Victoria Jones, founder and director of Upsiders shares the six steps to launching your dream business and kick-starting your entrepreneurial journey.
During my career as a journalist, founding and managing an influencer marketing agency, and now coaching women to build successful businesses, I’ve found these six steps set the right foundation for business growth and long-term success.
1. Find your why
If you have a strong enough mission and inner drive, you’ll be able to navigate the tough times in business and survive the challenges. A clear sense of purpose will enable you to focus on what matters most, build resilience and push forward regardless of the obstacles.
2. Overcome your fears
We all have self doubts and limiting beliefs but this negativity stops us from taking action. Your mindset matters. So train yourself to be positive. Practice a morning routine. Meditate. Visualise yourself running a successful and profitable business. Surround yourself with inspiring and supportive people. The only thing you should fear is never trying.
3. Define your niche
What problem are you solving, and for whom? Target in on that because that’s what will make you and your business memorable. You should be able to describe what you do and for whom in one sentence. For example, “I help ambitious women start and scale their own business”. Think or it like your elevator pitch. When a friend of mine gets asked what he does he doesn’t say, “I’m a copywriter”, he says, “I write words that sell anything”. Practise pitching your business in a catchy way like this.
4. Build an authentic brand
Tell your story. Connect with your community. Don’t spend lots of time and $$$ on fancy logos, websites and branding agencies (you can when you’re profitable). Instead design a basic logo using free software tools, start a digital presence and create content that educates, inspires or entertains your target audience. Pick one social media platform or communication tool that’s aligned with your business. For example, instagram will work well for a personal trainer but a fortnightly newsletter would work better for a consultant. Whatever you choose, communicate with your audience consistently. You don’t have to post everyday but ensure if you decide to do one post a week you stick to it so your audience knows what and when to expect it. And remember It’s better to have a small but engaged audience rather than millions of followers who don’t convert to customers.
5. Listen to your customers
It sounds simple but often business owners talk more than they listen. I’ve found listening to the needs and problems of my existing and potential clients the greatest sales tool for my business. Delve into what problems they have or what they want to achieve (often they need help defining this), then respond with solutions you offer to win their business. By conducting regular surveys and asking for constructive feedback you’ll be able to tailor your services accordingly and get ideas for new products and services to suit their needs too.
6. Value yourself
You’ll get knocked back time and time again but if you believe in yourself and have a strong sense of worth you’ll survive the tough times and build resilience. When I first started my influencer marketing agency back in 2014 I undersold my services and did a lot of brand work for free because I was so grateful leading bloggers and talent wanted me to represent them. Now I value my time and experience because I know I get results. In my experience, women in particular, undercharge for their services so pick an amount that’s slightly outside of your comfort zone and negotiate from there. If people aren’t willing to pay, they’re not the right client.
If you want to explore these strategies and more, Upsiders is hosting a Start and Scale your Business event with a panel of 5 female founders in Sydney, Australia on Wed 5th Feb at 6 30pm. Find out more here