Millions of women are wanting to launch businesses this year. Seven years ago, launching an online business was a greater task than most people might assume. I always share with people high end designers were not even using their own websites. One serious issues that women are running into when launching however, is the actual plan. As I consult an average of 15 women of a month with ICB Consults, I notice most are just taking huge leaps with no actually thought out plan on how to achieve everything. This is the very dangerous part because you become really overwhelmed very quickly.
Research Your Industry
There are multiple ways to enter the small business world; thousands of people chose to go the franchise route. It is imperative that you learn the in’s and out’s of your industry before investing thousands of dollars. Take the time to learn about the influencers in your industry, taxes, laws, the history of it and more. It’s best to be informed about the market you are entering.
Handle Legal Matters
Having sole proprietorship is great for a hobby but not for a business that intends to bring in a revenue. When you’re doing your research, check out the SBA website to learn how you can set up 1 of the 5 legal entities for your business. You can also learn about obtaining your EIN number, licenses, and permits for your business on their website.
Seek wise counsel from those who have been where you are. As stated before, launching a business is a daunting task. You will not know everything in the beginning. Finding someone with skin in the game that can help you along the way is great. If paying for consulting is out of your budget, SCORE is a local non-profit with a plethora of resources.
The small investment that has a powerful impact is your company’s email address. Don’t overlook this aspect. It speaks volumes about the person who uses gmail or yahoo for their company’s email address. Google Works allows you to purchase domain, email, apps and more to help streamline your business.
Presentation Is Everything
Professionalism also extends to the imagery used on your website and social media. One tip I provide to my clients is to invest in styled stock photography; from sites like Creative Market. In addition to that, your product photos matter. Hire a photographer to take quality shots of your products and use tools such as; to edit them.
Your website is the main hub for information for new and existing customers. Providing them a website that is easy to use and navigate helps your small business. Squarespace, Shopify, and Bigcommerce are all platforms you can design yourself. They provide their users with the essential tools and resources for a successful company.
Start Up Capital
Funding your business is one of the biggest hurdles that most small business owners face. When people ask me what is the one thing I would do differently, I always say I would’ve established a solid financial plan for my business. Too many times, we are just winging it and it comes out bad or okay. If you are transition from a 9 to 5 into full time small business owner life this is the perfect way to build up capital. In addition, to that I tell people to get a part time job or freelance for 3 to 6 months and save that money. If you got a simple part time job you could bring in $3,000 to $7,500 in that time period.
The launch of a business can be daunting if there is no plan attached to it. Think about every aspect of your business not just how can I grow via social media. Which is important but getting your shipping, website, finances and more in order matters. Start your business off on the right foot so you have a solid foundation.