Having a business idea that gets you excited is a great start, but it’s only just the beginning.
Sadly though, the concept stage is as far as a lot of ideas get because this is where it gets scary. It’s where fear starts to creep into your conscious thoughts and overwhelm, indecision and uncertainty kick in.
The best way to avoid your idea ending up on scrap heap is to start taking action as soon as possible, because once you take those first steps momentum begins to build, and with it your confidence.
Finding the right support
As someone who has always been fiercely independent, asking for help has never been easy but finding someone to help me when I was starting my business was the best thing I ever did. And it will be for you too!
Trying to work it all out for yourself is not only time consuming but will drive you crazy too.
And why would you even try and do so when there are plenty of people out there with the skills, knowledge and experience who can help you get to where you want to be much quicker, whilst avoiding the pitfalls along the way.
There are also other benefits to reaching out for support, which you may not appreciate until you start building your own business.
One of the main drivers for leaving corporate is often the desire to be able to chase your dreams and make your own decisions without having to jump through someone else’s hoops. But you’ll quickly discover that with that comes a vacuum.
You no longer have someone to bounce your ideas off and get help to shape them into a viable opportunity.
You no longer have any accountability, which might sound great but can quickly lead to long periods of procrastination.
You no longer have anyone to turn to for advice and guidance, or to go to for support when things aren’t going to plan.
And this is where finding the right support really comes into its own.
Laying your Business Foundations
In practical terms, the first step you need to take is to lay solid foundations on which to build your business.
This involves a combination of getting clear on your Whys, Whats and Whos, and validating your idea.
Validating your idea through market research may take time, but in the long run it could prevent you from wasting a lot time developing an idea there is simply no market for.
And getting a good understanding of your Whys, Whats and Whos will…
>> Provide you with the motivation to keep going, even when the going gets tough
>> Give you the courage to overcome your fears and take actions that scare you
>> Help you get clear on your expertise and talents
>> Enable you to better understand what makes you tick and what you really want from both your business and life
>> Allow you to get clear on your story and gain an understanding of how you can use it to connect with and inspire others
>> Give you the courage to be visible and tell the world about who you are and what you do
>> Help you build a business that plays to your strengths, allows you to work in the way that best suits you, and supports your life goals
Having clarity from the start will mean you don’t waste time going around in circles while you try and find your path.
Getting to grips with your numbers
Knowing your numbers is crucial in helping you make informed decisions and set realistic targets which will help you keep moving towards your goal, and design your business in a way that works for both you and your customers.
On the one hand you need to understand the time you have available to focus on your business, how that time will be split between core business functions and creating or delivering your products or services, and the time it takes to create or deliver each product or service.
On the other, it’s all about the money. It’s about understanding the minimum amount of money you need to be earning consistently to be able to support yourself solely through the business, the direct costs associated with creating or delivering each product or service, the overhead costs involved in your business, and the money you need to invest in your business to help you achieve your goal in the quickest possible timescale.
Focusing on your priorities
It’s easy to get sucked into believing you have to do everything, be everywhere and learn everything in order to create a profitable business.
But the truth is you really don’t…at least not straight away!
What you create doesn’t have to be perfect…in fact in many ways creating a work in progress is better as it allows you to test and tweak as you go, and it means you can get it out there quicker.
You don’t have to be present on every social media platform. It’s much better to focus on building your audience on your favourite platform and be consistent on there than spreading yourself too thin.
And you don’t need to be doing and learning everything from the word ‘go’. In fact that’s the quickest way to send yourself into overwhelm.
This is why it’s so important to sit down and identify what are the must-have activities you need to be doing to start bringing in sales.
What those must-have elements are is going to vary depending on the sort of business you’re setting up.
You need to look at each element of your business and strip it down to the basics focusing solely on the things that will start building your customer base.
Of course there will be elements that apply to every business such as putting solid business foundations in place and planning. But there will also be elements where you can start small and scale up, such as marketing.
For example, do you really need a website before you can start selling? Now this depends very much on what you’re selling and who you’re selling to, but on the whole the answer is ‘No!’. It’s absolutely possible to start selling your products and services without a website and then scale up down the line once you have the time, money and a better understanding of what you need for your business.
Prioritising your time around the must-have elements of your business and money making activities is going to help you turn your fledgling business into an income generator much quicker than trying to make everything perfect.
Are you ready to start turning your idea into a viable business? Then book your Build Your Business session here.