Are you an accidental entrepreneur that has leapt into business for yourself?
Well, You’re not alone!

Starting and running your own successful business is one of the most rewarding, exciting and nerve-racking adventures you will set out on. It has its joys and it certainly has its challenges, all of which will push you outside your comfort zone, spur your creative thinking and give you a few more gray hairs!

To help ensure that your business adventure is a successful and profitable one, here are some tips and strategies to make your efforts more fulfilling and focused.

Build a Foundation Based on Your Core Values
What’s important to you? What are the drivers that get out of bed each day to go to work for yourself? Look to your core values for some clues. Our core values shape how we operate in the world both personally and professionally. The more aligned your work is with these core values, the more satisfying your business will be and the less like work it will feel.

Get Clear on Your Commitment
What is your vision and mission for your company? What impact do you want to have on your community and the world?  How do you want to achieve your vision? The more you can refine your vision, the easier it will be to set your goals and objectives along the way.

Create Your Plan
Writing a business plan isn’t just a nice exercise to do, it’s a road map for building your company. It’s a working document to help guide you, stay true to your vision and help you establish the mile markers along the way. It should entail both your short-term and long-term goals for your company and include your plans for the internal growth of your organization and the external growth of your business. Don’t let it gather dust, review and update it regularly.

Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Do your research – what are your closest competitors doing? Then look to see how you can provide your services better, smarter or faster than your competition. This will help you to stand out from the crowd. Use your uniqueness to your advantage – quirks and all!

Build Your Marketing Kit
Take your USP and use it to create a set of effective marketing materials. To get you started, you’ll need a business card, an “audio logo or 30-second commercial” to briefly describe your business, an executive summary of who you work with and what you provide, and even a small website to get your brand out onto the web.

Establish a Marketing Strategy
Now that you’ve got some tools to get started with, it’s vital that you identify the 2-3 different marketing tactics you can do to help grow your business.  This can include but isn’t limited to: networking, advertising, online sales, creating a newsletter, speaking engagements, podcasting, writing articles to get published or even writing your own book. Whatever tactics you choose they should all point your potential clients into your sales funnel. The more closely each of these tactics is tied into the others, the more successful your marketing campaign will be.

Working for yourself is certainly not easy, but (I’ve found) that the rewards, freedom and independence that it brings are well worth the ride!  By following these six simple, yet not easy steps, you’ll help to build a solid foundation for a thriving business.

Keep me posted on your business growth and the challenges that you’re facing. I’d love to hear from you so I can answer any questions you may have and share them here so everyone can benefit.

To Your Success~

Michele