How to start a business from scratchMarian Esanu
Starting your entrepreneurial journey can seem overwhelming. There are so many things that need to get done, and maybe you don’t know where to start. Don’t worry; I’ve been there too. You’re not alone!
It’s also important to keep in mind that every successful entrepreneur out there has started where you are. That first phase where you’re trying to figure out what course of action should come first. And like I said, it’s overwhelming.
To help you get your entrepreneurial started as early as right now, I’ve put together five steps you need to take to start your business. Now, keep in mind that these are not five steps to master being an entrepreneur. These are not five steps to get you to seven figures. However, I do teach this. These are five steps to simply get you started on your journey to being an entrepreneur that runs their own business.
So, here is how to start a business from scratch:
Step 1: Just Start
This may seem obvious, but it’s as true and effective as anything else you can learn.
You may be someone who has been thinking of starting their own business over the last couple years. Maybe you want to start something on the side of your nine to five job that will earn you some extra income. Or maybe you already have a side hustle, and you want to turn it into a full-time business. Whatever the case may be, the key is to start something!
Now when I say start, I don’t mean go out and invest a ton of money or quit your job to dedicate 100% of your time to this new business of yours. I mean just start something. Sit down, think of your idea, and write down three things you can do today to move the needle in the right direction. No matter how big or small they are, take three actions today that will help your business.
If your idea is to start an e-commerce store, then start it right now. You could do something as simple as start your own Etsy shop to get your name and your products online right away. If you’re not sure how to go about setting things up properly, whether it be on Etsy or somewhere else, you can go onto websites like Upwork and Fiverr, and hire someone to teach you exactly what you should do for your niche. They will be able to give you some more advice on e-commerce site, or that blog you’ve always wanted to start. I’m a strong believer that if you can hire someone to do something ten times faster than you, then just do it and don’t look back. This is a great example of a time when hiring someone to quickly and efficiently get things moving for you would be of extreme benefit.
Step 2: Don’t Quit Your Job
Yes, I know, this probably goes against what most people say about starting a business. You’ll find a lot of literature and resources that tell you to dive in because unless you’re 100% invested, you won’t get anywhere. While there is some merit to this, I suggest taking a different approach.
Why put yourself into debt, when you can simply work your current job to fund your own business, which you will eventually dedicate all your time to once it achieves sufficient growth?
So this applies to people who are currently employed. There are people who were perhaps laid off, so they started their own business or needed to move to another city and couldn’t find work, so again, they started their own business. These are exceptions to the rule. As a general rule, if you’re presently employed, don’t quit to start a business. Keep working to support yourself and further fund your business.
You may hate your job and want to quit more than anything else in the world, but just keep in mind that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This company is essentially your first investor. The money you earn at your job is going directly into your business, which you will eventually be running full-time.
At the end of the day, you need to pay your rent, your mortgage, your car payment, groceries, internet, and everything else that maintains your lifestyle. Your business isn’t going to turn a profit for the first little while, and therefore you need something funding your life and the materials you need to grow your business. You will need software to build your email list; you will need home office supplies, maybe a website. And where will all this money come from if you don’t have a job?
Once your business is generating enough revenue to replace your day job, then you can quit. But, keep in mind that at this point you were earning money from your day job as well as your business. So when you leave your day job, you will be taking a slight hit financially. So keep this in mind when you do make the full transition into an entrepreneur.
Step 3: Focus On One Thing To Sell
I see this a lot with new businesses and entrepreneurs. You have so many ideas and are unsure about what to choose as your one product or service to sell. But that’s what you will be doing, selling. You will be selling your product or service to potential clients. Selling one thing is a lot easier than selling six, seven, eight things.
My suggestion is to pick one thing. Narrow it down and start selling the thing you are strongest at. If you want to sell graphic design, DJ services, and social media management, which are you strongest at now? Whatever your answer is, that’s what you start with. Master selling that one thing. Become an expert and know it like it’s the back of your hand. Once it’s second nature to sell that one product or service, add an upsell or a second offer. That way, you can learn how to sell something new while naturally selling your original offering.
People always say that being an expert at one thing is better than having general knowledge of a bunch of things. People buying products and services want the best, so that’s what you have to be to compete in today’s market.
Step 4: Create A Landing Page
I see a lot of business owners who have been around for a while but don’t have landing pages. They think that having a pristine website is whats important, but what’s crucial is building one page that gathers people’s information. This allows you to start building your email list and in turn, sell more products and services!
In fact, according to Shopify, email marketing had an ROI of 4.3%. This means that even if you only add 200 people to your email list, eight people will buy from you. If you sell a product that’s $500.00, then that’s $4000.00 in sales.
Email is a direct line of communication with your target audience. By building this list, you gain their trust, and they buy from you. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Step 5: Get Traffic
This goes along with step 4 when I discussed having a landing page. That landing page needs traffic for you to grow your list. You can do this by advertising your page on your social media, which would be organic traffic. Or, you can use paid advertising on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc. This also goes along with not quitting your job because if you want to grow your list quickly, then the best option is to pay for advertising. You need money for this.
If you’re not familiar with advertising, setting up pages, and using sales funnels, then it might be a good idea to hire someone. Again, if you can pay someone to do it more efficiently, then do it! This individual could create your ads, monitor the success of these ads, and free up that time so you can do other mission-critical activities.
You can also join social networking groups where you can join in on conversations that are related to the products or services you are offering. There are countless groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that you could join. The key is to make sure you’re providing value. Work to answer someone’s question and provide them with your product or service as the solution. If you’re selling a t-shirt, you probably won’t be able to solve a problem. But if you’re selling a t-shirt that helps prevent chafing while running, then look for that problem in a runner’s group. Provide them with the solution and a link to your landing page. The more value you provide, the more people will want to listen to what you have to offer, and in turn, visit your page.
Just Follow These Steps
Like I said at the beginning of this article, these are not steps that will help you master being an entrepreneur or get you to a million dollars. These are actionable steps that you can take right now to start your entrepreneurial journey. Once you start your journey with these steps, you can then take more strategic steps to get yourself to a seven-figure business that will change your life.