The First Seven Things I Would Do if I Had to Start My Business Over Today
Episode 19 Show Notes
Lately, I find myself sharing my story about how I started my products based business, Because of Zoe Designs. When I started this business I didn’t realize that I was starting something that would change my life, but it really has. I never intended to start a full-fledged business, but I went from being a full-time lawyer to now owning two successful online businesses. In this episode, I talk about what I would do if I had to start all over. Knowing what I know now about business, what would I do if I had to start Because of Zoe Designs all over again? In sharing what I would do if I had to start a business over again, my hope is that it will help those of you who are just starting out in business.
1. Open a Business Bank Account
The first thing is rather simple. Before you begin to spend or make money for your business, you need a separate account, away from your personal finances, solely for your business. If possible, find a local bank that offers free checking accounts for small businesses.
2. Create a Shopify Website
Instead of starting out selling on Instagram, which is what I did, I would go straight to Shopify and create my own website using a free theme to keep costs down. I would make sure to first add basic pages like my “About Me” page, a homepage, a contact page, and a Frequently Asked Question page. To learn how to create your own Shopify site with ease and confidence, check out my course, Sell on Shopify.
3. Choose ONE hero social media platform
Rather than spread myself too thin trying to grow my business over multiple platforms, I would intentionally choose one HERO platform that would get the most of my attention. Because I’m a products based business, I would choose between Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Once I’ve chosen which would be my main platform, I would make sure to secure my business name on the other platforms, but that’s it. I would then take a course on my chosen platform from someone with proven results leveraging that platform.
4. Set up an Email Account with Convertkit or Mailchimp
I initially began with MailChimp because it is free and allows you to learn as your audience grows. However, if I were starting over and had the resources, I would begin with Convertkit immediately or soon after simply because of the ease of use and greater reach that I have found with Convertkit as my CRM. Either way, when you’re starting out, I encourage entrepreneurs to set up an email system from day 1. I didn’t begin my email list until well after a year into business and it is something I would definitely change if I could do it all over again.
5. Market, Market, Market
Collaboration: I would find businesses that align with my brand and have the same type of audience that offers complimentary items. I would follow them and engage with them and see how they engage with their audience. Then I would even purchase items from them to photograph with my products and show that we would work well together.
FREE with intent and caution: If I’m just starting out I need to get my product in people’s hands. I could have the best product but if people don’t know about it, no one is going to buy it. I would be intentional about finding photographers whose storytelling fits well with my brand to help capture my product in exchange for free items. I would also look for brands that offer complementary products to give my products to.
Find out where my audience is in real life: I would figure out what my audience is already giving their attention and I would go there to get my product in front of them in some form or fashion.
6. Survey + Interview my Customers
I would begin to talk to my customers as they come in. The best way to utilize your early customers is to learn about them and find out their demographics. A great way to do this is through surveys and I would even offer a free product in exchange for a quick conversation about why they bought from me.
7. Develop Relationships
I would watch and find one to two like-minded people in business and try to cultivate sincere relationships with them. It’s invaluable to have a couple of business friends to relate to in business that you can chat with, confide in, and vent to in ways that you can’t really do with non-entrepreneurs.
BONUS: Invest in Professional Quality Photography
I would also invest in professional quality photography of my products and of people using my products. I could have saved so much time having someone else take uniform photos, edit, and upload photographs of my products. If you find that you have the funds to do this, do it! It will make your website look better, it will be helpful in marketing, and you’ll notice an increase in income when you use more clear and consistent professional quality photography.
- Open a business bank account [00:05:30]
Create a website for people to find me and my products [00:07:32]
Choose one hero platform for social media [00:14:07]
Create a Mail Chimp email account [00:25:15]
Marketing, Marketing, Marketing [00:27:19]
- Learn about my customers [00:37:52]
Develop relationships [00:41:12]ing.
Hi there! I’m Shunta, I work with women who seek success in their businesses, but not at the expense of joy in their lives! I teach them how to build and grow successful businesses that keep customers coming back time and time again. When I’m not helping women run businesses they love, I’m reading a good book, taking a class at the gym or walking the aisles of Target and TJ Maxx with my daughter Zoe. If you believe that both your business and your life can be filled with joy, come hang out with me here on the Business, Life & Joy podcast.
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