Starting a new business is a scary prospect. There are a lot of things to consider when going through the process. How long will it take for me to become profitable? What should my business model look like? Do I need investors? I mean, those are some big questions.
What about some smaller ones? How should I outline my contract with clients? How much should I spend on marketing and what markets should I target? Will anyone even take an interest in what I'm doing?!
As a small business owner myself, I know the struggle of getting started and how overwhelming it can be. Within all the self-doubts and unsureness, there are glimmers of hope that shine on the gloomiest of days.
#5 | Completing Your Brand
What better feeling is there than having your brand completed just like you envisioned?
See, you started off with just an idea, right? That idea grew into a passion and now you want to do everything you can to see that passion help others while making money. At least, that's the general dream. From that, you start your brand and get a logo going. That logo then transforms into business cards and before you know it, you have a complete brand in front of you.
So, now what?
#4 | Launch day
This day could either be the best or the worst based on your expectations. It could turn out exactly how you planned with gaining notoriety and a strong following OR it could totally tank. Either way, launch day requires many preparations that involve many different functions. There is a lot of set up involved within a single day, but rest assured that this day doesn't dictate the future of your company.
Remember, despite being scary, launch day is a fun day! It's a time to be remembered from the birth of your company! The day should be full of excitement on all platforms. Facebook, Instagram, and other outlets you see fit can be lighting up on your big day!
#3 | Gaining the Following
So you've had your launch day a while back and everything went great! You've successfully executed all your social media posts and all your friends are promoting your new gig. You haven't run into anything big or unexpected but there's just one problem.
You thought this whole thing would take off faster than it is. What is taking everyone so long to find out that what you offer is the best on the market? Don't they know that you are the answer they've been looking for?
Hold up. Take a deep breath. Sure, you can buy followers and those companies will deliver. But that's all you'll get. Those followers don't mean sales and only rarely do those followers mean you'll get more likes.
#2 | First Successful Marketing Campaign
How do I gain that following then?! Well there are two things you need. There are definitely more, but we'll only talk about these two. The first is good content. What does that mean, "good content"? Blog posts, pictures, anything you can put together that gets people interested in what you're talking about. Here's the catch. The hard part about this is being consistent. Consistency will keep readers coming back for more.
The second aspect you'll need to gain the following you deserve is to run marketing campaigns. I prefer running Facebook ads because they just make it so darn easy. There are built in statistics with easy ways to change your target audience. As a test run in October, I put $20 into running an ad based on an Instagram picture I posted about my business cards I recently made. From the 3,000 people that possibly saw the post, 49 liked it and 7 people liked the Coco The Bear Facebook page. To me, this was successful because I actually had people like my page that I had never seen or met before.
Hopefully, with all this work, everything will lead up to the...
#1 | First Client
You're there! You've made it! What an absolutely amazing feeling to acquire your first client. Who knows what will happen with the outcome of this huge project you took on. All that matters is that you landed your first one! Now it's time to frame that dollar bill and do a little happy dance.
Whether you're screen printing your own t-shirts, running a lawn mowing empire as a teen, or plan rule the world one day, each business has its milestones no matter how small.