From big boardroom to baby business

Having coached solopreneurs for many years, here are my top tips for aspiring or early stage business owners on transitioning from corporate life to running a business from home.

  1. Know what problem you are solving

The bigger and more obvious the problem your product or services solves, the easier it will be to get your business off the ground. However, here’s something most people don’t know.

Getting the right message-to-market match will sell millions of dollars of a mediocre product. So as startup or early stage business owner, you’re not trying to create the “perfect” product for the market. Instead you want to develop one that resonates with a market.

Your message has to resonate deeply with your market. To do this, you must know who your ideal customer is intimately – not just surface level, you need go deep and understand what she is likely to have for breakfast. Only then can you create marketing messages that are going to resonate.

Focus on message-to-market match as your first order of business.

  1. Find accountability

Over the last six years working with hundreds of students and people in the process of building their business, there is ONE surprising thing that correlates directly to speed of success. Can you guess what it is?

It’s motivation, closely followed by having a deadline. In my own case, I got started online back in 2011 when I was on maternity leave. I was aware that I had a small window of opportunity to start my business, otherwise I’d have to go back to my full-time corporate job. I don’t think I ever would have got my business off the ground if I didn’t have that deadline.

See, having a deadline can create strong motivation. Give yourself a deadline to work through a project or achieve a milestone in your business and hold yourself accountable to it. Make it a non-negotiable.

  1. No need to reinvent the wheel

Tapping into someone’s knowledge who’s already been where you’d like to go, can be a game-changer. The mistake some aspiring business owners make is that they don’t want to spend money on a business coach or training. But here’s the thing, investing in someone who has been there and done that can save you a truckload of time and money, and therefore it’s just that – an investment. Why reinvent the wheel when you could be turning it? The question shouldn’t be how much does this cost. Instead ask what’s my likely return? Make things easier for yourself by finding a good business coach.

  1. How much do you want it?

Finally, an important question to ask yourself and a crucial point to consider before going out on your own, is how badly do you want it? Being in business isn’t a linear process. In fact, be prepared for a journey filled with ups and downs. The only way to be able to ride the entrepreneurial waves, is to have unwavering determination to reach your goals. And to do that you have to want it badly.

Jane Copeland, author and founder business blog “Coping with Jane”

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