I am always asked how and why I started my business, so I thought I'd share a post to help anyone that is currently in the ideas stage and needs some motivation.
Day 1 - 7 - Decide what you want to do
The first step in starting a business is to have a crystal clear idea on what it is you want to do. This seems obvious but when working with clients a lot of people know what business they want to start, but they don't have a clear action plan on the business.
Start by brain storming your business idea - write down a brief overview of what the business is, why you are starting the business and what services or products you will be providing.
Day 7 - 10 Figure out your target audience
Now you have a clear idea on what the business is you need to think about target audience, when I ask this question to my clients, most people say their target audience is 'everyone'. Whilst this may be true if you are offering a food product for example, you need to narrow down 'everyone' into segments. I run a target audience exercise for my clients and people who attend my social media marketing workshops. This is one of my favourite exercises for people in the beginning stage of their business, it really allows them to narrow down their target audience to a specific person.
Below are 3 out of the 10 questions I ask:
1) Why are your target audience buying your products or services?
2) What needs, challenges or frustrations do they have?
3) Where can you find your target audience online and offline?
Once you have a clear idea on who you are selling to you are now ready to start your business.
Day 10 - 24 - Start today
One thing I have learnt from previous businesses I've started is, I spent more time thinking about my business rather than doing. This is a common mistake that most start up's make, we focus too much on the perfect name, logo or how we want our website to look. We can spend days or weeks thinking about these minor things rather than actually getting out there to see if our business is going to work.
Disclaimer: Your business idea may not work
How do you know if your business is even wanted or needed? By getting yourself out there and finding out. Do some primary research; design a survey and send it out on your social media, run a focus group, but most importantly just do it!
If you want to know if your handmade jewellery will sell, you need to put it out there. Make some prototypes, add them on to the Facebook selling page and go to your local craft market. This is a great way to figure out your pricing and to gain feedback from people who buy your products.
Spend two weeks on trying to sell your products or services, make a note of any feedback or comments you receive during this process.
Day 20 - 30 - Refine your results
You've now spent two weeks putting your product or service out into the world, now you need to figure out if there is a need for your business in the market. If within those two weeks you have made some money and gained great feedback, now is time to start taking your business to the next level. Take all of the feedback you have received and keep a copy when it comes to designing your branding, website and social media pages. If you can make sure to send your website and social media links to the people who brought your products, let them know they helped with the process, this is a good way to gain some loyal customers.
If you wasn't so successful then it's time to refine your business, if you didn't manage to sell any products or services look at your pricing, are your products or services too expensive for your target audience? What type of feedback did you receive? Do you need to maybe look at a different way to sell your products or service?
Take all of the information you found from your research and go back to the drawing board and start the process again. Not all businesses are going to be successful on the first attempt, it may take a few months to get your product or service right, also it's ok to change your idea along the way.
Originally I was going to start a management company, after looking into the business further I realised I needed some start up funding, I have always wanted to start a business with my own money. So, I then went back to my mentor a month later with this idea,after following the 30 day process I realised this is a successful business and I haven't looked back since.
If you have any questions about this process or you want to talk to me about your business idea feel free to drop me an email email@example.com