1. Don’t spend too much time on a Business Plan, but just enough
As any other startup, a business plan is the first step to start a social media management business. Spending a few days on your business plan would make it easier for you to determine an overall strategy, tactics to follow and to foresee a rough financial plan for each quarter of the year. The point is not to spend days, but to put all your ideas and predictions together on a document. Remember, that is just to see your motivations, next sales and marketing steps and current financial situation. It will change and evolve in time and needs to be so, since the startups are dynamic and subject to rapid growth (we hope so). For a good and easy to apply business plan template you can check this one here from US Small Business Association (SBA). If that is not convenient for you, you can always go and ask Google.
Cost: A business plan doesn’t have to cost you any money, just some time. A few days is usually enough to write up a good draft of what you plan to be doing.
2. Get a website up as soon as possible
As a social media manager/ marketer you can not start a business without a webpage. In our age, it is the core necessity for almost any business, but having a social media business without a proper webpage is like having a restaurant without a kitchen. You provide social media management services, thus your social media presence is vital to your customers and prospects. Check Copyblogger Media website for some useful tips.
Cost: Domain name costs $ 3-10. Initial content writing for a business webpage can take 2-3 days.
3. Don’t hire a web/graphic designer, do it yourself!
I can hear you say you don’t have enough time and financial resources to create a catchy webpage. Good news is you don’t need to be a web-developer to have a decent, low-cost webpage. You can use WordPress themes from the web. Don’t use a free one, because they might be linked to a website that is just aiming to generate traffic . Check out the compatibility of the theme with your business and how many times it was purchased. To find one suitable for social media management/ marketing business you can search themes like ‘agency’ or ‘corporate.’
Cost: You can purchase a WordPress theme for $10 to $60.
4. Get a low amount of decent looking cheap business cards
Hooray! Look at you! You moved only three steps forward so far, but you already have a business plan and a well designed webpage for your social media management startup. Now comes the fourth tip: business cards. You don’t need to spend a fortune on professionally designed and printed ones. Instead, go to your local printing house and get laser printed ones. 100 or so cards is enough to begin with since the digital age largely removes the need for printed marketing material. If you want to generate traffic to your website, make sure that your website adress is the second thing (your brand name-logo is the first) to be spotted on your business card.
Cost: This depends on the country you print your business cards. Check the local printing houses. Use social media to find businesses and friends’ comments on Facebook.
5. Move to a low cost country
Ok, the moving part might be a little bit tricky, but the up-side of running your own startup is you can work from pretty much anywhere! You are running a social media management/marketing business, so you can be location independent as long as there is a decent internet connection around. Freeing yourself from the limits of an office both reduces the startup costs and makes you connected with the social world outside.
Cost: Working from home is for free! The cost of working from a coffeeshop depends on how many cups of coffee or tea you have. Check for the best rated places in town on for instance Foursquare.
Here is the first blog post from DelightWave Social Media Management. You are more than welcome to share your own experiences, comments and ask questions. We need to listen first to progress and succeed.