The other day I received a message in The Happy Boss Club from someone looking to start their own social media managing business and politely asked for a few pointers. I thought that it would be a great opportunity to share with you my thoughts on the beginning stages of how to start a business – whether you want to open up a mobile flower shop, a social media consulting or branding business, these tips are all around useful.
Walk Before You Run
A very common mistake that people make when thinking about starting their own business is immediately jumping to the website. “I have to get a website RIGHT NOW!” Hold up, no you don’t. What I would recommend doing first is taking a day or two to sit down and really think about what you want to do. What kind of services do you want to offer? What are you good at? Do you have a niche within those services that you really want to market? What’s your target audience? What are they like? These are the questions you need to answer first before getting together with a website designer. This will help you narrow down your market so that you have a clear sense of who you want to offer your services too which will also help with the branding process.
Know The Mission
Do you have a mission statement? If I were to ask you right now what your intention is with starting a business what would you say? Are you doing something or offering up something different that hasn’t been done before? Once you have a pretty good idea of who your audience is, take some time to create a mission statement around them. Keep this in mind going forward. This is who you are marketing to. This is who you want to inspire.
What Do People Want?
After you have a sense of what your business will be and what you want to offer, this is a GREAT time to do some research as far as what people want. For example, me being a social media strategist/consultant/manager, I tend to keep my eyes open for when people start complaining or needing help with content creation, scheduling, improving SEO, etc. So dig deep into your craft and start making a list of things that you see people are talking about. Google Trends is a great tool to use as well to figure out what’s trending on the internet – use that to your advantage!
What is Your Competition Doing?
Usually I would tell you not to focus on what anyone else is doing and just do you. HOWEVER, I think it’s important to research other people that have similar businesses as you and see what kind of things they’re doing. Are they getting positive feedback on something on their Instagram or website? If they have a blog, what kind of posts are they putting out? What kind of services are they offering? Keep all this in mind and use it as a way to help plan and organize your goals.
How To Sell
Have you thought about how you’re going to get the word out about your product? What platforms will you be on? Will you have an Etsy shop? An online shop that integrates with your blog? Will you set up AdWords or any other promotions? Figure out which platforms you will be using and make sure you have a CLEAR intention of why you’ll be using each one.
I hope these tips can help you get started on the path to being an entrepreneur. Some of these things are things I wish that I had known going into all this – it would have saved me a lot of time, energy and money! If you have more questions and are looking to meet with me one on one, shoot me an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s set up an in person or Skype call.