I think it is safe to say in this technology-driven economy that a website would be a great place to start. Many people I know use a website template (kayzoe.com and sheandidesigns.com are just two to name a few) that allows you to start for minimal costs and little html knowledge. Following are a few of my favorite resources to help you along your path:
One of the most valuable things is to find a mentor. I have a few friends that I consistently ask for advice, and it has proved invaluable. About six months ago, I wrote a friend to express my being overwhelmed with the various aspects of business. This mentor gave pointers on what she did, and simply said, “I believe in you”. They are the best cheerleaders to get you through a tough day. I love learning from other people that are successful. Most people are willing to share, as they at one time are where you are.
Read, Read, Read! I read everything I can get my hands on. Fortunately, the library has many wonderful resources free of charge. My favorites:
- Mothers Work by Rebecca Matthais. Recommended by a friend, this book holds a wealth of information on starting and maintaining a company. Matthais turned a 4 page catalog into a maternity apparel empire. Read more here
- Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. I did a review on this book here. This book is great for creating customers that will come back again and again.
- Martha Rules by Martha Stewart- This book overviews the basic business structure and how to start/maintain your own business. I found many of the stories easy to relate to, and practical to apply to my own situation.
StartUpPrincess.com- daily blog offering advice and tips from other women entrepreneurs. Included are discussions on various aspects of business including how to get press, organizational tips, business plans, balancing work and family. I highly recommend adding this site to your favorites as it provides a plethora of information.
The Small Business Administration is also an excellent resource. I have my own rep, and bring questions to him three or four times a year. He helped me find a reputable accountant, and has answered many business operational questions for me.
Patience. One of the hardest things for me, as I am all about immediate gratification. It takes time to build word of mouth, traffic, a website. Everything takes time! Remain patient and knowing that hard work will build the business you always dreamed of. God has blessed me and I hope that these small tips will bless you too. One of my favorite business quotes is "Not failure, but low aim, is crime" James Russell Lowell
I believe in you. Keep me updated!