“I want to do something that makes me happy.”
“I want to start my own business but do not know what.”
“I want to start my own business but do not know how?”
“I am sick of my Corporate Job”
These were some of the questions from the aspiring women entrepreneurs during my session at Sheroes . It was an interesting thread of conversation with questions and answers ranging from what to start to how to start. You can still visit that conversation thread here:
In this blog, I deconstruct what makes starting a beautiful solopreneur business happen.
After working with a dozen entrepreneurs and building my own businesses- I can clearly say these are the steps or phases which would lead to unleashing the entrepreneur within you.
Step 1: CLARITY
A. KNOW YOURSELF:
Your business is your baby. And just like your baby inherits your traits and features- your business too is a reflection of you. So what kind of business you want to create- will depend on what kind of personality you are, what passions, interests you have. This is important because you don’t want a FISH to CLIMB. You want to do what you are best at, what makes you happy and what’s most fulfilling for you.
Time to understand these:
- What is your Personality Type?
- What are your Passions: Self-reflection, meditation can help us to know more about your own self.
B. KNOW YOUR WHY
Why are you doing what you are doing? When it comes right down to it, we are in a business to make money but what is your why/reason of choosing this particular path? Let’ see the reason for being/ Whys of a few people here.
- “I am a Graphic designer. I add more beauty to professional communication.”
- “I am a Yoga teacher. I’d like touch many lives to make them experience their true nature through Yoga.”
- “I sell baby clothes. I help mothers pass on the sense of style to their children.”
- “I am a Photographer. I love creating memories for people.”
When we identify your Why, we see something bigger. Your Why is your reason for being. Your Why will have your back when you will experience the ups and downs of life as an entrepreneur. Your Why will remind you why you are doing what you are doing.
We see how every symbol, message, and action you put out in this world creates a brand legacy in the minds of customers, which is really where a brand is in the first place. Why you do what you do? We are in a specific business for a reason.. Knowing your why will not only keep you motivated in business when things get tough but also help you communicate your brand when we market it.
- Write down your WHY
Step 2: PLANNING
Let’s take an example of a cupcake shop of my favorite Client – Shamila who runs a cupcake shop called Heavenly Bites. Shamila wants to cater to anyone and everyone who loves cupcakes and coffee. Now to understand what kind of marketing we should use and what budget we should have, our first step was to define her perfect customers.
So while brainstorming, we came across these types of customers.
- People who live less than 5 km away, who would want to drop in for a coffee date, meeting or just a dessert treat.
- People who would want to order the best cupcakes in town for special event/occasions like Birthdays, Anniversaries, farewells etc.
Now to decide the marketing channel, ad language, we went deeper to find out who exactly these people can be. We identified three such profiles and their personality and hence our communication message for each of them.
- Write down who do you serve?
- What do they struggle with?
- How can you help them?
Step 3: BUILD
Mrs. Batliwala wants to start a Board Games membership Club. She needs to get a Brand name, logo designed, a poster, standee and a web page for registrations. But the designer doesn’t know anything except that he needs to design it all for a Board Games club. What all should she need to know for her to design the most effective brand clothes to attract the right customers?
- Customer profile- Ladies? /Men? Children? Age group? Who are the best customers)
- What are the advantages of the membership? ( What is her Brand Promise)
- Why should people join?
If all the above is known then your brand strategy is in place. Visual Identity(Logo, poster, standee, web page) has a roadmap. Without a brand Strategy, creating a brand visual is like shooting in the dark, you can hit anyone or no one but definitely not your best customers!
A brand is exactly three things:
- The promise that your offering makes to people. (VERBAL)
- The Clothes: that promise is dressed in Brand Logo, colors, business card etc (VISUAL)
- The experience that the combination of the first two gives to its customers (EXPERIENTIAL)
- Work on the Brand Strategy and build your brand.
Step 4: BLOOM
When a business is blooming, it attracts the best customers. It has a sustainable growth. It has satisfied and happy customers.
How to get people to know you/buy from you online. Imagine when a friend introduces you to someone in a party, you don’t greet that person with a hug. Do you? You simply say HELLO with a nice smile. And then. Let’s say you start talking because of your hearty big smile, you come to a stage where you exchange your phone no.s, and then when you get pally and meet again, you HUG and greet. And that’s exactly how it should be with your customers. You take your probable customer through a journey from the cold prospect –to a warm prospect and then to a Hot prospect who is ready with the wallet in his hand to make a purchase with you. When you see an advertisement, do you immediately buy soon after seeing that promotion?
You actually listen, see, experience it and maybe after the 5th time, if you have enough good gut feeling, you buy. In general, a customer needs 5 different touch points (see, listen, get feedback, try, research) before they are ready to make a purchase with you before they are ready to park their trust into you.
SECRETS TO GET BLESSED WITH A BLOOMING BUSINESS
- Say Hi (CONNECT): You connect with your best customers online through relevant social media platforms with content that offers value- content that’s interesting to them, makes them connect to you, makes them engaged to you.
- Shake hands (COMMIT)Now the same audience that is engaged to you- who is already connected to you-you ask them to trade their Time, Energy, resources for your content (eg: ask them to share their contact details in exchange of your free valuable video, call, sample etc)
- HUG (CLOSE): Now to these set of people who have committed to you are most likely to buy from you because they have touched base with you couple of times and they have parked their trust into you. Now you present smart, highly relevant and sequenced offers to them guiding them towards the point- of –sale
ARE YOU READY TO START YOUR SOLOPRENEUR BUSINESS?
If you are ready to start and build your solopreneur business, I have the perfect place for you to start. Get my E-guide “Create an Epic Brand in your Budget” here and one hour of Free Business Coaching.