Let’s keep it 100, starting a business can be a scary thing. The idea of it is exciting, but transforming that idea into reality can be overwhelming.
Here are 10 steps to making building your empire a breeze:
Create a Business Plan
Those who don’t plan, only plan to fail. A business plan is necessary when building a successful business. Don’t let the idea of a business plan as long as the Old Testament scare you. The type of business plan you’ll need will vary, however it is necessary to use as a guide to keep you on track or as a way to obtain business funding.
LivePlan is an amazing platform that allows you to create a business plan with ease.
Choosing your sales platform
Now that you have a plan in motion, you need to figure out how you are going to sell your product or service to your prospective customers.
I cannot stress this enough, if you are selling a product(s), please for the love of God use SHOPIFY! It will save you time and money and it will take your business to the next level. Shopify is an e-commerce platform that is integrated with everything you need to skyrocket your business.
However, if you are developing a service based business Wix is a great option.
When choosing a sales platform keep in mind your monthly business budget.
Building your site can be a challenging task if you don’t have the experience or know how to do so. Relax. Let us take the guesswork out of it for you.
Picking a name for your business
This is the easy part of starting a business - choosing your business name. Make sure you choose a name that you are absolutely in love with and that is aligned with your brand values. Also, make sure it’s a name that you can say with confidence and pride in your heart. You should be comfortable with screaming it from the rooftops.
The process of choosing a name will probably take a while, but don’t sweat it. If you need help, check out Namelix. It’s an awesome business name generator.
Creating a cohesive brand aesthetic
Curating your brand aesthetic is all about developing your brand’s own personal style while keeping your ideal customer in mind. Think about the colors, fabrics, clothing, jewelry, food, etc that would appeal to them.
Even those things might seem a little weird to think of as essential to developing your brand aesthetic, they are. These things hold immense importance because they allow for aesthetic cohesion - meaning that all your items should fit together while telling a story that attracts and captures the attention of your customers.
Your products should look unified when on a screen together and all give off the same vibe. Think about the “story” you want your products to tell. Who are they for? Also, think about color psychology. Different colors evoke different emotions. Research why other businesses use certain colors in their brand.
If you need help developing your brand aesthetic head over to our Pinterest Page for some inspiration.
Creating/Choosing products that stand out
When displaying your products make sure that they are well photographed without a busy and distracting background; always let your products be the star of the show.
Money is in marketing. Marketing is extremely important. Your customers buy with their eyes. If a customer sees a product on your Instagram timeline 3 or 4 times a day, they will most likely engage with your site.
Now that you have them on your page, you have to provide them with something worth following you. Make sure your content is clear and clean. Put yourself in their shoes, would you purchase based off your page? For example, if you are selling waist trainers, make sure to have clear close up pictures of your model wearing the waist trainer. Do not use stock photos.
If you want to market on a budget, Amazon will be your new best friend.
Now that you have a clear idea of the type of products you want to sell and your brand aesthetic, it’s time to start finding vendors that will provide you with high quality products to sell. We have taken the guesswork out of it for you by curating reliable and verified vendors lists
When contacting the vendors, always ask for a sample before ordering in bulk to see if the quality and style matches your brand aesthetic. Make sure to make cost effective decisions based on your business plan.
Shipping & Order Fulfillment
Having a plan for how you will be shipping your products to your customers is essential, if your shipping costs are too high you’ll lose customers. On the flip side, if they’re too low you’ll cut into your profit margins and instead of running a business you'll be running a charity.
If you plan on handling the shipping yourself, make sure that the customer covers the cost of shipping or that you include the cost of shipping within your product pricing.
Another option is dropshipping. When contacting potential vendors, you can ask if they offer dropshipping. Dropshipping takes the burden off you shipping the product to the customer in addition to you storing the product. The major difference is that you are relying on a third party for your order fulfillment.
Social Media and marketing are like peanut butter and jelly, they go hand in hand when building your business. Take full advantage. Use Facebook and Instagram to start (as you can link them together), but don’t sleep on Pinterest.
Starting a blog on your site is also a great way to position yourself as a leader within your niche (hmmm, I wonder why I’m writing this blog post?). Blog posts help with driving traffic to your website, while increasing your credibility. As more people find your brand through various links you will solidify your brand.
Run your social media like a business, make sure your social media accounts are business accounts. Reach out to social media influencers and promo pages to promote your page. Engage with your customers. Post interactive posts at least once a day and 3 or 4 posts a day. Remember to look at your insights to determine the best times to post based on your audience.
Using hashtags is also a great way to generate traffic.
For more social media tips, check out our Pinterest Page.
Brand Ambassadors and User Generated Content
To get more exposure for your brand, it’s a good idea to look into obtaining Brand Ambassadors that can create user generated content (UGC). Contact a youtube blogger or Instagram influencer that aligns with your brand ideals and your customer interests. Send them a sample of your product, offer them a discount code and request that they share it with their followers.
Another route is paying for promo.
If you need help finding brand ambassadors, check out the Brandsnob app.