Many claim that “getting started is the hardest part” which, let’s be honest, isn’t entirely true. With ideas swirling in your head, it can be difficult to know where to even begin.
If you search “how to start a business” online, I can guarantee you’ll be overwhelmed with the amount of information being shared. Before running out and registering your business, building a brand, or worrying about taxes, I recommend starting simple. If the business is something you want to pursue after that, then you can later take the steps to make it legit.
I can’t claim to be an expert, but can share my experiences on building my own business from just an idea into a full time reality. I’m talking to the creatives, the makers, the bloggers, and the Etsy shop owners. Y’all are my people and although I would love to say this advice fits any business model, it may not.
Dreaming of opening a tanning salon or a landscape company? What I’m about to reveal is likely not going to be your best bet – there are liabilities associated with many businesses and my advice shouldn’t apply in these cases. Imagining starting your own photography business, Etsy shop, or social media management company? This advice is for you. Read on, friends.
The biggest secret to getting started is to just do it. I hope I didn’t underwhelm you, but that’s it. Seriously.
Whatever it is you want to sell, you first need to try. Before making major investments (time or money), begin doing. I’m a huge advocate of just going for it, prior to making any big business decisions.
Want to be a photographer? Start taking pictures. Of course, you’ll need a decent camera, but you don’t need to splurge for the best, top of the line equipment yet. Yes, you will want a business name but you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a website in the beginning. Instead of throwing money into advertising, just get out and start taking pictures.
Interested in creating artwork for sale? Get to making. Resist the urge to buy tons of supplies, hire a manager, and a heap of custom designed business cards before even creating. Start designing, painting, or building and get a feel first for what you’re doing.
By skipping the business formalities, and just getting down to it (whatever “it” may be) you can save yourself time and money in the end. So many people think they want to start a business, invest their time and money, and end up failing. Often, blogs are created and left to never be seen again after just a few months. It’s unfortunate, but it happens more often than not. I think that by just getting started, you can truly see if what you plan to do will actually be a good fit as a business and not just a hobby.
When I started my stationery business, I waited almost a year to legitimize everything. At first, it started as a hobby and something I was excited to do. I didn’t decide to start a business and then choose to create stationery; it happened very organically. After realizing I could actually make money, I set up a true website, registered my business name, and hired a CPA. If I planned to keep my Etsy shop as just a hobby, none of the aforementioned would even be necessary. It was once I began to perfect my products that the business began to truly form.
Save Money and Time
I hate to even discuss a biz fail, but if you’re considering starting a business you need to be fully aware that failure is an option. In the unfortunate circumstance that your business doesn’t take off, you will have lost all the money and time you invested to set it up. By just getting started, you’ll be able to measure the success and set up the business accordingly.
To have a successful business, you have to have folks interested in what you’re selling. Start making products or offering services to get an idea if people are even interested. Begin by offering to friends and family to see what reaction those close to you have. If there’s a high level of interest in what you’re doing, you might consider bizzing up sooner rather than later.
When you just go for it, you will discover SO much. You’ll be able to get feedback and critiques, adjust your offerings, and move forward. You will get to work IN the (potential) business and not just ON it. The lessons learned during the first year are often the most valuable. Nothing can replace the experience of just getting started.
Keep track of what works and what doesn’t so you will know what to do moving forward. If you notice that things are going well and you’re ready to really start a business, then go for it! If you’re unsure, assess and revamp as needed. There’s no shame in making changes or going in a different direction than originally planned. All for the good of the biz!
Once you realize you are building a business and not funding a hobby, I encourage you to upgrade your equipment, invest in an awesome website, work with a professional to develop your branding, and wisely spend money advertising. Whatever you need to do to really take it to the next level. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “gotta spend money to make money” and it really rings true. By investing in the business, and yourself, you’ll really see it take off and hopefully grow beyond your dreams!
Questions? Comments? I would love for you to leave ‘em here so we can connect and grow together!
<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/18370275/?claim=9wsy46d8cy3″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>