5 things you need to do before you start a business

Starting a business is no easy feat. In fact, having a great idea alone is not enough anymore. Gone are the days of build it and they will come. Now in order to build a sustainable business, you need to put in the work before you even officially launch the business. Why? So you do not waste time, money or resources. So that you have a clear idea of how fast and how deep your business will grow once you start. There are some important steps you need to take before you start.

Here are 5 things:

  1. A clear goal

You need to know what your end goal is for starting your business. Do you want to create a large conglomerate in 10 years? Do you want to leave a legacy for your children? Do you want to make $1million in 5 years? Do you want to create a regional impact and have your business in 5 Caribbean islands over 3 years?

What exactly do you want to happen in your business and by when? A goal needs to be written out and broken into smaller parts so that you can see and understand all the moving parts. A written goal is more likely to become real to you. A goal keeps you motivated and focused on the bigger picture even when you have tough days, weeks and months. A goal gets you excited to work on your business every single day.

2. A business plan

Your business plan is your guide to develop your business. Your plan will include who will make up the members of your team, as well as your estimated budget, your Unique Selling Proposition, your missions and vision statement and an analysis of your competitors and the market you are entering.

Some people rush through a business plan not realizing the importance it plays in guiding the developmental process of your business. Your plan can be flexible and in fact should be reviewed and updated maybe once a year to ensure you have tuck to your goals and take into consideration any changes in the economic climate in which you operate. I touched on this topic a few months ago- What does your business plan really say

3. Research

The one thing that many new business owners fail to do. They start with a great idea and then launch on social media with a biz page and images and expect to make millions. But before you start, you need to do some research to ensure you have a ready market for your business. Do people want what you are going to offer? How much are they willing to pay? How do they want it delivered to them and how often? What is the challenge they are facing that you are now going to solve for them?

Research is not a guessing game. It means you have to figure out who your ideal clients are and start discussions with them so that when you are ready to launch you know exactly what they need and want. It means speaking to industry leaders and do some surveys. It means getting really intimate with your market, visit and even speak to your competitors and ‘stalk’ them for a while to see what works and what is not working.

Without this crucial step, many businesses fail before they even have a chance to really get off the ground.

research

4. Understanding of your money

Why did you get into business? To make some money. That is one of the key mistakes entrepreneurs make. What is some money? Entrepreneurs need to have a very key understanding of how money works for them and if they have a challenge then that is the first help you should get from an accountant.

  • Do you have a budget?
  • How much does your product/service sell for?
  • How much are people willing to pay?
  • How much do you need to make every day, week or month?
  • What would your overheads be?
  • What taxes do you have to pay every quarter?

 

5. A marketing plan

Marketing is the life blood of your business. Without a structured system of marketing, your products can sit on the shelves for months and your phone will never ring. Marketing is NOT creating a facebook page. But instead, is the process of engaging with your ideal customers to build know, like and trust so they will buy from you continuously.

Marketing also involves a combination of activities which compliment each other to increase your visibility and reach. Many entrepreneurs get stuck on this part of business and while they have he best intentions, never seem to move past the launch stage. Hire an expert who can guide you through what a structured marketing plan would look like for your business. In a past blog, I spoke about 3 ways to market your business when you have no budget

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a good starting point for you to start your business. How many of these do you have in place and did you skip any steps when you were first starting your own business?

As your coach, I would love to help you through this process. For more help, book a FREE discovery call with me today and we can get started.

 

 

Failure is part of your journey

 Failure! It is the one thing we all somehow seem to be running from. We are afraid to fail. Afraid that failure means that we are not good enough or that people will judge us by our failures. As a child we were taught that failure is not an option and that once you fail then you cannot advance and somehow you are less than.

In business, the opposite is true. If you have never failed at some part of your journey in business then what exactly have you learned? Some of the greatest minds in business and entrepreneurs that we religiously followed have failed in business. Most notably we have heard about at least 15 times billionaire Ricard Branson has failed at business. But that has never stopped him from trying and trying again until he found the things that have made him quite a huge success today. Failure does not mean the end of your journey but is merely a stepping stone for bigger and better things to come. It is how we learn, grow and expand our entrepreneurial muscles.

According to dictionary.com, failure is defined as ‘an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success’.  But is it really a lack of success? I choose to look at it from a different angle because failure to complete a task may mean that I do not get the intended outcome but it also means that in the planning and execution stage, I learned many new skills and tools along the way. In essence any of my failures have taught me some really invaluable lessons that I utilise to make my next project even better. My chances of success increase every time I fail at one thing. I know what not to do and have a better sense of direction of where I need to grow and who I need to serve

If you do a simple google search, you will read of at least 23 successful people who failed at first– Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Vera Wang, Isaac Newton to name a few. And today we remember them not for their failures but for their legacy. For what they did accomplish and how their tenacity and perseverance has changed the world in which we live in.

Richard-Branson-Steve-Jobs-Oprah-Winfrey

As entrepreneurs we become so paralysed by this fear of failure that fail without even trying to fail…if that even makes sense. What I am saying is that, yes, you start each new venture with a dream and hope to succeed. A dream to make a mark in society. A dream to change lives and become a household name. A dream to make millions along the way so that you can live the life you always dreamed about. And it is important that you have those dreams and that drive to push forward. But it is also important to remember that even if you do launch your business and it does not yield the exact results that you want, that you have not only failed but you have learnt and you have grown and now you are better equip to try again and do even better. The goal is to keep trying even when things fall apart or you do not get the results you want. Keep in constant motion and do not let your dream die. Do not let the fear of failure, rejection or judgement stop you from producing something great that the world will love and you will be remembered for.

More importantly, in every failure, your success is right around the corner, so get up each day knowing that what you are doing will make a difference in somebody’s life. That somebody is also learning from your mistakes and that as you get up each day and set a goal that you are much closer to your success than you were before.

If fear of failure is something that has been keeping your paralyzed then let’s get on a FREE discovery call and discuss how you can move past this fear and get you into action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video is king in 2017

So yes I know this title sounds so cliche. Every year we grown some other new marketing strategy king of the hill but this year has been quite different. Video did not just become a thing. In fact since the end of 2015 it has been growing steadily as the go to the media by which to connect and engage with clients. Many more businesses are using it as part of their marketing strategy and reaping the rewards of doing so.

Why video?

  1. It puts a face to your brand. This is something that many entrepreneurs shy away from but more clients want to know the face behind their brands. They want to see who is creating and sharing all this valuable information
  2. It builds know, like and trust because we are visual creatures by nature and like a movie, watching a video makes your audience feel that they are part of the process of your business.
  3. It is cheap. With just the use of your smart phone, laptop or ipad, anyone with a business can create a video to share with their audience. You actually have no reasonable excuse (short of horrible wifi connections)
  4. It increases your visibility. Studies have shown that video will get more clicks and likes than just text messages alone. Hence the reason platforms like IG, snapchat are so popular. Now even have the feature on Whatsapp
  5. It can be shared over and over. Video has a longer shelf life. The video you do today can be shared again in 6 months once the information you share is relevant
HOW TO CREATE CONTENT CONSISTENTLY
How to create content consistently

Utilizing video is no easy feat. Because like with anything else in your business, once you decide to go down this road of utilizing video you must have a plan.

  1. What is the overall goal
  2. What do you want your viewers to do immediately after watching your video
  3. What is the core message that you want to share in each video
  4. Who are you targeting
  5. How often and on what days and times should you be posting videos
  6. What works best with your audience? Pre recorded or live stream

So while I completely endorse using video in your plan, it must be utilized properly or else you will not see and experience the results you really want.

How effectively are you using video to connect with your audience? If you are still not sure then let’s chat- Free Discovery Call– about how we can ensure it is being used effectively in your business.