It always seems impossible until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela
Welcome to Day 19 of the 20-Day Business Startup Challenge! Today we’re going to flip that “Open” sign and launch your new business.
Congratulations! You’ve jumped through all the hoops and gotten all the ducks in a row. It’s time to finally open for business.
Before we jump into the specifics, first acknowledge your business is not perfect yet. But, I want you to open for business anyway.
Procrastination and perfection are killers to entrepreneurs. Don’t let these kill your business too. Though it’s not perfect, you’ve worked hard to get to this point and need to take a leap of faith. Open your business.
As you gain customers, you will learn much more about your business and be able to make better changes. Before you have customers, how can you know what will work and what won’t?
Have I convinced you? I certainly hope so. Today’s the day to open for business. Take the leap.
Here are the essential steps to opening your business:
Tell all your friends, family, and acquaintances.
For some, this is scarier than networking, but it is key to opening. Your friends and family care about you and want you to succeed, so should be the first ones to help send people your way.
An easy (and less intimidating way) to do this is via email. Send them an email about your new business. Keep it brief but touch on the highlights of what you are offering. Be sure to ask them to share your email with 1-2 others they think would be interested. Also, ask them to share your business on social media. Be sure to provide your website, social media links, and other contact information.
Depending on your type of business, this could be joining a local networking group or contacting local and virtual businesses. You want to build relationships with people that can be a mouthpiece for your business.
For instance, if you are starting a pet sitting business, visit your local pet stores, vets, and groomers to spread the word. Take them some donuts or invite them to coffee and learn about them and share about yourself. Relationships are key and will advance your business like no other.
Use social media.
Post about your new business on all your social media platforms. Let everyone know you are open for business and how to reach you. If you’ve joined any groups (from Day 14), let them all know as well.
Ideally, you’ve been engaging with these groups regularly, so when you announce this to them, they will want to share with their networks. If you haven’t built these relationships yet, do so now. Remember, serve them first before trying to sell. Your process should be 20:1, 20 times helping for every one time you promote your business.
One free way is HARO (Help a Reporter Out). This website sends three daily emails announcing topics reporters need help with. If there is a topic you know well, you submit a pitch outlining what you know and how you can help them (not sell, help). If they choose you, your name and information can be in a top news source or magazine.
You can also hire someone to help with publicity. One that comes highly recommended is MediaMavenandMore.com. Christina Nicholson provides public relations advice on a freelance basis. Also, her book and blog have a ton of great information to help you learn public relations techniques.
Have a party.
If you are opening a physical location, this is an excellent way to announce you are open. Invite all your neighbors, the local community, and local news. Have a big Grand Opening Weekend with prizes and giveaways.
If you have a virtual business, you could have a virtual party. This may sound strange, but you can host a webinar, do Facebook Live videos, or other live videos on social media. In the video, offer tons of great information and some free giveaways. Ask people to visit your website for the giveaways. Remember to serve your customers, always.
Attend an event.
Depending on your business, find a conference, trade show, street fair, farmer’s market or another outlet where your ideal clients will be. If you can afford to do so, buy a booth at the event to present your business (have free stuff too!). If you can’t afford a booth, attend anyway and use the time to meet others in your industry. Build those relationships.
Start any planned advertising.
If your marketing plan included starting a door hanger service or sending mailers, do that now as well. If you planned to buy ad space in a magazine, online, or on TV/Radio – get started. Commit to your plan and see it through.
Once you’ve put these steps into action, you are officially an entrepreneur. Congratulations business owner! You have come a long way, and I am so proud of you.
Keep your momentum moving forward and work through any kinks or issues and don’t stop. Your dream is worth it.
Share your new business in the comments below! Give us your website, contact info, and social media links. Let us help spread the word for you.