So you want to start your own business?
That’s super exciting!
Because being in business for yourself has so many benefits. And being your own boss really is a beautiful thing.
But it’s also not easy to get a profitable business off the ground and it takes time. There’s a good reason why up to 80% of small businesses fail within the first eighteen months (you can read about that here).
If you’re contemplating taking that big step to start your own business, take note of these three key things that will give you the best chances of success.
Three things you need to know when starting your own business.
1. Know your ‘why’.
Why are you going into business? It’s critical that you get clear on this.
What is it that you care about so deeply that you want to go ‘all in’ and spend your days building a business around it?
Your business ‘why’ is also important because it should form the central message of your marketing strategy. If you haven’t yet watched Simon Sinek’s YouTube video called How Great Leaders Inspire Action, then you need to do that right now! It will help you understand why knowing your ‘why’ is just so critical and how you can communicate this through your marketing and promotions.
You’ll also need to get very clear on your business vision and mission. If you’re not sure how to develop those statements, head over to this blog to find out: Why You Need to Know Your Business ‘Why’, Vision and Mission.
2. Learn the art of sales and marketing.
So do whatever you can do to learn about the art of selling. Sign up to some foundational sales and marketing courses, follow some sales and marketing experts online and soak as much as you can from their wisdom.
And be sure to get clear on the transformation that you create for your clients because this it’s that transformation that people actually buy. Your ideal clients want to move from a ‘before’ state to a desired ‘after’ state. How can you describe that transformation clearly and succinctly in your marketing?
Remember, if people want to take a holiday in Hawaii, they’ re wanting the golden beaches, the palm trees and the cocktails by the pool (the end destination). They’re not concerned about the aeroplane that will get them there (the process). So learn how to describe the end state that your dream clients are after – with as much emotion as possible (after all, people make decisions based on emotion and justify it with logic!), and your sales will go up dramatically.
And be sure to brand yourself up professionally. Selling is all about establishing trust and confidence in you and your brand, and the first step to doing that is great branding.
3. Write a business plan on a page.
This is critical.
As the saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
You’ll need around $5 – $10,000 as a minimum to get your business off the ground, and it will take at least 12 months to two years to start turning a healthy profit (read more here).
So you need to have a plan for how you’ll fund yourself during that time. Do you have some saved funds available that you can draw on? Or perhaps you’ll need to apply for government support such as the NEIS scheme in Australia (The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) which provides new business startups with income support for 9 months and quality business training for 12 months.
Once you’re clear how you’ll fund your startup, develop a one page business plan that outlines the key components of your business.
- What is your business vision and mission?
- What will be your basic business model and business funnel?
- Which products and/or services will you offer, and how will you price and package them?
- What will be your revenue targets for the first year? And the fifth year in business?
- How many clients or sales will you need to achieve that target and where will you find those clients?
- How will you market and promote your products and services? i.e. outline your marketing plan both online and offline?
These are all questions you’ll need to answer in your one page business plan so that you have the basic clarity that you’ll need to launch your business and succeed.
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In service to your success,
Kate De Jong, Ph.D
Fempire Coach for Thriving Female Entrepreneurs