You really want some coffee. You need something to spice up your day, give you a boost, accelerate your life, something to help you get where you’re going. Plus, coffee is delicious.
You pick up a cup to go and it smells incredible, you want to take a sip right now but it’s steaming, way too hot to drink. How do you know if it’s the right time to dive in?
Substitute “start your own business” for “coffee”. See where I’m going?
Starting your own business is an incredibly appealing idea. Doing what you love on your own terms, being the master of your own destiny, working to build something that’s all your own- but if you haven’t done the necessary ground work, you may find yourself in hot water.
Say you work as a masseuse for a spa chain. You love your job, but you don’t love the corporate garbage that comes with it. You’ve been wanting to start your own massage business for years, but without a solid customer base, enough savings to float you and your family through the hard times, and enough spare money to drum up some advertising, the whole idea seems a bit rash and nobody likes to burn their tongue.
The best way to make sure that you aren’t going to get burned is to do a little ground work.
1. Evaluate your competition. Find out what other masseuses are doing, find out what’s being overdone, and what makes them successful, or not.
2. Talk to potential clients. Discover what they like and don’t like about massage, masseuses, and spas. Ask your sisters, your friends, your barista, your aerobics instructor, your kids’ teacher, ask everyone you know! You’re not only learning how to appeal to your clients, you’re also creating a customer base. When you ask people what they think, they’ll associate you not only with massage, but with caring, listening, attention to detail, and even customer service. There’s no better (or cheaper) PR out there.
3. Figure out what sets you apart. You know what your competition is all about–what services they offer, how they brand themselves, how much they charge; and you know what your potential clients want in a masseuse, now you just have to create a unique identity for your business. You found that most independent masseuses work from home and that their customers value the one-on-one homey environment but not the travel to and from. There’s nothing worse than spending an hour in total relaxation only get in your car and battle rush hour traffic. You decide that your massage business will travel to your clients’ homes; you bring the equipment and talent, and they stay relaxed long after you’ve gone.
4. Get on Earnest.com and get started! You can keep your day job at the spa and build your business on the weekends, earning extra cash and keeping your security net in place until your venture builds up enough steam to keep you going full-time. Earnest.com provides everything you need from a hosted webpage, to an online payment system, financial tracking, analytics to help you understand how your business is doing, and more.
Earnest.com believes that people should be able to start their own ventures without taking enormous risk. And we love coffee. So go ahead and order a cup. With a little background work, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. There’s nothing like the taste of success. Mmmm…good to the last drop.