Should I start a business right now? What a great question. These are uncertain times, so the answer to that question is different for everyone. However, if you’re sitting on the sidelines waiting for your business to re-open or for your clients to come back, now may be a great time to start a side hustle.
It’s even more relevant to consider starting a business right now if you have a job that may never come back. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, there is a good chance many of those who have been laid off or furloughed will never return to those jobs.
That sucks, I get it…. and it’s also a great time to think about starting your own business. If you’ve decided it’s time to make that jump, you’re on the fence or you just want to explore what it takes to start a business, you’ll what to check out this episode.
I’ve coached over 1000 people over the last 15 years on how to build a successful business from the bottom up. Heck, I’ve built 6 businesses of my own. In this episode I take you through the foundational steps to starting your business. From what business to start to marketing your products and services, I give you the straw dog version of what it takes.
I hope you enjoy!!
Referenced in this episode:
How to Create 10 Products from One Idea
1. Speaking engagements
2. Community Events
3. Charity Events
4. Radio – be interviewed –
5. Radio – Have a blog show
5. TV – be interviewed
6. Referral program
7. Joint ventures
8. Press releases
9. Article marketing
11. Social media groups
12. Expert column
13. Email marketing
14. Knock on doors
15. Mobile marketing
16. Online classified ads
3. Advisory Boards
4. Radio – buy advertising
5. TV – infomercials or ads
6. Facebook ads
7. Linked in ads
8. Google+ ads
9. Direct Mail
11. Ad cards
13. Pay per click
Or listen on your favorite player:
Watch the video on YouTube! Here
If you have questions, please send an email to
I’ll answer your questions on an upcoming Q & A podcast.
Want to learn more about how to be a successful entrepreneur?
Download your free ebook 10 Steps to Financial Freedom.
Here’s the Transcript
Welcome to the breakaway entrepreneur podcast where master business coach Janet Fish and her special guests explore the characteristics and traits that lead entrepreneurs to success. Get ready for real conversations of what it takes to overcome real challenges and break away from your competition. here’s your host, Janet Fish.
Janet Fish 0:32
Thanks, Ben, I really appreciate that. So I, there’s been something on my mind the last couple of weeks, and I just wanted to share it with you for this episode, and it came up on last week’s episode with three amazing women, you should go back and listen to that we talked about coping with COVID. And kind of one of the things that I want to talk about today has something to do with the situation we’re in as it pertains to COVID. A lot of people I’m hearing from a lot of my clients, and just a lot of people in general, that they’re worried that their jobs aren’t going to come back. And I think that that is a possibility that their jobs may never come back. And so what do you do about it. So I’ll give a case in point. And this isn’t really something, somebody whose job will never come back. But one of my colleagues, Dawn is a photographer, and the March, mid March, all of his gigs disappeared, all of them corporate gigs, weddings, we just weren’t doing that. And it has very been very slow to come back. And so he’s decided to follow his passion and following his skills. And so he started a podcast, and started a business. He’s a relationship connector, business guy, really smart. And so he has decided to use this time as his business is on hold, to start a new business. And I don’t even think for him, it’s a new business. I think it’s a business that he had started. And I think his story is that he got pregnant while his wife got pregnant. And he put it on hold. And now However, many years later, this COVID pandemic has given him the opportunity to reconnect with that and see what he can do Giving that a go. For him, his business will come back. But he’s had to react to our new reality. And I know that there are a lot of people who have jobs, corporate jobs, or jobs, working for other people that actually may never come back. So that’s what I do for a living with a lot of my clients has helped them decide. They want to start a new business how to do it. And so I want to share with you some of those thoughts if it is at all, even just a thought in your mind that you might want to start a business. How do you do that? And what’s it look like? And so the first thing I would say is determine what business you want to start. And I always say look at your skill set. And a lot of people say follow your passion. And I think that’s important. But I don’t think it’s the only thing in fact, I don’t think it’s the number one thing, maybe it’s the number two thing, but I don’t think it’s the number one thing I think the number one thing is to follow your skill set, what have you done in the past to make money? What skills have you used? And that just because I say what have you done to make money, you might have worked as a I don’t know, as an inventory manager at some company or something. The skills were project management, the skills were detailed analysis, the skills or leadership skills or management skills. So look bigger than the job title that you had. But what skills have you used in the past to make money. Also think about what people say you’re good at. So I have a good friend who we started her in an organist organizing your home business. She was working and then she had some children and stopped working and wanted to go back but did not want to go back to corporate America or job. She wanted to start her own company. And she’d been cleaning closets and organizing for herself and her friends and her family. And I said well, why don’t you give it a go wanted to charge for it. I couldn’t do that. I’m gonna hear a lot a lot. I couldn’t do that. But you can and people will certainly appreciate it more if you do charge for it. I will tell you my little story around that many years ago, because I stopped giving coaching away for free many years ago. I used to give it away for free to friends and family. Well friends mostly. And
I did that and no one ever did anything that I told them to do ever did anything that I suggested that they do. So I realized that that wasn’t working for me giving away my my thoughts and my skills for free, weren’t, weren’t serving me and they certainly weren’t serving anybody else. So I said, charge for it. And my suggestion is charge twice as much as you think you should charge for it. And so start with what you’re good at, what skills you have what things people might have told you you’re good at. And then there’s always the passion, follow your passion. I’ll give you another story on that many, many years ago, when I first started coaching, so 15 years ago, one of my first clients worked for a big company in Silicon Valley, the Bay Area, and she was in HR. And she wanted to start I forget what business it was, I think it was real estate, or was so long ago, I don’t remember. But I remember that I said, I don’t think that’s such a good idea. You don’t know anything about real estate. So you’re going to go start a company, having absolutely no skills and knowing absolutely nothing about that. I said, I think you should take your skill set from around HR, and start to build a business around those skills, that doesn’t mean you have to go into HR. But to use those skills, I think she fired me as a coach and went on to start a real estate business with another coach, and she never got anywhere and lost all her money. And Haha, I was right. But anyway, I digress. So follow your passion is at number two, find a way to take those skills and and turn them into building something around your passion. Or I really like to say, it’s amazing when you’re doing something that may not be the most thing you’re most passionate about, but you’d like it and you’re good at it. And money starts coming into your pocket. You can get a passionate around that anybody can get passionate about the money coming into your bank account. So I always get passionate about money coming into my bank account. So if it’s even, I’m doing some things that I don’t love to do, always making money as a good feeling. And just know that as you grow, you can you can hire out some of those things that you don’t like to do in your business. So first thing is determine what business you want to go into. As a coach, I would tell you, you can’t go into building 10 businesses. So I recently coached, I did a strategy session I didn’t coach because he wouldn’t listen to me. So I said, we’re not really a good fit. But he came to me and said, I’ve been wanting to build a business and I’ve been dabbling in it. And I’ve got these six ideas of what I want to do for a business. And they were they weren’t six ideas in, in the same industry or even in the same world, they were six ideas that were all over the place. And I said you can’t build a business that way. I mean, I’ve coached 1000 people, you can’t build a business, that way you cannot build a business, it is hard enough to build a business focused on one thing, it is impossible to build six businesses at one time. So I set him on his merry way. And I ran into him on a zoom call recently, and guess what? Still in the same spot. So pick one thing. And I’ll even give you some exercise and exercise to go through to help you determine what that one thing is. So write down all of the different ideas that you have. And then under each idea, right? What are the products that you would sell, and then how much you would sell them for anyway, I go, this is a wild ass gas, I get that. But just it’s it’s a fun little exercise just it’s going to end up with a gut reaction or an intuition about what works or what could work. So just bear with me. So all of the different industries or businesses that you would want to start,
and then what products you would sell, and then how much you would sell them for broad strokes, spaghetti on the wall, then real spaghetti on the wall is I want you to do what we call a revenue forecast. And so that is over the next three months. How many of each of those things do you think you could sell? And so what that does, even though you may have absolutely no idea what that does, is make you really start to think about how hard would it be to sell this book, and then group coaching and then one on one coaching for you know, $1,000 a month? How hard would that be to sell versus selling something else? And so, everybody I’ve put through this exercise and there’s been many, many people I’ve put through this exercise, they always come out with a gut reaction, a gut feeling for what business they think would be the best for them to start and I always caveat it With and you’re not tied to it, you’re not married to it forever. So if it’s a business that you start, and you decide it’s not the right one, you can always, you can always move. And I would submit to you that the work you’ve done as you build the business on the foundational components that we’re going to talk about today is work well spent, regardless of what business you’re in. So it’s not like, Oh, I decided to go into coaching. And that didn’t work. Or I decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do. So now I want to go open a store, whatever. That doesn’t mean that the work that you’ve done is, it’s all going to be good skills, that you’re learning on how to build a business, that will serve you in whatever business that you that you decide to, to build. So those are the first couple of steps determine what business you’re in. So once you’ve determined that business, the first step, once you’ve gotten that this is my business, and don’t worry about business cards, and business name and all of that, go out and sell something and the rest of it will come. I mean, I’ve spent a long time selling without a business card, and it doesn’t matter, company name doesn’t matter. So don’t get all caught up and having all of those those things done before you actually go out and start talking to people. But the first thing that you have to decide is Who Who am I going to talk to so who’s my target market, and or ideal client? Who do I serve? So today, I’m just giving you the quick little snippets, if you go to my online course, or we work together, you do some group coaching with me, we go into all of these just in a deep, deep, deep dive. But I’m just trying to give you some ideas. So if you are thinking about building a business or starting a business, these are the things that I’d ask you to consider. So the so target market target market is the is two things we’ve all heard of target market is demographics, male, female, education level, income level, location, interest, what do they like to do? All of those kinds of things? Those are demographics. Those are important. Once you have those, the real important thing is the answer to these two questions. What problem do I solve? Because people buy because they have pain, or they have a challenge, or they have a
And then the second question is, how do I uniquely solve it? What makes you different than anybody else? What sets you apart from your competition, service customer service, please don’t say price, because you’ll lose every time and you won’t make any money doing that, unless you can do volume. But find out what makes you unique in the selling of that, or the bringing those products or services to your target market, your ideal client. So once you’ve got your ideal client, then what are you selling? Right there, oftentimes, people put what you’re selling before who you’re selling it to, I can go into a long discussion on that I don’t believe in that, I believe you find a problem, and you solve it with products and services. So when the next thing is, what products do you have. So I have a blog post that I will post in the show notes, let me make a note. It’s called 10 products. And just didn’t make a note. So don’t forget, one idea equals 10 products. And I’ll post that in the show notes. But it’s pretty easy to create products. Once you have, I’ll give you an example. You come up with the 10 steps to throwing the perfect curveball 10 steps to buying your first home. So whatever those 10 steps are, or five steps or three steps, it doesn’t matter. But take those core principles that make up the essence of your product or service. addressing the problem that you solve or the challenges that you solve, and list those 10 things, five things, whatever number that is, and then you can take those and you can be interviewed, I won’t go through the 10 steps. But there’s a lot of things you can do, you can be interviewed. And that’s a piece of content, you can write a book on that you can do an ebook, you can do an online course on that. So there’s many ways that you can create products from very simple ideas. The other thing if you have no products, then sell somebody else’s products. There’s a lot of really successful entrepreneurs who have started out selling somebody else’s products and then created their own from that. And so that’s all a way a very easy way to get up and started. I won’t go I won’t even go I was gonna go into multi level marketing companies and direct marketing companies and those aren’t a bad way to go. A moment. huge fan of them because the products are overpriced in many cases, and you don’t make enough money, and you don’t control it. But that is an option for some people to go into a ready made business through an MLM or a multi level marketing company, I would prefer you go find someone who has products, books, online courses, even maybe some, some in person things that you can create an affiliate relationship with, and sell and represent as your own. So that’s, that’s a great option if you’re looking for products to sell. So now you know what the business is, you know, who you’re selling it to, you know what you’re selling. So the next step was a critical one that many entrepreneurs starting out, skip this step. And I don’t blame them in a way because they don’t know what the step is revenue forecasting. So it’s really hard to forecast revenues for a company that you just started. You just defining who you’re selling it to you just defining your products. Now you’re supposed to I’m asking you to forecast how many of each are going to sell in the next three months. And I get that that is a wild ass guess. And I will submit to you that it’s critically important that you do it. And here’s what I want you to get get in the habit of doing a forecast that is what successful entrepreneurs do is they forecast our revenues. And then they look at it and they tweak it, and they change it. And they focus on whatever they need to do to make that happen. So it’s what successful entrepreneurs do. Secondly, and probably more importantly, once I commit to selling, I’m going to sell 25 of these books, these books in the next three weeks, and the next month. Okay, so then my mind immediately goes to well, how in the world am I going to do that? Because now I’ve written down to a kind of committed that I’m going to sell 25 of these books for $15 apiece, how am I going to do that? So once you commit to a forecast, a best guess, wild ass guess forecast?
And it’s written down? Now you’re looking at it every day. So how am I going to go sell a book? How can I go sell a book? Well, what would be a good way to sell a book. And so it gets you into action, which leads you to the next and most important phase of growing a business or starting a business. And that is marketing, marketing, marketing marketing, I would take what I coach all the time. And I would say that 90% 70 80% of what I coach on is marketing. I mean, what 70 80% of what you do every day is marketing. I do a podcast because I want to reach more people with my message. That’s marketing. So the next step, once you’ve decided how much of each thing you’re going to sell, is to put together a marketing plan. And I like things that are simple and straightforward. So you could have the super complex 10 page spreadsheet marketing plan. No, that’s not. That’s not what I that’s not what I would say works. If that works for you. I think that’s great. But I don’t think that works. And so well doesn’t work for me, you get you do what works for you. But I’m going to give you a template of a very simple, straightforward marketing plan that I use. And you can use that as a starting point. The first step in that process is to determine what your marketing strategies are. And so marketing strategies can be online and offline. They’re certainly more online these days than they were six months ago, or eight months ago, where we were out and doing networking and doing sorts, all sorts of things like that. But there are still some things you can do. I would say that zooming is more kind of face to face, networking and marketing. Anyway, determine what marketing strategies that you want to deploy. And I will add a link to some suggestions. So my market, that marketing strategies, I’ll add a link to that as well in the show notes, just to give you some idea, but what I would say is go pick four to six marketing strategies that you’re going to implement social media, many types of social media, networking events, ads, you could place all sorts of things. So I’ll give you a list but I’d say pick, I would say typically, I’d say three to four online and three to four offline you may not be able to do three to four offline strategies right now. But certainly define what those might look like for the day, then we can actually go meet some face to face. And we’re doing a little bit more of that than we were. And hopefully that will continue. But pick those strategies. I’m not asking you to implement every strategy today, but pick those strategies and write them down. And then I would put together a plan for each strategy. So the way I do that is, let’s say my strategy is Facebook ads. So I would the first so the first thing I would do is I’d get out a piece of paper and I write Facebook ads. And then I would define what are my action items? What are the things that I need to do? In order to, to execute on Facebook ads? Well, maybe I don’t know anything about Facebook ads. So I just google how to do a Facebook ad, I might need to create a page, if I don’t have a page, I would need to know who my target market is, and the attributes and the interest that they have. So I know how to very well define my target. within Facebook, I would craft the ad, what’s the ad? What’s it look like? What’s the problem that I saw? Is the ad focused on that problem? Is the ad focused on how I uniquely solve it? Does the ad have an adequate call to action? What do I want them to do? So I would list all of those things of things that I need to do in order to execute on that strategy. So those would be my action items. And I’d write them all down on a piece of paper. You want to do it online, whatever works for you. And then next to that, I write the due date, When am I going to do it? And then at the top of the of each of my marketing strategy pages, if you will, I write? How will I know what is my intended outcome? How will I know if it’s working? So if my intended outcome is Facebook ads, and what I want them to do is to,
to opt in to receive my 10 steps to financial freedom ebook, then I want to note that and then keep track how well is that particular strategy doing? And then I’ll have a page for each of my strategies, and I can and they’re sitting on my desk, because if you put them in a drawer, which many of my clients have done, how’s that gonna help, like, you’ll look at them a month from now and nothing will have happened. So put them where you can see them, I have one page for each of my strategies. And then it’s my working plan, like, okay, I did that I’ve done that, I add something, I come up with something else. So it’s a working plan that I’m working on every single day in my business when I’m working on my marketing, and I have multiple of those. So I know exactly at any time where I am, and how well I’m doing on each of those strategies that have this concept of analyze, and revise which applies to many, many parts of the business, but certainly to your marketing strategies. So once a week, I go and I look at each of my strategies, and I say, How am I doing? How’s it working? Sometimes it’s I haven’t even gotten to that one yet. So do I put it higher up in the priority in the priority list? And so I look at each of those strategies, how well they’re doing, what and what do I need to do to change, I need to do more of that, I need to do less of that I need to stop doing that. I need to do that in a different way. And I need to tweak that. And so it’s a way to really execute on those marketing strategies, getting your goals and priorities accomplished, which feed into book sold money in your bank, new leads to more people, more people coming to you and giving you giving you money. So just some thoughts on how to get started with your with starting a business, if that’s where you are, if that’s what you are thinking about doing. So let me see what other resources can I give you. So I have a toolkit. So I will put a link to the toolkit, which will be referenced also in the outro. There are some great resources in there. And I say reach out to me, if you are looking to start a business and you want to just talk about it. Reach out to me, I’d be happy to do a 30 minute strategy session with you. connect with me on LinkedIn, email me, contact me here. I would love to help in any way that I can. If it’s something that you’re thinking about doing and you’re like, well, maybe hell, why not try it? Because what else have I got to do? I’m sitting here waiting for the world to return to normal, which isn’t going to do. So breakaway entrepreneurs. Thank you so much for being with me today. And I’ll leave you with this thought. Well, it’s true that success starts with your mindset. It takes massive action to get there. So until next week, okay. Take us out.
Thank you for listening to the breakaway entrepreneur podcast. If you like the show, please rate recommend and review us on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts so we can share more actionable insights with the entrepreneur community. Until next time, challenge your mindset. Be bold, take action, and financial freedom will follow. You can get helpful resources and templates to guide and inspire you from Janet’s free breakaway entrepreneur toolkit. Get it now by going to www dot breakaway business coaching.com forward slash toolkit
Transcribed by https://otter.ai