9 Lessons in Building an Online Business from Scratch
9 Lessons in Building an Online Business from Scratch
It’s been over six months since we officially launched Teakie.com. Thought it would be cool to give you some insight on the behind the scenes of building an online business.
Things moved fast. Like, really fast. Faster than I could have ever imagined, and in ways I didn’t expect (a good thing!). But something had to give. That was social media and blogging. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to.
So it may seem that I haven’t been doing much, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While it’s awesome to start a business, it’s no easy feat. The reality is that it’s a really slow, painful process. There are a ton of different moving parts, priorities to manage and a business to run…
Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.
1. After launching Teakie.com, I quickly realized that it’s going to take a solid marketing strategy to get this thing off the ground in a meaningful way.
Ultimately, there were a few core items that were front of mind. Figuring out how to handle these would be key to our long-term success.
Here they are:
- While a lot of designers know how to use Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign, not many entrepreneurs do. In fact, it even seems daunting to them (even if it’s a time saver and money maker)
- How can we best serve our audience and solve their problems?
- Who exactly is our audience anyway?
2. I put together a Digital Marketing Game Plan (which I’ll share with you)
Frankly, we need to look at our marketing objectively. Take off the creator’s hat and put on the business one. Should your strategy be solely focused on one platform? What else should you be doing? And most importantly — do you even have one in the first place?
For me, in order to execute such a big project, I needed something more tangible. I needed something concrete to take into account various strategies and techniques to market our products & services to the people who need it most.
So I developed a strategic marketing plan that would:
- Take into account my business goals (i.e. product launches, promos, etc.)
- Focus my time on the activities that count most (i.e. 80 / 20 principle)
- Get closer to the wants + needs of my ideal client
- Develop consistency
- Reduce overwhelm
3. I got more clarity on who I am, what I want and who I’m here to serve
- It’s important for me to have a voice and to make an impact
- It’s important for me to create, design and develop
- I never want to work for anyone else again
- I never want to feel financial stress again
- Love the heart of small business and helping others achieve their dreams
- I want to help women who have been in business for less than 5 years
- I have a disproportionate obsession with problem solving and excellence
4. I had a few breakdowns (don’t let ’em keep you down)
It hasn’t always been easy. I don’t think it is for any real entrepreneur. And if you know me by now, my Cancerian nature, “moon” swings and big heart can have me feeling very, very deeply. So while I do my best to give you my best, I too have my rough days. Where the gap between where I am and where I want to be seems too big—impossible even.
But even in my toughest hours, I remember why I started in the first place. That everything is possible… I’m possible. And upwards and onwards we go.
5. I had a few breakthroughs (keep going, one step at a time)
Ray Dalio, founder and CEO of the impressive hedge fund Bridgewater, talks about a series of loops. These loops are cycles that you need to complete before moving on to the next level. You need to realize that there’s a problem. Determine the problem. Strategize around it. Work towards solving it. And move on to the next loop. It’s this cycle of up, down, up, down that ultimately trends on an upward path.
With all of this reflection, this refining and fine-turning, I’ve made some key realizations
- For Teakie.com—as a business and creative community—to survive, it will take marketing, and a lot of it
- I’m completely bootstrapping this project and for some reason, I have a stubborn pride about it. Maybe this will change, but for now, this is what it is
- Which means that I have to be extremely smart, selective and laser-focused on my marketing efforts and time management
- While making money is essential to any for-profit business, what ultimately drives me is impact. This comes from having a voice, connecting with others and helping them achieve incredible things along their journey
- The challenge is in being the developer, operator and builder of your business while being the marketer, the spokesperson and the educator
- So to be able to deliver on our goals, it means taking ownership of my schedule and ensuring that my time is spent on the things that move the business forward (this is huge)
- With that, comes sacrifice and discipline. It means pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone (hello, before 5 am club?). Doing what most people aren’t willing to do in order to #makethingshappen.
6. Responding to the market, I created a new product called TeakieCare designed to help entrepreneurs grow their business online
Our mission at Teakie is to empower people to do work they love. And we do that by helping people grow their business online. Our latest offering, TeakieCare, is totally in line with that.
Even with DIY templates and resources, there are still a large number of people that get stuck. Unhappy with their websites (or not having one at all). Spending hours trying to figure out the technical stuff when they should be focused on their business. And even if they wanted to invest in a custom brand or web design, it just wasn’t the right time.
TeakieCare is a premium solution for influencers, entrepreneurs and business owners who want to build their digital empire. With TeakieCare, you can have a stunning website, expert IT and digital marketing support when you need it. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an established business, our solutions are carefully crafted to meet your needs.
Our entry-level plan is incredibly affordable and jam-packed with value, starting at just $49 per month. Check out TeakieCare here!
7. We welcomed wonderful new clients to the Teakie family
Whether through TeakieCare or our Digital Studio, we’re thrilled to have worked alongside some incredible influencers, entrepreneurs and businesses over the past couple of months. The best part about it is being able to create amazing things for our clients and collaborate with talented creatives from our tribe from all around the world!
8. I remembered why I started in the first place. To make an impact and empower people to do what they love.
And let it be known. I dream of building Teakie into the most inclusive, heart-centered, smart, female-run tech company of the century.
9. And most importantly, I missed the heck out of everyone.
When I look back, all the interactions, the support, the impact… It’s the impact I’m here for. The impact you have on me and I have on you.
It’s not just likes and followers or online businesses that make money while we sleep. It’s aligning with our purpose. Serving people. And boy, do we have the best people.
So what can you expect from us now?
You can expect to hear from me and Teakie a whole lot more in the coming months.
We’ll be sharing a ton of educational and inspirational resources to help you get more leads, traffic and sales online. And we’ll be doing that by sharing:
- Blog posts with tips, tricks and advice to empower you to do what you love and pursue your passions
- Free downloads, workbooks and cheatsheets designed to help you grow your online business
- Live videos and webinars over on Facebook and Instagram
So if you haven’t done it already, hop on our mailing list! We’d love to have you.
Remember. No matter where you are in your journey—if I can do it, so can you.