Donna: I'm feeling all the feels today because not only have I been nominated for the Aus Mompreneur awards, but I've also received some really lovely feedback on the podcast too. And I want to give a shout out to Harriet from HB marketing communications. She listens to the podcast all the way from the UK and she wrote:
"Hey Donna, I found your podcast on Spotify, and I absolutely love it. It's so helpful on long journeys to client's offices, and I just wanted to say, thank you"
Well in return for that feedback, Harriet, I want to give you a shout out for your business. So Harriet offers marketing services to women in business and you can find her on Instagram, if you search HB_marketing_communications.
Now, if you have some feedback for me about the podcast and I can give your business a shout out too, then when you create an iTunes review, make sure you leave your Instagram handle or if you want to DM me, that's cool too. Then if you love this podcast, I'd love for you to be able to share it with three friends that you know would really enjoy it too.
Now, today I'm opening up the conversation about stepping into the world of business ownership. Which can be incredibly challenging and nerve wracking, but it's also incredibly exciting and rewarding too . Recently, I've noticed that a lot of ladies have been in contact with me because they have a great business idea, but they have no idea where to start. And what I love most about this is that, these ladies are reaching out for support and they came to learn so that they can get it right the first time and work smarter, not harder.
Now, if you're already in a full swing into your business, but perhaps you started out winging your way through when you were setting up your business. Then I know this episode is going to be useful to you as well, because, maybe you skip through a few really important steps that may not have bitten you in the butt yet, but they still might. So this episode might be a bit of a wake-up call for you to take the action steps that maybe you missed along the way. And there is so much conflicting advice out there, for the inspired entrepreneur and it can be really overwhelming. So my intention with this episode is to help you get clear on what you need to do to get started or to fill the gaps that you skimmed past, when you first set up your business.
Helping ambitious women, particularly moms who have taken the leap into business or maybe are about to take that leap into the business is an area of passion for me and I really love working with ladies who take their business seriously and they're really hungry to learn the strategies and the systems, the branding, the marketing, all of the things and put plans into place so that they can get it right the first time or they can reshape their business so that they're avoiding costly mistakes.
That's really where my sweet spot is as a business coach and so if you want to ensure that the time that you spend on your business is actually making a difference to get results, and reach your goals, then listening to this podcast is a really great space to start that being said, if you are feeling really tired of spinning your wheels and you're hungry for success, but you wish you had a clear direction of how to achieve that. If you're looking to learn the business skills and the strategies to thrive as a business owner and avoid burnout and overwhelm.
Very soon, I'm opening the doors again to the Ready To Rise program, and it could be just the thing that you need to get out of your own way, to get off that hamster wheel and to start making real progress and start living the life that you want. The program includes 12 weekly group coaching sessions with me as your business coach, six month access to the online video training modules, and you'll also be welcomed into the exclusive community. That community is a Facebook group, which is only for the ladies who have registered to the Ready To Rise program; and in that group, it's filled with other like-minded business women who are there to support you and cheer you on as well.
Now's the time to jump into the wait list at by jumping onto the wait list before the doors open, you'll get early access to the program content, and you'll also get an extra bonus when you sign up to the program. Now to do that, you want to head over to www.donnahann.com/coursewaitlist, pop your details in there and it's that easy.
Where I want to start today with looking at really starting to create that healthy work life blend, is the framework that I use within the Ready To Rise program and in fact, as a framework that I applied to everything that I do within my business as well. So what I believe is that before you can thrive as a business owner, it's really helpful to understand the three key areas of the work-life blend framework. And this framework really forms the, I guess the methodology in helping a startup mom going to business or helping someone who's already in their business, go from feeling confused and overwhelmed to thriving as a business owner and avoiding that path of burnout.
So I want you to imagine in your mind's eye, three circles and the circles are arranged in kind of like a triangular shape where there's one circle at the top and there's two circles at the bottom and they slightly overlap one another. Now where they overlap in the center is where your healthy work-life blend really sits. What I want to do is briefly go through each of those circles and just tell you what's inside of each of those so that you can reach that healthy work-life blend that I talked so much about. So one of those circles is our business.
We want to make sure that we're identifying the type of business that you want to create, and then ensuring that it really harnesses your skills and it's viable to turn a profit because we don't want to let our business idea, they come as expensive hobby and we also want to get really clear around the passion and the purpose behind that business or that business idea, and then set some really clear goals and actions steps for growing your business in alignment with your core values.
We also need to be prepared to learn and up-skill in the six core business pillars for success and profitability, which is of course what I teach within the Ready To Rise program. There's another circle that I want you to put the word family into. In this circle, it's about understanding that you and your business will need to adapt with each season of your parenting journey. And we need to apply that adaptation to other areas of our life as well one of those being our business, we need to accept that where you are is exactly where you need to be. And what I mean by this is just circling back to that idea of a season. We have seasons of life and seasons of business where things grow and change and sticky fingers and warm hugs don't last forever.
So we need to shape our business so that you can be present with the people who mean the most to you and then the final circle, the web that I want you to put in the middle of that circle in your mind's eye is self care and this is about realizing that self care is essential for your physical, your mental and your emotional wellbeing; and it's not selfish, not should it be squashed or ignored. To me self-care means rest, it means self-reflection, it means rejuvenation and it means creating space for yourself. So it's about removing the pressure to be on all the time and it's taking back your power by putting boundaries in place to enjoy the moments of pause that will not only benefit your mind your health, but it will also benefit your family and your business too.
So that in a nutshell is the healthy work-life blend framework that I infuse through everything that I do, especially when I work with the ladies in my Ready To Rise program or one-on-one however that might play out.
What I want to dig more into now with you now that you've kind of got that concept and that idea, is keeping that in mind as I go through the six steps in starting up your business, this is kind of like a checklist that you can use to either start your business or as I said in the introduction to look at areas that perhaps you skimmed past, if you set up your business and you were kind of winging it as you.
So the first one is to create an idea. We need to not just create an idea, but also validate that idea. So ensure that it solves a real life problem and that you can monetize it. So we need to check this idea that you have in your mind for viability. Is there a solution for the problem that you see? Can you solve that problem? Can you be the solution for that problem? And then we need to make sure that there is actually viability from a profit perspective, you need to evaluate the market size that you think you're going to target and get an idea of the potential target audience. And also the competition that already exists in that area. And you need to bounce the idea to family and friends.
This is about getting that idea and putting it in front of a few people and experimenting with their feedback, but also the other reason why I think this is really important, right? At the first step of starting up your business.
It's to explain your new commitment and to get everyone in your family, on board with it and then you're going to ensure that your business can actually work around your family needs. There's no point in creating this amazing business, but there's no scope or flexibility in that for you to fit it around your family needs. It's not going to work, right?.
You also need to make sure that everyone in your family is on board with your idea so that it doesn't create friction later on down the track. So that's step one, creating your idea and then looking at it in a little bit more detail.
Step two is to find your target market. This is about identifying your ideal target customer and getting crystal clear on your ideal customer avatar or your ICA, who is most likely going to be your ideal customer and how can you ensure that they're going to become your advocates in speaking about what you do and sharing the love. We want to focus on when we're looking at finding your core market fit, focusing on your core offer, instead of trying to be everything to everyone or trying to satisfy every need and every desire. I want you to focus on your core offer and think about how you can make it irresistible to your target audience.
Now, this one I'm talking offers, I'm talking about products, services. Anything that you're going to be selling to make money in your business. That's your core offer? How can you make that irresistible for your target audience? And you also need to understand your unique selling proposition or your USP. This is about identifying the benefits for your customers that makes you different from your competitors. So that's step two.
I'm going to move into step three, which is about writing a business plan. So, different components of business plans, I'm just gonna sort of run through a basic business plan, outline that you can run to.
You need to have an executive summary. So this is a really condensed version of your business plan that explains your business and the products or services in just a few paragraphs. This is the section of a business plan. That it's the first section of your business plan, but often this is the part that you should write last, but I'm saying it at the beginning because it sits usually at the beginning of your business plan.
Then you need to create a business description, so explaining your business model and your growth strategies, your values, your mission statement and the structure that you envisage your business will have. We need to create an offer description. Now, remember I explained that offers, uh, whatever it is that you intend to sell through your business, be a product or service, you need to get down to the detail of what you are going to offer? Who your customers are? What your USP is? And a pricing model for your business as well. Then we need to look at market analysis, so formalizing all of your research that you have done into your target audience, into your competition and into your niche. We call that a market analysis.
The next step in this part of writing your business plan is marketing and sales. So, what other ways that you intend to attract new leads? And convert them into paying customers. These can include like primary marketing channels and platforms, like what are those primary marketing platforms or those primary marketing strategies that you are going to use, to attract those new leads and convert them into paying customers. So this is our sales and marketing plan.
The other thing that you might like to consider in creating a business plan is looking at team structure. So think about how many team members you might need? Think about scaling your business in the future. Will you need to grow your team resources in time?
Maybe you might start out as a solo preneur, but your vision is to grow your business bigger than that and so you're going to need to start to really shape the vision for that in your business plan, because we need to start our business as we mean to continue, right? So, if you've got a big picture vision of what your business is going to be and you're going to scale your business in time, it's really important to think about that now, so that you've got room to move as you grow. And of course you can always change these things, but it's great to have a really clear vision before you start your business.
The last part of this business plan is the financial requirements and your plans around how much you estimate. You are going to need to build your business, to create the products or services or to purchase the products.
How much is it going to cost you to hire a team? And what are the running expenses of your business? You need to include your projected revenue and your profit figures for the first 12 months, usually first 12 months is really great, but it's also really good, if you can to project into the following three to five years. Now, I just want to break down if you're really new to business, perhaps you're wondering, well, what's the difference between profit and revenue.
Revenue is all of the income that comes through your business. Everything, that can be a combination of revenue from different revenue streams. I talk a lot about this in the Ready To Rise program as well, in that it's really great to have a diverse range of revenue streams just in case something happens to one of them. So, that is all the income that comes in.
Your profit is what's left over when your expenses are taken out of that revenue. So you need to be looking at, ok? What is my revenue that I'm going to project for this business? How much is it going to cost me to run the business? What's leftover? That's my profit? How's that looking? Am I happy with that? If you're not happy with that, what sorts of things can you tweak and change so, that you are.
Step four is looking at team and resources. We need to niche it. You need to really at the beginning, look at how do you want to shape your business coach up? What do you want it to feel like within your business? From the get-go, if you can nurture that business culture, it's going to set you up to have a beautiful team. Identify the values and the behavior expectations that you want to see in your team members, because remember they're going to be the face of your business.
They're going to be representing you and this is really important. That the values that you sit within your business are also reflected in the behaviors that your team and yourself are putting out there in representing your business. You also need to assess if you actually made a team and I briefly touched on this before, but do you need someone to help you get your business off the ground?
Do you need to have projections for your team to grow and as you scale your business? And if so, what are the relevant HR documentation? That you need to support that. So position descriptions, employment contracts, code of conduct policies, those sorts of things. Now, I don't want you to get overwhelmed by all of this stuff that I'm explaining to you.
I do have all of this information in a downloadable checklist for you and it's super easy for you to download it. You can go to donnahann.com/startup That's how you can grab this checklist. So it's all there and ready for you to go through.
The next step is step five. So marketing and sales strategy here, we're looking at really developing your brand identity. What values do you want to transmit through your messaging and how will you promote brand recognition and loyalty? This is what's really going to make your business soar and get it off the ground. This is often a part that if you are already in business and you didn't have this kind of a checklist to go through, maybe you didn't have the awareness of what you needed to do to set up a business for it to really saw, this is something to come back to because developing your brand identity is so, so, so important.
The other thing here is developing online presence. How will you market your brand on social media, on your website? Do you have a email newsletter that you want to send out? Is there a blog that you want to develop? And then it's looking at your sales strategy in understanding or creating a strategy for a sales funnel. So how can you convert your ideal customers into paying customers? Can you set up some automations within your business so that you can make sales 24/7, while you sleep. And what are your sales goals? So how many sales do you want to make to break, even with those expenses and how many sales do you need to make to reach your profit goals?
The final step in all of this is to register your business and the names. So, this is often what people do for. Is they go, I've got this great idea for this business and I am just going to the first thing I'm going to do is going to set up a business name and get my ABN, or if you're listening from a different country, whatever it is that you are, your registration number is for being a business. In Australia, it's called an ABN, but that's usually the first thing that people do.
What I'd encourage you to do is do the other steps first, because it may actually impact what you decide to call your business and it may actually impact the way that you register your domains. You might need to look at trademarking, all of those kinds of things.
So just to go through step six for you, when you get to the point of registering your business and all the other bits and pieces, decide on your business structure, are you going to be a sole trader? Are you going to be working as a partnership? Are you going to be in a company structure? If you're unsure of what those things are, then that's a question that you should really be directing towards an accountant and they will help you to identify which is best for you. You also need to choose and register your business name and then obtain a business number or a license for the state or the country that you are in.
And then of course you need to check availability of those business names. And I also recommend that you check availability for the domain. So your web address and also trademarks.
So you may think that at the beginning of your business, that you might not necessarily need those things, but it's good to check them and if you can afford to, it's good to buy the domains early in the piece so that you know that they're there. If you decide to grow same with trademarks, like if you're starting off really small, maybe trademarking your business isn't what you want to do straight away, but just check the availability because trademarking your business is something that can be quite important as your business grows.
And then the last thing to do is celebrate. So once you've got all of those things done, you need to definitely be setting yourself up with a business launch party, decide on a date and create a celebration, pop the champagne, because you will certainly have put in the hard work to do.
Ok, so to finish off this episode of the podcast, I want to take you through a couple of extra points that I think are so important when you are at the beginning of your business journey or if you've been in business for a while, but you're feeling like you haven't got clarity, you're feeling like you're spinning your wheels and you are really ready to step up to the next level, but you don't really know where to start.
And my suggestion around this is to ask advice for other entrepreneurs. So advice from other people, other business professionals can really be invaluable. Just make sure that they know what they're talking about. That they've walked in your shoes and they are now a few years ahead of where you are. Pick someone who is where you want to be. Because they will know how to get you there. It's like surrounding yourself with an advisory board, which is giving you the opportunity to ask questions and don't be afraid to ask questions.
I'm always encouraging the women that I work with, to use our weekly group coaching sessions and to use the Facebook group, that we have exclusive to the Ready To Rise, ladies and my private clients to ask questions, to share their wins and to share the knowledge too and get that feedback from one another.
The great thing about this is that you can bounce your ideas in a secure confidential space before throwing it out into the real world, which is really great if you're building your business skills and your confidence as a business owner. Plus, the other great thing is that I'm in that exclusive group as well, to monitor suggestions and add my own feedback to it, which is great to have a business coach at your fingertips really.
My caveat to this, if you are reaching out and surrounding yourself with people than you're asking for advice, you're asking for questions, just be careful not to take advice from people who have an opinion on how to run a business, but who haven't actually been in business before or who haven't closely worked with a successful small business.
An example of this might be someone in your family or friend that means really well, but they haven't got the business skills or experience to back it up. So this can be really dangerous and it can derail you very quickly. So what I would suggest is, yes, take their opinion; yes, take their idea on board, but then go and research it, educate yourself more on that idea and really dig a little deeper into that suggestion before actually taking action on it.
The other thing that I think is really important, it's to develop a great elevator speech. You should have a succinct, compelling story about what your business does and what problem it solves. Have this ready to go? Have this ready so that if you happen to bump into a potential customer or you're in a networking event, that it just rolls off the tongue, keep it to about 30 seconds or less. Make sure it articulates your mission and your goals and why your product or your service is unique.
If you take your business idea through a process like the startup checklist or you're in a program like the Ready To Rise program, then you will have that clarity. You will have a mission statement, you will know your overarching goals and you'll know what makes you unique and who your ideal customers are, which makes talking about your business. so much easier and you'll be able to take advantage of those networking opportunities to really build your business up.
And lastly, my final piece of advice just do it. There's never the perfect time to launch a startup business. There will never be the perfect time to reshape the business that you have to become the business that you love, that serves you and your lifestyle.
There's no perfect time to do those things. You just need to take the lead. You and only you are standing between where you are and where you want to go. Now I see you, I understand the feeling of being super nervous, feeling of being well beyond your comfort zone of winging it and hoping that it works. I know that feeling because I've been there, I've had three businesses that I started grown and then sold later on.
And at each of those businesses, there are points where it feels uncomfortable and it feels uncertain and it feels really scary. But if you're serious about building or growing a business, that will take you to the next level, then put the things in place that you know you need and then go for it.
When you finally stop winging it in your business, and you start building your business with intention and skill, you'll soon be working your own hours. You'll soon be making money and you'll have the freedom of time to spend that with those who mean the most to you, but you won't have any of that if you don't start. So if you did nothing 12 months from now, where would you be? You'd probably be in the same place you are now, but if you took the right steps now, in 12 months time, you'll be so much closer to where you want to be, living your ideal work-life blend, getting that beautiful blend between business family and self care.
There's my soapbox speech for today. Got a little bit ranty there at the end, didn't it? But I'm so passionate about it that I do tend to get on my soapbox about this stuff. I see so many savvy, intelligent, amazing women who have these ideas, but don't take action on those ideas or they have this business that has the potential to be so much more than it is.
But they're just not prepared to take a leap and jump in and do something about it, to create that beautiful work-life blend to get off that wheel, that you're constantly peddling on and to actually start to take action towards the things that are going to move the needle on you having that beautiful, ideal work-life blend, whatever that is for you. It's different for everybody, but we all have an ideal work-life blend in our mind and you can achieve it, but it's about getting out of your own way and taking the steps to do it.
I hope today's episode has been really helpful for you and if you would like to download the checklist, remember the link for that will be in the show notes as well as the link to join the waitlist for the Ready To Rise program.
I really hope to see you in there.