Dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur, but not sure how to find your stride in the early days of your business journey? Answer these eight questions for success.
Most entrepreneurial journeys start with a good idea to sell a service or product. However, the desire to self-start a business or to become a side hustler (while juggling a day job) can be daunting and leave you confused about how to turn your idea into a reality.
Meet Melan Magazine writer Louise Chandler and her sister Jocelyn Chandler-Hawkins, creative co-founders behind Find Your Stride, a new creative business inspiration toolkit aimed at empowering intrepid entrepreneurs to promote themselves and what they do using marketing and PR techniques.
The Find Your Stride e-book’s authors have more than 40 years combined experience of consulting with entrepreneurs, charities, and companies. The duo is experienced at helping others to plan and deliver content and campaigns that make a positive difference. They have kindly shared eight tips to support Melan Magazine readers who are just starting out their business journey.
Read on to consider and answer their eight questions to help you hone your business idea for better chances of success.
Why do you want to start a business?
Are you massively motivated to provide a service or sell a product that will help people? Maybe you have discovered something innovative that will make a difference? Whatever it is, hold on to your why and use it as a key message to power your dream so you stay accountable and focussed.
What is your USP?
What is your ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ and why does it make you unique in a competitive market or industry? If you have a unique perspective, area of expertise or level of knowledge that excels, don’t be afraid to explore this and share it with people to get feedback. Take time to research and brainstorm this so you start strong and with confidence.
What do you want to achieve with your venture?
Ensure you consider your aims and objectives and set yourself a sales target or goal of how many products you want to sell or the number of clients you wish to attract from a specific industry. If you’re smashing the target, you’ll feel great and if you’re not achieving it, you can refine your plans to go after what you want to feel fulfilled on your entrepreneurial journey.
What are your brand values and personality?
This is defined as the beliefs that you, as a company, stand for and they will provide a compass that guides your brand story, actions and behaviours. Here’s an example: think about the commitment to your customer and how you will interact with them using email, social media, whatsapp or via a phone number. Operating with authenticity is vital because nowadays consumers and customers are very quick to tell you if they’re not happy (normally on social media).
Who is your audience?
Who are you talking to when you sell and promote your services and products? How much do you know about them and how you can help them to solve a problem? Understanding this will help you be useful and supportive of your customer, so you are satisfying a need and hopefully providing an essential service or product.
How will you promote what you do?
Often overlooked by new entrepreneurs, this is an important consideration. What’s the point of doing great work, but failing to tell people about it? Sometimes we don’t even tell our nearest and dearest about our business idea so how will others know about it? Create a plan that will help you to launch your new venture with purpose and momentum so you’re attracting new customers and gaining feedback along the way. In Find Your Stride we wrote 14 different sections to help readers consider how to promote their business ideas such as planning a press release for the media, creating a podcast or organising an event.
How will you keep yourself accountable to your plans and keep momentum going?
Being in business can be busy and tiring so try to keep a close network of allies and cheerleaders nearby. If you have close family or friends to encourage and motivate you – tell them about your ideas and your plans from the start so that they can check in with you regularly. This helps to keep you accountable while also offering a friendly ear to listen when you come across challenges.
How resilient are you?
How good are you at taking criticism and feedback? Launching a business can include setbacks, frustrations and challenges that you probably never anticipated, and you may encounter a lot of negative criticism and feedback. How will you handle it? If you do encounter challenges, take time to step back from the comment and see it as a way to improve. Turn criticisms into a positive to help move you forward and to grow stronger.
To learn more about Find Your Stride and to buy the toolkit, visit the website.