First steps

So you have your business idea, you have thought it through over and over again, and now you want to get going! Here are some useful hints and tips if you are just starting out.

  • The very first thing I would suggest is to join WMIB!

We offer great advise, guidance and support for those very first nerve racing steps and beyond, we are friendly and informal and welcome children and any woman at any stage in their business career!

  • Business plan.

Now this may sound a little scary if you have never done anything like it before. But generally speaking, a business plan just needs to be your ideas, your goals, your method of finance, how you are going to promote your business and a brief numbers section to project what your income could potentially be. Try not to over complicate it, or become overwhelmed by business plan templates you find on-line  A business plan will vary from business to business and details will definitely depend on whether you are going to the bank for funding or a loan.

  • Market research.

Once you have a business plan written down, talk to your friends and family about your idea and see if they can bring more ideas to the table to help you get started. Really make the most of your contacts. The only downside of doing this can be negative feedback and nay Sayers, DO NOT LISTEN! Believe in your idea and keep moving forward.

  • Paperwork.

Check out relevant insurances, certificates, legislation you may need to adhere to, eg. If its a food business you need to register with Environmental Health.

  • Website and email.

Research website hosting and email providers. It is a mine field out there so ask anyone from WMIB for their advise. You can put your own website together for free, and there are many platforms to chose from. My advise is to find a website provider that can be viewed on hand held devises as well as a PC. most people now have the Internet on their phones, not being able to view your website because it needs Flash Adobe is a sure way to lose a potential customer. If you don’t feel confident building your own site, we have some fabulous members who can do it for you.

Start an e-mailing list of all your current contacts. Start collecting new contact details to build a database. Maybe start a monthly newsletter, email it to your database, (check they are ok to receive regular mailers). Link your newsletter to social media. This is very simple if you use a mail out system such as MailChimp.

  • Branding.

Do you know anyone who could design you a logo? Your brand needs to represent you, does what is says on the tin, be clear and concise and stand out. You can get a logo designed for as a little as £30. Ask around. Be careful of companies who will see you as naive and charge you an extortionate rate.

Get your flyers sorted. Your marketing material needs to reflect you in a professional way with a clear message, making sure all contact details are listed.

  • Social Media.

Register your new business on Facebook, twitter, Linked In, Pinterest or Instagram. Start to build up your online presence by inviting people to like your new page and go to work on building your twitter profile. There are lots of on line workshops to help you do this as well as other companies in the local area.Start to write a regular blog and link it to your website, this helps increase your website traffic.

  • Public Relations.

Let the newspapers know what you are doing. Write your own press release or ask a friend to help you do it, and mail it off to all the news desks.

  • Networking.

Tell everyone you know and everyone you meet what you do, start the conversation, carry cards or flyers with you to give to people you meet. Make sure your children’s school teachers know what you do, you never know when they might be able to recommend you or use your skills. People don’t realise the power of networking, that is why WMIB meet-ups can be so beneficial to start up companies.

  • Time management.

Manage your time so you are not working 24/7. Usually you start your own business so you have the freedom to spend more time with your family. So make sure you allocate yourself working hours as much as possible.

Dolly Parton – “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”  Wise words!

  • Knowledge.

Knowledge is king! Read, listen watch, learn wherever and whenever you can. The internet is an amazing tool, as well as the more traditional methods, but keep abreast of what is happening in your business sector, who is doing what and how you could learn from them.

  • Don’t forget!

Believe in yourself! Do not ever give up – if this is your dream, then only you can make it a reality.
The first port of call for help on any of the above is to drop us a line at WMIB, we shall be sure to point you in the right direction or connect you with the right person. Welsh Mums in Business is here to help!

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