How To Build A Business From Scratch In 2017!
How easy is it to start your own business?
It’s simple you could buy a bar of soap for $1 wholesale and sell it for $3 retail, then you’re in business.
You can buy equipment and rent it out the next day.
You could knock on neighbourhood doors and offer to mow lawns for $25.
You can rent out a room in your house on Air BNB.
Business is simply adding value to the marketplace to the point where someone wants your offer more than they want to keep that money in their pocket.
Your business could be:
1. A service:
Completing a task or producing an outcome for someone.
Here are some examples:
- Tax returns
- Teaching guitar
- Writing resumes
- Lawn mowing
- Graphic design
- Retreats / Workshops
2. A product:
Something tangible such as:
- Body scrub
Bringing a buyer and seller together for a finder’s fee.
I have found that service-based businesses are the easiest to get started and can often be the most profitable and low-stress to manage.
You could start offering a service tomorrow (pre-selling it), without the need for inventory, stock and other factors that may require additional capital.
Offering high-end services have some huge benefits if you’re just starting out.
The higher your price point:
1. The fewer clients you need to acquire hit your revenue goals (which ultimately means less selling).
2. The less marketing you need to execute (as you require fewer prospects).
3. The lower and more specialized your service delivery becomes (because you have fewer clients to serve).
This usually leads to higher profits, more freedom and a great long-term relationship with your clients.
Where can I get business ideas?
Make sure you don’t pick a ‘fad’ or ‘seasonal’ business.
You can go to news agencies and look at the magazine section for niche categories.
If companies are publishing magazines to specific groups, you can be confident there’s already an established market.
To research product ideas you can use a tool called http://terapeak.com.
Terapeak can tell you:
1. What is selling online.
2. When it’s selling.
3. For how much.
4. Who is selling it best.
If you’re planning on building a service based business, then there is no need to use Terapeak.
Trying to come up with a new idea is risky, as there’s no track record proving the concept can succeed yet.
It’s sometimes best to take a proven product, system or service and make it better or unique.
Starting your new business questions to ask yourself:
Do you have a skill that you could teach other people in the form of classes, courses, retreats, workshops, training, lessons or coaching?
What do you do in your current profession?
Could you consult to other businesses or people in your industry?
The 10 Biggest Small Business Mistakes I’ve Observed:
Spending money on a business idea without pre-sales or orders in place.
Get pre-orders for your product or service and use that money to start the business, rather than spending your hard-earned savings on inventory, websites, set-up, branding, offices, staff, product development etc.
Pre-sales also indicate a market exists for what you’re selling.
This means you can use the business’s money to get established, rather than personal savings.
Failing to have a webpage that collects prospective customer contact details.
Set up a basic web page where a target customer can put in their name, email (and or phone number) in exchange for an irresistible lead magnet (sample offer) from your business that solves a big problem for your market.
Offering low-end products or services that require a large number of sales to generate a sustainable profit.
Start offering high-end products or services before you present lower-end options.
You don’t want to find yourself requiring thousands of leads and sales to make a very small profit (especially if you’re relatively new to online business).
Understand that this would also require hundreds of clients to be managed and supported.
If you were selling a service for example:
Would you rather sell 1000 x $100 one-off services to low-end clients?
100 x $1,000 premium packaged services to high-end clients?
The second approach requires fewer leads, sales and better quality clients to manage.
Approach two has also generated the same amount of revenue as approach one.
Failing to plan day-to-day activity in the business and consequently, wasting time on non-revenue producing tasks.
Each day write down three tasks you will complete before anything else gets done, these tasks should ideally be revenue generating tasks.
The rule is:
Don’t start any other task until the first three tasks have been completed.
These tasks may focus on the areas of:
1. Marketing (acquiring new qualified leads) or getting third party introductions to prospective clients.
2. Sales (converting existing leads into paying customers/clients).
3. Follow-ups with potential buyers and enquiries you’ve previously contacted.
4. Up-selling/upgrading existing customer/clients, (inviting them to do more business with you).
5. Asking for referrals from happy customers and clients.
6. Creating strategic alliances with other businesses that can promote your services to their customer base for a mutual benefit.
Acquiring customers ‘one-to-one’ instead of ‘one-to-many’.
Have an online or offline strategy(s) that allows you to communicate with a large group of potential buyers.
(Of course there are always exceptions to this rule. The more expensive your products or services are the more you can implement a 1:1 approach to your selling).
Here are some one-to-many selling platforms to consider:
1. Webinars (online presentations to a live audience).
2. Google Hangouts.
3. Live Steaming (E.g. Facebook Live, Periscope).
4. Broadcast (bulk) emails to a database.
6. Conference Calls.
7. Seminars / Workshops.
8. Video recordings.
9. Radio / television.
10. Online videos.
11. Bulk SMS’s to a database.
It helps to expertly educate your audience on how your product/service can help them for free.
This way a prospect can make an informed buying decision (lowering their resistance and increasing desire).
This usually leads to a much higher conversion (as the more informed someone is the less convincing is required on your end).
If you’re doing one-to-many (group or passive) selling, it often involves the same time investment as talking to a prospective client one-on-one, yet you have the potential to generate a lot more sales.
When you’re selling one-to-one the best result you can hope for is a sale and maybe some referrals.
Use leverage and work smarter.
Poor accounting and cash-flow management.
1. Make sure you keep strict accounts of every cent that comes in and out of the business from day one.
I use Xero accounting software to track income and expenses:
2. Get a great accountant to set you up with the right business structure.
3. Have a budget in place for all revenue that comes into the business.
Hypothetical example (not a recommendation):
30% set aside for taxes.
40% for marketing, overheads and reinvestment back into your business
for future growth.
20% for wages or shareholders (if you need to pay yourself).
10% cash retained in the business as a buffer.
Create your own plan tailored towards your goals.
Manual marketing (trading time) to acquire new clients.
Tap into online and offline strategies that attract new customers 24/7, regardless of whether you put in extra man hours or not (automation).
One of the strategies I’d encourage you to look into (study) over the next 30-days is Facebook Ads.
Using Facebook your business can target prospective clients based on:
3. Interests / Likes
4. Martial Status
6. Profession / Job Title
8. Education Level
11. Income / Net Worth
12. Life Events
13. Buying Habits
And a whole lot more!
The great news is you don’t need a huge budget to get started (in fact you can set a marketing budget as low as $1 a day — although this is not ideal if you want faster feedback and results).
Over time (for example), you might find that your business only requires 5 new leads (enquiries) a day to hit your targets.
In this example, you could test and measure your ads until you have a campaign and budget that delivers this result for you every day.
Social media is also where the average person is currently spending 118 minutes of their time every day (this figure has probably increased since I last checked this stat).
So it makes sense to advertise where we can get targeted engagement and attention.
Failing to ask for referrals.
Start with the person next door before you move across the street.
See if your spouse, kids, neighbours can refer anyone that might benefit from what you have to offer.
This is the fastest and most cost-effective way to start getting clients.
In other words, friends, family and colleagues are where you should start asking for business.
There can often be thousands of dollars to be made from this group (your immediate network) alone.
In a simple Facebook experiment a few years back in 2014, several thousand dollars (probably close to $14,000) was made from a
Facebook timeline post — simply asking if anyone needed a website for their business.
Six people requested a website and two took up other services as well.
The post only took 30 seconds to compose and it just went to friends and family.
Once you have a happy customer/client ask them to refer you three people, (this has been tested).
Question to ask:
Who else do you know that would benefit from a free sample, trial or demonstration of my services?
You can even offer a referral incentive:
1. Cash reward.
2. A percentage off future services.
3. Free gift.
4. Bonus additional services.
Word of mouth is one of the fastest ways to grow your business.
Always remember to ask or else you won’t get.
Failing to offer add-on services & up-sell existing customers.
It is reported to be seven times easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one, so continue to create add-on services to offer your existing client base.
Alternatively, create on-going services or ask a client to re-sign / re-order once a previous offer has expired.
Going to your existing client base with a new offer is one of the fastest ways to bring extra revenue into your business in a short timeframe.
Consider this, how many new versions of the iPhone has Apple released since its inception?
Mind-set: Focusing on the bills (and inevitable troughs) of running a business rather than the opportunities.
Constantly remind yourself of why you’re in business every day.
Create a list of opportunities that can help your business move forward right now and action them.
If you can’t think of one, visit the Yellow Pages, go through your contacts, use the Google Search Engine, pick up your phone and book some appointments with potential joint venture partners or customers/clients (we have a training on this).
Adding to this, write down a list of what you have already achieved inside and outside of business.
This will help to create a reference point that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
Business is hard and only the strong survive, therefore, commit to working on yourself daily and ensure you’re the best you can possibly be.
Remember things that arise usually subside.
For example, if you’re low on funds understand it’s not permanent for the rest of your life, simply data at that moment.
If you have an issue with a client or other business it will soon be in the past.
If you have a bad day (or even a bad month) there’s always tomorrow around the corner.
Remember you are responsible for the results in your business, so never blame external events, that’s when you give up power and control.
Once you have an idea for a product/service you need:
1. Pre-sales — prove there’s a market by getting a paying customer/client before you do anything else.
2. The right setup, there’s 4-essential tools to take your business online and we’ll explore them below.
3. A list of prospective clients/partners and people you can engage with from your immediate network.
4. The ability to accept payments.
5. A short Facebook post asking anyone who’s interested in your product or service (idea) to comment below so you can check in
STEP 1: ASK PEOPLE TO BUY.
1. Ask everyone you know if they know anyone who would be interested in the specific results your product or service can deliver
(you can even start with the next person you see).
*Hot tip: by asking indirectly:
‘Do they know anyone who might be interested’
‘Would you be interested’
- This can be a less polarizing and a softer approach to use.
They may even turn around and say “Yes! I’m interested!”
(Understand that it’s useful to get use to rejection early on in your business career, as it will happen often).
2. Post a Facebook status asking people if they’re interested in what you’ve got going on (feel free to do this regularly for a while).
“Hey Rockstars! I’m just launching my business! Exciting times :) … Is anyone looking for some professional graphic design work done for their business or brand?
Comment below and I’ll check in shortly to see if I can help.”
Simply put together a post just like this for your offer and see what response you get.
3. Once you have paying customers go to your accountant to get expert guidance on the right business structure.
Please get professional advice through this process.
STEP 2: SETUP THE 4-ESSENTIAL STARTUP TOOLS.
1. Create a Facebook Page for initial social media presence, as well as, positioning you to start marketing online:
2. Sign up for a Client Relationship Management Tool (CRM) to collect contact details on your future (or existing) website, you can
use (which is free to get started):
3. Leadpages to build high-converting webpages and a website for your business moving forward:
(I’ve found that most businesses usually only need a ‘Standard’ Leadpages account).
4. Stripe to accept debit and credit card payments from your clients and customers:
STEP 3: START MARKETING — GET ATTENTION!
Your business needs NEW people to offer your products and services to every day.
Businesses start struggling when they become obscure and run out of opportunities to generate revenue.
All marketing needs to be short and simple:
1. Get attention (ask an engaging question).
2. Present a problem and/or promise a result to the target customer.
3. Offer an irresistible sample offer in exchange for their contact details.
4. Present a clear next step (‘click here’, ‘book now’, ‘register here’, ‘download’).
“Feel like a relaxing massage? –
Treat yourself to a soothing 60-minute full-body massage; unwind and de-stress after a long day at work.
50% OFF SPECIAL OFFER — “CLICK HERE TO BOOK NOW”.
A marketing strategy you can test to get targeted attention in the next 30-days:
1. Facebook Ads: you can discover and learn the power of using Facebook Ads to market your business following tutorials on YouTube.
STEP 4: CONVERTING SALES.
Your job is to make sure that people want what you’ve got on offer more than they want to keep the money in their pocket.
That’s when you get a customer.
DAILY SALES HABITS TO DEVELOP:
1. Ask people to buy.
2. Ask for referrals.
3. Ask existing customers to go on recurring shipping, on-going or
4. Ask existing customers to upgrade or re-purchase.
Over time you may also choose to add multiple channels to offer your products or services on, here are some basic examples:
5. Webinars / Online Video.
6. Events / Seminars / Workshops / Information Evenings.
I certainly encourage one step at a time, trying to do many things at once usually leads to very average (even poor) results.
Master one platform before you even consider adding in a second platform.
Understanding Your New Business Questionnaire:
I am starting my (or I am currently in business) business because:
Who do I want to help?
What “BIG” problem am I solving?
What result am I delivering to the marketplace?
My target customer is (your target customer can often be a profile of yourself):
What is something highly desirable that I can offer to help solve this “BIG” problem?
1. A product.
2. A “do it for you” service.
8. Courses (on or offline).
11. Subscription / membership.
My initial product or service is:
My initial pricing is:
Charge more and position yourself as the “Gucci Brand” (premium brand).
In my experience, this usually requires less potential customers (marketing), sales & fulfilment than your competitors, which will save you a lot of time.
You will also attract a premium grade of customer.
Breaking Down Your Targets:
My Initial Income Goal:
My monthly income goal by the 31st of December _____ is: ________
Monthly income goal ______ / by average sale price _____
I need _____ new sales each month to hit my monthly income goal of
My monthly income goal by the 31st of December 2017 is: $10,000
Monthly income goal $10,000 / by average sale price $1,000
= 10 sales
I need 10 new sales each month to hit my monthly income goal of
*Note: In the future you will be able to determine your average customer value which factors in upsells, re-peat purchases and on-going payments to work out this target.
This equation then changes to:
Total lifetime business sales _________
Divided By /
Total lifetime business customers _________
= ____________ (Average lifetime customer value)
Go ahead and make your business happen if you need any support don’t hesitate to send me a message on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aaronwitnish