If you’re in the service industry and you’ve been thinking about starting a business or you have just started one, focusing on your brand development in the early stages will help ensure your progression and growth is more easily maintained than waiting until you are fully established.
Having worked in the service industry for over 25 years, when I finally took the step to start my business, I knew it would be challenging but I was ready to embrace that challenge and everything it brought with it.
Has it been easy, no and I know there will still be other challenges to face, but it’s all part and parcel of being a business owner – actually, of life in general. We have to accept and understand both sides of the coin in order to progress and learn.
If you are at this stage now and you are wondering where to begin, the best advice I can give you is start by writing down your goals for yourself and your business. This will give you a focus to commit to:
> What sort of business owner do you want to become?
> What would you like to earn in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year of your business?
> Who would you ideally like to work with / become your clients?
> When would you like to launch?
> What are your strengths, weaknesses, assets and challenges?
> How are you going to use and improve them to make your business successful?
> Who do you have to support you?
The first question is deliberately posed to make you think about your mindset. Resilience and strength of mind is absolutely crucial if you want to be successful. If you can’t envision and believe in your success, it’s unlikely you will get anyone else to believe in you either.
Your mind can be your worst enemy and your best friend if you don’t control it. There will be beliefs and fears that you have built up over time which will creep up and sabotage your success before you even realise it. Again, my best advice here is to find a coach that can help you work on your personal development, so that you can be the best of yourself, the way you want to be. It's something I wish I had done a lot earlier in my business development.
Success can, in some contexts, be thought of as a dirty word, but it isn’t! It’s just relative to each of us and you shouldn’t be ashamed to say you want to be wealthy or rich…or that you just want to be comfortable - it's up to you to define what your success looks and feels like for you.
Ultimately, it’s about how you use your skills, knowledge and experience to create your success. It’s how you interact with people and serve to help them resolve their challenges and achieve their goals. The income or compensation you receive is a bi-product of how much you care about what you do and how you can change someone's life.
When you start a business, it’s essential to learn as much as you can about the different areas that you will need to manage. Especially, if you are starting out on your own.
Remember that most of what you learn is an asset not only to you, but also to your clients.
What I mean by that is any personal or business development that you invest in, will pay you back not only in enhancing your experience and knowledge, but also the service you provide to your clients and your income.
If you can’t afford to outsource, learn as much a you can to give you a head start and get your cash-flow up and running. Once you are in a position to outsource, do your research and support where you can maybe trial the service or product; or use your network, friends and family to give you recommendations or advice before you make a commitment.
Your knowledge, your skills and your experience are valuable, and they are totally unique to you!
As a service-based business owner, YOU are your brand and YOU are your USP.
Remember that you have an audience of people out there waiting to hear your voice, your story, your perspective and learn from your knowledge and experience - so don't be afraid to share it.
Now is your time to shine and make your brand impact!