Starting a business can be an exciting experience! However, there are so many books, websites, apps, etc., that one can become overwhelmed with all of the available information. Just one piece of advice, if you have an awesome career, you should not feel guilty for having other passions outside of work. Your free time is for you to explore and learn more about yourself. Use your free time to grow your skill-sets. Many of the skills that you learn when starting a business can help you in your current profession. It is important to manage your time effectively so that you allocate the right amount of time to your personal and professional goals. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions around how to start a business. Therefore, I am outlining the steps below as if I were talking to my best friend.
Step 1.) Think about what hobby makes you the most happy. Ask yourself, “What do I daydream about?” “What would I be doing if I won the lottery?” This is what you should be doing when you start your own business.
Step 2.) Set-up your business in a professional manner. I recommend using Legal Zoom. This will save you time and help ensure that your business is classified correctly for tax purposes.
Step 3.) Create a webpage for your business. This is a professional information source for future clients and service providers to confirm that you are a legitimate business. I suggest using Webs because the site provides you with professional templates, personalied email addresses, personal domains for your site, local listing options online, an SEO Booster option, as well as other things that will help you set-up your site successfully.
Step 4.) Open a bank account in the name of your business. Utilize software that links all transactions to the software program so that bookkeeping is simplified for your business. Use a bank that offers merchant services for effective invoicing and security. Many banks now offer platforms for you to execute payment transactions from your phone.
Step 5.) Meet with a tax accountant so that you understand the legal rules of operating a business from a financial perspective. Have a clear understanding of how to organize reports, charge taxes to your customers, and keep a separate account for the payment of taxes.
Step 6.) Sign up for GoogleAdwords and watch videos on YouTube for how to effectively use GoogleAdwords as well as GoogleAnalytics. You should also read as much as you can about effective Content Marketing. Having the right content on your website can help drive more traffic to the site.
Step 7.) Setup a blog. I suggest using WordPress. You can link the blog to your social media pages in order to expand your audience. I would blog at least three times per week about subjects that relate to your business. Remember, what you place on your Blog reflects your business. Therefore, personal blog posts should be placed on your personal blog.
Step 8.) Set-up a professional email service. I suggest Constant Contact this will help you manage your email distribution lists as well as effectively present information to your target audience in a professional manner.
Step 9.) Research your industry and understand your competition. Search for companies that are similar to yours. Try to understand how you can offer something that your competition does not. Make sure that the different thing that you offer are made clear to your customers on your website, emails and all marketing tools.
Step 10.) Stay motivated!!!! Share what you are doing with those you love. Check out cool sites such as The Champagne Diet. This site provides great advice on how to follow your dreams.
Author- Mia Martin, owner of Events for Less