Starting a small business can feel overwhelming – much like organising a big event, however once it’s going it can be soul satisfying!! Here are some tips I have picked up over the years to help me get cracking on my ideas. I am the type of person who just jumps right in when I have an idea and figure I’ll work out any problems later! You see when I want to start something new I get all excited so I jump into the design, for example, and create a set of business cards, then design the website map, design a website, set my pricing and then set about getting clients!
So what’s my point? If you are setting up a service driven business and feeling overwhelmed with where to start – this is what I recommend…
- Get a business name – brainstorm, thrash your ideas, ask others
- Research your name – is it available as a domain name (website), Facebook/Instagram/Twitter etc? This step can often result in going back to the drawing board or creating an alternative one – in which case go back to step 1!
- Registration – Yay – you have an available domain name (this to me is the important step), you can have an alternative Facebook name or Instagram name but your website is most important to nail as it’s really your face and business card to your business. Now lock it in – find a domain name register, such as VentraIp (they are Australian owned!) or there are a myriad of others!
- Now set up your socials – register Business Facebook page or Instagram Business page/ Pinterest/Twitter etc
- Brand – do you have a feel for how you see your brand? Colours? Images? Fonts? I’m a very visual person, so I recommend using Pinterest to create a mood board for your business with a range of images that represent the look and feel for your business. There are logo samples, fonts, pictures etc etc that can help you define the look you are after. Then I suggest meeting up with a Graphic Designer who can turn your ideas into a beautiful brand that is all you!
- Business card Print run– to me this is a valuable step in getting out of the starting blocks – because when you are at an event and talking proudly of your new business idea/venture, you are going to be asked if you have a business card! We’ve all been there with someone who has been like ‘oh yes…well I’m designing a new card but I just haven’t had the time to print a card yet!” You know what this says? “I’m not ready to commit jut yet!” Seriously you can print a set of 250 business cards for $25 at Vista Print and if you don’t like them, it’s no big deal! If you can, get your graphic designer to whip up a design for you and arrange printing yourself! There are so many great printers around. I personally have used Vista for a long time but now use Moo because I can print a collection of images with the same back which showcases my work for weddings/families and personal branding or headshots!
- Network – I don’t mean brag about your business at every opportunity, instead join a fabulous group that suits your needs (like SA Woman) and just get to know other people in your area. In places like Adelaide, getting to know your local businesses is super cool because you can learn from them and recommend them when someone asks about needing a particular service/product. Remember it’s not about you! Don’t ‘network’ with the intention of talking about yourself the whole time, get curious with others and find out how you can help them! You never know – they may come back to you when the time is right, or share your details with someone else who needs your services?!
So there we have it…these are, in my mind, my top tips for getting out of the starting blocks! Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither will your business. It is ever evolving and growing, just like you!