I'm super excited about this post and episode because it was inspired from a listeners email to me (Thanks Jen!). I don't know about you, but I often forget that just because I understand and know something doesn't mean everyone in my audience does. I won't go down my armchair psychologist rant and self diagnose on that one, but suffice it to say I've gotten away from some of the basics of what I've learned while growing my business.
Which makes sense.
By now you guys know that I'm a bit of an information nut and love testing and trying new things. However, as fun as all that is, am I overlooking an element that can be serving my audience?
One of my first few podcast episodes I did was "What I Would Do Different if I Were Starting My Business Today". That was 3 years ago. Holy moly have things changed.
Not just in my business, but in how I do things. Fortunately, the 7 things I listed in that post are still relevant, but I'd like to approach it from a little different perspective and include some actual step-by-step direction in hopes that this will help someone.
I'm going to use WordPress as the business example here but really you can use any niche or business, because most of this is going to be applicable across the board.
Let's get into the updated version of "What I'd do different if I were starting my business today".
While I'm a HUGE believer in jumping in and taking action there is something to be said for starting out with some sort of strategy in place. The challenge with this is that you don't know what you don't know, right?
What's fantastic about the internet today (as opposed to 8 years ago when I started), is that you can pretty much find someone who has done what you want to do. The not-so fantastic part of finding someone who has blazed a trail before you is that you can quickly lose yourself in the process but feel like you're doing everything right (copying as opposed to modeling).
Start with the end in mind
I did this recently when I was re-designing my site (which still has plenty of tweaking to do, but hey ho). I really took some time to step back and think about what my goals were with my site. Then I backed into it. I know this sounds really ambiguous, so let's start from a fresh perspective.
Let's say you're starting a new WordPress business. Maybe you're offering website services (new sites, hosting, maintenance). The bare bones minimum you have to start with is what your target income is (and while I am a HUGE believer in setting big goals and the right intentions, we're simply looking for your number here).
Are you replacing income from a job?
Do you need to bring in X amount of money to cover specific expenses?
Do you not have to cover expenses? (have a spouse or partner whose income covers everything)
What business expenses do you have to cover?
Once you have your "number" in mind, then you can back into it. For me this was a little challenging because the industry was totally new to me and I did SO much second guessing because I wasn't a trained programmer or designer... thankfully those days are behind me).
Here's what I wish someone had told me when I was getting started:
"It's just as easy to find someone willing to pay what you're worth as it is to find someone who will negotiate the hell out of your value."
That's where the almighty "C" word comes in.
No, not that word you dirty bird.
I'm totally going to contradict myself here because you will constantly be getting clearer and clearer as your business evolves, so the things you're clear on today will be completely different from the things you're clear on 5 years from now.
You need to get clear on both the tangibles and the intangibles.
Here are some examples of both:
- Income / rates
- Business hours
- Communication (email only? phone calls? in-person meetings)
- Work you do (brochure sites? e-commerce sites? consulting?)