Tag Archives: business plan

26 Oct

3 Things To Decide Before You Create a Website

cover of 3 things decide build a website

After hours of working on my website, paying a lot of money to maintain it, and then paying someone to regularly assist me with it, I have discovered a gap. The “you need to get a website” advice given to me in a coaching program 3 years ago was not the best suggestion as a way to begin building my online business.

And yet so many people do it. In today’s world, with sites like GoDaddy promoting the Danica Patrick type personas, even with vital information embedded in the video (like the importance of branding, the importance of planning, teamwork and diversifying your brand), it still leaves the impression anyone can just whip up a website and have a successful business.

And that is so wrong!

The missing information is in the planning stage, before you put the site up.

And in the budgeting, which should come first!

How I wish someone had told me that.

And the light bulb turns on here.

Decisions to make before the site is created:

What’s your budget like? In this post I talk about creating a business plan.

How are your finances set up?
This post has some good starting information.

What do your business need?
This post has some key questions to ask.

What is the purpose of the website?

What they don’t tell you as a new online business owner is that websites are created for different reasons. Each site serves a specific purpose for each business. Your business will grow depending upon how you create the site itself, what information you put up on the site and how you choose to utilize it as a business tool to grow your business. Some have shopping carts, some are lead generation tools, some work to solely build affiliate links. Others promote a brand.

Will it simply be a way for customers to find you? Do you want to build a customer base? Is it a means to keep customers up to date on your products and services?

Need to build a mailing list? Or build an online presence? Or run advertising campaigns and actively market online? Use it as a lead generation tool? Or as a way to increase sales?

Tip: Do a business plan before you invest money into the site to keep your budget on track and balanced! To learn more about creating a business plan, check out my previous post.

3 Questions to Answer:

1. How Technical are you?

How technical are you? DIY or outsource the back-end projects and maintenance?

 

2. What is your Budget for this?

how much you want to spend on your website? To set it up? On a monthly basis?

Many sites have an annual fee and/or monthly fees for additional things.

How much do you want to do DIY style or outsource?

For resources related to finance and starting a business, look at my previous post.

3. What are you going to Outsource and what are you going to do yourself?

Things business owners outsource related to a website:

Maintenance
Blogging
Invoicing
Social Media management: running regular Instagram posts, Pinterest pin campaigns, FB ads etc.

Answer these questions and then add them into your business plan to start off the right way! A good business plan is also a guide post.

 

Recommended Resources:

Five Skills Every Web Content Manager Needs

5 Must-Have Skills for Running an Online Business

Why Do I Need a Website? Here are 21 Reasons

Essential Business Skills

10 Financial Tools Your Small Business Can’t Live Without

Benefits of Outsourcing

 

09 Aug

12 Must-Reads for Starting an Online Business

12 great must-reads for starting online business

I can safely say I have read a lot of books since I started my online business. Most were not that useful, but there have been a few that stood out.  And they are not just good, they are great.

I’ll go ahead and plug Kindle too for all the readers like me, that read in bulk! Being able to download quantities of books with a simple click of a button, and at a reasonable price is just amazing!

1. Building a Website for Dummies
By David A. Crowder

cover for building a website for dummies

I love this first book because the “Dummies” books are so straightforward. Don’t be embarrassed to buy one! They are easy to read and full of foundational information, needed to start a business. Every time I read one, I think “oh of course, I need to remember that”. Like YouTube.com videos, they seem to have a “Dummies” book for everything now!

Here’s what I found out about author David Crowder in short bio on Barnes & Noble:

“David A. Crowder has authored or coauthored more than 20 books on subjects ranging from computers to historical mysteries, including popular bestsellers such as Building a Web Site For Dummies and CliffsNotes Getting on the Internet”.

                                                                        ~Barnes&Noble.com

2. Internet Marketing Made Easy
By Brian T. Edmondson/Internet Income Coach

cover of Brian Edmonton's book Internet Marketing Made Easy

Brian T Edmondson is one of my favorite authors and consultants. He is also one of my influencers. I’ve bought his trainings, listened to his interviews and have been personally coached by him. Not only is he a really nice guy, he offers great advice and support. His smarts and expertise really shine through. His books are always on my lists! In addition to offering books and coaching, he also offers programs that are clear, effective and strategic for marketing online businesses. For more information about Brian Edmondson check out his website InternetIncomeCoach.com.

 

 

3. Content Marketing Secrets: How to Create, Promote, and Optimize Your Content for Growth and Revenue
By Marc Guberti

cover of Content Marketing Secrets book by Guberti

I love books like this one that have a title that reflect exactly what the content is inside. Marc is another one of my favorites and one of my influencers. If you don’t know who he is, Marc is young and wrote 19 books in a very short time period and became very successful. Just the volume of work he turns out is amazing. I find his journey and work inspirational. His books are a big part of my collection and super easy to read. You can sometimes find him online in those summits they offer for online businesses. He’s also fun to follow on social media! You can find out more information about Marc Guberti by visiting his About Me page on his website.

 

 

4. The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage
By Daymond John

cover for power of broke by daymond john

My third favorite influencer in this list is Daymond John. I learned about him on the show “Shark Tank”. Then I found one of the Marie Forleo interviews he did on YouTube.

And started following him on Twitter. Now I read his books and seek out interviews where he is featured. A very wise man and super smart businessman!

 

 

 

5. Small Business Financial Management Kit for Dummies
By Tage C. Tracy

cover of small business management for dummies

I know another “Dummies” book is coming but can you blame me? These books are not only great, they are so needed when you are just getting started. And they are clearly written, often by experts that can really lay out important things. If you want to make sure you are covering all of your bases for building the foundation for your business, this is another good one. I can’t tell you how many people start online businesses and have never created a budget or a business plan. This is a great place to start!

This guy is super interesting because his expertise is way outside of my wheel house! And to prove my theory that “Dummies” books are actually written by experts:

“Tracy has operated a financial consulting service firm during the past twenty (20) years focused on providing executive level accounting, financial, & strategic business planning management support on a project or interim basis”.

~Amazon.com bio

 

6. How to Sell Anything to Anybody
By Joe Girard

cover of how to sell anything to anybody
I can’t offer a collection of readings without listing at least one classic favorite. Anyone in sales knows who Joe Girard is. You can also find YouTube.com videos and his other materials on Amazon.com. He offers the basic mindset needed for selling along with the psychology behind it. If you don’t know him, he made the Guinness Book of World Records for selling 13, 001 cars at a Chevy Dealership! For more info about Joe Girard check out his Biography page on his website.

 

 

7. Schedule Your Dream: 8 Steps to Maximizing Your Time and Mobilizing Your Vision
By Liane R. Grant

Cover of Schedule your Dreams
This next one is a fun discovery I found surfing books on Amazon.com. I think time and project management are under appreciated in the world of entrepreneurship. Books like this can help with identifying needs and help you prioritize.

From Amazon’s description Liane “has a knack for finding the most efficient way to accomplish a task with excellence. Her experience in fulfilling multiple roles has helped her hone her planning and productivity skills into a highly efficient personal time management system. Liane has always loved words, which led her to a B.A. and M.A. in Translation later in life, and she is now doing doctoral research in translation. Liane is an OTTIAQ-certified translator, founder and overseer of The King’s Translators, Secretary of the UPCI French Literature Cooperative, and Curriculum Administrator for Purpose Institute.”

 

8. The Productive Person: A how-to guide filled with productivity hacks & daily schedules for entrepreneurs, students or anyone struggling with work-life boundaries
By Chandler Bolt & James Roper

Cover of the Productive Person
You might recognize Chandler’s name from a series of YouTube commercials he has put out (he’s the good-looking guy standing on the balcony of a cool skyscraper in San Francisco). His words and advice are effective and strategic. He and his partner offer great advice and important tools for new business owners.

 

 

 

9. To-Do List Formula: A Stress-Free Guide to Creating To-Do Lists That Work!
By Damon Zahariades

to-do-list-formula-cover
Much to my surprise, this book has become one of my favorites. Maybe it’s because I am such a fan of “to-do” lists so it’s nice to see someone utilizing that concept from a project management perspective. Maybe someone will write a book on how successful Post-Its make people . . . To learn more about Damon Zahariades other books and how to improve your productivity, explore his Art of Productivity website.

 

 

10. Emotional Intelligence 2.0
By Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

cover of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book

Since I became certified as a Social and Emotional Intelligence Coach I’ve fallen in love with this subject (go to www.ISEI.com for more information about certification programs). This is a foundational “must-have” if you want to learn about this topic. Anyone can use the tools and skills sets outlined here. Here’s a great YouTube video of a TEDxUCIrvine talk with coauthor Dr Travis Bradberry about The Power of Emotional Intelligence where he shows you how to use this skill.

 

 

11. The $100 Startup
By Chris Guillebeau

Cover of the $100 start up
Chris Guillebeau was another surprising find for me. He is a non-fiction author, blogger and speaker and has traveled all over the world. I’ve read a couple of his books and his writing style is so free and relaxed I found myself reading his books more than once. It almost felt like I was on vacation! Great information for entrepreneurs and those new to starting a business.

 

 

 

12. The E Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About it
By Michael E. Gerber

Cover of E Myth book

I fell in love with Michael Gerber’s work 15 years ago when I was working for a company that was trying to go from a small size to a mid-size organization but was actually going bankrupt. The book totally helped me understand what was happening. The model he uses to describe business growth is so easy to understand and helps make sense of the growth strategies that are needed for any business.

If you have a book or two that you would like to recommend, feel free to write in the comment section below or shoot me an email.Thanks for reading!

06 Oct

Entrepreneurship for Life Coaches, Part 1

entrepreneurship-part1

This post is the first of a series I am offering to coaches that are new to entrepreneurship and are setting up an online business for the first time.

So you did the training and got a Certificate in Life Coaching,

Congratulations!

So NOW what?

Here come the questions: how are you going to get paying clients? Do you really need a website? And how do you start an online business?

The answers to those questions will be different for each person, but for the majority of us that that are certified coaches and want a home based business, the answer is a resounding YES! You need an online business, which includes a website and marketing strategy. Combined, these tools become one way to help clients find you! They also can become tools to help grow and expand your business.

What you are creating is a business that will be part of what they are calling the “digital economy”.  That’s basically anything bought or sold over the Internet. And the digital economy is growing and not going away anytime soon, so it’s a smart business choice. The trick is to make it work.

I wrote this because I kept noticing (as did my colleagues) that there was a lot more to becoming a successful coach than just getting certified. What I have found is that there is a difference between learning how to set-up an online business, setting up a website and streamlining that online business to attract clients and generate revenue. This series of posts is about helping you get started with your online business. It’s not a formula for instant success or guaranteed income, or a quick way to make money. If I can shorten the learning curve for you and help you gain knowledge and clarity in the process, great! The suggestions here are steps I have used that have helped me launch my business.

I would say, like many say, this process takes time. For me, it took a solid 2 years to generate clients and income from my online coaching business. 2-3 years seems to be an industry average for starting an online business and getting paid clients, but that is not necessarily true for everyone. I chose initially to work on developing my business, do trainings and write instead of trying to find clients, which made it take longer. Plus I’m not a huge networking person so that was also easy to put off.  I built things like my blog and programs before I really started looking for clients. Now I do them together. I’m happy with my coaching services, my writing, my business and my professional development.

TIP: Do what works for you.

There’s a lot that goes into building a successful online business. Ultimately the success of your online business will depend on a variety of factors including: how much time and energy you dedicate to it, your product/services, the industry you’re specializing in, the market need, your client base, your determination, marketing plan and, advertising strategies. It’s a lot, and you can do it!

Take a deep breath and let’s get started!

Derek Doepker is a successful coach and writer. His advice is to start small. Start with one thing and focus on that. Take one step and that will lead you to the next.

Here’s your first step: Honing in on your Vision

Visualize your Dream Business

Although we naturally move into action, especially when starting a business, the beginning step is actually in the vision you have. You have an intention somewhere inside of you. There is some part of you that has already manifested this dream (that might be why you are reading this right now).

Let’s see if we can get a clearer image of what your vision is.  The clearer the image, the easier it is to manifest.

Be as specific as possible and add details.

TIP: Successful entrepreneurs allow time to think about their business. And they think often. Give yourself time and the freedom to think about this.

Below are some questions to think and/or write about. To do this, it’s probably easier if you find a space where you can work (preferably uninterrupted for a period of time). It’s ok to work on these questions and then come back to them. The creative process is not always a one-shot kind of deal. I encourage you to revisit them as you have more thoughts and ideas come up.

Trust the process of thinking, visualizing and writing.  Some people prefer to write out exercises like this on a white board. I recommend a notebook or journal because you can keep it with you as you add things.

TIP: Allow your creative energy to flow!

Don’t judge or question, just write.

Questions:

  1. What kind of products and services would you like to sell?
  2. What is your ideal business dream? Is it having coaching clients? Writing a book? Selling other services online? What are they?
  3. Why?
  4. What would your business look like? Literally -physical space (home or in an office), location, type of clients, and the number of products you would sell, etc.
  5. What would a dream day look like? You wake up in the morning and? How many hours would you work? In-home or outside the home?
  6. How is that different from what you are doing now? I know it’s probably obvious to you but write it out anyways. We’re looking for details.
  7. Who is your target audience? Sports players? Business people? Write out whom they are, what they are looking for and why they would need to be coached by you. What is that thing that makes it so they hire you over someone else?
  8. How would you market to them? What is the best way to reach them? (For example, research shows that young moms use Snap Chat more and older moms use Facebook). What does your ideal target audience use for media resources? Social media? Where are they? Local? National? International?
  9. How would you like to advertise your business? Mailings, email blasts? Public speaking? Networking?
  10. What would be your dream business name?
  11. If you were going to set this business up today, what would be the time frame you’d like to use? When would it be ready to “go live”?
  12. What will you do for income while you are setting up your dream business? ? Can you moonlight or freelance while you are getting things started?
  13. How much money would you like to make? Daily? Monthly? Annually?
  14. What will be different in your life after your business is up and running?
  15. What will customers be saying about you? What would you like them to say? Why?
  16. Say the phrase “Hi, I’m xxx and I offer xxx” fill in the blanks.

Now, go back and read everything you’ve written.

Pat yourself on the back too because you just did the first draft of your business plan! There’s more to add to the plan itself (which will come up in another blog shortly), but for the basics, that’s a good start!

See that wasn’t so bad . . .

Tip: use positive self-talk daily!

Your Affirmation Checklist:

I just wrote out the first draft of my business plan!

I am taking steps to create my dream business!

I am patient. My business will grow and be successful!

My business will be a success!

Below is a list of resources I’ve used to help create my business.


Recommendation: If you find, after reading this, that you are stuck or just frustrated with your idea, or don’t’ know how to get started, you might want to think about hiring a Life Coach. I know, it’s yet another thing that costs money, but I’ll share something with you – surprisingly I have found it to be the one thing that has been invaluable in building the foundation and success of my business. My personal coaching is what has made my business successful. As a coach I have worked with many coaches to either them turn their idea into a viable business or help them launch their business. I can offer you a working relationship where you gain insight, accountability and can develop your own strategies to build your business. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself, even for a short time. You are your business!


Resources

Books:

Work with Passion: How to do What You Love for a Living by Nancy Anderson

Supercoach: 10 secrets to transform anyone’s life by Michael Neil

The Healthy Habit Revolution: Create better habits in 5 minutes a day by Derek Doepker

Articles and Posts:

Visualization Techniques to affirm your desired outcome: a step-by-step guide on JackCanfield.com.

How to start a successful life coaching business on CoachTrainingWorld.com.

Entrepreneurship defined: What it means to be an entrepreneur on BusinessNewsDaily.com,

08 Nov

4 Tips for Starting a New Business

Get clear on your idea: What is it you want to offer people? Is it a product or service? How passionate are you about this idea? How do you visualize things playing out? Some say this is one of the most important and critical steps in the process of becoming an entrepreneur. Clarity of vision is key. How can you gain more clarity around this idea?

Check this Tony Robbins video out, The Magic Of Visualization (Law of Attraction.)

Why do you want to offer this product or service? It’s good to explore inside yourself what is driving you because that will be the energy that drives your own internal sustainability and determination. For example: my background is in mental health and I love helping people. Life coaching puts me in a dynamic of working with people and it allows me to have my own business and bring in income without a glass ceiling attached. Coaching is fun for me, as well as uplifting and I can still help others. I also get to create my business model and add things to it (like writing and doing presentations:^) These things all align with my goals and values. But I still have to get clear on who I want to support and why. I have to make choices all the time. I have to constantly re-evaluate this and make sure this is still what I want to do and make sure I am on track. I give myself space to think about these things regularly.

Identify your client: Who are they? What product or service can they benefit from? Is there a need? Are you setting up your business around the needs of your client or your own desires? Which will work best in the market place?

Take a look at this guide from Business TutsPlus, How to Identify Profitable Clients: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Surveymonkey.com is one great tool you can utilize to gather information about your prospective clients and their real needs. You can also go directly to the source and talk to those you want to sell you. What do they think of the idea? What are they looking for?

Set up a business plan: These are things that will not only be listed on paper but will require action steps (can you add some of these to your vision board?) Ask yourself hard questions, for example: how much borrowing is needed for your initial investment strategy? And is it sustainable? Does your plan offer a “warm up” period to cushion the time it might take to find clients and generate income?

From Entrepreneur.com see, How to Start a Business With (Almost) No Money,  for great ideas in this area.

Can you be an “unconventional entrepreneur” see, How To Start A Business With Only $100 In The Bank, from Dan Schawbel of Forbes.com.

Get a support system in place: find people that are on your team and will support you during this time. That’s the “team win” not “team let me tell why you shouldn’t do this”

Team. Vision and clarity also require support. Where can you find it? Check out 7 Strategies to Build Your Startup Support System from BizJournals.com for more information.

Support yourself in this process. Sometimes starting a business can be like running a marathon. Things don’t always go the way we plan. Funding or income changes, timelines change, life happens. Patience and resilience will go a long way. If you don’t have it, who will? If things are going the way you thought, maybe updating your business plan or hiring an expert in that area might help you move a few steps forward. Allow creativity to come in for alternative solutions. And don’t give up!

Read from one of the experts, Dr Wayne Dyer, about How to Create Life Balance Between Dreams and Habits.


Resources:

The Reason Vision Boards Work and How to Make One

DreamItAlive.com

ShaktiGawain.com

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Your First Business

The Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business

10 Steps to Starting a Business

ChrisGuillebeau.com

How to Start a Business with only 100 in the Bank

How to Identify Profitable Clients: A Step-by-Step Guide

Best Ways to Identify Your Ideal Clients & Customers

Ziglar.com

Write Your Business Plan

How to Create Life Balance Between Dreams and Habits

Tony Robbins: The Magic Of Visualization (Law of Attraction) Video

How To Start A Business – The Mega Guide That Makes It Easy

 

Copyright 2019 Etain Services.