Dos & Dont's for Starting An Online Business
Updated: Feb 2, 2022
Congrats! Really, so proud of you for taking this huge step in your own personal power and deciding you are going to start your own business.
I'll be honest though, it will be scary at times, confusing maybe, exciting for sure, and a whole lot of work.
Don't let that deter you, though!
Starting your own business can be an amazing way to secure long-term financial wealth, to spend more time on work that fuels and inspires you, establish an amazing network of connections, create something you can be immensely proud of, and can free you from the constraining shadows of working for the "big man".
That being said, here's a few tips as you venture out in the world as a business owner from a business owner herself:
Do: Tell your friends, your family, your neighbors- shout it from rooftops that you have started a business. Put yourself out there! And don't feel shy or out of place in doing so. You want to succeed and you want as many people as possible to be exposed to this business. Perfect your elevator pitch with those most intimate in your lives, and don't stop promoting yourself. It gets easier every time.
Don't: Expect anything from your friends and family. This might sound silly or misguided, but I promise it isn't. All of your family and friends immediately going on your site and buying you out or handing out your business cards to every person they see would be amazing, but it is not a realistic expectation to have. Expectations like these often set us up for disappointment and that little voice in your head that told you you weren't going to "make it" will get the chance to speak again. Don't give it that opportunity. Expect nothing from them. Your family will support you in the best way they know how, if it is an overwhelm or an underwhelm, it has little to do with you and all to do with them. Keep on moving.
Do: Have a website. And this isn't just a plug as a website designer, promise! Not only is it the most customizable way to market your business and brand, having a website is one of the only ways to ensure accessibility to almost everyone. If you rely too heavily on platforms like Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, even Amazon, then you are missing out on a whole demographic of people that will never get the chance to explore your content or your business. Better yet, if one of these platforms crashes or is somehow wiped out, you are still in the clear with your own stand-alone platform to reach your customers.
Don't: Rely solely on your website. Mixed messages? Let me clear it up! Use. Multiple. Platforms. This expands your reach by millions, gives a more legit feel to your business, and can open up opportunities and income in a way that one or two platforms simply do not have the ability to. Most social media sites are pretty easy to navigate now a days, so I suggest taking some time to explore a couple, explore brands/companies you like and how they look, and then get going! If you're still not sure how to integrate your website with these platforms, how to use the platforms strategically, what content to post, or simply don't have the time, definitely call an expert to the field- we're glad to help!
Do: Explore ways to have face-to-face interactions with potential customers. This is a sure-fire way to get more sales, inquiries, or leads. Even with most of the world glued to screens, nothing does it quite like an in-person interaction. I suggest looking up local fairs or events you could have a table at, networking events, or even contacting niche businesses to pitch a presentation. I promise you that once you get in front of the community, your chances to succeed sky rocket.
Don't: Do it on your own. Maybe you're incredibly independent, the one who did all the work in group projects, a brain like no one has ever seen- regardless, do not do it all by yourself. As humans we are social creatures, literally wired to connect. And humans are always stronger in numbers. I suggest taking an honest inventory on your strengths and your weaknesses. Not to say the weaknesses can not be improved, but it is an additional strength to know and be honest about where you might not perform as well as you like or maybe should. Once you have done this, outsource. Ask for advice. Ask a friend for help. Hire someone else. Trade services. Attend a class. Do not ignore the areas of weakness and do not fall into the self-imposed and unnecessary stress of doing it all on your own.
Do: Take care of yourself! The final tip I will leave you with. And the most important of them all. Without a well you, your business will never be well. Even if your business does succeed while you are deteriorating mentally, physically, spiritually, it will never be all it can be. And neither will you. Take care of yourself. Set boundaries with work. Often in owning and starting a business it is easy to fall into working around the clock. But this is not sustainable. A healthy you will positively impact everything around you. An unhealthy you will negatively impact everything around you. Seems like simple math, right? So keep it simple, treat yourself like a child you need to parent if you need to. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, water, and food. Make sure you are showering, your laundry is done, your home is clean. Get enough down time, rest, relaxation, and play. Do not neglect your relationships or other commitments. Starting a business takes time. Practice patience, and take care of yourself in the process.
You will get there. But for right now, be here.
Enjoy the ride, envision the dream, and live your life every day solid in your foundation, making intentional choices for your success and the success of your business.