There is so much to think about as a new business owner. From bank accounts to business entities, logos to managing social media, and about a million other pieces in between. it's enough sometimes to make you feel like there's just too much to do to even get started.
But don't get caught up in that kind of thinking. And don't start with the paint colors.
Start instead by understanding the business of YOU. Take the time to figure out your WHO, WHAT, WHY, HOW, and WOW, and you'll have the necessary foundation to build out the rest of your business.
WHO: Determine exactly who it is that you help? We all want to imagine that we can help everybody with our special talents and skills; that our door is open to everyone and anyone. But really understanding who you want to work with, and who your talents help the most, will allow you identify target customers. Taking time to do this work, helps you create your niche and the business you really want.
WHAT: Clearly define what it is that you do. What exactly are you doing that helps the target customers you defined. What pain point are you alleviating? What gain are you offering? What assets do you have? What activities are you performing? Being able to articulate the work that you do is essential. If you offer a variety of services, can you providing an overarching label for all of them. Considering your defined customers does it make sense to elevate one of your services? What about personal satisfaction
WHY: Ask yourself why are you helping these people and it can't just be to make money? Okay, it can be to make money, but that won't be enough to sustain you or your business. So don't be afraid to dream big on this one. How might the world, the community, your country change if you can successfully do your work for your target audience.
HOW: Articulate how you help these people? Different than your 'what', explain the way you work. Think first about speed, quality, and cost. Then consider the ways in which you interact. Are you highly personable and relational? Do you work seamlessly in 'the background'. Do you always make a deadline? Are you thought provoking? Do you challenge the status quo? Are you big picture, or small details? Be authentic about you 'how'. Trying to be someone else inside your own business is likely to lead to unhappiness for you and disenchantment for your customers.
WOW: Know your WOW! It is the combination of your WHO, WHAT, WHY, and HOW that makes your WOW. This is where you can begin to define your 'special sauce'. Think of how you can combine all this thinking into a sentence or two. I do 'this' for these 'people' in 'this' way so that 'this' can change for them, and 'this' can happen in 'our society/ community/ country/ planet'. Write it out as many possible ways as you can dream up, let it simmer, then see what version seems right for now. Practice your wow statement on family, friends, and clients. Practice in front of a mirror. Practice in car. Practice with your pets. Try on lots of different versions. The point is to get really comfortable with your WOW statement. You'll revisit this statement over and over in the lifetime of your business as you change and grow. And this is exactly what you want.
You definitely don't have to have every piece of the puzzle figured out before you can start as a solopreneur, but knowing your WHO, WHAT, WHY, HOW and WOW can get you started.
And it'll likely help you figure out your paint colors too.