Me last year:
Hey, I could start a business, what’s the big deal? You know, nothing too big, just a little something on the side… I’ll start Monday. Yeah, Monday!
Hahahaha I’m so dumb.
It took me over a year to finally launch BOSSY.
It’s a creative agency of one (that would be me), through which I work with other businesses on my three favourite worky things: writing, styling and social media.
It took me over a year to actually launch it, partly because time is moving at a terrifying rate, and partly because I didn’t have someone to give me these little pearlers when I first started.
If you’re also thinking of starting a new business by next Monday, I hope these help. You’ll be having celebratory drinks with your team (you) in no time!
The ‘perfect time’ is a non-existent, lying b*tch
And it will always stop you from launching your biz. A wise business-y type once told me the best way to start was to ‘just start’, which sounds obvious and slightly aggressive, but it’s true.
Don’t wait for your website to be finished, don’t wait until you think of a better hashtag, don’t quickly paint your toenails before you sit down to contact people...
Because let’s be honest: if I took my own advice I’d probably have started one year earlier and would be poppin’ bottles right now.
Do you, boo
They might make us die a little inside, but those inspirational quotes are right, you know. That especially cringey one that says “be yourself; everyone else is taken”? Spot on.
Do things differently. Like, everything differently.
From your invoices to your business card to your email signature, think outside the square and get people talking. You are a creative after all, so prove it.
Be a bit of a badass – the chicks (clients) love it
While in the process of building BOSSY., I saw a psychic. She said career-wise, I was being a little goody two shoes and needed to lighten up. (Side note: she also said I would strike it rich with a beauty product from the sea. Lol, watch this space).
Anyway, I had been planning all along to make BOSSY. a bit of a badass brand, and it’s been – by far – what people have been commenting on most.
Moral of the story: on top of being different, be refreshing.
Know your customer like your BFF
This is very important. In the initial stages of building your empire, really think about who your customer is.
It might sound cliché – everyone says you should know your customer when starting a business – but I mean really think about it: how do they speak to their friends? What do their houses look like? How do they take their coffee? Where do they hang out?
I found this most helpful when it came to communicating. Once you know your customer back to front, it becomes a million times easier to respond to emails, write Instagram captions and build copy for your website, because you have an actual person in your mind. Maybe it’s a friend, maybe it’s a celebrity… Maybe it’s genius.
Tell everyone, even your barista
Creatives are funny creatures – we’re happy to work on our lonesome and usually produce the best results this way. But what happens when you launch and the only person who knows about your business is your mum?
Start spreading the word early and build a social media presence. Then, once you’ve launched, it’s time to step it up and become a mother*ckin’ P.I.M.P.
Tell absolutely everyone you know, weave it into conversations with your barista while picking up your morning coffee, and have no shame. Shame is overrated.
Stop, collaborate and listen (but mostly collaborate)
To get some buzz happening, it’s a good idea to collaborate with other people, stores and agencies. But hey, the people we want to work with are very busy people. They have coffee runs and meetings with their actual colleagues and get hundreds of emails a day that aren’t from Fashion BNKR and ASOS, so it’s not always enough to drop them a line and link them to our new project.
Instead, brainstorm creative ideas on how you want to work with them, and pitch it in an interesting way. The kicker is – and it’s a big one – that it should greatly benefit their business, otherwise, what’s in it for them?
It also pays to do a bit of free work in the beginning, as promotion.Think of it as an investment in your future. It sounds better than “free work”.
For more info on bookings or to just say hi, get in touch with Alyce at firstname.lastname@example.org.