3 Keys to Building Your Business
We're picking up where we left off in my last post, Five Reasons to Consider Entrepreneurship.
The aim of my previous post was to share information about some of the factors that influence our economic situation. I hope you enjoyed it and were inspired to continue researching. I consider myself a Leading Learner, a person that believes knowledge is crucial to expanding your mind and changing your life, so I'm always excited when a new piece of information comes my way or the opportunity to research a topic of interest. I share my findings with family and friends so that they too will be enriched and enlightened. I will repeat this quite often, so here goes, the goal of our time together is to learn and then to act upon our insights. At the end of my Five Reasons post, I promised to follow up with some alternative ways that you/me/we can make a living, for those of us that are not interested in working for someone else.
In this post, we highlight a three-step approach to build your business. The ideas are geared toward starting from a low-cost ownership position. But before we discuss the opportunities, I want you to set aside any preconceived notions you may have about what a business is supposed to look like. What I mean by that is you are starting from square one, figuratively pouring a new foundation. Have an open mind, and give yourself permission to see the potential in everything and remember Rome was not built in a day. It may take you five days, a month or longer! But, if you take the time to cultivate options and fully develop your ideas, then you will dramatically improve your odds of success.
1. Find Your Niche
This part is quite simple, but it's a major stumbling block for a lot of folks. It was for me too. The challenge usually stems from the belief that you have to find that one perfect thing to do. Your endeavors should be a reflection of who you are, a multifaceted being, so do not settle for a one-dimensional business. If five things peak your interest, then explore all five. Any good business person will tell you it's always better to have multiple revenue streams.
1. Web Design. Interested in a web-based business? Consider flipping websites for a living. You build then sell the site. For creative types, web design is a vehicle for your self-expression, and a means to earn a significant income. It requires very little financial output, and the return on investment can be quite lucrative.
2. Product Tester/Reviewers have the opportunity to try stuff for free and offer their opinion. Entry to this revenue stream is as simple as a Google search. Enough said.
3. Mobile Notary Public's work for financial institutions, traveling to the homes of people to facilitate the signing of financial documents. The initial investment is about $500, and it's a great way to meet people. I had this type of business ten years ago, and it was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. I still remember some of the people I had the pleasure of meeting!
4. Dog Training, Grooming, Pet Sitting, Dog Walking Services are perfect for those that love animals and enjoying meeting new people. Pet owners are passionate about their 4-legged babies, spending billions of dollars every year on pet care and products. Depending on the service you offer, the initial costs may only be a business registration and general liability insurance. The amount varies by state so you would need to check into it locally.
5. Health and Fitness. Prefer people over pets? If you love physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle, personal training may be the way to go. Invest in a website, and business cards then get out and start talking to people. Your body is the best marketing tool and should speak for itself.
These are all viable business options that cost very little to start. They are also great options for those that prefer a flexible business model that can operate as a 1-person venture or be expanded in the future.
2. Invest in Your Future
Building your own wealth is rewarding. It's also hard work, stressful, and at times it can even be lonely. So, you have to set yourself up to succeed on all fronts - mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Go hard after your dreams, just don't let it consume your every waking moment to the point where you block out everything else (like family, friends, and self-care). Take a moment to ask yourself why you're on this path. What are you hoping to achieve, aside from the financial benefits, by venturing down this road? Write down your answers. Review them often to assess if you are on track or perhaps if you need to re-calibrate. For me, one of the driving forces for becoming an entrepreneur was being able to spend more time with my husband. We both worked long hours and quite often our job commitments spilled over into our private time. One or both of us usually had to work on the weekends, in addition to everything else we needed to do around the house or to fulfill commitments we made to friends and family. We got into the habit of taking 2-3 day vacations every couple of months to reconnect. As nice as those mini-breaks were, it just wasn't enough time. We had often discussed 'doing something' together. We just weren't sure how to go about it. So, we started reviewing our options and looking at our lifestyle to see where we could make some changes. We downsized, got rid of debt and moved as far away from consumerism as possible. I had not left my job yet, but we were already aligning ourselves toward the future we saw for our family. Look to cut out those things that are a drain on you. It isn't always easy, but in the long run, it will be worth the sacrifice.
Once you take the leap and leave your job, work at your venture with the same drive and commitment you invested in your employer's financial success. Dedicate 8-hours a day every day to your endeavors, and you can expect to see significant results. At a minimum, you will learn from thought leaders in your field, fine-tune your plans and actions, connect with like-minded people, expose yourself to new information and CHANGE YOUR MINDSET. In other words, you'll get down to the business of creating a profitable venture.
First, let's establish what scaling up is all about. It's taking a successful business to the next level and requires you to have a proven model that is consistently generating substantial revenue. It is not moving from the ground-floor to the Penthouse in short course. How you get from a successful position to a higher level of success will largely depend on your goals and planning.
At this critical juncture, you should have the operational aspects of the business down to a science. You've mastered efficiency and honed-in on the core competencies of your business. Now, your (stratosphere reaching) vision transitions from a feel-good dream to actionable steps. This stage requires a team of resident experts as well as outside financial resources. The experts are the backbone of your business in regards to building a think tank and executing your plans at the elite level. You will encounter these folks (i.e., potential partners/team members) as you work through the initial stage of mastering your niche. And, the connections you make during that time will be the very resources that you draw upon when it's time to raise the stakes. In short, build your social profile and your network from day one. These are key components that will help launch your business into the stratosphere.
The advice I give to myself and others is to pace yourself, speak kindly to yourself and look to improve on a daily basis. If you do more today than you did yesterday, progress is being made. We need to nurture our dreams and our businesses. Doing so will allow us to focus on the big picture, which is where we are heading, and not the minutia or negative thoughts and self-doubt that is a drain on our energy. Remember, we can do this family!
Until next time,