~ Contains previously gifted product in photos from Busy B ~
Over the past year, my business has become a huge part of my life and something I had always dreamed of doing way before I even took the plunge into the self-employed world. Before you even started a business, whilst it is such an exciting feeling, it is also such a daunting process and can feel incredibly scary before you launch.
A little bit of back story. I run a social media management business helping business owners and entrepreneurs grow their online presence through content creation, community engagement and marketing strategies. It is something that wouldn’t have been possible without this blog so I owe it a lot.
I wanted to share my experience and tips on how I started my business from a service-based business. Of course, a product-based business will be a slightly different experience from what I’m going to share and everyone’s experience of launching a business in-general will be different because we’re not all the same and we work in different ways
But this is how I started my business!
I created a business plan
Back in the summer of 2018, I put together a business plan for my business but because I didn’t actually start my business until April 2019, I had a lot of updating to do at the beginning of 2019 to make it current to how I was feeling a few months later and what I wanted my business to involve.
Having a business plan really helped me to get everything out of my head, down onto paper and to actually put my ideas into a plan that I could refer back to. I got to know my thoughts, dreams and passions before I could begin to understand my business inside out.
Doing this gives you a good idea of most aspects of your business from the services you’re going to offer and the type of people you want to work with to the purpose of your business and how you’re going to market yourself.
It’s such a helpful thing to do and a must for everyone who is planning on starting a business. It really gets you to completely understand what your business is going to be and how you’re going to get there. Plus you can always come back to your business plan whenever you want throughout your journey and switch things up!
I updated my CV
Having a service-based business and being a social media manager, some positions have seen me having to share my CV with potential clients to share my previous experience and qualifications.
I hadn’t updated my CV in so long before starting my business so it was essential I did so as you never know when you might need to show it when applying for any gigs or clients wanting to know more about you.
I made sure that my CV reflected my business in the sense that my skills and experience reflected the services that I could offer clients. This showcases that what you can offer is actually backed up with evidence of when you have demonstrated these skills in the past.
Created a services page and email
Most self-employed people create a website for their business which is something I hope and plan to do in the future but I don’t really have the funds right now to have this blog and a separate website to pay for.
So instead of investing in another website for my business, I set up a services page on my blog so that I can still direct potential clients to find out more about me but in a more budget-friendly way and utilise the space I already have.
If you already have a website and you’re on a budget, then I’d definitely recommend doing this. But if you have the funds, then go for it. A website is a great way to showcase who you are, what you do, what you can offer, as well as sharing further evidence of your work and tips to really entice people into what you can offer to benefit them.
You could also create an Instagram page which I did do but I haven’t used it the past few months as I didn’t find it very beneficial and have found more clients other ways. But Instagram can work amazing for finding new clients and getting your work out there if you have the time to put into it.
I got clear on my branding
Similar to running a blog, a business has to have clear branding so this is something I worked hard on before I launched because I wanted to know my business inside and out, as well as ensuring that my brand really represented me and what I wanted it to.
This includes things like what you stand for, the tone and voice you want to use in your promotions, the colours of your branding, the fonts and styles across your site and any social media.
It’s really good to be consistent with this and showcase what you truly want to be known for. Also, think about what represents your business well and makes sense with what you’re offering, as well as who you want to attract.
I registered as self-employed
Way before you even start earning your first pay-check as a self-employed business owner, you should really register as self-employed. The thought of doing this actually scared me because I had no idea what to do and anything really important like tax is way out of my comfort zone.
But it was actually quite easy to do and after a little googling for help on some stages, it was done and I received confirmation in the post about being a sole trader. I also sent my first tax return recently and it was a process that again I found quite daunting but was pretty straight forward once you did it.
Don’t put it off. Just go for it!
I began reaching out to potential clients
I first landed my first freelance gig as a business owner after applying for a position I had seen on an online freelancing job website. I had applied for a few other positions but hadn’t had much luck until then.
Reaching out can be incredibly scary as you’re having to put yourself out there and sell yourself, showcasing why you’re the person for the job and how your service can benefit them. You can do this through job applications or pitching through emails and messages.
I’ve struggled a lot and still do with confidence and feeling good enough especially when it comes to jobs which is why I was unemployed for so long, but I really did just have to push myself through the fear and truly believe in myself, because if I didn’t then no potential clients would either.
Have you ever wanted to start a business? Or do you have a business?