Every business starts with an idea. But taking that leap from the idea to a fully functioning business can feel intimidating. When I first started my own business in social media consulting, I started from scratch just like anyone else. Along the way, I learned tons of valuable lessons and skills for developing my brand, and now, I want to share my experience with other hopeful entrepreneurs. Here are my 5 steps for starting your own business to get those wheels turning.
1. Get online
First thing’s first, you must have a website for your business. If it’s not online, it’s a ghost-- period! You can find great-looking website layouts on Squarespace or Wordpress: modern website-building platforms that are easy to use. Then, start developing your web content; if you don’t like writing, you can always hire a copywriter.
Do you have a google email account? That’s all you need to claim your business on Google. Once you do, Google will mail you a confirmation code within 2-4 weeks so that you can verify your business and complete your Google listing. It’s simple!
There’s no escaping it-- you must be on social media! You can start with your three must-haves: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. By posting updates or viral memes related to your business, you’ll attract followers and build more awareness about your brand.
If your business is more visually centered, for example, involving food or art, you should also consider using Pinterest and Snapchat.
2. Build a marketing strategy
How will you promote your business? You don’t need a degree in marketing to do it yourself-- honestly! Just plan out, month by month, which types of promotions you can create to make sales.You should also set out a budget, outlining your spending limits for each type of marketing campaign. Here are some marketing strategy ideas I’ve used in the past:
Sponsored blog posts
Sponsored Facebook ads
3. Make connections
Even the smallest startups shouldn’t be a one-woman show. Focus on making business connections that could lead to collaborations that benefit both parties. To find these people, you can attend networking events or scope out people on Linked in or Bumble Bizz. You never know when these new contacts might come in handy. Keep an eye out for web designers, marketing bloggers and social media specialists.
4. Create business goals
As your business grows, so do your goals. Each month or two, you should set up new to-dos for your business. These milestones will serve as your momentum for reaching the next level of success. You might choose to create goals for things like social media engagement, web traffic, profits or hiring.
Now, think about how you’ll get there. You can revisit your marketing strategy and plan out your next steps.
5. Have a growth mindset
The final ingredient is a little something called “growth mindset”. Similar to law of attraction, it’s a way of thinking that keeps you moving forward and positive. Whenever you meet your next challenge, tell yourself things like “I am capable”, “this can work”. By training your mind to be confident, you’ll start becoming more fearless and active in chasing your dreams. For myself, I use Pinterest to nurture my growth mindset by having a vision board.
Starting your own business is a rewarding journey. But just like most fulfilling things in life, it takes hard-work, commitment and a whole lot of patience to succeed. You can do it!