Going into business for yourself takes guts! I applaud your initiative, and am here to encourage you on.
If you’ve been thinking about this for a while - whether you’re daydreaming at your day-job that you low-key hate, or you find yourself at a crossroads that’s putting pressure on you to decide what happens next for you - this handy guide can help you cut through the overwhelm and zero on a few specific things before you take the plunge.
I’ve seen many people dive straightaway into website building before they’re clear on what they’re doing and I can assure you that at one point or another, that lack of clarity rears its ugly head and grinds everything to a halt.
In this game, it’s one thing at a time. As much as possible, I'd like to save you some headaches by helping you advance in the correct order!
When you’re feeling good about some of the elements below (they don’t all have to be carved in stone, just start putting some ideas to paper!), you’ll be in a good spot to tackle brand-building, business development, and then, the building of your site.
Start By Brainstorming
A few practical ways to pull ideas out of your head:
Make a massive mind map (Google how to do this if you’re not sure!)
Capture your ideas in voice notes on your phone while you’re out walking. Then, at a different time, listen to your recordings carefully. Did you know the mental processes involved in outputting (in this case, talking) are different than the ones needed for inputting (in this case, listening)? You just might surprise yourself by hearing your thoughts and ideas in a different way.
Grab a clean sheet of paper and empty all the stray thoughts out of your head so you can plan more clearly! These cathartic brain dumps are particularly helpful for pulling ideas out of your grey matter so you can take a good look at them from a different perspective. Extra 1000 points: they relieve so much stress that was due to holding it all in your head!
Over the next little while, I’ll be rolling out more hands-on resources and tools to help you along on your journey. Pin this post so you can refer back to it later!
In the meantime, here are 7 things to do before you start making your website:
1. Craft Your Business Vision
What are your unique strengths, interests, personality traits? What inspires you and gives you a sense of purpose? What sorts of problems can you help solve for people?
What will your revenue sources be? What are you selling, exactly?
Who is your target market? Who do you serve with your product or service?
How do you envision letting people know about your new endeavour? What might your marketing tactics be?
2. Dig Deep for Your Why
Be very clear on why you want to do this. When times get hard, it's imperative that your conviction carries you through.
Not sure how to do this? Start here:
3. Know Your Actual, Real-World Timeline
Often, people want to have a website too quickly because they feel 'behind', especially if they've been procrastinating for a really long time (sometimes years).
By they time they get to me, they're antsy and feel like they're in a tremendous rush to get something up online. However, they end up stalling the whole process because they're not prepared.
Going into business for yourself is a marathon, not a sprint. Clarity takes the time it takes! So I ask you, what is the actual timeline for getting this done?
4. Start To Brainstorm Business Names
You may already have a crush on a name - but it is right for your market, for what you offer, and is it available?
Don't get stuck on this, I can help you figure out a good name.
5. Invest In Yourself
Be prepared to invest some money into your business basics, upgrading your skills, and achieving your vision.
There are expensive mistakes to know about and avoid, and thinking traps that make us believe we can just learn and do absolutely everything for free on the internet. Free everything can only get you so far - both these scenarios will cost you dearly in time and eventually, in money.
Sure, starting a business online costs way, way less than a traditional brick-and-mortar business! But there are still costs associated to getting yourself set up properly, not to mention finding help for the areas you need some assistance.
If you've never invested in yourself before, this will take some getting used to!
As I always say, everything you want is outside your comfort zone. So if you're not comfortable investing in yourself, now we're really getting somewhere!
6. Move Beyond Cookie-Cutter Website Templates
A cute template is not enough! Diving straight into any website builder by choosing a nice template and filling in your info just dodges the brand development & marketing strategy you're going to need to make a real go of it.
Nothing about you is generic. Your website shouldn't be either ;-)
I can break it down into steps for you. Learn more and see if working together on your dream business is the right fit.
7. Buckle Up!
Prepare for the adventure of a lifetime! Being in business for yourself will stretch your abilities and challenge you on every level. If this is your first business, you'll need to move from an employee mentality to an entrepreneur mentality. You will grow as a person as your business evolves. It will be the best decision you ever make.
My advice? Do what you can to prepare, and reach out for help on the things you're unsure of.
Just don't keep stalling!
The world needs what you have to offer.
My name is Val; Online Marketing & Personal Branding Coach, Writer, WiX Design Partner, and Mama. If you're a female coach, consultant, entrepreneur-solopreneur or creative visionary looking to build your online presence, you're in the right place! This site is designed to give you tools and guidance to help you on your journey as you craft your vision and establish your business online. If this has been helpful for you, I'd like to invite you to receive more insights right here!
Pin this post and come back to it later!