Starting a new business can be daunting. There’s a million things to do, and all of a sudden you need to become marketer, administrator, accountant, designer, product manager as well as CEO!
At Label I often find myself working with amazing individuals in this position and the good news is, there are lots of resources out there to help you become the Jack of all these trades, and even the master of them, that you need to be. That is, until your business takes off and you can hire other people to do the things you’d rather not do, of course. Before you bust out the champagne at your launch drinks, these might come in handy…
1. Get some clarity on your ‘why’
This is a Ted Talk from Simon Sinek on Discovering Your Why. We start off most of our branding workshops with this inspirational talk to get into a great headspace for creating a brand and a business that really speaks to people.
2. Get inspired with some great free business mentoring
Marie is witty, entertaining and easy to watch and her insights into small businesses are really worth taking time out to hear. Her site has a heap of free video content, and if you’re hooked and want to shell out for some more structured coaching, her online course ‘The Copy Cure’ is also something I recommend.
3. Check out the Shopify Blog – it’s not just for Shopify Users.
From starting your site, to shipping, to marketing – the Shopify Blog has a huge amount of concise, relevant, searchable content sure to assist you with starting your online presence, even if you don’t use Shopify.
4. Get your visual inspiration on with Pinterest!
Finally, some ‘work’ you can do from the comfort of your lounge while watching netflix! When you are starting out you will likely want to look around at other companies branding, both your competitors and just for inspiration to help drill down on the kind of visual identity you want to convey. As well as being a great resource for searching and looking for inspiration, pinterest makes it easy to collect your inspiration in one place (and then you have a hnady reference for your graphic designer when you end up briefing them).
To get you started, have a look at Label’s ‘identity’ board by clicking on the image above. Follow us on Pinterest for regular inspiration straight to your own personalised feed.
5. Find your Domain Name.
When you are looking at a name for your shiny new business, as well as being registered as business names, also check to see whether the domain name is taken:
You can search in lots of places online, like Crazy Domains, here.
6. Boo, If The Domain Name You Wanted is Taken …
This business name generator from Shopify can be helpful if you find a name you like, but it is taken and you want to look at ‘similar’ options.
Shopify’s Business Name Generator (it’s really a domain name ideas generator, but patatoes potatoes)
7. For some research into who owns that domain name you wanted
If you find that the domain name you wanted is taken, but there is no live site on the address, you may want to look up who it is registered to – to see whether they are based in a similar geographic area to you or are likely to surface as a competitor at some stage. ‘Who is’ enables you to look up who is the registered owner of the domain in question.
8. It’s time to start a website!
Once you have a business name, know what you are doing and are starting to look at creating your online presence, you may want to look at some wordpress themes. From wordpress themes, to vector graphics, stock photography and stock music, the envato marketplace is a great one stop shop to get the resources you need without having to sign up for an ongoing subscription.
9. And make some money.
If you have to do any sort of estimating, Qwilr is a quick easy way to create a beautiful looking estimate. I also use Harvest, Evernote and Asana – but the key takeaway here is, no matter what the task, there is likely a cloud based free or subscription out there that can help you automoate it.
10. Google Analytics. Don’t leave it for your marketing team.
If you really want to understand how your website is functioning, I strongly advise getting a good understanding of google analytics from the get go. It’s not rocket science to get a grasp of the basics, and if you leave it to the marketing professionals, it might be a year until you start taking notice. You can sign up for a free account and read about the basics before you even have a website. Then from the very first day you launch you can start tracking your visitors and their behaviour.
But Don’t forget the boring bits.
Domain name, check, business name not taken, check – you are almost ready to register your business name – but make sure you get some professional legal and accounting advice first. You’ll need legal advice to help structure your contracts and business insurance to cover you for things that may go wrong along the way. You will need professional advice on legal and trading names, and the way you structure your business financially. Whether it be a company or a trust, and which state it is registered in will affect the way you pay tax and can have a big impact on your bottom line.
This is just the beginning of the amazing resources out there when starting your new business. If you have any of your own time saving resources you’d like to share, or good or bad experiences with any of the ones I mentioned above, we’d love to know – share in the comments below.
Until next time!