Tired of working for somebody else and ready to try your hand being a business owner? Or are you an accidental entrepreneur that has already leapt into business for yourself?
You’re not alone!
Starting and running your own successful business is one of the most rewarding, exciting and nerve-racking adventures you will set out on. It has its joys and it certainly has its challenges, all of which will push you outside your comfort zone, spur your creative thinking and give you a few more gray hairs!
To help ensure that your business adventure is a successful and profitable one, here are some tips and strategies to make your efforts more fulfilling and focused.
Build a Foundation Based on Your Core Values.
What’s important to you? What are the drivers that get out of bed each day to go to work for yourself? Look to your core values for some clues. Our core values shape how we operate in the world both personally and professionally. The more aligned your work is with these core values, the more satisfying your business will be and the less like work it will feel.
Get Clear on Your Commitment.
What is your vision and mission for your company? What impact do you want to have on your community and the world? How do you want to achieve your vision? The more you can refine your vision, the easier it will be to set your goals and objectives along the way.
Create Your Plan.
Writing a business plan isn’t just a nice exercise to do, it’s a road map for building your company. It’s a working document to help guide you, stay true to your vision and help you establish the mile markers along the way. It should entail both your short-term and long-term goals for your company and include your plans for the internal growth of your organization and the external growth of your business. Don’t let it gather dust, review and update it regularly.
Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
Do your research – what are your closest competitors doing? Then look to see how you can provide your services better, smarter or faster than your competition. This will help you to stand out from the crowd. Use your uniqueness to your advantage – quirks and all!
Build Your Marketing Kit.
Take your USP and use it to create a set of effective marketing materials. To get you started, you’ll need a business card, an “audio logo or 30-second commercial” to briefly describe your business, an executive summary of who you work with and what you provide, and even a small website to get your brand out onto the web.
Establish a Marketing Strategy.
Now that you’ve got some tools to get started with, it’s vital that you identify the 2-3 different marketing tactics you can do to help grow your business. This can include but isn’t limited to: networking, advertising, online sales, creating a newsletter, speaking engagements, podcasting, writing articles to get published or even writing your own book.
Whatever tactics you choose they should all point your potential clients into your sales funnel. The more closely each of these tactics is tied into the others, the more successful your marketing campaign will be.
Create Your Team.
Yes, you are super human AND, having the support of different people will help you achieve your goals more quickly than you will on your own. Does this mean you have to hire a bunch of employees? No, you can create your team in many ways using full-time or part-time help.
Consider hiring consultants such as a bookkeeper, CPA or web designer to help you with areas that might not be your forte. The idea is to work from your strengths and find the help you need in other areas that don’t fall into your sweet spot of skills and talent.
Accountability is Key.
Whether it’s to your staff, your board of advisors or your coach, having someone outside of your head (and preferably not your spouse!) to help you stay in action around your plans and goals is extremely helpful. Establish regular check-in calls or meetings to review where you’re at, where you might be off course and what you need to do to get back on track.
Create Raving Fans.
The least expensive way to attract a new customer is through referrals. And the best way to get referrals is to create raving fans! Under promise and over deliver every time and your clients will be singing your praises to their friends and colleagues. Think of it like a pump that needs to be primed – it takes some work initially to get things moving (through your marketing efforts and delivering great products or services to your clients) but as your reputation grows, you’re business will start to flow more easily!
What You Focus On Comes True.
Focus on what you want to create and achieve, not what you’re fearful of. Fear can easily generate internal negative self-talk or limiting beliefs that get in your way and get you stopped. The more you focus on these negative perspectives the more evidence you’ll find to support your beliefs. Instead, focus your time, energy and actions on the areas that will create your success.
Find the Balance.
Go back to those core values and remember what’s important. I’m guessing that working 24-7 is not your ideal lifestyle. Be sure to take time out for the other aspects that make up your version of a balanced life – time with friends, family, hobbies and exercise. “Down time” is vitally important to recharge your batteries, clear out the brain fog and rest your body.
Celebrate Your Successes!
It’s easy to take note of what hasn’t been checked off your list, what’s missing, or what’s not completed. This can send you into a negative frame of mind in a nanosecond if you’re not careful. Be sure to take time at the end of each day to celebrate your successes no matter how big or small they may seem. By focusing on what you’re grateful for, you’ll raise your energy level, clear out some of the internal noise and go to sleep with a smile on your face.
If you need assistance with any of these areas, let me know! I’d be happy to have a Complimentary Business Growth Consultation with you to see how you can more easily and effectively grow your business.
To Your Success!