5 Things Startup Entrepreneurs Don't Know They Need
Entrepreneurship has become increasingly popular in the past few years, myself included. I opened Aceti Design Co. almost a year ago, and I've learned a few things along the way. Along with small business & entrepreneurship classes I took for five months, I've also learned a lot through trial and error. And honestly, that's the best way to learn.
When I started Aceti Design Co, I only opened it because I thought it would be a nice way to try to generate some side income while I was on medical leave for a pretty serious ulcer. It was a way to keep me sane while being on bedrest. At first, sales were slow, but they were coming. I had no business plan; no marketing, social media, or business savy. When sales picked up, I began thinking, I love this! What if I could do this full time? That's when I registered in business school.
Although my five month stint in school was short, I learned the basics of owning a business. Writing a business plan, registering the business, applying for loans, taxes, etc. I had a bare bones concept of a business. I took this and I ran.
And that's when I learned what failure, struggle, & frustration looked like.
Don't get me wrong, I've had lots of success with my business. A steady growth in sales, a rise in subscribers, some social media buzz... It just took a lot of failures to get there.
Today, I am sharing 5 things entrepreneurs (they may not know) they need to operate a business. Hopefully, these few pointers can help you avoid some of the struggles I went through.
Here we go!
1 | you need an email signature.
I know what you're thinking. I already have an email signature! If you have an email signature, that's great! If you don't have an email signature, now you know you need one. Email signatures are a little piece of your brand and who you are as an entrepreneur. Your signature should match your brand & your personality. When you send an email, it should always have a signature, no matter who you are emailing.
My email signature matches my brand's fonts & colors. I love minimalism and that shows in the simplicity of my signature. It is clean, cohesive, and professional.
2 | You need business cards.
So many entrepreneurs, especially millennials, think business cards are obsolete and that they've been replaced with having your own website. I could not disagree more! You need both. I can't even tell you how many times I ran into someone interested in my business and they asked for my card and I didn't have any. You never know when you'll run into a potential customer!
Again, like your email signature, your business card should match your brand.
3 | You need a desk, or some kind of workspace.
It's really important that you have somewhere you can layout all of your work in front of you, without disturbing the rest of your household. I currently have a pretty sweet home office in the corner of my living room. It's a pretty huge desk with lots of storage (thanks Ikea!) so it works perfectly for all my stationery items & samples. There have been dozens of studies saying you are happier & more productive when you don't work all over your house and have one designated work space. This also helps stop you from bringing your work to bed with you.
4 | You need a business bank account.
It took me a while to do this one. I direct deposited my Etsy earnings into my checking account. This is a MONSTER for taxes! If you're able, from the get-go, open a separate checking account & use one specific credit card for all business expenses. This allows you to track, with precision, money coming in and money going out (for business expenses.) It will be MUCH easier for tax season to prep write-offs & total income. I did not do this until 10 months into my business, and it is the smartest decision ever!
5 | You need to KEEP ALL THE PAPERS.
This is probably the most annoying thing about owning your own business. You need ALL the receipts, from any "business lunches", to buying a new printer, to bills from that trip to Dollarama to buy pens & paper clips. You need these so you can write off as many business expenses as possible. Otherwise, you will PAY for it.