These kinds of headlines are the best. You know you’re going to get something good (hopefully), but you aren’t exactly sure what. I won’t keep you in suspense. Here’s what to expect in the next few minutes. I’m outlining six ways I wish I could have jump-started my small business with, however many years ago. These are things I’ve learned or honed over time. Additionally, you’ll find links to resources and opportunities to implement today. If you aren’t ready to implement yet, no problem! You can bookmark this page and come back anytime.
I know the sounds totally obvious, but so many people miss this. dreaming about and creating a new business along with the graphics, branding, logo, and defining your audience is the fun, glittery part. The hard part comes when you have to put that first offer out or post for the first time on social. just like I tell my clients, just do it. It doesn’t matter if it sucks or looks terrible. although, please proofread before you post if you can.
Everyone started at the bottom at some point. Even the big names had moments where they weren’t polished or perfectly professional. It’s going to be ok!
Do you know how many people never test or research their ideas? We get really excited about this amazing thing we’re going to do and jump straight in. Now I know in the last bullet I told you to just start. However, if you don’t know if people want what you’re offering, but it doesn’t matter if you start.
Market research can help you determine if your offer is something the world is ready for. If you haven’t heard this term yet it basically means validating your idea. I’m not talking about if Uncle Charlie says it’s a good idea. I’m talking about having conversations with your ideal audience and proving your idea with the people that will actually buy. It will probably take more than one conversation and some time.
If you are starting a business or a service that you know is offered in your area. You will need to be clear on your unique value proposition and about who you’re targeting. Not sure how to start your market research? You can book a free 20 min chat with me here and we can workshop a strategy together.
Building relationships early in your business will make all the difference in the years to come. Things really took off for me when I focused on building relationships.
For those of you working online only right now, this means connecting to people within your local community if you can. I found that having a blend of healthy relationships virtually and in my geographical community made all the difference in my success. Business relationships are a two way street so be sure you are connecting and developing relationships with people you want to support and potentially refer.
You can start with your local chamber, local networking groups, and asking your local friends and family who they think you should meet. You may need to ask for the connection or introduction. When someone offers to introduce you to their connection, say yes! Finally, be sure to follow up and let the connector know you go the ball rolling. Get more info on how to leverage relationship marketing here.
Say Thank You
Better yet, send a thank you note. when someone helps you like providing an introduction, saying thank you goes a long way. I’ve also sent thank you notes after working with someone. Taking the time to send a customized thank you note (or gift) does a few things. It lets the other party know you
- Value the experience
- Understand what it means to build relationships
Additionally, sending a thank you note leaves a warm and fuzzy feeling after you have moved on to other opportunities. If you ever have to ask for a referral or recommendation, they will be more likely to say yes. Finally, saying thank you is a lost art form that is an important part of doing business and being human. Not sure how to start a thank you letter? Go here for a few tips to get started.
Tell Your Friends About Your New Small Business
I can’t stress this one enough. Even if you think your friends are watching everything you do (they might be), they aren’t thinking about the newest thing you started. It can take hundreds of touches before someone decides to buy. This means that they need to hear/see/feel your offer over and over again. This doesn’t mean spam your friends. Nobody likes a spammer.
Your friends care what you’re doing and they may know someone who needs what you are offering. Don’t be afraid to talk about your business if they ask or share a fun update or win. This is a mistake I’ve made for many years. Don’t be like me 😝 Not sure how to start that conversation? You can book a free 20 min chat with me here and we can workshop a strategy together.
SCORE – Free Resource
This has nothing to do with sports. SCORE is a non-profit dedicated to helping people start successful small businesses. You are matched with a mentor based on what you are looking for and their expertise. Your Mentor will answer questions, help get answers, and provide advice based on their decades of business experience. Each Mentor is vetted and reviewed.
Personally, I didn’t know SCORE was a resource when I started my first business. I wish I had. Now when people ask me about how to start a business, I suggest they check out SCORE first. They can answer many of your questions and help you get started the right way. You can find out more information on how to get started here.
I’m so glad you asked! Now you go off and make a plan and do the thing. Also, joining a cowork (like this one) or a similar community will help you find more people to connect with! The most important thing you can do for yourself right now is continue showing up and re-committing to your business everyday. We can help you do that! Get the details on membership at ConnectWork on Main here.