Are you leaving the corporate nest to go solo? Undertaking a new interest or business venture and becoming an entrepreneur? Here are 5 essential tools for getting started as an entrepreneur.
Identity matters when becoming an entrepreneur. When you start something new, it might be a continuation of the personal brand by which you are already known – or something entirely different. You can be specific – or go broader with a “bigger tent” that might incorporate other offerings in the future.
My first consulting entity was Keene & Co. Marketing Counsel – somewhat somber and serious, but I was a thirty something lone ranger targeting Fortune 500 clients, large law firms and venture capital-backed start-ups.
Flash forward to a late career venture. The Perfect Fit builds on my time in retained executive search but provides flexibility for broader interpretation – what’s the right blend of initiatives for your personal work/life success, keynote, workshops, etc. It’s a little friendlier and aspirational. Shop around. You will find something that works for your purpose and market context.
2. Domain Name
Do this in conjunction with #1. Research what is available. This may involve going back to the drawing board. Stay with the .com extension. Practice typing/tapping an email address with the domain name. If it’s cumbersome, find something shorter. If you just want your personal name and it is not available, add online, a middle initial or another short word. Use a domain service that can automatically renew the name and also keep your identity private.
Spend some money to get an attractive visual for website, on-line media and business cards. At minimum, you can do something professional with a typeface in an attractive color. Look at others in the competitive category. Be compatible or break the mold completely – if you can pull it off. Keep your audience in mind at all times. You may not want to bother with letterhead, as so much is composed/transmitted electronically in the modern world. But, you may want envelopes and notecards for handwritten purposes.
4. Contact Info
See #2. Please do not go to market with a dated Hotmail/AOL/ISP email address. And, definitely DO NOT use your name and year of birth in a Gmail address – if you want to pursue a serious business endeavor. Honestly, you never see men broadcasting their age in such a way! And, NEVER, NEVER, EVER put a home office address on a website, business card, email signature, etc. Do you really want perps to know you have a storehouse of 18k gold at your home studio if you are a jewelry designer? Get a business mailing address at a convenient UPS Store!
Revise your social media channels to feature your new focus. If you have a fabulous new business/creative/philanthropic venture, there is no reason to post your career information, resume style on LinkedIn. You can provide a strategic overview of your current purpose or reason to connect. See what like-minded people are doing and decide what will work for you. Same with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. IMPORTANT: Be sure your website is designed for mobile phone + tablet + traditional desktop/laptop.