Are you really doing this? Starting a business, working for yourself, leaving the a regular 9-5 for the unknown?
Stop obsessing about whether or not it’s a good idea. If you want it, go for it…but maybe keep a bridge job while you get yourself a steady clientele.
The only way to know whether or not it’s for you is by jumping in headfirst and seeing what happens.
Oh, and another thing. I know that I should probably be hocking the amazingness of a brand and why you absolutely need one (and a website for that matter), but if you’re just starting out you might not be there yet.
There are really only 5 things you need in place, and they don’t need to cost you much money just yet.
A BUSINESS ENTITY
I recommend using Llc or Inc, so you can get a separate bank account and EIN. However, if you’re just testing the waters you can totally start small with sole proprietor and incorporate later.
A BUSINESS NAME
Obviously, even if it is your name, you need to be referable. Or simply get a DBA for whatever you want to be called. Don’t get stuck on the naming part, that’s not as critical until you’re ready to put time and money into branding, then we’ll need to make sure whichever one we logo-ify is good for what you do.
A WAY TO TAKE PAYMENT
If you can’t get paid you’re not in business. Simple as that. Paypal and Stripe make it easy to get that set up and and.co is a great free app for invoicing. You don’t need a full on client management system with built in workflows right off the bat, it’ll take up too much time to figure out how to set it up that you should be putting into clients.
A SERVICE YOU WANT TO DO
Excuse me, I meant love to do. Entrepreneurship is full of personal development challenges, don’t make it harder on yourself by not really really wanting it in the first place. Don’t know what to do? Just start putting something out there, once you’ve done it a couple of times re-evaluate how you’re doing it and if you enjoy it and make any necessary changes.
A CONTRACT & ABILITY TO COMPLETE THE WORK
A contract is a must for service providers. It doesn’t need to be complicated. A simple: I’ll do this work, you’ll pay me, you’ll get ‘xyz’, we’ll treat each-other with respect is all it really needs. I must say, I’m not qualified to give legal advise so I’d recommend you consult a lawyer to make sure you’re covered and even draw up a working template.
That’s it. You don’t need a website, a special logo, an email list, or even a social media account.
As you start gaining clients though, you need to make a commitment to your business to nurture it. Start making the client process easier, consider blogging on an email list or social media, be present on social media, and start squirreling away money for that brand and website you thought you needed right off the bat.