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Building a solid business foundation

5 steps

 to get you started

building your foundation

In this article I'm going to explain why you need to build a solid business foundation. It is arguably the most crucial step you can take when starting your business. 
Plus, I'll give you 5 steps that you can implement right away.

Wait!

Can't I Just Start Building My Website?

When someone decides they want to start a business, it's very easy to get carried away in all the excitement - I totally get it. You can't wait to get started, and you just want to get something out there and get noticed as soon as possible, and you get sucked in to doing all the shiny stuff – so you go get a logo and build a website right?

Wrong!

Before you do any of that you need to get all the foundations in place. You need to take a breather and figure out a few crucial things before you go jumping in to all the marketing stuff.

I've spent 20 years in marketing and every time I see someone miss the mark on a marketing campaign, or starting their business, it's because they've rushed in without doing the groundwork first. It doesn't need to take long either! The longer you spend on it the better it will be of course, but it won't take you weeks to do - if you are dedicated and really give it the attention, several hours will get you to where you need to be.

Hi

I'm Naomi

Working on the foundations for your business is a lot of fun, but can also be a bit overwhelming.

So if you have any questions, you can DM me @NaomiOnSocial on Instagram or Facebook.

Why do I need to build a solid business foundation?

People who don't put the work in to truly understand what their business is all about and the potential that it actually has, often end up either getting stuck and so the business doesn't get started; or they give up on that one, start a different businesses, and then get into the same cycle.

They are always wondering why they aren't making any progress and why they aren't selling anything.

I don't want this for you, and because you are here right now reading this, I can tell that you are not going to fall into that trap. In other words, when you put the work in before you start with any of the shiny stuff, and you build a solid business foundation, the results you will see will be worth it!

Think of it like building a house. You wouldn't start laying blocks onto bare ground would you?

Without Solid Foundations

A house would simply fall down!

Would you pick a piece of land and start laying blocks? Of course not! The house would have zero stability and fall straight over, it would be wasted money, time and materials. Ultimately, in order for a house to be stable and stand the test of time you need to build a solid foundation for it to sit on.

But when the house is complete you don't see the foundation. That foundation is hidden under the ground doing the job that it was supposed to, keeping the house strong and secure. What you actually see is above the surface - a handsome house, rendered blockwork, shiny new doors and windows, artwork on the walls, and soft furnishings making it nice and cosy.

house build solid foundation like business

I've spent the last 10 years renovating our house, and we're nearing the completion on our garden as well. What ends up as a beautiful finished product has a lot going on underneath that's invisible to the eye. Electric cables buried deep below the ground giving us electric and lighting, hot and cold water pipes to the outdoor facilities, and foundations for walls and seating. It all has to be meticulously thought out and planned.

You build a solid business foundation 

The same way you do for a house

Foundations for a house, and the infrastructure under our garden are no different to the solid foundation that you are about to build for your business. What a customer sees is the shiny new website, your social media posts, raving reviews and fantastic products, but underneath that is a layer of careful thought, research and detailed planning.

Notice that a third of the images above are of just the foundation for the house. Aim to always think of your business in the same way.

But, whilst the foundations for a house are really expensive, building the foundation for your business is not. 

All you need is to be willing to spend some time and put the effort in, and if you are reading this I'm guessing you are already on board.

Ultimately, this is the difference between those that fail and those that succeed. Those that fail a few times usually learn, and when they are ready to try again guess what they do? They build the foundations first – they take a moment to think about it, they get their infrastructure right, and then they go for it.

 the 5 steps

to building your foundation

Step 1

Know WHY You Want To Start A Business

You might have already done this step if you followed the process in the "Choosing the right business idea" post. But if not, you want to get really clear on why you want to start this business. What is having this new business going to do for you and for others? Is it:

  • Just to earn more money?
  • So you can be your own boss, working to your own schedule?
  • To buy the house of your dreams?
  • To allow you to spend more time with your family?
  • That you feel inspired to change the world?
  • Have you got a product or service that you know will help people, change lives, or change your life?
  • Do you want to employ people and create jobs?
  • Because you've always wanted to and it's been nagging at you for too long?

Whatever it might be, spend time really thinking about it, and write down all your reasons for wanting to start a business.

top tip

to help you really know why

Get crystal clear clarity by trying to get to the root of what your purpose is in starting this business. The money and freedom might be your first thought, but what is it that you really want to achieve? Is there something else driving you?

A good way to do this is to see what kind of emotional response you have when you think about your future life. Spend a moment closing your eyes and just imagining your business is already up and running, say 2 years in the future. What does it look like and how does it feel? Are you making more money than you could have wished for? Do you see yourself providing jobs to others? Do you see yourself spending time doing the jobs you want to do and saying no to those you don’t? How much are you enjoying what you do?

When you get clear on why you really want it, you will have a purpose, and that purpose is what will drive you and your business forward every day.

Step 2

Know WHAT your business is

By now you should have narrowed down your business ideas to just one or two. Maybe you always had just one idea, or maybe you had several. If you've not yet narrowed them down then check out this article first, which will help you figure it out.

Now you need to get clear on what is that your business is all about. What service is it going to provide, and how many? When will people use it? Where is it going to operate?  You want to spend time really thinking about this and write it all down.

Once you are clear on exactly what your business looks like, see if you can explain it in one sentence. Just imagine that someone has asked you "what do you do?". Try and say aloud what you do in once sentence. For me I might say "I give people the tools they need to start a businesses, simply and without stress."

Keep working on this until you have a sentence that says exactly what you do – one that you feel excited and confident saying to people when asked. By doing this you get clear on exactly what your business is all about, which will make your marketing so much easier later.

Step 3

Confirm there is a MARKET for your business

The next step to help you build a solid business foundation is to make sure that you really know that people will want to buy your product or service. And this is tricky because a lot of people miss this step completely, and start something that just hasn't been researched well enough, or is in a really crowded market that they haven't given thought to how they will stand out.

So what research have you done already? Are there other businesses offering similar services (how many and how good), can you find any data to support a need, have you done any testing with people you know, or run surveys online? There's loads you can do to make sure that there is a market for your business.

If you haven't already, now's the time to start researching so that you can be sure that people want what you've got. Ultimately you are aiming to identify the reasons why someone would need what you are selling.

want more guidance?

All of these steps are covered in detail in the first half of The Simple Start Up Strategy course, which is now available at a super affordable price.

Step 4

Know WHO your customers are & WHERE to find them

Once you have confirmed there is a market for you to tap into, next you can start thinking about who will buy your products or services.

Is there a specific target customer? Are they just women? Who are they? Are they in a certain age range or do they have a specific hobby? Might they be parents? Is your product or service aimed at individuals or businesses?

Be as specific as you can, taking into account different types of customer groups if there is more than one.

Once you know who they are, you need to look at where they are. Is your business location specific, country wide or worldwide? Where are these customers located? Do they hang out online and if so where, on social media? If you sell to businesses, do you know how to find the ones you want to target?

This doesn't need to be hugely detailed, because you will dive much deeper into this once you get your marketing all set up. At this stage though you do need to know who your ideal customer is, and where you are likely to find them.

When you do this you'll get clarity on exactly who you are going to serve, where to find them, and you'll be able to work out how you are going to communicate with them.

Step 5

Know WHERE You are going

The final step in building your solid business foundation is an exciting one! You want to be able to identify where you want your business to go. For example:

  • Are you wanting to earn £100,000 from your coaching service in the next 12 months?
  • Do you plan to sell your products in shops within 6 months?
  • Is your business going to be up and running and making money within 3 months?
  • Are you going to be working full time, or is this a side gig – if so how many hours a week will you be able to commit?

Whatever goals you have, now is the time to think about them, set them, and decide where you want to be. Once you know where you are going, you can start planning the journey of how to get there, and that's when all of the magic starts to happen.

When you pick a future goal – a clear decision of where you want to be and by a definite date, then you can work backwards, breaking this bigger goal into smaller chunks along the way. You might break 12 months into quarters, and then set monthy goals, and then break those into manageable weekly tasks.

By knowing where you are going, and putting a plan into action to achieve lots of mini goals, that's how you will make progress with your idea. Put in the work now, and it will pay off!

here's a little something

to help you make a plan

Sometimes knowing what to do, and in what order can be really overwhelming for new business owners.

Sure the information is out there, but it's time consuming to find and hard to piece it all together.

So I've put together a super simple checklist to help you! Use it to get clear on what you need to do, and which order to do them, so that you can get your business actually up and running.

“I've put together a simple checklist so you know what to do & in what order”

I’m excited for your progress and can’t wait to hear how you get on.

Let me know in the comments what action you are going to take next to get your business up and running. And if you want to ask any questions then you can reach out to me.

here's to your massive success!

get up & running fast!

with The Simple Start-up Strategy™ 

If you want to get up and running properly and quickly, then this new training is for you!

You'll get all the "need to know" aspects to building your business with confidence. No more trawling websites piecing together information, trying to work it all out. You'll know what you need to do and when, and you'll actually get your business set up! 

You'll validate your business idea & build your solid foundations, so you set your business up the RIGHT way. And then you'll follow a series of easy lessons (we love easy), which walk you through all the start up essentials (naming your business, setting up your emails, budgeting, branding & lots more). And as a bonus there are some great freebies in there too.

The Simple Start Up Strategy™ is achievable, affordable, and it's available now!

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