Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding experience doing what you love. There are many advantages in entrepreneurship such as having a flexible schedule, being your own boss and getting paid to do what you’re passionate about. Before you quit your 9-5 and dive into entrepreneurship, there are a few things that I wish I knew that I'd like to share with you before you take the plunge and create your business.
Start With What You Know
One of the hardest parts of starting a business, is getting started! It can be very overwhelming having what seems like a million ideas in your mind and not sure where to start. Before doubt and fear creep in and convince you otherwise, take a moment and write down your thoughts. Write down your vision and how you envision impacting the world through your business. Then, narrow it down, be specific with your goals. Ask yourself questions such as, “What is your mission? What problems will you solve? Who is your competition? How will you stand out from others in your industry? What do you want to accomplish in 3 months? 6 months?” Once, you can define these things you can move forward knowing the why of your business and what you’re working towards.
Invest in Yourself
There are several things needed in order to start a business and one of the essentials is taking care of the legalities to protect you and your business. Once you decide on a name, do thorough research to be sure no one else is using that name. Tip: Namechk is a great resource to use to check to see what's available across different domains and social media platforms.
Register your business under a Doing Business As aka DBA name. Not all states require a DBA, but most do if you’re a sole proprietor and want to use another name rather than your real name or have an existing Limited Liability Company (LLC). Forming an LLC, is crucial to keep your personal assets separate from your business liabilities. With technology being at the touch of our fingertips, anyone can copy your logo, so invest in your brand and trademark your logo, not just in your state, but across the country to be safe.
Tell Your Story
Once you’ve chosen your name and taken care of the legalities, create a website to tell everyone what you offer and how you can help them! First, you’ll purchase your domain, then create a website. If you’re anything like me and have no HTML experience, you can create a template site from Squarespace or Wix to get started than can add custom features later. Creating a website is a great way for people to find out about your business, share your story and explain what purpose you’re serving through your work. Start with one page at a time, write out your thoughts and add images to help tell your story. Be sure to update your site frequently with new blog posts and images to drive engagement. You can also integrate your social media on your website to connect with your community consistently. Also, be sure to register your business through Google Business which helps people find your business and learn more through a free Google listing.
Secure The Bag
Now that you have a website, how do you get people to visit and purchase your products or services? Give yourself a monthly marketing budget that you strictly use for marketing purposes. Even if it’s $100, start small and promote your brand to reach more people. This may include boosted social media posts, business cards, signage and photography / video services. Ps. these are all tax write-offs for your business, so know that it’s worth it in the end!Also, Google AdWords is by far one of the best resources to utilize in marketing your business and reaching the right people online who are looking for what you offer. It’s important to keep your business and personal finances separate, so I recommend setting up a savings account to help make tax time easier and have a clear perspective of what’s what. (Learn from my mistake, it's not worth the headache.) listened. Don't make my mistake. It's not worth the headache.)
Embrace your journey, it may not be perfect, but it will be worth it.
Besides the business aspect of starting a business, it’s important that you’re mentally prepared to invest in your business. There is no blueprint. There are no shortcuts. You will have to be confident in your vision, bold in your actions and authentic in your story. You will make mistakes, but your resilience will carry you through. Remain faithful along your journey and be a student at all times. There’s always something to learn. Be open for change, feedback and criticism.
I started my business Queens Conquer, two-years ago to give women in business a starting point. I wanted to provide them with the support and opportunity to conquer their dreams by offering one-on-one branding consultations and public relations services to build awareness to their business and/or organization. I’m still learning and conquering new obstacles everyday. I encourage you to challenge yourself. Do what you love. Surround yourself around positive souls. Create what you wish to see exist. Take risks & enjoy the ride. Remember, big things often have small beginnings.
Are you new to entrepreneurship? Share your experience and questions with us below.
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