It’s my one year business anniversary! When I think about all that I had to overcome to get to this point, I am extremely grateful. I still cannot believe it’s been one year since I resigned from a great company to strike out on my own. I have been miss steady eddie and comfortable for years. To leave a company after 23 years of service and stable paychecks was scary. But here I am, one year later holding my own. It has been quite a journey, to say the least. I appreciate the good and the bad lessons I have learned thus far. Below are a couple of lessons I have learned in starting a business:
1. Set up your business structure completely including selecting a purposeful name. I chose to create an LLC as my legal entity and then applied for an EIN. I had LegalShield set everything up, but you can do the research and file the paperwork yourself.
2. Open a business bank account immediately and get a business credit card. I delayed getting a business credit card even though my banker highly recommended it. Commingling your personal with your business activities is not advisable and could cause legal and tax problems. I ended up going back to get a business credit card a couple of months later.
3. Set up a website. It’s not mandatory but it makes you more legit in the eyes of other businesspeople and customers. I used a template through Wix and set it up myself. However, I wish I would have received professional website help early. It’s important to have your SEO settings optimized so potential customers can find you.
4. Get a business mentor or coach immediately. And no, you do not necessarily have to pay for one. There are free resources available to new business owners that I wished I had tapped into as soon as I started. Ex. Score.org, Small Business University, Grow with Google, etc.
5. Social Media, social media, did I say social media! I wasn’t a big social media person before I started my business. It’s still not my favorite thing to do but you cannot deny the power of having a social media presence. You must get over your fear or whatever reason you have for not doing it. Look around, everyone, and I mean everyone, is always on their cell phone. If you don’t have a post or ad on several feeds, then you are missing FREE advertising. You don’t have to be on every single social media platform but pick a couple and start there. Create a posting schedule and go for it.
I am far from where I want to be in business, but I am proud of what I have accomplished thus far and look forward to elevating my business this second year. And I cannot close this post without thanking everyone that has supported me this first year! It means much more than I can express here.