MAY 2021 - Starting a Business // Where to Start?
Starting your own business of any kind can be scary, confusing, and intimidating! Why? Because if you've never done it before, the fear of the unknown can be overwhelming. I've creating a guide that has helped me in starting my business, and I hope these tips and tricks will help you too!
1. GET ORGANIZED.
Before you invest hundreds or thousands of dollars into starting up your business, get your thoughts and plans organized. I recommend a planner. I've used one since college and I'm never going back. You can break out your monthly business goals, and break them down on a weekly realistic level. Important dates to note are when you want to launch your brand so you can start promoting it and creating some buzz around your launch date.
2. SECURE THE HANDLES
We're in a digital age. That means you need to create brand awareness online and through multiple platforms. I use instagram, facebook, and tiktok. When I first started, I secured my website domain (andeverlasting.com) and all the available social media handles. This is super important and can affect the choice of your business name if a certain handle is taken- it's a good indicator that someone is already using your name.
3. PLAN YOUR MILESTONES
The next step I recommend is making some milestones for yourself. This is where your planner also comes in handy. Some questions to ask yourself:
- What materials do you need to start your business? - Spend time researching suppliers online.
- What brand image do you want to have? Sustainable, luxury, handmade, or being tailored towards Mom's are all examples of brand images that people can resonate with that may help customers shop with your brand instead of elsewhere.
- What is your launch date?
- What is your sales goals?
- What is your marketing plan? I.E. How will you raise brand awareness? Giveaways, Consistent Posting, Etc...
I recommend using Google Sheets for Budgeting. I'm a little bit of a budgeting fanatic and I like it that way. To date, I've recorded every expense that I've put into my small business to ensure it is profitable for me and worth my time. As much as I love crafting, you always want to be rewarded for the time you invest into any business. Budgeting is great because it allows you to realize how much money you're actually spending on materials, supplies, and other cost which may otherwise get lost somewhere. You may be surprised to find out how much you're spending.
*Budgeting is also great because you can see when you finally get out of the red, which to me means your sales to date have covered all of the expenses you've put into the business. Definitely worth celebrating.
Risk is involved in every decision you make. Let's accept risk and face it head on, however there are different levels of risk when starting a business- high or low risk start-up fees. When it comes to purchasing, I encourage a low-risk mindset and start SMALL with your purchasing. Here's my logic. I really don't want you to waste thousands of dollars on materials when at the end of the day, this may not be something you are truly passionate about. I recommend buying the minimum amount of items to begin, and THEN you can always add more as you go. If you realize you don't even like working on your business idea and want to pivot, you don't want to be left with wasted product and wasted money.
5. SALES GOALS
This is the most important thing I want to talk about. You need to be realistic with your sales goals. I wish we all made thousands of dollars at opening but the reality is that sales take time. Sometimes, more time than you expected. Your first sale may come 1-2 months from the start date, and in some cases even longer. That does not mean give up. That does not mean you don't have a good product. That doesn't even mean people aren't paying attention. Sometimes all it takes is time.
I hope this little guide inspires you to finally start! Remember, they say starting is the hardest part.