So you’ve decided to start your own company or small business – how exciting! The conception of your idea has now been fully visualized and you’re ready to form it all into an amazing offering.
As a mother of two, I found the most exciting parts of the baby birthing process are finding out you’re pregnant and holding that new, little baby in your arms. Both are SO full of joy and excitement! This is my husband and I with our first son just moments after he was born. Now, with my oldest turning thirteen years old next month, I have to say…
- It’s worth ALL the late and sleepless nights
- It’s worth ALL the crying and wondering if I was doing it right
- It’s worth ALL the fighting and time outs
Today, as I look at my almost teenager, I see a sweet, caring and understanding boy who receives compliments everywhere he goes for his manners and thoughtful heart. It was worth it!
And so it is with your business! You should have a three-to-five year plan and a commitment to being consistent, open to learn, honest and humble, knowing all your efforts will be worth it. I’ve found there are Three Phases to Birthing your Business.
Conception – This is always the fun part! 😉 Begin dreaming, envisioning, sharing and talking about the idea you have. The vision inside your head starts to take shape through your words and actions. Excitement and anticipation are high; it’s the start of something WONDERFUL.
This is the vision casting process – Find yourself with pads of paper or an iPad at Starbucks. It’s the time when what’s in your heart and mind becomes outlined in vision and mission statements. Meet with other business owners to chat through your idea and draw insights from their experience. It’s a relational and creative time.
Pregnancy – Now that you’ve conceived the idea for your business, it’s time to start practically putting things into place! You might begin to wonder if this was such a good idea as bank accounts, incorporation, product & service offerings, websites, logos, vision statements, rental space and the endless list of practical outworking for your new business takes its toll. You’re not sleeping well; you feel sick wondering if maybe you should just keep your day job?
This is the practical outworking process – Find the people you want to work with to build this idea and be reminded that you can’t do it all. If you think you can create a logo, build a website, start up social media platforms, write blogs, and do the accounting… you have a LONG, HARD road ahead of you. This process can cause you to feel sick, either in trying to do it all or in finding the right people to run with. It can be overwhelming, but push through – it’s worth it.
Birthing – Wow, the day is FINALLY here! You launch the website, open the doors of your shop and see all the hard work become a reality. But… it’s not quite what you expected. You knew it would be hard, but this is way harder than you imagined – your Facebook page has 200 likes (mostly friends and family) but isn’t seeing engagement or driving traffic to your website. The great location and beautiful product displays that were supposed to guarantee sales haven’t done so just yet. Don’t lose heart! You’re experiencing the actual birth of your business, where planning and preparing turn into the pains of navigating your venture. Take time to find the things needing adjustment and be prepared to tweak what isn’t working as you hoped.
This is the proof of concept process – The first three-to-six months after launch is ALL about analytics and information. Look at your website visitors and study their behaviour. Find out what your best sellers are and work them into the forefront of your shop. What you thought would be popular may not be – be open and honest with yourself in this birthing stage. You may have planned a beautifully natural water birth but are now in hospital with complications and scheduled for a C-section. Your new baby is crying and you have NO IDEA what that means – are they hungry, do they need a diaper change, do they just need to be held? The same concepts go for your new business – you must learn, understand and analyze data in order to adjust your course and meet the needs of your demographic.
Be open-minded and up for the challenge. Be honest and open with your business and don’t give up. We believe you’ll find success and create something from your passions you can be proud of!
(Start-ups can find luck and launch with instant success by having an original, must-have product going viral, possessing an extraordinary online influence or spending big dollars on expensive advertising. If you don’t quite meet those expectations, it’s ok! You can join the rest of us entrepreneurs doing business and finding success the old fashion way – starting small, planning and lots of hard work.)
Let us help you increase your company’s influence in the markets you serve. Contact us for questions or collaborations today!