May 27, 2020
As an Enneagram 7, it is very rare when I don’t have a business idea pop into my head. It could stem from something one of my friends mentions, a video on Tik Tok, a podcast, randomly while walking around my neighborhood… you name it and my brain is probably trying to turn it into a business idea (don’t worry, I have plenty of hobbies that I don’t try to monetize too). So today I’m going to share some of the things I do when I am ready to turn a business idea into an actual business plan!
First and foremost, I open up a Google Doc. Y’all, I LOVE Google Business. The biggest perk of using Google Business is that I can keep track of everything in one space wherever an idea strikes. Being able to access it all – Google Docs, Drive, Calendar, Mail, all of the things! – either at your desk or on the go, is a serious GAME CHANGER. You don’t have to have any sort of organization when you’re in the beginning stages of starting a business. This is what I call the “yes, and” phase of brainstorming. No ideas are bad ideas and all ideas in your head need to be written down on paper. That way, you can sort through them later when you reach the “I need to figure out the logistics” phase.
Even if you can’t afford to hire a brand strategist right away to help you identify your ideal customer and create the brand tangibles, it’s important to find a source of inspiration. This can be a collection of pictures you find pretty or maybe there’s an experience you had that is the reason behind your “why.” Whatever it is, document everything that inspires you so you can take the first step to a solid brand!
Okay, so that can sometimes be easier said than done. I wish I could say that “Morgan Sinclair Designs” came to me pretty quickly… I mean, it’s my name for crying out loud… but my design business actually had a different name for a solid year and a half before I decided to self-brand. I’m currently working on another business idea where I’ve had the business plan written for almost two years, yet it took over a year to finally sit down and come up with a name. BUT for both my design studio and my new business, before I solidify the brand name, I always make sure it’s available on all the social media platforms I want to use as well as the domain or URL. If it’s available, I get ALL OF THE THINGS and just keep them until I’m ready to move forward with launching the business. If it is NOT available, I would recommend re-evaluating the name or at least making sure that the person who shares that name doesn’t do something similar to you.
Well, kind of. If you’ve ever Google’d “How to Write a Business Plan,” it’s probably going to look like someone threw together a bunch of fluffy words into sentences. You’ll find terms like “summarize relevant information” and “explain your financial setup.” But what IS the relevant information? And how do you even set up a financial setup?! One of the best books and processes I was exposed to in my Master’s program was the Business Model Canvas.
The basic things to consider are:
Now what? If you’re ready to invest in your business, the next step is to hire a web designer. This is a crucial step because, let’s be honest… whenever you hear about a new business that intrigues you, the first thing you’re going to do is head to their website to see what they’re all about. If you’re not quite ready to hire a professional, I’d at least head to a web design platform like ShowIt or SquareSpace and setup a single-page website (aka a landing page) that consists of the business name, links to social media, and a way for them to contact you!
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