6 steps to start your business this weekend

Reality check: The big idea hanging out in the back of your mind isn’t nearly as daunting as you think it is.

Honestly, taking the first few steps toward validating your business idea isn’t much more complicated that opening a lemonade stand on a summer afternoon. Set some things up, give it a name, maybe hand out a couple of free samples to generate hype, boom. Lemonade stand in action.

Take these six little steps this weekend to turn your dream business into a big reality.

“I never considered my dreams wasted energy; they were invariably linked to some form of action. When I dreamed about having a lemonade stand, for example, it wasn’t long before I set up a lemonade stand.” -Ray Kroc

1. Buy a domain name.

Empty out your coin jar and use that $8 to buy a domain name for your business. It’s the first simple step to moving your big idea from a pie-in-the-sky possibility to an active reality.

2. Build your website.

It’s easier than it sounds. Between WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and countless other resources, anyone can build a functional website regardless of prior experience. Most of these templates are cheap. Some are free.

When it doubt, keep the design simple. Make sure people know what you do and how to reach you. A couple of photos help, too.

3. Plant your flag.

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing –– just decide you’re going to kick ass at it. You’re the best paperboy. You make the most outstanding wedding cakes. You are the premier provider of volcano insurance. Whatever it is, plant your flag and make it yours.

But once you’ve done that, you’ll need to do something else…

4. Prove it.

Warning: this could mean working for free. Offer your product/service to friends or a non-profit organization. Provide the high-quality results you committed to by planting your flag, and I promise you’ll see a return on that investment.

5. Ask for backup.

Once you’ve gained that experience, ask your pro-bono clients to give your business a shoutout on social media, give you a rave review to include on your website, or suggest your expertise to friends. Allow your first customers to become your sales army.

6. Kick ass. Continue.

Here’s the difference between a lemonade stand and your business: you can’t pack up your business when you get bored and maybe bring it back out the next time it’s nice outside. Once you’ve taken the first couple of steps to making your dream a reality, you’ve got to keep that momentum up. Tackle the challenges, celebrate the wins, learn from the failures, and get back up every day and do it again.

This is by no means a comprehensive guide, but hopefully it gets you moving enough to keep moving –– and once you’re in motion, who knows what can happen?

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