Today we are jumping in with Step One of the 7 Step Plan to gain freedom in your business and life.
Step One: Research, Research, Research
If you are in the incubation stage of your business and you are thinking about taking the leap into the world of entrepreneurship, then this step is for you.
If you have already launched your business and you are struggling to find balance or to create a steady stream of opportunities or income, then this step is also for you.
And you can also use this step if you are considering launching a new course idea or a new product.
You should research a few things:
- Your Business name and domain/URL. Make sure before you land on a name, you have done a lot of research. Who if anyone else uses this name, or a version of this name? Make sure someone else doesn’t already have the name trademarked; use the USPTO site to find out if your business name idea is protected by trademark.
- Can you get the URL to match your name? WHOis.net is a great resource to find out if your domain name is already taken. People are no longer just going for .com’s. Although I will say, if you can think of a creative name and get the .com that is your best option.
- Your business name is your identity, so make sure it’s right for your brand and represents it properly.
- Also what does your name mean in other languages? Make sure it doesn’t have a negative meaning! LOL.Does your business name tell your ideal clients what you do? It is important that it makes a connection. And if it is something that they don’t understand right away, like a word from another language, is it easy to say and spell?You can apply these same steps to naming a new course or product. And for online courses it is a great idea to get theURL for your course name. It will help you market the course landing page more effectively.
- Know your competition and how you will stand out: I know that word, “competition”, for my heart centered entrepreneurs might not feel good. But another way to think of it is “the other options available to your ideal client”. And they have many. By understanding all the options for your ideal client in your industry, you will know how to set yourself apart.
- Start by doing some google searches with the words you would use to find your business online. For instance I would search, “web design for heart centered entrepreneurs”. Or “branding for the health and wellness coaches”. When you review the other options, “competitors” websites, note a few things… What are they offering as products and services and how do they position themselves?Do they position themselves with pricing, by being the highest priced or the lowest priced?Is it by having some unique angle, some secret ingredient they add to their services? Like Derek Halpern who helps people grow their blogs, but he does that by teaching about the psychology of understanding your ideal customer and what motivates them. The “psychology” angle is the secret ingredient, many people teach about blogging but Derek makes himself appealing by having that secret ingredient.Or have they picked one specific thing that your audience values and are they doing just that one thing better than everyone else. This is a very powerful way to stand out, especially when you’re starting out. It’s better to be a big fish in a smaller pond than to blend into a huge category, like coaching or even emotional coaching.For instance if you’re a coach who holds workshops, seminars and lectures, your take away materials could specialize in giving your clients “real world applications that they can take back into their daily lives”. So they don’t just feel that elated feeling after the workshop but that they have an actionable, doable plan and end up making real changes in their lives.Another way to position would be to take a stand. And that is what I do in my business. I decided the options people were given to grow their web presence and brand were not really serving the client in the way I wanted to be able to serve
So I took a stand and I said, I am going to help people build their web presence and their brand in a new and completely different way. I am going to help them build their websites and develop their brands in a way that I know they will be supported and mentored so they will be successful.
How will you make yourself the most appealing choice in your industry and connect authentically with your ideal customers?
When talking about research normally I would also talk about researching your ideal customer, your visual brand and how you will connect with your ideal clients through understanding your own value. But these categories are so important, I am going to give each their own step.
Please assign yourself three action items and give yourself a deadline for getting it done!
Here is an example list of 3 action items from Step One:
- Write down the top five options for my new business name and/or a new course or product name. Then research if anyone has trademarked these names or if the domains are available. Also research if they mean anything in other languages that would be a negative connotation.
- Find three other options/businesses for my ideal customers to solve their problems, the same problems I solve for them and identify how these businesses position themselves.
- Brainstorm how I will position my business, course or product to set myself apart from all the options my ideal client has to choose from.
It’s up to you to create the freedom you want in your business and life by implementing strategic action items everyday. Just one action item will take you closer to your goal. Three is even better:)