Jun 19, 2020

Last week, a woman wanting to start her own business asked in a Facebook Group “What’s the one thing that has made your business successful?”
The problem with this question is that there is never just one thing. And despite what people say in Facebook adverts, there is no one magic tool or bullet that will make your business a success. Being a coach, I am always looking for a better question. And in this case, the better question is, what do I need to do to make my business successful? 
The simple answer is to work the basics over and over again, every day and every week, every month.
You may be wondering – what are the basics?
These are the basics that are working for me. At the end of each section is a reflection question. Take the time to reflect where you are. I’ve provided suggested actions if you want to improve this area.

1. Define What Success Means For You
Seriously. This is such an important step and so many people miss it out.

If you don’t define your version of success you fall into the following traps:
  • Defining success as more than you currently have. When you achieve that, you just set the bar a bit higher
  • Letting others define it for you… six figure business, 10,000 Instagram followers, an expensive car, a holiday in Bora Bora. The sad thing is that, please believe me, having these as your goals and achieving them will leave you feeling empty. Sure, you’ll feel short term enjoyment but then you’ll be looking for your next fix.
So what is success to you?
Maybe my clients and I can help you with ours.
Success for me is freedom, exploration, learning, and impact. Revenue is important only because it buys me time with my family and amazing experiences. I don’t define my success by an arbitrary number. I’ve had six-figure years and they were not a magic elixir that made everything wonderful.
My clients work with me to define their personal definitions of success. These are some of the things they tell me:
  • Success is flexibility and freedom to have a career and a family life
  • Success is having the money to travel and explore the world
  • Success is working with inspiring clients who are making a positive impact on the world and getting paid well to do it.
Reflection Question: Do you know what your personal definition of success is?
If the answer is no, here are some suggested actions:
  • Beyond possessions, money and status, what makes you feel deeply happy and fulfilled?
  • If you won £164m on Euromillions (or your version of the lottery), what would you do with your days to bring you joy and to create a positive impact on the world?
2. Have a highly impactful product or service
For me that is 1:1 and group coaching and training. Every day, I am serving and coaching my clients to have breakthroughs and take action to create the life they want to lead. Every day.
One of my favourite books is Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. It’s simple really. Get really amazing at the service you offer. Keep learning, improving, innovating, and growing.
Reflection Question: Is my service highly impactful? Does it change people’s lives?
If the answer is no, here are some suggested actions:
  • If it’s a new service, run a beta test at ‘introductory pricing’
  • Reflect on the last time you delivered it, how could it have been better?
  • Ask your last client, how could this have been better for you?
3. Prove you have a highly impactful product or service
Feedback and testimonials are the lifeblood of your business. They are proof that you can do what you say you do.
I ask every coaching client for feedback and all 100% provide it happily (thank you if you’re my client!). After every training course, I either collect feedback from participants or from the client I am working with.
I keep my feedback process really simple so it’s easy for me and my clients. I don’t want to analyze long forms and my clients don’t want to fill them out. I ask just 4 – 6 questions by email. If you’d like to know what they are, just drop me a message and I’ll share them with you.
Once you have that feedback, pull out the quote that shows – where your client was before they worked with you and where they are after they worked with you. What transformation did you create for your client?
Create graphics of these quotes and make sure they are on your Instagram, LinkedIn and website. Share them with your clients and network
Reflection Question: Am I collecting feedback and testimonials every time I client receives value from my service? Are these front and centre on my website and on my social channels?
If the answer is no, here are some suggested actions:
  • Write 4-6 feedback questions (or ask for mine) and send them to your next client
  • Contact every client you have worked with ever and collect feedback and testimonial
  • Create a system to collect this feedback every time
  • Create a quote graphic and pin it to the top of your social channels
4. Build networks, connections, and relationships with potential customers
In real life, on LinkedIn, on Instagram, on Facebook, through referrals with people who have a similar problem to your customers. Share your knowledge and expertise and help them.
Reflection Question: Am I building my network every day?
If the answer is no, here are some suggested actions:
  • Find a post on LinkedIn in your area and add a helpful comment
  • Find a potential client on Instagram and follow them
  • Find a virtual networking group and join a call. Connect with 1 person you felt an affinity with after the call.
5.  Regularly offer a way for your potential clients to engage with you
You will have some people in your network who are ready to buy from you. These people are great! For me, these people book in a call. Say yes to my coaching programme and start work with me.
However, there are others in your network who want to get to know you a bit. Check out you can add value and they can trust you.
So they need a way to engage with you before they buy. I have two ways people can do that with me:
  • They can have a 1:1 deep coaching, high impact video call for free. No sales, no pressure.
  • They can join one of my group ‘Start or Grow Your Business’ Q&A group calls. These are supportive, community calls where everyone brings a question or challenge and they get a breakthrough or a way forward. I have two coming up this month, if you’d like to join one just drop me a message.
Both of these are no pressure, sales free zones. It is totally up to each individual if they want to explore working together, when the time is right for them.
Reflection Question: Do my potential clients have a way to engage with me?
If the answer is no, here are some suggested actions:
  • Create your own version of my 1:1 coaching call or group Q&A call
  • Invite everyone you have worked with or want to work with
6. Do your own inner work – improve your mindset, work on your fears and blocks and invest in the best coaching you can afford
Your mindset, fears and blocks impact the action you take. The actions you take shape your business and create your business results.
I invest in the best coaching I can afford because creating and running a business stirs up lots of fears and blocks. I won’t let those slow me down.
In the last 6 months, my coach has helped me:
  • Not let imposter syndrome hold me back
  • Not let my inner critic hold me back (you know that voice that tells you you’re not good enough)
  • Helped me build rest and rejuvenation and celebration into my business so I don’t burn out
  • Helped me take courageous action to share photographs of myself, information about my business experience and my challenges
This month we are working through my fear of being on podcasts (I don’t think that has a name yet, but it should) and my fear of creating high impact, high investment coaching programmes. I know she will be beside me as I take courageous action.
Reflection Question: Am I improving my mindset continuously? Am I facing my fears and blocks and overcoming them?
If the answer is no, here are some suggested actions:
  • Book discovery calls with 3 coaches and find out what coaching can do for you. You can book one with me here 
  • Find a buddy, mastermind or community that helps you with this.
7. Be always create a business you love and you want to work in
One of the best things about having your own business is you are the boss! You have all the power. You can create any environment you want to work in.  Don’t work Wednesdays – great! Only work in leggings – cool! Don’t work with people who are rude to you – too right!
Don’t become the worst boss you’ve ever worked for. In the beginning, set an intention.
In my business, I do what I’m amazing at doing – coaching and training. Everything else would be done by my team. So one of my first investments as a VA because honestly, I hate admin and sometimes I spell clients names wrong because of a weakness with language. A VA is much much better at this stuff than me, and that’s OK. I’m a much better coach and trainer.
Next was an Instagram strategist and manager. My next investment will be bookkeeping. You get the idea.
Yes, these investments have reduced my short term profits a bit. However, I see them as investments in future profits. I can’t be an amazing coach or trainer if I’m exhausted contracts, overflowing email inbox, messages on social media and invoices. I need mental space and time to be the CEO, look to the future, set the strategic direction and work with clients.
Reflection Question: Do I love to work in my business? Am I doing what I am great at and love doing?
If the answer is no, here are some suggested actions:
  • Set an intention, what would make your business an amazing place to work (Friday off, awesome clients only etc)
  • What support system do you want to have around you as you grow?
  • I hope you’ve found these basics useful. Is there anything missing for you?
I am aware this is a lot of information and could seem overwhelming too. I’m thinking this would make a great 30-day challenge or online course, drop me a message if you’re interested in that.


Love Ruth