I've conducted countless strategy calls with new and aspiring entrepreneurs. One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is "where do I start?" I recognize that launching a new business can be extremely intimidating and seem like overwhelming endeavor. Its actually easier than you think! I've developed a list of 7 steps I recommend that all busy bombshells take when they have an idea for a new business!
Identify What Problem Your Business Solves
This is a key step! Your business has to solve a problem or ease a pain point for your customer. If you cannot answer this question, I'd reconsider the type of business you are looking to start. Its easier to market a solution than it is to market a product. Spend time identifying the benefits of your business idea for the public.
Identify What Makes Your Business Different Than Existing Competitors
And pricing alone is not sufficient. People will pay for value, no matter what. You have to determine what makes your business special. Why should a customer purchase your products instead of someone else's? Create value proposition to answer these questions. A value proposition should include what you offer at a high level, who your customer is and 3 key benefits of your product/service.
Create Your Target Market Profile
Your target market is essentially the ideal customers for your business. Create a profile that highlights the demographic information of your customer base. See the below article for a deeper dive into this process. Don't skip out on this step! Understanding who your audience is impacts how you market your products and services. The book Bombshell of All Trades contains a few exercises to guide you through this.
Register Your Business Locally
Contact your local small business administration office or SCORE office if you need assistance with this. I am no expert on the legal aspects of business but you do need to decide if your business is a sole proprietorship or LLC. You'll also want to get an employer identification number for tax purposes and secure any additional licenses you may need. If you are using a unique name, consider getting a trademark as well.
Develop Your Brand Palette and Internet Real Estate
This is my favorite step, defining your brand! Create a brand mood board your company. A mood board contains a few images that represent how you want your brand to be portrayed and feel to your customer. It will also contain your brand colors, logo variations and fonts that you will use consistently. Additionally, you want to begin securing your internet real estate. This means buying your domain, securing your new social media handles and buying your branded email address.
Create Your Product/Service Listings
Next, identify the initial products and services you want to launch with. Be cautious of how many items you offer. Too many service offerings can confuse your buyer. Simultaneously for product based businesses, the more products you offer, the more inventory you need to carry (unless you have a drop shipping business). Plan for your success and not your failure. Assume that your business will take off. How will you meet all of the demand needs? Starting off small will assist you in learning how to scale your business early.
Plan Your Launch
Be strategic with how you present your business to the public for the first time! I'm a fan of building buzz before the official launch. Be creative and have fun with this! You can host countdown on social media, have a launch party and/or use live stream to build hype. I have video here on YouTube where I share my tips for building buzz around a new blog. You can apply those same tips to your business!
Grab a copy of my business and branding planner Bombshell of All Trades so that you can begin implementing these steps today!
Tell me in the comments, what kind of business are you planning to start this year? If you're already an entrepreneur, how do you plan to expand?