10 Secrets You Need to Know Before Starting Your Business

Check out the original blog post, here.

✔ You’ve figured out what you’re going to sell.

✔ You’ve written out your strategies.

✔ Your plan is almost in motion.

✔ You’re ready to get started.

But wait! We have some secrets to share with you before you officially get started!

Keep reading to see our list of what you need to know before starting a business…

1. You Can Start a Business With No Money

If you’re wondering how to start a small business with a limited budget, you’ve come to the right place.

While it is always in your best interest to start a small business with some sort of investment or savings, starting a business with no money is possible. When this is the case, we recommend building a business based on your passion and skill set.

If you love gaming and the know-how to build a custom PC, then charge to build one.

Have a garden people envy? Offer your gardening services to neighbors and peers.

You can even join one of the newest Digital Marketing trends — Coaching — and become a coach in whatever your passion is.

Once you start to gain a client base and receive payments, you can then put that money back into your expenses and start building things like a website, paying for an email service, and registering as an LLC.

2. Does My Small Business Need a Website?

While it is recommended to have a website for your business, we don’t always have that luxury. Websites can be expensive and time-consuming, and a poorly designed website can actually scare potential clients away.

As WiX Web Design Experts, we’ve designed tens of thousands of websites and know that no website at all is better than a sloppy one. Social media is the same way.

With the social media algorithm constantly changing and evolving, if you aren’t able to stand out, you’ll just become another of the 3.6 billion active social media users on the internet.

So what can you do?

Here are a few tips we recommend when you cannot have a website or build your socials…

  1. Learn how to build your referral list. You can offer incentives for referrals or loyalty programs to help build up that network of clients through word-of-mouth advertising.
  2. Create posters, flyers, and business cards to hand out to new and prospective clients. Also, think about leaving a few with your current clients to give as referrals to their friends and family!
  3. Attend trade shows. With life slowly getting back to normal now, attending in-person trade shows is an excellent way to promote your products and services.
  4. Take advantage of email marketing. This is our favorite on this list! Email continues to be the best bang for your buck when it comes to ROI (return on investment) and is still considered one of the best ways to interact and engage with your audience.

3. Speaking of Email Marketing…

As we stated above, email marketing can be an amazing tool for starting your small business.

According to this blog post by Constant Contact, “60% of consumers say they’ve made a purchase as the result of a marketing email…[vs] 12.5% of consumers who say they’d consider using the ‘buy’ button on social media.”

If you’re working with little to no budget for your marketing efforts, check out our list below of some of our favorite email platforms for small businesses…

  1. Sender. If HTML knowledge is not your strong point, then Sender might be for you. You can completely customize your newsletters, track who opened and clicked on your emails and even assist you in building accurate buyer profiles based on your subscriber’s actions.
  2. MailChimp. One of the most comprehensive free platforms for email is the one and only MailChimp. They offer many fantastic tools like subject line helper, social media scheduling, and sign-up forms.
  3. MailerLite. If you’re looking for an email platform with thorough analytics tools, then Mailerlite might be for you! Their free plan also includes a drag and drop editor and 24/7 email support.

4. Your Competitors Should Be Your Best Friends

Yes, we’re serious. Like the smash 1975 hit says, “Why can’t we be friends? Why can’t we be friends!”

Not everything in life is always win or lose. And if you have a strong business plan, product, or service, and understanding of your customer’s wants and needs, being friendly and getting to know your competition won’t affect your business.

When you get to know your competitors on a personal level, you now have someone who understands what you’re going through, a like-minded individual who you can bounce ideas off of, and a great support system when needed.

5. Family and Friends Probably Aren’t Your Target Customers

This may be a hard pill to swallow…but your family and friends shouldn’t be the people you turn to.

This is one of the most important things you can remember when learning how to start a small business.

Unless they happen to fit into your buyer personas, their opinions on things like your branding, your logo, your packaging, your prices, etc., shouldn’t affect your business.

While you might welcome their opinions and value their input, at the end of the day, your product or service most likely isn’t going to be bought by them…and that’s ok!

6. Blogging Is an Excellent Way to Increase Web Traffic

If you’re lucky enough to have a website and socials up and running, blogging is a great tool to add to your marketing plan.

Blogging can help you build credibility, increase your chances of being seen on search engines, and be an easy way to capture emails for your newsletter.

Check out some more facts on why blogging is important for improving web traffic here.

7. SEO Education is Important

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is becoming increasingly necessary for small businesses. With over 31 million small businesses existing in the United States currently, knowing and taking advantage of SEO can help get you seen by your target audience.

Knowing what your target audience is searching for, how they’re searching for it, and what words they are using can help you rank higher on SERPs (search engine results page).

Since organic, unpaid search is the best way to be seen, investing in quality SEO lessons and classes can greatly benefit your chances of being successful.

Websites like SEMRush, Hubspot, and Google Digital Garage offer free courses and certifications you can take advantage of.

8. A Good Support System Can Make a Huge Difference

And no, we aren’t talking just about your parents.

Did you know that Facebook has millions of Groups and Pages specifically designed for entrepreneurs and business owners?

Not only are these organizations good for general support, but the people in these groups have often been in your exact situation.

Here are a few of our favorites, but feel free to search for your own, depending on your needs and business types!

  1. Women Helping Women Entrepreneurs
  2. The Rising Tide Society
  3. Blogging Network

9. Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

Running your own small business can be scary and anxiety-inducing.

Will I do well?

Do people even want my product?

I’m not good at sales…

Like it or not, you can’t be a successful entrepreneur if you’re afraid of being uncomfortable.

As difficult as that may be to understand, it’s a reality that many of us face once we start a small business.

But like everything else in life, the more you do it, the better you get.

I’m sure the first time you rode a bike didn’t go so well, did it? But you got back up and did it again. And again. And again. Until you were comfortable enough to take those training wheels off.

Starting a small business is the exact same thing!

You might fail, but what’s important is how you learn from those failures.

This brings us to our last secret…

10. You’re Going to Fail at Some Point

Unfortunately, something in your business, plan, or product will inevitably fail. But that’s ok!

Failing doesn’t mean you’re failing.

It just means you’ve found something that isn’t working. Whether that be an advertising method, a price adjustment, or losing a big client…failure is not life-threatening.

Now That We’ve Given Away Our Secrets…

We hope you’re ready to get your small business started! And in case you need a little more information or assistance along the way, always remember that Zoek is here to help.

You can check out our Marketing Strategy guide here to see what to do first when starting a business.

Let us know below which of our secrets helped you the most — we’d love to hear from you! And if you require some more Small Business secrets, make sure you join our newsletter and follow our Social Media to stay up-to-date on trends, advice, and updates essential for small business owners.

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