June 10, 2013
Why are you in business? No seriously, why? If you just said it is to help others, make the world a better place or some other lofty dream, you are only partially correct. The truth is, you are in business to make money. Without money, you can’t be sustainable or make much of a difference and it’s really tough to be able to help others when you can hardly help yourself.
Below are some pointers that have helped me build a multi 6-figure business. Implement some or all of these suggestions and you’ll be on your way to fulfilling the reason why you are an entrepreneur to begin with … by nurturing your business to success!
STEP ONE: Nurture your Vision
Create specific goals that will lead you to fulfilling your vision. What do you want your business to look like a year from now? 5 years? Start there and create a plan that will support you– what needs to happen in order for those goals to be achieved? This roadmap will be what you follow to achieve your vision. And remember to treat your business as a business instead of a hobby (whether you realize it or not) this mindset shift alone will make an incredible difference to your success.
STEP TWO: Nurture your marketing
It can’t be overstated enough at how important this step is. Without marketing your business, you will not flourish because no one will know you exist! Here are some tips to get you going:
Do a thorough analysis on who your ideal target market is, what their needs are and how you can help them.
Spend at least an hour or two a week minimum working ON your business and if you can’t take that time, hire a competent marketing firm that can do a lot of it for you (and the bonus is that you’ll benefit from their expertise, which will save you more time, energy and money in the long run).
Market yourself daily online via social media, networking groups, blog postings and commenting on other blog posts. This does not mean pushing your products or services on others! Your goal is to develop relationships so they can begin to know, like and trust you.
STEP THREE: Nurture your clients
The best way to build your business is through referrals. If a client is pleased with your offerings, they will be more than happy to tell others. In order to achieve this, here are a few pointers:
Demonstrate you care about them by being accessible and responding to their needs in a timely manner
Follow up to see how they are doing
Thank them for being a client/doing business with you
Stay in touch on a regular basis through social media, blog posts and newsletters
STEP FOUR: Nurture your team
It is nearly impossible to build a successful business without any help. Build a team of resources (either as employees, contractor or hiring an expert in a specific field) who can offset your weaknesses. Delegate as much as you can of the stuff you really don’t like doing or don’t know how to do (properly).
Lead your team by example and encourage, praise and respect them. Never scold and criticize them in front of their peers – that’s a sure fire way to demean and devalue them. Your team can also help by brainstorming for new ideas and ways things can be improved.
STEP FIVE: Nurture Your Systems and Processes
It’s probably the last thing you want to do, but it’s critical to document everything you do and how you do it as if you were going to re-create your business as a franchise. (Read Michael E. Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited to find out how.)
This step will save you countless amounts of time and energy, especially as you build your team while growing your business.
STEP SIX: Nurture Your Self
I encourage you to believe in what you are doing and have confidence that everything will work out. Stop chasing after every guru out there and start trusting that you already have the resources you need to succeed.
Stay on track by following your plan and don’t let the shiny object syndrome continually pull you and your team in several different directions.
Find a mentor, mastermind group or coach that will not only support you but guide you on how to implement your plans and allow your brilliance to shine. You’ll stop wasting time and money and start focusing on what is most important so you can grow more quickly and get the support you need.
By nurturing your business using these 6 steps, you will not only enjoy growth and sustainability but also the success you desire!
I’d love to hear from you! Comment below and share your challenges or perhaps some ideas of your own that can help nurture your business to success.