Starting a business requires a lot of hard work and creativity. Having started five companies myself, I know what to do.
To help you get started faster, Keith and I kept track of all the things we have done during the first 90 days:
Naming the Company
Naming a company can be difficult. We originally thought about Smartest People in the Room, but we checked things out and discovered that the Enron meltdown was associated with that phrase – bad idea. Since everyone calls us both by last names and to continue the momentum Keith had going with FLETCH Creative, we decided WaddyFletch made sense.
Tips: Don’t pick a name that limiting as your business grows, use a name that conveys some meaning, avoid hard-to-spell names, conduct a thorough internet search, and get the .com domain name. Also, conduct a search with the Secretary of State.
- Brainstormed on names
- Bantered around with names, tag lines, and more
- Reviewed available URLs on GoDaddy Bulk Domain Checker
- Chose WaddyFletch to reflect:
- We are the brand – and our 50+ combined years of experience in branding and marketing is our differentiator
- When you hire us, you get us. We don’t hand you over to a bunch of kids (like most agencies)
Positioning helps companies establish your product’s or service’s identity within the minds of customers. A company’s positioning strategy is driven by a number of variables, including competitive sales offers, customer needs and more.
When I started my first digital marketing agency in 2001, I was one of only a few digital agencies. Today, however, there are thousands of agencies, so we decided to position ourselves as Business Growth Architects rather than an agency. We have learned that marketing alone is not a silver bullet. There are many things – all that connect – that make a company succeed.
- Positioning and differentiation
- We created our own framework or process to transform companies that we call the Business Growth Assessment
We decide on our values
- Go fast. Perfection is the enemy of progress
- Go the extra mile. Do more that what is expected
- Prioritize and get the right things done.
- Incorporated in GA – an LLC Subchapter S Corp
- Got an EIN Number
- Created and signed our Operating Agreement
- Setup a bank account
- Keith created our logo, but you can use 99 Designs to create an amazing logo for around $300. They have a great system where many designers build your logo and you only pay for the one you love.
- We also chose a cartoon-like design of business figures and characters that we can leverage across everything
- We created an abbreviated brand guide for ourselves that defines our messaging, graphics, colors and our logo usage
- Created and ordered new business cards
- Created a video intro using a designer we found on Fiverr – $30 – Video Intro
- Bought the URL on GoDaddy – $3/year
- Built website on WP Engine (they specialize in WordPress hosting)
- Chose and customized a WordPress theme using Avada – $60
- Created some pages, wrote some text, re-wrote text ten more times
- Hired a copywriter on Upwork to check for typos and errors – $100
I have had had several leases over the years. Some were 3 years, one were 5 years and some were personally guaranteed and some were not. We liked ROAM because it is a month to month agreement.
If you are thinking about leasing, be sure to learn a little bit about how they work: cost per square foot, personal guarantees.
- Joined ROAM Atlanta Co-working space – $139/month/person
- Setup G Suite by Google to manage email and office documents – $10 per user
We use Asana to keep track of all the things we have going on:
We use Trello to manage our content calendar for blogging and social media. It is a simple, visual way to set everything up.
- Setup Pipedrive CRM to manage leads and opportunities
- Imported our LinkedIn contact list
- Added some new fields, like Deal Source, to track how we get our leads
- Created another pipeline to keep track of business partnerships we want to setup
- Setup many files:
- Password list
- Elevator Pitch
- SEO keywords we want to target using Google Keyword Planner
- Competitive websites we like the design or messaging
- Great articles (URLs) to save for the future
- Ideas for Blogs
We set up a Vimeo video account to host our videos
- A client sent me a great video testimonial, so we added it to Vimeo
If you need to learn how to use these tools, YouTube is your friend. Check these guys out:
- Updated my LinkedIn profile
- When the update for our new business/job goes out, everyone learns as soon as you save
Social Media Accounts
- Created cover photos and id photos for each social media channel
- Loaded all or our LinkedIn contacts
- Scrubbed the list with BriteVerify
- Sent our business launch first announcement email
- Keith cr
Who you know matters just as much as what you know.
- Attended a few local networking events by these great organizations:
- We sent out emails to our network and continue to build our database
- We decide to have an Hour of Power meeting every day to discuss new sales opportunities
We borrowed a job description for a virtual assistant from our friend Brad Stevens with Brad Stevens Training
- We shot a video of each of us to introduce ourselves and asked any applicants to do the same.
- We created a list of the tasks we need done and a list of the technologies we use
Online Accounts to Setup in the Future
- Process.st to document all our processes
- Create a home page video using a spokesperson we found on Fiverr – $115