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:
- 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
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.
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! 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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)
- 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
- 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
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.
- What is the overall goal
- What do you want your viewers to do immediately after watching your video
- What is the core message that you want to share in each video
- Who are you targeting
- How often and on what days and times should you be posting videos
- 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.
I have had many mentors in my life and people who have helped me achieve what I dreamed of in my personal and business life. That added support, shoulder to cry on, ear to vent to and general cheerleader made a big difference in my life.
When I shifted my own Marketing business into becoming a full time coach, the first thing I did was hire a coach for a number of reasons.
- I wanted to understand the process and the best way was to immerse myself into a coaching programme myself
- I wanted guidance and support
- I wanted somebody who would not take no for an answer
Just this week, members of my facebook group- Dynamic Business Strategist– asked me if I had my own coach and I confirmed that I did, because I believe that being the best coach means that I also need to be coached. No one can build a business on their own and because sometimes we are so close to and tied into our business we miss some major loop holes which my coach can identify for me.
My coach is not just my personal cheerleader but she understands my goals and the work that I need to put in to get their because she has already walked this path. She has experience on her side and because of that I am able to avoid many mistakes if I was going this journey alone. My coach does not cuddle my feelings…which many people feel a coach should do…instead she calls me out on my laziness and procrastination and pushes me beyond my own comfort zone.
My coach allows me to dig within myself and develop solutions to problems I thought were insurmountable because she believe and she understands that I know exactly what I want and she won’t allow me to allow my fears to keep me back from my own success. She is in invested in my success because mine are hers. She is not here to cuddle me when I get in my feelings but remind me of the big picture and WHY I need to get up, show up and be accountable for my actions.
My coach has changed my life for the better because without her I would not have made as much progress as I have so far in the short nine months that I have been doing this full time. She stretches my imagination and asks me the tough questions so I can see that there is so much more of myself to be uncovered and revealed to the world. Without a coach, I would still be struggling, trying to figure out exactly where I want to be and who I want to be. Do not get me wrong, I eventually would have figured it all out but trust me when I say, it would have taken me so much longer to get to where I am now, where I am making the money I want and living the kind of life that I want.
Having a coach is a necessity for any entrepreneur. It is a financial sacrifice that pays off once you are committed to put in the work and open yourself to the possibilities of bigger and better for yourself. It is one of the best investments you can make into your business. Hiring a coach was the first thing I did when I started this particular journey and now I am on my 3rd coach because I recognise and understand that every time I am physically, mentally and emotionally ready to take my business to the next level, I want the support of another fabulous entrepreneur who has already taken these steps, walked along this path and who understands my own hesitation and is not afraid to call me out on any b.s that is holding me back.
My coach allows me to be me while exploring an even better me as I evolve. Hiring a coach changed my life and my business. I am not saying this to even convince you to hire me as a coach (which by the way is a fabulous idea!!) but because I want you all reading this to understand that hiring a coach is not a luxury. It should not be a second thought. It should be instinctive as hiring a graphic artist or web designer. Hiring a coach will set you and your business apart and will help you elevate at a much faster pace than if you were doing it alone.
And if you still have questions about how a coach can change your life and your business, feel free to hop on a FREE 30 minute discovery call and let’s discuss how coaching really works.
Stop following everybody. Let’s get straight to the point!
You start a business and then you get sucked into the vortex of facebook, instagram, twitter, Linkedin and the list goes on and you start to watch what everybody is doing, whether they are your competitor or not, you cannot help but watch they are doing and read all their success stories. And then you start to follow them or at least attempt to replicate what they are doing. And then you hear crickets in your business because the truth is they do not give you the whole truth about their processes. So you follow someone else and repeat the same procedure and you may see a little growth.
And then you decide to start a blog or an etsy store or a facebook group and you still are not seeing results. You decide to start to do videos and do online courses and workshops and start a second business even though the first one has not really taken off yet because well… everyone is doing it right.
And then you lie in bed and cry yourself to sleep because you just cannot understand how everybody is getting success and sales and being visible and taking fabulous trips and you are stuck with no clients, no sales, no life, no nothing… the simple solution is STOP FOLLOWING EVERYBODY!!
The reality is while you see your competitor really crushing it online and offline, you really do not know the full story. You do not know if they have sleepless nights. You do not know if they are in debt. You do not know if they have no support. You do not know much about them so you have no reason to compare yourself to them. That is the first point.
The second point is WHY do you want to be exactly like them anyways? To be in business you need to be UNIQUE. You need to develop a brand that will be memorable and authentic to your clients.
The third point is that you need to decide on a course of action and complete it until the end. You know what I am talking about. You have signed up for 10 online courses, joined 20 facebook groups, listening to at least 5 different gurus telling you to a different thing everyday and you feel overwhelmed, exhausted and confused.
STOP FOLLOWING EVERYBODY.
Seriously. Choose one and complete it till the end. Test it with your audience and see if it resonates with them and then move onto the next thing.
Your story is unique and your journey is completely yours. You do not have to live by anyones rules or fill anyones shoes in order to be a success in business. It is totally up to you what you want to do and what makes you comfortable. I am not saying not to push yourself out of your comfort zone but what I am saying is that not because everybody is doing it means it is the right thing for your business. What do your clients need and want? How do they buy from you? How often do they buy from you?
The point is that the more of you that you show. The more of you that you share. The more you help your clients and focus on giving value and serving them, the more your business will grow and things will fall into place. Follow yourself for a change. Believe in YOU.
When anybody hears the phrase- Invest in yourself- they automatically cringe because immediately they think it is about a huge money investment. But that is furthest from the truth.
As an entrepreneur whether you are now starting out or have been in business quite a number of years, investing in your greatest capital which is yourself is an ongoing process.
It never ends. But the big misconception is that this investment has to cost us a ton of money.
Investments come in various forms. From paying for a coach to doing free online courses. The main factor to consider is to determine where are you lacking and then find the resources that can fill that gap. With little or no money, you can still invest in yourself and your business while it grows and as it grows more, then you can begin to invest financially.
One of the biggest and best investments is in your education. With free online courses and self study courses all over the internet, there is absolutely no reason for you not to be updated with the latest trends in your industry. Online sites like Udemy have a mix of paid and free courses available for students and entrepreneurs. Your community centres and Government agencies also offer many free courses in various subjects.
Invest in your time. Sounds weird right? But basically, it means taking control of how you spend your time and who you spend it with. Do you spend more time doing and reading things that are not adding to the development of your business or are you surrounding yourself with like minded individuals who are on similar paths as you are. Your time is precious. Do not squander it and then complain that the things you want to get done are not being accomplished.
Invest in your health because your health is your wealth. Having a thriving business and being constantly drained, sick and tired is not how you grow a sustainable business. Ensuring that you are well rested, nourished and strong is essential to building a great business.
Invest in your mind, by constantly reading and meditating and filling yourself with positive conversations, thoughts, words and actions. Your mind is a terrible thing to waste and as an entrepreneur it is your most powerful tool. Ensure that what you are feeding it is the right energy and the right messages to keep you focused on your goal.
Investing in your circle is part of investing in yourself. Because if you hire the best accountant, social media manager and coach, then you will thrive. An investment in others who can do some tasks better than yourself is a great investment in yourself and your business.
And finally, invest in your family. They are the reason you are doing this. For most of us, they are the reason we got into business in the first place. To create a legacy and a fortune so that they along with yourself can live a life that you love.
Be purposeful in your investment because the sooner you decided to take action, the sooner you will see the results of your investment.
And if you are still unsure of where to start, then book a FREE 30 minute discovery call with me today and let’s get you to invest in the best things for your business right now