So many people are investigating ways to work from home or start their own business. It’s a lot more feasible to jump into self-employment; with access to technology and a good idea, you can start a business quickly and cost effectively. But if you want to rock it, self-employed superstar, there are a few things you need to do to afford startup mistakes.
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It’s really easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting a business (and you should be excited) but it pays to follow a few tried and trusted systems when setting up shop.
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People start businesses daily, heck they start it every minute. And we all know the saying that more than half of new businesses will fail within their first year. Wanna know why they fail? They don’t have a business plan.
A business plan might seem outdated but I promise it’s a classic – peanut butter and jelly style classic.
A business plan is similar to the blueprint for a house. Would you build a house without one? Nope. Same for your biz. In the old days business plans used to be these monstrous beastly documents that no one wanted to complete. Now, they’re still documents that no one finds fun to do but they’re much more manageable.
This document helps you determine your competitors, determines how likely your business is to succeed, helps you forecast costs for the business and more. It really is a handy document.
It’s important to remember your business can change so that means your document needs to change too. It’s always helpful to take a look at your business plan to keep yourself on track.
Not knowing your audience
If your answer to “who is your target audience” is everyone, then you’re in a sad state.
When I work with new small biz owners a lot of them are unsure of who they’re targeting. Your business can’t exist to please everyone. It can have a large audience, but it’s very rare for a company (especially a small one) to exist for every person.
Knowing your audience also helps you with making decisions like approaching your branding.
If you know you’re targeting kids you’re probably going to have a fun, playful look. That bright, fun look would not work if you were targeting engaged couples planning a traditional wedding.
Underestimating costs / investing in the wrong things
During your startup period, you’re going to be tempted to purchase everything. It’s like you’re a kid watching a bunch of bright, super happy kiddy commercials. You want it all.
But you have to snap out of it and remind yourself you’re an entrepreneur. Kiddy cartoon commercials don’t work on you. You have to weed through what is important for your business. Put it into two categories, what do I need now and what can I invest in later.
You’ll also want to purchase a theme that is built for businesses. For Coco Creativ I bought my theme via Envato Market and they have tons of professional themes that are suitable for business websites (and some great for bloggers too).
The days of if you build it, they will come are done. Even if you start a business in a popular niche, you have to work.
Whether you spend money on advertisements or you figure out ways to do it for free, you have to devote some time to marketing. You have to put yourself out there for them to come. If you’re not out there how will anyone know you exist?
Word of mouth alone is not enough.
At the start, you could advertise your business for free on social media sites. If you’re thinking of using social for your business be sure you get started on there the right way. As your website grows you can do things like invest in good SEO practices and create a strong email marketing strategy to reach your audience.
Ready to succeed?
Take your time, plan it out, do your research and create a strategy to have the business you want. Remember, failure is not an option – you’ve got this!