Starting a small business in 2015

If becoming your own boss is on your list of resolutions this year, speaker and marketing strategist Dana D’Orsi has some advice on how to get started.

Here are Dana’s tips for starting a small business in 2015:

  • Get clear on your “big why” (your bigger mission)
    • Running a business takes a lot of work and comes with many high’s and low’s – Without a compelling mission, it can be easy to quit
    • This is your driving motivation
    • Guides your strategic direction
    • Check out Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”
  • Get clear on your ideal client and understand them better than anyone else – What are they struggling with? What are their biggest hopes & desires? What do they need most right now? How can you provide that for them?
    • May need to do some market research
  • Understand your numbers
    • It can take some time to turn a profit with a new business…How will you cover your family’s expenses while you build your business? Will you make a gradual transition from Corporate (or what you’re doing now) to entrepreneurship? Or do you have enough in savings to jump ship now?
      • If you’re operating your business from a place of financial desperation and you’re feeling like you can’t cover your personal expenses unless you win a new client or you get a new big account, people will pick up on that energy very quickly – and, as my mentor would say, it’s very “client un” You will actually end up subconsciously repelling potential clients during sales conversations.
    • How much money do you need/want to be making each year? Divide that by 12 and that’s your monthly goal. And remember that it’s not just about how much you make, it’s about how much you keep. You need to think carefully about your expenses and make sure you’re investing wisely.
  • Create your roadmap
    • What’s your business model going to be?
    • What do your marketing & sales funnels look like?
  • Understand the importance of marketing & sales – and how to do both authentically (“yuck-free”) **
    • Shift from “sales & marketing” to “sharing & inviting”
    • My marketing strategy – build relationships & provide value
    • 3 low-cost, highly effective marketing tactics – networking, “keeping in touch,” content marketing
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel
    • Model other successful entrepreneurs
      • If others have done something successfully, so can you
      • Research other entrepreneurs in your industry (as well as in other industries) who have been successful – “Success leaves clues”
      • Don’t steal/plagiarize – but MODEL
    • Get support
      • Seek out training programs – or a business coach or mentor
    • Start hanging out with other entrepreneurs – networking events/groups, associations, via social media
      • Entrepreneurs think differently than other people…and it’s important to surround yourself with others who understand what you’re doing and encourage you

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