Almost every marketing professional, at least once in their lives, thinks about starting a new business. Those who work in marketing roles are naturally creative and aspiring individuals, and that little entrepreneurial flair can be a huge asset in the role.
It may be a passing thought due to a bad day at the office, or a deep-seated yearning. It’s not a choice to be taken lightly, and definitely not an easy road to travel. But for those with a great idea and strong work ethic, it can be very rewarding.
If you are thinking about ditching the corporate life and forging your own path in the marketing world, there are a lot of considerations and things to do to ensure you can be a success. Here are 14 elements you’ll need to address in order to be successful in your own marketing venture.
Find a Killer Idea
The first question you will likely ask yourself when looking to build your own business is this: Can I set up a limited company on my own? The answer is yes, however it is a difficult road and one that cannot happen if you don’t first have an amazing idea.
Coming up with a winning business idea can be tough, but once you find a gap in your niche or a great opportunity for growth it can be a good shot at success. Look at the industry and see where a gap may be in the market; this will give you an opportunity to create a great business that stands out from the crowd.
Identify a Niche
Finding a niche as a marketing business can be a great way to target a specific audience and gain more notoriety. For example you could specialize in offering your marketing services to childcare for providers, to charities, or to financial businesses.
Think about the things you enjoy creating content for, and use this to help you narrow down your niche to fit a specific angle. By specializing in one subject you can become more of an expert and create valuable content for your prospective customers.
Run the Numbers
As frustrating as working in the corporate world can be at times, it does offer benefits, both literally and figuratively.
As a business owner, you’ll be responsible for your own health care (and your family’s, unless your spouse can cover that), your own retirement savings, and your own life insurance. Beyond those obvious costs, you will be your own travel coordinator, CFO, office manager, and tech support staff.
You’ll have to cover the cost of those benefits plus all of your business expenses: computer hardware, software, subscriptions, office supplies, wireless plan, and high-speed Internet. Yes, you can charge a higher hourly rate than you could as an employee, but be sure you can make the numbers work to cover all of the additional expenses you’ll be taking on.
Create a Home Office Space
It’s essential when working at home to have a dedicated workspace. Psychologically, this lets you separate work from your home life even though you are in the same physical space. It also clearly communicates to your spouse and/or kids when you are “at work.”
This means no sitting on the sofa or in bed, and instead creating a room or a space in your home that is clean, tidy, and organized ready to make your marketing dreams come true. It’s also important to have an office because when you are working at home it is easy to get distracted by children, partners, and pets—as well as household chores.
If you are able, close yourself off during the working day to minimize lost time throughout the day.
Freelancing is a perfect gateway into working for yourself as a business. If you have never had any experience working as a business, it is good to spend some time freelancing as a side hustle to get a feel for managing your own workflows and achievements.
It can chew up a lot of your “spare time,” but has the potential to make a huge impact on your life and help you to prepare yourself for a healthy working routine when you transition to business ownership.
Make a Plan
To paraphrase Ben Franklin, no one plans to fail, but too many people fail to plan. To increase your odds of success, develop an action plan that includes what you want to achieve, which services you want to provide, and how you will set everything up.
Consider how much work you can feasibly do as an individual, and consider getting some help from outside agencies with things such as accounting and web development. Write down an action plan for the first three months of your business.
This can be anything from creating your brand to setting up a website, and building a client list. Think about where you want to be in a year, two years, five years… and work backwards to decide what steps you need to take to reach those goals.
The planning stage of a business is time-consuming and can be difficult to manage, but it will make a huge difference when you are able to work towards guided and achievable goals each month.
Set Up a Website
Setting up an online presence is one of the first things you want to do as a marketing business. If you will be providing marketing services to brands across the world, having a website that is fast, clean, and attractively designed is crucial.
When setting up your website you need to explore domain names and consider investing the extra money to get that .com as this is a trusted extension and the most widely used in business. Make sure your website runs smoothly and spend time to check for links as well as optimizing your content for SEO.
This project is the first step in making yourself known so spend time on it and consider hiring a web developer to help you achieve your goal.
Create a Business Social Media Presence
Social media is now an essential marketing channel, and there are so many different platforms you can use to bolster your business and make a good impression. From Facebook to Tik Tok – there are plenty of networks that house different types of content to get your message across to the audience.
Being engaged on social media and sharing your story can be a crucial aspect in gaining an audience and it will help people to see you as an active industry leader. When creating social media content consider photos, videos, and use the best hashtags you can to push it out to the right people.
Build Your Brand
Branding is vital for any business. When most of us think about a brand, we consider the logo and the visual identity of our business, but there are also other aspects to consider when creating a winning brand.
For example, you will want to create an atmosphere and an experience when a customer visits your social media or your website. If you are a fashion brand visual concepts and color are important, whereas for a corporate business you might tone it down and make it more minimal. Think about the emotions you want to evoke in your customers when they first arrive at your website.
Color theory is a huge part of creating a winning brand—with pink and purple representing creativity and media while colors such as green and blue are nurturing and calm. Use industry competitors to help you decide on your brand identity. Once you’ve done this, you can focus on other things like tone of voice, personality, and content.
Take Training Courses
To forge your own path in life and build a business that can sustain a lifestyle, it’s critical to gather as much knowledge as you can. Consider taking training courses in subjects you want to learn, such as money management, analytics, and email marketing.
All of these skills will help you when it comes to running your business successfully and making a name for yourself in the industry. Always continue learning and bettering yourself; this can have a profound impact on how your business runs and the success you are able to see from it.
Network with Industry Leaders
Networking is always a key aspect of starting your own marketing business because making connections can grow your company. By talking to industry leaders and sharing details about your business, you can expand your brand awareness and become a recognized face in the sector.
For new customers, seeing that you are known in the industry will help increase trust and make a difference to you as a business owner.
Build a Client Base
Once you have a structure in place, you’ll need to find your customers. Creating a client base can be a long and arduous task, involving a lot of emails and phone calls. Most entrepreneurs start by tapping the business network they’ve built over their professional lives, then expand from there.
Getting your name out there and bringing in some clients will get your business off the ground and allow you to start generating cash flow. LinkedIn is indispensable as you contact and grow your business network.
Hire Talented People
Although running your business alone is likely the more financially viable option at first, once you become an obstacle to your own growth, it’s time to expand your staff. In the beginning, you can increase your capacity incrementally by hiring freelancers.
But at some point, if your business is successful, you’ll need to add full-time staff. Hire people who can help you carry the heavy workload as well as take on tasks that you don’t want to do. Administrative tasks can be taken on by others, and you can hire extra hands to help you with your promotion, allowing you to focus on providing your clients with the best possible service.
Create Free Resources
One way to entice people into your business is to create free resources such as instructional videos and ebooks that help your customers will some of their most common marketing problems.
While you may find this counterintuitive if you are helping them solve their own issues, it actually helps build a loyal audience who will come to you when they need help because they will trust in your expertise.
Use these tips to help you create a marketing business if and when the time is right for you.