After numerous conversations with others and experiencing my own obstacles in building some of my businesses, I have learned “Perfection is the Enemy of Done.” I use to struggle for hours at a time trying to do things that I now can complete in five minutes.
For me to overcome this time consuming personal flaw, I had to first stop trying so hard to get things right and focus on getting things done. Improvements can be made along the way.
I love building websites, creating logos, and designing my businesses from the inside out. I like to know what makes them tick and that I don’t have to rely on any one else.
I want to make sure everything is perfect before I tell anyone or sometimes even get started on a project. The reality is that none of my projects are ever perfect.
There are many lessons I wish I would have received when I started my business, but building a business is a continuous transformation. Now, since I started my blog I have had to educate myself on the “Blogosphere,” and am constantly teaching myself new tricks to improve my writing, as well as, my blog.
You can’t expect to do everything right the first time so don’t try. I never knew how easy it was to set-up a business online until now after I have gone through the process myself. There is one thing I have learned along my journey, “People automatically perceive things bigger than they are in reality.”
I have had non working websites that people were complimenting on. Heck I have links on my site now that do not work some I am aware of and some I may never know exist.
Whether you want to start a business or a side hustle, you can be well on your way to getting your name out there in a few easy steps and for FREE (or minimal money depending on what your willing to compromise on).
If I could start over and still had my corporate job I would have spent less time trying to design a website and logo. More of my time would have been dedicated to marketing and engaging with clients for growth.
Brainstorm & WRITE Down ALL of your Ideas
This is free. Get a notebook and spend some time planning your ideas. Write down your business plan on paper and all your goals for where you plan to be in 30, 60, 90 days, etc…
The biggest mistake I made was not writing things down or not keeping notes organized. When things are in your head no one else can read your mind — You will most likely not stay on track.
A clearly written plan needs to be posted somewhere you can refer to easily, often. (Hint: This should also be on your website, so your audience knows what to expect from you.)
Tip to stay on track: A good idea is to pick three words that describe your brand and make sure the message you are sending and the content you are posting is always falling into one of those topic categories.
Create a Business Name, Logo, and Slogan
Powerful brand names are the result of a powerful positioning strategy. Finding a fresh perspective into the hearts and minds of your audience is key to branding your business for startup success. The goal is to redefine and own the conversation in your niche while engaging people on as many levels as possible.
Don’t spend too much time on this by overthinking it. You should make sure the words and design portrays your brand. It should be clear what your business stands for and the customer shouldn’t be left wondering what it is you do.
Great names differentiate you from competitors, make an emotional connection with your customers, and build a brand that ignites the passions of your target market.
A great business name won’t save a bad business. Pick a name you can grow with.
FREE BUSINESS / PROJECT NAME GENERATORS
- The Name App: Find an available name for your brilliant idea.
- Naminum: Discover a perfect company name.
- Wordoid: Pick a short, quirky, and catchy name for your business.
- Impossibility: The best domain name generator ever.
- Lean Domain Search: Find a domain name for your website in seconds.
- Domainr: Fast, free, domain name search, short URLs. Find the perfect name fast.
- NameTumbler: Put in your search terms and we will let you know what’s available. They figure out the combination to unlock the perfect domain for you.
- Hipster Business Name Generator: creates a random combination of quirky nouns and drops them under a stylized X,
- NameMesh Name Generator: Just enter your main keywords to quickly generate company names and check domain availability.
- Shopify Logo Maker – With the online logo maker, you don’t need graphic design skills or a huge budget to create a logo – it’s easy and free to use!
- Spaces Logo Maker – With the online logo maker, you don’t need graphic design skills or a huge budget to create a logo – it’s easy and free to use! Once you’ve explored your options, select a logo that best communicates your desired brand image to the masses.
- SquareSpace Logo Maker: Online simple and easy to use logo creating program.
- Ucraft – Fully customizable, exportable logos, perfect for websites. Fast, Easy Logo Maker with 100’s of Icons. Drag and Drop Design and Professional Quality.
- Shopify Slogan Maker: Simply enter a term that describes your business, and get up to 1,000 relevant slogans for free.
- Spaces Slogan Generator: Get hundreds of slogan ideas for your project or business
If you need some inspiration and help, I LOVE the tips & tricks in these tutorials:
How to Name Your Business (download this 10-category evaluation worksheet)
Build a Cover Page or Website
You can throw a simple website together in ONE hour or a cover page together in 5 minutes. STOP overthinking the design you will be changing this as you go TRUST ME. You are just trying to quickly and clearly convey a message to your audience what it is you do or offer. Who is your potential customer? You want to intrigue them so they will want to come back later, so think of how you can be of benefit to them.
FREE WEBSITE & LANDING PAGE:
- WordPress.org | WordPress.com: Create your new website for free.
- Spaces: Create a free business website. Start selling today or get your business online in no time, with no hassle. And it’s free to use!
- Medium: Best-Loved Blogging Platform, a place to read, write, and interact with the stories that matter most to you. If you have TWITTER this is a MUST.
- SquareSpace: Cover Pages present information in a single, bold page. You can use a Cover Page on its own as a single-page site, or as a landing page. (ALMOST FREE – $5 will get you started.) SquareSpace is a great all in one solution for a website set-up for those not wanting to spend a lot of time. You could have a site set up in a few minutes and ready to go with just a cover page. You also have the option to create a website now or expand your cover page later.
- InstaPage (by MailChimp): Get started for FREE 30 day Trail. NO credit card required! After that, if you choose to keep the plan they offer simple, fair pricing starting around $29 a month.
A side note on Domains:
Most websites and cover pages will give you a FREE domain name to use. Plenty of people will tell you that you will not get the wanted foot traffic by using one of these free domains, but that is not true. Organic SEO is going to come from your content! Since when did Google decide to start segregating domain names?
However, if you choose to grab one of your own domain names then don’t over pay. You can score a domain for 99 cents on some web host. The one up sale I would advise you on is the Privacy Proxy they offer usually an additional $7 but will save you a lot of marketing phone calls, snail mail, and email. It keeps your personal information private from public searches.
Grab ALL of your Social Handles
I would suggest grabbing every social handle you think you may want to use one day, because it may not be available when you want it later. Just setup an account and a handle (i.e @BlogginBrandi is what I use for Facebook and Twitter). If your handle is not available, try a variation (i.e. @Bloggin_B).
I have several other social media accounts, but haven’t started using those networks. Also, keep in mind which networks are beneficial for your line of business.
Social Media Accounts:
Set Up Your Email List
This is ALL FREE. There is no need to pay for a service at least getting started to handle your email list. EMAIL should be the CORE mission of your goal for your website or cover page. Your plan is to get your followers off of social media and on to your website or cover page. You want them to want to sign up with a clear message and “CALL TO ACTION” on your page.
If you don’t already have an email account then grab one at Google to start and use that for now. You will want to have a separate business email vs personal email address. Don’t use your personal email address for both.
COLLECT & SEND EMAILS FOR FREE:
- Mailchimp: Send over 10,000 emails a month to 2,000 subscribers for free. Online email marketing solution to manage subscribers, send emails, and track results. Offers integrations with other programs and a WordPress Plugin, as well as, the ability to collect signups from your phone or tablet on the go.
- Contact form 7: Famous WordPress plugin to collect email addresses. Can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup.
- ManyContactsBar: Free contact form sits on top of your website. ManyContacts provides a tiny script that you install on your website. It sends enriched information when visitors fill your contact forms
- Hello Bar: Get more email subscribers with a call to action on your site.
- Sumome List Builder: Collect email addresses with light box popover. It is a suite of free tools that can be used to grow your website’s traffic.
- Scroll Triggered Box: Boost your conversion rates by displaying a pop-up box with customization content. (WordPress Plugin)
- Sumome Scroll Box: Capture more email addresses, politely. Never feel like you are being pushy again when you ask for signups.
Setting up a business can be overwhelming, but just focus on getting it done. Once it is done you can promote your business, start getting feedback, and making improvements. Your business and design will be evolving forever. Don’t pay for stuff you don’t need because you can always buy it later. Also, never let any legal talk scare you, no one cares about little old you until you start making money anyways.
I hope to motivate you to at least get started creating your website and getting your name out there. If you want some more tips and tricks for how I run my business on the go, Join me on my journey here. I am sure it will help give you inspiration for ideas to implement in your own business.
It took me a while to finally stop procrastinating and start my business. I have several many friends, old work colleagues, and family that say they admire my drive; it feels great. The part that breaks my heart is the fact they are not happy and could do the same thing TODAY with their own lives. Who knows maybe be on their way to quitting their job tomorrow.
I love helping others set up their businesses and fine tune their designs as they go. Let’s connect so I can help guide you along your entrepreneurial journey.
Also published on Medium.