Month 1

Marketing » Selling

When you're in the first month of your business, you need to set up the basic infrastructure of things. Realize that you will iterate rapidly during your first year, so don't spend too much time or money on any of these initial tasks. 

Your Elevator Speech

The elevator speech - when you're first getting started, you need an elevator speech. Download the below worksheet to develop your elevator speech


Pricing

Pricing - This will complete depend on what business you are in. 


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Website & Email

Do's for Your First Website

  • Keep it simple
  • Keep it under $2000
  • Only ask your audience to do 1 thing per page

Don'ts for your first website

  • Spend too much - realize your business will evolve very quickly in your first year and you'll probably need to do 1 or 2 overhauls during the year. Don't invest too much for your first iteration. 
  • Invest in
 

Printed Collateral 

Business-Cards.gif

Business cards should contain your name, phone number, and email address. Don't make these too fancy or flamboyant at this stage, if you do things right, you'll be buying many more business cards down the line. 

 

Production

Produce What You Sell

This seems obvious, but don't overlook the production in your business. Remember a great business needs to do everything well.  If you don't produce things on time and in good quality (this goes for you too service industry people), then you won't get referals which will determine whether you succeed of fail in your first year of business. 

Understanding

Listen there are things you need to learn. You can either learn them the easy way, or the hard way. But if you're going to be successful - you WILL learn these things. Choose the easy way and just trust my advice.

You need Support

You can't do this alone. Find some friends and/or family members who support your endeavor and enlist them to help you. There will be times (even later in this course) where you will need help solving business problems or brainstorming your business. Having the support and brainpower of people you trust will help immensely. Below is a template email that you can send to some people you're close with. Also, I'm available by email (time permitting) to help you work through some of these issues. 

 

Find Sustainability

 
 
 

Strategy & Planning

Focus on Selling Right now (not strategy & planning)

Sales are the lifeblood of your business. If you're not selling (and marketing) you will go out of business. In these early days, spend as much time as possible selling and generating leads. Later down the road we'll work more on Strategy & Planning

General

Business Name


Business Insurance  / License / Permits (if needed)

Varies drastically depending on business. If you don't know, talk to someone else in your industry.

Also remember there is a difference between business license and a business permit. For example, you can draw architectural plans without being licensed but your state, you just can't claim that your licensed by the state. Also, use your intuition, you probably could start a children's daycare in your home without having business insurance - but probably not a smart move. 

 

Business Phone

Do you have one? Use yours. 

 

Business Credit Card

We're not going to get into accounting and finance here (or the difference, because there is major one), but you need to be thinking about your finances differently. The government will come calling for their taxes and if you're not in order, you'll have a nightmare on your hands. Save yourself the time and money and just get another credit card and designate it as your business card. Simple.

 
 

Months 1-3