Starting any business, particularly after paid employment, can be incredibly exciting and daunting, at the same time.
You’ve got the fear of leaving the known for the unknown; leaving a salary to risk all on a business idea.
We’ve been there ourselves.
It’s not an easy decision to make.
You will probably lie awake at night thinking – with anticipation and dread.
It’s human nature – but what Paul and I can say, having walked the walk, and both left secure paid employment for the freelance freedom is go for it but make sure you’re prepared.
Freelance brings incredible liberty – those politics of the office watercooler, the stifling hierarchies of management can be consigned to your mental recycling bin.
You are free.
Except you’re not.
If you fail at freedom.
So we thought we’d give a handy aide-memoire, a checklist to becoming successful as, dare we mutter that dreaded word, an entrepreneur.
We’ve said it.
Not too painful in this context.
So where do you start?
Let us help with our lucky 7 point list:
- THE BIG IDEA. Success largely depends on the business idea or business ideas you have and your ability to turn the idea into profit. If your business doesn’t make a profit, it’s self-defeating. You have to have a vision of what you’re selling in terms of products and services, whether there’s demand for it, and, most importantly, you can draw a salary from it. Granted, you need to speculate to accumulate. A business needs an investment plan. An investment plan needs funds, but without the concept, the idea and the drive and acumen to promote and succeed, you may fail. Failure though can be rewarding in that lessons are learned. Don’t see failure as an end to your start-up.
- SOLE TRADER, LIMITED COMPANY, PARTNERSHIP. There’s pros and cons to both. As sole traders forming a partnership in 321 Websites, maintaining separate autonomy with our respective businesses, we can talk from experience. What I would say is pick your partner like you’d pick a relationship partner: trust, loyalty and creative work-ethic are needed for two minds to meld in a successful business partnership. You need things laid out contractually though, like in marriage, in case separation, or divorce, rears its head.
- SUPPORT. It’s easier to go into business, with reduced risks, if you have salary security from a partner in paid employment. Your friends and family can support you not only financially, but with motivation and a pair of critically objective eyes and ears. If you’re a sole trader, or even a partnership, it’s good to run strategies and ideas by others.
- THE WHOLE PACKAGE. If you’re serious about business success, you can’t dip your toe in the water’s edge and dive in without the full support package there – to stretch a metaphor. You need a logo designing, words writing, business cards, brochures, printed literature, a website, a marketing plan, social media marketing in place. You do this BEFORE you launch your big idea, your business, your website.
- WEBSITE. Any business, whether sole trader start up, or an established multi-national company, needs an online presence. It shows and tells the world who you are, what you offer and how you do this. A website needs to be adaptable, attractive and future-proof. It needs to be visible globally, 24 hours a day, without interruption. It needs to showcase what you offer in a clear and compelling way. The layout needs to be logical, images attractive, the text easy to understand, with calls to action embedded on every page. It can have two sections: Home and Contact, or 22. The website design you choose and the team you choose to create this need to be able to adapt your shop window, your website, next week, next month, next year.
- MARKETING. We’ve all done this. Commissioned a website. Marvelled at it. Been creative with marketing for a month and then lose interest. You may not have done, but others have. Once your website is built, the real long slog begins. Networking to spread your brand, email marketing to potential customers who’ve signed up to your website, phone calls, printed marketing and the big one, social media marketing.
- SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING. Let’s make something clear if you’re embarking on a business venture, you may not give two hoots about social media. You don’t have a Facebook account, you never go on Instagram, Snapchat is for kids, you don’t get Twitter, you’ve forgotten your LinkedIn password and never bothered to reset it, or you just engage in one platform. You need to separate your personal social media points of views and start thinking of these as a marketing tool. You need a blended social media marketing approach – to capture the biggest audience on wherever they hang out and engage them. Not for a week, not for two months, but for the next few years. Yes it’s hard work, tweeting, posting Facebook statuses, sending Snapchats, posting on Instagram and LinkedIn successfully every day. There’s shortcuts, there’s quick wins but mainly it’s a creative slog. I personally love doing it for my own business and others. Others don’t – that’s why they pay me.
Now the point is this.
When you ask Paul and Stuart to help your start up, you will get help.
- You will get a superb website designed in 7 days by Paul.
- You will get all the content written accurately and compellingly by Stuart.
- You will not be dropped when your website is live – your social media is run, with blog posts included on many packages, for a week, a month or beyond.
Contact us today.