Bev James – best-selling author and CEO of The Coaching Academy
When you run your own business you are the master of your own destiny. You can choose the direction of your company and choose who you work with…
There is no limit on your potential income and you have an opportunity to create something really special. Whether your business is a hobby/lifestyle business or ambitions are on a much grander scale, it’s important to set up for success and keep learning and growing with your business.
Here are my top ten tips for turning your talent into turnover.
- Take time to plan and test your business idea
Friends and family may tell us what we what to hear or try to dissuade us from starting a business because of their own fears. Always take time to write a business plan and run it by someone with experience who you can trust to give you an honest opinion and informed guidance.
- Create a competitor analysis and see who is currently doing what you want to do well.
Although this can be outsourced I strongly suggest you do your own competitor analysis so you have a depth of knowledge of your competitors and what will give you the edge in the market place.
- Create a customer profile
Who will buy your products or service? How will you market to them? What businesses currently market to the same individuals but are not in competition with you? Setting up joint ventures can be a quick way to boost your business but you need to consider what you will offer in return.
- Find a mentor
A good mentor can help you avoid potential pitfalls and offer guidance and support. You are still responsible for the decisions you make but having a sounding board and someone who has knowledge and experience of your industry or business can be invaluable.
- Embrace social media early on
Learn how to use this valuable resource and do it well. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram etc can be great ways to showcase what you do. Remember this is about adding value, engaging your current and potential customers and building a trusted brand.
- Network with view to what you can give not what you can get
Networking can be online or face-to-face. The important thing is…. not to sell too soon. Take time to build relationships and gain trust. Be a good person to be around not someone that people want to avoid because of overzealous pitching. It’s good to be proud of your product or service but take time to listen and learn what others have to offer and how what you do could work for them.
- Consider outsourcing
There will come a time when you can’t do everything yourself. Consider outsourcing rather than having the cost of employees when you first start out. Accounting, book-keeping, graphic design, virtual assistant services, general admin, telesales, marketing can all be outsourced to free up your valuable time so that you can focus on the tasks that develop and grow your business.
- Build a superstar team
Hiring your first employee can be an exciting time. Make sure that you have identified the right resource that will support your business and then seek the person with the right talents, skills and attitude. Set up for success with a job description and contract of employment. Make sure your new employee is clear on what you are aiming to achieve and the part they play in the process. Ensure you take the time to give them an appropriate induction to the business so that they are comfortable with your ways of working. Finally, beware of hiring in your own image or ‘making do’ with the best of a bad bunch due to your own interview fatigue.
- Ditch the distractions
Develop the discipline to focus on important tasks and don’t let unimportant things take you off track. Start the day with a job list and get things done. It’s a good habit to do the things you like the least first and get them out of the way. Otherwise there is a danger that they keep getting moved to the next day’s list.
- Always upgrade your skills and knowledge
Business is never static so make sure you are moving with the times. Be aware of the current trends within your industry, keep up to date with sales and marketing methods. Many business owners take it for granted that they need to invest in technology and systems within their business but they don’t always take the time to upgrade and up-skill themselves. Attending seminars, online training courses, reading relevant books and articles are all good ways to ensure you grow and evolve with your business.
Bev James, Best-selling author of Do it! or Ditch it, CEO of The Coaching Academy.