by Amanda Hoffmann | Featured Contributor
There are many reasons why a woman wants to start her own business.
In my experience, there is one common reason, “FREEDOM!”
The flexibility to set your own hours and work from home.
But then, after a month or so, the reality of your decision hits;
• It costs money to set up
• You need clients
• It’s hard work
You need to have a plan of action before you decide to start out on your own.
One that can be worked at, changed and tested as you go.
This can be both rewarding and frustrating at the same time.
“Clarity comes through action”
This phrase means that you need to act upon your plan with conviction, determination and passion.
I have provided six steps to help you develop a plan, keep your focus and clarity.
Step 1 – Determine your personal business vision
Do you have a vision of your ideal lifestyle, and how does it fit in with your business?
What kind of work do you want to do, and how do you want to spend your time working in it?
Who are your ideal clients?
More importantly, how much do you want to earn?
Step 2 – Who do you need to become to succeed in your business?
No one is “born” an entrepreneur or a successful business woman.
You need to define who you are now and what kind of person you need to become, to be successful.
What principles and ethics will govern your performance?
Go to a mirror and really look at your reflection.
Pretend you are a customer.
Are you a good advertisement for your business?
What do you need to change?
How are you going to implement these changes?
What is getting in your way?
Step 3 – Find your niche
I am going to be blunt and state that you cannot be all things to all people and succeed.
Not only is this exhausting, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Ask even more questions like;
Who needs these services or products?
What will appeal to them?
What problems can I solve?
Identify who those people are, and ensure that you articulate how your services/products will answer those questions.
Step 4 – What will you offer?
Now that you have all the answers, research what your competitors are doing.
How will you develop your offer and bring it all together?
What is your offer called and how much will it cost?
How will you deliver the offer to your client? Will it be a physical shop or web based?
Step 5 – How are you going to Market yourself?
Where are your potential clients hanging out? Will you find them on Social Media, in shopping centres or at home? Who do you already know that might be interested? Be diligent by handing out business cards, email people and pick up the phone. What industries / services / product suppliers could you collaborate with in a partnership that have your ideal clients already?
Example: If you are an accountant you could partner up with bookkeepers.
STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD!
You can do this a number of ways:
• Guest blog
• Volunteer to speak at events
• Attend network meetings
• Brand yourself by creating an identity and a reputation
– Logo, website, business card and social media covers should echo who YOU represent.
All the above, is designed to help you start asking the right questions. It is easy to get overwhelmed, waste time, energy and resources. By narrowing down your offers, and knowing your ideal client, your chances of success improve. Let me know how this article has helped you, or if you have any questions please comment below.
Meet the members of the She Owns It contributor team!
Alycia Edgar – Leading expert in creating systems for profitable business from Business Performance HQ – Torquay, VIC, Australia
Forget about your mental picture of an accountant sitting behind a desk crunching numbers all day, stopping only to peer at you over the top of his or her wire-rimmed glasses.
A trained accountant, yes, but also much more. Alycia Edgar does not fit the picture painted above; instead she is a latte-sipping, beach-loving business owner who happens to be great at numbers and systems.
Alycia is a leading expert in creating systems for profitable business growth for her clients. Nothing makes her happier than looking at your business numbers and helping you to understand what the numbers are saying, implementing systems to make your business more productive, or processes to make everything happen quicker and smoother.
Alycia is passionate about the idea that the right systems are the key to driving business growth.
She can share clear strategies that can help business owners become more productive and profitable immediately.
Alycia works with business owners to achieve this result through one-on-one mentoring and consulting on how to roll out innovative systems, procedures and processes. And will be launching her revamped Bizfficiency course later in the year.
A lover of social media, you can follow Alycia on Twitter & Facebook.
Amanda Hoffmann – Sensational Entrepreneur, Bookkeeper Extraordinaire and loves Social Media
Hi, I’m Amanda Hoffmann and live in Brisbane, Australia. I am passionate about business and social media. I currently juggle being a mother of four school-aged children and run three businesses in completely different fields. While challenging, I believe they keep me thinking outside of the box. I have always loved being busy and I believe it is a mixture of my “can do” attitude and loving life that allows me to accomplish so much. Oh, not liking to sleep much certainly does help!
I started managing my first business over 18 years ago but sold it when I decided to start a family. I was unable to envision at the time how I could run a business and still be a dedicated mother. Since I now run three businesses and have a large family, I have found being organised and prioritising is the secret to success.
What are my businesses you might ask? My Office Books Virtual Bookkeeping, Kidd House Accommodation specialising in fully furnished accommodation for both students and professionals and Co-Founder of a new Social Media start-up called The Likeability Company helping SME’s get the most out of using social media and building communities.
I would like to share my experience in small business and answer any questions you might have regarding office organisation, cloud technology and share my experience in property investment.
I personally am fascinated by social media, particularly the fast pace of twitter and exploring the world of blogging. I invite you share my journey and get to know each other.
Twitter – Blog – Pinterest – Facebook – Google+