Complete Business Checklist For New Companies

Brandon Uttley Starting A Business Leave a Comment

business checklist

Thinking about starting a business? Our business checklist will help.

We spent months collecting the best checklists for startups and new businesses, and analyzing them for best practices and steps to take. Then we compiled the “best of the best” into the Ultimate Business Checklist, which you can download for free by completing the form below.

We are always looking to improve this list, so if you have any suggestions for additional key steps, please get in touch and let us know!

when you think you have nothing to say

When You Think You Have Nothing to Say, You’re Wrong

Brandon Uttley Business Motivation and Inspiration Leave a Comment

I have a friend in the marketing business. He knows (or at least thinks) he should be producing more content to promote himself, his expertise and his company.

Yet he constantly falls short, saying, “I feel like I don’t have anything to say.”

To which I say: Bu**shit.

He has plenty to say, after decades of multifaceted experience in the business. He knows more than I do about a lot of specific topics such as the media business, video and audio production.

But rather than chastise him, I empathize. While I’m a little better at consistently creating public content than he is, I’m way behind others—and where I want to be personally. So I feel my friend’s pain and know exactly how he feels a lot of times, for different reasons. My excuses include:

  • I think what I have to say on a subject has already been said
  • I think no one will care what I have to say
  • I fill my time with other activities to avoid putting myself “out there”
  • I feel inferior to others with a bigger following, bigger business, better looks, a silkier voice, you name it
  • Like many people, I question my abilities at times (the dreaded Imposter Syndrome)
  • I justify not having the “right equipment” (despite having a smartphone, which is all you need these days)

How to Find Your Voice and Use It

Here are ways to overcome inertia and share more of your knowledge with the world.

Believe in yourself.

It all starts here. Go look in the mirror and psych yourself up. You’re worthy, and you’re unique. In fact, you are infinitely unique—an extraordinary miracle.

Don’t believe me? Read this.

Stop and assess.

Slow down and quiet your monkey mind. Do a SWOT analysis on yourself (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats). What do you know? What do you want to know? What are you good at? What can you improve? What opportunities are you missing by keeping stuff to yourself?

If need be, take out a pen and paper and start writing. Force yourself to keep going for at least 30 minutes. You’ll be surprised what you discover you know or are itching to discover.

Focus on providing value.

Think about what would happen if you saw someone in mortal danger and you just stood there or walked by. You would have to live knowing you failed to act.

Give yourself the same challenge by refusing to let others down by holding back with what’s inside you—your message.

And remember that if what you do is completely self-serving, don’t be surprised if it falls flat or fails.

Think like a journalist.

Journalists are not necessarily an expert on a given subject at first. Instead, they are trained to be an expert questioner. They are curious. They probe. They break down complex subjects into simple components then reassemble them to make sense.

Anthropologists do something similar. They study cultures with intense curiosity and document everything until slowly a picture develops of how the puzzle pieces fit together. They develop theories and, over time, try to prove or disprove them as new details emerge.

Be inquisitive and share what you find.

Adopt a Beginner’s Mind.

Even if you already know a lot about a subject and are considered an “expert” or a “guru,” I guarantee you don’t know everything. It sometimes is humbling, rewarding and even exhilarating to take several steps back and act like you’re starting for the first time. Pretend you know nothing.

Schedule it.

Put a stake in the ground using your calendar. Block out the time required to do the work.

Tell yourself you are going to do this: create content on X dates and not back out.

One great technique I learned is using the phrase, “I’m the kind of person who…” As in, “I’m the kind of person who writes a blog post and publishes a podcast episode a week, regardless of what is going on.”

The opposite has to be true for this to work: “I’m not the kind of person who starts and stops and is wishy-washy in what I set out to accomplish.”

To visualize the power of this sentiment another way: “I’m the kind of person who eats an apple when I’m hungry…not a handful of chips.”

You get the idea.

Commit.

Make a promise to yourself. Better yet, make it public—even if it’s just between you and one other trusted person.

Everything is possible when you have the support of others.

Just go.

Dive in. Start. Don’t overthink it. Start a podcast. Grab your phone and go live with video on Facebook. Set up a blog on WordPress.

Do stuff that scares you. Don’t worry about what others think.

Practice.

You’re not going to be perfect overnight. In fact, you are never going to be perfect–no one is (even the pros). Guess what? People like others who are like them—flaws and all.

Study and emulate.

Plenty of people have blazed the trail before you…including introverts and severely frightened/dysfunctional/inferior/unworthy types who overcame their shortcomings and pushed ahead anyway. Be inspired by them and copy what works.

Just don’t copy too much…be yourself. The world needs you.

Announcing #BrandAndGive

Brandon Uttley Business Motivation and Inspiration Leave a Comment

Recently, I listened to an inspiring interview with Blake Mycoskie, who founded the iconic Tom’s shoe brand and also the concept known as One for One® sales.

As you may know, for every pair of Tom’s sold, they donate a pair to someone in need.

It got me thinking: As a marketing consultant, I want to be of greater value and service. I love helping clients succeed online, but I believe there is more to life than that.

So I decided to make an offer this summer.

For any new client who buys marketing services from Go For Launch (now through August 30, 2017), we will donate free digital marketing expertise to the charity of your choice.

#BrandAndGive

It will work like this:

Services Level Purchased

$2,000-$3,000 worth of GFL consulting purchased
5 hours of charitable services donated ($750 value)

$3,001-$5,000 worth of GFL consulting purchased
10 hours of charitable services donated ($1,500 value)

$5,001-$10,000 of GFL consulting purchased
15 hours of charitable services donated ($2,250 value)

$10,001-$15,000 worth of GFL consulting purchased
24 hours of charitable services donated ($3,600 value)

Above $15,000 worth of GFL consulting purchased
Wow, I can’t think that far out at the moment but we’ll come up with something fantastic!

As I mentioned, I’m doing this because I want to give more value beyond my services. I hope this might resonate with you or a small business you know who wants to improve their digital marketing efforts and help change lives through worthy organizations at the same time.

There is no special “tax breaks” for us doing this, by the way. The IRS is very clear in not allowing deductions for services that are donated to charities.

Services Available

Based on your needs, we will put together a package that fits your company (pricing starts at $2,000). Our primary services include:

  • Content Marketing
  • Marketing Automation (lead generation funnels & software)
  • Design/Branding
  • Public Relations
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Online Advertising (PPC)

Additional details are available on request.

Specifying Your Charity

If you do not have a favorite charity*, you can choose from one of the following:

A Child’s Place
A Child’s Place works to remove barriers to learning that accompany child homelessness via individualized student plans within the school. They provide guidance, support, food, school supplies, and other necessities so the student is prepared to participate and achieve in class.

Guidestar listing >>
Learn more >>

Fashion & Compassion
Fashion & Compassion is a non-profit, jewelry and accessories brand seeking to fulfill our mission by connecting caring consumers with vulnerable artisans to bring dignity through economic empowerment.

Guidestar listing >>
Learn more >>

* Your selected charity must be listed on Guidestar.

If You Are Interested

If you would like to inquire about this, simply contact me. We will schedule a time to chat about your needs.

Thanks so much for considering this and spreading the word to others!

dog barking

Don’t Hire A Dog To Do Your Own Barking

Brandon Uttley Overcoming Business Obstacles Leave a Comment

Once I had a boss (an advertising agency owner) who delivered a classic line to a client who was trying to tell our team how to do our jobs.

As the client was delivering his withering criticism of our work, my boss interrupted him and said, “You don’t hire a dog to do your own barking.”

It stopped this complainer dead in his tracks and was a simple yet profound lesson for me:

Don’t hire an expert then tell them how to do their job

Bad things will happen when you hire an expert—outside your field of expertise—then proceed to constantly tell them how to do their job differently to fit your perception of what’s “best.”

  1. They are going to get confrontational, which could lead to you firing them or them quitting prematurely before they are allowed to provide the quality of work you hired them for in the first place.
  2. They will stop giving you their best advice, the more you bitch and berate; instead, they will just do what you demand, even to the point of producing lousy, sub-par work—just to shut you up and get paid.
  3. They will get the work done, finish the contract, then go tell others what a terrible experience it was to work with you.
  4. Or worst case, they will intentionally sabotage the work, possibly undetectable by you for a long time (lesson: revenge is sweet).

How to Muzzle Yourself

If you are self-aware enough to see that you are constantly telling the “dogs” you hire how to bark, here are some different behaviors you can try.

  1. Be patient. Unless you are bleeding to death or your pipes have burst (or some other crisis), stop expecting immediate miracles. Most things take time, regardless of how fast you expect the world to work.
  2. Be nice. I’m talking about being diplomatic and collaborative. Instead of saying, “I hate this! You are terrible! Do it this way! etc.” try having a conversation. Examples: “Tell me why you went in this direction….help me understand why you are recommending this (or why this is taking longer than anticipated, etc.)…explain to me again your process.”
  3. Stop berating. If you beat, shock-collar or scream at a dog long enough, she will learn to cower when you approach. If that’s how you treat the professionals you hire, you’re going to end up with a lot of quivering lapdogs around you. Congratulations, that makes you both ineffective and a bully.
  4. Learn to trust. Delegation is extremely hard for some people. It requires a degree of trusting that people will do what they say they are going to do. If you can’t extend that trust to other professionals, don’t hire them in the first place.
  5. Trust but verify. I liked when Ronald Regan famously said when dealing with the Russians on nuclear disarmament: “Trust but verify.” Notice he wasn’t a jerk about it…he was diplomatic. He first trusted, but yes—he verified. He demonstrated aplomb at the ultimate level. If after tactfully verifying that your needs have not been satisfied, then at that point perhaps you are justified in doing a little “barking” to rectify the situation. But that approach shouldn’t be your default response.

How you found yourself on the receiving end of someone who hired you and kept telling you how to “bark?” How did you handle it?

Interesting or vital

Interesting or Vital? The Simple Question to Stay Focused

Brandon Uttley Overcoming Business Obstacles 2 Comments

How do you deal with the daily onslaught of information? What criteria do you use to determine what gets your precious time and attention?

I devised a simple question that helps me quickly decide what to focus on:

Interesting or Vital?

It’s deceptively simple, but whenever I go into “IV” mode, I get more productive instantly. It’s super effective whether I’m trying to power through my in-box or make a crucial life decision.

You can define interesting and vital however you’d like, but mine are defined roughly as:

INTERESTING

  • Anything that feels like immediate gratification
  • Virtually every “clickbait” headline
  • Easy things to waste time with
  • Shiny objects
  • Most current news and entertainment articles
  • Stuff that makes me feel like I’ll be “smarter” for looking at it
  • Stuff that leads to more consumption and less creation

VITAL

  • Things that are specific to the tasks I have at hand
  • Things that are pertinent to growing my business
  • Things that contribute to my health and happiness
  • Things that will help me add more value to the world
  • Things that align with my purpose in life
  • Things that are hard…not the easy “activities” that are not truly productive

It’s crazy how many inputs compete for our attention every day. The mostly free and addictive drugs of email, social media, games, Netflix series, TV shows, etc. do their best to derail us.

Here is just a sample of the headlines that flooded my inbox this week and tempted me to click through—all of which I deemed interesting but not vital:

  • 3 Killer Techniques to Boost SEO
  • A Guide to Social Media for B2B Marketers
  • Three LinkedIn Strategies Working NOW
  • 5 Habits of the Highly Effective Entrepreneur
  • Quick & Easy Ecomm Profits Without a Store
  • 6 Facebook Remarketing Tactics That Work

Try asking yourself this question—“Interesting or vital?”—when you get what researcher David Levy of the University of Washington calls “popcorn brain.” That’s a brain that is so overstimulated by electronic multitasking that it basically makes you a vegetable offline.

Certainly, there are times when you need to veg out, chill, unwind, binge watch House of Cards or whatever. Just be aware of how often life and especially the Web and electronic devices will lure you away from doing the things that really matter.

I love popcorn, but most of the time the answer to the “interesting or vital” question is glaringly obvious. The popcorn can wait.

Learn Facebook Ads

Brandon Uttley Marketing And Sales, Resources And Tools 1 Comment

Learn Facebook ads ebook

There have been a few times in my three decades as a marketing professional where an emerging trend hit me like a ton of bricks:

Circa 1994-1996 — When I first discovered the Internet/Web and realized the massive reach and influence it would have (after the Netscape browser came out, I quickly learned to code my first crude websites and soon after left my job at an ad agency to start a web design firm)

Circa 2008 — When I discovered my first podcast and later that year created my own first show (short lived!) called Web Business Freedom…which has led to a passion for podcasting (even though my latest show has been on hold for a couple months…sad but true)

Also circa 2008 — When I discovered Twitter and Facebook and saw the trend of social media taking off and took the plunge to learn all I could about it

Circa late 2016 — When Pew Research Center came out with their annual stats on social media usage and I realized how much Facebook has truly won the social game, with:

  • 79% of online Americans now using Facebook
  • 76% of Americans who use Facebook visiting it daily

Source: Pew Research Center

I mean, I knew Facebook had reached catastrophic numbers, of course…but now we’re at the 80/20 inflection point.

While I had dabbled a bit with Facebook ads, suddenly it became crystal clear to me that this is the most significant communications platform of our time…and it is imperative as a marketer to understand and utilize it to the fullest extent. And yes, I mean Facebook ads…vs. trying to beat your head against the Facebook Wall trying to achieve “organic” reach. For most of us, that is a futile cause.

Announcing Facebook Ads Authority

I’ve been diving deeply into Facebook ads the past few months and want to share what I’ve been learning.

My latest digital product is called Facebook Ads Authority. Click the link to learn more about this. If you like it, it’s just $7 US to get a copy. If not, no worries…there are a lot of other great resources out there.

Regardless, I encourage anyone running a business or working in marketing to pay attention and get up to speed with what is possible with Facebook ads. They continue to innovate the platform, offering a virtually endless combination of possibilities to reach your prospects at a fraction of the cost of “traditional” media like print, radio, billboards, trade shows, etc.

If all this seems awesome but overwhelming and you would rather focus on your business and not Facebook ads, contact me to learn about our done-for-you Facebook advertising services.

If you have a good case study to share about your use of Facebook ads, let me know!

Create and sell digital products

Create and Sell Digital Products

Brandon Uttley Growing A Business, Podcast, Resources And Tools, Starting A Business Leave a Comment

Go For Launch Show 88How would you like to create and sell digital products? You might be surprised how relatively easy it is to do this and start earning extra income.

In today’s podcast, I share information about why digital products are so effective. I also talk about the process of creating them—speaking from personal experience. Over the past week, I created a multi-part digital product offering just to demonstrate I could (and to create a passive revenue source!). Then I did a webinar about it and launched the product, How to Create and Sell Digital Products.

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