It’s a lazy Saturday night for me (Not going out with the girls tonight) and I’ve decided to take the time to write my first real blog post (besides my introduction) on a topic I get asked all the time.
That question is “Elizabeth, how do I start a business right now? And by the way… I don’t have much money”.
Now I’ve been apart of many startups and have learned a thing or two which I would like to share with you today. Remember these are just ideas and tips from my previous experience and stuff that has worked for me and some of my business partners. Hopefully you will find some of these tips helpful:)
WHAT TYPE OF BUSINESS SHOULD I START?
It’s now 2018 and there is so many different businesses to start so the first thing we MUST determine is what type of business we want to start. This is really only something you can determine but I will give you a few different ideas and then my opinion on some of the easiest businesses to start with little investment. Here’s a list of a few:
- Ecommerce (Dropshipping)
- Digital Marketing Agency/SMMA (Social Media Marketing Agency)
- Personal Brand
What is Ecommerce?
Ecommerce is as simple as having an online store (maybe not that simple) – you still got to build a website, marketing your website on Facebook or Google (Or do SEO), and most importantly you need a bunch of product. So you’re probably saying “Elizabeth if I don’t have any money, how can I have a bunch of expensive products to sell and market?”. Well… don’t worry, this is where Dropshipping comes in!
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is simply Ecommerce but instead of selling your own product, you sell someone else’s product. You can really dropship anything: products from Walmart, Best Buy, Ali Express, etc. You don’t know how to make a website? Well you can use sites like Shopify, Wix or WordPress
DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY/SMMA (SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING AGENCY)
What is a Digital Marketing Agency or Social Media Marketing Agency?
Basically, an online marketing agency is a someone or a company that sells digital marketing services to small businesses. Some of these services include:
- SEO(Search Engine Optimization)
- PPC(Pay Per Click Ads(Usually Facebook or Google))
- Website Design
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Management
Here is an interesting animation video that was sent to me by Utopian Marketing explaining what online marketing is for and how to use it:
The reason a digital marketing agency is effective is that it simply works! Businesses in 2018 are lost when it comes to online marketing and stuck in their old ways (yellow pages, and direct mail). This means that if you can help them bridge that gap and bring in more customers(make more money) then they will pay you ALOT of money! Now although there isn’t much of a cost investment, there can be a huge time investment if you are not familiar with some of these marketing strategies which in that case you can either take the time to learn these long-lasting high-income skills or you can try one of the other businesses. The next one which is…
What is Consulting/Coaching?
Consulting/Coaching is not new – but it has been used for many years to generate alot of money and now it is even more lucrative now that we are in the information and technology era. Basically if you have any skill or knowledge that can help someone in-need achieve their desired goal or change for the better than you are perfect for consulting. People will pay ALOT of money if their need to change is big enough so it all comes down to picking the perfect niche which we will touch upon later in this blog post:)
What is a Personal Brand?
A personal brand is absolutely essential in 2018! No matter what you are doing you should be always building a personal brand on the side even if it is not your full-time gig. So what is a personal brand? A personal brand is simply a large or small group of followers/fans you have usually across a few social media platforms. These followers are interested in your and your life. They care what you have to say and what you have to sell. This is why a personal brand can be an extremely lucrative long-term asset
How can I start a Personal Brand?
Starting a personal brand is easy! Just put yourself out there and don’t be afraid of rejection. Now I know what you’re probably thinking “Elizabeth, I literally have nothing that is interesting going on in my life, why would anyone let alone a group of people be interested in anything I have to say?”. And that is what I first thought too, but the truth is that not the case. The truth is that especially with the internet, someone out there is interested in what you have to say, who you are, you’re story or what you’re selling you just have to put out content and they will come to you.
SO WHICH ONE SHOULD I PICK?
Ultimately this is up to you I can’t decide for you. I’ll tell you what I am currently focusing on and you can decide what you want to do after. I am currently doing Consulting/Coaching and working on building my personal brand. The reason I chose to focus on these two recently is because they both are low cost to start and they are both actually pretty easy to start. Literally anyone with a bit of knowledge could start either on of these.
GENERAL OR NICHE?
I usually always ted to get this question after someone picks the business that they want to do “Elizabeth should I target the general public or a niche?” and I’ll tell you the same thing that one of my mentors told me when I asked that question. He said “Elizabeth, the money is in the niche” and it’s true! If you can find a niche that is passionate about that topic and has low competition that you have a great opportunity to become the authority in that niche and ultimately dominate it!
WHAT NICHE SHOULD I TARGET?
I can’t choose this for you but I can give you some simple pointers to look out for when choosing a niche to market to. You would actually be best to pick a niche that you already have some experience or knowledge about but if you can’t do that then no worries. When you are doing your market research you can get an idea of what niche interests you and what you think would be a good fit and then learn everything you can about it.
HOW DO I MARKET/ADVERTISE WITH LITTLE MONEY?
I personally would recommend hiring some professionals to do your marketing if you can afford it, like a Digital Marketing Agency. But if you can’t do that then I’ll share a few other things you can do. The beauty about having a personal brand is that once you build it, it’s there to stay and you can always market to them for free. But if you don’t have a strong personal brand yet then you can you can do some outbound marketing methods such as cold calling, email marketing, etc. My personal favorite FREE marketing method in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because simply put, it WORKS! Also the benefit about SEO is that it is inbound marketing meaning that the customers are coming to you and they already looking for your product/service.
WHEN SHOULD I START?
In about 10 years…. JUST KIDDING! The time to start is NOW! Stop procrastinating and reading blog posts online (unless it is Wassla’s) and go start your 2018 business. Every second you don’t start your competition is getting ahead of you and it will be harder to start later. You already know more about starting a business then 90% of people after reading this post. You now know what to do yo just have to take action riggggght…. NOW!
Starting a business in 2018 can be intimidating. You may doubt yourself at times, you may have people tell you that you will fail or that it is impossible but ignore all of that. After reading this blog post you know that it is possible all you have to do is hustle (or Wassla as we like to call it). So start now and feel free to send in your success stories when you have your own successful 2018 business that you bootstrapped all yourself!