Designing Your New Business – You’re The Boss
Thinking about starting your own business? Congratulations and welcome to the club! Entrepreneurship can be a rewarding way to make a living and perhaps even design a complete career change for yourself. There’s no cap on your income, you get to take control of your own destiny and you have a chance to see your creative ideas come to life. Most importantly…you’re the boss!
That’s good news because it means that you can design your business exactly how you want it to be. For some, being the boss can be bad news as well, because all the responsibility for your success or failure is on your shoulders. You may have read scary statistics stating that a huge percentage of new businesses fail in the first year. While that can be alarming, it can also be a signal for you to do your business design and planning right up front so you don’t end up being one of those businesses. Let’s take a look at what goes into planning a successful business.
First, as a coach, I want to address a common problem.
If you are like many people starting your own business means, at least in the beginning, you are a company of one. This is especially true if you are a coach, consultant, therapist, interior designer, fitness trainer or other service professional who has finally decided to go out on your own. This means you are not only going to be the owner and sole decision maker in the company, you are also going to be marketing your business as well as providing the service to your clients and customers.
As you grow, your ability to wear all these hats at once can quickly become overwhelming. Many new entrepreneurs start with a frenzy of initial marketing to get clients and then stop marketing so they can deliver services to their new clients. As those clients naturally complete or drop away, you may suddenly find that your income has slowed considerably. Panic sets in, so you spend all your time marketing which brings in a new round of clients. Then you stop marketing so you can serve your clients and the feast or famine pattern begins all over again.
How to Get Off the Income Roller Coaster
What can you do to prevent this? Make decisions like you are the boss but work like you are an employee. What this means is that you need to be regularly marketing to keep your pipeline full, as well as be fully engaged in serving your clients. The key is in smart planning, systems – and getting help!
First of all, identify where your clients and customers originate from. Do they come mainly from referrals? Set up a system to continuously and systematically ask for those referrals. Do you rely on LinkedIn to cultivate clients? Again, you need a structured way to continuously connect with your ideal prospects and a systematized way to reach out to them regularly.
Chances are, your customers or clients are initially going to come from a variety of sources. You can try different marketing methods when you first start out, but it’s important to narrow those down to the most profitable so your efforts will be as efficient as possible. As soon as you can, invest in an assistant, virtual or otherwise, to help you with marketing and scheduling tasks that can be delegated, which will free you up for more time with your clients and enable you to expand your customer base.
Virtual assistants can be hired as independent contractors on a very part time basis while you get your business up to speed. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard new business owners resist hiring an assistant saying, “I can’t afford it!” only to come back around six months later saying they wished they had hired someone to help them sooner.
The Key to a Successful Business
The key to a successful business is planning for sustained growth. This involves a balance between consistent marketing and delivery of your services. Identifying where your customers and clients are coming from, and setting up systems to take advantage of those portals, is essential. Teasing out which tasks in your business can be delegated and hiring an assistant to help you early on will put you ahead of the game.
The truth is you may be the boss but, as a new business owner, designing your business so it functions successfully and without overwhelming you can be challenging. Successful business owners know when to reach out for help. Early on, I found the help of a business coach invaluable and I still have one today. What’s important is to design a business that works for you…one that fits into your lifestyle and enables you to develop and maintain a healthy balance between your business and personal life.
I’d love to support you in designing your new venture. I know the challenges of starting a new business – I’ve been there. Simply contact me by clicking here to set up a complimentary consultation. I’m here to help you bring your hopes and dreams into reality!