Has starting your business been on the list for a while now? Make 2018 the year you actually do it. This post is designed to help you overcome some of those obstacles to just getting started. Take the leap. Climb that ladder rung. Create your life. All the things and catchy phrases. What if we made THIS the year for it all to happen?
There are few things you can do or consider to get your business started sooner rather than later. Because trust me, your dreams won’t wait and time keeps ticking over. I’m hoping you can get clear on a few things, manage some of your expectations and the things getting in your way, and make this the year you go for it. Ready?
How will you make a living?
One of the main considerations for most people starting a business is how will you make a living. How indeed? It can be difficult to imagine replacing your current income with business income. I get that. But now is the time to try. Taking the pressure off your business replacing your entire income for the early stage is a mental win.
Before you get started it’s worth giving some thought to whether you’ll be full-time or part-time in your business to start. If you’re leaving a job, perhaps you have some annual leave owing, so find out how much that is. If you’re working for the moment, it’s time to start putting some money aside into savings.
What business are you in?
We went through this in the recent post about business planning for the new year. Maybe you skipped over that post thinking it was only for established businesses. Well, wrong. This is a great place to start to get clear on what business you are in. Because if you’re not clear you’re never going to be able to tell someone else.
This could be THE most important step in starting your business this year. Taking the time to plan out your goals, income needs, your brand voice, ideal customer and strategies for growth will literally create the foundation for your business. So don’t skip over it. Make the time, do the work, and your entire way forward will be clear.
What do you need?
We’ve talked about money, but it’s worth knowing how much you’re going to need month by month. Sitting down and figuring that out might actually make the prospects of starting easier.
It’s not just money, though, consider what you will need in terms of resources. Not the things you want, the things you need to get started. Work out what you have and what is still missing. This goes for things like branding elements such as logos, websites and any images. If you’re planning on taking your own photos to represent your business, make sure you read our guide for taking better photos first!
As a blogger and budding photographer, there is a list a mile long of things I want. But the things I need to run my business are actually pretty small.
Give me a camera, computer, the internet and a couple of pieces of software and I’m good to go. Making that list can also be an incentive too. If there are items you want, set goals or targets and buy them when you reach that milestone or goal.
To finance or not to finance?
As a start-up, you need to consider what money you are going to need to get started. Can you dip into savings or will you need to take out a loan? Maybe it’s something you can do with very little capital to speak of. This will depend on you and the type of business you’re looking to start, obviously.
My husband started his business with a $5k credit card. Not ideal, but it got him the equipment he needed and ultimately meant the business, backed by us, had a ‘finance history’ off the bat. My business, this blog and the associated social media consultancy, was started with nothing. No nest egg or loan, I had all I needed already in the form of a laptop and a camera.
Seek advice from those who know.
There are plenty of people who will tell you what to do. Plenty of people who will tell you not to do this, to play it safe and stick with your job. Heaps of them. I don’t mean taking advice from those people. Maybe stop listening to them all together, they won’t help you.
I mean, professionals. Actual legitimate professionals.
Find a small business accountant or financial advisor. Someone who has experience in business who can advise you on the basics of setting one up. From there you spend some time online registering things and then open bank accounts. Yes, separate ones. Yes, that’s as important as it is annoying.
The best thing I ever did for any of our businesses over the years was to get a small business specialist accountant. David and his team have been invaluable to me along the way. Even though they probably have wanted to strangle me on more than one occasion.