So you’re planning to launch your business.
If you’re here, you most likely already know the goals you have for your business, the product or service you want to create and an idea of how to get it out there. Or – there’s also a possibility you have no idea where to start and are currently frozen, unsure of where to go from here.
Either way, I hope this first steps guide will help you get those feet moving to bring your business to fruition. One thing I should note is that I am a shoestring business builder. I try to start everything I create for less than $100. While you don’t HAVE to do it this way and I will share options that would definitely add a zero (or two) to that number, I wanted to be clear that the option to shoestring a business startup is always there.
I am creating step-by-step guides for various niche businesses in the Launch. Scale. Grow. community.
In the meantime, here’s how to get started right now…
The Basic Things You Need for a Business
- An idea for your business
- A product, service or monetization idea
- A business name (sometimes this is just your name)
- A website (sometimes, but not always)
I feel like they really do go in that order. Sometimes you have the product because you have that ah-ha moment, but for the average entrepreneur, you get the idea before you have the product/service.
An Idea For Your Business
If you’re here, you most likely already have this one down, but it’s worth mentioning that having an idea means it’s now time to dig into the research side.
How many people are looking for your product?
How many people are on similar websites / social media platforms that are looking for or creating a similar product?
You might find that there are very few people looking or that there are thousands. You might also find that there is a similar product already on the market. Neither of them matter. I built two six figure businesses, one with a five figure a month recurring subscription income, with a niche that had less than 200 searches per month. And, there’s always room for a new and improved product that meets the needs of customers.
A Product or Service
Maybe you want to sell t-shirts, maybe you want to sell digital designs.
Maybe you want to offer a service, or maybe you’re happy promoting other peoples products.
There are so many ways to build your business – and there’s no wrong way to do it. But, we’re in the ideas portion with this post and my goal here is to get you thinking about potential ways to make money with your business.
A Business Name
The minute your business has a name, you have a desire to breathe it to life.
There are a few things you need to consider when you’re narrowing down your business name.
- Not sure where to start with your name? I love using BrandBucket.com to get ideas.
- Is the domain name and social media platforms available for the name you’ve chosen? I use NameChk for this, but keep in mind that they do not run checks on Instagram, so you’ll have to check that one yourself.
- Check to see if the name you’re choosing is protected by a Trademark. You will want to avoid this even if the name is outside of the category you’ll be working in. Talk to legal counsel about this one if you want to go for a different category.
The most important to me – is the name going to get me into legal trouble now or down the road. I had a friend with a successful social media presence and blog who was nearly shut down over a brand who claimed there could be brand confusion – even though one was a baby product line and the other was an autho. Another friend was completely shut down – they were both bloggers. The difference? One had a trademark to protect their brand and the other didn’t.
Obviously trademarks are expensive, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that when your brand grows, you will want to protect your name.
With that said, I recommend you check the trademark database for your business name.
The type of website you will need for your business will depend on the type of business you’re launching. Do you need an ecommerce website? How about a blog? Do you need the ability to take subscriptions? There are many options out there.
There are expenses associated with having a website. You should expect to pay a monthly fee for hosting and a yearly fee for your domain name. If you are accepting payments, you’ll most likely pay a percentage for your payment processor and in some cases like with Shopify, they also take a cut of your sales.
If you’re considering a website, you should look into:
- Website hosting