From idea to success

One of the most important things you will do when thinking of starting a new business, before all the fun stuff, is filling out a business plan.

First things first. You need a plan for your new business  and this will probably be the least amount of fun you will have in the beginning but it is vital in mapping out how you will create a successful business and will allow you to see where you stand and areas that you need to focus on.

If it’s a little intimidating, don’t stress. I’ve created two business plans for you to download for free! A Quickie Business Plan which is only one page and covers all the basics and then a full Business Plan which is more thorough and thought out. Starting with the Quickie, it’s easy to fill in your ideas in short form then as you think about what you want to build, use the full Business Plan.

“A domain name is the text that a user types into a browser window to reach a particular website.”

Let’s start with your business name

I know you may see other people just killing it on social media, no website and raking in the dough and that’s cool too but if you are looking to build a strong, sustainable business that you can grow as big as the industry leaders, it all starts with a foundation.

If you’re just starting out, you need a name! Think about this one as you will be repeating it millions of times for years to come and you want something that resonates with your soul. Write your ideas down, run your choices by friends/family and be open to feedback.

Before you get excited on the name you’ve chosen, make sure the domain name available. Go to GoDaddy and search the domain. You want .com as that is the most easily recognizable extension but if you are set on your business name and it’s not available, try another extension like .store or .shop.

If your domain name is available, pause for a sec before purchasing it. Do a quick Google search of your business name and see if there are any variations of it already out there. If another company is already using your name and is in the same industry, go back to the drawing board and start again. The last thing you want to do is rip someone else’s hard work off and it only makes your business look cheap so think of other names that resonate with you.

If your domain (business name) is available, register it and you’re set! Now I normally just purchase the domain name for one year and add privacy because while I have a million great ideas, not all of them pan out but if this is it for you, you can register it for as long as you want. If you choose to do it only for a year (which they will automatically renew if you do this with GoDaddy), it should only cost around $25 bucks.

Social Media

Now that you have grabbed your business name (domain) let’s grab the gmail address and social media.

You should have already done a scan on Instagram or any other social media platforms you will be using to see if your business name is available and if it’s not, that’s ok. You can use different variations for your name like adding the word Official, using an _ underscore or anything else but the point is to make sure when people see your name, they know what it is that you do so don’t go crazy with characters.

You doń’t have to sign up for every social platform available, just pick the ones that you will actually be active on.

Logo Time!

“A logo is a graphic mark, emblem, or symbol used to aid and promote public identification and recognition. It may be of an abstract or figurative design or include the text of the name it represents as in a wordmark.” ~Wikipedia

You’ve got your name, gmail and social media so what’s next? Your logo!

I cannot tell you how much money I have spent on logos over the years (a lot) and while I do feel that hiring someone who has a good graphics design background to create your logo can be a good idea, there are options to figure out exactly what you want before you start shelling out money!

If you have not used Canva, OMG, it’s literally the greatest investment you will ever make in your business ($13 a month). I won’t go crazy here on how much I love this platform but this is a great place to start to get an idea of what you want your logo to look like.

Create an account in Canva and it’s all template based so find the Logo Template and check out the templates to get an idea of colors, fonts and icons. If you can create your own logo, yay! You just saved a few hundred bucks!

If you did, make sure you save it in different sizes. I tend to create the largest in the Presentation size (1920 x 1080 pixels) I don’t fill the whole page but decent enough size and then I download with a transparent background and crop any exterior blank space. From there you can duplicate and resize for whatever you need it for.

While you’re figuring out what your logo should look like, also think about branding for your business. The colors you want to use, the fonts and the overall look and feel of your website and business. At the bottom of this page, there is a Branding guide that you can copy for your business (Canva has several templates) and will be useful to share when hiring out for your website and logo.

You should have your domain, brand kit, social media and email along with your logo all taken care of and now we move on to the business side of things.

Don’t forget to download the Business Checklist so you can keep track of everything you need to do to be legal!

New Business Checklist:

This is just a short list but everything you need to focus on is in the download at the bottom of the page.

Business Name: Get creative but make sure it is reflective of the business you’re building.

Register Domain Name: I use Godaddy but you can use any company you like. 

Social Media: Grab your business name on the social media platforms you will be using.

Gmail: Create a gmail account for your business using your business name. 

Business Filing (Sole Proprietor, LLC, Corporation): If you’re just starting out, Sole Proprietor should be just fine. 

Corporate Bank Accounts: You need to have a bank account for your business

Online Payment Platform (Square, Paypal….): Sign up for whichever one you will be using to accept payments. 

Tax Payer’s ID (EIN), Business license and/or Resale Permit: Check your local county’s government pages to see which one you’ll need

Insurance for the BusinessIf you’re working out of your home, check with your renters insurance company and see what they suggest

The next thing you need to do is build your website and please don’t freak out, it will be easy, trust me and if you need help, join The Community!

Let’s build a website!