Want to start a business? Grab my FREE business roadmap guide packed with ideas, inspiration, and action to take TODAY
Grab my FREE business roadmap guide packed with ideas, inspiration, and action to take TODAY
I've helped hundreds of clients achieve their career and business goals through targeted strategy honed over a decade.
Now it's your turn!
May 20, 2020
Hey there, entrepreneur! So you’ve got a dream, or a big idea that you need to take to market?
Fantastic! I bet you are super excited to bring your dream to life and share your idea with the world.
But first, you need help figuring out where to start, how to launch your business and how to get your products to market. Trying to navigate the complicated world of business plans, raising capital, incorporation and branding can be overwhelming and so scary that you stop before you get started.
I know exactly how you feel– I’ve been there multiple times.
What I did have was a knack for sales, endless amounts of drive and an unshakeable belief in my products.
So I started going from cafe to cafe with samples and price sheets until I signed up my first 10 clients. They each ordered 3 times a week and grew buzz for our company via word of mouth because our products were delicious, we gave excellent customer service and we were doing something different.
The best place to start is with your customer – how can you add value to their life? While your product may be revolutionary, if it’s not solving a problem or filling a need, then your business will not succeed.
We got really lucky because we were at the right place at the right time with an idea that was just starting to get popular. At the time, I didn’t think about my customers’ needs or what the market was telling me I should do, I just thought about what I liked and tried to deliver that to the world.
However, if I could go back and do it again, I would do my #marketresearch and survey clients in the cafes we were delivering to in order to understand what their allergies and food preferences were. I’d throw out some flavor ideas and get their feedback on what sounded attractive to them and what THEY would buy. I was a very self- absorbed founder that got lucky because my partner created really interesting and trendy flavors that were appealing to millennials in the big city.
But now that I’ve gone through 3 different startups, I know that the best way to start a successful business is to understand:
This step can be done in as quickly as one day if you already have some experience with your product/market, or it can take a few weeks to really wrap your head around. Go out and survey your #targetaudience, look up information on #Google, leverage #instagram and see what accounts similar to your ideal clients post about. Learn exactly what your#valueproposition is, and create a 15 second pitch that tells how you deliver that value to potential clients. Practice saying it over and over, because you’ll soon be saying it a hundred times a day. This step will save you SO MUCH TIME because you will understand exactly what value your product brings to your audience, and how to deliver it.
You can’t grow what you can’t measure, so create a business plan that will show you who your customers are, the channels you will use to deliver your products to them, and how you will make a profit.
I am a HUGE fan of the business model canvas and start all of my consulting sessions with it. This business model is easy to fill out, gets to all of the crucial components you need to grow a business, and with its easy layout, you can visualize your business and plan for growth.
It’s also super intuitive to use– just fill out the fields as you develop your idea. For more ideas and tips, check out the DIYtoolkit.org for help filling out the fields, or for you visual learners out there, head over to #Youtube for a step by step break down of how to fill out each field. This step can go as fast or as slow as you want it to– I’ve had clients power through in an hour, and some who mulled it over for weeks. Whatever scenario you find yourself in, you MUST do this exercise if you want to have a clear vision and growth strategy for your company, otherwise, it’s WAY MORE LIKELY that you’ll fail.
Use this business model to help you define your brand, figure out what value you bring and your cost structure. Once you have that figured out, you can start focusing on creating your branding.
This step actually a LOT easier than it sounds.
Once you’ve chosen your business name, head on over to legalzoom.com and form an #LLC. It will cost you about $150, but it will give your business clout as you start talking to clients. They make the process SUPER EASY to fill out, and it only takes about an hour or two to get through the paperwork.
Once you have that down, choose a website hosting service + domain name so you can start marketing your business. Clearly, I prefer Showit.com because of their easy to use templates, but you can also check out squarespace, wix, weebly or wordpress (if you are tech savvy or ready to make the investment in a wordpress developer.) For domain names, you can use sites like Go Daddy, Google or Name Cheap to secure your website domain for as little as $2.
Depending on your website host, you’ll be able to add on an email account with your branded business name, which I HIGHLY recommend because it looks so much more #professional in your demand generation and client outreach. You can also look to websites that provide email marketing campaigns for you, like Constant Contact, Mailchimp, Marketo, Convert Kit and AWeber to name a few (there are TONS out there–take your pick).
This is the start of your #demandgeneration and one of the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS you can do to start your business off on the path to success.
Add in your social media accounts (I recommend Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter to start off with) and you are on your way to letting the world know how AMAZING you are.
These 3 steps can take you as little as 2 days or 2 months to complete, but regardless of the time frame, the most important thing to remember is that you did! You took ownership of your dream and are officially an #entrepreneur who has launched their business. This is just the beginning of your journey, and I’ll be here each week to give you more guidance, inspiration and #Businesstips to help you grow what you love.
Keep checking back weekly to stay up to date on all the latest content, as well as to get inspired as you grow what you love. If you liked this post, please share it on your social media accounts, and leave a comment below! Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions, or are interested in working with me to help you build what you love.