The Top 5 Things I'd Do if Starting My Business Again For the Greatest Impact to My Time and Money
My business has changed so much from when I first started. I've been in business for 2 years now, and it started with my husband and I creating a design business. I had a background in Public Relations and he had a background in design, but I realized shortly after that that's not what I wanted to do. In August 2016, I started Brandmerry and knew right away that this was it. Had I known this, I would have started Brandmerry from the very beginning.
However, something that I really want you to take away from this is to honor the seasons. Whether you're at the side hustle level, the solopreneur or you're starting to build your team, honor your seasons. You are exactly where you need to be.
1. Look inward to discover what you really want to do and do it
If you know anything about me, you know I always want you to start with your story. Looking at your story will help you discover what you really do and don't want to do in your business. And I'm not talking about posting on social media, and those things that you can later outsource, that need to be done in your business for marketing purposes. I'm talking about the way you're working with clients - are you working with them in a way you truly enjoy, or do you not like how you're currently working with clients? Are you offering a package or service that you actually don't like doing? Are you doing what you actually want to do? Because it's not easy, so it's not worth it if it's something you ultimately don't like.
I think it's important to be doing what you want to do because otherwise all that energy is not worth it. Think about the bigger purpose - the big picture. The why doesn't always do it for me, but the big picture does. Maybe coaching is the avenue to get you to where you want to be in the big picture. Just be really clear on the type of business you want to create. Know that it is possible for you and remember to think big picture.
2. Know your freaking audience
I didn't think this was important in the beginning. I would tell my coach that I had done the ideal client worksheets when I hadn't. And there was a big a-ha moment for me when I was home sick from my 9-5, and I finally sat down and wrote out who my ideal client. A week later I signed a client that had been in my community, and now I was finally connecting with her. There is a reason companies spend tons of money on marketing research. It's about understanding your audience so clearly, that you can inspire your audience to take action. Study your audience. Pay attention to what they're saying, what they need and want in their life. The more you understand your ideal client, the more trust you will build with them. I encourage you to do everything you can do get in their head (in a non-creepy way). You need to identify what they're struggling with and what they really want. You also need to know their hopes and dreams. I survey my audience at least 3 times a year, and it makes a big difference.
3. Be focused and forgiving of your schedule
I really wish I would have know this in the beginning because there were times I was really hard on myself. There's not a one size fits all approach to business. That's why it's important to find a mentor and community that understands that. It's also important to look internally and figure out what works for your life. But that dines't give you an excuse to slack off and not do something because you don't feel like it and then say it was because of time. Time is not an excuse. We have the same time in the day as Oprah and Tony - that's what I always say.
You need to be forgiving or your schedule and find your blinders. Find the people that inspire you and put on your blinders to everyone else. No shiny object syndrome here! I think it's really really important that we are diligent of our time, forgiving of ourselves and aware when we are all over the place. Focus. Ask yourself - are you using your time efficiently? Again, there's no one size fits all.
4. Grow your list from day 1
Start growing your list form day 1. Start growing your list from day 1. If you're a blogger, put a pop up. If you have a Facebook page, have a signup. Even if you don't have free offer, have a place where people can sign up. It's important for you to have a database of your own. As far as strategy goes, this is one of the top things to do from the very beginning. It will be slow at first, but just get in the habit now. That first person could be that first client. My first client came when I had 10 people on my list. It's also important as you scale. This doesn't stop. You should always be growing your list.
5. 2 P's: Plan and Patience
What do I mean by planning? I want to talk to you about planning for the big picture. What is the mission of your business? There are so many avenues for you, and you are multi passionate people. And there's nothing worse than telling a multi passionate person that they can't do what they want to do. So don't do it. If you have to do this thing right now, to get to where you want to be - the big picture - than do it. My big picture is to speak on stage and travel to be a speaker. Coaching is something I fell in love with, but my big picture is to be a public speaker. Don't think desires for your life, I want you to think business big picture. Are you going to be a speaker? Are you going to create the next B-School? Always thinking of the big picture will help you with what to do now. Start thinking about those pieces and planning for the big picture from the very beginning.
With that comes patience. Know that it is going to take time. If you are putting in the effort and energy and know you are worthy, you will get there. You have to have patience and know that it's your journey. Stay in your lane. Focus on what you're doing. The impact you're having. Patience, patience, patience.
You can watch the whole video for a more in-depth version of this and several bonus tips below!
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Michelle Knight is a Branding and Business coach for female entrepreneurs who are struggling to gain visibility and traction to take their business to the next level. She works with her clients to dive deep into their story so they can create a brand and message that positions them as an expert and allows them to create their desired income to free up time in their schedule for what matters most. Learn more >>