HOW I STARTED MY BUSINESS WITH LESS THAN $100
Can you really build a multi-million. Dollar business with. $100. Yes. You, can I am. Proof, of it so I wanted, to go back to the beginning of starting my business which, was just a couple of years ago when. I was starting from scratch I had no. Money in the bank I was actually a little bit in debt at that time living, in a tiny little shoebox apartment and all. I had, was a vision, for what I wanted to create but. I didn't know how I was gonna do it or, what the, tactics were gonna be or how it was even gonna make money so I had to get scrappy. And lean. And. That's. How I started so I thought, it'd be really valuable to you to understand, that I started, this business I have today with less than $100, so I'm actually gonna break down the tools the things that I use the, price, points of all of that in this. Video so if you're excited about this give this a like hit, the subscribe button and, be sure to click the bell to be notified every single time I post a new video which, is on Tuesdays and Fridays and, sometimes, even more than that and. Be sure to share this out if this is something that resonates with you or you know somebody who could use the help, of watching, this video so I also made this, video recently, about, how I started, my business very lean and this is basically a follow up to, tell. You exactly what, I did step-by-step, and the only things, you need to, start now this applies to a coaching, and consulting business. And an. Online education, business because that's my businesses we have a digital course and then, we also do consulting, with. Our authority accelerator, program, but, that's it so we, have just scaled this business to you multiple seven figures a year and again. It started with a hundred dollars, so how did I use that first $100. Well, I'm gonna show you and, tell you exactly how I did it and I have my notes on my phone that's why I keep looking at them but. There's a lot to go through so if you have a notepad or, you're on your computer take. Notes during this video because I know that it will be so, valuable to you and getting, started in a really lean way so that you can stay in the black and you don't have to go into the red in starting. Your business. Okay. So if, everyone is telling you that you need all of the things to start your business and you need all these tech, apps and, you need all these subscriptions, and you need to be paying for X Y & Z it's, just, simply, not true those, things will come into play later as you scale the business but when you're first getting started you just need to make you know a couple thousand dollars a month even.
You, Know more than that you don't need, much, so, especially, in the online space so I'm gonna break this down because. There's. Really six pillars of success in business I talked about this all but I've talked about this in a few videos but I wanted to break it down by those six pillars because in my, experience it's. Really all you need to know as far as the categories, of being successful in business so the six pillars are sales marketing, finance, operations, and, fulfillment. I'm gonna make that make a lot more sense as we go so the. Biggest thing in the beginning when you start your business is, it's, not so much an investment, of your money. It's. An investment, of your time now why a coaching. Consulting and online education company. Is very easy to start with not a lot of money is because, generally, you're. Monetizing. Your brain, and your intellectual, property and you're, not having, to get a stock of physical products you're not even have a lot of costs upfront that's why it's easier to get this started with not a lot of money up front so. The. Biggest thing is understanding, that your time it's gonna take a lot of your time in the beginning as you get, the business up and running that's the biggest cost to you so first. And foremost before. We dive into those six pillars the biggest thing to know is that I started, my business like I said with my brain and, I, started it based off of my own experience, my own story so if you're interested in having, an online education, program, having. A course being a coach or being a consultant it. Really comes down to knowing that. That, is based off of your experience, and if you're trying to figure out what to create your course or a program around, oftentimes. It lies in the thing that you solved for yourself or the problem, that you ran into your foot into for yourself or your own story, and journey for, me I started, my business which now we've, had thousands, of clients all over the world I started, it because I. Was, struggling as a solopreneur. With, a tiny. Little consultancy. Tiny little marketing agency, and getting. Past. A, limit. And a ceiling basically, basically, with my clients, and when, I started, using YouTube to, share my thoughts. And. Solve problems and answer questions for my clients, things, blew up and there. Was a huge demand to work with me and that's when I was able to package my expertise into an online course. And that allowed me to scale. Myself. And to. Scale the business because people could take my course and learn from me without me actually having to trade time for dollars so the first thing is I started. With no physical product I didn't have a cost upfront on that front it just came from my, brain my story my expertise and that's the same for you so what's the problem you solved for yourself, what's, the problem you solved for other people, what. Is your story, your journey what's your experience because oftentimes in those things is where your course, idea or your business idea, or your coaching idea, lies the biggest thing is. We're. Gonna start with sales because I say this often if you don't have sales you don't have a business so the first focus in your business no, matter where you're starting you have nothing. Right now you didn't have a business you have to focus on sales first because in order to grow the business you have to be making money so you can put it back into the business so. The, first thing is client acquisition so how are you gonna find your first couple clients now, again a lot of people will tell you have to have a funnel set up and you have to do X Y & Z you have to sign up for all these different things no. You don't your first couple of clients are going to come from people, you probably already know and from, oh hello phone people. You already know or they're. Gonna come from social networks they're gonna come from your email list if you have one even, if you don't have an email list though you, have people, in your circle your friends and family you just need to tell everyone, what you're doing and that's where you're gonna find your first couple of clients and it also comes through the beauty of the internet and the day and age that we live in like what a time to be alive truly, I always, say that because. I wouldn't. Have my business if it weren't for social media I got my first clients, using things, like Twitter that was my first platform I really ever touched Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram and how, I did it was by creating educational.
Content. We like to call it expert, content in our, business, and the expert content is content that actually educates, your idea, client you're not trying to reach everyone you're trying to reach your ideal client. On the thing that you can solve and it gives them a call to action to work with you that's, how you're gonna get your first couple of clients in the door so it's, not having to set up tech or funnels or anything and that's how I did it so I didn't pay anything, to get my first sales, that you get to $5,000 a month I paid nothing, in my, business I just used, social media free, platforms. Free, groups to get my first clients, and I told my friends and family and they told their friends and that's how you get people in the door. So. That's really important to understand when it comes to sales the. Next, thing is, your. End also on that note is I had an email us at the time my email list was, I think less. Than a hundred when, I got my very first client so, you don't have to wait for your list to be like a, hundred. Thousand people you have a hundred people airing 50 people that's 50 people who are interested, in what you do and your first second, third client are most likely going to be in that list now. Marketing. Free. Social platforms, big thing. Like. I talked about and. Your email list so the tool that I used when I was setting up my email list when, I first got it started I actually just used an Excel spreadsheet to be totally honest with you when. I first built my email list I didn't have any text set up and then when I wanted to get a little more sophisticated I, use MailChimp and the reason I love MailChimp, and I always recommend that to start with as your, email marketing, housing. Place is because, it's free, up until 2000, subscribers so. It is an amazing, platform to get your business going and like I said I had less than 100 people on my list when I got my very first paying client, so, MailChimp. Is a great option and then they. Also have, different options for like setting, up a landing page etc and, it's. Like $14.99. A month it, is $14.99. A month if you want to upgrade your MailChimp account to have those things set up so like basic funnels landing pages etc again. In the beginning you don't even need that so it can stay free. So. That's really really important to understand the, next thing was I, used.
The, Process I use to get people onto my email list was I use YouTube to get people onto my email list and then, I use canva, to create my opt-ins, my guides my freebies, my PDF. So basically that's taking somebody from a YouTube video to, downloading. Some, sort of relevant, training. For them that's free, that gets them to sign up for your email list and that's all I use and canva, is basically, your your, free graphic design tool, it makes you look like you're a pro graphic designer I didn't have a graphic designer for like the first two years of my business and I, just did everything myself, and I built basically every. Visual. Asset. That I had inside of canvas so canva, is awesome. They have amazing, templates, in their free version you don't even need to pay for it if you want to get a little fancy with it they do have a paid option but, again you can start that for free so. That's the next thing and. Then. PDF escape, is an amazing. Tool to create your opt-in, for. Your. Email. List and. Have. Links. In it so you can, create your option in canva and then you add in clickable, links to the to, the PDF. You, can do it in canva, but that's what the paid version but for free you can use something called PDF, escape, and PDF, escape allows you to upload your PDF and, add clickable links into, it so those are the the things that I use to create my opt-in to get people onto my email list and start, growing my email lists really really fast so. I would also email that list to get new clients I would email them regularly, I would send my YouTube videos on weekly basis and I just continue to nurture, the list and that's how the first clients, came through and that's how my business built, momentum because I was positioning myself constantly, as the, go-to expert so, you have to get scrappy. When you're first getting started to, get your first couple clients here's the cool thing that happens when, you get your first couple, clients you do an amazing job for them and you get them really, great results they then will, be your best ambassadors, because word-of-mouth, marketing is, real, and they will say oh my gosh Sonny Leonard is even the best when it comes to YouTube I just started working with her look what she's done for me they'll, go and tell everybody else so that's really how my business started to grow in the beginning it wasn't because of complicated, tech or anything else it was because I was good at what I did and what I was offering was really really valuable to people and.
That's What you have to remember at the end of the day that's, such a big factory growing your business because word-of-mouth marketing is, always, the baseline. Of how you're gonna grow your business. So, the next thing is landing pages so I didn't have a website for the first year, of my business all I had was a very, very, basic, landing. Page which a landing page is just basically like a one-page, website, and you, have an image of yourself and you have a little box where people can put in their email address and, they. Can sign up for your email list that's all I had so like I said you can build that if you upgrade MailChimp, to, four for $14.99, you, can build that inside of MailChimp, or you can use something like WordPress which, is what I use back, then and. There's tons of free templates that you can use for that so, there's the cost associated, with that which again is not a lot and that. Just basically collected, email so I didn't even have you, know anything fancy setup or a website set up it was just a landing page to collect emails because your email list is the most valuable part of an online business now. My domain my. Sunny Leonard easy.com at the time it was about three dollars to, buy that domain and, I just have it on auto renew every year, and. Make sure that I just keep ahold of it and then our hosting, if, you go with Bluehost which is what I was using in the beginning for the first year. It's free, they, have a promo that they do where it's free and then it's $25. A, year. After, that and they, have different pricing tiers but that's really the basic way to get started so none of these are affiliates to me by the way they're. Just things, that I use when I was starting my business and, really didn't cost me more than $100 to set up so. The. Next thing was camera, equipment, for marketing so if I was doing my videos or creating any kind of content, I started. With a stack, of books as my, tripod, I would put my computer on top of the sack of books and I would use a little, I've. Used the webcam in the actual computer and then I upgraded, to the Logitech c920, webcam which, I still use to this day and, I just got it on Amazon and that, was my little setup to create content and I used iMovie which was free on my computer to, edit my videos for the first year, and up until 50,000. Subscribers of, starting, my youtube channel so again low, low, low costs. Because all I heard about was actually being in the black meaning, that I wasn't in debt in my business I was actually making money so that I could reinvest it back into the business to grow it to where it is today. Now for Instagram photos we've got a funny little, throwback to how I used to do my photos on Instagram I used, to just set. Up my camera keep, it rolling do. Different poses up against a white wall on my tiny little apartment and. I would choose screen shots and those would be my Instagram photos so again, I did it all myself and I, kept it very low cost and you, absolutely can do the same thing and the funny thing is today I do basically the same thing I don't, really do brand photo shoots I do them once in a blue moon if I need them for assets but for.
The Most part if you go to my Instagram all the pictures or pictures I've taken myself or a bastard friends, or my fiancee to take of me and then. No. Paid ads I didn't touch paid ads for the first two years of my business, and a lot of people will be like you got to use Facebook ads YouTube ads etc if, you don't, have an offer that people actually want if you don't have any client success stories or any client results if you're throwing money at an offer that has no proven results you're, throwing money in the in the trash I call, it a dumpster fire cuz you're literally just burning money you, only want to start using paid ads when you have an offer that's actually, proven we already had at, least a thousand people in my program before, I started using paid ads at all, so start with your organic audience, your organic traffic from places like YouTube or Instagram that's, how you start selling your program and also to your email list and. You. Have to have an email list that's a really big part of this and I hope I've made that super clear here so. The, best thing you can do when you're starting your business especially, when it comes to the marketing piece of this is use social proof so, use. Client, results screenshot client results share, them on your social platforms I do this still to this day because it's an amazing way to say I'm, good at what I do I actually, transform, people and I transform their businesses, you, should work with me over the person over there who might have a pretty brand but actually doesn't know how to do the work and doesn't know how to get your results so, social, proof will scale you so. Fast in the beginning because if you can prove it you're the authority and you're the best people want to work with you. Alright. The. Next thing was for, marketing I would go to free networking events in Vancouver I would just google and search and, ask friends if there was networking events in the marketing space and. In business space and I would go to those and I meet people and that's how I started to build my network and I. Would cross promo content so I would cross promote content from people who had a similar size audience to me and I'd, worked with them to share their content and they would share my content that was like my free little marketing tactic as well all, right the next thing is Finance so. For invoices, I would use Google, Docs but I actually started using Microsoft, Word docs. In the beginning for my invoices so again that was a free, service. At that time and I. Would. Basically. As. Far as like taking payments I use PayPal, and. Of course there's fees associated with that but it was the easiest way to get started now, we use stripe in my business but at that time I just used PayPal, and. I. Would advise obviously, for this talk to an accountant, but if there's one thing I could recommend read. This, book as you're, starting to build your business even if you haven't started one yet because it's a game-changer it's, when it comes to actually, making money and building, wealth inside of your business for years to come and it breaks down exactly, how you should organize your. Finances, in your business so it's a really really valuable resource, the. Next thing is operations. So it, was me myself and I so there wasn't really operations, at that time so, to be totally, honest we didn't have any operations, setup but what I did, do and I recommend to anyone, starting a business and wish I had done it sooner is I. Actually wrote, down every, process, in my business that I did myself so, was it whether it was uploading, a YouTube video sending. Out a tweet. Creating. An invoice in.
Microsoft, Word all, of that was documented, in a step-by-step process just, on my desktop and then. I would upload it and put it on my hard drive just so I had it stored and that made it so much easier when I hired people to say okay here you go this, is the exact step-by-step to follow so you're not having to rehire people all the time a retrain. People all the time and, the. Final thing is fulfillment, so this, means that when, you get a client how do you actually deliver to that client how do you actually get, them the information that they need so in the beginning all I did, was I would use Skype to chat. With my clients, if they weren't based in Vancouver if they were based in Vancouver I would meet them here. In my, it wasn't this apartment it was a tiny little apartment or I would go to a coffee shop to meet. With them and consult with them so again, free. Unless I was paying for coffee which I usually did but all free, things that you can use and have at your fingertips right now and I would just keep notes for each client in Microsoft. Word documents, so it wasn't anything fancy, I wasn't you know having to use all these crazy like portals and platforms, because I was just doing that one-to-one work in the beginning until I scaled into an online course at that point I use, something called bank if ik but. That was not in the beginning of my business I did a lot of one-to-one work and, group work before, I ever created an online course because I wanted to prove my offer actually worked before I packaged, it so, again not, a lot of money over there either, now the other thing would be Cowley, Townley. Is an amazing, tool for scheduling. Booking calls and making sure you're not actually having to go back and forth with people to get them booked into your calendar, sokka scheduling things like sales calls I used calendly and I use just the free option for it and then before I would get on sales calls with people I oftentimes would want to get more information about them where their business was at etc, so instead of using anything crazy fancy I used just Google forums which if you have a Google account which is what my email is setup through and. How I communicate with my clients or communicated, with my clients now we're we're using slack for, most things but. At. Google if you have a Google account or gmail account, then you'll have Google Forms free with it and, for my domain and everything, when I wanted to have like a professional email address which I do recommend having I just, purchased my domain through, GoDaddy, and then, I basically, use, that to. Like mask my gmail account so it became something more professional than just like send a hundred easy five at. Gmail.com which, is not a really large s so. Those are all the things they use and here's the thing I know this is a lot of information I also am aware that I talk fast, but, honestly. I wish that I had seen this video when I was starting my business so what I did is I created a cheat sheet with, all of this information and all the links that you need for. Starting your business in a very lean, way, so you can click below this video in the description there's a link to go download that and it, will have everything that I just mentioned in this video in that document. As well so here's. What I will say to you if I could go back in time and give my any advices a brand new entrepreneur, it would be keep, it lean, don't spend money on things that don't make you money in the beginning ie, the, aesthetics, of your business and how pretty things look because the truth is no one cares and the other truth is that if you're not good at what you do your business will not grow regardless, of how pretty it is so, I wish somebody had given me that advice and I wish I knew I could start the business as lean. As I did like. Some when I was first starting because I struggled, and I was trying to figure out how to do things and where to start and all that and I'm sure some of you are in that position but you can start lean with a business like, this and in most businesses, - this applies to everything so. Remember. That it's gonna be a cost of your time upfront but that time will pay off and eventually you'll be able to scale your business to a place where you're not having to work 24. Hours a day and that's a really beautiful place to be because we're all in this to, create a life on our own terms and you absolutely will get there but just know the beginning can, be a little tough but I hope this was helpful for you to grab that cheat sheet and remember. That I have tons, of videos on building a business and being your own boss so, go and check out these videos next, if you liked this video hit the like button below share, it with your friends and be sure to subscribe, and, hit the beldam you notified every single time I post a new video thank you for watching let me know if this Semple helpful and I'll see you in the next one bye.