As business owners, we no longer want to rely on employers to provide us with a stable income and place our identities in a corporate brand. We prioritise flexible, freedom-based lifestyles where we have control over our earning potential, and we can build our own identities.
Our aim is to start a business so that we can have more control and freedom.
As business owners, we can be our own global brand! As individuals, we can build our own reputations and authority, create a digital footprint, and become the go-to in our niche. We can make our own impact and not rely on the reputation of corporate brands we work for.
Here’s what we will go through in this blog:
>> The rise of the side hustle
>> The entrepreneurial mindset
>> The business owner definition
>> How business owners become side tracked
>> Building your business for the long term
>> The key that unlocks long term growth
>> How do I start a business online?
>> How to start a business – The Guide
>> The DIY method vs the structured method.
Before you start, know that building a business is a long term goal. It’s not instant and there aren’t shortcuts. Being a business owner requires hard work, effort, and dedication. Because there’s a lot of noise and information out there, it’s easy to be-come overwhelmed and bogged down.
My goal is to provide you with the information you need as a first year entrepreneur.
There are over a million side hustlers in Australia. And there’s good reason for that. Side hustling is a great way to build your your brand and test the market while still earning a steady income from from your 9-5 employment.
Many people are simply starting a side hustle to create an additional income stream. Smart finance means having more than one income stream.
“Never rely on a single source of income.”Warren Buffet
Perhaps you want to escape the corporate 9 to 5 and create a flexible life on your terms. You are over normality and routine. It’s time to pave your own path, create your own footprint, make an impact, enjoy your lifestyle, wake up when you want to, and control your income.
Perhaps you are side hustling today, preparing yourself to go all in and start living your dream life.
To get to a point where you can comfortably leave your 9-5 and build a business with foundations that has long term growth potential requires strategy and planning.
There is one single shift that we need to make first. Your mindset.
Thinking like a business owner means you have set your intention, changed your energy, you will cause action to happen, and you have set your purpose.
Once you ask yourself, ‘How do I start a business online?’ you are causing change to happen, in your mind and the world around you. You are saying, ‘there is no Plan B’.
This is an empowering statement which fuels your determination to succeed.
Of course, doubt will creep in such as fear of failure and what if it doesn’t work. But working on your mindset will help you move through those fears and doubts.
There is a big difference between starting a business and being a business owner. Anyone can start a business. Many fail.
Being a business owner means you are ready to pivot, adapt and maneuver to move forward, regardless of failure and setbacks, to find another path to your success.
To think like a business owner is to think long term about business mechanics such as strategy, systems, automations, hiring. As a business owner, you have long term goals and you are always looking 10 steps ahead to grow and scale.
You have direction, vision, a plan, strategy, and intention.
Budgeting, money, and sales, are terms you talk about daily. You have predictions and projections in place. Gone are the days of thinking about the next month or next 90 days. You think long term.
Shiny Object Syndrome is a common cause for getting new business owners off-track and generally occurs when business owners don’t have direction, focus, and they are uncertain about what to do.
You see what more established brands are doing, or businesses you would like to model, and you jump around trying new marketing, tactics, exciting things you see other people doing. We have all done it. What’s important is to recognise it – and, then stop doing it!
Another side tracker is getting caught up in consuming free content. I can so easily talk about this because, once again, I did this. I put all of my time and energy on free content because I did not have any income from my business so I was scared to invest in paid courses or coaching. This meant though, that it took longer to start bringing in revenue. If I had invested early on, I would have started bringing in income earlier on.
As business owners, we are curious beings and we have a thirst for learning. Whether it’s with a coach, online courses, reading books… New business owners consume a lot of free content.
When you start a business and set the foundations for long term, there are a couple of factors to consider.
1. Growing a business that has long term growth potential means having strong foundations. This means having systems, processes, support, and automations in place to run an efficient business. This may not be something you consider on day 1, but it’s important to realise that these are considerations as your business grows.
Without the proper tools and the right support around you, aka with VAs and a team, your business will not scale as quickly and run as efficiently.
2. Remember why you started your business – for flexibility and to live life on your terms.
You are growing a business that complements the lifestyle you want. For the rest of your life. You aren’t just thinking 1 or 2 years ahead. Instead, you are setting up a business that will prepare you for the long term. You are redesigning your lifestyle.
When you start a business online, it’s important to have long term vision. You aren’t investing your time, energy, and money to start a business for 1 or 2 years. To be in a position for long term growth, there is one element that you need from the beginning. That is passion.
You need to have passion. Your business is your baby, and you are putting in more work and effort than you will have ever done with any corporate job. So, you wanna love it. Otherwise, it will simply be another job that you dread, and doesn’t even provide you with steady income!
Fact. You will spend a lot of time on your business. Days, evenings, weekends… And, it will take time and energy away from other things of your life such as time spent with family and friends, Netflix, holidays…
There’s sacrifice when it comes to growing a business, so you want to be going in with passion. That is what will sustain you, and give you the energy, drive and motivation to succeed.
So before you start your business, think about your passion and how to convert it into a business.
Building an online brand, establishing authority, attracting your dream clients, and laying the foundations so that you are set for years to come, involves strategy.
While in the early days you will need to seek out your clients and be where they hang out online, the idea is that you are laying the foundations so that soon enough your clients will be seeking YOU out online, not vice versa.
And this is what your ideal clients want to see:
Building a brand online involves creating connection and building relationships.
We aren’t able to hide behind the written word, and we aren’t meeting up with potential clients over coffee. Our businesses are online so we need to get out there and show our face. We need to BE VISIBLE.
Be clear about what your business is, who you serve, and what you are selling.
This may change over time, but be specific about your business model and what are your offerings.
STEP 2 – Know your target audience.
Define your client and knowing their demographics, psychographics, and pain points. Spend time doing this exercise, put it on paper.
Why is this important?
It will help you find out where your target audience hangs out online, their struggles, goals and inspirations. This, in turn, will help focus your messaging and content.
STEP 3 – Know your competitors.
I believe there is space for everyone and what works for me, may not work for you. BUT, I still know who my competitors are, where they hang out online, and what is working and not working for them. Knowing this will help you find your space online and how to make your own mark.
Doing this exercise will help define your niche and find what makes you stand out.
STEP 4 – Let’s get online.
You can research and procrastinate all you like, but you won’t start making money until you open those digital doors.
Also, do a photo shoot so that you have a library of good quality, high resolution images of yourself.
Now, you’re online. You have set the foundations. This is the beginning. Things are happening!
STEP 5 – Your content plan.
Building your online foundations doesn’t end there. We want to provide value and to build trust and loyalty with our target audience. So, we need a content plan.
“Content is the new currency”Marie Forleo
Social media, email, blog, video, podcast.
When it comes to content, the key is to be CONSISTENT.
STEP 6 – Build brand awareness and gain visibility.
Next, it is time to step into the spotlight and say, ‘Hey, I’m over here! This is me and this is what I’m all about!’
You want to focus on building brand awareness, building authority, and establishing your presence. Be smart and strategic.
Ways to market your brand, become visible and build brand awareness:
Always look for ways to expand your reach, and always be adding value, whether that’s through education or inspiration.
When you open the doors to your business, your dream clients are strangers. They don’t know you from a bar of soap. So, it’s your task to build the awareness factor, be consistent, show up, add mega value to get noticed, get in front of your target audience, and expand your reach.
You want to get in front of your target audience, but you also want to create connection and you want them to get to know you and love you! This comes down to your content and your offers.
Marketing is the only way to grow your business. You could have the best business with the most transformational offers, but without marketing you won’t get in front of your target audience and you won’t make sales. It all comes down to effective marketing.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform right now. It is still relatively new compared to mega giants like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. So, the algorithm is still generous and you have the capability to be seen by your target audience.
Create a Facebook business page, whether you choose to be active on it now or later. Facebook is one platform that a majority of the population are on and they will go check out your business there. They absolutely will. Plus, it is good to have it set up for when you want to start paid ads and your own Facebook groups.
When it comes to starting a business, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and get lost in the noise. You aren’t sure where to start or what to do, so you consume too much content, you try to copy other business models (unsuccessfully), and you make mistakes. It’s a hard slog, but you get there in the end. It takes a long time and it’s not a direct path. You aren’t bringing in any income so you are too scared to invest in paid courses and coaching. This is the DIY method and the problem with this method is that there’s a lot of trial and error and it will take you longer to grow your business and bring in sales.
The structured method is having support and receiving only information that you need at that time. This method is focussed, direct and gives you the systems and tools you need to start, grow and scale while providing the necessary support and guidance. The structured method helps you to set up and start making sales without the overwhelm.
This method is all about having a mentor, or doing a paid course or program.
That’s it, my friends. It’s time to build a business with strong foundations, that speaks your truth, and changes lives – your life and the lives of your target audience!
If you haven’t checked it out, download my Growing Your Business Before You Open for Business Guide.
Let’s grow your hustle!
Hi, I’m Simran! I’m a marketing and business coach with over 7 years of experience in marketing. Prior to that, I worked as a lawyer.
With all the experience and knowledge I gained in corporate, when it came to starting my business, I didn’t know where to begin. I found starting a business really overwhelming and it prevented me from taking action for a long time.
I don’t want that for you!
That is why, today, my mission is to help new service-based business owners start and grow a thriving and smart business from day 1.
I help you catapult your visibility, community and authority, and build solid foundations that will set your business up for long term success.
Are we friends on Instagram?