We covered an in-depth workshop a few weeks ago with everything there is to know when it comes to Getting Started with Your Small Business. And, for those of you that weren't able to make it here in Austin, we have some excellent news for you - we're bringing the workshop content to the blog today! Below, we're going to discuss each of the topics that we covered during the workshop as well as give you additional strategy tips + tricks. We're also including some bonus material with a fun downloadable! Keep reading to learn more about how to get started with your Small Business.
STEP ONE: CREATING A MISSION STATEMENT
Your mission statement should be able to answer the following things: the Who, the What, and the Why of your business.Who you are. What you do. Why you're launching your business. You want visitors to your website or shop to immediately grasp the message that you're trying to convey, and also see your brand's personality shining through.
5 Steps Towards Crafting a Great One
- Set Your Goals - what plans do you have for your business?
- Create Intentions - map out authentic intentions for your business.
- Evaluate What Your Business Will Represent - what do you want your business to emulate and stand for?
- Make a List of Values - what will your core values be?
- Draft a Few Options - draft a few options before choosing which fits your brand the best.
STEP TWO: MAPPING OUT YOUR ROADMAP
The first action that needs to happen in this step is creating a roadmap that will help lead you to success. A few of the critical elements that need to be included are:
A.) What to Include Within Your Roadmap
- Mission Statement
- Social Platforms
B.) How to Set Clear and Consistent Goals
Having solid goals set in place is essential for seeing your vision come to life. Download our goal setting worksheet to help you identify your goals and set your plan into motion.
C.) Setting Up an Achievable Timeline
- Ask yourself, "Where do you want your business to be a month from now, next quarter, six months from now, next year, and five years from now? Create a timeline to achieve each goal by month, day, and year.
- Pro-Tip: use a KPI sheet to keep track of all the milestones of your brand to see where you had good weeks/days/months and where you had bad ones. By doing this, you will be able to pinpoint certain strategies that helped bolster your brand or hindered its growth and allow those key indicators to help map out your strategy.
What Else to Include:
Being able to answer the three questions below will give you leverage when it comes to gaining a better understanding of the overall mission and purpose for your brand.
- What Makes You YOU?
- What Do You Want Your Company to Stand For?
- What is Your Reason/Purpose Behind Starting Your Business?
What Do You Want Your Business to Represent?
What are the core values that you want your business to emulate? Let your brand's personality and purpose shine through. Here are a few great examples of current mission statements - from retail to the food and beverage industry:
a. Starbucks: "To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time."b. Nordstrom: "To give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible."c. Whole Foods: "Our Purpose is to Nourish People and the Planet. Whole Foods Market is a dynamic leader in the quality food business. We are a purpose-driven company that aims to set the standards of excellence for food retailers. We are building a business in which high standards permeate all aspects of our company."
Now, let's dive into the Small Business Checklist! You can use this as a reference guide for the things that you want to accomplish with your Small Business as well as a way of mapping out and structuring how you'll get there. The 8 points on this checklist serve as key things to consider when launching your business as well as an overview of what you need to check off of your list of to-dos. This will help you to create a broader overview of the tasks that you have ahead of you.
STEP THREE: Setting Your Small Business Up for Success
- Part One: Creating Social Media platforms
- (Pinterest, facebook, twitter, Instagram, blog)
- To further engage with your audience
- Part Two: Promoting Through Social
Creating Social Media Platforms
Not all social channels are created equal. When you're setting up your business plan and social strategy that ties into it, it's important to understand what channels you need to focus your efforts on based on where your audience is, rather than spreading your efforts thin especially on platforms where your audience isn't engaged. We have to focus on our strong suits: So ask yourself a few questions:
- What platforms are your audience most likely to be on that you should focus on growing?
- What does each platform do to serve your purpose?
- How does each platform apply to your brand?
- How will each platform deliver content to your audience?
Set Your Posting Schedule
You can't have a content strategy put in place if you don't have a posting schedule and cadence set in place. It's pretty much a given, but we cannot stress enough how much you should plan your content ahead of time before actually posting. A well thought out strategy has what you will post on each channel, how many posts you will post on each channel on a given day, along with the type of content category/content buckets that you will be posting on the channel. As some extras, you want to know if it will be driving to a specific website, and track the intended goal or call to action from the post. To get started, you can download our content schedule worksheet here!
Maximizing Your Presence with Your Readers
Make sure you have an understanding of when and how to engage - respond to direct messages in a timely manner, always respond to comments, and continuously interact with your audience through Instagram Stories to create community and excitement around your brand. Use your social channels to help promote your editorial strategy on your company's blog or website. When brainstorming or curating new content, always make sure that it provides value to your audience that will keep them coming back to learn more. This is one of the biggest keys to your growth on social. And even if you don't have a blog - don't fret! You can include your editorial strategy on Instagram Stories when you create highlights that your audience can tune into and read just as they would when visiting a website or blog in a more visually dynamic way. The content schedule worksheet is where you can map out your content for the next few days, weeks, and months ahead to further engage with your audience! (We've given you sheets for Instagram, Facebook, and Blog - your top contenders!)
*Additional Bonus Material*
Download our free worksheet - What to Post Where, which includes content example posts for each platform! We hope you enjoyed an overview of Getting Started with Your Small Business...now you're ready to embark on your Small Business venture! Stay tuned for more of PLANOLY's Small Business School Series next month, and reach out to us on Instagram if there's a specific topic you're interested in learning about.