Starting a New Business? Here Are 7 Tips You Need to Know.

The following post is based off of content from a WordCamp Jax presentation by Wesley Lewis of OneEighty.Digital.

When you’re just starting your business, there’s a lot to worry about. I get it. But here are some key areas that you should be thinking about as you kickstart your dream.

1. Know yourself.

With business, as life, it’s important to know yourself completely before starting a new venture.

For instance, if you know you want to start a business but don’t know what you want to do, start by getting to know yourself. You can try taking (legitimate) personality tests, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and by asking people in your circles.

Learn as much as you can about yourself to hone in on the best business idea for you.

2. Determine your market.

Successful businesses know their ideal markets. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, your business will not make it.

Wesley had some great fishing analogy for this:

“Do you know who you’re fishing for?”
“Who am I good bait for?”

It’s a great idea to look at your target market from both angles (get it…angler?!): what market is best for you and what market are you best for?

3. Determine your client.

Similarly, you need to determine your ideal client, which is a little different than your ideal market. This will help you hone in clearly on the person you want to work with.

Networking can help in a big way here. Get out there and start talking to people, sharing your name and what you do.

It comes down to this:

4. Build relationships.

The best businesses build real, deep, and lasting relationships. The value of doing so is truly endless.

So take the time and energy to build relationships that you can grow. (If nothing else, as they say, working with an existing customer is cheaper than acquiring a new customer.)

Wesley shared these tips on building relationships:

  • Listen
  • Ask questions
  • Be honest and open
  • Be helpful

5. Build your team.

How much time are you spending on activities that aren’t your strengths? How often are you trying to do tasks that are outside the realm of what you want to learn?

Don’t try to do it all yourself. Build a team!

Look around you and grow a team where each member brings their specific strengths to the table. Get comfortable with outsourcing and relying on quality contractors to help you in the areas where you need help.

6. Get a process down.

The longer you work for yourself, the better processes you will create. As Wesley shared in his presentation, process is priceless. Investing in better processes will undoubtedly make your business run more smoothly and effectively.

It doesn’t need to be perfect right out of the gate, but it’s important that you work towards these practices:

  • Invest in efficiency. Similar to building your team, it’s important to be as efficient as possible. For you, that may mean outsourcing certain administrative tasks. It may mean streamlining your payment process.
  • Know how you work best. Again, the longer you work, the more you’ll (continue) to learn about yourself. Continue getting more efficient in the way you work (e.g. time of day, location, type of work, and so on).
  • Figure out your project flow. Similarly, you’ll keep improving on your project flow as time goes on. It may change over time and it’s best to continuously optimize your process along the way.

7. Get clear on your pricing.

This is, by far, one of the biggest struggles for new business owners. It’s time to get comfortable with talking about the money, though. After all, that’s why we are in business!

  • Remember that you are selling yourself. That’s why the above points are so critical to the process; you have to get crystal clear on who you are, who you serve, and what you excel in, before talking about money.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about money. Those business owners who avoid talking about money end up not making a whole lot; so get comfortable with the money.
  • As you get better, you can charge more. Sure, you may need to charge less at first to get your name out there and gain experience. But over time, you can start charging more and more.
  • Think of your long-term goals. The money you make should be tied to your goals. Don’t ever forget them.
  • Think of money in terms of value. How are you bringing value to your clients? Convert that value into dollars in order to determine your pricing.
  • Never do anything for free. Perhaps you aren’t gaining anything monetary; perhaps you provide a product or service in exchange for a referral, experience, or credibility. Regardless, you should never do anything completely for free.

Thanks again to Wesley Lewis of OneEighty.Digital for the great content above!

Want to learn about where you should get started with your new business’s digital marketing? Check out my post here!

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