I was with a friend who is also a marketing coach and she told me that I have consistently had the entrepreneurial bug. It is a special person who takes their passion and turns it from a hobby or gift into a business, and not everyone can do it. The people whom I have seen be successful at it including myself have been passionate about where they are going. This blog is for those who are passionate about what they do but don’t know how to get over the hump of creating a business that surrounds their passion.
Step 1. Don’t SHH your inner nudge. – I meet many people who have full-time corporate jobs, but they love doing projects on the side. They get so good at doing these side projects; others start to notice and ask them why they are not doing it for money. The biggest response I hear of why they are not, is that there is security in their current job. Security is fantastic, I understand it and like it, but that does not mean you cannot reinvent yourself even part-time. If you have a gift, know when to give it away as volunteer work, otherwise listen to the entrepreneurial bug that’s calling you.
Step 2: Meditate for Guidance – Most successful people I know go in to go out and create. Meditation is an excellent way to quiet the mind and listen to what the next steps should be for you and your business. Once you come out of meditation, write down your thoughts, so that you can implement them in your future business.
Step 3: Make a plan on paper: Once you have meditated and journaled, then start to write a plan on paper. On this paper, write a list of all the things you think you have to do, and on the opposite side of each thing, write what will stop you from doing this. Get it all out now, so you are ready to face the ups and downs of starting a business. For instance, capital is sticking point for many small businesses, so write all the reasons why you cannot get capital. Then brainstorm all the ways to get around your no. None of them are dumb because you will not know which will work until you try them.
Step 4: Write Your Questions: So, now you have a feeling, you have meditated, and you have taken pen to paper. The next step is to start coming up with your questions to know who your target market will be really. I suggest a list of ten to fifteen questions ranging from basic demographics to specific questions about what you need to find out. For example, if you are going to be making jewelry. You may ask, what attracts you to purchase jewelry? Do you prefer to buy it for yourself or do you wait to have someone buy it as a gift? Do you prefer to shop for your jewelry online or in a storefront? What type of online store or storefront?
Step 5: Set time in the schedule for Market Research: Holding sacred space and time to complete your market research is important because it is the foundation of what you are building. For example, if your target market is musicians, you may want to set up to speak with 20 to 30 musicians. Set up, the meetings by phone, and use a free service like Free Conference call to speak and record your market research. That way you can be present for the phone call and not write the entire time you could be listening. I suggest the calls be less than 30 minutes each.
Step 6: Now, that you have time set on your calendar, start asking others to help you find your target market. Ask on your personal Facebook page, ask in Facebook groups that you are allowed in, and ask those who enable you to do market research with you to ask others to help you. You should try to do market research with at least 15 individuals, so you will want to ask at least 60 people.
Step 7: Hire a Coach: If you realize at this point, you are losing motivation, or that you are really in uncharted waters, it might be time to bring in help. Coaches come in all forms. You could research or do some free webinars with some coaches to see what one is the right type for you. Types of coaches you can choose from for your startup business is a cheerleader, a focused business coach, or a marketing coach.
Step 8: Talk about Pricing: One of the hardest conversations to have with yourself about your products or services is what to price your passion? It is probably one of the things we struggle with the most as female entrepreneurs. So, when you are doing your market research, get out of your comfort zone and ask what others have paid for similar products or services? You will not know until you ask.
Step 9: Make an Offer: Once you have done your planning and market research, start to create your offers. From the market research, you should know who might like your offer, where they would go to buy your offer and your cost for it. Remember, if you only sell one or two that is a success! It was one or two more sold than you started. Once you make your offer and have sold it keep redefining it and each time you will learn a little more about putting your processes in place.
Step 10: Let go of money being your only measure of success.- So many put success regarding whether their ledgers are in black. Success can come in many forms in the journey getting there. Make sure you take the time to celebrate the successes along the way, such as your first market research call completed, your first business card delivered to you, your first networking event where you made a real connection. Celebrate it all even when it feels like a fail, because usually, a better success is right around the corner when we learn from our failures.