5 Factors to Consider When Starting a Business
We all look back on things we’ve done and see what we could have done differently to make things better. Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on the beginnings of my business because my husband and I started a second business.
Starting Glass Slipper Vacations has given me the chance to have a do-over on the beginning phases of building a business, and it’s been a lot of fun to actually get to go back and do the things that I would do differently in starting up my first business (aka this one). So today, I thought I would share with you 5 things that I have done differently in starting this second business. These 5 things essentially boil down to 3 foundational factors that I believe every business should take care of, and not only will I walk you through what I’ve done differently, but also what you might need to shore up in your own business.
So even if you’re not a brand new business owner, or you aren’t in the beginning phases, this is still an episode worth listening to, because you might need to shore up one of these in your own business – no matter what stage you’re in. But, if you are a new business owner, or starting a new business – these are 5 factors to consider when starting a business!
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Interested in booking a Disney vacation? Check out Glass Slipper Vacations, LLC!
- Check out Alexis – she did my branding for GSV!
- Lauren Carnes did my brand photos for my personal brand
- Kate Taramykin is doing my brand photos for GSV
- Want copy help? Check out Ashlyn Carter’s Copywriting for Creatives and Jess Jordana’s Promptlates!
- Listen to Jess Jordana’s episode on the podcast!
- This week’s action step: Leave a review for the podcast!
- This week’s book recommendation: DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson
- Find me on Instagram and tell me you completed this week’s action step: @mrsamandawarfield
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Rather Read? – Here’s the Transcript!
*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate.
We all look back on things we’ve done and see what we could have done differently to make things better. Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of times reflecting on the beginnings of my business because my husband and I actually just started a second business.
Starting Glass Slipper Vacations has given me the chance to have a do over on the beginning phases of building a business. And it has been a lot of fun to actually get to go back and do the things that I would do differently in starting up my first business, AKA this one. So today I thought I would share with you five things that I’ve done differently in starting the second business. These five things essentially boiled down to three foundational factors that I believe every business should take care of.
And not only will I walk you through what I’ve done differently, but also what you might need to shore up in your own business. So even if you’re not a brand new business owner or you aren’t in the beginning phases, this is still an episode worth listening to because you might need to shore up one of these in your own business, no matter what stage you’re in.
This is episode 80 of the chasing symbol podcast. And I’m your host, Amanda Warfield. Let’s dive on in.
First, I want to talk about what it is that I did to set up my original business. So Amanda Warfield LLC Chasing Simple a branch of that, et cetera, et cetera, all of this, where I’m teaching about content marketing, launching content batching et cetera, et cetera, this business. That’s why I’m talking about with my original business.
When I set up this business, my goal was to be as frugal as possible because frankly. We had no extra money at that point. I mean, we just, we were living not paycheck to paycheck because we had savings and we had other things happening, but we were putting all of our money towards goals already. So didn’t have a lot of money.
Also outside of that, this was very much a, very out there, a huge leap. We had no idea if this was going to be fruitful in any way. I mean, this was very much like. A hope and a prayer, and this may work. It may not. I was obviously still teaching for many years before starting my business. We had no idea this was going to be fruitful.
So the whole goal was to set it up as frugally as possible. So this is what I did. I got my sister-in-law to create my first logo. I got hosting from blue host because my whole purpose was to have a blog. And I knew I wanted WordPress for that blog. And when I did research about who to use for hosting, I saw blue host over and over again.
And. There were definitely other ones, but I don’t remember who they even were at this point. It’s been so many years and Bluehost ultimately was the cheapest. So I went with them and then I bought a year of opt-in monster, which in hindsight was a terrible choice because very soon after buying that mailer Lite, who I used for my email list with a free account, they ended up being able to do most of the things OptinMonster allowed anyways. And then I also bought a year of tailwind. So my startup costs were just around $750, but I made sure that I had a logo. I made sure that I had a place to host my blog because that was where I was sending my traffic, my website. I also made sure that I had an email list and I also made sure that I was marking on Pinterest. I knew very quickly that these were things that were going to be really, really important for setting up the foundations of my business. Now I have set up Glass Slipper Vacations as our second business, where we are helping plan vacations for people who are looking to go to Disney and they don’t want to do the planning themselves because frankly.
Knowing all of the things that are happening at Disney’s a lot things are constantly changing and there’s a lot to know and understand. So I help those people who want to go to Disney. They want to have a magical time, but they don’t want to do the work to plan it themselves. That’s what I’m doing over there.
Setting up this business. I did things a lot differently. I did have the confidence in running a business. I know that I can run a business and I can run a successful business. Well, so I had that confidence, which led to us being more willing to put up the cash for some of these things. More willing to have higher startup costs, because we are confident that that return will come.
Even though we know it’ll take a few years, we’re confident that that will turn will come and then some, so there will be ROI. We’re confident in that, which is a big difference between the starting up of the two. But here’s what I’ve done differently, starting this one up so that I avoid some of the mistakes and the frustrations and the headaches that I had the first time around. So the first thing I did was I got my legal ducks in a row ASAP. I got my LLC set up, I got my bank account set up. I got my business license, et cetera, et cetera. But the first business, I didn’t even get a business license for the first year because I didn’t make any money in that first year.
And so I didn’t get a business license until I was actually selling something and making money.
Once I did get some legal stuff set up for that first for my original business, I did a sole prop, which isn’t a terrible thing. And the reason I did it was because there was no cost. There’s really nothing you have to do. You’re just kind of automatically. So prop me preface prefaces. I am not, I’m not an attorney.
This is my understanding of all of this. I am not advising on anything. Disclaimer. my understanding was that. You basically don’t really have to do anything to be a sole prop, but you are held liable for everything. My thought process at that time was, well, I am not selling anything. So why would anyone want to Sue me?
Shouldn’t be an issue. So I’m not going to set up an LLC yet, which wasn’t terrible. But when it came time to actually set up my business as an LLC, it was such a headache. The LLC process one was so simple. And if you want some help, I will happily send you the information of the course that I took that made it a breeze.
Like it was such a mess that I knew right from the beginning was starting Glass Slipper Vacations. That I was not going to do that again. And I was going to be an LLC right from the beginning also because it wasn’t that expensive to sub LLC, ultimately, that it was just like, why would I wait?
So that’s something that I would do immediately get that LLC set up and then get your business license, get your bank accounts set up under the LLC, et cetera, et cetera. Do that very first. Second thing I did was I hired out branding. Now I did hire out my logo with my sister-in-law, which was phenomenal, so great.
But I only had a logo and I know we’ve all seen the branding specialist. Talk about how a logo is not a brand. It’s not a business and all my goodness. They’re so right. If you scrolled back to the beginning of my Instagram, which, you know, that’s your prerogative, but please don’t, it’s terrible.
There’s no cohesion. My website was atrocious. it was such a mess and it took me so long to get. That branded look that honestly, that held me back, I think for years, because frankly, if we go to a website that’s atrocious and we go to a social media and there’s no cohesion, there’s no branding, it looks unprofessional.
And so right away for multiple years, because I hadn’t had a full brand done my business didn’t look professional and that drove people away in droves. I know it did. So that was something I did immediately was I hired out the branding. You want recommendations on who to hire out for branding? Please DM me.
I will be happy to share who I used. The third thing starting on a hosting platform. That’s easy to use and beautiful. I am not a website designer. In fact, branding website, design visual communication is a huge weakness for me, guys. It is such a problem. And when I do have brand photos done, I very much am like, here you go.
Do whatever you want because I don’t have any clue. And yeah. Oh, control freak. That’s not something that I ever, ever do, but I know that that’s such a weakness for me that I’m always just like you do what you want. here’s what I’m thinking, but I don’t know how to visually communicate things well, so I’m not a web designer, blue host and WordPress are great.
They’re great. But I’ve had so much trouble with my website. I am not a designer and it’s not an easy to use platform. I’m sure plenty of techie people out there that are like, Amanda, that’s silly, not a problem. Like you, you can easily do this, but I’ve bought a template. I use a template on my website right now.
The templates gorgeous. Yeah. I’m the problem here. And I recognize that. And so I knew immediately was starting this business that I want my website to be hosted on. Show it. I’ve heard such great things about show it. I’ve seen people customize it. It’s all drag and drop. It’s what I need because I’m not tech savvy and because I’m not a visual person.
So I knew immediately that I wanted to go to show it. And I also wanted to buy a template for my website. I don’t have the website up yet. and I probably won’t by the time that this even airs, but that’s something that I knew from the beginning that I was going to be investing in a more expensive platform because I needed that extra help and also a template because I needed that extra help where I could just plug and play the branding
that I’ve already gotten done and the brand photos that are number four that I’ll talk about in a second, so that I could just pop those into something that’s already been beautifully designed and set up. yes. So that was my third thing, because of my weaknesses. I knew that that was something that I wanted to do immediately. And again, because I wanted to be professional looking right from the start. That was a huge goal for me, get professional looking so that right out the gate, I can start building clients. Number four, like I said, is getting brand photos taken ASAP.
I have not got my brand photos taken when this airs I will be, I will be driving down to Orlando actually the day, this airs to go get written photos taken, but. That was again, one of the first things that I invested in immediately, as soon as we decided to move forward with starting Glass Slipper Vacations, I immediately booked my brand photographer and she has been a dream to work with.
Just amazing. We are like the same person she shares my brain basically, and I adore her. . And I cannot wait to see what she does. So I don’t even have these brand photos back, but I can already tell you it’s an investment worth making because I waited to get actual true professional brand photos done from a brand photographer that is really key and important for my brand photographer until just a few months ago in this business.
And holy cow, it made such a difference in everything I did. My website immediately looked better. My opt-in forms looked better. My emails that had pictures, my social. Everything looked a million times better. And again, these three things, the hiring out of the branding, the hosting platform and the website template, the brand photos, these three things all go back to looking professional because if you don’t look professional, you’re driving away clients.
And number five, got really heated about that. But number five, I knew that I wanted to start building an audience on social media while working on everything else. So this one, this one costs nothing. I literally started my Instagram. As soon as we knew the day we decided, yes, we’re moving forward with this.
And I bought that domain name. The second I knew what the business was going to be called. I got that Instagram account set up I also snagged the name and other places that I knew I would want to use it in like Facebook page and Pinterest and things like that. But I didn’t set those up. Yeah. But I knew my place, my social media place was going to be Instagram. And so I immediately started posting on social media while working on everything.
Yeah. Out. So before anything else happened in my business, I think before I even had the LLC, maybe not before the LLC, but immediately I started posting on social media so that I could start building an audience while I worked on everything else. So that once I have a professional looking website with strong branding and strong brand photos and great copy, I could send them there, but I already had people to send to it so often we think we need to have everything set up and everything in gear and ready to go.
If we can start building an audience and then move them into these other places. That’s great. You don’t want to only do social media. You don’t want to have all of your eggs in your social media basket forever, but why are you getting everything else set up, go for it. Start building that audience. Start throwing that spaghetti at the wall and see what people respond to do not wait to do that.
So the total startup costs for. All the things that I wanted to do and will do within this first year of business for Glass Slipper Vacations are going to be around $6,000. That is a huge jump from the 750. But again, I know that because I’m disciplined, I have self-discipline is spades probably more than I need or should have because I’m self-disciplined.
And because I’m motivated, I know that I’m going to show up for this business day after day, month after month, year after year. And we will see that ROI, knowing that I can do that. Gives us the freedom to invest that money, knowing that it’s going to come back to us, tenfold 20, fold, whatever, over and over again, there’s going to be ROI.
so I say all of this to encourage you that if you are someone who works hard And isn’t afraid of problem-solving you can absolutely 100% make a business work because every day, if you’re in there, you’re doing the work and you’re seeing what’s wrong and then pivoting and trying to find problems around what’s wrong, you can absolutely make a successful business, but also if you are starting your business, here are the things that I really, really encourage you to think about.
Making sure you’ve got all of your legal ducks in. Yeah. It sounds way harder than any of it actually is, and it will make your life so much easier in the long run. I promise get those things done. As soon as you can. Second thing I want you to think about is building your audience. Build them now. Don’t wait until you have the perfect website until you have blog content until you have this or that set up, start building your audience.
And then once you have that other stuff set up, then you can push them towards it. Just don’t stay in the audience building phase for, well, you are always audience-building, but don’t in the initial audience building phase forever. And the third thing I want you to think about is making sure you have a professional look, does that mean that you absolutely need to hire out branding and get brand photos taken and you show it and get a website template that costs X amount of money?
Not necessarily, no, If you’re someone like me, that struggles with that visual component, that is something to think about on the flip side of that. Maybe you can do your own branding. Maybe you have a friend who does brand photos,
you can cut corners. You just want to make sure it looks professional, but on the flip side of that, maybe you’re great at the visual side of things, but you really need help with copy. Maybe you need to hire out the copy for your website. There’s a lot of different ways. You can look at that, but you want your website to be professional, whichever end of the spectrum you fall on.
That maybe that doesn’t mean buying a course to help you with copy instead of actually shelling out the money to have someone do it for you. Ashlyn Carter’s copywriting for creatives is a great one. You can check out just Jor. Donna. She’s got templates for copy. They’re prompt based templates.
if you’re part of chasing simple at the summit, you got to know Jess. If you listened to episode 79, a few weeks ago, you’ve gotten to know. It copies what you need help with. go check out her templates. But all I’m saying here is you want to make sure that your stuff is professional looking.
And if you can get your legal ducks in a row, you can look professional and you can start building an engaged audience. That’s all you need to get started with your business. That’s all you need to start it, whatever that ends up looking like for you, whatever your needs are. It’s an investment worth making from the beginning because I didn’t, and I wasted years and years and years in my business because I didn’t look professional.
And that was the big one for me. I wasted years and years and years in my business because I wasn’t confident enough to put that stake in the ground and say, I’m a business owner. I’m going to make this business work and I’m investing in it again. You don’t need to invest $6,000. I’m not saying that in your first year, but I am saying consider the legal aspect.
The professional, the look and the feel of your website and your social media and your home online, and also the engaged audience. If you’re at any point in your business and you don’t have those three things shored up, that’s what you’ve got to get shored up. You’ve got to be building your audience somewhere. You’ve got to have a professional online office space and you’ve got to have those legal ducks in a row. Those are the five things that I have done differently in starting a brand new business, five things that I’ve learned that I needed to do. And three things that you should be thinking about in order to keep your business running and to get it running really strong and stuff. This week’s action step is to leave a review for the podcast.
My friend, if you love this podcast, if you find it informational and you find it helpful and you find it educational and something that you enjoy listening to week after week. Please, please, please leave me a review for this podcast reviews on the podcast, help others find it. It helps share the word. It helps tell whoever apple, Google podcasts, Spotify, whoever it helps tell them that this is a podcast worth sharing about.
And so then they show it to other people. And I show up more in search engines and things like that. If you have not left a review for the podcast, It would truly mean the world to me, if you would do that for me, so that we could continue to grow the show. And I’m going to unusual for you week after week, and this week’s book recommendation is.com secrets by Russell Brunson.
Now I haven’t ever really followed so Bronson, but I’ve heard people talk about him in these books, a decent amount, and they’ve been on my to read list for a while. And so I figured, okay, I’ll pick it up and let’s do it. I read a lot of. Business books that claim to help you do something and are just utter garbage.
and if you listen to episode 78, I talk a lot about information versus education. A lot of them are just straight up information and it’s so frustrating to read a book like that when you’re just waiting for them to actually teach you something. This book is not like that. I learned so much about the back end of building funnels.
It’s all about building funnels. This one, he’s got one about traffic secrets. One about the other one’s called expert secrets, which is about conversion. I believe I haven’t read that one yet. And then this one is about, it’s the first one about creating the funnels and what a funnel being built out looks like
I truly learned so much about what a funnel should look like and building out funnels. And it was so helpful because people throw around the term funnel all the time, but I feel like no one ever actually explains how they work, unless you’re maybe in like a high level mastermind or something. So this was super helpful.
I will say there are definite some tactics that he uses that I would not necessarily use approve of. I would recommend that you go into reading this book with your eyes open. Really your critical thinking cap on is what I would recommend go into reading this book with your critical thinking cap on, but also there is a lot of just logistical stuff in there that was super, super helpful.
So I wanted to recommend that to you. If you are working on your funnels or, you know that one day you’ll be working on your funnels, go ahead and add it to your, to read list because it was very, very helpful in getting all of that set up. All right. My friend that is all for this one. Next week, I’m going to be back to share about my CEO days.
This is something I do in my own business that really helps me set up every single quarter or success. And it helps me align my marketing plan with my business goals. So stay tuned for that. I’ll see you next week. And until next time I hope you’ll go out and Uncomplicate your life and biz.