What the heck is your niche and target market?
I hated my job, hated the commute (2 hours each way - by bus) and most of all, I hated the time lost with my daughter every night due to this. All I knew was that I had to get out of my 9-5 and that there was a better life waiting for me once I did that.
This business was going to be built while I still had the 9-5 so it had to be something I could work on my lunch, on my commute and after my daughter was in bed.
Often when I’d get into a conversation with someone I could be heard saying why don’t you start a business doing that and ten minutes later I’d mapped out how to get started and what they needed to do that. Most people thought that was crazy because who does that when you have a secure job. Me, I do that.
Here’s what I did
List everything. all my skills, all my interests and all the things that stood out to me from every job I ever held good or bad. I also wrote out who I enjoyed working for and why.
Cross off everything you do not love. I do not love complicated, chaos, hand holding or sugar-coating.
Circle what you totally loved and would do for free. I love making things pretty and functional. I love to help others and I love to help others grow. I also love working one-on-one with people vs a group.
Look at why you disliked something. Was it that job itself, a coworker, the type of work, e.g. something tedious when you hate details or the opposite, an awesome boss or an absent one.
Start a clean list, and rewrite all the things you would do for free.
Look at them, what is common between them? Where can you roll the most things into a business?
Test your ideas
For me, I struggled between starting a design business and an online business management business. It had been suggested that I do both and have two businesses and I just didn’t want to go there. I wanted something simple that I could work anywhere at any time. So for that reason, a design business seemed the most appealing. But I really do love the business aspect of it. So I decided to test out these ideas and see what would happen.
To test these ideas, I took on some free work and noticed a trend. While I was getting clients easily for both ideas, they all seemed to be either someone starting new business or someone wanting to restart their business - so Newbies. Then there was another interesting trend, my design clients were asking for business advice and my business clients wanted help with their designs.
Finally my niche hit me like a ton of bricks. Hello I can do both! So I sat down and did the above exercise once more, then listed out everything I had done for my clients and rolled it into one package.
My service package became a 90 day service where I create a branding suite, Squarespace website and help Newbies through their first 90 days of business including setting up all their workflows and content creation. Boo. yah. This was a hit!
What is the problem they want solved?
Newbies come to me because they are busy, they want to be successful and they don’t want to manage 3 different contracts to get their business going. They want to focus on building content and the core of their business, not worry about all the pieces needed to run a business.
Working with me means they only have to tell their story one time, we can get to know each other on a deeper level and they can be confident that I will build their branding and website keeping all that in mind while I simultaneously walk them through their 90 day action plan.
They know they will get the support they need during a crucial point in their business and avoid the self-doubt that can often plague those first few months of business.