Right now, I’m working with a group of 36 awesome women in my new Launch Yourself course. Every week, we get together over the phone to talk about one aspect of starting their business. At the end of each call, I assign some homework for them to complete during the week. For example, in Week 1, they were tasked to define their brand and their ideal client/customer. For Week 2, they had to create a website. We’re in Week 3 now, and they are all working on their sales language and pricing models.
What I’ve noticed is how effective this method has been so far in helping people stop procrastinating and stay productive. Having a concrete task to do each week encourages you to keep moving forward in your business little by little. I call this taking consistent baby steps. There are a lots of things you can do to get your business off the ground, but knowing what you need to do doesn’t matter if nothing ever gets done. Here are a few baby steps you can take today. And I DO mean today
Ask a Successful Business Owner How They Did It
When I first started working for myself full-time, I reached out to several other consultants who I had been friendly with in my role at my day job. They were all happy to chat with me over the phone or meet for coffee so I could learn about their path. Chances are, you have at least one friend, college buddy or even a casual acquaintance who is a business owner. Now is the time to reach out to them to ask them about their journey – what they did to get to where they are today? Caveat: if this person is a career or business coach, please don’t ask them to coach you for free or to “pick their brain” on every little thing you have questions about. They probably get that all the time and it’s annoying. Simply ask if they’d be willing to share with you how they got started in their business. Sweeten the deal by offering to take them out to a restaurant for lunch or dinner – your treat.
Create a Website for Your Business
In 2013, every business should have a website. Clients and customers now expect you to have a presence online. And I’m so thankful for advanced technology because now, you don’t have to pay an arm, a leg and a kidney to get your website designed. The easiest, cheapest, fastest way to do this is to set up a website using simple blogging software. You can literally get your website up and running in minutes – for free! – using a blogging platform like WordPress.com or Blogger.com. If you still don’t have a web presence yet (or know you need a more professional-looking one) download my free ebook, The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Blog that walks you step-by-step through this process.
Plan to Attend a Networking Event in Your City
When you’re just starting your business, it’s important to connect with as many potential clients and customers as possible. Jump at the opportunity to attend networking events related to your industry. It’s one of the best ways to find clients and make industry contacts that may hire you at a later date or recommend you to their colleagues. You may have to pay a fee to attend conferences or events, but they are usually well worth the price. You’re paying to chat with a roomful of your target clientele or potential collaborators. And remember, just one new customer may enable you to earn back the cost and then some! You can find local events and conferences though your city’s newspaper, chamber of commerce, Meetup.com or even Eventbrite (just type in the name of your city).
Which one of these baby steps do you need to take today to get your business off the ground?
P.S. If you need some one-on-one support to help you move forward, check out my business coaching options to see how we can work together.