The 5 Things You Need +in addition to owning a cactus+
Starting or growing a small business can feel like an overwhelming thing that's expensive and time consuming and not within the realm of possibility until (insert whatever it is that's holding you back). I feel this 100% because I've started my own business and it took me many years to work up the courage to actually do it. Here are a few of the things I came up against:
- What would I actually SELL?
- Do I need a physical location or office space?
- How much would that cost?
- How do I become legit (an LLC, etc.)?
- Would I need an accountant?
- Would I need a bank account?
- Is my credit good enough?
- I don't think I have enough in savings yet.
- Can I afford all of the start-up costs?
- What if someone asks me something that I don't know the answer to?
- What if a client/customer doesn't like something I do?
- It's too much responsibility.
- It's too much work.
- I don't know where to start.
- What would my name be?
- I don't know how to create a website. I heard it's like $20,000 to pay someone to do that.
- I don't know where to get business cards and I don't want them to look cheesy.
- I'm not ready to quit my day job.
- I'm not ready.
- I'm afraid to start.
These thoughts prevented me from taking the leap for 15 years. I had a baby. I got married. I worked for multiple small businesses. I finished my business degree. I did "side jobs" here and there but refused to legitimize myself as an actual small business. I got divorced. I dabbled. I blogged. I did things that made me happy "on the side". And then I tuned 35 and made some major changes in my life and decided, "This is the year. I'm done with excuses. I'm going to figure it out." And you know what? NOTHING about it has been scary. EVERYTHING about it has been fun and exciting and exhilarating. I feel like I was born to do this and all of the things I've done in my life up until now have contributed to this moment that I'm in where I can say with confidence: I'm a small business owner.
Over the past few months while I've gone about setting up my business and beginning to book clients, I've realized how important it is to demystify the process for people so they don't allow their unhelpful thoughts to become reality. A thought as simple as, "I don't know how" or "It's too expensive" can become a hurdle that takes DECADES to overcome. I don't want that for you!
I was speaking to a new client the other day about this very thing and I told her quite simply, "Here's the deal: there are 5 things you need to do to launch your business and you'll need about $600." In her case, she already has a computer and a car so I understand that's a step ahead that some people may not start out with. Having said that, access to reliable transportation and a computer are not things you can't overcome. They're just more costly and will need some planning to achieve.
Here are the BIG FIVE:
- Decide on a name & a product (FREE)
- Create a website that's well branded and easy to navigate ($20 for a domain + $30 a month for the actual website)
- Create a FB and IG business page (FREE)
- Become an LLC (approximately $200 via LegalZoom)
- Join a pop up market or flea market, host a pop up shop, or plan a mixer or workshop ($100-$300)
Yes, you should also sign up for Quickbooks. Yes, you should open a business bank account. Yes, you should sign up for Mailchimp so you can send out newsletters. Those things are all important but not necessary right away. Those are second tier items. To become a business owner you need to do the 5 things above and lock in your first client. THAT'S IT. I could also write fun articles (and I will!) about the qualities I think successful business owners have in common and all of the ways they work to fulfill their goals, but the basic/first step reality is that it's not more complicated than the 5 steps above. It's just not.
Are you shocked? I hope so! If any of this still feels like too much and you're having thoughts like:
- I need help coming up with a name that's cool.
- I need support identifying my product offerings and figuring out pricing.
- I don't want to learn how to put together a website. I want someone to do it for me in the next 30 days at an affordable rate.
- I'm intimidated by IG & FB and could use some help setting it all up & getting it started.
- I need someone to help me plan my pop up/mixer/workshop and make sure it's a success.
Then you've come to the right place because that is EXACTLY what I do. I partner with you on the aspects of your business that most intimidate you or cause overwhelm and I help you jump over that barrier. If you can relate to any of this and are thinking, "I've always wanted my own business!" or "I have a business idea/business start, but I need to make it BIGGER and BETTER!" then fill out the form below and I'll get in touch with you to chat (for FREE) about how we can work together.