How to start your own business?

I want to share guidance on how to start up your own company business, and how to be successful. So you want to run your own business, you have an idea or have a hobby that you love. And you have found a way to monetise and you might be thinking where to start.  Whilst there is no specific answer because every business faces different challenges, tasks at all different stages.

There is a place that you can build your foundations from and these are my suggestions to help you start your journey on the path to success. I will discuss elements, their importance, what they are for and who they relate to. But remember this is only a guide and the steps may not be in the right order for you. Many people wonder whether they have to go all out. And dedicate all their time and quit their day job in order to run a successful business from home but this is not true.

Whilst having more time will help you build your empire quicker, a financially stable job that lends you some free time on the side and stability could be helpful. These funds will help with investment, and later on, can give you a huge boost. The things that I am going to share with you, I have used and implemented into my own businesses. Whilst they are very successful, they were not made overnight. They were built just like any house – one brick at a time.

1. Business Research

Assuming you already know what you would like to do. The first thing that you should do with your business is research. This is a huge part of building the foundation of your company. You will need to figure out what you are going to call your company name, asking others for advice is key for this. You will need to listen to criticism carefully as audiences are giving you something valuable. Put your emotions, and feelings aside, they are not needed here.

Do not expect perfection on the first run! To gather ideas you can study your competitors, what are they doing that you like, how can you modify it in a way that it can be used in your company.  In no way am I suggesting that you should steal content, as this would cause you to possibly be sued for copyright infringement. However, if your competitor has a blog, and you like it as an idea, you could create a blog that is similar or indifferent.

I love to read and so would suggest you to purchase a book on the topic of your company. This will help you quickly become an expert, and will give you more ideas which can later be added to your to-do lists. You can carry out lots of research via the internet from competitors, and experts. Once you have done a lot of research on other businesses like yours. Also ensuring you have written down your ideas, to-do lists, and have decided on a brand/company name you should get started on your logo.

 2. Logo

Remember your logo is very important, it's how people will see your product, service and so you should ensure that it is not rushed. You essentially have two options. You can either pay a professional designer to make one for you letting them know your ideas, colour scheme, etc. There is a website called Fiverr where you can pay these professionals for a service.

  • If you have some previous experience making some logos and you think that you could make something that would represent your company well. If it is of high quality, and understand formats, sizes then you can make the logo yourself. When making your logo you should plan your colour scheme beforehand, this is because certain colours can make your customer feel a certain way.

For example, fast food restaurant chains usually use red as it can promote hunger and increase appetite. Whereas blue is associated with trustworthiness and security. What font will you use? Something thin and retro or bold and strong. Once you have made the logo you will need a PNG file and a JPG file in high-resolution quality.  A PNG file is an image format type that has a transparent background. This is in case you would need to use the logo later on, on your website. it’s needed when you would like your logo to sit nicely against a coloured background.

The JPG file will be used for when a white background will suffice. If you want to use your logo for social media, you may have to adjust the size and the white space so that nothing gets cut out.

3. Social Media & Website

It is free to set up social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. This should be done as early as possible. I recommend once you have decided on your unique company name and have your official logos.

The reason I suggest you do this early on is that you want to make sure that you secure the pages. If your company does well, you may have someone try to steal your name and intellectual property. If they take the official name for your social media it could affect your performance and a lot of your traffic could go to them. Also as soon as your company starts running, you may develop a following of customers and you do not want to lose any fan base through not acting quickly.

Social media is also good for engaging with potential customers, at the beginning you should not constantly try to sell to them. You will need to first provide a heap of value, this can be in the form of free information such as linking to articles you have written or providing information on your products, or perhaps a story. The more time people spend with your brand, learning about you, your values and your mission.

The more likely it is that they will spend money with you later on. Build up your reputation, and develop interested readers. Once people are educated enough on your company, and you have established yourself in the market. You can then begin to sell low-cost products with the intention of selling higher-priced goods later or give away a free trial to your service.

Is a website important?

The website is definitely a must but it is not needed as much early on, as it can cost quite a lot to set up and can consume a lot of time. It will be the main hub for your company. Used for storing information, gallery, blogs and will be your main source of advertisement representing and sharing your image across Google. If you decide not to get a website straight away, there are no worries I didn’t get mine for the first 3 years.

Choosing a domain name

It might be worth securing the domain so no one else can steal it, and so that it is ready to use. Another reason you may want to secure the domain as early on as possible is that If you are using a domain name registered in the past three months, pages on this website are likely to appear lower in search engine results than those from websites that have a more established domain name.

Also, domain names don’t have to be expensive, they can usually be purchased for around £0.99 for the first year. However, if the domain is a more popular one it may already be owned and could be resold for a high amount of money, I’ve seen some available for thousands of pounds even.

A domain is the name of the website for example: https://www.carvedculture.com

The domain name is really important and shouldn’t be decided quickly. The name should try to fit the article topics that you are going to write about, consider our domain, for example, child blogs – two words we have: child which can relate to parenting, pregnancy, birth, school, recipes for the family, health, saving money, family housing and activities. The next word is Blog which insinuates that we write which we do, but it can also be interpreted as blogging, journalism, advertisement, advice, support, and others.

If we look at them both together we see our niche which is revolved around offering parental advice which supports child development. If you wanted to go that step further you find synonym related to your domain and use those in your topics too.

What platform do you build a website on?

You could start making your website on WIX for free. Improving it and preparing it for when you’re ready to take the leap! However, from experience from using WIX with two different companies, I transferred away from them both times. I transferred my online store to Shopify and my blog to WordPress.

I had problems with both of my sites with WIX being extremely slow. I found that a lot of pages weren’t getting indexed by Google. That meant that I was getting little to no traffic, which is kind of the point of a website.

I went on a search to find out why it was slow and found out from various analysers online that it was slow due to excessive coding. This was likely related to the drag and drop interface that they use. However, if you want to edit the code with WIX you literally cannot. You have limited functionality, limited plugins and it was very difficult to build it without it crashing.

Shopify cost me more for an online store but the website had much more to offer. It was fast, modern looking, easy to build and the support team was available 24/7 to help with any issues. Lastly, the functionality was limitless if you could code it or find a coder, anything is possible.

Which one should you go for Shopify or WIX?

None of them, that’s right, and here’s why. Whilst if you are building an online store, Shopify is much better. This is because you have a complete website that has tons of functionality.

It will be fully editable, but comparing it to WIX, it does cost a lot more. – WIX costs about £150 per year and Shopify costs around £348. WordPress, however, can be perfect as an online store and as a blogging site.

With near enough the same functionality as Shopify, with 1000’s of plugins, great support depending on your web host (I recommend Bluehost) – all at a fraction of the price – My WordPress website costs me £90 for three years, this works out at £30 per year, that costs only 10% of a Shopify store. With the £300 that you save each year, you could invest back into your company to get a better theme,  and some paid plugins.

After you have built your website there are a lot of principles that you will need to learn and implement to be successful. I have listed them on how to start your own blog – It goes into depth with how to monetise your website, getting more traffic, how to choose keywords, common mistakes people make, etc.

4. Planning

I would say that planning is one of the most important aspects of running a business. With careful planning you will succeed, with careful planning you cannot fail. Plan your workday, to-do lists, products, services, research. And write up a business plan, plan how you will make money. I plan my next workday every evening, adding lots of things onto my to-do list. If you have too much to do and have money spare pay someone else to do it, this is known as leverage. By doing it well you can save your time and get the work completed faster by a professional.

It can be a lot better than hiring full-time staff in financial terms. You should plan investments, seriously be organised and plan everything. Then you start laying these bricks which will give you an overview of the bigger picture. What type of product am I going to sell? Is it handmade? Used? New? Is it eco-friendly? What’s my mission? How will it change customers life? How can it help them?

These are questions that you should be asking yourself. Question yourself and put yourself in your customers’ shoes, these are things that should be included on your website. When selling products you should ensure great quality images, and accurate description (think keywords)

If you are not selling products, then how are you going to make money? Through the use of adverts, affiliate marketing, online courses, YouTube monetisation, and more, so think big. There are so many ways to make money online you just have to know how. Once you are successfully earning money from your business, congratulations!

5. Registering your business & Tax

You will need to register your business with the government. You will need to start tracking all money coming in and all the money going out that is related to your business. I recommend setting up a new bank account. This will help you not get confused with personal finance and work finance. You will need to save all invoices and each year submit a tax return via self-assessment. I remember my first tax return, I remember feeling the stress but it was for no reason.

The first time doing anything is difficult but every year it gets easier. If the documents get too much for you, you can always hire an accountant. It may even save you money if you are earning a lot. Register your business now.

6. Investments

Any investment is a risk, but you can keep all investments as low risk by diversification. This is a process of spreading out investment, by spreading it you essentially lower the risk of failure. This is because if one fails, another might succeed. As the famous saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

You should never take a huge gamble unless you want to lose everything. Play it smart, be safe and only spend money that you can afford too.

Final advice on making your own business

Look at your numbers, your stats don’t lie. Check your financial situation, your previous tax return, and create breakdowns of money. Figure out where and in what categories you are losing money, or where your time is going. Change it so that you don’t do it again next year.

If your business is making more money than your day job, it may be worth taking it up full time. Just remember, treat it like a job. Working full hours 9-5, you must treat it like a job if you want it to pay off! I wish you the best of luck.

Before you start your own company I recommend that you check out our article on the top 10 ways to save money. This blog will give you lots of tips to help you save as much as possible. You can then begin using it to invest in your company and help you get that boost that you need.

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