For many of us, whenever we attempt to venture into something new, the panic and worry may kick in. You probably read what to do a thousand times and as you go further down the rabbit hole you end up not knowing where to start.
One of the biggest arguments out there revolves around having a website as a beginner. Some will say you need it and some will tell you that you can get started without it. I side with the latter.
Focusing on building a website as a beginner is a huge distraction and unless you are a web designer or you have a friend or family member who will get the site up for you in no time, my tips to get started won’t include that dreaded website and I have some good reasons why.
It’s time consuming
It can be expensive
I don’t recommend spending or focusing on a website as a beginner because as you understand the business more and more you may change directions and service offerings.
Spending time on it at the very beginning can cause you to lose momentum, get discouraged and build excuses not to move forward.
Since you can scratch that website off of your list, here’s what you can do now instead that will take you less than a week.
1 – Set Up An Email To Use For Your Business
Doing business with the first email you created as a teen seems like a fast and easy way to sign up for apps and get started, but I don’t recommend it. No one wants to get reminders from ‘hot girl trish’ or ‘barbie girl 21’.
When you create your email address make sure the name is set to something recognizable. Very often I receive emails from people who set their first and last name as letters or as the company name. Clients don’t have the time to wonder who an email is from – make it clear.
Unless you’re Amazon, or Apple or some popular company, people may not remember your business name. If you wish to use your name and business name, you can follow this method:
In the first name field, place your first and last name and in the last name field you can write a dash and your business name. Then we will receive emails from LaToya Russell – The OBM Office LLC instead of L R or just The OBM Office LLC.
If you already purchased a domain name and you have hosting services, many of them let you create a free email as a part of the service. If you’re not ready to pay for services, using a free gmail account is perfectly fine.
2 – Create Accounts For Virtual Meetings
You’ll be asked for a booking link over and over. It’s a good idea to have one handy so you can meet with clients and potential clients at times that are convenient for you. Setting up your calendar means you will also be able to choose times you want to work and have options for times you know you can chat. Clients will normally try to select one of the times you have unless they really cannot make it. When this happens, they will let you know and you can open up a spot or make the booking manually.
You’ll also need to make sure you are signed up for a software that lets you host virtual meetings. Zoom and Google Meet are the go to’s that have free options.
Applications like Calendly and Acuity have free options that allow you to connect your zoom account so that meeting links are automatically generated for each individual that books a call with you.
HoneyBook is a simple and robust option that has a calendar for bookings and many other project management functions which we will touch on in another post.
3 – Get Ready To Accept Payments
This seems pretty obvious but over the years I’ve seen many virtual assistants in extreme panic when a client finally says yes to working with them. Setting up a PayPal account is free and takes a few minutes. If you’re not in the United States, consider using Payoneer or Transferwise.
It’s a good idea to get this done as soon as you know you want to work online as sometimes these apps have to do a verification that may take a few business days. When I started Payoneer was my saving grace, they even ship you a visa debit that you can use at the ATM, make withdrawals and swipe in brick and mortar stores just as you would your card from your regular bank.
4 – Sign Up For A Free Password Sharing Account
Sharing passwords via email and in spreadsheets should be a thing of the past and if you have or find a client that does it you should encourage them to get a secure sharing account via a tool like LastPass, 1Password, DashLane or similar.
It also eliminates the risk of being intercepted when shared across email. Another plus side is that these tools auto fill when you’re on the web page and that will save you tons of time scouring through documents and spreadsheets for passwords and then have to remember to manually update them when they’re changed. These tools will prompt the update when you make a change to a new password.
5 – Write Down 3 Services You Are Sure You Can Offer
You don’t need a long list of services to get started. In fact, in Corporate Unplugged, I created what I like to call the Pick 3 Formula. A list with over 60 services to help you pick three you’ll enjoy offering so that you can get started faster and easier.
Offering general services like inbox and schedule management, social media management and community management can go well together. I recommend more specialized services like automation, copywriting, podcast management and funnel building and design.
You can sign up for my free Freedom Guide right here to get my tips of things you should do before quitting your corporate job and a free mini course on what automation is all about.