About ideas, planning and making money
You are sure about it: there is more to life than this! You have been working in a job or a career now for, how long? A career that you rolled into without much thought. Because perhaps your parents once suggested it was good choice to study a law degree. Or go into banking. But 10, 15, or even 20 years later, it is all starting to itch. You are dreaming of leaving your career. Oh sure, it is well paid, and it’s got status. But what does that all mean when you feel no joy whatsoever? You are dreaming of being your own boss. Working from home, or online, or having your own studio, store or practice. What amazing small business ideas do you have, and where to take it from here?
You may have had a passion all your life. Writing, creating, photography. Or maybe you have worked in an industry you like in itself, but you feel it is time to set up as self-employed. As a coach, a therapist, a teacher. Whatever small business ideas you have, it is all possible. You just need to make a plan, and put one foot in front of the other.
Steps to take to manifest your amazing small business ideas:
- What is that you want to do?
- What is your current financial situation?
- What do you need to do in order to make this a reality?
- Make a 5-year plan for yourself
1. What is it that you want to do?
This is the first question you have to ask yourself.
Do you want to stay in your current industry, or are you ready to leave that all behind and start something else from scratch?
The pros of staying in your current industry
The pros of staying in an industry you are familiar with, are that you have an existing network. You also are an expert in that field, and you can probably quite quickly set yourself up as self-employed. Think of a childhood trauma therapist, who previously worked in the public healthcare sector for many years. Or a digital artist, who previously worked for an advertising company.
The pros of following your passion
But perhaps you are completely done with your old career, and cannot wait to spend your next chapter doing what you love most: creating, making, building, growing. Maybe you have already been baking birthday cakes on the side for years, for friends and relatives, and you want to launch your own cake company now. Or you have a real eye for interior styling, and people always ask you for advice. Why not set yourself up as a stylist? Following your passion, and turning it into a small business can be very satisfying.
Ask yourself this: what are people always asking you about? What are you naturally helping people with? What do you know a lot about, that you love sharing with people?
All of these things can turn into amazing small business ideas.
2. What is your current financial situation?
The biggest stress factor, by far, when you jump into entrepreneurship, is the financial situation. You need to have this well organised before you start.
The last ting you need is for bills to pile up, debt hanging over your head, and all the enjoyment being sucked out of your new life as a business owner. make a plan. I always tell my clients to ‘ease into’ entrepreneurship.
Keep working part-time while you build your empire, unless you have the funds to focus full-time on your business.
There is no shame in taking on an extra job to help you cover the bills in the first years. You will not make a full-time income from one day to the next. Building a business is a marathon, not a race.
You’ve got to be committed to it, and have some kind of safety net, financially. This could be in the shape of a supportive partner who is willing to pay the household bills for a while. Or maybe it is a loan from a family member (or the bank – although this will be with % interest!). Or maybe you have your own savings, an inheritance, or income from another source.
Do NOT burn all your bridges, and expect to making a proper living out of baking cakes, selling paintings, walking dogs, or being a life coach, in year one.
3. What do you need to launch your small business?
So how do you start?
You need to have a pretty clear idea of what it is you want to do. Write it down in your notebook. What would your life look like if you were running your own business? Make it come alive in your words and images.
Make a dream board; grab a big piece of white paper, a stack of magazines (travel/interior/lifestyle/financial), scissors and glue, and create a poster with images and words that mean something to you and your future business. The more you do these exercises, the more you send messages to your subconscious that you are serious about this. You mind will then do everything in its power to manifest it. What you focus on….will grow.
Also, start thinking about who you want to sell to. Who is your ideal client? What niche are you serving? What are you offering to people? Which problem will you be solving? Most new business owners launch without giving this much thought, and then feel completely lost when trying to market themselves. They set up social media accounts, and a website…but how to attract clients? Make sure you have a basic marketing plan.
Buy my Startup Workbook Bundle
This Starter Kit is a great resource for anyone who wants to start earning money doing what they love. Tried and tested exercises and worksheets that give you great clarity, and a plan for moving forward. Get clear on your audience, niche, offers and message, and create your own simple marketing strategy.
The PDF workbook bundle for small businesses includes:
1. Workbook: Kick-start your Business
2. Workbook: Defining your Niche
3. Workbook: Writing your Marketing Strategy
4. Workbook / Check list: Audit of your marketing
5. Workbook: Increasing your visibility
6. Guide: 11 ways to get more clients
7. Guide: Creating better content for more engagement and sales
8. Guide: Five tips for attracting your ideal client
4. Make a 5-year plan
Five years?! Yes. Ten, even. To build an amazing sustainable business, rather than aiming for a quick-rich scheme (forget it), it is a good idea to make a five-year plan.
Sure, if you are investing big bucks into your small business, and are able to have a team around you straight away, this will be quicker. But most of us, solo entrepreneurs and creative freelancers are looking at a different reality. Remember, a marathon, not a race.
Business coach George Kao, who I admire very much for his views on authentic marketing, has a brilliant blog post and video about how to structure your years after launching, and what to expect, realistically. 10 years allows a spacious and realistic way for most creative entrepreneurs to realise their dream of earning a full-time income, by developing good habits, bit by bit.
What’s possible with this plan:
- Year 2: Part-time income with providing your authentic service.
- Year 4: Full-time income by providing both 1-1 and group offerings (as a coach), or selling your products or services as a designer-maker.
- Year 10: Full-time income, somewhat passively, allowing for semi-retirement, and being one of the best in your field.
Are you looking for a creative business coach?
The Creative Business Coach is Nina Eggens, a no-nonsense, practical coach and serial entrepreneur, helping freelancers and small business owners get clear and confident, and become better at marketing. Let’s start earning money doing what you love, and bring your amazing small business ideas to live!
Check out her programs or book a free 30-min call below.