Monday, January 18, 2016

10 Tips For a Successful Business Launch: Getting Past the Start + Staying Inspired

No matter what business you're trying to start, it's hard! It takes more hours than you'll earn at first for nearly everyone who starts one. It can be difficult to realize your vision. BUT it's thoroughly addicting and rewarding and something I'll never stop doing. For anyone else who's trying to make their business ideas a reality in 2016, I'm sharing some tips from the trenches for getting through the initial start-up and development process.

1. Look at your current workload completely honestly. Delegate and cut tasks brutally.
Too many of us spend time plowing away on tasks that don't matter. Look at all of your to-dos honestly, get rid of some, delegate others.

2. Do the ugly stuff, your research and business plan, first.
No matter how much it hurts or how much you just want to dive in, do your business plans first. Do it!

This post is full of product photos and label designs that didn't work for me. I'm re-designing everything.

3. Don't reveal details too early, you never know how long development will take.
I make this mistake all the time, it's better to reveal details when you're near-done.

4. Don't launch until you're completely confident with your product...
Take your time to develop something you're proud of. Time spent depends on your project, too. I've read some people in my field will take years to launch something. Some movie directors I like will sit on something and slowly incubate it for decades! Quality counts, take your time.

5. BUT don't take TOO long or you can get stuck in development hell for YEARS.
On the other hand, don't drag it on for too long, set realistic deadlines for yourself and execute. Sometimes you have to relax and just do.

6. Contract outside help when/where possible.
If you're stuck forever somewhere, consider hiring help with things you can't easily do. Like web design, photography, graphic design, etc.

7. Focus on Quality...
Quality is #1, don't put out anything you can't be 100% behind and proud of. It's easier to sell something you love.

8. But cut the fat wherever possible, by doing things like shopping in bulk.
Shop in bulk , shop around, do what you need to keep costs realistic but also high quality.

All cutting-room floor efforts, but not in vain. You learn from what doesn't work.

9. Keep inspiration high, take classes for and network in your field.
This is very important to learn as much as possible about your field but also to stay inspired. Make craft groups, work with friends, visit museums, get a job with a business you want to start. (Work at a cafe if you want to open a cafe.) Be interactive and get out often for new inspiration.

10. Work on what you do a little bit every day, and never the passion fizzle out.
Don't work too long or too hard, don't lose sleep over our business when avoidable. Work a little bit every day, and keep the fun and passion high.

I've learned everything above the hard way making lots of mistakes over the past 17 years of making stuff for the web and another eight years of making or curating products to sell.

Got any further business questions? 
Or better tips! I could always use more. Please feel free to share via e-mail or in the comments!
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  1. Wise advice, my experience is that you are right, the balance is necessary, thank you for sharing.

    1. It really is, and it's hard to achieve, but working late into the night/early morning doesn't get you further ahead. Balance is better.

  2. Great advice V! One of the hardest parts can be staying inspired!
    I like to strike when inspiration comes because you never know how long it will be before you can catch the next wave.

    1. Yep, I do the same thing Chelsey. Sometimes you have to pound out the idea while you're inspired to do it or risk it never happening. The inspiration and energy is fleeting.

  3. These are awesome tips, Vanessa:) Thanks for always being so generous and sharing what you've learned with your readers. I'm currently not in this mode of thinking yet, but someday, I would like to start a business that has something to do with my knitting and sewing, so I'll be sure to keep these in mind.:)

    1. You should, your sewing is awesome! You have the right idea, it's good to let it marinate in your mind for a while and develop it before you take action.

  4. I agree with each advice! I think the most important aspect is the timing of starting the business. Like you said, research and business plans are definitely necessary, but there's also the mindset and view on everything. You must have the right mindset, but with a clear view and realistic expectations. You can't start the business thinking you'll get rich over night or something like that and you must be ready for a whooole lot of work. Also, somewhere hidden in your mind you must be aware of the fact that not all businesses are successful. Of course, you must be positive and think it will be ok, but still. :)

    1. So true on being prepared for failure, it's something beginner business owners need to know...or learn the hard way. Pretty much every successful person you know failed enough times to become successful. I like the quote "Losers quit when they fail. Winners fail until they succeed." You do have to do a balancing act and keep your passion up while being realistic. It's hard, but doable. The endorphin rush from successes makes it all worth it.

  5. This post serves as a great reminder, Vanessa, as this year I'm starting all over again with my Yoga line. A plan is an absolute must! Also a budget!
    I love your new profile pic :)

    1. Do it Duni, I bet it will be amazing! :D And thanks, needed a new one, haha.

  6. Love your tips honey and I'm much like you and guilty of number three. Your other tip about working on passion and not letting it fizzle is something particularly important for people to hear, especially those who are juggling many other roles in their lives outside of business. So I always say do something anything each day that contributes to your overall goals and dreams even if it's a tiny aspect of what you do in your business.

    1. A tiny bit of action going forward every day is better than dedicating a whole 24/7 day and fizzling out and going nowhere for sure! I am the worst about #3 too, I said I was releasing a body care line this time last year. Turns out, that can take a long damn time! And that's okay, but I should have waited to reveal that.

    2. But you've done and congratulations to you. As for things we need to learn from.....when we know better we do better. I beat you'll sit on any announcements for while now.

    3. Haha, it's not officially launched yet. We've sold some stuff locally to some people/stores but the website and store is far from launched. But heck yea, definitely sitting on announcements from now . You'd have think I'd have learned when I did a LOCAL and PUBLIC presentation of opening a vintage shop/cafe that didn't happen, but now, for sure ;) Oh yeah, and please do e-mail me at about collaborating lady! Couldn't find your e-mail on your site.


I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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