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Starting a business. Where to start with?

Being your own boss is great but is also challenging. We’ll now give you a brief explanation of some of the steps we did and you should follow when starting your own thing. If you’re an entrepreneur who is starting your own business, this article will be a great match for you.

Starting from the ground

A year ago we were only freelancers, sailing in a deep and stormy sea, after years in a beautiful and automated cruise liner.

We didn’t know, but life was easy when we only had to deal with daily work.

We struggled with things needed to build a company that we didn’t know like finance, vision, and social presence. That’s why we can share so much knowledge with you guys. Right here, right now 🙂

Some may say that we were crazy to jump from our current ships to sail in a new ocean, and Yes, we were. We had a vision and we’re each day closer to that. That’s why you must be starting a business too. You have an idea, vision and goal related to what you’re passionate about.

The basic lesson — Responsibilities

Starting your own Business isn’t a game or fun activity. You’ll have more bad times than good times at the beginning. The reasons can range from lack of vision to financial problems, but the most important is:

You must learn how to turn it 180º, transforming failure into knowledge and success into firewood to speed you even more.

Let’s Start

Choosing a good name for your business is important. Business names shouldn’t change, different than logos and websites that can always be redesigned. Those should reflect the time and trend you’re doing business in, but let’s not talk about trends yet. They exist and you shouldn’t always follow them, but that’s another conversation. The important here is that you know this:

A brand name should be eternal.

Every step matters

Branding

It’s the voice of your company. It’s everything that reflects who you are and how you do business. From naming to logo design, graphic design of your graphic assets, your social media accounts and much more.

Naming

The process of defining a name for your brand. It’s a process because it involves a lot of small details that most people don’t know. Most people think that is just choosing a name, but it is almost 50% of what your business will be. Sometimes it can be one of the hardest steps of the branding process.

You can always change a logo, but it’s much harder to change a name. First, because it’s how people will discover/know your product. If you change it, you’ll have to teach all your customers that you are now a different person. It’ll take time and patience from you. Second, changing your name after all the government paperwork is usually hard or expensive.

I’ll make a post that goes deeper into this field, but I’ll give some basic tips right now. My goal here is to bring you guys value, so I can’t be too vague.

Some tips for a good naming are:

  • It must be Easy to remember.
    You shouldn’t have a name like Triploid Proserpina. You can name it that way, but I guarantee that your branding will be harder to do.
  • Be Easy to speak
    It should be spoken with small differences between languages, but it should be as related as possible.
  • If you want to be global, it should be easily spoken in English
    No, Mandarin still haven’t conquered the world. Most of the world still speaks English and it is our global language.
  • You must find a domain available for it
    You don’t want to be that company whose website is 32-letters long because they didn’t search for domain availability before choosing their name.
  • Don’t forget about social media profile availability
    Since we’re in 2015 — if you read this after 2015, please forgive me for any mistake — social media is the new thing. You must have a social presence not only online with a website but in social media.
  • It usually makes things easy if you choose a small name.
  • Please, never use something with your name like:
    [Your name here]’s [Your profession here]

Back to where we were…

Visual Identity

Usually mistaken as logo design only, but it goes way beyond this. It’s a definition of visual rules that should give a common voice to your company. If you are in more than one physical location, it gives a cohesive voice to your staff.

Social Media

Basically, it’s where things happen in 2015. In my opinion, in the world we live today, you should have a social media account before your website.

Why am I saying this?

According to Business Insider most people in the world spends 34% of their online time in their social media accounts.

Social medias can range from classic ones like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to newer ones like Snapchat, Meerkat, and Periscope(If you’ve never heard of them, you should)

Website

Your can consider it as the online representation of a body. You can be thin and fast or fat and lacking on performance…You can be outdated or you can be in fashion…Jokes apart, we got used to think that this is the most important thing you should have if you’re starting a company. First of all, you must know this: Not everyone needs a website

That’s because we live in the social media(SM) era. Your power of communication through SM is much bigger than a static website. Also, you can always use your SM page to share the details people would find in your website.

Let’s be honest. Do you really need a website?

If you sell a product, physical or digital, yes you need one. And if you need a website, please make a good one as you won’t be able to do it all by yourself.

Websites are hard to make and you’re reading this from a guy who have worked many years making both design and code of websites. I could go into details, but I’ll keep them for a future post.

My simple advice would be for you to choose between those 3 possibilities. They are sorted from more expensive and personalized to cheaper but less exclusive:

  • Hire a professional designer to design it and a professional developer to code it.
    If you have the budget or if a website is essential for you to sell, please do it the right way. The return in your investment will be the highest
  • Buy a WordPress theme and ask for a developer to put it in place.
    Maybe you can ask for some changes on it but it usually ain’t easy. Those themes have limits so if possible, try to find a developer before buying a theme. He’ll be able to help you by saying that something is possible or not.
  • Use a website builder like Squarespace or Wix.
    You’ll have many limits, but they can work as a quick solution for problems. My personal preference is Squarespace. Their Design team is really good at making beautiful and simple websites.

If you don’t have the budget for any of those, relax. In most of the cases, your facebook page will be enough, at least at the beginning.

Promote yourself

Last, but not less important, learn how to promote yourself. Marketing, as we used to see, is almost dead.

Brands today need to immerse themselves into client’s life. You can’t sell something just by sitting at your president chair. You must interact!

The easiest way to do it is to go where people meet and socialize, a place called Social Media. Were you able to see now why Social Media > Websites?

Websites usually are a one-way experience. Even if people are buying a product, the social interaction won’t be there. SM is where social happens and is where you get that extra point with your client.

More tips and ideas about this subject will be themes for some of our new posts. Just wait and you’ll see 🙂

You talk about Design because you’re a Designer. I don’t think it is that important for my business.

WRONG! — you can hear a loud hornet in the background — It is important, but it isn’t the only responsible for your product success. Design is here to help you elevate your product qualities for your clients, but you still need a good product or idea to start with.

Are you starting a business or have one already?
Tell us your story, your struggles, and your tips for success.

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