Throughout the early stages of starting a new business, there’s a lot to do. You need to build the product, talk to your customers, get out and promote your idea, and all the while try to find a way to be profitable. It’s a little overwhelming, so much so that it’s easy to get stuck. You want to get some work done, but you’re not exactly sure what to do. Other times, you’ve accomplished everything that needs to be done, but you want to do more — yet unsure where to focus.
With that in mind, here’s a list to consult anytime you’re sitting there thinking, “What in the hell should I work on?”
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1. 50% Creating/50% Connecting
Spend 50% of your time creating and 50% of your time connecting.
Create your MVP, implement a marketing strategy, and put up the walls of your business. Basically, make something people want, and then go tell those people about it. Easy enough.
The other 50% of your time should be spent on nurturing current, and developing future, relationships. Who do you know that can help in some way or another? What do you need to know and who knows it? Usually the best way to get the word out about your new idea is to start by telling the people you know. Then ask them who they think you should talk to.
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2. Going Above & Beyond
Your customers are the most important part of your business — they are your reason for being where you are today. They are the most special people on the face of this planet and they deserve to be treated like it. So today, go out of your way to provide unexpected value to them in the form of writing a little thank you note, sending a small gift, or highlighting them on your website.
Go above and beyond the call of duty. Do the unexpected, and they will love you for it. Who doesn’t like to feel appreciated? Stop pounding the pavement for new leads and focus on appreciating the awesome customers you already have. Your kind gestures will not go unnoticed — there are so many benefits to come from treating your customers like gold.
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“A list is the easiest and most effective marketing tool, period.” — Ryan Holiday
Throughout the entire life of your business, focus on adding new subscribers to your email list. Why? To keep interested individuals updated on new happenings, to give them exclusive information and promotions, as well as just to check in on them. You need to establish a direct connection between what you’re doing and the people who care about what you’re doing. (This need will never go away.)
Brainstorm ways to increase the size of your list. Can you offer a small e-book of helpful tips and tricks in exchange for their email? Can you go to a trade show and ask for the business cards of everyone in attendance? What can you do to build your email list? This is something you should always be working on, no matter what stage or what you’re currently doing.
If you have nothing else to do, grow your email list.
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4. Create Engaging Content
People want to know about you. They want to know more about your product, your industry, your business, about you. So tell them! Spend time writing articles and develop a regular blog. Befriend a videographer and create a short film showcasing your product and how awesome it is. Take pictures of your product in action, create a hall of fame board for awesome customers, or interact with your customers on social media — the list is endless!
What matters is that you keep your customers engaged with your business. Consistently deliver cutting-edge content to them in order to establish you in their minds as the go-to resource for your chosen industry. It is officially your job to establish yourself as a thought leader, so that customers will be interested and intrigued by your organization.
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There’s only so much one person can accomplish. No matter how great you are, you’re not superhuman; it’s only natural to stay caught in our own thought processes and ideas. However, when we open our thoughts to other like-minded individuals, something amazing happens. It’s almost as if everyone’s minds combine into one larger, wiser mind. By bouncing your ideas off of someone else, they begin to crystallize; your colleague will be able to help poke holes into your strategy, identify growth opportunities, point you towards a helpful resource, and so much more.
So write down the current challenges you’re facing with your business. Then go and find someone with an entrepreneurial mindset. Set aside an hour or two, sit down, and chat.
Talk about your plans for growth and how you plan to get there. Talk about your customers. Talk about how you can provide more value to them. Talk about your product. Talk about ways to attract more customers. Most importantly, talk about the challenges you’re facing today.
There you have it — 5 solid actions to take if you’re ever stuck. Create and connect with people who can help you. Go above and beyond with your current customers. Grow your email list to stay connected to your biggest fans. Create exciting content to keep your customers engaged. And last but surely not least, schedule time to brainstorm solutions overcome your biggest challenges — the benefits are infinite.
At Grow Your Idea, we specialize in brainstorming strategy and evaluating your ideas. We serve as an all-encompassing sounding board for your startup. It’s way too easy to get caught in the trap of “busy work” or even worse, no work at all. We’ll admit, it’s tough to do, but you must understand that your biggest goals are at stake. You have a responsibility to yourself to consistently translate your vision into concrete action steps, and that’s where we can help.
Message us now at Hello@GrowYourIdeaToday.com.
Grow Your Idea helps first-time entrepreneurs talk to and understand their customers, establish their business model, and plan their growth strategy. Our mission is to empower anyone with a great idea to take action on their big idea.
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