You Have an Idea for a Small Business - Now What?
Every entrepreneur has been in your shoes - drinking a cup of coffee - contemplating where they see the next five years of their life. In these moments you've made the pro and con list and have decided "I'm going to start my own business." So now that you have the idea - what do you do now?
Depending on the type of business will depend on your exact steps but we are going to give you a consolidated & generic first steps that almost every business owner has to take.
Create a Business Plan
Maybe you're not pitching this to clients or trying to acquire a loan at the bank but having a solid business plan will help you determine if your business idea has traction, where you'd like it to go, and give you guidelines for achieving your goals. If you can't see long term viability then perhaps your idea needs to be fleshed out a little more. A business plan can help you see these issues before they arise a few years down the road.
To read more about how to create your business plan click here.
Create a Name for Your New Business
The first step when choosing a name is to make sure another company doesn't already own it. Go ahead and Google your name ideas and see what pops up.
You want a name that is representative of your business, brand, and product that is also engaging and memorable. Our advice, stay away from cliche or over used names. Stay simple and straight to the point.
Create a Website/Social Media Presence
While you don't have to have your website completed right away go ahead and create social media accounts associated with your business. You can generate buzz about your upcoming website and start to build a clientele. You also want to go ahead and purchase a domain for your site to lock it in.
Start Gaining a Client Base
We know what you're thinking - easier said than done right? How do you get clients when you just started? It's one of the most asked questions and one of the most difficult to obtain. We understand most small businesses don't have much start up money, especially in a creative field, thus we are left with only a few options when it comes to advertising.
Whether you are selling a product or a service you need to create a portfolio and gain a positive image. This can be done in many ways - social media will help spread the word about all you have to offer and show off what you can do. You may also have to donate services or products at first, but don't despair you won't be working for free forever. These first few "pro bono" projects will give you experience
Find a Mentor
No matter how many times you tell yourself "Oh I can do that by myself" we believe that having a little help never hurts, in most cases it will make your life a whole lot easier. Mentor's are a great way to gain first hand knowledge about owning a business in your field, get advice, and have someone to build you back up when things are down. We understand not everyone can find a mentor - and that's where we hope we can help. However we also recommend finding a friend in the field.