So you think you want to start a business? Day 1 of our groups 14 days series starts with a little reflection. Grab a journal if possible. Keep it close. You will come back to this time and time again.
This will be boring for most. Many of you will not want to read it: but it is honestly the most important thing you will do in your business journey.
If opening a business was easy, EVERYONE would do it. Think about that for a second….What stops most people from pursuing their dreams of having their very own sign shop? Fear.
Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear or rejection. What do you fear? You need to know your fears and how you will face them. In business, disasters come up. If you have not set up a plan for how you will handle these situations, the easiest thing to do will be walk away, throw your hands in the air and say “I Quit”.
STEP 1: Write down your fears and a plan to overcome them should they surface.
Right now you’re pumped. You’re excited for the future. You want the world in a hand basket and it’s at the tip of your fingers….that’s the motivation we need. That’s what you need to hold on to. This excitement needs to stay with you on the toughest days with the most difficult customers and the hardest situations. You need to come back to the why.
Why do you want this?
Maybe you’re struggling to make it week to week in a job that hardly pays your bills and you don’t know how you’ll feed your family next week.
Maybe you’re an empty nester that doesn’t know what to do with your time now that the kids are gone.
Maybe you’re a stay at home mom that wants a little identity and freedom outside the day to day activities of your life.
There are many reasons people want to open a business.
1. Financial Freedom
2. Feeling of Accomplishment
3. To Fill a Void
4. Establish Your Own Identity
STEP 2. What is your reason? Write down why you want this. On hard days, come back to this and reflect why you started and why you should keep going!
Decide how many hours a week you want to devote to your business and make a schedule. This will be your job. Can you spend 10 hours a week building up the business or 40? However many hours you can give your new business….give it. It needs time to grow. Time to design, shop for supplies, paint, prep, photograph, list, ship, promote, etc. Everything takes time so be prepared to give your new business the time it deserves to grow. If you are only able to devote a few hours a week starting out, that’s fine. But make sure you put in those hours. What you put into it, you’ll get back. Just keep going!
STEP 3. Write down how much time a week you will devote to growing your business. This may be 5 hours for some and 100 hours for others. There is not a right or wrong answer here but make sure you give it at least the time you write down (more if possible).
How will you market your business? This is important to know as well. What works for other business owners in the same industry as you. A few places to start would obviously be social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms (which we will get to); but think outside the box for a moment….what other ways could you get your name out to your immediate community?
Ask for referrals?
Host a complimentary sign party for local businesses in return for them displaying your work? Or give them a complimentary sign in return for them letting you leave business cards there?
Promote a discount or special offer?
What type of promotion are you willing to do? What has worked for you in the past? What works for others?
STEP 4: How will you advertise? Write down the different ways you plan on getting your business name out there.
Ok. At the end of tonight you should have a journal that lists your fears, your why’s, how much time you’re willing to devote and how you will promote. If you’re willing to take the time to do this and really reflect on the journey, you may be ready to start this venture!!!
I look forward to tomorrow nights post and open discussion on tips and pointers from our community of sign makers and business owners.
Please feel free to ask any questions below.