Starting your own business, blog or website is simultaneously thrilling and frightening. Where do you start? How do you ensure your success? Taking on a new career project or personal initiative is something you do because you have a passion you want to share. Success is not promised, but with a few helpful tips, you can get closer to achieving your goals every day.
Research and Network
When I launched my website, I didn’t have a community of business owners and entrepreneurs whispering in my ear. I didn’t even know where to start, and I didn’t have anyone to ask all of my questions.
The importance of both researching and networking is vital to entrepreneurs. You want to continuously research your craft and read up on strategies for communications, marketing, finances, and branding. But without networking, you’re missing a vital component of the business. Nothing can replace true networking – meeting likeminded individuals face-to-face.
Professional mixers are a great opportunity to meet a few fresh faces. Working from home sometimes gets lonely, so it’s great to meet acquaintances whom you can meet and discuss business goals. You may even get a few referrals for your service or products. You can find networking mixers on professional sites like LinkedIn.
In most areas of the world, this is a great way to solve the networking issue. However, for me, there are few networking options where I live. I resort to online forums and discussion boards, phone calls, and video chats. Just remember, you don’t have to do this alone!
Establish a Brand
There’s a reason you see so many commercials on TV or hear them on the radio. Businesses are fighting to stand out in the sea of advertisements, and entire creative departments labor over everything from graphic design to commercial messaging and print campaigns.
You don’t need anything that elaborate to kick-start your own business or website, but you do need a clear brand and a user-friendly interface. I would strongly recommend hiring someone to build and optimize your website for SEO. Unless you have these skills already, you may hinder your search result rankings by not checking every nook and cranny for opportunity.
When it comes to marketing, start simple by tapping into social media channels and generating blog content. Set a schedule and brainstorm ideas ahead of time, so you’re not just staring at a blank screen.
Make Sure Working from Home is Working
If you tell people you work from home, they may crack jokes about sleeping till noon and “working” in your pajamas. So many people misunderstand that working from home is still work. Just like you would go into the office for hours at a time, you have to treat your home office as a dedicated workspace to stay focused. Whether you’re operating your website full-time, or just signing on for a few hours a day, make sure to set clear goals and break them down to measure progress.
If you find it hard to focus at home, work in smaller time increments, or sprints, and take quick breaks in between each focused session. I found that I was constantly distracted with other websites and lacked productivity. After some research, I discovered software that blocks out the Internet or background apps. Another solution is to just go full-screen on what you’re writing and refuse to minimize the window until your task is completed.
When I told my friends I was launching an online business, they thought I was crazy. But every good idea started with someone thinking outside the box, so don’t be afraid to get creative to achieve your professional goals!