Whether building your own business is still a dream, or you have started work to make it into a reality, this is the ultimate guide to your dream business! No matter the stage of your business, use this to build your dream business so it fits you, your personality AND your audience!
The way a business is constructed
Your business is like a cake. A three-tiered cake to be exact. And if your first layer has holes, the whole thing will come tumbling down.
This is in short how I explain how you can build your dream business and what happens if you miss a piece of the puzzle somewhere. You can have amazing content, but if your marketing rumbles, it won’t do much. You can have fantastic marketing. Still, if your business basics miss elements, it won’t be as successful as it could be.
There are three layers to this scrumptious cake: The Business Foundations, The Marketing and the Content.
The business foundations are just what they sound like. They are the foundations of your cake, of your business. Without this layer, your business as a cake will collapse. There are quite a few things that go into your dream business foundations so I split it into three major sections:
- Business Strategy
I don’t believe in 80-page plans but you do need to know what you are doing and how it will all work together. I use the Business Model Canvas for this. It encompasses the target audience, products and services, pricing and much more in a simple, comprehensible way.
Read all about how to make a detailed profile of your perfect client in “7 steps to completely understand your ideal client“.
- Business Review
Decide where your business stands right now with regards to the strategy you have just lined out. How did your business do over the last year? What do you see as opportunities and problems going forward?
Check out ‘Reviewing your year‘ and ‘Reviewing your clients‘
- Business Goals
The road to get you to your dream business exists of goals that help you focus on the right things and the right time. By setting bigger and smaller goals you can set out the path you want to take to get to the bigger strategy you’ve laid out. While working on your goals and projects it’s important to look out for great tools, your mindset and energy and time management ways to be more productive. This part needs regular attention but if you set it up the right way it will really help you focus and get things done.
Check out some of my most used tools in the “Great tools for business” blogpost.
Make sure to check if these foundations are sound before you work on your marketing or content. Because if they are not solid, or something is missing, it will be hard to get the marketing and content down. The thing with business foundations is they tend to shift over time. Which means we need to tune in every now and then to check if it still fits with who we are, what kind of business we (want to) run and who our target audience is. And any new ideas can be checked against the strategy too, to see if they fit it. You can do that when inspiration hits or while working on your yearly business goals.
Read more about your Dream Business Foundations in the ‘Business 101: Laying down your Business Foundations‘ article.
Once you know your business you can start promoting it! Which is fun!
A lot of times people get distraught by it because they don’t know what they need to do to market their business. And so they either try too much, or the wrong thing, or try something for a hot second and then move on to something else. And because they see no results from their efforts marketing doesn’t feel like fun at all.
To really let the marketing layer work for you there are three elements to work on:
- The Messaging and Branding
Branding is so much more than just a quick logo a designer made for you. You really have to think about what makes you you, what fits with your audience and your story. If you have done the work in the foundations that really helps with your branding. And messaging is about the words that you use to talk about your topic, what views you will bring across.
- The Plan
Which channels will you be using for your marketing and how will potential clients move through these channels to become your new raving fans and buy from you? This is what you work on in your plan. In the plan part of your strategy you will see which channels fit with Know, Like, Trust and Buy and how you can help your potential clients move through this.
- Marketing Focus
Per product, service or launch you may want to zoom in further on how you will market that specific product for that specific time period. That is a marketing focus and it helps you create the content later on. You could also call a marketing focus a marketing campaign.
These three together form your marketing plan. Get more in-depth information about your marketing strategy in 3 steps here: “Your Marketing Strategy in 3 steps“.
Read more about marketing and how it affects business in “How Marketing affects Business“.
Once the first two layers are up, content can be a breeze. You have a great understanding of whom you are talking to, why and what they need to know to make an informed decision.
Working on your content exists of:
- A strategy
- A running list of topics to talk about
- And the actual creating of content.
Read more in the blogpost “The Ins and Outs of Content“
Reviewing your business
Sometimes when I talk with people about their business, they assume that because they have set up their business model once, they are golden. However, in the meantime, they have changed, their ideal client shifted, and they don’t want to work in the same way. As said before you need to regularly review whether all the layers still fit you, your business and your audience. It is imperative to keep reviewing your tiers. Especially take note of your business foundations, because if those are off your whole cake will slide.
Do you need help with checking in with your business and seeing what could be improved? Go check out my (1/2) VIP days!