"Working for something you love is called passion."
I have to say that, this is one of my favourite quotes lately. With social media and internet being available everywhere it is easy to find so many creative entrepreneurs out there that are living day by day following their dreams and passion while developing and growing their own businesses. Let's face it, it isn't easy to find a hobby that could be your passion and that at the same time you could create some type of profit out of it. Also it is a little difficult to stand out from the rest of the competition, yet there are many ways to figure out ideas that could make your business be different from the your competitors. As a creative entrepreneur, I was able to make a list of the steps needed to create my own design business and I thought it would be nice to share it with all of you.
Establish your idea and audience
If you have a passion in which you are sure that you can create some type of profit, yet you have doubts about it I suggest you talk it through with someone that makes you feel comfortable. It's a huge relieve when you know that you have someone out there that you can speak to about and receive the best feedback, regardless if the feedback is good or bad. It is very helpful that you get some advice from someone that wants the best for you, someone that isn't afraid to tell you the truth, specially if you know they can give you great ideas for your business. If you don't feel comfortable speaking about your idea, create a survey and pass it on to your friends and gather the valuable information that works best for you. There are different websites out there that let you create free surveys online. You may also want to interview potential customers, that way you can gather data of to what they expect from your business. Identifying your audience can increase your sales by directing your products and advertisement especially for them. Research similar competitors, that way you can understand their strengths and weaknesses of those selling similar product or services.
Create a business plan
To create a highly profitable business that stands out, you have to create a killer business plan that captures everyone’s attention. A business plan is a written document describing the purpose of your business, detailing your marketing and sales strategies, and financial background. Creating a business plan will outline your short and long term objectives, which will help you understand where your company will be heading. Most importantly, a business plan will help you understand if your business makes financial and operating sense.
Vision & Mission
Spend some time establishing a clear vision statement into how you expect your business to be in the future, this is a critical step when creating a business. Your vision statement should be your company’s vision and it should align with your personal vision and goals. To create a mission statement you have to be able to articulate the value of your business while inspiring other to get involved. A mission statement defines what your company will do for your customers, employees (if you plan to having some), and what does for you, the owner. Some mission statement extend themselves into what the company does for the community, and for the world. If you need help getting inspired, read other mission statements, but make sure you write one for your own business. Most importantly make sure you believe in what you are writing.
Your vision + Your Visual = Your brand
Some creative entrepreneurs often have very limited marketing and promotional budgets, therefore they often design their own promotions using limited resources. If you are starting your own business, you need to know the importance of maintaining you brand in a long term period. Customers respond to brands and companies that invest in consistent promotion. If you need help, look for a branding designer that you can identify with. They will provide you with their knowledge and a great branding design, unique as you and your business. A strong brand communicates what your business does, how it does it, and at the same time establishes trust and credibility. If you can't afford to pay for a designer create a mood board where you can choose fonts, colour pallets and visual images that defines your company and yourself.
Once you have your business planned out you have to establish it legally. First and foremost acquire some funding, it takes money to create money, so if you don't have enough funds to start your own business, find someone that is willing to lend you the capital needed to make your dreams a reality. Determine the legal structure of your business. There are a variety of ways to legally structure your own company, each which contains a wide different implications (incorporation, a partnership, a sole proprietorship or a co-operative). Do some research and register your name, register for your business number, and provincial and territorial business registration. Most provincial and territorial governments require that you register your company with them. If you decide to incorporate your business, you can incorporate federally or provincially.
Federal incorporation allows you to do business under the same name in all provinces and territories, although you may still need to register your company in individual provinces and territories. You may also require specific permits and licences from the federal, provincial or municipal governments, depending on your location, industry sector, and the business activities you plan to conduct.
These last steps are the most important and a bit tedious due to all the paperwork involved, but if you have a dream to become a your own boss, you must follow them! Go for your passion and make your dream business a reality. Don’t get discouraged for all the steps for creating your own business, you never know, you might be the next Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg or my personal favourite entrepreneur Sofia Amoruso, the creator of Girl Boss. Wishing all of you creative entrepreneurs successful vibes, hope you pull it through and get your business going!