As I was going down memory lane, coming from my humble beginnings of building my online business outside of China’s firewall, I realized basics were basics no matter which territory, language, or industry. The Key to a successful start is having a clear plan! So, why don’t we revise basics together, beginners or veterans would all benefit from this overall look.
First things first, define your project and focus on what’s important. Also, address the pains that are keeping you away from your goal. Ask yourself, what makes you want to do nothing else but this? Why haven’t you started yet?
As you evaluate what your project requires from you to start, be it ideation, design, communication, sales, production, organization, other skills, you name it. The most important question to consider is, what are you truly good at, what are your strengths?
As an international business mentor, the number 1 struggle I see across borders is to believe you’ve got to do it all by yourself. So, let me break it down for you here, It’s OK to get help, it’s OK to invest in hiring experts, it’s OK to partner up with people who have the skills you need. Permission granted!
Now that’s out of the way, the 2nd obstacle I see is fear. So just know that you have competitors and that is OK to have them, it’s actually great - own your uniqueness and focus on reducing as many customer pain points as possible in order to position your solution. That’s it!
Moving on, we go-ahead to study your market and follow by testing your offer. Dare to build your personal brand, and go out there and engage with your target audience. After having those initial conversations, ask yourself, what are you missing to get started?
A piece of great advice I picked up in China is as follows: Sell it before you make it. This means to create your minimum viable product. A core component of Lean Startup Methodology is the “build-measure-learn” feedback loop. The first step is figuring out the problem that needs to be solved and then developing a minimum viable product to begin the process of learning as quickly as possible. Then, facing the world, park your site, build it, promote it, make the sale, get paid. Depending on what you are selling you will need to sell the ticket to experience a service or sell the product.
And here the golden nuggets: work smarter not harder, craft your value ladder or business plan, know your numbers and focus on improving those metrics you picked weekly, create content that is valuable, use the right tools to automate, be consistent, professional, be human, engage with your followers, and build your audience on the social platform of your choice, preferably, pick three and don’t stretch yourself too thin.
In conclusion, the smartest entrepreneurs and CEOs I’ve met to date follow the Pareto principle or 80/20 rule. The assumption is that most of the results in any situation are determined by a small number of causes. So, how does this fit into our business 101 equation? simple, find the products or services that generate the most income (the 20 percent), and drop the rest (the 80 percent) that provide small benefits. Spend your time working on the parts of the business that you can improve significantly with your core skills and leave the rest of the tasks to other people. As simple as, drop the bad clients and focus on up-selling and improving service to the best clients. Here a few sites that might help you find your dream team www.upwork.com, www.freelancer.com, www.99designs.com (I’m not an affiliate of any of these so try your luck). And, once you’ve found your team, I recommend Google Drive to share documents and www.trello.com to manage your projects, ideas, and put everything to work! As always, your comments are welcome, can’t wait to read them. To your success!!!
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