How To Start A Business?
“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer”
If you're considering starting your own business, congratulations! It's an exciting time to put your ideas, knowledge and skills into highly valuable use. Having your own business is also the gateway to make a bigger difference in people's lives, as you can put your own spin onto things and create something unique and of significant value to others. So let’s do this!
Although there are many positives to starting and building your business, there are also many questions and challenges that don't have an easy and straightforward solution, such as:
Who exactly are my customers?
How will I market and sell my products?
What can I do with a small budget?
What should I do every day?
What digital processes should I use?
How can I get the deals I want?
In this blog you will discover the steps to start and build your business with ease, efficiency and enjoyment. Let’s move from the “thinking stage” to the “action stage”, so that you can enjoy the great rewards entrepreneurship brings sooner rather than later! I’ve also included many additional free resources that can help to develop that specific step or process. Here is an overview of the steps, followed by an explanation for each.
10 Steps to Start & Build Your Business:
Refine your vision and goals
Choose the right business structure
Refine your target audience
Position yourself as the expert in your field
Meaningful marketing and sales strategy
Leverage free or low-cost digital tools
Clarity of your sales process
Invest in your infrastructure
Expand on your skillset
Review and adapt
1. Refine your vision and goals
What would you like to be known for? What do you want to achieve by having your business? Write down your personal and business goals, reflecting on what you want to be, do and have. You could create a mindmap, a vision board, a list or even a drawing and display this somewhere visible - reminding you every day what you’re working towards. Once your vision is clear, break it down into smaller short-term goals and daily 20-minute microsteps, so that you can stay productive and effective and work towards meaningful goals. This free 10-minute vision board session gives some immediate ideas and resources: www.idiscoverchange.com/courses/vision-to-life
2. Choose the right business structure
Choosing the right structure is an important process as it greatly affects how you need to administer and manage your business. You could be set up as, to name a few, a sole trader, limited company, partnership, charity or community-interest company. Based on your business activities, the legal standards and how you sell and fulfil your services, it’s important that you do market research and ask a professional for advice on the matter. Read the government guidelines on the most appropriate structure for you. Often many entrepreneurs start as a sole trader, but if you consider recruiting staff or delivering services with financial or legal implications, it’s important to have a limited company so that you are not personally liable for any potential damage or loss.
3. Refine your target audience
The most important activity in your business is to ensure that there is a marketplace for your services and products and that you understand their desires. Do extensive market research to understand what is currently happening in your specific sector and what similar companies are doing. You can learn a great deal about the best ways to describe and market your business when you explore other companies’ successes. When you have a good understanding of your customer avatar (your ideal customer and their wants and needs), you will be able to create meaningful marketing campaigns and services that are of great interest and value.
4. Position yourself as the expert in your field
With a good understanding of your target audience and sector, create a personal profile and bio for yourself that reflects your knowledge and passion for it. This could be shown on your LinkedIn and other social media profiles, as well as on your website. Write about your story, experiences and knowledge regarding the service you’re providing, so that you can instill confidence in your reader’s mind. Create a professional looking banner with canva.com, including a professional image and perhaps a tagline that shows what you do. After all, people buy from people, so show that you care and regularly post in social media information and inspiration from your field. In our free webclass Discover Digital, you will get the Digital Innovation Blueprint to strategically position yourself and be known as the thought leader or expert: www.idiscoverchange.com/courses/discover-digital-webclass
5. Meaningful marketing and sales strategy
There are countless ways to market your business both on and offline, but always choose the way that actually reaches your ideal customers. If you know that they spend time on Facebook or LinkedIn, take the effort to establish your presence and brand there. Examine how your customers purchase similar services or products, so that you can build a lead generation process that strategically takes them from one step to the next - speaking their language and addressing their challenges. It’s not necessary to get busy on all online platforms - in fact that can work against you. Instead, be strategic and implement a process that makes the most sense, whether that is Google advertising, free or paid social media advertising, partnerships, or networking. Go to places to meet the key decision makers and you’re off to a great start!
6. Leverage free or low-cost digital tools
With an abundance of free and low-cost marketing strategies and tools, it can be hard to focus and use any of them properly. If you’ve followed the previous steps, you’d now have a deeper understanding of how to best reach your target audience. Now is the time to create a solid and scalable lead generation process you can use to generate leads from any platform. The key is to build your database of potential customers through collecting their email and/or number so that you can provide further information and opportunities to achieve their goals with your help. This could happen through, for example, a free digital guide or webinar, or getting subscribers for your valuable offer. Our free training shows how to build your online lead generation and sales funnel in easy steps: www.idiscoverchange.com/courses/free-sales-funnel-workshop
7. Clarity of your sales process
Making sales is likely to be one of your main goals; after all having your own business can unlock the opportunity to expand without limits when set up in a certain way. Create a step-by-step process that takes your customer from the first instance of seeing something about your business, all the way to purchasing from you and getting the solution they need. Once you’ve drawn it out, you can identify the steps and processes involved, such as sending an email to invite them to your webinar or event, following up with some valuable information, and making an upsell to join the next steps. For more information and training on automating your sales process, join the sales funnel workshop - it’s free and immediately available!
8. Invest in your infrastructure
Many start a business to do what they love - perhaps completely on their own and enjoying the freedom. However, doing everything and anything can have an adverse impact on your personal and professional life and vitality, so consider outsourcing some of your business activities to other professionals. Could you hire a virtual assistant or bookkeeper to help out with some administration? What someone else can do in an hour may take you days, even weeks or months, so often the investment is well worth it! Consider using a system, for example a CRM software, that delivers automated communication and engagement to your leads and clients. Read about ways to digitalise your business processes in this free guide: FREE GUIDE
9. Expand on your skillset
As we know and have already discussed, there are indeed quite a few things to consider when starting and building your business. It’s safe to say that often the journey to achieve your big vision is not smooth sailing, it’s a path of learning and evolving. As you’re the visionary and the driver in your business, your emotional wellbeing and confidence are hugely important to achieve your desires. Don’t get stuck and think that you can’t learn new things or achieve a different result because it might be difficult right now. Instead, be solution-oriented and seek support, answers and training so that you can make the right decisions and take the most meaningful action. Our Innovation Hub has an abundance of useful resources that can fast-track your business growth: www.idiscoverchange.com
10. Review and adapt
The last step naturally leads to needing to review your progress and adapt accordingly - in fact this should really be ongoing. There is a great saying: “You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result”. This is true in business too! If something is not working, evaluate and make changes. Consider if your ROI (return on investment) was satisfying, or if you need to adjust some things to achieve a better result. Don’t bury your head in the sand and wish for problems to go away, instead face them and seek for solutions. There is literally a book, a course and a person to help out with any problem you are experiencing! Here are some great books to get started with, all focused on your personal and business growth: www.idiscoverchange.com/courses/top-books-for-evolving-leaders
Well planned is half done!
My father is an engineer and a builder and when I was a child I remember him sitting around for what seemed to be a long time, taking notes and making adjustments to the plan before getting started with another build. I was often keen to help or understand what's going on, but would also easily get frustrated when we didn't start or make progress. He would remind me: "Well planned is half done". He would know how to systematically move onto the next stage because of his robust designs, and he has actually been leading a great number of large scale and complex construction projects. When we do any projects, we shouldn't just go in and "see how it goes"; instead we need to create a meaningful design and structure so that you make the most of your time and achieve the success you desire.
After all, building your business is like building a house. You need strong foundations and the right materials and tools in order to sustain it correctly. If something is built on shaky grounds, any change in the wind can easily knock it over!
Strategic design and expansion of your business is a matter of spending some quality time to actually write your business plan and strategy down. It'll bring a great sense of relief to know what's going to happen and how you can be both productive and effective in your everyday running of the business.
In DiscoverChange Business Strategy Workshop you will get all the tools and resources to start, build and grow your business. This a highly strategic and timesaving approach that allows you to plan and take immediate and meaningful action to build your brand and reach your ideal customers with ease.
The Business Strategy Workshop includes:
Clear vision and targets giving direction and focus
Professional brand you can confidently present
Sustainable customer acquisition process
Systematic marketing and sales strategy
Financial goals and practical implementation plan
Online marketing and sales funnels
This workshop (now 50% off!) will help to turn your business ambitions and ideas into a reality! You will create a powerful business strategy and plan that will bring absolute clarity and focus in growing your business or project. After this 2-hour session (+ bonuses!) you can take big leaps forward and grow your empire now!
Discover more: www.idiscoverchange.com/courses/business-strategy-session
“The future depends on what we do in the present”