Starting a new business can seem like an overwhelming task. In many ways coming up with the idea will be the easiest part then there’s the legal aspects, the accounting, the design, the launch, the day to day and the risk factors. You may be looking for a way to make some extra money on the side or maybe you’re tired of the 9-5 and are ready to leave the corporate desk and seek something new and exciting, I’ve been starting businesses since I was 16 and whatever your reason for starting a business, I believe the 7 Steps below are crucial in helping your dream become a reality.
“If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.”― Tony A. Gaskins Jr.
Step 1: Your business idea
The first step in starting a successful business is coming up with an idea for something that hasn’t been done before or a service that will help make peoples lives better. You should also focus on narrowing your messaging and making sure that you can accurately describe what you will offer to others.
Step 2: File proper legal paperwork
I don’t pretend to be an expert when it comes to filing incorporation paperwork or setting up your business accounts, however these are necessary steps and in most cases should be left up to a professional to make sure it is done right. (More on this later)
Things to consider:
- Do I need a trademark for my company name, slogan or idea?
- What type of business will best suit my needs long term?
- What state should I file my company in?
Step 3: Be social
Now that you’ve started the process to create a legal business you should pursue securing the proper domain(s) and social media accounts for your company.
Step 4: Creating your brand
Next you need to find a designer who is capable of creating a powerful logo and imaging that will accurately represent your company and help set you apart from your competition. Again, this an area best left to a professional. Working with the right graphic designer will ensure your logo is formatted properly, helps you stand out, will stand the test of time, and is easily recognizable.
I recommend hiring an all in one designer who is willing to work with you on several projects instead of outsourcing every single project to someone different. By working with a single designer you are more likely to create a consistent style and accurately create your brand.
Services you should consider are:
- Having a logo designed
- Creating a website
- Creating business cards, brochures and company apparel (as applicable)
Step 5: Owning your systems
Now that you have the initial idea for your business and have started to create content it’s important to understand your systems. You may be thinking “what systems?” This will vary depending on what your company is but you will most likely need a platform to accept payments, invoice others and keep track of client data. Having the backbone in place prior to going public will help make sure you have a successful launch. Gaining leads for your business is only valuable if you have a strategy to turn inquires into clients.
Step 6: Create your strategy
While you prepare for your launch you should consider creating a social media strategy or hiring a company to manage your newly created social media accounts. Knowing when and how to advertise will be critical in getting your business in front of the right clients.
Step 7: Launch
After all of your hardworking to get your company setup it’s time to finally go live and share it with the world. I believe that by following the steps above you will be well prepared to launch.