The best way to launch your dream business is to follow these steps: choose the right business, decide your business’s purpose, make a list of initial costs, create a to-do list, take advantage of free and cheap tools and take action every day.
Why Launching Your Business Is So Important
Here at Blooming Wealth we believe that one of the best ways to increase your net worth is to have your own business. This is because your earning potential can theoretically be unlimited whereas, if you work for someone else, your income will be dictated (and most certainly limited) by other people.
Also, most of the world’s richest people are current or former business owners. Take a look at this list of billionaires and the businesses they founded or co-founded:
- Jeff Bezos, Founder, Amazon
- Bill Gates, Co-Founder, Microsoft
- Mark Zuckerberg, Co-Founder, Facebook
- Elizabeth Holmes, Founder, Theranos
- Doris Fischer, Co-Founder, The Gap
- Mark Cuban, Founder, MicroSolutions
As you can see, starting your own business can have a huge pay-off.
You are also more likely to become a multi-millionaire, as roughly 47% of the world’s millionaires are business owners. Compare that with just 23% of millionaires who obtained that status by working for someone else.
That’s why being a business owner is so important to growing your net worth.
But if you currently don’t own a business, you may not know where to start. As someone who has founded multiple businesses and worked with many other entrepreneurs, I learned some tricks and tips on how to find the right business and launch it while keeping our expenses low.
Tip Number One: Decide the Right Business For You
What do you love to do? If you’re not sure, you can try this exercise: Take a piece of paper and draw two lines down them so that it is divided into three columns.
In the first column, write “Used to Do” at the top. Underneath that title, write down things you used to do that you enjoyed. These can even be activities that you did as a kid such as draw, play with animals or play baseball.
At the top of the second column, write “Currently Doing” and write down some activities that you do now that you enjoy such as reading, jogging or visiting museums.
For the third column, write “Would Like to Try” at the top and write down some activities that you would like to try but haven’t yet. For every column, think of as many activities and hobbies as you can. Even small things like drinking wine or coffee or planting flowers matter.
Look for a common theme between at least two of the columns. Maybe you used to go canoeing as a kid and would like to try kayaking. Maybe you enjoy baking and would like to take some cooking classes.
Then draw a circle in the middle of a piece of paper. Once you find a common theme—like cooking, gardening or winter sports, for example—then write this word in the middle of that circle. (See the example of a bubble diagram below.)
Then draw other circles coming out from that circle to create a bubble diagram. In those secondary bubbles, write possible careers associated with your main word. Be sure to do a search online for other ideas you may not think of. Repeat this process with any other themes you found in your three-column chart.
Once you have ideas of possible careers associated with your themes, then you think about which ones you would really enjoy from day-to-day, and cross out any businesses that don’t meet this criteria.
It’s important to think about this possible business from all angles. Often, people like the idea of running a business but don’t think about what it would really be like to run the business each day, including potential problems you could face.
For example, if you want to own a coffee shop, you’ll have to think about issues like what to do if an employee doesn’t show up for work or they’re caught stealing; what to do when a customer is unsatisfied; what to do when your supplier doesn’t deliver as scheduled and more.
All businesses face problems, by the way. It comes down to what kind of problems are you comfortable dealing with and will the reward of having your business outweigh any issues that might come up.
After you’ve narrowed down your list of potential businesses, you will want to do some general research to find out what it takes to start that business. Some answers to look for are: how much money would it take to get it started, what kind of help you would need and how easy or difficult would it be to launch. You can also look at other people who are doing what you want to do. How did they do it?
One more thing to consider is your personality type in terms of managing and working with people—as in, would you like to manage a large company with hundreds (or more) employees one day or do you prefer a more solo career?
One misconception is that you have to have a large team to make lots of money. That’s simply not true. And the larger the staff, the more headaches and hassle you’ll inevitably have.
With sites like freelancer.com and upwork.com, you can hire contractors remotely to do some of the work as needed, such as graphic design for your website, or a virtual assistant.
Tip Number Two: Decide Your Business’s Purpose And Emotional Hook
I believe that every business should think about its purpose and how it’s going to best make that emotional connection with the customer.
Even if your business is going to be selling pencils on Amazon, you can still write ad copy (the words you write to describe your item) that is compelling and makes the potential customer want to buy your item or choose to buy from you instead of someone else.
Your purpose in this case, is to provide quality pencils to people who need to purchase them, such as the parents of kids who need them for school or someone who uses them to sketch. Maybe this quality comes at a great price or maybe the price is higher but so is the quality and design. Maybe they’re colorful or have and interesting pattern on them.
Whatever it is, think about how you want them to feel when they get your pencils like they’re getting exactly what they need to get the job done while, perhaps, doing it in a stylish way that reflects their personality. This is the emotional “hook” of what you’re doing.
Always think about what it is your potential customers are seeking when they come to you for your product or service. This will help you remember how you can always best serve your current and future customers.
Customers often buy more with emotion than logic, so understanding their needs and wants and giving them exactly what they want is the best way to create a successful business.
If you want to learn more about how to tap into our potential customer’s wants and needs, check out How to Create a Clear Marketing Message That Connects Emotionally With Your Customers.
Tip Number Three: Make a List of Initial Costs Needed to Launch
If you’re going to launch a business, you need to have an idea of how much it’s going to cost you. A lot of people don’t think of all of the costs associated with starting a business.
Here are some costs to consider:
- state and local licenses
- training programs
- website design
- website hosting and maintenance
- business cards
- marketing materials
- marketing events
- membership to industry organizations
- taxes—including sales and income
- shipping of goods
- rent for professional space
- computer equipment
- internet service
A list of these potential costs isn’t there to deter you. On the contrary, it’s giving you a better idea of what to prepare for so that you can budget accordingly and increase your chances of success. And some of these costs can be spread out, such as paying for website hosting monthly and hiring contractors as needed.
Tip Number Four: Make a List of Things You Need to Do to Get Your Business Started
What are the actions you need to take to launch your business? What do you need to do first, second and so on? Make a list and check the items off as you go. Here is a list of some of things your business may need:
Marketing and Image
- name your business
- get a logo
- get a website
- design marketing materials
- order business cards
- join networking groups
- join online groups (Facebook, MeetUp etc)
- create your online profile (Twitter, Instagram, etc)
- create marketing materials or ads
- take photos for your website and marketing materials
- source products
- open a business bank account
- secure funding
- file a sate license
- find distributors
- find contractors
- hire employees
- create contracts for contractors or employees
Don’t worry about doing all of these things before you launch. It’s easy to get caught up in the small details—or even feel too overwhelmed—and never launch. I encourage you to launch before things are “perfect,” knowing that you can improve your business as you go.
Tip Number Five: Take the Opportunities to Keep Your Expenses Low
You don’t have to have a lot of money to launch your dream business. I launched both my education and wellness businesses for less than $500 each. I did this by being very stingy with my money.
I learned some tricks—some of them the hard way—to launching on a budget. Here are some of my favorites:
Wait to file the your local paperwork, such as a state license, if possible:
Why? Your business may not go anywhere and if it doesn’t, you just wasted money. Just because you registered a business, doesn’t mean you have a business. There is much more to business than filing paperwork. Get other things in place first such as sourcing product, funding if needed, a professional-looking website with good content, contractors, etc.
Once you have at least some of these in place, then you can file the paperwork with your local city or state to make it official. Lots of people get the idea to start a business but then nothing ever happens. That’s why it’s better to wait to see if you’re actually going to move forward. Plus, you may decide to change the name or nature of your business once you’ve taken a few of those other steps.
Use free software and online tools whenever possible:
I also love Canva.com, which is a site where you can create free graphic designs. It’s easy to use and all you need to do to get started is to create a username and password—no credit card required.
Find good contractors who need the work:
If you can find contractors who know what they’re doing but will accept less pay than what you can charge the customer, then this is going to help you grow your business tremendously. With both my education and wellness businesses, I was able to hire people for a rate that 65—70% of what I charged my customers. This gave me a decent profit margin for the services offered.
A lot of my contractors were people who were good at what they did but they just needed more work. I knew how to get them that work and it was a win-win situation. Although all of my contractors were local people I hired in person, you can find great help online for a lot of services, from billing to website design and more.
Use contractors and freelancers only when you can’t do it yourself:
This is a good rule of thumb if you have the time but are on a tight budget. But if you lack time but have the money, hire people to do the work instead.
Also, don’t attempt to do something that you’re not good at. If graphic design baffles you, for example, then you’ll save yourself a lot of time and stress by outsourcing the work.
Use free images online:
In order to launch your dream business, you’ll need photos for your website and other marketing materials. Luckily, these days, it may not be necessary to pay a high monthly fee for stock images.
You can also sometimes find a good photo to use on your website or marketing material just by typing a phrase into Google and selecting the “images” tab. For example, if you need a stock photo of a dog playing with toy, just type in “dog with toy” into Google and see what comes up.
Another idea is to sign up with a stock photo site for a month and then download tons of images, then cancel. Adobe Stock and Shutterstock, for example, each allow you to pay $249 to download up to 750 images for a month. If you map out your website and marketing materials ahead of time, you can have an idea of the type of images you will need for the foreseeable future. Then you can download the 750 images that first month and then cancel your plan.
Look for free trials and special offers:
Lots of companies out there want your business so always search for a coupon code or special offer for larger and more long term expenses, such as web hosting and printing.
One discount I used in the past was for a WordPress site that I had. I received a coupon code in my email for 20% if I upgraded to the professional plan by a certain date. I was already planning to upgrade to this plan around the same time so the coupon was a nice bonus.
Start out small:
If you have big visions for your dream business, that’s great. But this can be expensive and mentally overwhelming.
It’s better to think small and grow gradually. If you try to take on too much, too quickly, you’ll be like a ship taking on too much water—you’ll sink. It’s better to budget and grow your business one careful step at a time.
Even if you end up with investors backing your business, you’ll want to spend carefully. It’s easy to waste money. Businesses—even very large ones with millions and sometimes billions of dollars—dissolve all the time due to overspending. Don’t let this happen to you.
Tip Six: Launch Your Dream Business By Taking Action
I hope after reading this article that you realize that your dream business doesn’t have to stay as just a dream. You can turn it into a reality with careful research, planning and budgeting.
The biggest thing you have to remember is to take action. So many people talk a good game of starting a business but never do anything about it.
It’s easy to find excuses: I’m too busy right now, I have relatives who are going to be visiting soon, I’ll wait until my kids are a little older. We’re in the middle of remodeling our kitchen…Pick your excuse of the day!
There will never be a “perfect” time to launch a business. Life will always be full of complications, unexpected events and busy work. I invite you to start your business in spite of all of these things.
Remember: time is money, too. Each day you put off launching your dream business is another day not being in full control of how you earn your money. Do you really want to go the rest of your life letting someone else dictate when you get a raise? When you own your own business you can give yourself a raise simply by working a little harder or smarter.
When you’re in charge of your own business, you’ll feel a freedom you’ve never had before. To a degree, you can set your own hours and even determine how much you earn. By becoming a business owner, you increase your chances of earning a higher income, which is one of the key ingredients to growing your net worth.