When I put my writing business into high gear three years ago, choosing a specialization definitely helped jumpstart the enterprise. But here are a few things I learned after that that go a long way toward making a profit when you’re starting a business:
#1 Figure out who you help and in what order.
This was the very best advice I got. While my business was still in its startup phase, there was time for me to take online classes through coursera (fantastic resource!!!). One of mine was a University of Maryland course for entrepreneurs.
The professor explained that, while it’s tempting to try and do everything you can for everyone you can, this is a mistake. It dilutes your message, saps your energy, and leads to chaos.
Worse, it hurts the bottom line. Instead, make a very explicit, short list of your audience. You can then tailor your website and marketing to the top one or two niches.
Knowing exactly who you help and in what order adds power to your message and helps you zero in on who you need to talk to. You can get to know their pains and become good at explaining how you solve the problems they face.
#2 Find your ‘bumblebees’
IT networks are great and you need them, too, but I’m talking people networks. Research is my thing and one of my deep dives involved network theory. Sounds lofty, but in reality it’s a science that you can use.
Networks behave in predictable ways and you can leverage this when your'e starting a business and, going forward, growing the business.
Imagine you are at a party; there are clusters of people and mostly people stay in their own clusters. But some go from one cluster to another, like bumblebees among flowers. The people who do this are super-connectors. They know the people in other clusters that you don’t. They also tend to enjoy connecting people; it’s sort of a hobby for them, if not an actual profession.
Find the bumblebees in your business life and make sure they know who you help, how you help them, and what problem this solves.
#3 Make sure your homepage says it all.
The homepage is the most important page of your website, whether you're just starting a business or well-established. It’s where visitors decide whether to keep going further into your website. It’s your ‘first impression’ for many organic visitors (these are people who find you in a google or similar search). It may be the only page people visit. Make sure you organize it based on visitor needs (not your own categories), make it clear who you help and how.
Clarity is key
Yes, we’re back to that again. Clarity is key. But being clear to your audience is really the second step when you’re starting a business. The first is to get clear in your own mind. Then you have a message. Be your own best messenger.
Who does your business help and in what order? When you are ready for the next step, an office that is all ready for you to use, just show up and plug in, contact us!