How to Actually Start Your Business

If you have a burning desire to start a business, you’re not alone. Every day, hundreds of people are waking up with an urge to create something of their own or achieve financial freedom. 

The only problem? It can be hard to determine exactly what you need to do to bring your business to life. Do you start by creating a website? Write a business plan? Register a company name?

It can all get very complicated, very quickly. But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

My passion is to articulate business in a way that’s easy to understand so you can create a life of freedom. To let you know that business isn’t reserved for those with a special degree or for “other people” – it’s for anyone who’s willing to be bold and make shit happen.  

So if you’re a dreamer and doer who’s ready to start your own business, here are the clear, actionable steps you need to bring your ideas to life. 

 

Step 1: Figure out why you want to start a business

People start businesses for all sorts of reasons: to have financial freedom, a life of creativity, or a life where they don’t have to work on Mondays. 

For you, it could be because you crave autonomy. Maybe you want to spend more time with your kids or you want to uncap your earning potential. 

Whatever your reason, the important thing is to dig deep and get clear on what’s in it for you.  

Starting a business is exciting – but it’s going to take hard work. It’s going to get scary and overwhelming. But if you have a strong why and a clear, laser focus intention, you’ll be able to persevere and see your dream come to life. 

 

Step 2: Determine what your product or service is

When you think of the word ‘business’, it’s easy to imagine huge, multi million dollar corporations. But a business is simply solving a problem and providing something of value 

that people are willing to pay for. 

So to determine the value you add, start by asking: what do you actually want to do? Do you want to create and sell specific products? Do you want to be a writer, designer, or educator?

Then ask yourself: what problems are people facing that you can solve? What gap in the market can your unique skills or expertise fill? What pains have you experienced that haven’t been solved in the way you want? 

 If you can get super clear on a genuine problem you can solve, you’ll be able to determine your product or service. 

 If you have multiple ideas you want to run with, map them all out on paper and see which one excites you the most. If you’re still struggling to choose, be sure to tune into this episode where I dive deep into what to do when you have a variety of business ideas. 

 

Step 3: Determine who your product or service is for AKA your target market 

Identifying your target market is critical because if you don’t have someone who’s willing to exchange money for your product or service, then it’s just an expensive hobby. 

Your target market will influence every part of your business, from the way you position your product to the type of solutions you offer, so it’s important to understand exactly what they need from the start. 

Here are some key questions to help you deep dive into who your target market is so you can speak to them in a way that cuts through the noise:

  • How old are they? 
  • What is their gender? 
  • What problems are they experiencing? 
  • Where would they be looking for the solution?
  • Where do they spend their time, online and offline?
  • Where else do they spend their money? 
  • Who are they taking advice from? 
  • What are their values? 

 

Step 4: Price your product or service 

Your pricing will depend on your industry, your experience, and how competitive the marketplace is. 

First, decide where you want to sit in the marketplace. Do you want to sell lots of things for a small amount of price? Or do you want to be exclusive and only have a handful of clients? 

Then, determine what it will cost you to deliver your product or service. This comes down to things like manufacturing & packaging costs, or the hourly rate you need to earn to cover expenses like your internet or home office. 

Once you have your base rate, you can add a profit margin on top if you’re selling a product. Or you can charge for the additional value you provide your clients. 

For example, every book I read and every course I do becomes extra knowledge I can use to grow my clients’ businesses. That is all added value I can use to increase my coaching price. A great way to add value to your business is to create your ‘Expert Status’ to show your authority. You can learn all about how to leverage this to raise your price in the Creating Your Expert Status episode on the Startup Creative Podcast. 

For a more in-depth discussion on how to price yourself so you make the money you deserve, listen to the Pricing 101 episode. 

 

Step 5: Validate Your Business 

Now it’s time to validate our business AKA make sure people are willing to exchange money for it. This step is what will transform your idea into a proper business. 

To do this, we need to get a valid, paying customer – someone who isn’t a family member or best friend. You have to get someone who genuinely fits into your target market and needs the solution you’re offering. 

This serves two purposes:

One, to confirm people actually want your product. The last thing you want to do is invest all your time and money into a product or service no one actually needs. 

And two, to gain as much feedback and information as possible from your target market. Did they like it? Did they feel like it was value for money? What did they want more of? What worked, what didn’t work?

Then, you can take the feedback and adjust your product or service until it becomes something your target market truly wants. 

 

Step 6: Market Your Business

To create a viable business that consistently brings in money, you need a constant flow of customers or clients. This is where marketing comes in.

I recommend having seven touchpoints to help you build trust with your customer. These are the ways that people can find you, hear from you, and come across you. 

Your seven touchpoints could be channels like:

  • A blog
  • A mailing list
  • Social media platforms eg. Facebook, Instagram
  • Collaborations with like minded businesses 
  • Live events
  • Guest posting on other people’s blogs

You also want to think about your unique point of difference – what makes you stand out from your competitors? This can come down to your brand values and the way you create content. For Startup Creative, our brand values are to educate, inspire, and grow. So all of our content and marketing revolves around this.

To identify your unique brand values, tune in to the Brand Values episode. To create a strategic marketing plan that’ll attract more customers to your business, be sure to check out the Marketing 101 episode and watch the Marketing Webinar. The accompanying ebook is also filled with worksheets and advice from top marketing gurus to guide you on your path to marketing mastery.

 

Step 7: Start and Grow Your Mailing List 

A vital component of your marketing mix is your mailing list. Unlike platforms like Instagram and Facebook, a mailing list is owned by you. That means you get to control how and when people actually see your content (no pesky algorithm here!). 

Focus your attention on growing your mailing list by including an opt-in or lead magnet on your website. A lead magnet is a valuable piece of content or incentive that people have to trade their email addresses for. This could be an ebook, a special recipe, or a discount code. Try and create something your target market will find valuable so they’ll be more likely to hop onto your email list. 

To learn more about how valuable an email list is and how to grow it, tune in to the Power of a Mailing List episode. 

 

Step 8: Stay Motivated

Let’s be real: shit’s going to happen. Life is always going to get in your way by throwing up roadblocks that make you want to throw in the towel. 

The key to overcoming these obstacles is to set clear goals so you don’t lose momentum. Ask yourself: what are my priorities and what actions do I need to take? Where do I want to be in 5 or 10 years time? The 5-Year Planning & Business Goal Setting Webinar is designed to help you start with the end in mind so you’ll be more motivated to continue taking the steps you need to get there. 

Establishing a consistent morning routine will also ensure you’re doing something each day to move you forward along your journey. A good morning routine helps you approach each day with intention and clarity so you feel more energised to tackle anything that gets in your way. To learn more about my morning routine and how it’s changed my life, listen to the Morning Rituals episode.  

To avoid getting overwhelmed by all the things you have to juggle, get smart about establishing clear systems and processes in place. This will clear out the mental clutter in your brain, increase your efficiency, and ultimately help you create a profitable business. The Systems and Processes Made Sexy episode will give you the stepping stones you need to establish solid systems in your business.

 

Master Your Mindset 

The biggest key to success in business is mastering your mindset. This is the biggest difference between those who see their dreams come to life and those who give up halfway. 

As you were reading this, you probably felt fear, anxiety, and like you don’t have what it takes to start a business. That’s ok. But don’t let it stop you from pursuing your dreams. Fear is evidence that you’re standing on the edge of your comfort zone. The trick is to lean into the fear, acknowledge it’s terrifying, and then take the leap anyways. 

Here are some pep talks I recorded for when you’re consumed by fear and self-doubt. Mastering your mindset is something we have to do throughout our business journey, so tune into these whenever you feel like giving up. 

For more strategies and tips on how to thrive in business, grab your copy of How to Start a Side Hustle by Kaylene Langford 

 

In need of daily inspiration and support to help keep your business goals on track 

We’ve got you. 

You’ll want to join our Business Coaching Academy – The place where aspiring business owners, entrepreneurs, and goal-getters go to take MASSIVE action on their business. 

This exclusive membership is just like my usual Business Coaching – but with an even bigger dose of caffeine. Inside, you’ll find a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, exclusive business training, and Live Hot Seat Calls designed to help you start and scale a successful business. With all these valuable resources and first dibs access to me, Kaylene Langford, at your fingertips – you’ll be smashing your goals in no time! It’s super affordable, packed with like minded entrepreneurs, trainings and support to get you motivated and keep you learning and growing in and on your business. 

 

Join the squad 

 

 

One last thing, if you’d prefer to cut straight to the chase and get a tailored business plan specific to you, 1:1 Business Coaching with Kay might be the best place to start. You can get in touch here for more information and we can find you a spot in the diary to kick us off and get your business pumping.

See you in class.

Kay