Episode 017: Creating The Path To A Successful Online Business, With Louise Brogan

Episode 017: Creating the path to a Successful Online Business

Have you been thinking about starting your own online business?

Or maybe you’ve already started one, and now you’re interested in growing your business?

Louise Brogan helps female entrepreneurs raise their online visibility through digital marketing.

In today’s episode, we talk about the path to creating successful online businesses, recognising that your entrepreneurial journey may not start the way you planned, and your small business may evolve in ways you hadn’t expected.

You Will Learn...

  1. That businesses often change and evolve in ways you may have not entirely planned or expected (and that’s not a bad thing!).
  2. That being an entrepreneur means being brave and confident enough to make your own rules and choosing your own path, even when you’re not quite sure what that might be yet!
  3. That the ability to learn from your mistakes (and the resilience you build in the process) is one of the greatest as sets you’ll need as a successful online business owner.

To connect with Louise, head over to The Social Bee. You’ll find the link to her latest podcast episode and to her Facebook group, where you can find out more about the online summit Louise is organising.

If you enjoyed this episode and want to know more about my membership, The Business Club for Grown Ups, applications are currently open for a limited period of time. Click here to find out more.

Loving the Show?

Please leave a review and rate it on iTunes. It will help me to get the show out there even more.

Episode 016: The Three Worst Mistakes I’ve Made In My Business – Part 1

Episode 016: The Three Worst Mistakes I've Made In My Business - Part 1

Would you go into debt to launch or scale your business?

Would you pay over the odds for business coaching or personal development?

A big part of running your own small business lies with the ability to learn from your mistakes, reflect on your lessons learnt, and act on them.

In today’s episode, which is part of a new mini-series, I talk about some of the WORST mistakes I made since starting my own small business, and what I did to turn things around and come up with a ‘get out of debt’ plan.

I’ve always been passionate about acknowledging and learning from mistakes – so I hope you’ll enjoy hearing about some of the biggest clangers in my own business, and be inspired to reflect on your own progress in your business.

You Will Learn...

1. Why, as entrepreneurs, we should always take the time to evaluate the things we’ve learnt along the way and put clear plans in place to identify and learn from the mistakes we’ve made in our businesses.

2. Why believing that you should do anything to get the ‘secret sauce’ or the ‘magic formula’ for your business can take you down a scary path.

3. How to find the confidence to listen to your audience and involve them in shaping your business to start generating regular income.

Resources

If you want to find out more about the tools I used when I first started my business, head over to my blog posts The Tools I Used To Get My Online Business Off The Ground and The Tools I Used To Babyproof My Business In 2017.

And if you enjoyed this episode and want to find out more about how you can work with me, you can find out more here.

Loving the Show?

I’d love it if you could leave me a review on iTunes. Thanks for listening!

Tips For Entrepreneurs – How To Stay Focused On Your Goals

As an entrepreneur, do you ever struggle to stay focused? Knowing what to concentrate on day in and day out in your business without getting distracted or side-tracked can be hard. How do you know what to do next? How do you stay focused on your goals?

The reality of being an entrepreneur

When you run your own business, like with most things in life, you have good days and bad days. On the good days, you feel confident and super-charged. On the bad days, you can get completely discouraged. Maybe your marketing campaign hasn’t gone the way you wanted or your Facebook ads aren’t performing as well as you’d like them to. Or maybe you just got up one morning and felt completely tired, deflated, and unable to put yourself out there in the way you need to.

Being an entrepreneur can be draining sometimes. I love my business and the work that I do, but I’ve had to get a lot tougher and more resilient in order to show up for my business on the days where I don’t feel like it. So how can you get into your best mindset to do awesome work when you sit down at your desk on a Monday morning?

Stop comparing yourself to others

I always say to people that when you’re an entrepreneur you have to stop comparing yourself to others. And I believe in this passionately. Because we all do it. We come across other entrepreneurs in the online space and end up spending ages on Facebook or Instagram just looking at what they’re doing. Before we know it, we’ve created this narrative in our minds that they’re doing better than us. That they have more clients, make more money, and are just having a much easier time running their businesses.

Personally, I think this is a losing game to play. Because you never see the behind-the-scenes of someone else’s business. You only get to see the most-polished and most-presentable version of their business. Plus, maybe there are people out there who are comparing themselves to you. What do they think when they come across your business? They may be the ones looking in and thinking you have it all together when in reality you feel completely different about your own business. Of course, we’re all human. And sometimes we want reassurance. We compare ourselves to others to try and understand how well WE are doing. But is this the best way to do it?

Tips for entrepreneurs – how to stay focused on your goals. Jessica Fearnley. Business Coach.

Stop letting other people’s content move your goalposts

When I started my business, I used to live and breathe every word that came out of the mouths of some of the coaches I really admired. I wanted to consume all their content. I was really keen to learn and was in that phase where I wanted to know how to do my online business. But as I’ve grown more confident and been in business for more and more years, I’ve started to feel like I no longer need someone else’s permission or guidelines. I now feel I can set my own course, stand on my own two feet, and walk my own path. 

The truth is that when you’re just starting out in business, some of the content that gets shared online may not be relevant to you. More established entrepreneurs may be producing content on something that worked for them when they had been in business for a few years already and had a team on-hand to help. Do you? Too often we forget that when our businesses are still young, and we’re on our own doing everything, we can’t get the same results that more-established entrepreneurs have been able to achieve with much bigger teams. At the stage you’re in, you’re probably better off sending people in your network personalised emails. So instead of following all the formulas and the swipe files that worked for someone else, aren’t you better off setting your own course based on strategies that will give you results now?

Are the techniques you’re learning about REALLY relevant to YOUR business TODAY?

Certainly, in the early days of a business, where you don’t have a list of 10,000 people, and you’re not yet making six figures, a lot of the strategies or techniques we may come across online may not be relevant for you. It’s important we acknowledge that getting distracted by what others are doing can stop us from achieving our business goals.

I often look back on myself and the early days of my business and realise I was being blown back and forwards by the waves.  I was listening to whatever advice others were giving. And while I’d start off being focused on something, I’d then be side-tracked along the way and go off and do something else instead. I can tell you this – in the long run, this can be overwhelming and not very productive for your business. Tips for entrepreneurs – how to stay focused on your goals. Jessica Fearnley. Business CoachOf course, I love to be able to access content when I need it. But if I don’t have my own priorities and goals clearly mapped out, it can lead me down a path that isn’t right for me. So my tip is to consume content that relates to where you actually are in your business. 

Talk to your audience – ask them what they want 

Another thing we underestimate often in the early stages of our business is that we need to have an audience. There’s no point in building a membership or an online course if you don’t have a following. The success of everything you do is going to be based on your audience. So, much like I did when I created my 6-month mastermind, talk to people in your audience.

As small as it might be, ask them what you can help with. What they would like from you. Make it a real conversation. A working dynamic, based on them – people with real needs. And then do something that resonates strongly with them. The great news is that you can do this easily, even when your business isn’t yet at stadium-filling size. Remember that whenever you put out an offer, it has to be for your audience. And this is, in a nutshell, how you get your business to work.

Work out what stage you’re at and plan your priorities.

So with all that in mind, I want to tell you about a quiz I created, called What Stage Is My Business At? And it does exactly what it says on the tin. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an absolute pro, this quiz helps you understand where you are and what’s great (and not so great) about the stage of business you’re at. I’ve divided it into four stages, and if you’re interested, you can also access a free masterclass recording from my mastermind programme. This will help you dig deeper into the various stages and understand:

  • How to know where you are in your business.
  • What you should be focusing on.
  • And what would help you take your business to the next level.

What do I mean by that? Simply that certain activities or strategies shouldn’t be your priority if you’re just starting out, for example. So, during the early stages, a lot of your clients or customers will be dealing with you directly. Do you really need to invest in an expensive, bespoke website or complicated sales funnels? Probably not. And this is what the quiz will help you determine. Make sure you take it and get in touch to let me know what you learnt!

Do you want some help?

I hope this post reassured you about the fact that if you’re finding building a business frustrating sometimes, you’re definitely not alone, and the way you feel is totally normal. The various stages of building a business can be very difficult. And understanding exactly where you are can help you stay focused and set the course that YOU want to follow. Once you get laser-sharp focused, you don’t get knocked off course in your business, and you’ll start to see real results.

You can let other people talk about all sorts of things. But you have the power to choose. Choose to get focused, make a plan, stick to it, and get results. And if you want some help with all of that, find out how you can work with me and move your business to the next stage.

How To Run An Online Business That Fits Around Your Lifestyle

Do you ever have days when you wonder how you’re going to get it all done? Maybe you’re a mum who’s building a business around her young children. Maybe you’re in a 9-5 job and want to start a business on the side. Or maybe you are someone with other responsibilities, which mean that the time you can dedicate to your business is really limited. So how do you make it all work? How do you run an online business when you’re spread really thin?

Getting things done. 

In episode 013 of The Business Club for Grown Ups podcast, I interviewed my friend and fellow podcaster, Lisa York. Lisa is a military wife, a mum of four primary-school-aged children, a podcaster and an online business owner. If Lisa can fit it all in, it feels like most of us should too! So how do we balance all the things we need to do in our businesses and in our lives and remain sane in the process? Personally, I know that it can feel like a huge challenge sometimes. Lisa and I may be both mums running businesses alongside our families, but a lot of my clients in different circumstances experience this sense of overwhelm sometimes. We all have a lot of our plates!

Running a business around the multitude of things we’re already doing in our lives, isn’t always easy. And if we want to succeed in this space we need to adopt the right mindset. So here are some of the top tips I’d like to share with you at the back of my interview with Lisa.

Image of a white desk with a croissant, a smart phone and pink flowers. How to run an online business that fits around your lifestyle. Jessica Fearnley. Business Coach.

Build a business that fits around your life, not the other way round.

When Lisa started her podcast (around 18 months ago at the time of our recording), she decided not to monetise it straight away. Why? Because she had young children at home that demanded more of her time and attention. So she used the time she had to learn, experiment, practise, and get better at the craft. She made connections, built relationships, and created an audience that would buy from her when she launched her first paid product. The podcast acted as a momentum- and audience-builder for Lisa. It grew organically, slowly, and incrementally while Lisa worked around her young children and other family commitments in the pockets of time she had available.

So be honest about the amount of time you have available in this phase of your life. Perhaps more time will open up in the future – when your children get a bit older, or when you can reduce the hours you work in your job, for example. With more time available, you’ll be able to say yes to more opportunities, use your time in new ways, and maybe even take your business in a different direction. Lisa adjusted her pace – she went slowly when her life required her to go slowly. And as result, she was able to build with limited time and limited stress! A business that worked around her lifestyle.

Make your time count.

If you’ve been listening to my podcast or have been reading my blog, you’ll know I feel quite passionate about this topic. You will have heard me mention that when I was pregnant with my second son, and after he was born, I decided to scale my business down and only work six hours a month. I made the very conscious decision to focus on serving the clients I already had and make my work fit around my life. With little time available to work on my business I decided to focus on one main goal and work towards that. I became much more productive as a result, and I was able to achieve more than I would have done by trying to cover all basis at once. So my top tip is this. When you’re pressed for time, aim for one thing, and do that one thing really effectively.

Being time-limited can be a huge advantage in your business. So be laser-focused on what’s important and let go of what isn’t. Of course, it’s important to be strategic and keep an eye out for what you want out of your business going forward, but don’t forget to always zoom back in (rein yourself in if you have to), and focus on what you’re doing right now. It may mean saying no to opportunities that aren’t right for our business at the moment.

Focus on the building the foundations first.

I love this piece of advice that Lisa shared during our interview. Become laser-focused on your core goals goes hand in hand with building the foundations of your business first. If you have a young family or are still in your job, your time may be limited now. But remember that it may open up later, and with time will come different circumstances and new opportunities. So bow down to where you are in life at the moment and focus on the building blocks that will make your business a strong one. While sometimes you may feel overwhelmed or disheartened thinking about where you are vs where you want to go, eventually you’ll look back and realise how far you’ve come just by taking tiny incremental steps along the way.How to run an online business that fits around your lifestyle. Jessica Fearnley Business Coaching.

Build your business with your audience, not in isolation.

When Lisa built her online membership programme, she did it together with her audience. She had an idea of what she wanted out of her membership, so she reached out to her podcast listeners and asked for input and feedback. She did that before creating a huge amount of content that may not be a right fit for her audience. Sometimes in business, you can’t predict how your audience will receive a product or a service until you launch it.

While this is something extremely hard for some of us to do, at times you just have to be brave. You have to jump in (even before you feel 100% ready to), and let some of the answers come to you along the way. If something isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough, put it out in the world for people to see and engage with. You may be surprised to see where things may lead you.

Get out of your own way.

Have you ever caught yourself talking yourself out of something? As business owners often being the only ones making all the decisions, it’s way too easy to make excuses for not doing things sometimes. But the real reason behind all these excuses is that we feel scared. When we push ourselves out of our comfort zones, sometimes we panic. And we opt for the path that feels easier and less uncomfortable.

But sometimes being vulnerable is just what we need. This is what I did when I scaled my business down. Back then, with so much going on in my life, I didn’t have time to worry about how things may or may not go. I had to turn down the volume on that really critical voice that we all have. The voice that is trying to keep us safe and stop us from doing things which feel high risk. And it paid off.

Exclusive guest content for The Business Club for Grown Up.

Building a business and a life that you love is possible. You can have a business that works for you, your circumstances, and your lifestyle. This is something I’m really passionate about and help my clients work towards and achieve. Of course, it doesn’t mean that the balance will always be perfect. There are always going to be days when you feel tired, stressed, or overwhelmed. But you can get to a point where all the pieces of your life tie in and work together. So if you haven’t already, don’t forget to listen to my Lisa’s interview.

Lisa was my special guest for November, and we dived deeper into the topics of:

  • time management;
  • the practicalities of running our businesses and our families;
  • how to manage our mental load;
  • and how and when to outsource and delegate so we don’t overload ourselves at the detriment of our families.

We created a module on these topics exclusively for the members of The Business Club for Grown Ups. If you’re interested in this module and would like to join the Club, you can apply here. And if you’re not sure whether my membership is right for you, just contact me, and I’d be happy to tell you more.

Small Business Marketing Strategies – How To Maximise Your Content Marketing Efforts

As a small business owner, what’s your approach to content marketing? When done well, content creation can do wonders for your business. But there’s a lot involved in content creation and promotion, and if you’re not careful it can easily turn into a hugely draining task that doesn’t deliver the results you need in your business. Ask anyone who’s well-established in business, with a regular flow of clients and money, and they’ll tell you their approach to their small business marketing strategies is very intentional. I believe your content creation should be targeted, and in this blog post, I explain exactly why.

Why create content?

Content creation can be a great way to grow an audience, get your brand noticed, and start promoting and growing your business. However, I believe it’s not just a checklist exercise. Putting content out there for the sake of it falls under the category of what I call ‘busy work’. And busy work sometimes hides procrastination. It’s a way of avoiding doing the things we don’t feel comfortable with or are scared of. And often these are also the things that will really push our businesses forward.

When I first started my business, I was putting out a lot of free content. But I later realised that I was doing that because I was scared of selling. I’d share all this free content in the hope that some people would like me and ask me to work with them. A lot of first-time entrepreneurs, especially women, fall into this trap. But we don’t necessarily make any sales by just creating and sharing content. We make sales by creating informative and engaging content that is relevant to our audience and points towards our products and services.

My approach to content creation

Realising this was a real thunderbolt moment for me and my business. I’d known the theory for a while, but I hadn’t connected all the dots in terms of how my content could point towards what I was selling. And once I got that, I knew I wouldn’t do content in the same way again. Now I’m in a situation where if I create content it’s really targeted towards the people I know are in my audience. And it’s very responsive. I’ll create content around the topics and questions I’ve heard people say or ask me directly or in my community. So let’s try and dispel some of the other myths around content creation as a marketing strategy.

Creating and sharing content on social media

Something that a lot of my clients tend to believe when they start working with me is that as entrepreneurs we should be everywhere online. We should be active on every social media platform there is, even the ones we don’t know anything about. Increasing the number of our followers seems to be the ultimate goal. But what we need to remember is that the goal of social media content is to make connections with people.  

Small business marketing strategies. How to maximise the effects of your content creation efforts. Jessica Fearnley. Business Coach.

The truth about social media followers

Let’s be honest. Is the number of followers the one metric that determines whether you’ll be successful in your business or not? Probably not. You may be surprised to hear this, but some influencers with very large followings may be struggling to monetise their personal brands. And equally, you may have a social media business account with a small but targeted and engaged audience that is delivering great financial results for your business. Unfortunately, you don’t get paid by just collecting numbers of people to sit on your social media channels.

You get paid by selling. And in order to sell, you have to put out regular offers. If you’re creating content on social media for the sake of it and not putting out regular offers, then chances are you won’t meet our target and be successful in your marketing efforts.

Should I be active on all social media platforms?

Trying to be on all platforms all the time can create a pace in our business that we can’t keep up with long-term. The result? We constantly feel like we’re behind and aren’t doing anything very well. But the truth is that we don’t need to be everywhere. We are much better off being intentional and strategic about creating and sharing content and doing that well on a handful of platforms.

So pick the platforms you’re most familiar with and, crucially, where your audience is going to be. Then pick media, formats, and frequency that you can commit to. Don’t promise daily Facebook lives, for example, (much like I did when I first started my own business), if you’re going to find exhausting and give it all up by day 3! Whatever you decide to do, don’t go for visibility for visibility’s sake. Yes, visibility can be a great catalyst towards making more sales and more money in our businesses, but you need tangible results.

What does your content lead to?

Are you including an opt-in or an upsell at the end of each piece of content you create and share? Is there a way for people to buy what you’re selling as soon as they’ve finished consuming that piece of content? If the answer is no, and if you’re not actually sure why you’re creating the content, then I’m sorry, but you’re wasting your time.

One of the lessons I learnt last year in my business when I scaled it down is that you need to create content that points towards the products and services you’re selling in your business. A scattergun approach based on creating a ton of free content for the sake of it isn’t going to cut it. You need to create content that’s relevant to your audience AND to your offers.

Is your content driving sales?

The bottom line is, you’re doing well as an entrepreneur if you’re making money. Whatever your definition of success may be, and I talk a bit more about that in this post, you’re doing well if whatever you’re selling is actually selling.

If the content you’re creating and putting out into the online world isn’t in line with the goals you’ve set for your business, then it’s not serving you. As harsh as this may sound, if content creation isn’t earning you any money, you need to change your approach to it.

So make sure that every single piece of content you create has a clear call to action or CTA. Each piece of content you create needs to be part of the overall marketing strategy for your business, and it should allow people to get on the path of working with you. And if you’re not in a position to do that because you don’t know what you’re selling, that needs to be the problem that you solve first.Small business marketing strategies - how to maximise your content marketing efforts. Jessica Fearnley Business Coach.

Use your content to create sales funnels

Even if the terminology sounds scary and overwhelming at the stage of business you’re in, I really recommend you start thinking about sales funnels. More experienced entrepreneurs build quite complicated sales funnels, but if you’re just starting out you can keep it simple. Here’s the idea. You have lots of people coming in at the top of the funnel (potentially engaging with your free content), and as they progress down the funnel, some of these people will buy more of your offers. You may start your funnel with free content, but you want people to come through the other side as paying clients.

Re-purposing your content

What I will also say about content creation as a marketing strategy for your business is that if you’re not re-purposing the content you create, then you’re just making things really hard for yourself. If you watch the ‘big names’ out there closely enough, you’ll realise they rarely have something brand new in terms of content. And if they do, it’ll be targeted towards a certain offer they have running.

So don’t try and re-invent the wheel with content. Have a theme and generate different pieces of content in different formats with the same idea or message. This can serve your business really well because people have different learning styles, different preferences, or may just be in different settings when consuming your content. Re-purposing your content will allow you to reach new and bigger audiences who may not engage with a particular medium.

Make the content work for you

One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt in my business is that content marketing isn’t just about creating content. It’s about making the content do the work for your business. It’s about getting the visibility you need to get people to come to your website, click on your offers and decide if you’re right for them.

So tune into your audience and listen to what they want to know more of. Then find a way to communicate with your ideal clients that feels authentic to you but also really works for them. When you combine all this with a clear strategy for your content that aligns with what you’re selling in your business and with your goals at each particular stage, you’ll see a big shift in your business.

Want to join my membership?

If you’re at the stage in your business where you are just bringing out a new piece of content every day with no CTA or no upsell, stop that now and let me help you create a marketing strategy that works for your business. If you’re looking for a low-investment, low-risk way of getting help with this and other strategies that will help you grow your small business, my membership The Business Club for Grown Ups is now open, and you can apply here.

Episode 015: The Truth Behind Starting A Business And Having A Baby with Jessica Dornieden

Episode 015: The Truth Behind Starting A Business And Having A Baby With Jessica Dornieden

Mums in business, how do you run a business with a young baby in tow?

Starting a business while pregnant may sound like hard work, but with a plan and the right mindset, it can be done.

I love sharing inspirational success stories from female entrepreneurs. And in today’s episode my guest will tell us all about starting a business and having a baby. You’ll also learn how to become a virtual assistant from home and how to design an agency business model while pregnant or with a very young baby.

You Will Learn...

1. How to plan for the unknown and the unexpected, but also how to adapt to your circumstances when necessary.

2. How to create support systems in your personal life and your business life that allow you to successfully run a business with a young child at home.

3. What the key elements of transitioning to an agency business model are.

If you’ve enjoyed this episode and want to find out more about how you can work with me, click here.  And if you’re a female entrepreneur who is looking for a low-risk way to get access to me and my community of committed female entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses, the doors to my membership The Business Club for Grown Ups are currently open.

Did you know the Business Club for Grown Ups is more than just a podcast?

It’s a high-quality membership group for female entrepreneurs who take themselves – and their businesses – seriously. But it comes WITHOUT a premium price tag.

Members of the Business Club for Grown-Ups get:

1. Monthly Expert Content from me and my hand-picked expert guests, covering the things you need to know to build your business with ease

2. A fab members-only community of like-minded women who have your back, ready to cheer you on (and who may even end up working with you!)

AND HERE’S THE AWESOME PART – THE DOORS TO THE BUSINESS CLUB FOR GROWN UPS MEMBERSHIP PROGRAMME ARE NOW OPEN!

And if you sign up NOW you get to join for just £47 per month.

There’s no minimum contract, and you can cancel any time.

And the price you pay when you sign up will be fixed as long as you are a continuous member.

But you need to act fast!

I am ONLY offering this massively reduced monthly rate to the next 25 members.

To secure your membership for just £47 per month, you must act now.

Quite simply, the membership price will never be this low again.

So don’t miss out!

To find out more, visit: http://thebusinessclubforgrownups.com

Episode 014: The Traits That Make You A Terrible Employee But An Excellent Entrepreneur

Episode 014: The Traits That Make You A Terrible Employee But An Excellent Entrepreneur

Have you ever noticed how the traits that can frustrate you in a 9-5 job are also the skills that serve us well as entrepreneurs?

I always had entrepreneurial traits but didn’t know it until I started my small business. I saw my skillset as negative, and it wasn’t until starting my business that I realised a lot of my traits were actually strengths!

So with that in mind, what are the most important characteristics of a successful entrepreneur? And what does it take to be a successful business owner?

In today’s episode I’m exploring the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur, and explaining how learning to embrace them will make you a more successful entrepreneur.

You Will Learn...

1. Why certain aspects of your personality may hinder you in a 9-5 job but help you when building your own business.

2. How fully accepting and embracing your unique character can make you more fulfilled both in your personal and your professional life.

3. What are some of the traits and skills that can serve entrepreneurs really well.

Did you know the Business Club for Grown Ups is more than just a podcast?

It’s a high-quality membership group for female entrepreneurs who take themselves – and their businesses – seriously. But it comes WITHOUT a premium price tag.

Members of the Business Club for Grown-Ups get:

1. Monthly Expert Content from me and my hand-picked expert guests, covering the things you need to know to build your business with ease

2. A fab members-only community of like-minded women who have your back, ready to cheer you on (and who may even end up working with you!)

AND HERE’S THE AWESOME PART – THE DOORS TO THE BUSINESS CLUB FOR GROWN UPS MEMBERSHIP PROGRAMME ARE NOW OPEN!

And if you sign up NOW you get to join for just £47 per month.

There’s no minimum contract, and you can cancel any time.

And the price you pay when you sign up will be fixed as long as you are a continuous member.

But you need to act fast!

I am ONLY offering this massively reduced monthly rate to the next 25 members.

To secure your membership for just £47 per month, you must act now.

Quite simply, the membership price will never be this low again.

So don’t miss out!

To find out more, visit: http://thebusinessclubforgrownups.com

Episode 012: Going Big When You Feel Small with Nadia Finer

Episode 012: Going Big When You Feel Small with Nadia Finer

Do you ever fear you may be hiding behind your business? Could your limiting beliefs be holding you back?

Nadia Finer built a big business around her small voice. Her message around self-confidence and playing to your strengths in your business comes out loud and clear.

In today’s episode, we talk about the importance of confidence when running a business and how overcoming fear can be the key to unlocking the potential that will help you create brand authenticity in your small business.

You Will Learn...

1. Why holding yourself back and hiding behind your brand can lead to bad business decisions

2. Why it’s so important to be ‘authentic’ in business and embrace your uniqueness

3. How pushing through your fears is the only way to build the business you want to create for yourself

4. Why you should re-connect with your message and purpose and focus on the people you want to help

If you’ve enjoyed this episode and want to find out more about Nadia and the way she works with female entrepreneurs just like you, click here to download a free chapter of her book “Little Me Big Business: How to Grow Your Small Business, Increase Your Profits and Go Global (in Your Pajamas)”.

Running A Six-Figure Online Business – Is It Right For You?

If you’re active in the online world and on social media, you’ll no doubt have come across a lot of talk about six-figure businesses. While building and running a six-figure business is a great achievement should all entrepreneurs be aiming for a six-figure online business? Should this be the ultimate goal for every business owner out there? In this post, I lift the lid on what it means to build and run and a six-figure business and help you decide whether it’s right for you.

Having worked on a six-figure business which reached seven figures when I was working with them, I know that running a business that turns over six figures requires a lot of work. And I believe that for a lot of entrepreneurs aiming for six figures is a very artificial goal. And one that I don’t think you should pursue for the wrong reasons.

 

Does ‘six figures’ refer to turnover or profit?

Firstly, it’s important to work out what people really mean when they talk about six-figure businesses. Are we looking at a turnover figure or a profit figure?

  • Turnover, just to clarify, is the amount that your business makes in total before you take off any of your costs.
  • Your profit, on the other hand, is what you get to take home after you’ve deducted all your costs, including VAT (if you go over the VAT threshold) and taxes.

Six-figure entrepreneurs obviously don’t tend to share their accounts online, so how can we be sure they have money to show for at the end of the year? If the figure refers to turnover, we can’t automatically assume that a business is doing well. What we really need to understand, rather than how much a business is making in revenue, is whether they’re making a profit and a return on their investments (ROI).

In my podcast episode The Truth About Building A Six Figure Business, I interviewed my good friend Marie-Helene di Benedetto, who runs a six-figure Social Media and Content Marketing Agency. Coming from a marketing background and feeling tired of the corporate world, Marie-Helene left her day job and started freelancing in digital marketing five years ago. While she managed to turn over six figures by the end of her third year in business, she says her personal income didn’t increase much. She made more money, but she spent considerably more too, because as her business grew and developed, her business model changed.

Image of a white desk with flowers, notebooks, cup of tea, open envelope. Running a six-figure online business.

 

What does the business model of a six-figure business look like?

While ‘getting to six figures’ is the phrase that seems to be bandied about the most in the online space, how much are we actually talking about? 100k (whether it’s pounds, dollars or euros), 999k or anything in between? As turnover increases, so does the size of the business. There is a huge difference between a company turning over 100k and one turning over 750k, not just in the figures but also in size and business model. When a company reaches a certain size you need to start thinking about multiple income streams and about outsourcing or delegating tasks or even entire processes. At some point, you need to start employing and managing people. You need strong policies and processes in place. As you scale, the costs and expenses in your business increase.

If you’re trading time for money, like in Marie-Helene’s case, you eventually hit a glass ceiling, and you either start turning clients away or you push through it and scale. If you decide to scale, you’re able to take more business on and have more money coming in. But you also spend a lot more to run your business. And if your turnover doesn’t increase more than your costs do, your profit may remain the same or even decrease. That’s not uncommon when businesses scale.

 

How long does it take to build a six-figure business?

As Marie-Helene points out in our interview, building a six-figure business isn’t as quick as what some online coaches imply. Realistically, the time it takes to build a six-figure business depends on where you are when you’re starting out and how much time you can dedicate to your business. Are you still working full-time and building your business on the side using your evenings and weekends? Did you already have an existing and engaged network or audience when you started out, or are you literally starting from scratch?

It took Marie-Helene between 12 and 18 months to start making real money. And it took her three years to get her first six-figure turnover. It’s completely normal for things to start really slowly initially and snowball later. When your satisfied customers and clients start to recommend you to others, things get easier. But it’s important to be patient and realistic from the start, which is why I recommend you always set financial goals for your business and define what success looks like for you.

 

Setting financial goals for your business

While I think it’s brilliant to set ambitious goals for your business, even when you’re starting out, I also believe you shouldn’t aim for six figures if that’s not what you want. You definitely shouldn’t set this goal for yourself just because everyone else in the online space seems to be doing the same.

A lot of my clients when they’re starting out want to earn enough to pay the bills and support their existing lifestyle. This was the case for Marie-Helene as well. So if you’re just starting out with your business, look at your basic living costs – calculate how much you currently spend on a monthly basis. And based on your findings (be sure to include all costs and expenses), calculate how much you need to make in your business.

Once they’ve made enough to cover their living costs and expenses, a lot of entrepreneurs aim to earn the amount they used to be paid in their last job (i.e. their last salary). But often once they’ve reached that milestone (assuming their salary was under 100k) there can be a bit of a vacuum. What should your next financial goal be? Is turning over six figures the next obvious step? Only you will know the answer to that question, and I believe it should be based on your definition of success.

Woman sitting at desk writing with tablet and laptop. Running a six-figure business - is it right for you? Jessica Fearnley Business Consulting. Business Coach.

 

Defining what success looks like for your business

Success for you could be working 10 hours a week and making £30k. What’s important is to set goals that you can always review and revisit. But equally, we should be mindful not to constantly and continuously move the goal post.

My top tip is to look at the financial goals of your business while taking into account what you want to get out of your business in terms of lifestyle and work-life balance.

  • Does running your business make you happy?
  • Do you have a good work-life balance?
  • Are you stressed or close to burning out?
  • Do you feel like you’re ‘caught up in the game’ and you’re only pursuing a certain goal because it looks like everyone else is?

I often come across business owners who set a target for themselves to hit the six-figure milestone, but when the reality of what it’s like to run a six-figure business hits them, they realise they would be a lot happier if their business made a lot less. Is it worth turning over six figures if you can’t have the life (or the business) you want?

Personally, having been through burnout, I know that running my business shouldn’t come at the expense of my health and well-being. I value feeling relaxed about life and about my business. I work really hard on it, but I feel very strongly about getting more from the hours I put it while not having to put that many hours in overall. What matters to you in your business?

 

Building a profitable business

Six figures or not, ensuring your business is profitable should be your top priority. There really is no point in having to spend 100k (or more) in order to turn over 100k. And if that’s the case, you may as well not have a business at all! If that’s what happens behind the scenes of some businesses, I’m sure you’ll agree that having a six-figure business becomes an accolade that means nothing. And quite frankly, it’s a ridiculous way of doing business.Running a six figure online business - is it right for every entrepreneur? Find out how to decide whether it's right for you. Jessica Fearnley Business Consulting. Business Coach.

Instead, to ensure your business is always profitable, follow these simple steps:

  • Calculate your cost price. List everything you’re spending over a year for your business, including your own salary.
  • Decide how many hours you can or want to work in your business (taking into account holidays and time off).
  • Set your prices by dividing the amount of money you want to make by the number of hours you’ll work for.

If you’re just starting out with your service-based business, for example, don’t be tempted to think you should be cheaper than your competitors. You’re selling a specific skill set that not anyone can offer, so charge an appropriate amount and don’t undersell yourself. A top tip from Marie-Helene is to always make sure that each and every one of your clients is profitable. If they’re not making you money, you need to be prepared to let them go.

 

Don’t compare yourself (or your business) to others

No one can tell you whether you should or shouldn’t aim for a six-figure online business. Building and running one isn’t easy. It’s not straightforward, and it most certainly doesn’t happen automatically or effortlessly, which is why I find it so frustrating that a lot of the people we come across online make it sound so easy! As I’ve shared in this blog post, if you don’t do the work up front by setting financial goals and working out exactly what you want from your business, you may fall into the trap of going after one thing after the next.

It’s very easy to tell yourself that you’ll be happy and satisfied when you reach a certain number of clients or a specific financial goal. But the reality is that you may find that’s not the case at all. Only by deciding where you want to be and by when you’ll insulate yourself against doubt and comparison and pursue goals that are right for you and your business.

If it takes you longer than what the ‘experts’ on social media say it takes to establish your business, so be it. Remember that you are the benchmark, and no one else. If you want to grow your business, look at where you are now compared to last year or to five years ago. Consider how you’ve grown, how much you have improved, what path you’re on, and most importantly, why.

 

Do you need any help to up-level your business?

So, do we all need to go out and build six-figure online businesses for ourselves? If that’s what you want, it’s completely possible for you, and I’d be excited and honoured to help you figure out how. But I also want you to go into the process with your eyes open. It will take time, money, and a lot of work. Six-figure businesses don’t happen by accident. And if you decide that six figures aren’t for you, but you’d like some help planning out your strategy, up-leveling your business, and making it a place you love to be again, get in touch and let’s talk about the ways I can help.

 

Episode 013: Getting Things Done with Lisa York

Episode 013: Getting Things Done with Lisa York

How do you run and grow your business with little time available? How is getting things done possible when life and business can sometimes feel stressful and overwhelming?

Lisa York is a podcaster and a business owner and has been growing her online presence organically over time.

In today’s episode, we talk about how to grow your small business in the pockets of time that fit around other responsibilities in your life, how to focus on one thing at the time, and how to grow a business online.

You Will Learn...

1. How you can become laser-focused in your business and go after one main strategic goal while saying no to the opportunities that aren’t relevant for you right now.

2. Why striving for perfectionism can get in the way of making progress in your business.

3. How working strategically towards building the foundations for your business will help you to grow your business more organically and without getting stressed and overwhelmed.