**Disclaimer: This blog post contains a naughty but sensored word or two**
When you make the decision to go for broke and start your own business, there are so many things to think about. All that research that you have to do to find out how to even get started in business and the amount of overwhelming advice being given all over the internet is so draining that it can make it super difficult to get your head around it all. In this post, we are going to break it down into the most digestible chunks as possible so that you can start honing in on the things that you need to get done in order to move forward.
#1 – A reason why
Ask yourself why you are starting a business? Is it just to make a quick buck? Or, is it because you have a fire in your belly and cannot think of anything else but your reason WHY?
Potential Customer: Why did you start Business ABC?
Business owner: Because I wanted to quit the job I hated…
Potential Customer: …
The conversation ends here because your customer likely couldn’t give two about the shi**y job you once did. They want to know the why behind the creation of your business. Why do you make what you make? How did you get here? What is your story?
#2 – An ideal customer
So, who is your customer? If you haven’t got a clue, then you are likely not moving your business towards your big dream goals.
Look at the bigger picture, for example, imagine you create floral watercolour paintings with inspirational quotes. What type of person like floral illustrations? Why do they want them? What are they going to do with them? Who is the quote on the painting directed at? Who would it inspire? Who would buy your product? Give that person name and have them in the back of your mind when you are creating and marketing your work.
#3 – A consistent brand
When you look at all the big brands, there is pure consistency across everything that they do and this honestly is one of the big foundation stones that is going to set you up to go the distance. Lack of consistency from the customer’s point of view is so confusing and looks like you are not in it with your whole heart. You want to be in it with your whole heart, right? So, use the same logo every
where, use the same fonts and always be precise and consistent with colours across all communication channels.
#4 – A sh*t hot website
When starting a business, it is so easy to tick things off your to-do list because they can be done cheaply. This is one of the worst mindsets to have when you want to create a business that works and has the potential to grow. Sure, there are many people who have done this but it is not without a huge amount of stress and time wasted. Believe me, investing in a damn good website will be one of the best things that you can do for your business. One of the top reasons why people will leave your website is because it is slow to load or it looks terrible or is out of date. For me, it is 3 seconds and you are out for loading and if your website looks like it was built in 1999 or has a banner telling me to get myself a free website – I will 10 times out of 10 leave and move on to something with the looks and the load time.
#5 – Paid advertising
A little myth has developed over the last however many years which has made many people think a lot of things in life should be free and this rings true for some new small business owners who think that Facebook should be free. A massive part of the platform is, of course, free but the idea that Facebook should promote someone’s business for free is not dissimilar to an artist being asked to work for free for the “exposure”. Facebook is a business that now sits in the public domain on the stock exchange so they are not going to promote your business for free. Imagine if they did that!? The stock price would plummet and the whole platform would go down the drain. And that would be a total waste.
Learn how to do Facebook adverts properly, don’t dismiss them because you don’t think it works, and especially if you already tried it and it did not get you the results your wanted. I, myself have spent money on failed Facebook adverts but once I had it the set up figured out and the felt truly aligned with my business and services, it worked. I mean, I am not saying it works every time, so I spend time testing audiences and ad creatives.
Side note here for anyone who has only ventured into the basics of Facebook/Instagram adverts, there is a heck of a lot more to it than boosted posts (In fact, I will go as far as saying, that I wouldn’t bother with them – I will go into more detail on this in another post on blog)
Top Tip: Do not use Facebook adverts until you know exactly who your ideal customer is. (See point 2)
#6 – A mailing list
What if you could not connect with your followers on Twitter because there was a problem with Twitters server or Facebook went down (heaven forbid)? How are you going to let people know that you just launched a new product or are having a flash sale?
Your mailing list! It is absolutely key that you have one. If you haven’t got one get this written down on your to-do list.
The point here is that you can’t build your audience solely on rented land as it can be taken away at any moment. There are, of course, many other great reasons to get started with building a mailing list – here are just a few of them: you will have a direct connection to people who are genuinely interested in what you do, it willhelpy ou build customer relationship building and customer loyalty, it can potentially have a higher reach than social media as email generally has a 90% delivery rate, email is the preferred channel of communication, email will probably always be around.
#7 – The ability to outsource
You might not like this one but honestly, the do it ALL yourself approach is going to hurt you in the long run, whether that is through time wasted messing around with a website plugin or losing time building your whole website and wasting your time learning WordPress or designing a logo and wasting precious time trying to figure out how the hell to use Adobe Illustrator when you could be creating a brand new line of products and driving your business forward. Don’t waste time.
Invest in a logo, invest in a professional website, invest in advertising, invest in proper business cards, invest in a copywriter to write your products descriptions and…
#8 – Invest in yourself
Self-Development is an absolute no-brainer in business. I am always learning something new, whether that is learning a new system that helps me make my workflow seamless or learning a new marketing strategy. Nowadays it is so easy to find out about pretty much anything so embrace what the internet has to offer – find an online course that helps you drive your business forward, get a mentor, listen to some podcasts, read more books, meet new people.
Create a mindset that allows you the freedom to INVEST and GROW your business in a way that makes you happy and ready to take on the next challenge. Be forward thinking. Be ground-breaking. Be yourself.
#9 – A support network
Starting and developing a business can be tough especially when you are doing it alone. Sure, your family understand that you are creating something but do they truly know the extent of what you are doing? Having someone to talk to about your business is going to change the way you do business whether that means getting advice, help with creating new ideas and building new systems to get your business running super smoothly or just having someone to bounce ideas off whenever you need to. So, think about this…Who do you have to lean on and get advice from when it comes to your business? (Answer: It’s not your mum or your best friend 😉 )
Must Haves for Getting Your Business Started
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