It’s important to note that this isn’t an exhaustive list and it’s also a no particular order. Not all of the things might be necessary for your business. It will really depend industry to industry, country to country. 

What I want it to do here was start to give you a list of things that you might have to consider doing or thinking about if you want to set up a self-employed because I know a lot of you are dreaming of the day of working for yourself and not really sure about what it involves.

TIPS SUMMARY

  1. Go through all these steps and see if they apply to you.
  2. Brainstorm to see if you can think of any others .
  3. Listen to episode to about putting all this in a constructive to-do list.
  4. Research which of these freelancers you might want to hire sooner rather than later.

Come join me on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/thebeautyofourdreams

Let me start first off with registering as a company or registering as self-employed. Now I’m based in the UK, so this is what you have to do in this country. Please do research what you might have to do yourself. It might be worth getting in touch with an accountant or someone who would know about this in your country.

The next thing that you might want to consider again based in the UK is registering with the ICO if necessary. That’s the Information Commissioner’s Office. They say that this isn’t necessary for everyone, but you might fall into the category of people that are obliged to or that it is recommended that you do it. Now, if you Google Information Commissioner’s Office, you can actually find a quiz that you can take to see whether you are obliged to register for the ICO. Obviously there’s a small fee attached as well.

The next thing is to register for a Public Liability Insurance or whatever it might be called in your own country. 

Another step that you would want to think about is to set up a business bank account. You really want to have a way of being able to keep track of all of your business accounts, your finances, and what are your expenses and your incomes. So it’s definitely recommended that you keep this separate to your personal bank account because otherwise it will get very, very confusing very quickly. 

There’s loads of business bank accounts obviously that you could choose from. There’s also this new breed of account that isn’t technically not a bank account, but companies like Starling or Revolut. They also have the advantage of being able to give you quite decent rates on a different currencies. So if you have, for example, an online business where you get paid in euros and pounds and dollars, this might be quite an interesting thing for you to look at.

I would recommend you find a bookkeeper and set up your money system with them early on. Now you might think that this is something you want to do further down the line, once you start bringing in more money or once your finances gets too complicated for you to handle yourself. But I really recommend just having someone do this right from the start. Why would you spend all that time doing the bookkeeping and preparing financial monthly reports when you could be focusing on the part of your business that’s actually bringing you money? Why not leave it to the experts? 

Now, as I say, a lot of times people are put off hiring someone like a bookkeeper because they’re convinced that it is going to be out of their budget. A bookkeeper will cost you about £15 an hour, and especially in the beginning of your business, they probably won’t need that many hours a month. So think about it and compare it to how many hours you would have to spend doing something similar.

Find a graphic designer. You’re going to want to have a logo, banners for Facebook and your website, business cards, signs, a bunch of other different graphics depending on what your industry is. Again, maybe packaging, if you’re producing a product, and maybe you can do this stuff. Like with a bookkeeping, maybe you have the skills and the knowledge to do it yourself, but unless this is going to actually bring you money in directly, I would recommend hiring someone on Upwork.

Another thing that you definitely want to be thinking about is which social media you want to be involved in. The last episode was about what social media platforms you should be on and what you should be doing on them. So if you missed that and you’re interested, then go back and have a listen. Remember, it’s better to be on fewer of them effectively than be on all of them under the sun and not really doing much with them or just pissing in the wind and not really getting any results.

Similarly, you want to build a website and tied into that, you want to choose an email platform. So with that as well, you obviously want to have incentives for people to join your email list, like an email list opt-in. You might create a few free bits of content that people will receive if they register to join your mailing list. I love love love Convertkit.

What you’ll also want to have is an email nurture sequence. A previous episode is about email automations. So when someone registered to your mailing list, what do they get? Do they ideally you want them to get a chain of emails over the next few days, nurturing them and keeping them warm because they were warm when they joined your list. And the last thing you want to do is for them to cool up because they join your list and then they don’t receive anything. 

An email nurture sequence will include things like pointing them in the direction of some of your free content and offering them an introductory offer normally with an expiration so that it creates a bit of urgency for them to become customers. 

Think about taking professional pictures of yourself and your products. It’s really important to have a nice variation of photos that you can pull out to add to bios, to put on your website. You know, people want to connect with you.

The next thing I’m going to talk about is very adult but important. So now that you’re working for yourself, you might want to think about what your pension scheme is going to be, whether you are obliged to by law. You probably want to have some kind of pension plan, right? 

One thing I definitely recommend long before you even start setting up your own company is working out a personal budget. How much do you need to survive and how much would you like to have and what is the ideal amount? Now, those might be different amounts, right? 

Then calculate your business budget. What are your startup costs, and then what would your monthly overheads be? Now you will probably have to add to this budget as time goes on and you start learning about more and more expenses, but start having as much of an idea as possible before you even leave your job because you want to be prepared and while you’re still getting a salary, it can be really helpful to know what you’re saving up for and what your expenses are going to be in the future.

Decide on your event strategy. Are you going to be holding in-person events? Are you going to be holding free events like meetups? Are you going to be holding charged events? Are they going to be group events? Are they going to be one-to-one? Are they going to be small groups? Are they going to be large conferences? So start thinking about this and how it will feed into your sales funnels and getting people to actually buy your products. 

At the same time you want to be thinking what your products or services are actually going to be. 

On top of that, how are you going to price your products and services up? Go back to your personal budget and your work budget to help you decide on your pricing strategy and whether your business model is viable. The next episode is actually going to go into more details about that.

Your free content. So for example, we talked a bit about opt-ins. Are you going to have free worksheets or something that people can register for? Are you also going to make a podcast? 

And if you are going to make a podcast, then I would recommend dividing up the steps into these following ones. First of all, do an outline of different topics that you can talk on for 20 minutes, half an hour, however long you want your podcast to be. Then write the different episodes, or write a more detailed outline, if you don’t want to actually write a script word for word. Then record them, then make an intro and an outro, or hire someone on Upwork to do it. Then edit the podcasts altogether. Again, you can either do this yourself or you can do this on Upwork. And find a platform to host them. For example, I use Pippa.

You might want to also think about whether you need some sort of system for international payments. We talked already about bank accounts and how some of the new accounts, online accounts and so forth allow you to receive and send payments in different currencies. But perhaps you also want to register for PayPal or Stripe or one of the other systems for receiving international payments. 

Another thing I talk about in a previous episode, but again you want to think about here is scheduling your different days. So for example, scheduling a monthly social media day where you will schedule all of your posts for the following month, scheduling a monthly money day. I’m scheduling a monthly promo day. 

Now, getting a privacy policy and making sure you’re compliant with GDPR. We talked a bit about this earlier, when we talked about registering with the ICO, but definitely have a little think about who you might wanna speak to to make sure you’re legally compliant with all of those laws in your country.

You need to look at buying your domain name and sorting out your website. Again, if you can’t do this on WordPress or whatever, then find someone to do it for you. I recommend finding someone to do it for you anyways because while they are making your website, you can be focusing on your sales strategy or your products or whatever is going to be directly bringing money into your business.

Next though, you would want to start collecting images for your website. I already mentioned that you would want to consider having a professional photo shoot, but have a little look if you’ve got any other images, whether of yourself or just inspirational images or images of your products or any past events or anything that’s related to what you’re going to be selling and collect them to have as additional images on your website

Once you’ve made a plan for your website, a site map, start writing the different content for the different pages. Keep it skimmable, keep it short, keep it punchy, keep it to the point. 

I would recommend also thinking of making a basic branding guide. Pick out a few colors, and a few fonts, and a few comments on language or how you want your logo to look or where you would want it placed and start putting together a basic branding guide, so that you can have some kind of consistency in your styling.

Next, I would start running market research. As soon as you start having any ideas about what your business would be, go and join a bunch of different Facebook groups for entrepreneurs or people in the business or groups for people who will be your potential ideal clients and start just asking questions. We’ve all seen this on Facebook, right? When people just asking random questions, they get loads of replies. So get involved. Start finding out what people’s pressure points are, whether you can actually help them with a problem and how you could do that.

Next have little think about whether you need an online booking system like Acuity. I’ve talked about these before, in the episode about Tech I Love, but how annoying is it when you have to send about 800 emails back and forth with someone to try to arrange an appointment? This is really time-saving if your business involves people booking appointments with you.

Have a little think about Facebook again. Do you want to do Facebook Lives? Do you want to host watch parties

Also what you would need to consider is your online storage; G Drive or Dropbox or whatever you choose. They’re super useful because they obviously act as a backup. You don’t have to worry anymore about your laptop falling in the pool because all of your information is stored in the cloud. And it’s also super useful for being able to share certain documents or folders or files with your contractors. 

Do you need to register with Zoom or Skype for example, are you going to be doing consultation video calls? Are you going to be doing a group video calls? Are you going to be hosting live calls with multiple people? 

How are you going to launch your business. Is it going to be a soft launch? Are you going to just start sharing things on Facebook? Are you going to start putting things out there, here and there? Or are you going to have like a big launch event? Is that event going to be an in-person event so you can have a launch party? Are you going to have an online launch? Is there going to be an introductory, like a launch promo?

Who will be in your audience fairly early on in your business? Realistically, is it going to be friends and family? How will you get them to invite people along who would be more likely to actually buy stuff for you? 

How about doing some network mapping. You can do this in many different formats, it depends how your mind works. You can write lists or you can do it visually. But just start getting it on paper. All of the people that you know that might be useful to you in some way. It sounds really Machiavellian, I know, but who will be useful in some way to your business, either as a customer or as a collaborator or as a guest on your podcast or someone to do an event with. Who are all the different people that you might be interested in working with in some way or selling to and how warm are they? 

You might do this in like concentric circles if you want to do it visually or you might make a list and give them a score. Are they like really warm? Are they medium warm? Are they just cold? 

Have you heard about them and you’ve never spoken to them, but you really want to do something with them? Think about each of these people and how you can make them that little bit warmer. What is the next step to bring them closer to you and warmer to you and do an action plan based on all of this.

The first step might be to reach out, send them an email. Have a think about how you can get on their radar. Once you’re on their radar, what’s the next step? Is it to try to meet them, like going to one of their events where you might actually be able to talk to them in person. 

So for each of these useful people, have a little think about how you can bring them closer to you and make them warmer to you in order to get what you want from them.

One of the really important things, once you’ve done all these different steps and put yourself on these different social platforms, is to have a strategy for each platform on how to build your audience. Again, if this isn’t your strong point, then have a look on Upwork and see if you can find someone to help you with this kind of strategy or someone who’s really good at this and see about hiring them. Again, it’s probably not as expensive as you think. And obviously getting a relevant audience is super important because then you have people that you can actually sell to. 

And that brings me on to my final point for now and that is building sales funnels. First of all you have to think in your mind, what would be the customer journey? How will I get them to be from a complete stranger to someone in my audience, to someone who buys maybe a novelty product to then someone who buys a more expensive product to eventually someone who buys a premium product or a subscription or membership? What does that journey look like? Do you provide everything needed for every step of that journey? 

You also need to look at the technical side of the sales funnel. What you want to do is set that up automatically, right? So you want someone to join your mailing list, for example, and then they get nurtured with your automatic nurture sequence to to buy maybe your novelty product or one of your cheaper products or one of your introductory products or services. And then once they’ve done that, you ideally want to have another email automation or system that then pitches to them the next product, right? And then the next one, and eventually you would want them on some sort of membership or subscription where you’re just getting monthly income from them. If this makes you nervous, go on Upwork, go on Fiverr and see if you can find someone to do it for you and how much that would be realistically, because I say this time and time again, I bet it’s much cheaper than you think and it will be done by someone who’s got loads of experience doing it and it will save you time and therefore money.

TIPS SUMMARY

  1. Go through all these steps and see if they apply to you.
  2. Brainstorm to see if you can think of any others .
  3. Listen to episode to about putting all this in a constructive to-do list.
  4. Research which of these freelancers you might want to hire sooner rather than later.

Next time we will be discussing how to work out your break even point and how this will influence your business model and pricing. 

In the meantime come join us on our facebook page  www.facebook.com/thebeautyofourdreams