. Marketing Goal

The marketing goal of B2Bs is to acquire and retain (high-value customers) which are other companies. Customers will typically be focused on understanding the business case of using your product, the ROI, efficiency, and expertise. Ensure that your marketing strategies communicate these values to your prospective customers. 

2. Purchase Motivation

Customers are not primarily influenced by emotion in B2B marketing. Instead, they are affected by reason, costs, and ROI - i.e. how companies can make more (financial) gains through their products and services. 

3. Purchase Purpose 

B2Bs tend to retain customers longer than B2Cs. Most times, the engagement with their customers is often long-term because of purchase purpose. Once customers have found what they are looking for, they won’t leave unless they are enticed by a better deal or better value elsewhere. In addition, switching costs in B2B solutions are usually higher than B2C solutions. Constant contact, feedback, and service with your customers is important to ensure client loyalty. 

4. Purchase Process 

Unlike B2Cs, purchases are not made directly. Specific employees in the company may be buyers for different types of B2B products. For instance, a Procurement Manager may negotiate deals for enterprise-wide software whereas a Design Manager may buy design software for their specific team. This way, relationships are enhanced and intensified between both parties. 

5. Content

Creating quality content (that informs and convinces) for B2B marketing is very important. Like direct consumers, the customers also need to be educated about new products and solve their problems. 

6. People Involved

B2B customers are not the sole decision-makers. They are often representatives taking instructions from the decision-makers. Make sure you understand the buying process and the key influencers and decision makers in the process to drive effective marketing and sales. 

Free Forms Of Marketing 

There are many B2B startups on a budget out there as well looking for free advertising avenues. Some top free forms of marketing with potentially no direct costs include: 

• Word of mouth and other referral channels that spread of your brand, products, or services. This is especially important for businesses like restaurants and video games

• Content marketing that leads to organic rank on Google (while “free” this does entail spending time and/or money on building and promoting content. 

• Barter based partnerships with other brands where instead of paying money, you barter on other things like cross-promotions. 

But a lot of these free marketing and advertising options still take time, energy, employees, and maintenance. Remember that time is money, even when it comes to ads and branding.

If you don’t already have such channels set up and working for you, you’ll need to resort to paid marketing to start feeding your top of the sales funnel. 

When B2B Startups Should Resort To Paid Marketing - Pay To Play

There are several strategies that B2B startups can engage to drive sales. While some of these strategies can be free, there will come a time when the need for paid marketing will be very important. Sometime you have to pay to play, and you have to spend money to make money. Some paid marketing strategies that you can engage for your startup include: 

4 Top Paid B2B Marketing Strategies

• Email Marketing:  It was reported by Content Marketing Institute in 2022 that 81% of B2B marketers consider email newsletters as their most used form of content marketing. This means they are tapping into the 3.9 billion daily email users. Email marketing isn't new or glamorous, but it is one of the most dependable channels for scaling and ROI.

• Digital Marketing (SEM):  This is about having a digital presence. Without one, people will wonder what your business is since everyone is present online. Don't be that business that is still stuck in 1999 saying that they don't need a website or online presence. Get a website and ensure it is SEO-optimized. Search engine optimization is one of the best organic marketing tactics you can use for your business website and brands on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex, YouTube, and DuckDuckGo. Define your audience and run PPC campaigns if you want to take the paid advertising route. You may want to bid on high volume, high purchase intent keywords that will help your potential users become aware of your service when they are searching for a solution. 

• Social Media Marketing (SMM):  This form of marketing is not quite emphatic for B2Bs as it is for B2Cs. Yet, social media is a powerful tool for creating brand awareness and management. The followers you have might be the key to connecting you with businesses in need of your services. You can focus your paid ad spend on channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, Pinterest, Snapchat, and of course Facebook to some extent with expert digital marketing guidance from Appetite Creative

• Content Marketing:  Content available to B2Bs includes blogging, podcasting, newsletters, and even vlogging. Content marketing can drive traffic and convert leads when backed up by analytics. Once you have content ready, promote the content through sponsored channels such as Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Medium, Blogger, WordPress, Soundcloud, Mailchimp, and Google. Leverage social media for further business content growth.

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Paid Marketing Potential

You could also pay freelancers to carry out these duties or to use their own digital cache to promote your company online. That is a separate or supplemental option of paid marketing and advertising for B2B startups.

Paid marketing is essential for you if speed to market matters to you and leaving things to organic or word-of-mouth growth may drive things too slowly for you to realize the potential of your business. Also, if you have a short timeline of products and services with specific goals and benefits a big paid push may be necessary to maximize exposure to consumers. 

To Pay Or Not To Pay? That Is The Question For B2B Startup Businesses

But before you dive into paid marketing methods, you need to be familiar with your customers' interests and previous interactions. While paid marketing would allow you to target new customers, the old ones might be as new as gold. Again, communication with your clients is key to success. 

Relying on paid marketing as your sole channel can be dangerous and give you a false sense of achieving product-market fit. Ultimately, you need to track your conversions from these paid channels and ensure that the customers you acquire give you an ROI that more than crosses your cost of acquisition. You also want customers that are a good fit and advocate your brand. 

With paid marketing, you should be concerned about customer retention as much as customer acquisition for your B2B statup business. The right marketing strategies will keep your customers well informed of their needs that your company can meet and profit from. 

B2B Paid Marketing For Startups Conclusion 

Marketing is fundamental to all businesses, be it small or large. Visibility and productivity are largely determined by the quality of marketing strategy that is engaged. B2Bs can make use of paid marketing strategies like email and content marketing to be sure they are reaching their target audience. Keep these tips in mind to determine whether your specific B2B business situation calls for paid marketing or organic marketing strategies. And make sure to read more B2B startup insights right here on Marketing Masterminds!

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