How to Start Your Own Business

One of the great things about entrepreneurship is that it's all-inclusive. There is no one easy-to-target demographic for people who are looking to start their own company. In a traditional marketing sense, this normally makes it difficult to reach the desired audience with the right message. But when it comes to how to start your own business, the information is universal. So, whether you've always wanted to start your own business, or are looking for a mid-career 180, the basics are all the same. You probably already guessed it, but it's going to be a lot of hard work. It's going to be a lot of long hours. It's going to be pain, and stress and frustration. But it's also going to be one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do with your life.

What do you Need to Start a Business

If you're reading this, chances are you at least have a general idea of the kind of business you want to start. Decide whether or not your business will be brick-and-mortar, run completely online, or something in-between like working out of your home or vehicle. There are a lot of differences between starting an online business and setting up a retail shop, boutique or restaurant. But there is a lot of hard work involved either way. Regardless of whether you're starting a consulting business online or setting up a new restaurant in town, analyze your competition. What does your business offer that will differentiate you from the competition? More importantly, what does your clientele want? It's important to be special and different, but you need to provide something that your potential customers aren't finding right now. What will you have that will help you get over the typical one year fail point for most small businesses? Maybe you've been working in the construction field for 20 years and have a flawless safety record. If you were starting a safety consulting company, that would be a great differentiator.

Buy a Logo for my Business?

Logos are much more important than just “a company’s signature.” It is the first communicator of your brand and company, and the first impression to your target audience. In many ways, it is your company’s face. While it needs to be attractive to gain attention, it also needs to speak to the identity of your brand and communicate the purpose of your company. When you're starting out, ideally you've saved money, or have a business plan and a loan. Starting a business costs money, and there's no way around that. You can start a business from home pretty inexpensively, but you have to be prepared to spend money. There's just no way to possibly complete all that's needed for a successful business launch on your own and with no money. Marketing and branding dollars are some of the most important dollars you'll spend as you get your business off the ground. Remember that you get what you pay for. It might seem tempting to buy a $5 logo, but you're likely not going to be happy with the end result. If you're a graphic designer, you might be able to accomplish this one on  your own. But unless you've dealt extensively with logo and color psychology, it's always better to have a professional do it. It's their job to keep up with colors, trends, industry expectations and what to avoid. Think about this: whatever business you're trying to start right now...let's say a financial consulting company...would you think that people were making the right decision by trying to manage their finances without any help? No! That would be a terrible thing for someone with no financial experience to attempt. The same goes for marketing and design. If you're not an expert, then plan on using some of your startup spend on branding and marketing.

Social Media

Another big hurdle can be social media. Even as people grow weary of social media and search desperately for a good Facebook alternative, there are still billions of social media users. That's just too large of an audience to ignore. Unless you're starting your own social media agency, you're going to need help getting your digital presence up and running. There are too many variables that take too much time to tackle on your own: when to post, what audience to target, how to analyze your data and build funnels... There is software out there than can help you manage your social media accounts, but ultimately your social media presence can't be automated. Facebook and Instagram penalize companies for using "bot" software or automating their social media process. Going into your business launch, you need a solid social media strategy. This includes a content calendar (what you're going to post, when you're going to post it and what social accounts you're going to use) and other graphic elements that you'll use. Almost every business can benefit from a social presence--even if the business isn't inherently visual. So unless you have tons of time (and you don't...you're starting a business!) then it's a good idea to have a company handle your social media planning and execution.

Video Elements

Video is the single most engaging medium for any content, for any industry and across any platform. Video is more engaging on social media. Video allows people to make more informed buying decisions. Video draws more people to your website. Video needs to be a huge part of your marketing mix. Again, think about the kind of business you're starting. How many people out there are trying to do what you're doing? If you were opening a high-end Mexican restaurant, would you ever recommend anyone to Taco Bell? No! Because with marketing as with food, you get what you pay for. So while it may seem tempting to find the cheapest video company around, you're also getting...the cheapest video company around. That doesn't make sense if you really want to make a difference and stand out from your competition. There are no shortcuts. No video is better than bad video. And today more than ever, it's about evoking emotion and production quality. There is a reason why movies have writers, directors and producers, etc. It's a specialty, and if done right, video gives you a significant advantage.

Conclusion

We understand how hard it can be to launch a brand. We have personal experience in how to start your own business, because we were a one-room business in the basement of a home at one point. Years later, our team has grown, we have a nice office, and we've helped hundreds of businesses--everything from a brand-new startup to a complete makeover. We understand what entrepreneurs need and how to make a brand's story effective. Shoot us an email if you'd like some more info, we'd be happy to talk to you and answer any questions you have. Good luck!