How To Start A Business- 4 Steps To Succeed
Not every small business is positioned for success. In fact, only about two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least two years, and about half survive five years. So you may be in for a real challenge when you decide to take the plunge, ditch your day job, and become a business owner. The stage is often set in the beginning, so making sure you follow all of the necessary steps when starting your business can set the foundation for success.
I’m a marketing strategist, recovered business attorney, and Shark Tank addict! I’ve been helping business owners for over a decade now. Every week at my agency, we get to consult business owners who want strategies to get more clients.
I also host VIP Retreats with entrepreneurs and small business owners. The last one was our Q3 planning day, which is why I got inspired to write these 4 steps to success for entrepreneurs who need to get more clients by yesterday.
Simplification is crucial for every entrepreneur. I believe we have a tendency to just think 🤔 too much.
The Moment When You Realize You’re Running Out Of Time
What if we just FOCUS on simple but effective activities that will generate revenue, and end with the overwhelm status? Do you promise me you will read this quick lesson and will put all the efforts to simplify your calendar and get to work on what truly matters? If so, let’s dive into this lesson!
Since you want to learn how to start a business and found me, I have a feeling that you can relate with one of these 2 scenarios:
Scenario ONE.You’re clear about your business idea, business structure, and have taken action. You have tried every hack, seminar, workshop, coach, and mastermind out there, but still haven’t seen the results you set to achieve. You know something is missing but don’t know what that is.
Scenario TWO. You are considering starting a business. Don’t know what service or product you could market. You’re completely overwhelmed by all the information and resources out there and can’t take action.
Both cases are completely normal for the early stage of a business owner. So let’s put your fears into rest and get you to find some wisdom so you can get motivated to grow your business!
In What Stage Of Business Are You?
If you ask 10 entrepreneurs what are the stages of a business, you will have 10 different answers. In my opinion, your revenue will be a great indicator of the stage where you are. It will dictate the challenges you should expect, and the resources that are needed to succeed.
Every time you hit a new revenue benchmark you will experience a new set of challenges and will need a new set of resources to keep climbing. This infographic from Infusionsoft has a great recap of the stages, annual sales, and key factors to success.
I help clients who are in Stages 1-5. That’s where my passion and expertise is. If there’s something that generates an almost instant transformation for a business owner, is VISION.
Take a moment to study this infographic below and see where you are as of today. If you haven’t hit the $300,000 in sales yet, this means you are in the early stage (regardless of how many years you’ve been in business).
4 Success Factors To Make Your First $100,000 (And Generate Profit)
Success Factor Number 1: Branding
An estimated 12,000 shops could close by the end of 2019. The retail apocalypse isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, USA Today reports.
Which stores are surviving?
Those who are capable of drive customer loyalty. And how is that possible? Well… you know the answer very well… Let’s see… Do you support Starbucks? Apple? Wholefoods? Why? It’s about their brand and branding.
Starbucks brand philosophy
Since its founding days in the early 1990s, Starbucks has strived to build its brand identity by offering customers a relaxing and enjoyable experience. From the very beginning, the experiential aspect of the brand has been consistently and effectively implemented in all its stores across the world. In addition, Starbucks has also built its brand on things that tend to be out of the box, by consistently defying conventional wisdom.
Regardless of whether you’re in business or not, we all have a “brand identity.” We’re all known for specific traits and characteristics. At work, at home, with your immediate family, your friends, and especially on social media. All the groups that you are a part of you see you in a certain light. The same goes for when you start your business. In my Visibility Method, I emphasize that the foundation of your business or personal brand is to follow a clear set of brand guidelines.
Most entrepreneurs focus only on what their products or services do. Instead, we recommend marketing your personality, your identity, proven success record, your values, so you can earn trust from your audience.
If coming up with this list is difficult for you, then ask yourself, “What challenges have I had to overcome to start my business?” The point here is to see that no matter what kind of products and services you offer, people want to connect with real people.
I call this marketing statement a Manifesto. Let people know about your values and beliefs.
Success Factor Number Two: Lead Generation System
Once you’ve branded yourself, and really dissected what problem you solve for your target audience, you need to now go find your clients!
There are many to generate leads, from offline to online methods and the best part of creating your lead gen is that you have options! So pick what works for you and make it into a well-oiled machine for your business.
In my free download, 100 Ways to Generate Leads, I discuss all the different ways you can create a pipeline that consists of qualified leads. Here are a few simple ways to generate leads to get you started:
✔️Host a webinar
✔️Set up a joint venture campaign
✔️Lead capture on the homepage of your website so you can activate email marketing
✔️Landing page to collect contact information
✔️Facebook cover page description
The list is long, so take a moment and download my entire 100 Ways to Generate Leads.
Not having a lead generation strategy in place is where most businesses fall short. You can have a pretty website, with beautiful photos, and perfectly printed business cards. However, if you don’t have a system in place to bring qualified leads through proverbial door, your business won’t grow. Be sure to check out my free download on the 100 ways you can generate leads.
Success Factor Number Three: Optimize Your Offer (SEO)
If you want to get inside your customer’s minds, you must use the right SEO tools so you can know exactly how to describe your solution, so that your potential clients can find you.
This is why, if you hired a web developer to do your website or you did it yourself, you were asked for your list of keywords.
List of keywords? How exactly do you know what’s a great list of keywords?
Let’s be honest. SEO is complex. You might read the definition and might think you understand it, but it’s a very complex world, for a reason.
It’s impossible to conduct keyword research, analyze your competitors, track search results, track traffic and conversion trends, troubleshoot technical problems, and execute effective content marketing without the right tools.
Most entrepreneurs don’t really understand why and how SEO can help you in growing their business. They make the mistake of ignoring it, thinking that they will work on this task “later”.
Listen up! If you want to generate those $300,000 in sales per year, Google is your best friend!
Describing your products and services using optimization tools is critical at this stage.
People won’t buy from you if they can’t find you (even if you’re a local business owner and just want word of mouth)
There are over 2 trillion Google searches per day in 2019, but Internet Live Stats, an excellent source for making assumptions, claims around 5.5 billion searches done on Google per day or over 63,000 search queries done per second.
Luckily, there are many free SEO tools to help you get started. I’ve written about my 10 favorite SEO tools!
There are many moving parts when you’re starting your business. I get it.
Getting crystal clear on the exact solution you are providing your customer will save you a lot of time, energy and money down the road.
When you think about it, it’s very simple. If you know what your customers are searching for and it’s in your expertise and wheelhouse, you can then market directly to them and provide them the solution that they need. You’ll be up and running in your business in no time!
Success Factor Number Four: A Solid Plan to Stay Motivated
Let’s face it. As an entrepreneur, you’re going to come up against long, grueling days. There will be days that you want to give up, lose all desire to muster up the motivation, or worse, shut down your business.
It’s impossible to be positive at all times. However, it is possible for you to design your daily life in a way that you are surrounded by people, places, and habits that increase your motivation levels. Here are a few ways that I can assure will help motivate you to keep moving forward, even when you want to give up. These may sound simple, but the point is that they are simple, and they work,
Set a goal and plan of action
If you’re already in the habit of setting goals, great! Time to set a new one, and one that is slightly more challenging. Either way, make a detailed plan as to how you’re going to achieve your goal, step by step. When you have a plan, you have a vision, and when you have a vision you have something to be motivated for.
Celebrate daily achievements
As entrepreneurs we can steamroll through our tasks without stopping once to acknowledge how far we have come. Be sure to track the progress of your clients, project goals, and revenue goals. You’re motivation will be enhanced just by you recognizing that you are achieving things that you may have found difficult or impossible.
Exercise, eat well, and sleep
This may sound like a no-brainer but exercise, nutritious meals and adequate sleep is essential for your concentration and mood. Lack of sleep has a direct correlation with depression and anxiety. What seems so simple is actually crucial for your motivation and success as an entrepreneur.
Take imperfect action
You may be feeling stuck because you don’t have everything “perfect” in order to move forward. It’s ok. Entrepreneurs are overachievers. But, if you allow your perfectionism to get in the way of you taking action, it’ll make you feel worse in the long run. Taking imperfect action is about gathering the information you already have and take a leap of faith. Doing this will allow you to not only increase your confidence, but will also strengthen your ability to deal with uncertainty.
Find a mentor
You don’t necessarily need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a coach. There are plenty of successful entrepreneurs willing to provide mentorship. Mentors have walked similar paths and can help layout the steps ahead for you. Their personal experience and guidance can help provide an immense amount of clarity and courage– to keep you motivated and succeed as an entrepreneur.
Looking for a mentor?
Let’s chat! I am looking to mentor an entrepreneur who is driven, heart-centered, with great work ethic, who wants to generate $1M in business. Book our virtual coffee today!
Jessica Campos, JD, BBA is an educator, author, forensic digital marketing expert & strategist. She traded in her law career in order to pursue her passion: helping entrepreneurs build wealth by taking advantage of the thriving content economy.
Jessica‘s 15+ years of experience in entrepreneurship, background in law and business, tracked online sales record, and her network, represent a wealth of resources for professionals and entrepreneurs that want to attain success.
Get instant access to her latest book, The 6 Golden Rules of Social Media at www.marketingforgreatness.com. And while you’re there, make sure to check The Greatness Blog and The Greatness Marketing Podcast.