This post is a sponsored collaboration between Squarespace and We Like L.A.
We Like L.A. didn’t start out as a business. First and foremost it was a personal project. But as our website morphed from mere passion into a profitable venture, we learned a lot of stuff along the way. One major takeaway: You need the right online tools to succeed as a scrappy upstart.
Squarespace knows this, and that’s why they’re so dedicated to is helping entrepreneurs and small business owners bring their ideas on to the web.
Of course we all know it takes more than a great website to bring a business to life. And it starts with a few foundational principles. Master them, and you might just find out what the thrill (and struggle!) of creating a successful business is all about.
1. Define Your Core Beliefs
Ok, so you want to start a business. You have a trade or a service or a product or maybe just an idea, and you want turn that, somehow, into money. But what do you stand for? Why do you do what you do? These two key questions will pull you through almost any challenge you’ll face, whether in business, or in life. If the magnetic power of the why is powerful enough, the how always seems to reveal itself.
2. Focus on Creating Value
Figure out what you’re good at, and then be better at it then anyone else. It turns out that people like things that offer value, and the greater value you create, the more customers/clients/buyers/advertisers you’ll attract.
3. Keep it Lean
Starting a business is costly, and in Los Angeles especially so. It’s your job to overhead low to give plan as much runway as possible. Are you sure you need to hire yet? How much should you spend on marketing? One of the biggest ways to stay lean is to avoid a physical footprint. Sometimes that even turning your spare bedroom into a clothing warehouse and selling online using an e-commerce solution like the one provided by Squarespace.
4. Balance Long Term with Short Term
It’s easy to get stuck in the weeds with day-to-day stuff, but try to periodically (as often as you can) reevaluate the course you’re on to see if you’re heading towards your long-term goal.
5. Cultivate Meaningful Relationships
L.A. is huge. And expensive. And competitive. But the upside is that are lots of interesting, smart, successful people in the mix that you can form relationships with. And there’s nothing wrong with going out of your way to meet those kinds of people. Go to networking events. Send email inquiries. Talk to shop owners or business owners or entrepreneurs every chance you get. Get really lucky, and you might even forge the most valuable kind of relationship: a mentor.
6. Research Your Local Considerations
When it comes to mucking through red tape Los Angeles doesn’t make it easy. Fortunately for us we don’t have to deal with the ins and outs of code enforcements and building permits. But remember if you want to do business in the city of angels (even as an independent contractor!), you’d better get familiar with the L.A. Office of Finance.
7. Measure Your Success
The old Peter Drucker adage goes: “What gets measured gets improved.” It’s true. But in order to figure out what moves the needle you need to watch the needle. Find ways to track your progress, and then reverse engineer your learnings into growth and progress. For us no tool has been more valuable in this process than Google Analytics. Fortunately, Squarespace offers seamless integration with GA, making measurement of digital impact that much easier.
8. Be a Master Communicator
You can’t succeed in business, in L.A. or any other city, without mastering the art of communication. Any person who combines great technical skill with masterful communication can conquer the world.
9. Have a Growth Mindset
Fact: You’re going to make mistakes along the way. You’re going to have setbacks. The difference is whether you will approach these hurdles as learning opportunities from which you can gain valuable insights, OR as an excuse to give up along the way.
10. Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back
Take a shot and fail, it probably won’t be as bad as you think. But if you succeed? Your whole life could be changed. And while we accept that everyone’s financial situation and life circumstances is a mitigating factor, we would also say this: Don’t let fear be the thing that holds you back.
Remember that you’re not alone. There are online resources to provide guidance. There are mentors out there willing to share their knowledge. There are amazing tools and companies like Squarespace that can help you bring your vision to life.
But it’s up to you to make it happen.
Feeling inspired? Take advantage of the special promo code WELIKELA to get 10% off when you start a Squarespace account today.
If you’d like to learn more about We Like L.A. sponsored posts and how we work with our partners, you can go here.