I was only 21 when I started my first business and it was a while ago now so the details on WHY and HOW are a little rusty, but I think it went something along the lines of: I didn’t want to work for a boss anymore (which is kind of ironic as the ‘boss’ I was working for during the first 2 years of my employment in Lightning Ridge, was in Dubbo and I rarely saw or spoke to him)..but it was the idea of someone telling me what to do that I didn’t like…and I figured, I was good at stuff, event management, story telling, getting people together, design and that I could branch out and do that stuff for people who would pay me. If I am honest…it was ego and the rebel entrepreneur in me! I just wanted to prove I could!
Anyway, I reckon it would have had very little to do with my potential clients and what problem they were facing that I could solve, or in fact knowing what I REALLY wanted to get out of life.
Same goes for a couple of businesses that morphed out of that one…although the older I got and the more businesses I got under my belt, the more refined I got, but to be honest it wasn’t deliberate, I was still going on gut instinct, it was just that my gut was getting smarter.
It wasn’t until I invested serious cash into my business education that the penny dropped – and the way to start a business – and grow a business – really became clear.
And now…there are LOTS of the conventional things that I did in previous businesses that I would NEVER recommend my clients do…and I am going to let you in on a few secrets!
*just a note to say that I am possibly being a little hard on myself here – the world has changed seriously since I was 21 and starting my own business, the web was just a new thing and my first laptop cost me over $3500!!!!
Anyway here are my top 3 things NOT to do when starting a business – that people will probably tell you you should…
1. Spend hours getting the PERFECT name
Okay, so there is value in a name (my parents did a sensational job with taking care of that, thanks Mum and Dad) and I have spent days and weeks agonising about the perfect name (and using the lack of name as an excuse not to do something) AND we were even threatened with legal action because of a name we registered early on in the peace…BUT take it from me – people will buy what you are selling if it solves their problem and you get them in a way no-one else does…and you believe in yourself enough to sell them! You can call yourself or your business anything you can dream up, at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter. In fact the biggest lesson I have had in the past couple of years is that your own name is as powerful a weapon as any fancy dreamed up name…like Dig In, I’m Not Fussy…
2. Spend a small fortune on logo design, letterheads, business cards
Again, a bit like the name, logos are really not that important – think about all the big brands you know and love…its the colour we know them for or the simple writing style, but mostly we know them for what they sell because they communicate powerfully to us…don’t spend money or too much time on this, it’s not necessary and in terms of business cards, it’s throwing good money after bad if you ask me. If you are constantly handing out your fancy business card to people you are GIVING away the power and the money in your business. I deliberately don’t have a card now – and instead ask for the other person’s…or take their details, so I can be the person who picks up the phone or sends the first correspondence.
3. Spend a small fortune on a bells and whistles website
I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on websites…literally and they a re not worth it, unless you have an AMAZING plan to build something that someone else is going to buy and you have a BRILLIANT sales and marketing strategy and hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on SEO and advertising it. People want YOU…they want the solution you are selling, not the fancy pants website you are throwing money at.
Okay…Now I have told you what NOT To do, here is what I suggest you do…
1. Get clear on what YOU want
Yep. Biggest mistake I have ever made in any of my businesses is not being VERY clear on what I wanted to get out of it. What do I like doing, what do I want to influence, what do I want to achieve, what are my financial goals, what is my WHY????
Without this clarity, the hard days are bloody hard and it’s so much easier to give up and walk away. When you know WHY you are doing something and you are getting what you want and need…pushing just feels so much easier.
2. Get clear on who you want to help
Ideal client…who are they, what is their biggest problem right now, if you could only spend time with one person in your business, who are they…what are they going through, what keeps them awake at night????
Know them better than they know themselves.
3. Get clear on what problem you solve for those people and how you are going to help them
If you know your client – and you know yourself then you know how you are going to help those people – is it connecting them to a product or service that will change their life/business/world? What is that product and what does it look like? Is it online, is it offline, is it a combination of both? Look around at what other people are doing, start stalking others and see what they are doing and see what fits for you…most importantly START somewhere…it doesn’t have to be perfect straight away, you just have to START!
4. Set up a simple blog (free) and start writing
This is one of the greatest discipline’s you can have in business AND it gives you a platform to start communicating with your clients and to start building your community. After all, what is business other than bringing together a bunch of like minded people you enjoy hanging out with…if you aren’t looking at business like that…go back to point 1 and start again!
Most importantly…stop talking about it, thinking about it, fearing it, running away, fighting it…just bloody do it. The world needs that special something you have locked up inside you and is just bursting to get out….
If you need help…ask!
Email me with your name and phone number and your biggest problem in business right now..I would love to talk to you!
Have an awesome week,