Hi everyone. Today I just wanted to give an update on what I’ve been doing, how things are going, and what I’ve been thinking.
As previously mentioned, I’ve been doing some online training into business start-ups. One of the more in-depth courses, How to Build a Startup through Udacity, talks about researching before actually starting/finalizing a business plan or settling on a business model. It also mentions how important it is to go out and talk with your potential customer base and find out what it is they need or want, and then changing your draft business plan based on that feedback. So far I’ve made a draft business plan, and now I just need to figure out a plan of attack when it comes to speaking with potential customers. As my business would be SEO and advice / help for creating and maintaining an online presence for other small businesses, I would need to contact and talk with established small business owners. Personally I hate the idea of cold-calling people or randomly turning up to their businesses to start asking questions that they most likely wouldn’t care about, so this may be a little awkward. I think the best option (for now at least) would be to join and participate in small business forums. This is a great option as I wouldn’t be disturbing people as they’re trying to work / run a business, and I’d be able to gain valuable advice while also finding out their opinions on my ideas. A quick Google search shows that there’s plenty of forums out there.
I’ve been getting a little bored of the online training lately, so taking a break to focus on the more practical side of things might be a welcome break. It wouldn’t hurt to research similar businesses; see what they do, maybe have a chat and get some advice?
Lately I’ve been reading articles from the Entrepreneur and Small Business sections of Forbes. There’s a lot of great advice and interesting articles from people who managed to take a great idea and turned it into a profitable business.
Joining a local business network would be a great opportunity. My local business network, the Benalla Business Network, even offers incentives to people who join. I keep meaning to join, but keep putting it off. Right now I can’t afford a yearly membership fee (even with all the extras it includes), and currently I haven’t got a business to speak of that could take advantage of the incentives. It’s always good to network and get advice though.
I really need to renew my Microsoft Office subscription. I let it run out while I was on a break and now I need it again. Thankfully Google Docs is free, but unfortunately the Google versions of Word and Excel don’t have quite the same level of features as Microsoft Office.
I found a great website that allows you to make flyers, business cards, presentations, etc cheaply. Check out Canva. In a nutshell, it’s like a cheap online version of Microsoft Publisher, but whereas with Publisher you have to supply the photos and graphics, everything is available from Canva itself. You can even upload your own photos and use them instead. There are free photos, templates, graphics, etc available, or you can choose from the paid libraries. They boast a library of over 1,000,000 photos alone, so chances are you’ll find something you’ll like. Each paid items is $1.00 USD.
And that’s about all for now. I’m pretty sure there were other things I wanted to touch on, but I made the mistake of not writing things down.