I’m Wendy Young and I help business owners manage their online reputations. This newsletter is all about sharing helpful and practical tips for the business owner who does it all. If you’d like to unsubscribe, the link is at the bottom of the email… but I hope you stick around!
It wasn’t too long ago that I made the decision to launch my own business. It was a time of spontaneity, adrenalin, and a healthy amount of apprehension and fear. Maybe your business venture wasn’t quite so unexpected as mine, but regardless of how you started… the choices you made in those first few months have set you down the path you’re currently on.
Have you determined whether those choices were ones that ultimately benefited the course your business has taken? Let’s talk about the beginning stages of setting up a business and you can compare them with your current journey. Here are my top five tips for starting your business
Have a plan written up.
Oh, yes… we’re back to business plans! Don’t worry, we’re not going to beat a dead horse. If you missed that series, you can check out the past issues of my newsletter HERE.
No matter how you choose to organize or display it, you must have a plan for how your business will run and your goals of where you want it to go in the next year, five years, etc.
It can be a plan focused solely on the people you serve and how you plan to reach them.
You can write up a traditional, 50-paged plan with all the standard paragraphs of your business structure and the roles being filled within your organization.
You can have a one-page picture of your overall marketing strategy.
There’s no one right way to keep your plan… but you MUST have a plan. You must write it up, know where it is, and find it useful in keeping you on track to reaching your goals.
Don’t get stuck on the wrong path.
Even the best-laid plans sometimes don’t work under certain pressures. You must be willing and able to pivot regardless of what your business plan says. You can always rewrite your plans to reach your goals. Your business plan is meant to work for you… it’s not a marriage.
Did any of you predict what would happen in March 2020? Were your business plans changed in any way? If you’re still in business, you obviously found a way to pivot your messaging, your audience, your outreach, or even your products and services. Some things had to change in order to survive. If you remember nothing else, remember that being able to pivot and change direction are the most vital tips for starting your business.
Listen to counsel.
Sometimes listening to lots of different voices is frustrating… but a multitude of counselors offer many perspectives and can offer lots of options you may not have thought of yourself. Brainstorming (especially in a pivot) is most useful with lots of people working on the same problem and is one of the best tips for starting your business.
Track and analyze everything.
Analytics isn’t often recognized by newbies who starry-eyed and ambitious about starting a passion business. It’s a topic that gets glossed over, but it’s so very important to your survival.
Your website isn’t going to get noticed by just sitting there. Your business will never be recognized without intentional and extremely active outreach on social media. Your strategy will never be proven unless you look at the lines and graphs behind-the-scenes to analyze whether your actions are working the way you hoped.
If you don’t know how to get started, look up your social media platform + analytics and read articles and watch YouTube videos that explain how to get started. Don’t be afraid of starting from zero… just start.
Create a community.
Social media is a great place to begin for just about any business, both service-based and products. It’s tough getting started, but look up and join groups for small businesses and the people who would be interested in your products or services and interact every day. Begin developing unique resources that help your target customer solve their problem. Offer it for the price of their email address.
One thing that hasn’t been widely discussed but is a very important tip for starting your business is that collecting email addresses are the foundation of your customer base and are your ‘long-look’ when things begin to slow.
You’re going to use those to build your community and reach out to them through newsletters or campaigns. Don’t focus on selling at this point (typically it’s too early)… focus on being helpful and friendly. Build relationships.
By the time they’re ready to purchase, they’ll think of you first.
My encouragement for you
If you’re not new in building your business, you should review your business plan and goals to see if you’re still on track or whether your goals have changed.
Please also consider passing this newsletter on to someone you think would find it useful to encourage them to wisely use these tips for starting their business on the right foot.
If you’re just starting up your business (or almost ready to start), let me know where you’re at in the process. I’d love to hear from you and learn which point you’re struggling with the most. We can brainstorm together!
Schedule an appointment at my Calendly link if you’d like to chat.