I think to myself, if there were 26 steps in starting a business – from A – Z then that’s step K, in the launch process, rather than step A! There are so many steps before that, which should influence it’s design.
Having experienced the launch phase of a business a number of times, through my own business and then with my clients, I know the logo isn’t what’s going to make it a business.
I wonder why we think that a logo, or even a website, for that matter is the thing we think is the first step? Maybe it’s because it’s the thing that makes us ‘look’ or ‘feel’ like a business.
The reality is, that if you don’t do steps A-J first then the logo and the website it wont have the ability to resonate and communicate what you do.
Then you see the ‘Government tips’ on starting a business. All of which is helpful advise, but its only one element thats necessary! It’s like driving a car for example, putting your hands on the steering wheel and putting the car in Drive. There are so many steps before that. Unlocking the car. Getting in the car. Ensuring the seat and mirrors are in the right position. Putting seat belt on. Putting the key in the ignition and turning it. Knowing where you’re going and checking there is nothing in your path before pressing the accelerator. Putting the car in Drive is only one element, and if you don’t do the rest, then you’re not going to get to your destination.
Whilst investing in a business coach to learn the right steps may appear to be ‘unnecessary’ or ‘time consuming’ and ‘you can figure it out for yourself’, that is very much the long way round. It’s very much the most expensive way in both money and time.
So let me fast track the initial steps for you to help get ahead!
1.Get clear on your purpose
As the wonderful Simon Sinek says, ‘People don’t follow you for what you do, rather why you do it’. This is crucial to understand, as there is so much noise and marketing out there, trying to capture our attention, that no one really cares about ‘what you do’. (In the nicest possible way) All they care about is ‘how am I going to solve this problem that I have?’ or ‘which business, will enable me to have an impact at the same time as utilising their product or service?’ Think Energy providers. We all need one to live and power our lives with lighting, refrigerating, heating and cooling etc. Why did you choose yours? How do you know which one to choose. With the introduction of Environmentally friendly providers, they offer much more than just the cheapest rate, they are helping the environment at the same time. That’s a point of difference that could be the difference that makes the difference for a client with a choice.
As a customer when you choose a provider that also benefits the environment, as a person you know that you’re helping make a difference to the global problem of climate change. You’re committed to them and happy that your usage will not continue to harm the environment. To the energy company, you become more than just a transactional customer, you become a loyal customer, less easily swayed with a $ discount or reward incentive. This is the power of understanding why you do what you do, rather than just ‘what you do’.
2.Know your rules of business.
The clearer you are on knowing and understanding your rules in business, the easier it is for you to understand what decisions to make. The decisions you make today will effect your future business. Consistency and certainty are two important elements that unconsciously help people to either do business with you or not do business with you. These are like you sign posts, taking you toward success. It’s much easier when you can follow the sign posts than it is to say yes at every option presented to you.
3.Know what problem you solve and who you solve it for.
This is crucial as many people go into business, excited for the future with out identifying, who is going to part with their hard earned cash, in order to have a problem solved. This is probably the most elusive part of starting a business and is the part that will make the biggest difference to your results. The clearer you are on what problem you solve and can communicate it in your clients language, the more successful your business will be in the long run.
I cannot stress it enough, people want to know how, what you do, will help them solve their problem. They aren’t interested in ‘what you do’. I know this sounds harsh, however, the earlier you get this and apply it to your business and marketing, the easier your business will be. Whilst there are many more steps to implement, these are three of the most important. When you get this right, everything else becomes easier.