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If you are a one person business owner, you’ve probably had this occurrence. A business/professional issue. A personal issue. Something that causes you to get into a funk – aka you don’t want to get out of bed and your energy is totally lacking. You have no creativity.
I’ll share two tips for how you can embrace the funk…without letting it destroy your business.
Prefer to read it? Or don’t have any headphones handy? The edited transcript is below.
Why you need a vision board before you start your business
This is Malla Haridat here, helping you kick start your business.I am a small business coach and I love helping folks take their business to the next level.
I just came off of a week of having a nasty, nasty sinus cold, so if you still hear me very nasally, my apologies in advance.
But I’ve just had something in my spirit that I want to get out.
What is a Vision Board?
So, first of all for those of you that may not know what a Vision Board is. A Vision board is simple.It is you basically sitting down with your six-year-old self-cutting out visuals or words that call to you.
Because you can do this 1 thing and set better business goals next year
Take an honest look at your numbers.
I know. This isn’t the “whoo hooo we are goal setting ” moment that you wanted. No planners. No cool strategy maps. No vision boards or business plans.
Instead, it’s a quiet moment of reflection for some. Or a “Let’s come to the altar and pray ” moment for others.
All you need to do is ask yourself two questions:
How much did I make?
How much did I spend?
Do not JUDGE your wins or “fails”
If you are anything like the Type As I often work with, you’ll feel like a failure. It’s easy when you start thinking about your plans for the year. The comparisons with other businesses. And what you know in your heart your business can earn.
Instead consider yourself a researcher. Someone gathering data. Numbers that don’t mean anything. No stories.
Don't drop the cash 'til you figure out the full impact
Short answer: You look professional and it’s a tax write off. But you might want to dig deeper.
How does this decision affect your business model, your brand, and your leadership style?
I know you are probably thinking: “Malla, I’m just getting a phone. It’s not that deep”.
Yeaahhhhh. It is. Adding an additional expense has a direct impact on your business. You want to consider a few things.
Extra time – Someone has to answer it
Extra money – There is a new bill
Extra time – It can be a distraction
So how do you decide?
Before you jump into the final decision, consider creating a decision matrix. While it takes time to develop, it will save you in the long term. It’s pretty likely that you’ll make future business purchases. With the decision matrix in place, you’ll make them based on strategy AND your gut intuition. So consider these ideas:
Over the years, I’ve encountered many people who want to start a service business. Rather than working any longer for “The Man”, they opt to hang up their own shingle. No more office politics. No unfair promotions. Just the projects that they are enjoy. And checks that they don’t have to share! Yessssssssssss!!!
Most working professionals do their research. So they start out like this:
Print business cards
Get a website
Start social media accounts
Locate office space
Wait for clients to show up
And for many, the client “wait” isn’t long. Friends and family are happy to oblige during the first few months. They are celebrating and happy to get quality services at a rock bottom rate.
But after a few months, the love of friends and family is gone. The list is tapped out. And there are no new recommendations. So the marketing marathon begins:
But the results are ……crickets. Alot of proposals. Alot of “that’s too expensive”. Alot of “If I had money”.
Because the biggest thing that many service professionals miss is:
But why is it so FREAKING hard to find these people on a regular basis????
You get all dressed up for a networking event. Pass out a ton of business cards. Schedule follow up via phone and email. Spend hours on social media posting, liking, and following. (Well, maybe it was only 20 min. ‘Fess up. I was there too laughing at jokes on #BlackTwitter! lol)
You’ve even tried paid ads and special incentives. The online marketing gurus constantly talk how this stuff works and suggest ads.
But…nothing. Crickets. Silence. You’d have an easier time finding an empty register at a Back to School penny sale.
I waited patiently. I knew the question would come up. It always does when I talk to someone who recently got the entrepreneurial “spark”. You know that moment when you realize that your passion is something you can get paid for.
So I can just put up a website and people will buy my service?
There is whole lot between “build it and they will come” and your idea. You’ve got to invest in the marketing, planning, and host of “oh my goodness this is tough” moments.
Yes, you need a website. But before you spend a DIME, consider these three ideas FIRST: