At MyDomaine, we know how challenging it is to turn your passion into a thriving business. Making that leap of faith takes courage and confidence, but seeing your dreams become a reality is more than worth the effort. One question, however, remains: Where do you begin? How do you transform that small and often simple idea into a profitable company? Well, we want to help. So we partnered with Above the Glass to give young entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, and the edge to own their working lives. Here, the two ATG founders, Heather Serden (a former investment strategy analyst) and Danielle Yadegar (a former fashion editor) guide you through their personal process.
When it comes to starting a business from the ground up, there are tons of responsibilities and moving parts to consider. In fact, there are so many moving parts that launching a business on your own feels impossible. But don't let that scare you away. With the right tools, it won't be as scary as it sounds. Plus, here at Above the Glass, we believe the payoff will be worth the hard work and risk-taking. So how do you know if you're ready to handle a career shift or solo project? We came up with a list of steps to guide you through the planning process, which are guaranteed to make things easier down the road. And once you feel confident enough to take off the training wheels, check out the Above the Glass business plan tool to begin your business launch. And as you scroll through, remember: Anyone can do it with enough creative problem-solving skills, an optimist attitude, and enough hustle.
Keep Your Side Gig
Keep your side gig going for as long as possible, because starting a business takes twice as long, and twice as much money as you think it will up front. That's why we recommend people use a business plan—it helps them think through every aspect of their business before they bring it to life, which mitigates risks, unnecessary spending, and helps plan out timelines that position you for more productive time management and success.
Do a Trial Run
When you have a business idea, we always recommend that you test the market for product market fit. That means that you should make sure people want to buy your product before you scale it into a full-blown business. If you can sell one unit of what you are making, slowly try to sell more. Once there is sufficient traction, or proof that your target customer wants to buy what you are selling, then it is time to turn that idea into a full-fledged business.
Map It Out
The business plan helps an aspiring entrepreneur write the story of their business before it exists so that they can determine if it is a viable idea before they are spending money on it, and more strategically bring it to life. We love that you can export the plan into a beautiful PDF that you can use to pitch to lenders, investors, business partners, customers, landlords, or just have for yourself as a gut-check when you start to build out your idea.
Our favorite part of the entire plan is that most people we speak with don't know which questions they should be asking themselves when they are starting a business, and our business plan tool tells them not only which questions to ask during the planning process, but also how to properly research and answer these questions. It is an invaluable resource for advice and guidance in a very uncertain process. We think that the business plan blueprint will provide confidence to an entire group of aspiring entrepreneurs who were previously passionate about an idea, but too intimated to execute it.
Trust Your Passion
It takes creativity in problem-solving, a thick-skin to tune out negativity, and hustle to push your business forward. But sometimes people are so worried about the economics of a company, or they get greedy about the potential payoff, that they stifle their own success. We think that finding a business partner can be invaluable if it is the right person. Don't be afraid to ask for help, or give away a part of your business to someone who can help get it off the ground. Look for the right partner, advisor, investor, etc., to help make your business a success. Not only can it pay off financially, but the process is also so much more enjoyable if you involve people you truly love to work with.
When you start a business, there is a lot of uncertainty—it is not for the faint of heart. You have to be absolutely passionate about what you are building, because without much of a track record under your belt you are often selling an idea—to business partners, customers, lenders, landlords, contractors, etc. It takes time to get busy or to pick up customers, so we recommend you start out your business as a side-hustle for as long as it can be, until you absolutely need to commit 100% of your time to it. You will be asking for a lot of favors, with not so much to offer in return, and dealing with constant rejection.
The right type of person to be an entrepreneur is someone who has enough faith in themselves and their idea to get through that part of things and is able to bring their idea to life despite all of the doubt and critique they will face. It is worth it to take risks when developing your business and doing whatever you can to position your brand for long-term success. Sending cold emails to people you admire, pitching your idea to high-profile publications, and generally selling yourself as hard as you can. The types of risks we discourage are financial ones—do not invest a lot of money into your business until you have proof that people want it—once you have that proof, then it is time to invest in scaling your product. Starting a business takes endurance and commitment, but the reward of bringing an idea to life is so fulfilling.
Ready for launch? Download the Above the Glass business plan tool to start your business (enter the promo code "Clique50" for a discounted service).