Episode 339: Show Notes
Many times people come to us and ask where they should start with their business. They’re overwhelmed and feel like they’re having to do so many different things when really they want to focus on doing only the things that actually get results. You can also get totally snowed under by the ideas and opinions of others. The biggest detriment can be wanting to have all the bells and whistles of a thriving business and wanting all of them straight away. We argue for the opposite: first get the foundational things in order and get really good at it before worrying too much about the fluff.
Here is a construction analogy: In the Midwest, houses often have basements because their foundations have to be built below the snow line, otherwise it will crack. The same applies to our businesses: they require really solid foundations. Some of you have to take a few steps back and dig out a basement so that the structure of your business can be healthy and sturdy. A foundation allows you to have stability, and frankly, without a foundation, you don’t have a sustainable business. Today we’re talking about what’s involved in those initial stages that many people are skipping or putting off, so get ready to join us for another fun episode of the Strategy Hour Podcast!
Having Something to Offer Right Now
The biggest and strongest piece of your foundation is actually having something to sell: not something hypothetical or that could be, but something you can sell right now, as it stands. This is called your most viable product (MVP). Many people who are trying to start businesses today are so concerned with the aspects that go around a business such as a website and social media, without actually having a viable product or service to sell! With our physical product people, sometimes you’d spend so much time building the actual product but then everything else falls short because you lack vision and an understanding of what you want the greater impact of your business to be. We have to be careful not to simply play business and go through the motions.
Actually Selling Something and Making Money from It
It could also be that you have all your ducks in a row and know exactly what you are offering, but you just haven’t sold anything. You have to actually go after the sale by finding clients or getting your products listed, for example, so actually making an effort to get the numbers ticking. It’s so much fun playing around on social media and make things look pretty, but that is not getting the money in. Only selling your product or service will get you the cash. Doing all the homework and learning and making everything perfect is not going to get you where you want to be. Those are nice add-ons, but they’re not enough to sustain your business. Everything else – content, social, email, community, Facebook groups – is secondary.
Be Careful of Being Pulled in!
Perhaps you do set the foundation and you do make an offer and sell, but then you get pulled into all the other strategies. So you are selling, and maybe things take off pretty easily and you’re all good, but then you get lured into all the other opportunities – shiny object syndrome anyone? Perhaps because you were so successful from the get go with the other strategies, you felt compelled to try your hand at others. In this mind space, you totally lose track of what you wanted to do to begin with. You end up moving on too quickly, especially in the validation phase. When people praise you, you feel a sense of accomplishment and this can be a big trap if you’re not ready for it. You can avoid a lot of mistakes by being careful not to diversify prematurely.
It’s Never too Late to Go Back
Many people think that once you’ve progressed to a certain level, it’s impossible to turn around and patch up the holes. But it’s not! You can, at any stage, start at the beginning and fill in those gaps and fix the mistakes. Maybe you should reflect a bit and consider how many of the tasks you are keeping yourself busy with are actually bringing in the money? What is your main focus and are the things you are busy doing aligning with that focus or serving it in some way? You might even realize that your relentless blogging has not brought in a single dollar, but you keep doing it because you feel like quitting would mean that all the time you’ve spent have been wasted. But this is not accurate; you can turn the ship around. Endure the brief period of discomfort or embarrassment that might go along with stopping a certain activity rather than keeping for nothing and wasting more of your valuable time. Besides, you don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you’re making a different decision.
Having Something to Offer Right Now. [0:06:22.1]
Actually Selling Something and Making Money from It. [0:10:55.1]
Be Careful of Being Pulled In! [0:17:15.1]
It’s Never too Late to Go Back. [0:24:04.1]