Between a global pandemic, racial injustices and an economic downfall, it’s no wonder that you’re considering going into business for yourself. To many, this is a dream, but to most, it’s also very intimidating. Regardless of the fact that there is a wealth of information online, without the proper guidance, support, experience and understanding of the terminology, it can be difficult to know which way to turn when it comes to pushing out your brand to the masses and achieving steady growth.
I’m here to tell you, don’t let that stop you!
Michelle Obama once said, “I have been at every powerful table you can think of … They are not that smart,” and I felt that message in my soul. I clearly haven’t been at the tables that she’s been at, but I’ve also sat down with some extremely educated, extremely powerful and extremely wealthful professionals — and I was not that impressed. I don’t say that to put anyone down or to imply that I’m better than anyone. I mean it to say that sometimes we make the assumption that because of where someone else is in life, they must have some knowledge, resources or connections that we don’t have, which is why I can’t get there. This is absolutely not the case.
The absolute only thing they all had in common in that room is that at some point in life, they took a chance — and when things didn’t work out, they took another one. Then they continued to take chances until something finally did work out. So, here are my three tips for anyone wondering what you need to start a business.
1. Utilize Free Marketing Avenues
Social media marketing is certainly a highly-effective way to reach your audience with absolutely no budget. Every small business owner should create and execute a social media strategy. This means focusing intently on the consistency, quality and content that you publish online. You also need to know which platforms your audience are on and deliver content to them in a way that they can consume it.
Stop writing posts that are eight paragraphs long on Facebook if your audience prefers to receive their information from watching videos. Finding subtle ways to amplify amazing content is not only unbelievably effective, but it fits into any budget of a small business owner. Once you master that, it’s an amazing feeling when you go from having to struggle to reach your audience, to having them reach out to you.
2. Embrace Trial and Error
I could have put myself through Harvard law school twice with the amount of money that I’ll never see an ROI on. I’ve lost money by hiring the wrong people for jobs, signing up for different software and not using them, paying for ads that weren’t reaching my audience — this list could literally cover the back of a CVS receipt and I’d still need room to add more.
With these experiences, I was able to learn everything about what not to do. I learned how to adapt, improve and overcome obstacles. If you want to try something but don’t know where to start, then just start with what you know. Don’t worry so much about it not working out or wasting money. You’ll gain wisdom through it all which will replace everything that you lost.
3. Expand Your Knowledge
Getting started is a hard spot for any new business owner, especially if it’s your first time. You have to sink a lot of your money into something that you don’t know will work out. It’s easy to become discouraged when you aren’t making any sales or getting any clients. As the business owner, it is your responsibility to yourself and your business to always seek out guidance. Whether this means taking a business class, watching videos online, following professionals on social media or hiring a coach, you must be persistent and intentional about getting out of your own way and finding the information that you need.
I spoke with Candace Holyfield, widely recognized as “The Six Figure Spa Chick,” who stated that “A coach saves you so much time and money. My success took longer because I didn’t have a coach, so I had to learn from the many mistakes that I made.”
You'll be amazed at where you can end up when you just start. But wherever that is, I promise it won't be in the same place. Focus on your audience, keep your expenses low, embrace trial and error, and always seek and implement knowledge. The only thing standing in the way of you and your awesome business idea is you.