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The Inside Scoop On How I Built My Business (So Far)

Cat LeBlancMy business is pretty young in the grand scheme of where I plan to go with it. Still, I get a lot of questions on how I gained traction so quickly and what I did behind the scenes to make it work. Here’s what I did right, what I did wrong and what you can take away from my story…

What I did right

I spent time working out the right business for me

I spent time really thinking about who I am and what I can offer. It’s easy to get caught up in finding marketable niches and looking for where the money is but the right place to start is with yourself. It’s the hard work that most people don’t want to do.

I took five months to work out where my natural skills and talents lie and how I could monetize them in a fun and sustainable way. That could have been fast-tracked with the right coach. (Me now, but no time machine available!) So given the absence of options I am extremely happy I took this time to focus and find the right direction. There’s nothing worse than having to scrap everything and start again!

I did the things I could do myself

As a coach wanting to network and find clients primarily online a professional looking website with strong branding is important. I had a clear idea of how I wanted my website to feel to visitors and what colours and style would convey that. I did a large part of my branding myself and got some final tweaks from a trusted friend.

I also built my own website. I’ll be honest, I spent too much time in support forums and even more time swearing but as a formal IT nerd I knew I’d get there in the end!

With more cash available I could have saved time by having a professional do the branding and website for me but now I have the skills to do it myself. It also forced me think about how I want to represent myself on a deeper level.

It makes sense to do what you can yourself to turn a profit as quickly as possible. Doing my branding and website saved me a significant amount of cash in the startup phase. Everyone is different, just make sure you capitalize on your own skills when starting.

Coaching

I was coached for the majority of the time whilst building my business. Having an experienced mentor is invaluable. I really do recommend personalized guidance when starting a business. Coaching will keep you focussed and on track for success.

 

What I would have done differently had I known better at the time

Expectations

I expected to earn more money sooner. Almost everyone falls into this one! My expectations weren’t helped by the fact I got my first paying customer within three days of launching my website.

So I just thought things would continue as they started. Erm. No. It takes a lot more work for people to buy than you realize when starting out! It’s a case of one foot in front of the other and having your processes in place. Slowly your bank account starts to see the benefits. Yay for you when you get there!

Buying courses and programs I didn’t need

Otherwise known as Shiny Object Syndrome. There’s so much great material out there it’s hard to know what you need. Internet marketers are trained in making people believe they must buy their products. As a newbie you will think you need it all. You don’t. Take time to consider which courses really will add to your bottom line.

Working so hard that I didn’t actually have any spare time to celebrate my successes!

This embarrasses me to admit yet I found myself doing it. When you find work you love it can be hard to reign in your enthusiasm! I took very little time to celebrate my achievements and spent a lot of time chained to my desk.

I am resolving to change this this year!

 

So in summary…

Do what you can yourself

Fast track by getting coached

Where you (really) need help, get help

Remember to celebrate!

 

Now, as always, I’d like to hear from you

What did you do wrong and right with starting your business?

What are you worried about in setting up your new business?

Let me know in the comments below… :-)

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4 Responses to The Inside Scoop On How I Built My Business (So Far)

  1. I’m in the beginning phase of starting my own business and your tips are exactly what I needed to hear! :)

    And, I’m with you, the best thing I’ve done so far is to find out who I am and what strengths I can bring to my business. I tried starting different businesses in the past, but they all failed because they didn’t resonate with who I was. So, this has been huge– finding something that lights me up and makes me happy.

    My biggest worry comes from knowing whether or not anyone would purchase my products. I know that I should put things out there, get feedback, and make the necessary changes!!

    • Thanks for commenting Jennifer! Absolutely, as hard as it is you need to put a first version out there, get some testers (or first clients depending on your experience level) and adjust as needed.

      Just put it out there! Generally we are our own worst critics. It’s scary but think about how amazing it will be once you find someone who loves what you have to offer :-)

      Cat xx

  2. Hi Cat,
    I enjoyed reading this post as I’m in the startup phase myself: the right business, the branding and website, the expectations and the many many hours are all there :)

    I was wondering if you’ve found/used online hangouts (like forums) for building your online presence. I’m currently trying to figure out what social media works for me and what doesn’t and I’m curious how fellow online entrepreneurs have build their internet foothold!

    Thanks, love your site,
    Linda

  3. Hi Linda,

    I am in a lot of Facebook groups because of all the courses I have done and I am quite active in some so my online presence certainly hasn’t been harmed by posting blog posts and helpful comments in those groups.

    I am not active in any forums outside of Facebook groups, although I plan to investigate LinkedIn groups. Really for you it depends on where your ideal clients are hanging out. You do want to be being useful and showcasing your expertise wherever they are.

    Thanks for commenting!

    Cat x

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