How to Actually Launch Your Business This Week (Part 2)

Open-for-BusinessIn last week’s post, we talked about launching your business quickly by finding a service-based offering that fulfills the same need as the product you want to develop. This week, we’re going to talk about how to actually launch your service-based business quickly and awesomely (in a way that doesn’t lead to more overwhelm, frustration, information overload, and – you know – bad stuff in general.)

Are you ready to get clients or customers for your service-based business this week? There are a few quick things you need to do…

1. Get clear on your outcome. What is it that you do for people? What problem does it solve? Don’t focus on the solution (your service), focus on the problem (why someone would buy your service.) Get completely clear on the problem you solve, the emotions around it, the people who have it, and the people you want to help. Be passionate about solving this problem!

2. Create an initial offering that knocks their socks off. You know that one little gem you have – the one thing you do for paying clients that makes people say “wow”, burst into tears of joy, or just generally freak out in the presence of your awesomeness? Find a way to do that – for free. Yep, give away your biggest and most powerful tool. This won’t solve their whole problem (it never does), but what you share will likely show your ideal clients that a) their problem can be solved and b) you can help them do it.

3. Figure out where the people you want to help are looking for an answer right freakin’ now! I don’t mean where they hang out, I mean when someone is in a panic about solving the problem you solve, where do they go? What do they do? If someone is mid-breakdown because they want this problem solved really badly, where do they turn? This isn’t as hard as you think. If you’re really hungry, you go to the restaurant instead of the grocery store. If you’re really fed up with your dog making a mess on the carpet, you go to the pet store for a solution to make him stay away. Where are your rabid, hungry buyers already looking for a solution?

4. Go there. Physically, virtually, whatever suits your fancy – it doesn’t matter. You get out of this what you put into it. If someone is in buying mode, looking to solve a problem, you want to be where they are. Professional service people like VAs, writers, etc. this is your time to start checking Craigslist, Elance and oDesk! I have even found coaching clients on oDesk. I have friends and family who found six-figure writing contracts on Craigslist. Not kidding. Go where the buyers are already looking for you.

5. Master the sales conversation. This part is a bit big for a blog post, but here is the general gist of it: Ask them what they really want. Get them to share it all with you – every detail, every thought, every emotion. Make them feel really good thinking about what they want. Ask what is stopping them from having it. Ask what it is costing them not to have it. Have them describe what it would do for them if they could overcome those challenges and get what they want. Ask how committed they are to getting it on a scale of 1-10.

Then say, “You know – I’ve helped a lot of people just like you get those kinds of results. I actually have a program designed for people in your situation, with your challenges and your goals. Would you like to hear about it?” Lay it all out – the benefits of what you do, asking if they think it would be helpful along the way. When they ask about the cost, offer a money-back guarantee first, then state your price. If they object, call them on it – they told you it was important, but they’re not willing to invest their time/money/whatever. Is it really that important?

6. Repeat #4 as often as necessary. Use the 5 circles of marketing to find 5 different ways to reach your target audience for maximum results. Guest blog posts, forums, groups, networking meetings, events, whatever you can do to get in front of buyers – do it.

7. Ask for help and feedback. This is not the time to be the standoff-ish expert, ask for feedback and genuinely care about what people tell you! Ask your friends, family, colleagues, whoever you can for referrals. Get on the phone with as many people as you can to ask about their challenges and obstacles so you can shape your offering. Practice your initial offering talk, session, what have you on anyone who will listen. Post on your groups and forums looking for feedback on your content. Ask for help! Be humble. This is you, standing in your commitment to make your business work. If you don’t share with those who love and support you now, when will you?

This will launch your business quickly. Period.

Planning comes later. Business cards might be helpful, but don’t agonize over them. Even your website can come later if it stops you – you can launch and generate revenue, get clients, this *week* if you really implement this process. Don’t wait – start something!

Want to use this article on your site? Go ahead! Just include this byline at the end:

Cheryl Woodhouse is the Intuitive Marketing Mentor, helping entrepreneurs build wildly successful businesses with less frustration, overwhelm, and stress. Using her groundbreaking business modelling methods, she simplifies marketing, growth, and success into systems that any entrepreneur can implement while playing to the strengths of every individual. You can gain access to these innovative strategies for free by visiting her blog at CherylWoodhouse.com

How to Actually Launch Your Business This Week (Part 1)

openforbusiness

This post is for those of us entrepreneurs with specific types of dreams. Not just dreams of success, but big dreams of what our businesses will be. Retail chains. Restaurants and cafes. Huge international media networks. Campgrounds. Bed & breakfasts. Online schools. Our own physical products and brands. Tech startups with major development requirements. Record labels and nightclubs, gyms and fitness studios…

You know, the expensive dreams.

The ones that require big amounts of cash, debt, or investment funds. The ones that feel forever out of reach.

Today, my friends, is the day that changes.

In the second part of this post, coming out next week, we’ll talk about the fastest way to launch your service based business. But if you want to launch your own clothing line or retail store or consumer products or tech startup, it is within your reach. You just have to focus on the right things.

Fact:

Businesses like that are expensive to start because they typically have higher overhead than service-oriented businesses.

Fact:

They’re slower to start than service oriented businesses, too. There are simply more things to source (products, supplies, lease space, manufacturing facilities, etc.)

Fact:

And the real kicker is that profit also comes slower. With higher overhead, more of the revenue from the business goes right back into filling those orders… Less of it can go into growing the business.

But there is a shortcut!

And if you do it right, you’ll be building your physical, product-based, high-startup-cost business along the way.

The shortcut is… Offer a service first!

Do you have a dream of starting up a campground, like my husband does? Manage one. Start a Facebook group for campers and write reviews of campgrounds. Create a social network of some sort for campers. Plan and organize group camping excursions. Do something that doesn’t require your own campground, but still creates the same experience for the people you want to help..

Is your dream a specialty retail store? Start a personal shopping service for those products. Write reviews and sell advertising. Even start an ecommerce store (a bit more pricey, but less overhead than a physical store.) Source the same products you want your retail store to carry, and cater to the same types of customers.

Find a way to offer a service to your target customers  that delivers the same experience as your dream business, without the upfront costs. There are several benefits to this…

  1. You’ll learn a LOT. You’ll learn about your target customers, your suppliers, the industry, the marketing methods that work best with your customers, and yourself. Most importantly, you’ll learn if this is the type of business you really want to be in.
  2. You will lower your risk. If you build a retail store and a factory, invest money in marketing, staff, and everything you need to launch your dream company, only to find out that your products don’t sell? You lose a lot. Realize 2 years into the business that you actually hate it? Well, there goes a few million dollars. Start with a service. Less to risk, and…
  3. There is more to gain. When you don’t have huge overhead, more of the money your business takes in can go back into growing the business. Even more, it can actually start going into your pockets fairly quickly. You don’t need to wait 4 years until you can draw a salary if you’re providing a service one-on-one.
  4. You’ll be building a customer base that you can tap into once you do launch your dream business. This will be incredibly valuable to give you a head start!
  5. You might be able to keep your job if you do it in a particular way. A lot of traditional high-overhead businesses are also expected to be open during normal hours. Think you can run a restaurant while holding down another job? Not for long – not if you want to keep either of them. You can operate your service business around your work hours, allowing you income stability as you grow.
  6. You can start faster. Right now, if you want. If your service is simple enough, email your friends and post on Facebook – you’ll probably get a few clients just from that. Other services that cost a bit more may take some more legwork, but you could get your first client this week if you hustle. Don’t wait 10 years for everything to come together for your dream business – start today with your service business, and use it to get there.

There are probably a million more benefits to doing this, but it all comes down to one simple point:

No matter what your dream business is, you can reach it by starting a service business.

In part deux of this post, we’ll talk about the fastest way to launch your service based business. Until then, if you’ve been waiting for a venture capitalist to make your dreams come true, brainstorm ways you can turn your dream company into a service – and then… Well, start something!

Want to use this article on your site? Go ahead! Just include this byline at the end:

Cheryl Woodhouse is the Intuitive Marketing Mentor, helping entrepreneurs build wildly successful businesses with less frustration, overwhelm, and stress. Using her groundbreaking business modelling methods, she simplifies marketing, growth, and success into systems that any entrepreneur can implement while playing to the strengths of every individual. You can gain access to these innovative strategies for free by visiting her blog at CherylWoodhouse.com