Top tips on how to LAUNCH your business.
Getting your business up and running and making all of your ideas come to life is both scary and exciting all rolled into one! I spent two years fantasising about setting up my own business, but I had a well paid job that I had spent ten years working towards, and to be honest the thought of giving up my full time salary and venturing into the unknown was down-right terrifying! How would I pay my bills? Buy a season ski pass? Go on overseas trips? The list was endless and there was always an excuse as to why it wasn't a good time to start a business.
My now husband and I decided to quit our corporate jobs and book one way tickets to Mexico with just our surfboards. We spent the year following the pacific coast through central and south America and it was over a mojito in El Salvador that my business plan started forming. By the time we got down to Colombia, I was setting up my own website! After 12 months of travelling, we arrived back in New Zealand and I had $400 in the bank. It was now or never!!! I had nothing to loose apart from the contents in my backpack. I finally had no excuses - I wasn't attached to a full-time salary and I didn't have any financial commitments! Frame Retail was finally up and running. It's now been 18 months and the company had a very successful first year of business. I have since opened another company, The Social Project Agency, which is a social media and influencer marketing agency, with a team of six behind myself and my business partner.
Life is incredibly busy (as we also bought a puppy within the last year!) but very satisfying. That's why I have decided to share with you my top tips on how to get your business venture up and running!
Good is good enough.
You can spend forever trying to get everything perfect for your launch. There's always something to do before you are "ready". There are website pages to add, bios to write, photos to take, prices to determine, social media platforms to set up, and so on. The best advice I came across was that "good is good enough". Once you have everything ready to a point that you are happy with, JUST LAUNCH IT! There will be plenty of time to refine your offer, website and prices. In fact, once you are open and speaking with clients, you will get feedback which will help you determine the finer details.
You have an amazing network of friends and family who are all going to support you with your business! So make sure, that you tell everyone around you about what you are doing and how you are doing it. When someone asks you what you have been up to- tell them about your business. They will be your biggest cheerleaders and will be only to keen to recommend you someone when they get the opportunity. The most powerful form of marketing is a personal recommendation!
Always refer back to your business plan.
I use my business plan as an on going document and I have set it up as a workbook. Don't just write your strategy and then file it away, always refer back to what your initial ideas were and look at your expected timeline! You may be pleasantly surprised at how you are progressing and remember a great idea that you had back when you were in full-time planning mode.
Listen to the market.
Once you have opened your business, it's important that you listen to what the market are responding too. Ask clients for feedback and be open to letting go of a service that is not working. When I first set up The Social Project, we were offering social media and media buying. Social media took off but media buying didn't so we dropped media buying and put all of our resources into building up our social media packages. Clients were also constantly asking if we designed websites.... so we started designing websites!
Once you have launched your business, you will realise that it's not so scary! In fact, it's incredibly satisfying, rewarding and you will never look back. Just create a good business plan and remember that; good is good enough...just launch it and tell everyone about it!