When I first started my web design and digital marketing side business, I was one year out of college and had a full-time marketing job. I wanted to start something for myself and pursue the dream of being my own boss. I’ve learned so much over the last 6 years about how to start and succeed in your own business. The list below is a few myths that I can say I’ve lived through and can vouch that they are not true!
1. You Need Capital-
Nah! Depending on what type of business you are going into, start-up costs are relatively low. A laptop, Adobe design software, and an external hard drive is all I need to run my business. As my business has grown, I’ve been able to purchase new things. Such as a large screen iMac, cameras, accounting software, and a few other things to make my life a little easier. You don’t need the nicest things when you start, purchase what you can and let your business fund the rest.
2. It’s Complex-
While you will need a separate checking account for your business revenue and to pay your bills out of, you don’t necessarily need to make things more complicated than that. You don’t even need to open an LLC, you can always start off by using a DBA “Your Business Name” on your checking account. All I can say is just start and don’t be intimidated.
3. You Need to Know What You’re Doing-
Well, this is one thing I can definitely say I’ve lived through. When I got my first paying client, it was literally the 1st website I had ever built and I had no business plan or goals. Looking back at that first year, I did a lot of work for cheap. I was able to learn, build my portfolio, and make a little cash. As my business progressed, I started offering different services such as website maintenance packages, graphic design, and digital marketing. You just never know where starting a business will take you until you just START.
4. It’s too Risky-
Let me tell you, there is no risk to starting a side-business. The worst thing that could happen is that you either hate it or you’re not making enough money to make it worth your while. You may even decide to try something different. And that is not even a bad thing! You’ve just learned what you don’t want to do and that in itself is a great step in the right direction. Starting a side-business also gets you away from only having one income source! In my opinion, it’s too risky not to have a side-business.
5. You Need to Spend a lot on Advertising-
When you first start out, the only marketing you need is word-of-mouth. Get your first clients to help you spread the word about your services, offer referral programs, and use free tools such as MailChimp and Social Media to gain awareness in your market.
6. You’re Going to Make a lot of Money Right Away-
Now, this isn’t necessary a “myth”. It is possible that you will generate large sales right away, but most start-ups take a few months to a year before you can start seeing the fruits of your labor. Be prepared to do some free work when you first start, this will allow you to build a client base and gain experience.
7. A Side Business is a Part Time Job-
The more time and effort you put into your side-business, the more you’ll get out of it. There are so many weeks that I’m working on websites, writing blog posts, or just working on future business plans every night and weekend. I want to grow my business to be more than just a part-time endeavor, so I put in the time and work that it takes to keep moving forward.
8. You Need to Spend a Pretty Penny on a Fancy Website-
I do believe that every business, large or small, needs a website. I don’t think it needs to be super cutting-edge when you first start out. I specialize in web design for small businesses and start-ups so you can launch the business you’ve always wanted. You don’t need to hire a web design firm that will charge you $10K for a basic site. A start-up website should be straight-forward, clear, creative, and not break the bank.
If you’re ready to start a side-business or have one up and running, let’s talk about how I can help your business grow with an affordable website and digital marketing plans!