Welcome back to The Lifestyle Entrepreneur Podcast. This is episode #2 and I am so excited you’ve decided to tune in.
This episode is all about the 5 steps that are involved in creating a business – your business! Whether you’re at the stage of launching or not, I’m going to share some important things you may want to consider before you launch. .
It’s kind of like a roadmap and it’s important to go over because honestly – entrepreneurship is not something we are born knowing how to do.
Maybe you are at the very early stages and haven’t yet taken time to realize all of the possibilities that lay ahead? Or, maybe you have already decided to take the leap and are working on your business plans! Having access to this roadmap is going to give you some clarity into what you can expect. And – it will ensure you aren’t missing any critical steps.
Let’s get started and dive into the steps of creating your Lifestyle Business.
Many people have the idea that being a Lifestyle Entrepreneur means having a laptop lifestyle. And while that is true, it is not the only way. You see, whether you are working online or offline, if you are creating and running a business with a conscious mindset, and you are taking into consideration everything that is important to you and the lifestyle you aspire to live, then you are running a Lifestyle Business.
Being a Lifestyle Entrepreneur means that the motivation for your business is not just solely profit driven. In fact, Lifestyle Entrepreneurs are focused more on achieving a vision for how they want to live in their lives. Maybe its flexibility you crave? Or The ability to work when you want and how you want? Or, maybe its the opportunity to be your own boss and set your own limits and projections for what you want to earn! You see……profit is important, but typically…. It’s a reflection of how much you need to achieve the lifestyle you dream of.
There are 5 steps or stages that we go through when creating the business of our dreams.
Step #1 – DREAM AND RESEARCH
I absolutely LOVE this first step. It’s not very often we allow ourselves to dream. As kids, we would do this all the time! But somewhere along the way, we stopped, and I’m here to tell you that it’s time to bring that back! When you are dreaming up ideas for your new business, or looking at new ways of expanding or changing your current one, there are two things you need to do. First, remove logic. Don’t let your practical mind stop you from dreaming up possibilities. Second, make sure you create an environment that you feel comfortable dreaming in. Sit comfortably, have a journal or other tools ready to take down notes, and maybe even use a few prompts to help you along.
I’ve prepared a free Business Success Guide for you that will review the 5 steps and also provide you some key questions that will prompt you to begin your dream phase. (See the Download form on this page)
Once you’ve gone through the dreaming exercise in Step 1, the next piece is HOMEWORK! Doing your homework before you launch into anything is critical to your business success. I have seen too many Lifestyle Entrepreneurs dive into a business idea without having done their homework, and then they spend months (sometimes years) trying to figure out what they are doing and why.
DREAM and RESEARCH is all about exploring your vision and exploring how the business fits in with your lifestyle goals as well as looking at what types of businesses you can create, what others are doing in that space and basically what options are available to you.
When I do research, I like to interview people who are already doing what I want to do. This way I get opinions based on someone who has experienced it. I also like to look and see how other businesses are operating. There are so many different ways to deliver a service, so its always interesting to see how others are doing it.
Doing your research becomes especially important when you are looking at how to structure your business and whether or not the idea you have for how your business is going to look – is really how it plays out in the practical world!
Step #2 – LEARNING AND TRAINING
If you listened to episode 1, you will have heard me talk about my philosophy on learning. I am a BIG believer that we never stop learning. In fact, I am the type of person who absolutely loves learning new things. When you’re in business, the learning never stops. In fact, if you ever think you’ve learned enough, then you may as well close up shop, because the longevity and success of your business depends on your willingness and ability to learn.
Step 2 is about identifying what skills or certifications you need to do your business. Do you need a specific diploma or degree? Do you need a license or special certification? Is there a skill you don’t yet have that you know will give you a competitive advantage when you are trying to capture new business? The learning and training phase is simply you going out and completing whatever business training you need and want.
Step 3 – BUSINESS STRUCTURE, PLANNING and SYSTEMS
This is a big part of business design and involves logistics, creating systems, looking at numbers….
This is the foundation of what your business will look like and how it’s going to operate. And if ts’ not something you are strong at or something that you enjoy, then enlist the help of someone, because it is NOT something you can skip. You would be surprised how many entrepreneurs I know are trying to run a business without a plan!
Business Structure involves all the early steps of business creation including things like getting your business number, incorporating a name with your lawyer (if that applies), your business name, your business email, your location (if that applies)
Business Planning is literally, creating a business plan. It is about setting goals, schedules, budgets. It is the blueprint of your business. There are so many types of business plans out there. Some businesses may require more detailed and elaborate plans, especially if you need financial support. Other businesses may only require a one pager to outline the vision of how the business will run.
If you’re anything like me, this is the part I dread. Numbers hurt my brain. If this sounds like you, then enlist the help of a friend or a professional consultant or coach whose brain enjoys this kind of stuff. There are tons of people around who love working numbers and documenting processes. Business plans are not a “set-it and forget-it” thing. They are living and breathing documents that you will revisit throughout the course of your business,
Business Systems are like the how-to manual of your business. This is where you start identifying systems for how you are going to find new prospects for your business. It will include things like checklists or intake forms when you are working with a new client, and follow up systems for keeping in touch so you can create a “client for life”….. Everything you need to document that outlines HOW you are going to work, is listed in this step. What services are you going to provide.? And how much you are going to charge? Is there a menu of pricing and services or do you offer this by way of packages?
These are all things that you have hopefully looked into during your Researching and Design phase, so that when you get here, you are establishing which ones are right for you and the clients you are going to serve.
Step #4 – MARKETING AND BRANDING
Marketing and branding goes far beyond just creating a business name or logo. Branding is the marketing process that involves you creating something that identifies your company, as your company. It could be a logo, a symbol a slogan, a particular color or wordmark. Creating a brand image is important to your business because its going to a) help clients identify you in your marketplace b) help to create the perception you want c) help to drive business to you – especially if your brand is known for offering great service and d), its going to help you support your advertising and marketing initiatives.
So if that is branding, then what is marketing?
Marketing is the process of communicating your brand to your potential clients, and it’s also you creating relationships with your ideal clients.
Marketing and Branding encompass everything from designing your brand image, defining your brand value, identifying who your target clients are, communicating your value to your target clients and creating and nurturing those ongoing relationships. It speaks to WHAT you are doing, WHY you are doing it and WHO you are doing it for!
Step 5 – LAUNCH!
This is the most exciting and stressful and fearful part for a lot of people! All of the hard work that went into designing your business has come to this moment and its this moment that we start looking at mindset and accountability and tools that will serve you in your entrepreneurial journey. When you are working in a business that aligns with who you are, and with your vision – it is the most rewarding and fulfilling feeling!
If you are already at this stage of your business, I want to say a BIG Congrats! Because I know the amount of work that goes into designing a business. I also want to say that “I’m here with you”!
The journey of entrepreneurship can be lonely at times, and I want you to know that you and I are in this together! This is why I share what I do through my blogs and social posts and this is why I am sharing on podcasts. I want for you to have the tools and support you need to thrive. Whether it’s learning new ways of stress management or shifting your perspective away from work-life balance and TOWARDS work-life harmony (check out future episodes where I talk about this).
Connect with me on social, or sign up to my email list. I look forward to helping you in your journey.
The Lifestyle Entrepreneur Podcast is now available on iTunes, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud and Google Play. If you like the content I share, head on over and subscribe. And while you are there, I would love if you left me a review. It helps others find my podcast so that they too can enjoy and find new ways of creating a business and life they love!