Starting a business in the coaching field can be such an exciting endeavor. You are ready to help people change their lives for the better, and you’ve decided it’s time to work towards becoming your own boss. You may start to dream of how exciting owning your own business is going to be, and you’ve begun your research on the “How To’s” of starting a business. This is when the stress of starting a business begins. You start reading words on the internet like LLC, S-Corporation, and EIN. It’s normal to start to become hesitant and to feel like you are in over your head. The key to getting your business up and running is not too hard, just take it one step at a time. This article is meant to help you better understand the steps to consider when starting a business as well as share lessons learned.
The first step that I encourage budding entrepreneurs to do is to start reading through your Secretary of State’s website. Your Secretary of State’s office is there to help you through the process of getting certain logistics up and running such as the name of your business, the business structure, and any other key items required in your state. Most of the time, all of this can be done online!
The second step in setting up a business is to consider the additional logistics that have not been handled with your Secretary of State. The extra logistics include: opening a separate checking/savings account, hiring a tax accountant, hiring a business lawyer, researching what type of insurance you may need. Keep in mind, there are also people to help you with these steps. For example, whichever bank you are with for your personal accounts will have business options. Make an appointment to chat with one of your bankers to discuss the best plan of action for your growing business.
The third step is to consider how your clients are going to find you. It is important that you can be found online, but it is also very important to network within your community. Those that will seek you out, especially in the beginning of your business, will most likely be local. It’s easy to spend a lot of time marketing online, but don’t forget those that live in your backyard. Think about it this way, would you trust a referral from your friend or an ad online more? A great way to do this is to get actively involved in your local Chamber of Commerce as well as offering free workshops to your community. Another noteworthy way to become visible to clients is to create a partnership with other business that already work with your clients. For example, if you are a maternity coach, introduce yourself to OBGYNs in your area.
Finally, let’s leave off on lessons learned. One of the key lessons I’ve realized time and time again is that you do not need to put in a lot of money to have a successful business. Start with the basics like a basic website, business cards, and a simple Facebook account. The bells and whistles can come later. Use your extra time to network with like-minded professionals and building partnerships. The next lesson is to be diligent and remember that starting a successful business from the ground up may take a couple of years, not a couple of months. Remind yourself of the story of the tortoise and the hare when you feel like giving up.
-Amber Harkey, BCC