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1 21 Steps to Creating a Business You Love

2 et s get Started i want to help You Create a Business You Love in just 21 steps!

3 what s Your purpose? ne We re talking about business right? Surely that s just about profit, margins and sales? No. Not if you want to create a business you love - and stay in love with. It s about finding your purpose in business. This could easily change and develop over time. So if you don t feel like you have a definitive answer this minute, start with what you have and build on that. It is a journey, but you need to start somewhere. That doesn t mean that we all need to be life coaches to make the world a better place. It might mean that you want to empower the world to eat healthier, work less, be financially free Or you re just the best digital marketeer on the planet! So what s your purpose and what s the purpose of this business? They may be the same thing, but equally they might not. The key is to make sure your business reflects your true skills, passion and yes purpose.

4 Two what are You going to Do? This is probably the most obvious thing to start with, but deciding exactly what you want to do is tough. If you ve got an idea, you should spend a day brainstorming exactly what you want to do, to sharpen the idea. For instance, if you want to start a marketing business, you need to decide exactly what kind of marketing you want to do, what kind of clients you want and what makes you stand out from others. Tightening up your business idea will help you move forward with the next step. You can do this the old-fashioned way, using pen and paper - I love using big multi coloured Post It notes and covering my wall with ideas. Once I ve done that, i capture everything on my favourite mind mapping tool Don t be afraid to do a couple of brainstorms. Often, you might discover that one of the first brainstorms will lead to a whole new idea, which requires a mind map of its own. Start brainstorming by yourself - literally just dump all the ideas you have in your head and put them onto paper. Once it starts taking shape, that s the time to start to get others involved.

5 get planning - Your Business Map After brainstorming, you ll probably have lots of ideas floating around. Now is the time to put them together in a plan. Yes, a business plan, but I prefer to think of it as a map. It should give you to get an overview of all aspects of your business - where you re going to make money and when, what additional skills you need to bring on board and key milestones along the way. This bit might sound boring, but it s actually really important. If you want to get to your Caribbean island, you need a map! how You fund it Now you ve done your business plan, you ll have a better idea of how much money you re going to need to get started. You may not be able to give up your job just yet, or maybe you need to find ways to supplement your income for the first year. This is entirely normal! The key is to start... Even if you can t do everything you want at once, just get started. Find ways to launch lean and bring revenue in early before even considering taking on additional overheads or any fixed costs. Stay flexible. Work from home, coffee shops or shared working spaces. Trade services, call in favours and do everything you can to keep costs down. Don t wait for your product or service to be perfect before you start trying to sell. Your business is a work in progress so the more feedback you have from clients and potential clients the quicker you can fine tune your services. Three & Four

6 Five Look at Your skills Even the most talented people will struggle to do everything. The best way to create an extraordinary business you love is to focus on the bits you love and find other people to fill in the gaps! One of the best things you can do at this stage is to recognise your strengths and outsource or look for help within other areas. For example, if your creative and leadership skills are excellent but your admin skills leave a little to be desired, you might consider hiring a virtual assistant to give you a helping hand. Places you can outsource to include: Peopleperhour Freelance UK Elance

7 BranD You! Now it s time to start to shape your brand identity and image. If you re not sure where to start, and it can be tricky to create something completely original here are a few tips: Six Logo: Don t be confused into thinking that you logo is your brand - its not, but it is an important element of it and often one of the first and most visual things that your clients and potential clients will see. Your logo will form an essential part of your branding, so you want it to give off exactly the right message. If you own a traditional artisan business, a modern, funky design probably won t give off the right image - so think carefully about the brief you give your designers when you are commissioning it. Resources: Fiverr.com 99Designs.com logopond.com Now when you re ready to get those business cards out, there s nowhere better to go than moo.com to get the most beautiful cards made up - ones you actually want to keep! Other things to think about: Your logo is only one part of your brand experience - and yes, even one man bands should have brand experiences! Your brand needs to be reflected across everything you do - the way your s are sent out, your posts on Facebook, the colours and fonts you choose for your website. If you re still thinking How do I know what my brand should look or feel like? a great place to start is with people who have worked with you before. Ask them to describe working with in 3 words - then put those words on post it notes and see what common themes start coming up.

8 write Your Mission statement Seven & Eight This is what you re all about! Now come on, tell us, what s your mission? Why are you doing this. What difference do you want to make in this world?! Your mission statement will be your inspiration when you feel like you re going offtrack. It might seem like you ve got too many other things to do and this is just a nice to have but its important it s the Why behind your business. website You ve got your logo designed and a mission statement written out. Now s the time to launch or revamp that website. Question is, how are you going to do it? Here s a few options... Wordpress you. When thinking about your website, don t just focus on what you want it to look like... What do you want it to actually do? Are you going to sell from it - I hope so - even if you run a service based business! Now find some examples of sites that you love both from a design perspective but also in their functionality. Create a mood board for your site on Pinterest and clip all the websites you love into Evernote with the Evernote web clipper. The clearer idea you have in terms of what you want, the more likely you ll be able to create it! Remember without a clear brief, you can t blame the designer if they come up with something not quite right.

9 Nine social MeDia If you read my blog, you ll know how much importance I place on social media in business. I regularly use Twitter, have a Google+ profile and update my Facebook page on a daily basis. Here are a few of the social networks you should consider: Facebook: You can set up a group or page for your business, where fans can like, comment on and share your statuses. Twitter: Share 140-character statuses with followers, and chat with other businesses, customers and clients. Pinterest: Growing rapidly with a very high female demographic and great for any product or service that can be visually appealing. LinkedIn: The professional social network. Connect with those you meet at networking events, and to research potential employees and clients. Google+: Still in its early days, but Google+ has great potential for brands and has a positive effect on your Google Rankings not unsurprisingly! Now, just because I list a few there, it DOESN T mean you need to do all of them! Far from it, when you are just starting out, I would much prefer that you just focused on one - the one that resonates with you or your audience the most. Then build from that.

10 T en the all important... MaiLing List! Literally everything you do should be focused on building your mailing list. This is your biggest opportunity to turn readers into customers and customers into raving fans! So now might be a good opportunity to gain some subscribers to a mailing list. Set up a holding page on your website, where people can sign up to receive your newsletter, blog, podcast or other cool content. Dont forget the old adage What s In It For Me if you want someone to sign up, what s in it for them? In this case, you signed up and got this lovely little guide to creating a business you love. Now what can you create for your audience that will give them enough value for them to part with their address? It s one of the easiest ways to get in contact with people directly, and there are plenty of interesting ways you can market yourself through them. Once you ve launched, you can them all to let them know you re live, and potentially offer them a new customer discount. Good newsletter providers include MailChimp and Aweber, both of which are quite simple to use.

11 Eleven get Your accounts in order For a lot of new business owners, keeping up-to-date with their accounts can be a headache. If you re a little shaky on numbers, your accounts are probably one item on your To Do list that gets pushed down to the bottom each day. Stop! You cannot create a business you love by pushing this under the carpet and hoping it will go away. If you get on top of your accounts now, you ll be grateful when it comes to the time you need to do your tax return. Resources: Xero.com SageOne.com

12 network Get out there and network - online and offline! After all that paperwork, you re probably dying to get out of the house or office. Now s the time to get out there and meet people. I have to admit I really don t like the whole notion around networking... I much prefer to think about how we can build relationships. It s not about the quantity it s about the quality! Meeting people, talking about your business and listening to the ideas of others is the best way to grow your business. Tweleve & Thirteen ask! Perhaps the most important thing you can ever learn... How to ask. You will never have all the answers yourself, you will never have all the contacts and you will never be able to do it all yourself... So you need to learn to start asking for help. First rule of asking... Offer your help first. Asking is not the same as taking. Remember - give, give, ask.

13 set Your price So, you ve got your product or service, you know what your costs should be, and you know who your target market is. Now how much should you charge?! Hopefully the research you ve done has given you an idea of how much your competitors are charging, and how much people are willing to pay for a similar service. If you re still not sure what to charge and you re offering a service, consider the following: Work out how much you would honestly want (and realistically expect) to earn in a year, then break it down to a monthly and hourly rate. As long as this covers your costs and allows you a profit margin, you re close to the right figure - at least to get you started! find Your ideal CLients! What does your ideal client look like? What do they do? Where do they hang out - online or offline? Once you know who your ideal client is, it will be much easier to find them - then you can start tailoring your marketing to *exactly* those people. No point being a jack of all trades and a master of none. Fourteen & Fifteen Working with your ideal clients will make you a much happier person and a more profitable business.

14 Sixteen inspiration! get outside and find some Without space from your business occasionally, it s easy to lose focus and motivation to hit your goals. Now might also be the time to spend a day with your family or friends. And the best bit? That break will mean you go back to work feeling refreshed and you might even come up with some more good ideas.

15 CoLLaBorate One way of growing your business is by partnering with others. In fact, I would say its the best way. Its certainly worked for me. So, who could you team up with that would grow your reach, customer base or take you into a new audience? What can you do for them? The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. - Aristotle Grab a motivational book or a business one - or both! Sign up for a course. Go to a workshop. Never stop learning! work on YourseLf not just Your Business! Seventeen & Eighteen

16 tweak and tweak some More! Be open to the fact that not everything will work out exactly the way we planned it - at least not the first time! You may have to drop some things entirely, while others just need tweaking. Your first year in business will be a series of trials and it s entirely normal to try something and drop it if it doesn t work. We all do it! Nineteen & Twenty give More than You ve got and You LL receive More than You need When you re just starting out, it can seem all consuming, so you could be forgiven for thinking you need to spend all your time and efforts focusing on you and your business, but actually, the more you find ways to help others in business, the more your business will grow. NOTE: Don t help people simply expecting something in return. Don t tally up the favours - it s not a competition or a game. Help because you can, because you have the skills and expertise. If you pay it forward, it will come back.

17 TwentyOne #hustleandserve If you hustle and serve, you will not only create a business you love, but you will help others do the same and what can be more rewarding than that?

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