As a business growth coach, I often work with clients who are creating a business on the side while working a full-time job. The goal of course, is to eventually leave the J O B and work full time in their own business. Currently, because of Covid-19 and it’s affect on businesses, more people than ever are considering starting their own business.
Why? Because many now realize that working for someone else is not really secure. Just like everything else in life working for someone else can mean unexpected circumstances where positions are furloughed or even terminated. Working for yourself suddenly seems like a more permanent and rewarding possibility.
It’s not easy, to put in time at work and then turn around and carve out time to work on and in another business. It takes determination, persistence and passion.
Once you step into the world of the entrepreneur, how long will it take to make your business profitable so that you can leave your job? The answer is… it depends. Surprisingly, it doesn’t depend on what your business is, as much as it depends on how you approach your business. Equally surprising, it doesn’t depend on the strategies you use, as much as it depends on how you answer the following questions:
- Exactly what do you plan to sell? This is obviously the first step but I can’t tell you how many people I talk with who have a very general idea of what they will sell. Start small and specific. Better to sell your services as a keynote speaker on two specialty topics than to market yourself as a motivational speaker who can speak to any group on anything. Better to be a chef who is known for her fabulous desserts or healthy meals than someone who can cook anything for anyone.
- Have you clearly identified your ideal client? Do you know them so well that you know how they think, feel and act? Can you communicate with them in a way that speaks clearly to their needs and dreams?
- What is the problem that you solve and the solution you offer? Can you express that in a way that speaks to your ideal customer? Develop content around this. It might be a blog, YouTube videos, podcast, newsletter etc.
- How will you connect with your ideal customer? Do you have a plan for connecting regularly and are you taking action on that plan? This should include developing an email list and not relying on social media platforms solely. Too many businesses have discovered that depending on social media is building a business on quicksand.
What is the greatest danger for the new entrepreneur? The greatest danger is that they will get lost working in the business instead of working first on a business system that sustains itself and creates consistent income and client referrals. Clients who get lost in creating their website or developing their next program to sell while neglecting the hard but more important work of connecting with potential customers will one day look up and find that they have lots of programs, products or services but no one buying them. Why? They have focused all their creativity and energy in one direction.
Creating a business is a wonderful journey of research and development along the path of self-discovery. There needs to be a balance between working on the business and working in the business.
Be sure that you schedule your time wisely and that you address both aspects of your new business or you may find yourself with a fantastic business, but no customers to invest in it.