The hustle got real for you. What started as an exciting feeling of ideas and dreams to work on that was going to get you out of your cubicle hell has now become a pain in your behind.
How the hell are you going to do the thousand and one things you’re supposed to do to launch your business? From building your first website, learning how to Periscope (thinking how does this help me again?), figuring out the best name for your business, where to find clients, and how to market yourself when you’re an introvert, the list goes on.
You’re finding that you’re doing all the things, but not really getting any closer to finally figuring out how your business is going to replace your corporate job.
It’s not a nice place to be when you’ve been working hard and hustling. You just wish things would get less overwhelming and you can see some clarity in where your business launch journey is going.
And if you’re someone that is creating a service-based business, it can seem hard to sell what you do, because what you do is intangible. And I see so many people out there with beautiful websites and branding, but still unclear on what they really do to get paid.
Today I want to challenge you to focus on what I believe is going to move you forward from doing all the things and complete the right things that’s going to get you confident in launching your business.
And it has nothing to do with websites, branding, or shiny things. These are the Top 5 Priorities to Launch Your Business that’s actually going to get you CONFIDENT in the value of what you do, and get paid so that you have a real business.
Priority #1: Identify Your Best Skills to Solve a Problem
Want to start a business and make money with a career outside of your corporate job? Start figuring out what you can do for people that is valuable, and most importantly, that solves a problem.
Start with thinking about stuff in the world that you care about. What are you frustrated about that you want to contribute to help change in the world? What causes or movements are you drawn to? It doesn’t have to be this BIG complicated mission. It can be as simple as, “I wish there were more women leaders in the world”.
What do you think is needed in the world that you can help solve with your skills? What type of work will make you feel PROUD?
Now that we’re talking about your skills, let’s take inventory of all the things you are great at doing, then look at that list to extract the ones that you actually LOVE doing. Yes, there is a difference between things you can do vs. things you want to do. You don’t want to quit your job to go into another career that doesn’t light you up, so get honest.
Identify your strongest SKILLS and talents to lead from, then ask the question of, “How can I use these skills to help solve the problems that I’ve brainstormed initially and were drawn to?”
You can leverage your best skills to blend with different interests and passions to produce solid business ideas that can give you the sweet spot of being paid (because you’re good at it, and it’s a problem people desire solving), and brings in meaning (because you care about it and there’s a “ripple effect” of your work).
If you’ve been struggling to find THAT idea, my Find My Niche Masterclass is going to show you exactly how to use your best skills, focus it to a direction that you can be passionate about, and solve problems that people want from you. And if you really want to learn how to create and launch your business and have an offer to sell, my signature course Startup to Sold Out INCLUDES the Niche Class for free as a full package.
Priority #2: Know Who You’re Serving & Their Urgent Pain Points
In order to create and sell a solution, you need to discover the needs and pain-points of your ideal customer. As I mentioned earlier, an important piece of your business idea is about picking the right problem to solve with your best skills that is an urgent or hungry problem others want.
So you have to get out there and talk to people. You have to learn to use the power of ASKING to get data from the horse’s mouth to really understand what your potential customers are suffering with, how they are describing their pain, and what they envision the right solution is for them to take away that pain.
You can absolutely guess, and you may be right, or you can validate your ideas with research and real data to know that there’s a market for your idea. If you want to be in the people business, you have to converse with them and be in their world.
We’re all very lucky to be living in a world where social media has connected us to global people around the world. You can type a question into Google and a fitting blog post or article can help you answer your questions. Data and insight are right at your fingertips.
In my previous blog post, How to use Facebook to Find Customers & Validate Your Business Idea, I teach you how to use Facebook groups to engage, connect, and research your potential customers. There is SO much you can find out from relevant groups that share common interests to help you create your next service or product.
All you have to do is ASK.
Priority #3: Create & Package Your Solution
Once you’ve understood the most common theme of pain points and identified what your potential customer is saying, doing, and thinking about their problem, you’ll need to figure out your own approach on solving this.
What has your own experience or know-how taught you that you want to teach others? What do you hope to be able to get your potential customers to do? How will you get them there in your own unique process?
You may have other people that may do similiar work as you, but they’ll never be you. Hence why your solution MUST include your personality, values, style, and influence. No one will say it like you do, or look at it with your perspective. Why? Because there’s no one in the world that is exactly like you.
Even if you may have competitors that may lead people to similiar results, your process and approach will be different.
I believe in constructing a Business Blueprint, which is like a map of what you actually do to bring your customers from Point A to Point B. How will you get them to the destination you hope to take them to? What mini milestones do they need to achieve along the way to their big goal? And how will you do it to make their experience easy and meaningful to them?
Packaging your skills and approach into an offer allows you to sell the VALUE of what you do vs. hourly rates of your services. People like to buy outcomes and results.
And you know what’s lovely about having a Business Blueprint? You’ll soon find out that after you’ve worked with a few customers on that blueprint, there will be some strong parts of that map you created that can be turned into additional products to sell in your business. Simply by expanding and repackaging it.
No more thinking, “What else should I create next?” It’s all in your Blueprint.
Priority #4: Clarify Your Message & Business Foundation
You know how they say that every house needs a solid foundation? So does your business.
Your foundations are the pillars of what your business is built upon. When you have an understanding of what you do and why anyone should care, the marketing process will be smoother, and you know exactly what to communicate to your potential customers on why they should work with you.
Most importantly, YOU understand WHY you’re doing the work you’re doing, and that is backed up by:
- The strengths you lead with
- Your distinct approach of how you help
- Your story, purpose, and why behind the business and how that connects to the people you’re meant to help
- Your point of view, opinion, and perspective about the problem you solve – your voice
Your work stands for a particular message you want to share with the world. That message ripples out from business, the topics you teach about, and it’s in the outcome you help your customers achieve.
This helps you to be known for talking about something specific, be an authority, and stand as a thought-leader in your industry. It’ll help you draw in the right tribe of people that also care about that message, and will help you SHARE it.
What is that message behind your business? What is the ripple effect of your work?
Priority #5: Beta Test With Real Humans to Gain Confidence
First of all, I am a huge fan of beta testing! Because even though I love the movie, Fields of Dreams, it is NOT true that if you build it, they will come. From my many years of experience of failed product launches and “Why am I not selling this program?!” days of pulling my hair out, I can now really stand behind the new notion of “If you test it, and it works, you will sell it!”
You do not need a website or a complete brand to start testing the offer of what you do with real humans. Treat this stage like a beta lab. Offer it for free. Find people you know that can benefit from your services and give tremendous value to see how it’s like working with real humans.
Beta testing has a few benefits. One, it gives you confidence in the process after you do it and when you finally launch your offer to the public world. Two, you really see the flow of your process and how you like to work with customers and are prepared when you take on fully paid ones. And three, you get testimonials before you even launch – super important to build your credibility and authority for yourself.
The point of beta is to refine, improve, and use feedback from real people to make your offer to be tip-top ready for the world at your official launch. You’ll be way more at ease in taking on paid customers after a beta round.
It is after beta that you can then start spending money on building a website and all those pretty logos and branding needs, because it is then, where you know you have something to sell, there’s value in your offering, and you’ve provided results for people.
Use those testimonials in your beta round to prove credibility and expertise.
Focus on what’s important instead of the “shiny objects”
I know it’s tempting to start working on things that you can “see” right away like a logo, business name, or a website. But honestly, you can have the most beautiful branding, but if you’re not confident in what you do, and how to tell people the value of your work, you ain’t launching that business right.
Trust me, I know this from spending $5000 on a website and branding on my first business years ago, and hearing crickets when it came to customers. I focused too much on making things look “pretty” instead of the priority focus of what I’m confidently giving in my work that is of value, who am I doing it for, and why it matters to them.
And I want you to stop being overwhelmed with doing ALL the things, and start focusing on what’s important to get your business off the ground.
Q’s or comments about this blog post? Hit me. I’ll love to help you personally. Comment below and I’ll be sure to be there for you.
Pssst…want me to guide you step-by-step to launch your business, create an irresistible offer, and find customers to get your career off the ground? Check out my signature course, Startup to Sold Out: