Starting a new business is tough. It takes guts to quit the security of a steady paycheque for the uncertainty of starting something new.
And not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. You have to be comfortable with taking risks, working long hours (in the beginning, anyway), asking for help and paying for expert advice.
The early stages of running a business can feel daunting and there will be many times when you’ll wonder what the hell you did, and want to quit. It’s the best and most efficient way to learn your strengths and weaknesses and begin your long journey with personal growth and development.
But, all that aside, if you’ve managed to decide WHAT kind of business to start, congratulations……that’s the hardest part.
Some come to it honestly…..
For example, if you’re an electrician, you’ll probably roll with that or if you’re a hair stylist, opening your own salon makes sense.
However, for those with a general entrepreneurial spirit, and no clearly defined skill set, it can be tough to narrow down a niche. It’s easier if there is an obvious absence of a service or product in the local market – but that’s not always the case.
More often than not, those chasing the freedom of working for themselves begin with an existing passion.
You may find yourself entering a market that seems saturated and wonder how you’ll stand out from the crowd and grow your business anyway.
This is where it’s important to get super clear on what your services are, who you will serve, and how.
Sure it’s more fun developing a logo, setting up your office and getting a new website, but these are all meaningless if you don’t know who your audience is or how to reach them.
The first step to starting a new business is:
FINDING YOUR NICHE
Picking a niche doesn’t mean you need to pigeon-hole yourself with a specific type of client — many people starting out in business assume this means they need to narrow down their clients to a certain classification of business.
For example: in copywriting, some writers only work with SAAS companies. And while it’s good to know who you’re willing to work with, I don’t think it’s necessary to have such a narrow focus.
For example, I enjoy working with heart-centered entrepreneurs. My clients serve in a variety of industries and as long as they have good intentions and are conscientious, they’re my ideal client.
This shows that choosing a niche can look different than what you may have thought.
BUT, if you’re having trouble choosing the type of business you want to start, I recommend reaching out to a life coach. They can help you narrow down your passion, strengths, lifestyle, earning potential and interests.
A life coach can also help you to navigate uncertainties and identify gaps between where you are and where you want to be.
Once you’ve got this part figured out, you can begin to define…
WHO YOU WILL SERVE
Let’s assume you’re starting a consulting business…
Before you can even begin to write content for your new website, you must learn who the people are that you will serve.
Who are they? How old are they? What are their pains, and what problem are you going to solve for them?
What will make them seek you out and hire you versus someone else, and how will they value your service enough to pay you what you want to get paid?
One thing I’ve learned from owning a business is that it’s less about me and more about what I can offer.
Yes, yes, boundaries are important and you’ll learn quickly (hopefully) that not everyone is your ideal client, but think about what YOU can do to serve others.
How are you lessening their burden? If you’re cleaning their house, how does that affect their life? If you are cutting their grass, providing bookkeeping or managing their SEO…it’s important to consider how you are changing their life for the better.
You are here to serve — consider what you can give rather than what you can get.
Of course, we all want to make money or we’d start a charity or offer our services for free, which is basically the same thing!
As an entrepreneur, you need to value your time just as much — if not more — than when you were an employee.
And it’s acceptable to value your time at whatever price you value your time — within reason, of course.
But I think many people going into business are focused on what they can get rather than what they can give.
……your clients will feel this.
People can sense sincerity or lack thereof.
Whatever business you choose, hats off to you, because owning and running a business is rewarding in and of itself.
But it’s HARD work. Don’t expect it to be breezy.
Oh, and you will get to know yourself in a way you never thought possible — you’ll be introduced to parts of yourself you didn’t know existed — but you’ll learn to love all of these parts for the experience of being an entrepreneur.
There are many other working parts to starting a business, but this is a good place to begin before you quit your day job and freak out because you feel aimless.
If you’ve recently started a business and need help getting your message right, finding your ideal client or need to throw around some ideas, reach out for a 20 min consult. And if you have a business, but your message is falling flat, book a strategy session and we’ll discuss an upgrade.