26 Tips you might need to know before you start a business.
1. Find a good business idea and demand. Really speaking you want something you already know and are good at so you got more chance of winning your space. Next you will need to pick a good name for your business. Tip. Try and get a name and a domain name under 8 characters. Longer names can work, but they need to go together and be memorable.
2. Before you buy that desired domain name, check and get all your social media business account names. Twitter, Facebook, Google, You-Tube, Linked-in and so on.
Tip 1. Never use your own email for them. Get a new email account first.
Tip 2. Get the (.com) and (.co.uk) or someone will try to sell it back to you for a big cost.
3. Check if somebody has already registered that business name. Check for local trademarks and check with companies house. Each country will have different places to register trademarks and names. Please do your homework with a quick Google search.
4. If you know your business will work and you have a good chance of winning, then I think it’s a good idea to reserve your name with companies house. If you live in the UK. Other countries might be different.
5. After you register your business name you will need to know and check if your logo can be registered for what you want it for. Just because you want the name “coffee 10” doesn’t always mean you can have that. The trademark office get funny and never let you register some names or logos that describes your business. If you got a coffee shop and call it the yellow house then this should be ok. But if you call it coffee 10 or the coffee shop then you might have trouble. Talk to trademark specialists about this first.
Some people can get around this so please see a trademark specialist that can fix this for you. It’s also a good idea to call your trademark office and ask them what you want to do. The trademark office is full of friendly and very helpful people that love to help.
6. Get a good web developer from day one. Your developer will eventually know your business more than anyone. You need one that will work with you 100% of the way so you deliver the best user experience for your customers. You never want one that only works with your money. Your developer can sometimes be the difference from your success or failure online.
Please note that a bad website is not the only reason that can stop you from succeeding. Build a MVP and test your business before spending money. Some people use kickstarter.com to test ideas first. This secret trick could save you from going bankrupt.
7. Get a good graphic designer from day one to design your logo. This is what people will see and remember forever. Appreciate the knowledge of others. Graphic designers didn’t go to uni to look pretty party. They specialise in something that the mind needs when advertising. It needs to be done correctly for people to trust your business.
8. Write 20 blog posts for your website from day one to get you ranking slowly. Keep adding more each week. Or pay someone to do them to save you time. Learn how to do SEO and headlines and know how to write a blog before you post it. Make people feel and taste what you sell in your ads. I have some books in my book store that might help you.
9. Never have bad designs on social media. Canva.com is my choice for websites and social media designs. Please use a graphic designer for logos and your homepage. If you can afford a graphic designer to do all your work then I recommend it. Please remember that you log can be used for all advertising campaigns in the future.
10. If you get all your work from social media, then try and get a strong following and post over 40 times before you even spend money to promote your page and ad. Post 80% images and 20% offers so people and Google can see that your page is active. Ps. Please buy some training before you advertise on Facebook. Never guess how to do this.
I’m not saying this will work for everyone, but it can work if you do it right. You also need to ask yourself this. Will you want traffic, sales, or brand awareness? End with a strong call to action and tell people what to do next. If you ask people with a CTA they will more and likely do it if the ad is for them and they feel apart of that page or ad.
11. Make sure your website is evergreen work when you first start out online. You never have to keep going back to it all the time to change things. This tip will save you time and money later when you’re too busy with the business.
Evergreen means things that never have dates or run out. The last thing you want to be doing is paying for more videos from me or people you pick that need new open times or logos that need to be changed if you’re on a budget.
You can make more videos and designs when you grow your business and make more money.
12. Make sure all your information on your site is in the right place. Don’t ever stuff all your info on the homepage. Someone that needs a plumber fast don’t give two monkeys about your dog’s name. If people want this information then they will go find it and look in the right places themselves. Treat your business like a business and it will pay you like a business. Treat it like a hobby and it’ll pay you like a hobby.
13. Get professional business cards from day one. Don’t go for the cheap free ones. They can work yes I agree. But professional business cards will always pay off better.
14. Attend the right networking events if this fits your business. You can meet some of the best contacts that can help grow your business in networking events. This has a process too. Get someone that is good at sales and talking and someone that knows your business inside out. Tip. Keep away from the things you don’t need just yet. Get details and keep them for when the time is right. Some of them are mugs and don’t give a monkeys about your business. They will just take take take and put you at risk. Learn to say no because not everyone will act in the best interest of others. Tip. Ask them for a free trial. If they can’t do this then dig a little deeper to find out more about them. It might just not work for you so don’t be fooled. If you can get a free trial then it’s a win win. You get to test it, they get a new customer if it works for them.
15. Write down all the places your target market will be from day one. Try to work on this first and see how you can use it to your best advantage to strike some deals.
16. Don’t overspend on things you don’t need. Why do you want 3000 business cards right now? Buy 250 and get more when you need them. Don’t get sucked into cheap deals because business cards can get old and look a mess if you keep them too long. And plus they take up space you may need. This is the first mistake people make so don’t be fooled by deals that don’t really work for you long-term.
17. Car magnets are not really that good. They can work but I highly recommend full sign writing if this fits your line of business as the numbers will be bigger for people to read. Not every business will need this from day one so please be careful how you spend your money. Quality is dictated by the viewer not you.
18. Get a laptop/computer and keep all your work in separate files to save time later.
Please download all the software you will need to free up time and save money and stress later. Please get the buffer and Hoot-suite app for social media time management. Why do I need them? Well just now I said get separate files yes? Well this is why you need to keep your work in files. Buffer and Hoot-suite let you schedule post for anytime of the day you like, so when you get a busy week you can quickly upload updates images and offers from your files and have it all go out at the time you schedule them. You can do a week’s work in 10/20 minutes and never be online in the week. This can save you 7 hours a week for play time.
19. Make sure every step is fixed and looking good before you even advertise your business. You only get one shot at winning people over and they will always remember bad work and designs from last time.
Tip. Never write like me. Get a blog editor from day one. Posting nothing is probably going to be better than posting with bad designs and text.
20. If you don’t need a business partner then don’t get one. They can do more harm than good if they haven’t got the time or education to run a business. Don’t make this silly mistake and try get anyone you know because you feel all energised right now. Please take this advice on board.
It’s sometimes best to ask a friend for help and pay them for a role if they can’t play a big role in helping you succeed. People change when it comes to money and cuts so always keep this at the top of your list.
21. Keep money aside for business and technology changes that will come and bite you. You need to watch out for the laws that may come into play that could affect your long-term plans.
22. If it takes too much of your time for a small return then don’t do it. Pay somebody to do it.
23. Get the right insurance you need from day one.
24. If you’re not fixed up then don’t turn up. Work clothes are key for some people. People will trust work clothes over a scruffy jumper any day. But sometimes the scruffy ones can do a better job I agree. But not everyone knows this so start strong from day one and let people know you take pride in your work. What you do after that is up to you. Most people don’t give two monkeys how you dress after you strike a deal.
25. Don’t hire people just yet if you got no customers. Don’t put yourself, them, and business at risk if you got no money. If you’re going to fail, fail responsibly.
Tip. I always contract my work out when I start anything new? Why do i do this? So I never have to worry about paying staff. This is the low-risk way of doing it. If you don’t get a sale you don’t have to worry about paying staff and stressing over problems. It’s basically a business model. I am not saying this is the best way. This advice is just giving you some ideas to think about. Some are better than others.
26. Always be in the places people are looking for you from day one. Never knock old school advertising and sales because they do work. Tip. If you make your ads look like editorial pages, you will get more readers. Thank me later for this one.
This list should be used as a guide only to help you avoid some problems. Please seek your own professional advice.