Starting a business can be daunting but you can totally step through the fear if you have confidence, clarity and action steps to launch your business. Ditch perfectionism. In the entrepreneurial world, there is no such thing as perfection as your business will evolve and take twists and turns right from day one. So how can we break through the idea that everything has to be perfect right out of the box, just trust in our confidence and have clarity around your business idea.
During your life, every success you have ever had leads to confidence in your own abilities. This could be a success as a child in academics or athletics. Perhaps it was the great summer job you aced as a teen or work success you have had.
You can even gain confidence from things that haven’t gone so well. That promotion you deserved but didn’t get, the salary increase you expected but didn’t happen. Everything we do in life adds layers of confidence. We learn from both events that went well and those that didn’t.
When starting a business assess your skill set and align them with the type of business you are thinking of launching. You may have all the technical skills but lack the people skills to attract new customers, network within the business community or sell your products. If you aren’t confident in these areas, there are so many training courses you can take at your local college or online that even introverts can master these skills.
If networking isn’t your strength, check out the article we wrote for She Owns It for tips to break the ice when networking. Never underestimate the power of networking. Most people genuinely want to help fellow entrepreneurs, especially startups. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who are connectors and ask for their help. Because one day, once you are established, you will be returning the favour for others. And if you haven’t signed up for LinkedIn, you are missing out on the greatest business online networking tool. It isn’t just for job hunting it is for connecting with business professionals.
If public speaking is not your forte, consider joining your local Toastmaster chapter to gain the speaking confidence you need. One business professional I know uses the local toastmaster chapter to test out blog post ideas. The feedback from the toastmaster speech shows whether the topic resonates with an audience or not.
What else should be in your confidence toolbox? In today’s world, some kind of social media presence can help you gain traction for your startup. Either train yourself up to have that confidence online or if you have a budget, hire professionals to learn about your branding voice and have them be your social media spokespeople.
If you have confidence in your abilities, next on the list is clarity. Clarity about your business objectives, why you are launching your business, who your target audience will be and what business problem your product/service will solve.
Many people start businesses because they see a problem and have found a solution to cure the problem. Often this comes from their own direct experience with the problem. This is their moment of clarity, their ‘why’ and the driver of their passion to launch a business to cure the problem.
In your moment of clarity here are the essentials to make your dream into a business
- Who in the universe has this problem you are solving? You need to narrow down the people who need your solution.
For example, if your product is pet armour which prevents pets from being grabbed by predators such as coyotes or hawks, then you are looking for pet owners of small dogs as these are the ones with the problem.
If you are providing HR training courses, you need to get clarity around both who you are training, ie executives, managers, supervisors or teams and what skills training make up your courses. Sometimes, you can get this clarity by conducting mini training courses to get feedback from attendees.
- Who else has solved this problem (ie competitors) and is your solution different or similar?
If you can find a unique or disruptive way of solving problems then you are not providing a cookie cutter solution and the chances of your business longevity are much greater. One great example is the burger chain A&W. They are solving the problem of the large and growing number of people who are vegetarian or want to eat healthier. Their solution is a plant-based burger that tastes just as great as their standard beef variety.
Once you have the confidence, clarity, and action steps, you are ready. Yes, take action steps right now! If you use the SMART goal formula you will not waste your time going around in circles.
S – specific
M – measurable
A – actionable/achievable
R – realistic
T – time sensitive
- The first action step for starting a business is to map it out on a business model canvas. Here is a link to this great YouTube video that explains the business model canvas concept. It will give you great clarity.
- The second action step if you have a physical product is to make a prototype. Using a crowdfunding campaign such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo you can test your prototype on your prospective target. It’s a great way to determine a) the need and b) the fit.
- The third action step is to write a business plan (it doesn’t have to be complicated) but it will validate your thinking and force you to put together a financial plan of how much of money it will cost to get started.
- The fourth action step is to LAUNCH YOUR BUSINESS.
If you are still on the fence and don’t have the confidence, clarity, and action steps to launch your business in the next year and need help, we are happy to help you. Contact us for a complimentary call to find out how we can speed up your business launch.
Marketing Strategist and web designer at XL Consulting Group. Author of Fabulous Fempreneurship, a startup guide for women entrepreneurs.