You are ready to get started in your entrepreneurial journey. You have an idea and you are so excited to leave your 9-5 to explore what can be with your business and to finally start living the life that you dreamed of. Sound familiar? Maybe you’re in that same boat.
Welcome to the Coaching Hive Podcast. I am thrilled that you’re here with me today to talk about this concept of starting your business.
We all know that it’s an exciting time. It’s a time filled for some with stress, with uncertainty, but with infinite amounts of hope and exploration in the moment. But I hear time and again, how do I actually do this? I have this idea. I’m ready to go. I want to start my business, and maybe you’ve already jumped in, but inevitably the question comes back to what exactly am I supposed to do? What steps am I supposed to follow?
Today, that’s what I want to talk with you about. I want to talk with you about some of the first steps that you need to take as you build your business so that you can live the life that you’ve dreamed of, so that you can stand out among all the other entrepreneurs as the go-to resource.
If you are ready, if you are excited, let’s go ahead and jump in.
Starting a Business
Starting your own business is a really exciting time and a terrifying time in life. Some of it is because there’s a lot of uncertainty with many things in life. There aren’t a set list of steps to follow.
Think about pulling a box of rice. Maybe you like wild rice. Pull your box of rice out of the pantry and you look at the side of the box and it says, step one, put this amount of water in the pot. Add some olive oil or some butter. Bring it to a boil. Add in the spices and the rice packet, and then bring it back up to a boil cover. Reduce the heat to simmer, cook for 20 minutes, then fluff it up and enjoy. Really simple, right, straightforward set of instructions to follow.
Building your business doesn’t seem to come with that exact same really clear cut set of steps because there are so many different ways to build a business and so many different things that you have to take into account based on who you are, what you’re trying to do, and what your business is going to become. But there are some things that you should always do.
When I started the Coaching Hive a couple of years back, I did not do all of the things I’m about to share with you. In retrospect, it was not a smart idea to skip these steps. I had to make changes that I would not have had to make if I had done what I’m about to share with you at the very start of my business.
I want to save you time and effort and energy and money today with this episode. I hope that you’re ready for it. If you have not yet grabbed a pen and paper or your notebook or whatever it is, you wanna take notes and go ahead and do that.
Step 1: Research
The first thing that we need to think about in starting a business is to do some research.
No, it’s not to go out and buy your LLC. It’s not to set up your bank account, although that’s super important. It’s not about creating your very first product or service or offer. It’s actually researching. And this is something like I told you, I learned the hard way. You need to do your due diligence at the beginning of any business.
Start thinking about who the potential market for your product or service might be. What are they actually looking for? What do they need? Is there a big enough market for what it is you want to offer? Yes, there are going to be people that are brand new to a space and absolutely take off. But for the most part, as an entrepreneur, you want to build on the momentum that someone else has already started. It is so much cheaper and less time intensive to go ahead and walk the path that others have walked and add in your unique accent to the path or your unique flair to the service, the product, the offering, whatever it is. So start with some research.
Find out the size of your potential market. What are they actually buying? What are they paying for the services or the products that you’re thinking about offering? Is this a really new market that doesn’t have any tested offers in it? That’s kind of a red flag. You might wanna stop and think about something a little bit different. How much competition is there? Competition is actually really good for your business because it means that people are out there buying what you want to offer.
Competition is a good thing, but there’s a sweet spot to it. I love the way Ryan Levesque talks about the sweet spot for the market, and it’s the not too big, not too small kind of sweet spot. If you think about Goldilocks and the not too hot porridge and not too cold porridge. It is the middle point.
That’s really the sweet spot, and that’s what you want for your market size. You don’t want something that’s super big because then it’s gonna be hard to stand out. You don’t want something that’s super small because there isn’t as much of a market for it. There aren’t going to be many people wanting to buy what you’re offering in your business, and that is certainly going to impact your bottom line revenue.
So the first step is to do some research. Find out what’s already out there if you can. You might even consider buying some of the offers out there just to see what they’re like, to understand how the entrepreneurs are talking to their clients, what they’re offering, how you can stand out from the crowd, be that go-to resource that has something a little bit different, a little bit special to offer.
Step 2: Planning
Start with your research, then start planning. Start outlining the key components of what your business is going to look like if you are bringing in partners into your business. If you’re bringing in a virtual assistant or someone to help with marketing, what are their roles going to be in this startup process as your business is getting its feet on the ground, getting its feet under itself?
Do some planning.
Step 3: Financing
Then think about money financing. Building a business doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but there is usually some kind of financial output to get going. Like I said, it doesn’t have to be a lot, but if you’re buying a website or you are paying for email marketing, you’re going to be spending money on subscriptions or services that you need to take into account.
And if you can keep your costs low, all the better. But if you do need financing, go ahead and research what that’s going to look like. What’s available to you as a business. This is a great time to get your accountant involved, making sure that you understand the pros and the cons of different types of financing for the way your business is set, getting set up.
Step 4: Implementing
And that brings me to implementing. Did you notice we had a couple of steps before you could really implement anything you needed to do some research? You need to start planning what your business is going to look like. What are the key components? What types of offers might you include? Who are you serving? How are you reaching them?
Start thinking about these things in your planning. Think about money. So financing. Are you going to need to finance anything? Is your startup money coming from your family’s general funds? What’s your plan to pay it back? What does that look like? And then start implementing. So there’s a lot of work to be done before you ever implement.
One of the biggest mistakes that companies make, and I am guilty of this, which is why I’m talking to you today about this topic, is that I didn’t start with the research. So many companies are excited to get into the market to get something out there and going and testing. And that is a brilliant sign because if you’re willing to test and make adjustments, that is the sign of a true entrepreneurial approach. But behind that entrepreneurial approach and love of testing and getting things out, there is the need for a solid foundation.
You may have heard me talk about this analogy before. When you’re building a business, it’s kind of like building a house. You wouldn’t build a house without first pouring the foundation and allowing it to cure. Because if you build a house without the foundation, the house is going to crumble. It’s going to get offset. It’s not going to survive. The wins, the trials of, of Mother Nature, it’s not going to survive. All of that, or even just the test of time. Building a business is the same way. You have to pour that foundation in this case, do the research, do the planning.
Think about the money, the financing before you begin to build your walls, your doors, your windows before you’re implementing. Okay? When you start to implement, again, this is a great time to talk with your accountant or your business lawyer, find out how to register your business legally so that you are set up for taxes and all of the different licenses that you may need to hold as a business owner.
There are so many different tax laws and ramifications based on how your business is registered, that getting some help up front is really a smart idea and can save you some mental energy down the road. So go ahead and get your lawyer or accountant involved as you are registering your company. And then really start talking to people. Start asking what it is they’re looking for.
Get involved in the groups where your ideal client is hanging out. Listen to what they’re saying, what are they having trouble with? What do they wish they had access to? And then start applying that information to your business, specifically your product or your service, your offering. And start thinking about how you can stand out. How is your product different from the product that you researched, that you saw that’s already out in the market? How will you be different? And from there, you can create your messaging. You can create your marketing plan. You are going to really build out your offer so that it is irresistible in the words of Colin Boyd. But as you do your messaging and your marketing, a great place to start is with the StoryBrand framework by Donald Miller and Dr. J.J. Peterson.
That StoryBrand framework is a really good way to gain clarity on what it is you’re doing in your business, who you’re helping, how you’re helping them, what problem you’re truly solving. Because at the end of the day, it isn’t about your offer. It’s not about your product. It’s not about your service. It’s about how you can make someone else’s life better, better, simpler, easier, more rewarding or fulfilling. What problem are you really solving? What problem are you solving? And as you dig into the StoryBrand framework, you’ll find the problem has different levels or layers to it. It’s not just the external problem that we see. It’s also the internal problem, the internal crises that happen that we can help alleviate.
And the bigger philosophical problem that you’re solving for your client with your product or your service, with your business. As you’re starting your business, it’s not about getting to market super fast. That is important. You do wanna get to market. You don’t want to linger. One of the biggest problems I see in new entrepreneurs is that you’re waiting for perfection.
Don’t do that. Perfection is a myth. Perfection is just procrastination in disguise. Jasmine Star is one of my favorite people. She talks about that concept of perfection. We just have to go forward. But you don’t have to go forward without a plan.
You need to do your research. You need to plan. You need to have financing understood, figured out, and then you can start implementing. Now, regardless of where you are in your business, I think there are certain actions that you can take as part of today’s podcast episode.
So here we are at our moment of truth, your action item for the week. If you are a brand new business, please sit down and do some research. Google is your friend.
Check out Google Trends. Look at what keywords are being used, how much market there is for who you want to serve, or the product that you would create or the service that you want to offer. Look at the words that you put into Google. See what kind of search results they return, and check out Amazon. Check out Google. Do all of these things.
If you are in an established business, this is also a good thing to revisit. Go check out your market. See how it’s shifted, especially in the past few years with Covid, with things changing in our world and the workplace changing, now is a good time to revisit your business. How is it functioning? What market are you serving? Has that changed at all over the last few years?
Has it shifted? Who are you serving? Do they need something different now? Have you noticed that your clients are asking for something more, something different that maybe you don’t offer? So this is a great opportunity to do some research, and that’s really where I want you to focus your action item this week is that research phase. It is truly the first part of starting a business.
One of the things that I learned from Ryan Levesque is that he has this formula he follows to find the market sweet spot, and he said, you know what? The times I started businesses without doing the research, those were the times my business didn’t succeed. The times that I took to do that research to find the market sweet spot, to find that just right market size and market concept, that’s when the business succeeded. And what that tells me, what I can take away from that is that research is necessary.
Research can save you time, money, frustration, hair pulling, and probably a few little screams or tantrums. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t jump in without doing that solid research first. You may find that you need to tweak your idea just a little bit so that it will be profitable at the end of the day.
All right, so let’s recap really quickly. We are talking about the first steps to take when you are starting a business, and it’s probably not what you expected. I did not say, go out and get your llc. Go out and get this or do that. Put your product into the market. Do your service offering right now, no. Take the step back.
Take time to first research. Look at the potential market, market, your target audience, the competition out there. What keywords are they using? What products and services already exist that you can add your spin to to make them even better? Then I want you to plan, start outlining the key components of your business. Think about the different roles that people might play, the different things that need to be done.
And then think about financing. What money do you need? Where is it coming from? How will it be used? And how will it be paid back? And at that point, you can start to implement. And oftentimes this requires you to talk with your business lawyer and accountant so that you can set up the legal components of your business, whether that from insurance to tax registrations, to business licenses, whatever you need in order to have a fully functioning and ethical practice or business in place. And you can start to build your messaging and marketing strategy. I recommend that you take a look at the StoryBrand framework and Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller and JJ Peterson. They are fantastic for really helping you get your ideas solidified and taking time to think.
I also highly recommend that as you think about your offer, you want to make it irresistible. This is in the words of Colin Boyd. You want to make your offer irresistible, and that brought us to the action item. Whether you are a brand new business, maybe you’re thinking about getting started or you are an established business, take some time this week to research.
Go check out Google. Check out Google Trends. Check out Amazon. Put in your keywords. See what pops up. Are you using the right words? If not, make some adjustments. If the search results don’t seem to make sense for what you put in, you’re not using the right words. Keep trying, use different combinations.
This can take some time. So be patient. It is well worth it. I want each and every one of you to build a business that you love that is profitable and that allows you to stand out as the go-to resource in your industry. Whether it is a product, a service, a specific set of people that you serve, I want you to stand out as the go-to resource.
Thank you so much for joining me this week. I can’t wait to hear what research turns up for you as you think about your business. Please send me a DM on Facebook at @coachinghivelife, or on Instagram or Twitter @coachinghive, and let me know how your research goes. If you have any trouble at all, again, let me know.
I’m happy to help and share some insights along the way. Until next week, I hope you have a fantastic moment in your business this week. Note it down, enjoy that moment, and then keep moving forward. Keep implementing.
I’ll see you back here next week for another episode of the Coaching Hive Podcast, where a focus on mentoring and community and implementation removes the overwhelm of building your successful and profitable business and adds in a dose of momentum.
Until next time, have a healthy, safe, and happy week.