How To Build a Proper Business
I've been hustling in this game since high school, but didn't get to build a proper business till college. When you're young and desperate, you really try everything you can. But this may not be the best method. Sometimes it is really better to just say no. I found being happy is more important than trying to earn that extra dollar.
1. Play Your Strength
There are so many articles about finding your passion or build a business you are passionate about. Guess what, 90% of the time, if you're good at it, you're passionate as well! Plus, as a business, you are in a very competitive space, which means you want to be on top of your game.
Just because you are passionate about basketball, doesn't mean you will play in the NBA. Fortunately, doing business is a lot easier than getting into the NBA. But if you can market a commercial roofing contractor better than Michael Jordan’s three-point field goals record, you will always land on your feet. Playing to your strengths isn’t about trying to do other things because you know you can do that one thing with your eyes closed- that’s where you’ve gotta go!
2. Flexible Structure
Every business person operates differently. For me, I value freedom/time. Plus, starting off I didn't have six figure in the bank to go out and hire a team out right. Instead, I found a network of full time professional freelancers to work with long term. Obviously, this meant less risk and overhead for me as well as more time to build the company image and get customers. At the same time, I could provide top quality work to my customers since I would only hire top rated freelancers to work with. Most of them were U.S. based.
And yes, this ate into my margins, but that didn't matter to me at the moment. It was more important to me to build up my reputation, provide great service and increase the customer base.
Plus, I love being able to work anywhere as a "travelpreneur".
I could scale up or down depending on clients needs and reconfigure our team as needed.
3. Content is King, but still produce results.
Whatever your business is, you need traffic and good products/service to offer. Being able to present what you have is very important. I found that it was better when we were in control, so we can seamlessly implement our strategy, content creation to outreach promotions.
4. Invest in Your Marketing
This one really can’t be stressed enough. The world is saturated with businesses, and finding your niche in the market can be hard enough to begin with - once you’ve found it, you need to work hard to bring in customers and make them stay. One of the best ways to do this online is by investing in SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
If you haven’t already heard of this, get researching immediately. SEO is how you boost your company’s position in the search results of sites such as Google. A higher search result will mean great traffic to your site, and higher customer numbers. Take a look at the Squarespace SEO guide for a bit more information, and advice about how to optimize a Squarespace-hosted website to maximize your SEO.
In short, investing in your marketing is an absolute necessity when it comes to building a proper business. You can’t rely on customers to come to you - you have to draw them in, and SEO is one of the most effective methods.
5. Dump Your Shitty Clients
I can't emphasize this more! And you can usually spot these type of customers from a mile away! It's the ones wanting the best quality, but not willing to pay for it. Or they will tell you how much business they'll bring you and expecting you to give him a low ball price for quality service.
I've been a victim of this many times. These customers will call me night and day telling me about all the deals we can do together, and every here and there will offer small jobs that you most likely will lose money on or be not worth the time to produce.
Anytime there's an issue, it's always your fault so they can get credit back. This will also give you doubt thinking your work is not good enough. In reality, it's NOT YOU, it's THEM.
GET RID OF THEM! Draining your time, effort, money and kills morale. The money made from these type of clients is not worth the stress. Having a clear mind allows more room for creativity and growth.
Obvious key is obvious.
There's not way around it. This is the standard now to even play on the playing field.
7. It's Always About the Customer, NOT YOU
Yes, you want flexibility.
Yes, you want financial freedom.
Yes, you want to be your own boss.
But building a business is about offering value to the customer.
Only by factoring your customers into your system can you turn your dream or passion into a real business that’ll make you money.
How can you help a customer get in shape? How can you help a customer grow their business? What can I teach someone?
Always think about what is best for the customer.
Hope you enjoyed this.
Would love to hear from other people. Ideas, thoughts, questions.