How to start your business

How to start a business if you have never done business before?

It’s not easy, they say. There is a great amount of competition, they say. You won’t make it in the market, they say. No, you have no business background, they say. And yes, you have a family, they say. You’re a woman, they think. They say quite a lot, and they still keep sitting on their bottoms, chit chatting, talking small and having no sense of purpose working for someone else 9 to 4, deeply convinced that better lives are meant for better people, that life is what it is and you can’t change much about it. And you my friend, you are something else. Now keep reading and let me tell you what you need to start your business. It’s not as scary as it seems.

How to start your business

What is business all about?

If you came here to read this, you were meant to do great things. Now, I don’t know what your things are, what your values, knowledge, expertise and experiences are, and I don’t know if you will make it. But I know one thing for sure, if you don’t try it, we will never find out. 

The times have come in which the old systems as we know them don’t work anymore. Money chasing, corporate ladder climbing, competing and burning out is history. Todays businesses are becoming soulful. Heart lead. Impact driven. Vision carried. They are all about value providing, problem solving, helping others by teaching them what you know so they can make their dreams real as well, just as you’re making yours. Businesses are about emotions and connecting to your audience through your stories that they can relate to. 

*Read my previous post to learn what does it mean to own a business if you need more insights.

How do you start a business?

So, how do you start a business if you have never done business before? The legal stuff is not of my interests here, and you will have to look into your own country’s regulation. What I want you to do before you dive deeper, is to get yourself a notebook, write down your dream on the cover and keep writing down every single thing that comes regarding to your business to be. Then move on. 

First things first, know what you have to offer. Once you are aware of your values, knowledge, experience, expertise, and skills, you can easily take the next step into preferred direction. What is it that you do? 

Check your competitors. Not to copy what they do or follow their steps, but to see the range of businesses doing similar to what you are about to do, see how they do it, get to know their audiences and learn from them. See what you like about their work, and what you don’t. It will help you figure out the way you want to do it. On your own terms, with your authentic and unique approach. Shut down your ego here, and do this only for educational purposes. 

*Sidenote, there is a good article about competition and how to deal with it here – it might bring you a new perspective on all this.

Moving onto the next step

Brainstorm your first product or service. The thing is, you don’t need to create it right away, just put it on paper. Not all business start the same, and dependant on what you do, you will figure things on your own. If you are a photographer like me, and you already have photo equipment, you will definitely start easier then someone who wants to do hand made ceramics, due to all the equipment and space that sort of business requires. 

Create your first product. We are all amazingly unique and different, but if I could tell you one thing, it would be not to aim for perfection – not in timing or the product itself. Because it won’t be. It can’t. You need to start however, messy, imperfect, with what you have and get better with time. No matter if you are creating a physical product or a service, just make the best you can right now, put your heart and your soul into it and move onto the next step. 

Find a client. You don’t need to have a large audience, or any audience for that matter, to be able to sell your first thing. Once you start making your way through it, you will find ways to reach people, and I promise you, your first client will make their way to you. The ways of the universe are exceptional and often not easy to comprehend, and there are times when you just need to trust your path. Put a price tag and make your offer. Do it. 

How to start a business

Is that how you start your business?

Not quite. There is a whole more to it, but that is a start. You will have to think about a website that will act as your ID card, business card, portfolio, bio, sales page all in once. Next, you will have to decide on the platform you’ll want to use (if any) to connect to your audience and what content format suits best your needs and your character. You can start a blog, a podcast, a youtube channel, or use Instagram, Facebook or any other social platform to show yourself out there, to make relevant connections, to show your competence and talk about your product/service every now and then, and tell them your stories around this. 

If you are really serious about it, I would wholeheartedly recommend getting a brand designer who will design your logo for you, and if you choose mine, she will do much more for you. Brand identity includes not only logo, colour palette, font families that you will be using, but also your ideal customer avatar, your vision, tone of communication, your brand values and all around the way your brand shows up in the world.*

*Check out this post to see how Oil on paper was made, and you’ll catch on my brand designer. 

Also, I have an amazing Free guide on How to start your online business brand that will get you SO much information and insight. I got amazing feedback on this cheatsheet and if you’re anywhere around starting your business (and I sense you are if you read so far), make sure to get it. Click here or the image below. You can thank me later. 

Create your online business brand

What else is up there?

If you’re about to make any of those first steps, I congratulate you. You are amazing, brave, bold, and life has good things waiting for you. But hey, I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. 

There is a LOT – (aka, a lot) of learning in front of you, and the bad news is that there is no skipping. You can have it all and you will still make mistakes, feel stupid, guilty, not good enough, ask yourself what others will think, you will feel down, miserable, you won’t have enough money many times, you’ll make the wrong choices, talk to wrong people, distribute energy unevenly, wish you never started, doubt your skills, your knowledge, your heritage, and your existence. It can go that deep, yes. The good news is, those moments don’t last long if you only keep stepping forward. And also, you will feel all written above even if you don’t start following the whispers of your soul. Either way, growth is a process and it has highs and lows. 

That is only ONE way to look at things, and here’s how I want you to shift your mind. 

Shift your perspective

You cannot know what you haven’t experienced, you need to experience it to know. Important – you will only learn, and not fail. By making mistakes you’ll figure out how YOU need to do things. You will feel what you feel, and that is ok. Your belief system is what can be changed, and it is up to you to choose what you believe to. You are who you say you are, and you are what you say you are, so choose your thoughts and words wisely. You didn’t know any of what made you who you are today, and yet you are here with all these skills, experience, knowledge and expertise. 

Business, just like anything else, sums up to this – if you believe you can make it, you probably can. If you believe you can’t make it, you definitely can’t.

Invest in yourself if you want them to invest in you. Buy some books, read free online content, watch youtube videos. Invest in an online course, school, find a mentor. Keep learning about every single step of the process, and I will keep repeating this until you do so.

The thing is, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. You can either dig your way to making that dream happen, or end up asking yourself what would have happened if you tried it. There is no guarantee for anything, it is only up to you to figure out how you want to live your life. 

Keep digging, dive deep, love it all, shine bright, and be free. This is what you came here to do. 

My love to you, 

oil on paper blog

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