So you're ready to launch and you want to get your small business started, fast?
It is time to embrace the entrepreneur life and make some money by doing what you love.
…if only it were as easy as that, right?
When you actually start trying to get a new small business started fast, it can feel like there is a mammoth list of tasks to get through.
- Get new equipment?
- Get a brand shoot done?
- Pay for brand design?
- Complete a comprehensive business plan?
- Work out how best to delivery amazing customer service?
- Or try to source office space?
Well, in all reality, you might not have to do any of that to build a successful business!
Instead, check out these simple tips for getting that new small business started ASAP.
1. Get Mentally Prepared For Running A Business, to get your small business started FAST
The first thing you need to do is prepare yourself for the life of a small business owner. Not to dampen your spirits, but it isn’t always smooth sailing!
Small business owners, in the beginning, don't have a steady paycheque or guaranteed work coming your way (unless you have managed to score a contract for your services of course).
Because of this element of uncertainty, it can be a good idea to get your new business started without the burden of financial pressure. You can still meet your customer's needs with a side hustle.
If possible, operate your new venture on the side of any existing employment you have. Potentially consider working part-time hours to keep the funds coming in, allowing you to pay the bills. That way, you can focus on making the business a long term success, rather than trying to replace your existing income.
Keeping your business ticking over requires commitment and a significant amount of time. If you are able to dedicate time and energy to your business consistently, then entrepreneurship could be the path for you!
Related: DIY Branding 101: What You Need To Know Before You Get Started
2. Do Some Market Research
Before you jump in boots and all, it pays to do a bit of research on whether you will actually be able to sell your products or services. Is there a market out there for what you are planning to sell, and will people pay for it?
Once you have established if there is a need for your product or service, you've (almost) validated your business idea. Then it's time to think about some ways you will be able to set yourself apart from your competitors. Small businesses are aplenty, so you need to differentiate your new business.
- What is unique about your business?
- Why would someone come to you rather than another business offering a similar product or service?
Knowing this will help you to market your services in a unique way and give people a reason to choose you.
Related: How To Start A Brand: 3 Must-Do Tasks
3. Nail The Basics
Don’t overthink the basic elements of your business. You don’t need fancy, whizz-bang things to get started. Rather than spending money you haven’t earned yet, just nail these basics:
Pick a name. This doesn’t have to be a complicated process, you can always change it later on. Remember to check the companies register to ensure the name you want isn’t being used by someone else.
Choose your core offerings. Decide what you are going to sell and how you are going to price it
Figure out the benefits. People want to buy the end solution, not the process. So, what benefits will they get from your core offerings? How can you help your audience learn about these outcomes and benefits?
Get set up on social media. Nothing fancy – a Facebook page and an Instagram handle. Small business thrives on social media.
Set up a business bank account. That way you can keep your finances tidy and separated from your personal spending, plus it means you can collect payment!
Create a professional looking selfie. Use it as your social media bio pics and on your about page – people buy from PEOPLE, not logos, remember?
Related: You can't sell a SECRET, 10 Easy Ways To Build Brand Awareness
4. Be Findable Online
Now, when I say you need to be ‘findable' online, I don’t mean that you need to invest in a $5k website! A Facebook or Instagram page will be enough to get started with, or a DIY website option that you can put together quickly for a low cost.
You are simply creating a space for you to be able to post things about your business and have somewhere that people can go to find out more about what you are offering.
Don’t go crazy on fancy graphics for that online presence either. It is perfectly fine to knock up a DIY logo in Canva to start out with.
And once you're ‘findable', make sure you're not scaring people away.
5. Build A Network, to get your small business started FAST
In the early days, you might not have much in the budget for paid advertising. Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can get your new small business out there without having to invest any money.
Networking is the cheapest and most effective way of building brand awareness. Meeting people and talking about what you do can open up huge opportunities. They may not have a need for your products or services, but someone in their network might. And, referrals are some of the strongest sales leads you can get!
Hunt out local networking events in your community, but don’t stop there. The online world is a huge space and there are plenty of networking groups you can join on Facebook or LinkedIn. Just remember that you don’t want to come off as the salesperson. Build natural connections and provide helpful tips rather than dropping your links and running! The company you keep can have surprising returns – for free.
Are you surprised by how little you need to get your new small business off the ground? The cool thing is that you can get started with the basics. You don’t need to invest in all the bells and whistles, there are plenty of things you can DIY in the beginning.
If you are interested in DIY-ing a really important aspect of your marketing, then check out my courses on DIY Headshots and Branding Photos.