Thank you to those of you who have tuned into my #Bosslady Lessons so far! Finding time to write this posts have been challenging as we are going through many different business and personal changes (more on that later)! For today’s post, I wanted to address the hardest part: getting started.
If you watch Shark Tank as much as I do, you probably have this database of business ideas in your head or thought to yourself “why didn’t I think of that?”. But how do you actually get these great ideas to turn into great businesses???! The first thing I would say to do is create a business plan. It’s not the most glamorous or fun first step but it’s a crucial first step – whether you want to start a retail shop, e-commerce site, restaurant, photography studio or any business. You may have all this energy and excitement to start selling your great idea, but before you can announce it to the world, you have to get focused, organized, and really understand what you are selling and who you are selling to.
A business plan is a formal statement of your business goals and plans for reaching them. Creating a business plan will narrow down your focus and help you understand all the steps necessary to get your business up and running. One key section of the business plan involves formulating a marketing plan. Now you might not have your complete marketing strategy at this point yet, but what this area does help with is:
(1) establishing your product – what are you really selling?
(2) your target demographic – who are you selling to?
(3) learning about your industry – who are your competitors?
These areas are extremely helpful in identifying what you need to do to get your space in the market and build a viable business. Once I started writing everything down, I was able to identify what areas I was sure of and what areas I needed to understand better. At the time, I knew I had a good idea but I really didn’t know how I would reach my audience. It wasn’t until I started listing out all the ways to find my target customer, that I soon realized what kind of voice I wanted to have and what kind of brand I wanted to make. I never showed anyone my business plan – it was more for me to get focused and really helped me get started. For those of you seeking investors or loans, this might be a good way to get others onboard with your idea! For me, the business plan laid the foundation for my business and helped me formulate steps to achieving my goals.
So now that I convinced you to write a business plan, how do you write one you ask? When I started, I actually googled “sample business plan”, opened up google docs and formulated my business plan from scratch. There are many tools out there now to help you. One great resource is the Small Business Administration (SBA) – they had great content on how to get your business started, including step-by-step guidance on how to write a business plan. You just have to register for their website and you can take advantage of the SBA’s Business Plan Tool. Other great websites/resources include:
I know it may all feel daunting but remember, the hardest part of any project is getting started. Sometimes we overthink or wait too long for all the pieces to “fall into place.” Keep it simple and ‘just do it.’ I always say to my husband “if we build it, they will come!”
I hope sharing the beginning process of Morning Lavender helps and/or inspires you to take the leap and start whatever is it you’ve been thinking about!