Even if your business occupies a crowded niche and has loads of competition, it is still unique. You’ve built it yourself – using your specific vision and leveraging your set of talents – to serve a particular subset of clients.
Which means your business will have unique needs!
Because it’s intentionally differentiated and specialized, the tools and strategies that work for other businesses may fall flat with yours. (And vice versa.)
That said, there are certain building blocks that EVERY. SINGLE. ENTREPRENEUR should invest in if she wants a shot at long-term success.
I don’t care if you’re an online business coach or the owner of a brick-and-mortar photography studio!
To present yourself as a reputable entrepreneur, give your tribe ample chances to connect with you, and keep your endeavor growing steadily, you 100% need the following 4 elements in your business plan:
Your Business Should Invest in: A Website
If you’re scratching your head about this, wondering who’d launch a business without a proper website, consider how many times you’ve tried to research a restaurant or small business and ONLY found a Facebook page.
Some entrepreneurs figure that the entire world is on Facebook already and the business pages are free, so why bother building a stand-alone website?
Well, I’ll tell ya. Facebook owns all the content on its sites, so if your only online presence is there and they decide to yank it you are sunk.
Also you have limited creative freedom and ways to connect with your clients on Facebook.
ALSO it just looks a little amateurish to skimp on a website!
It’s essential that you build a home on the web for your business. One that you own, control, and have the power to change or update any time your company shifts or grows. So hire a website designer, make a plan, and build a site that reflects your brand, your goals, and your needs.
And speaking of your brand …
Your Business Should Invest in: Great Branding
When people hear “brand” they typically think of logo, tagline, maybe a set of brand colors.
But branding is so much more than that!
Especially when you’re a solopreneur working in the online world, your brand should be a living, breathing reflection of you. It should be a visual and verbal representation of the work you do, the people you serve, and the values you represent.
If your branding is generic, outdated, or misaligned, it WILL have a negative impact on how clients see you and your business.
But don’t worry! Quality branding doesn’t need to be expensive, and even if you’re not a graphic design wizard and need to hire help for some of the process, you can do much of the legwork yourself.
I’ve built a detailed project kit called Soul Brand Transformation: Aligning You and Your Message for Maximum Engagement + Sales that can help you get super clear on your ideal clients, long-term needs, and every step you need to take to rebrand.
And if you do happen to have some design skills, there are loads of free tools out there to help you put your gorgeous brand into action. I’m a huge fan of Divi Builder Drag & Drop Builder for WordPress, an intuitive tool that equips you to build spectacular layouts using custom fonts, colors, and backgrounds.
Do as much as you can on your own, and hire experts to handle the rest. But whatever you do, DON’T cheap out on your branding!
Your Business Should Invest in: Email Marketing
With all the communication and connection tools available to us, email can seem a bit old school. Stodgy, even.
But experts from all sectors agree that building and maintaining a robust email list is essential to the success of any modern business.
Plenty of folks opt out of social media altogether, but more than half all humans on earth have email addresses. So if you want to reach the most people, email is the only way to fly. But you can’t reach them if they haven’t signed up to receive your emails!
Which is why consistent list-building and email marketing efforts are mandatory. Also because building your list helps you reach more potential clients, and email marketing helps you spread the word about new offerings to folks who are already interested in your work!
Don’t let this one slide. Grow that list and build solid email strategies around it.
Need some help getting started?
Two of my favorite tools include Aweber, an email marketing service provider that helps entrepreneurs keep in touch with subscribers who have requested to be on their mailing list and Clickfunnels, a tool that helps you quickly create beautiful sales funnels that convert visitors into customers
Your Business Should Invest in: A Virtual Assistant
Here’s the thing, lovelies: Pareto’s Principle is for real. It states that 20% of the tasks/projects in your business generate 80% of your income.
A small portion of your work brings in the most revenue. The rest, that other 80%, is comprised of work that still needs to be done to keep your business afloat … but that work is not worth YOUR valuable time and should be delegated
When you outsource your 80%, you free up your own time and energy to focus on the 20%. The money-making, income-creating work you were meant to do!
You need to start outsourcing if want to move beyond survival mode. And the first step is to hire a virtual assistant to help you get organized, get your workloads under control, and plan your next moves.
With a skilled virtual assistant, you can get support for administrative, customer care, and marketing tasks that have been neglected for ages.
And with my Template-Based Marketing System for Busy Coaches & Entrepreneurs you’ll get access to an entire library of project kits filled with templates, checklists, and to-do’s ready to be customized and sent off to your assistant. It’s a one-stop shop for business owners who are just digging in with newly-hired VAs!
Hungry for more tips, tools, and advice for growing your business?
Here’s a list of tools I use and love, including everything from email marketing tools to idea generators and schedulers. Mine it for your own business … but even if none of those offerings strike your fancy, I want you to promise me that you’ll commit to the four must-haves outlined in this post. Because all four are absolutely crucial to setting your business up for success.
Are YOU missing any of these top four business building-blocks? If so, what can you do right now to make sure it’s part of your plan moving forward?