You’ve had this idea for super long and just don’t know where to start to get your business launched? KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) – Repeat it louder for the ones in the back!!
Here are some basic tools and steps I suggest from my personal experience in starting any small business in South Africa.
Firstly starting with an idea and maybe a business plan (this can change along the way) but start with something that you can work from and build a foundation on. Put it on paper and get into action.
Choose a name for your business. Something original, catchy and don’t over complicate it.
Create a logo design in Canva – at this point in your business if you have some capital to invest in a graphic designer then do it, but if you don’t let Canva help you along the way. (Canva has a free option, and the paid version is super affordable and you have access to a massive amount of stock images and videos. It has a massive library of ready to personalise logos) Again a Logo is something that can be changed and that you can spend more money on later. MY TOP TIP IS TO MAKE SURE YOUR FONTS ARE ELIGIBLE, the most gorgeous fonts are sometimes difficult to read and people won’t be able to make out your name. I still don’t know how to properly say the coffee shop around the corner from me’s name, because I am not sure if it is a L or an I that I am looking at.
Most small businesses start out as Sole Proprietors at first, meaning that you do not yet need to register a business or have a business bank account. I do however recommend getting an accountant to help you with your tax returns and guide you on when it will start making sense to scale up your business. When you start seeing tax deductible expenses creep in, it can be helpful.
Register a domain and create a website. I have used a few platforms and WordPress has been the easiest for me by far.
Texo Web Hosting has also been super helpful in setting up my website and with day to day issues. Texo has a hosting option for WordPress websites specifically, and I have even seamlessly moved my website address to a new address with them.
I have also created an online storefront with WooCommerce on my WordPress site, and this is where the magic comes in. When I was looking around for AFFORDABLE card machines, Yoco came out tops and their card readers are super affordable. What made it more appealing for me is that I can use Yoco as a payment gateway for my online store and do not need to add any additional service providers. I am also able to invoice from my Yoco site and people can pay me via card and eft, I am really finding this gets me paid quicker in general.
Marketing your business comes next. You need to drive people to the website that you have created. At this point you have probably not really made any big money so to keep the costs low initially is to use the social networks to your disposal.
Social networks that works well: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
I see social media as a layer of marketing, I do not rely on soli it to generate business but it is a great way to add value and build community with your customers.
Email marketing: OOOH I have a lot to say about this topic. Creating an email marketing list is vital for your business. With more and more issues and outages with social media, although it is a great marketing tool, you need another way to communicate with your customers. I have switched over to Flodesk 9 months ago and it is the best thing I have ever done for my business. Flodesk allows me to create really beautiful emails, sort my customers into sections and create workflows for my customers that automates emails for as long as I need it.
Here is a short summary of the above with links to each service provider
Choosing a host for my website is one of the most painful issues I have experienced so far. My previous host actually registered my domain in their name so that I could not move it and they could keep charging me crazy amounts. The Texo team has amazing customer service and are always helpful whenever I had issues. They even helped me to get my domain name back in my name.
Texo has hosting options for WordPress websites and they make it so much easier for me to setup my website. Register your domain with Texo HERE
WordPress & Woo commerce. I am a diy’er by heart and it really shows in every part of my business too. I outsource what I can’t do, but if I am able to learn then I will do it myself. WordPress has been my goto for setting up my website and letting me make changes as we go along. It is easy to learn and Youtube is your friend.
Email marketing has never left the playing field, and in all honestly it is the best and less costly marketing tool you have to get your message across to your customers. I can highly recommend Flodesk for ease of use and just for general aestetic. I have not yet found an email marketing tool that allows you to create REALLY beautiful emails like you can in Flodesk. I am also able to create workflows for lead magnets as well as keep my customers in a workflow that is automated.
Cost wise, it was similar to the basic plan from my previous email marketing platform but the benefits just added so much more value. Use my referal link to get 50% off your first year of using Flodesk. CLICK HERE
Yoco has changed the way I do business in just one product. I started using it just to get a low fee card machine for doing markets and events. I have since integrated it to my online store’s payment gateway, I can send invoices directly from Yoco as well as payment links. You get paid faster than other platforms and the fees are not loaded with additional fees.
Get your YOCO machine and merchant account: HERE
Become your own design expert, create your Free Canva account with my referral link: HERE
A Good Accountant. I have some good recommendations that I can make, send me an email and I will send them to you.
Please note that some links might contain affiliate links.
I am extremely passionate about creating stylish spaces that not only promote growing and learning but spaces that grow with your child.
Apart from creating gorgeous, functional spaces I love doing DIY projects and I am devoted to share tips and tricks to create a happy and healthy home for the whole family.