I’ve always had the desire to start a business. At 15 years old, I was inspired by the literary series “The Baby-sitters’ Club to start my own business. So I called my friends together. We decided who was going to be president, secretary and treasurer then we got started on our ideas about our little business. Although, our little venture didn’t last long, I remember the process as being fun.
Truth be told, when I decided to turn Make Me Over, Eb from just a blog into a REAL business, I honestly just jumped right in without really knowing what I was doing. I just knew I needed to make some money and I needed to do it FAST. Well, I’ve definitely made some money and many mistakes along the way, but I’ve learned from these mistakes that there is always time to refresh, revive and renew your approach to your business. I’ve also come to appreciate that you must be willing to always be open to training in your field of expertise. This is how you grow.
Over the years, I’ve learned that you need to do more than know who’s the president, secretary and treasurer of a business in order for it to work. There are some important factors (in addition to getting appropriate legal licensing) to consider before starting a business. In this post, I will outline five questions you should ask yourself BEFORE you start your business.
1. Who will I sell to? Understanding who your ideal client is will help you SPEAK directly to them when you are marketing your services to them. For example, is your client female or male? Does she have kids? Is she married. How old is she? How will your service help solve her problem with X. (More on that later.)
2. What will I sell? Create a signature program/service/product that you can start promoting immediately to your ideal client. The program would be the solution to a ‘problem’ your ideal client is having. For example, acne cream helps people with acne problems. Price the program at a rate that is takes into account your time, expertise and VALUE you are giving the client.
3. How much money (or revenue) do I want to bring in monthly? Revenue is the amount of money you need to bring in to operate your business and pay yourself. Learning to create a revenue and profit goal will help you with knowing what goal that you need to reach this month. When you reach your goal each month, this will motivate you to keep going. Also from this, you will decide how much you want to pay yourself (per hour).
4. How much am I willing to invest in marketing and advertising? Whether you purchase ads or not or use someone to make calls for you, you will need a budget to make this happen. Decide up front what you are able to spend on marketing and advertising your services. Did you know that for as low as $5/day you can purchase targeted ads on Facebook for your products and services. BTW, you will need to create a Facebook page for your business in order to advertise. (Click here to create your Facebook page.) You can target the ad to your ideal client for maximum results.
5. Do I have an internet presence? When you need to find a product where do you search first? The phone book or Google? Yeah, your clients will be searching Google, too. Wouldn’t be nice if your services came up in a nice attractive website? Create a simple one-page website with a list of your services and contact information so people can contact you. Setting up a simple one-page website can be done in a few hours. Many hosting companies such as Godaddy.com will walk you thru the website set-up process. If you don’t want to be bothered with that, hire a professional to get it up for you. Use the money from your marketing budget for your website. You can always grow your website as you get established.
Many things have changed since I was 15, however, what hasn’t changed is the need to PLAN before you get started on a new venture. I’m sure there are more questions you will answer as you get the ball rolling with your business. However, for now we’ll tackle these five. It’s best to take a little at a time. You can always improve on the process.
What do you think? Did you find this information helpful?