What is your advice for someone interested in starting a new business?
Oh man, this is a big question. I don’t think I can cover it all but I have a few main thoughts.
1. Know the business you are getting in to. While it’s good to do things your own way, it’s good to know the way your competitors run things. And just in general the way business works in that field, since everything is so different! Google is your best friend, along with any blogs that center around the field you will be starting in. For me, this is easier because wedding photography has a huge online presence.
2. Work all the time. For the first few months. Now, this may not be the healthiest approach, but when you are starting a business it takes everything you’ve got to get it off the ground. There is a current statistic that says 9 out of 10 small businesses fail. So, it’s up to you to not let that happen.
3. Create a solid brand. First and foremost- you need to put your focus into knowing YOUR business. Meghan2me.Inc if you will. Know what you offer, what you want to do, what you won’t do, what you charge, etc. From there, work with a designer to create the image you want your business to have. Depending on what kind of business, you can create a Facebook page. It will be more effective if it’s something interesting, or if you can find a way to make it interesting! When first starting, building your brand and website should be the bulk of where your money is going.
4. Be cautious about where you put your money. Just an example from my own mistakes, I chose to advertise through a couple of different methods that just didn’t really work. And you have to pay monthly. And you have to sign on for a minimum of 6 months. Basically, I needed to work on building the quality of my business first thing (invest in equipment and a good website). The power of word of mouth is HUGE, so get your friends talking about it (facebook).
5. Give yourself a date. What I mean by this is that you will get discouraged. You will think it’s failing and that it’s not going to work. Pick a date that you are willing to give up on it by. Say, one year from the start date, just for example. If nothing has happened by that date, you are free to quit and say you tried. But if you try to quit before then, which you might want to, you cannot allow it. Give yourself enough time to say you tried. There are down and up months, just remember that!
Ok…I think that’s all that’s coming to mind right now. I realize I make it sound kind of scary and intense but that’s because it is scary and intense. But it’s also incredibly rewarding to know that you created something successful. And you usually have a lot more fun in life because you ENJOY work. For the most part :)