Do you truly know the first things needed to start a business? Think about it for one minute and see what it is the first thing that comes to mind. Did you think of a logo? Did you think of a website? Equipment?
It's NONE of these! This is crucial information that I did not know when starting a business and I wish I had so keep reading. :)
Before all of the things that I mentioned above that we usually believe we need to start a business, we need all of the things that people don't see. So imagine your friend just bought a new home. You go to see it because you and her are so excited to experience the freshness and beauty of her new space of comfort. As you walk through you see the carpeting, the walls, the doors, the bathrooms and the kitchen. But what do you not see? You do not see the foundation, the plumbing, the infrastructure. If your friend's new home did not have what you do not see could you even see the beauty of what you DO see? Absolutely not. The carpeting would still be in a roll, the cabinets might be chilling in the garage waiting to be placed. The toilets might still be at Home Depot or Lowes. You could see the potential of a beautiful home but in no way would it be there yet.
This is the struggle for many businesses. Life works in this way with all things. You cannot skip the step of creating a foundation if you want a "beautiful home" that represents your budding and bright business. There are energies that we cannot omit because in everything we do has PURPOSE. So let's get into a few steps for creating this foundation.
1. What's the problem you are wanting to solve?
There should always be a problem to solve. More accurately and direct, there will ALWAYS be a problem to solve. So what problem are you wanting, needing, desire to solve? Why are you doing what you're doing for your customers? I know that money is a motivating factor but it is not a problem to solve. What is the reason you are doing what you are doing? How can you help/serve others by providing this product or service? What is your true why? When you have that clear then you can move to the next step!
2. Who is your person?
Who is the person that you are wanting to help or serve? What is her or his name? How does he or she act? What do they say or talk like? What is it that they need? Just one person not the group of people in the biggest crowd that you can ever find. My brand consultant, Londi Lew, is excellent at explaining why this is IMPERATIVE. She explained that if you were in a classroom and you dropped a lipstick on the ground, you then say "Hey can somebody pick up my lipstick?". It may never get picked up! Everyone would think you were talking to everyone else and no one would reach for it. BUT if you instead said, "Hey Susan, can you pick up my lipstick?". Most likely Susan will pick up your lipstick! You should think in the same way for who your person is. Who is your Susan and why does she need your particular service or product? In what verbiage does Susan speak? What excites Susan and what is it that would make Susan choose your product or service. Find your person and only speak to them.
3. How do you reach your person?
In what ways should you reach your person? Notice that I did not say can, because can is easy. But get into the head of your customer, your Susan, where is she/he? Where do they frequent? (I would say think virtually, since at the time I am writing this post we are currently in the middle of a pandemic). Are they mostly on Instagram? TikTok? Facebook? Where are they and how can you reach them? Cultivate an experience on these platforms for them so that they are intrigued by what you offer. Then set up an email list, you can get these for free if you choose, and create this experience even grander there. Make it worth their while to be a part of the community that you are creating.
It seems that only "established" brands have email list