Guest post by Alyce Cowell
starting a business is a little bit like planning a wedding. I know this because I decided to do both at the exact same time, for reasons that are still unknown to me. Anyway, there a number of ways the two are alike: they’re both very stressful, they both use up all of your time and money, and they both invite unsolicited opinions from everyone you speak to.
I launched my biz BOSSY. creative late last year, but it took about 12 months to get there. There was just so much to do, from building the website to fine-tuning the voice to developing a social media direction to making myself a cute email signature. Being an agency that focuses on copywriting, fashion styling and social media, these were all very important things, especially the last one.
Still, nothing was as important as these five things below. They’re the things that really made BOSSY. what it is today, and if I could, I’d go back and give past me a big ol’ high five. If you’re starting up your own biz, I can’t recommend these enough.
Don’t share every detail
Remember way back at the start of this article when I said weddings are like businesses? Well, like weddings, I found it best to not dish out every single detail of your business idea or plans. Why? It attracts haters, or at the very least, unwanted opinions. On the eve of your new empire, this is the last thing you need. Those opinions will get in your head and you might even start to believe them. The world would be a very boring place if we all liked the same things, so once you come up with your point of difference, keep the finer details to yourself.
Stand your ground
BOSSY. is a cheeky creative agency where the whole *point* is to do things differently, and with a side of sass. In fact, that’s where the idea came from – I felt like everything around at the time was quite stiff and boring – so, when building the brand, this is something I was very (very) sure that I wanted. Lots of people told me I shouldn’t swear, or that I should be more professional in my communications, but if I did this, BOSSY. wouldn’t be around today. Stand your ground and remind yourself why you’re doing it the way you wanted.
Make a big deal of it
And by that I mean, tell every single person you’ve ever met in your life. Post ‘sneak peeks’ on social media. Alert brands and agencies that something exciting is coming. Make people think you’re currently moving into a huge office with 100 staff in tow, and you’re already turning down clients – even if you’re just by yourself, hunched over your laptop with a glass of wine. By the time you do launch, you can announce it officially and people will already be familiar with your brand.
Nail your brand’s personality
For me, this was by far the most important thing I did. It was also the most time-consuming, but not a moment of it was wasted. From day one, the thing I get the most compliments on is my website, the tone of voice, the copy on my website and the overall branding. Remember this is what makes up your brand’s personality – it’s what people first see when they log onto your website, it’s what they remember when they’ve left, and it’s what sets you apart from everyone else out there doing the same thing. Do something different.
Don’t leave it until after you’ve launched to do all the hard work. Brainstorming should be at the top of your priority list from the moment you start working on building your biz, and is an ongoing task you can continuously work on. I’m a pen and paper gal, so I jot down AS MANY publications, brands, stores and people I’d love to work with – from the café at the end of my street, to the magazine of my dreams. No job is too big or small! If you find yourself having not much to do, there’s always more brainstorming (and contacting) to do. When you get even one email back with a big fat YES, you’ll thank yourself for sacrificing that Sunday to send 2,000,000 emails.
Image: Love Shop Share