Because you are an entrepreneur, creating a successful business is probably pretty high on your to-do list. It’s part of that entrepreneurial spirit stuff.
But to create a successful business, there are a few things you must be doing to set yourself up for success.
1. Set a Revenue Goal each month
One of the first things we do in Launched Academy is set a revenue goal for each month of the year.
To do that, we look at the revenue for previous years and identify the trends for each month. Is June your biggest month? Do you take a huge hit every February?
Take a minute to gather all the information you can and use your best guess to set a goal for the month.
If you know that one month you have a family reunion, you are traveling because your sister is having a baby, and there are three birthday parties, you’ll know that will be a lower revenue month because you don’t have the capacity to advertise really hard.
If you run a business that relies on events, summer might be busier for you because of tourists and family gatherings. You should have an uptick in the summer months.
If you find that in January you don’t have a lot of sales, you’ll know that you want to spend a lot of marketing money in January to up that revenue instead of a traditionally busier month.
After considering all these things, plan out your revenue and make sure it’s as accurate to what you think will happen this year as possible.
It’s not uncommon for the revenue each month to vary. I know I can’t do 100% for 12 months of the year. I can’t go hard every day. I’ll burn out. That’s my life. That’s totally fine. I created a business plan and model that works with that. You get to design your business however you want to design your business. If you want to have a chill month, have a chill month.
2. Plan for Problems
This may sound weird to plan for problems, but stay with me.
I used to be a wedding photographer. I did a crap ton of weddings all over the Western United States. I got really good at planning for problems.
Photographing the groomsmen took me about 15 minutes, but I always planned an hour+. Photographing the bride and groom took me 30-45 minutes, but I planned 1 ½ hours. It wasn’t because I wanted to take the extra time or I wanted things to go bad, but if the bride says she will be ready in an hour, but it takes her an hour and a half, I’m not stressed because I planned the extra time.
I plan my business the same way. I want to plan for problems. If my revenue goal is $167k, I plan for $175k. I always schedule up. Then, if I didn’t hit my goals in January, I didn’t screw up my whole year. I’ll just take it from somewhere else.
You need to plan for problems. What if someone gets sick? What if someone dies? What if COVID happens again? What if, what if?
There are a lot of “what ifs” because life is real, and we are just going to plan for life.
We are going to plan for the grandma to be late or the groomsman to show up drunk. We are also going to plan for our revenue goals. Then if something bad happens in the year or life happens, it won’t completely knock you on your butt.
3. Marketing Matters … even the free stuff
It’s not uncommon for clients to ask me, “What if I don’t have any money for marketing?”
Well, there are a TON of free things you can do to market your business.
Networking is a long game, but it’s also a super easy way to market. It takes about three months to start seeing a return on your investment.
I offer a Networking Group every Wednesday that is $10/week. You don’t have to be there every week. You could do it once a month. It gives you the opportunity to talk to people, get their feedback, and share what you do.
There are so many networking groups in your area. A lot of them are probably free. It’s super easy, so take a few minutes to research the groups in your area.
Social media does take time, but it doesn’t have to cost money. The important thing is that you consistently post and talk to people.
You can find more marketing ideas in the How To Launch a Business Group.
4. Diversify Your Offerings
I believe in well-rounded businesses. You should 100% diversify what you offer. I have seen million-dollar businesses crumble because they had exactly one product and exactly one way to market that. Then when COVID hit, they were completely wiped out because they hadn’t diversified. They only had one thing they were capable of, and there was no way to pivot.
I have about ten different things that people can purchase from me. If my Academy fails, I have nine other things to work with. If my book sales tank, I have other things to help keep our revenue up.
I recommend that my clients start with three different products.
When trying to diversify your business, it’s important to think, “What can I create” and “What else can I sell?” I am not looking for things out in the universe. I am looking for things that already go along with what I do.
One of the members of Launched Academy does escape rooms for your ancestors (which is the coolest thing I have ever heard!) Some of the other offerings she could have are:
- Put together a quick printout of something to give to all the grandkids as a memory
- Mini escape rooms
- Large escape rooms
- Family reunion escape rooms
To create these other offerings, she is repurposing her main product into something new.
Setting a revenue goal, planning for problems, marketing, and diversifying your offerings are vital to creating a successful business. They also help you be proactive, adaptable, and resourceful. You will set yourself up for long-term success and resilience while growing your business. You have the power to create the business you want.
Launching and growing a business can be hard, but you don’t have to do it alone. The Launched Academy teaches new entrepreneurs each step of building a solid business foundation. A good business foundation reduces expensive mistakes, skyrockets sales, and increases profit.