In the last year many people have jumped off the cliff and into the entrepreneurial pool. It’s an exciting time to go after your dream of owning your own business. It can also be scary and sometimes you don’t even know where to start. Let’s take a look at some of the basics when it comes to being a new business owner.
You’ve Got The Look
Your Logo. A brand is so much more than a logo, but having a professionally designed logo is putting your best foot forward. A well-designed logo should feel like your personality or that of your company. Spend some time developing your message and the visual should represent that story.
The same goes for your website. Your website is a digital representation of who you are and what your organization is all about. Even if your website is not the first place someone learns about you, it’s often where they go to see if you are “legit.” They want to see if you are invested in your business, in your message. Are you dedicated to what you do and how you work with your clients?
Sure, businesses were successful long before we had access to just about any piece of information at the touch of a button. Business happened without an online presence. However, in today’s world, having a website is a symbol of professionalism.
There are many DIY website tools out there, but having professional help goes a long way. If you have that relative who has been promising to build a website for you, “in their spare time.” consider hiring someone whose job it is to build sites. It will save your sanity and possibly even your relationship with your cousin.
What are the technologies that you need to run a business? While there are specifics to every industry, there are some basic requirements.
Email. Your Gmail address is great for planning birthday parties and for online shopping. However, if you want to be taken seriously in business, you need an email address with a company domain. There are many affordable options however, we generally recommend that our clients use Google Workspace (the paid version of Gmail), Office 365, or Zoho Mail.
A Customer Database. It can be tempting to keep a pile of business cards in an old-school Rolodex, but in 2021, digitizing your contacts is the way to go. Using a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) like Zoho CRM is a great option because it helps you keep everything organized and lets you track the progress of prospects. The great thing about a system like this is that it can sync with Gmail or Outlook so you can easily access your phone numbers and email addresses when you need them. I can’t tell you how many people have said they wish they started out with a CRM when they had a small number of contacts. It can be quite a chore to organize hundreds or thousands of names that you have collected over time.
Bookkeeping Software. I work with many CPAs and I promise you they will appreciate it if you aren’t running your business from a shoebox of receipts. Not only that but sending invoices to clients is much easier using a system that also tracks your expenses. We use Zoho Books, but Quickbooks and Xero are also popular options.
Plan to be Flexible.
Once you get your basic infrastructure in order, you’ll want to make sure you have a solid marketing plan in place. How will you attract new customers? How much time and money have you allocated towards marketing? How are you going to measure success?
Once you have a plan, you’ll test it in real life. Don’t be surprised when you need to adjust it along the way. Marketing and business is filled with trial and error, but having a solid starting point can expedite the road to success.
These are just some of the things to consider when launching a new company.
If you need a hand as you develop and grow your business, let’s connect. We would love to be a part of your success.