How To Build A Business Right The First Time, Part 1
When it comes to building a new business, the key to starting off successful is taking things one step at a time. Here's why.
At DesignGood we talk to a lot of people who are in the beginning stages of building their businesses. We understand what it’s like to be in your shoes, and we have helped to guide hundreds of entrepreneurs while they have made the life-changing journey to self-employed.
We remember what it’s like to feel the unknowns of starting a business and we relive that experience each time we help a new entrepreneur discover how they want to show up in the world through their brand and the business they create. Our goal is to bring together the knowledge we’ve gained over the last 14 years and help you take the right steps in the right order to launch your business right on the first try.
Building a business involves a lot of work, and a lot of passion.
If you’re just getting started in your new business, it’s likely just you are going through all the emotions we did when we began. You might be questioning whether you’re doing the right thing or if you have what it takes to start on a new life as an entrepreneur. We’re here to tell you that are, and you have everything it takes to be successful. If this business is something you really want, don’t let go of that feeling. It will drive you. Remind yourself daily that you have something important to offer the people you so deeply desire to work with.
So how do you know it’s right, and where do you start?
If you’re a solopreneur or plan on having a small team (six or less), you’re in luck: You’re part of a quickly growing sector of businesses called a micro-business.
Micro-businesses make up a huge percentage of the overall businesses started in the U.S. in the last year, which means means entrepreneurs are seeing a need for highly specialized services for a niche group of clients and are building their services and products around those specific needs and opportunities. They are small, mighty and effective because they focus on a few powerful offerings for a well defined audience. When done right, they are also succeeding in a big way.
Where to start?
You know what you have to offer, you bought the domain and you might be fumbling around with a web template. You’re also likely overwhelmed with the idea of social media and SEO. It’s important to have those things on your radar, but they aren’ the foundation of your business. First, you should step back and establish a few key things that really make your business effective and memorable. Taking the time to discover these will also make your make your journey much smoother and give you the confidence you need to see your dream through.
Build A Solid Foundation
To get you started on the right foot, the most important thing you can do is gain clarity around the steps below. These founding principles will guide your work and your business through anything:
- What is your business purpose? Your business purpose is what you want your business to be remembered for, what your business is here to accomplish and whom you are here to serve. A clear business purpose helps illuminate the path to doing the meaningful work you want to be doing, for the people you want to be working with.
- Who is your audience? As a new business owner, determining your audience is one of the most important steps you can take. At DesignGood, we call this building audience clarity and it will help you focus your time and energy, and be more efficient with your efforts. To form a connection with your customers or clients, you have to know who they are and genuinely understand and care about them. And just as your audience must feel inspired by you, you need to feel inspired by them. Your clients should light you up and vice versa.
- Are your services or products tailored for your audience? Once you’ve found your audience, you want to make it easy for them to understand what you sell, the services you offer and the benefits they’ll have working with you above anyone else. People want to know what they’re getting before they make a purchase, so you want to be sure the products or services you offer are designed to meet the needs of your audience.
- How are you showing up in the world? Your website (or website in the works) is a great place to firm up your intentions. If a potential client goes to your site, you want to make sure it’s clear exactly what you do, exactly who you work with and what a client will get out of your work together. Be mindful of using industry jargon your customers may not understand. Be direct, be clear and think about what makes sense for your clients — not for you.
Now that you have the foundations of your business, figured out your purpose and defined your audience, it’s time to think about the next steps in creating the brand of your dreams.
These guiding principles will help you make choices for every facet of your business. Let these answers guide you, and if you need help in any part of your journey we’re always here. In part two of our building a business series, we’ll look at the next steps needed to execute your ideas and finally launch your business.