Starting your business may be the most important career and financial decision you ever make, and many people are succeeding at it.
The earlier baby steps that you take when you start your business will determine if you’re going to be running down the road, and if your business will be thriving or not.
Running a business is a marathon, not a Sprint. You have to be in it for the long haul.
Fortunately, if you take things step by step it would be easy to get off to a great start.
It’s absolutely natural to feel overwhelmed on day one of starting your business, and the following four steps will help you stay focused and calm.
1- Put a simple plan together
Starting a business is like deciding to become healthy and fit. You will not be able to achieve your fitness goals without a plan, a personal trainer’s or a diet to follow.
Sit down for a few minutes to write down how you will spend your time this week before you plunge ahead with projects. It will bring structure to your days, so you don’t feel lost.
By now you probably have set for yourself certain goals to achieve in the next 6 to 12 months.
What we would want to do next is to breakdown these big goals into small manageable and achievable chunks.
Take 15 minutes to write down the single most important thing you need to accomplish this week to move yourself toward your biggest goals.
Make a list of the top 5 most important things you can do today to chip away at your larger goal for the week.
Let’s say your goal for the week is to win your first customer in a professional service business.
You know from your experience in your industry that it will probably require both networking and building your online presence.
In this case, your list for day one might look something like this:
- Update my LinkedIn profile with the name of my new business and relevant keywords.
- Make a list of contacts in my LinkedIn who might be able to give me advice on how to spread the word.
- Send email or linked notes to five to 10 Contacts let them know I’m in business and ask their advice for how best to spread the word.
- Research inexpensive website providers so you can put up a website later in the week or find web developers if you need an elaborate website.
- You know from your experience in your industry that it will probably require both networking and building your online presence.
Keep in mind that it’s OK to not be able to go through the whole list in one day. Instead, what you should focus on is the daily progressive completion of these tasks.
2- Spread the word
If they can’t find you, you do not exist.
The only way to start attracting your ideal clients and customers is if other people know you’re in business.
A sure-fire way to start attracting your ideal clients is to start promoting your business as fast and as effectively as possible.
There are hundreds of ways to start promoting your business, however, you will want to narrow your focus to the most effective methods that you can afford.
When you first start your business, it’s important to make a list of tried and tested ways other successful businesses in your field have used to promote themselves.
Your next step will be to narrow down that list to what you think would be the most effective channel for your business to pursue.
This list may look like this:
- Develop a website with a clear call to action.
- Set up social media accounts to start advertising online.
- Set up a Google business page.
- Secure a phone number for your business.
- Set up a Google AdWords campaign with relevant keywords to my business.
3- Get your house in order
Many business owners start their businesses to follow their passion. However, for them to be able to enjoy their passion, they will have to be somewhat organized.
As you would agree, cash flow is the lifeline and the backbone of any successful business.
If you don’t have the means to manage your cash flow and the back end of your business, you will soon become overwhelmed by the admin tasks that may leave you anxious, frustrated, and feeling like you’re making no progress in your day.
Soon enough, that passion and spark will start to fade away.
The best way to mitigate this issue is to make sure that you make use of all the cloud-based applications that help business owners get organized.
For example, accounting software like Xero, will make sure that your invoicing process is simple for you and for your clients as well.
Also having the right company structure, accountant and bookkeepers will also help you stay focused on your passion and servicing your clients the best way possible.
4- Invest in your mindset
Like many business owners, you may be coming from a big company working withing a big team.
That means certain behavioral patterns in your personality and psychology might go by unnoticed. Good & bad ones.
Starting your own business is like deciding to go participate in a theatre play, however, you’re the only actor performing with the spotlight shining bright on you, and you alone.
You will quickly start noticing certain things about yourself and your mindset that you have never seen before.
Servicing your clients under an often pressurized environment and tight deadlines will most certainly bring out the good and bad in you.
Therefore, it’s of utmost importance that you start working on your mindset and your behavioral patterns so you are able to service with confidence, grace, and finesse.
Reading business & self-development books should become your favorite pastime.
Finding yourself a business and a mindset coach or a mentor, is the fastest and easiest way to guarantee your success not only in business, but in your personal life as well.