How to Start Your Own Business: Part 1
How Do you Start Your Own Business?
Yes, I'm going to tackle this question. Why? Because the answer is pretty simple:
When I catch up with old friends or family members and get the question, "So what are you up to these days?" The honest answer to that is: my husband and I work from home, primarily running our company, Stitch People. He and I have a few other freelance clients and responsibilities, but 90% of what we do all day, every day, is Stitch People - from home.
Often, I find myself making excuses for the fact that both my husband and I work from home. I often feel the need to downplay it. My responses range from, "Oh, we're stringing together a little of this and that," or "We're just trying to make it work!" The reason behind those statements is due to the frequent responses of others like, "Working from home? THAT must be nice," said (of course) with The Tone.
You know The Tone. The Tone that makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong or somehow cheating the system because of the fact that my husband and I have chosen (and worked hard for) a certain (totally awesome) lifestyle for ourselves.
But here's the thing -
Fact: Working for yourself IS an option.
Fact: Working from home (or from wherever your travels take you) IS an option.
Fact: If you think being your own boss or working from home isn't an option, you're wrong.
For the purposes of the "Part 1" element of this blog post - let's talk about three basic things you need to start your own business.
1. A Niche
I really enjoy cross-stitching. It's a lovely hobby that keeps me calm, happy and helps me create beautiful works of art. But I never EVER thought it would be the backbone of my very own company! I've always had the entrepreneur bug, and I always wanted to start a business. I never would have dreamed it would be cross-stitch related.
But after creating my own cross-stitched family portraits, and realizing that others wished to create them, too, I saw a niche - and grabbed it! Little by little, and a lot of "...how about this? Will THIS work? What about THAT? And THIS?" can build you into a comfy niche.
My advice: Always have your entrepreneur "hat" on. In every interaction, every conversation, and everything you do, ask yourself "Is there an opportunity here?" Soon, you'll find a fit. I mean it - "A" fit. Doesn't have to be "The Perfect" fit. Just ask the guy who has made millions by investing in sewage treatment. I bet he would love to have made millions in something glamorous. But hey, he has the millions. It's A fit.
2. The Internet
You'd might be surprised, but many folks don't always think of utilizing the internet! I always laugh when I'm at dinners with friends or family and we're all talking about a movie with "that one actor" who's name we can't remember. And we talk about it like we'll NEVER KNOW, forgetting that we can know rather immediately. I'm always the one to pull out my phone and check facts. Hey! Thanks, Internet!
If you want to start a business, pull up Google and type in "How to Start My Own Business." It's a REALLY good place to start. Seriously. Here are some more phrases you can try:
- How to Start My Own Business
- What Type of Business Should I Start
- Being My Own Boss
- How to Be A [Whatever You're Interested In Being]
- [Whatever You're Interested In] Certification Course in [Your Area]
You could also sign up for email newsletters from people who run their own businesses to keep you informed and motivated (like my newsletter which will share information on this topic rather frequently because I'm pretty into it). You can watch video tutorials about how to start a website or learn skills. You can read articles from all sorts of sources to learn what you need to learn to work for yourself.
Not only is the Internet bursting at the seems with information, it's also bursting at the seems with online tools to help you manage and run a business. This is another way the Internet comes into play and something we'll go into greater detail in other blog posts.
Use the Internet to become a "sponge" to absorb all information you can relating to starting your own business. Soon what you learn will become second nature and you'll be ready to launch.
This is key. Like, really REALLY key.
Listen - I know what it's like to be bored and to think "I'm going to be an ARTIST!" And you go to your local craft store, and you buy some nice pencils and a sketch book for all the incredibly creative ideas you'll soon be having. And you get home. And you sit down. And you start sketching. And you feel so good about it that you decide to take a break - watch a show, eat a snack, check some emails, make a call, and soon the sketch book gets put on a shelf and forgotten about.
Those things are good for us, I think. Good moments of get-up-and-go.
But if you want to run a business you have to be ready for the fact that it takes consistent effort. To run a business, you're going to actually have to run it (surprise!) And when your'e your own boss, you get to worry about ALL the things (and when you work from home it's often tough to choose to stop worrying about all the things.) These are things like; generating content, offering and fulfilling services, designing and creating products, invoicing, website creation and maintenance, customer service, social media management, marketing products or services.
Now, I understand that seems like a daunting list, especially considering all the extra stuff that didn't make it into the list. But there are a lot of people and resources out there to help you. Don't worry - I'll will post more about resources and helpful places to go for help. So, no - you don't have to do it ALL yourself. But what I'm trying to illustrate here is that there is a lot to do, and a lot to keep tabs on. You've got to stay dedicated so that these things don't overwhelm you and prevent you from progress, and you've got to stay dedicated so all these things keep getting done and don't get left behind.
The good news is, as you stay on top of tasks, push yourself to keep absorbing information, and continue doing little things to build your business daily, the result is that you WILL learn, and you WILL get the hang of things if you just keep keeping on. That's all it takes.
Keep asking questions. Strongly desire the lifestyle you want every day. Do something every day to keep your ideas and desires moving forward. And stay tuned for the rest of the posts in this series which will provide specifics on how to get a business up and going.
Do you want to start your own business some day? Do you like the idea of working for yourself or working from home? Let's chat about it in the comments, below!
Have a wonderful day!