There are only 21 days left in this year.
What was your initial reaction? Were you relieved? Anxious? Maybe both.
After what 2020 threw our way, it might be some time before the world gets back to simply welcoming new years with open arms. If there’s anything we’ve learned, it’s that there’s no predicting what might unfold. You can, however, set yourself up to be more equipped, adaptable and resilient to any change that might affect your business.
Over the next few days, we’ll be sharing 21 ways you can prepare your business for a better 2021.
In this first post of the series, we’re focusing on proving value.
PHASE 1: VALUE
1. Get clear on your business concept.
The way that we live and work has changed, so it’s worth reviewing your business concept. Does it still work, or does it need work?
Your concept has to be something you’re passionate about, that solves a problem, and that people are willing to pay for. If all the changes this year has impacted any one of these three things, don’t be so quick to get back to the drawing board. It might just need some refining in light of new factors that you now need to consider.
You can watch this quick video about what to look for in a business concept HERE.
2. Find your audience and engage with them.
Once you’re clear on your concept, it’s important that you don’t worry about “your market” of people who’ll buy from you. First consider identifying and building your audience.
Your audience is composed of people who are first willing to pay attention to what you have to say and share. Take time to understand who they are, their wants and frustrations, what about your concept appeals to them, and how to engage with them.
If you’ve been in business for a while but your business concept has changed even slightly, take time to review your audience to make sure what you have to say and share now will still be relevant to them.
This doesn’t mean you need to be speaking to people one-to-one. You can build your first audience (or build a new one) by creating the right assets. Our co-founder Glen Carlson shares his ideas on this HERE.
3. Create an offer you can take to market.
When you’re clear on your concept, and know who your audience is and how to reach them, you then need an offer – a full and remarkable solution to your audience’s problem that you can sell.
Your offer doesn’t need to rely solely on what you can do. A full and remarkable solution will be a package that includes what you can do and what you can bring to the table.
When the pandemic struck and cities started shutting down, most entrepreneurs prioritised adapting their offer to the circumstances. If you did the same, then carefully review your offer now. What might have started as a temporary solution might just become your new offer to take into the new year.
Your new offer doesn’t need to be perfect right away. Daniel talks about how to get from idea, to product, to business in this VIDEO.
4. Have better sales conversations.
Entrepreneurs at any stage tend to focus on just having an exciting business concept, generating lots of leads and having a cool offer. But proving value is all in the numbers. You need to maintain a rhythm of consistent – and later, increasing – leads, appointments, presentations and sales.
The idea of having sales conversations can be polarising, but it’s necessary to be in business. Can you present and sell your concept? Can you handle questions, concerns and objections about it? Can you discuss your offer and get payments or deposits? Are you able to take someone from being in your audience, to being a paying client?
Having more sales conversations doesn’t only generate revenue, it makes you better at handling objections and concerns – and those are constantly evolving along with your audience’s needs. Remember: To do the work, you must win the work. And to win the work, you must invest time in developing and improving your sales process, as Daniel discusses HERE.
5. Sharpen in the market, not in your mind.
If you feel you’re all set with your business concept, you know who your audience is and how to engage them, you have an offer you can deliver, and you’re having effective sales conversations, remember to keep sharpening in the market.
At every stage of your business, whether you’re trying to get your first startup off the ground, or looking to steer 10-year-old business into a more exciting and profitable direction, get feedback from the market.
Learn more about this key idea in this VIDEO.
In the next article in this series, we’ll share some ideas around Phase 2: Influence. Once you’ve proven value, you then need to establish and expand your influence so that you become more visible, valuable and connected in your industry.