Starting Your Way Up
The term start-up is still a buzz word, whether it's in coffee, design or tech. But what does it really mean?
Well, it literally means that when you start something new you are 'starting your way up'. Which of course can mean starting from a blank sheet or starting over again. And so, the industry in which you do it in doesn’t really matter.
You can start-up whatever you want, and wherever you bloody well fancy starting it.
You can start something new in whatever stream of business you choose. And you can make that start at any time of life. Please don't let the idea of a start-up put you off if you think it's only for millennials. Anyone can start something at any time, and of course, if you have experience behind you, you’ll be bringing all of that to the table.
And whether that table is in the boardroom or the coffee shop, that’s entirely up to you.
Particularly given everything that has been going on, with the world flipping on its head and flipping back over again, you can start up with what you've always wanted to start right now.
Or tomorrow... or even yesterday if you're insisting on making yourself feel like you're behind the times. Which you are not!
You can start wherever, whenever.
So, if that’s on the cards for you, what’s stopping you doing it?
Things may seem strange at the moment, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But with big change, such as that which a pandemic causes, new opportunities also arise. The online market for example, has simply soared since we’ve had to spend more time at home. And so, perhaps you’ve had an idea that you weren’t sure or didn’t know how to execute it in the past, that would suit an online setup… that’s just some food for thought.
And if you already have an idea then you are already on your way. And if you've already refined that idea, well done, you're even closer to shifting your way up a gear.
But what's next?
The next steps are the same for a new start-up or one that has already begun but needs to be levelled up. Either because things are feeling stagnant, in need of a refresh or you are actually ready for the next level.
You feel that it is time to level up. And so, whatever stage you're at with a startup, whether it’s just a concept or you’re about to launch or step up a level, consider where you are with the following:
Your Soul Purpose
Yes, that’s right. This is a startup after all, and not just a job.
If your soul isn’t in it then you may as well stay at home and work on that job application.
Otherwise, if you do want to branch out on your own, get aligned with what your soul is calling you to do, and feed that into your mission and business strategy.
You literally don't have a business without them, so who are they?
What do they look like?
What do they need?
And what are you going to offer them to fulfil that need?
Get into the detail and literally describe your ideal customer and make sure you meet exactly what they want.
What are you offering that is going to be received as a gift by the person that buys into it?
Why would they come to you over the next person?
What's special about you?
What do you offer that deserves their well-earned cash?
Get clear on this quick, because carbon copies are a waste of time.
So, what is it that makes you unique?
What reason are you going to give your customers to talk about you to their friends?
What will get them to come back?
Your Money Matters
Okay, so we know money doesn't grow on trees, but it does grow a business. And so, you need to be clear on the following:
How are you going to earn your first morsel of cash?
You know, what do you offer that someone is actually going to pay for?
How do you intend to add to the money pot to sustain your business?
If you want to run a business, you can't spend all the cash on shoes or nights out if you want the doors to stay open.
How are you going to invest in your business to ensure continued growth?
This is your dream remember, it is worth every penny to see it soar.
Do your research for price points per offering. This must include how you attract your customer in the first place, how you're going to keep them and how you're going to attract more.
And remember, always go back to who your customer is and what they need.
How are they willing to spend their money with you?
And what if you’re ready to level up your start up?
If you're already out in the world with your startup dream, however large or small, first of all, I want to say congratulations.
It takes a lot of work to just get off the start line. You would have loved some things along the way, I’m sure. But I also know you’ve probably hated the pain points, so a further congratulations for sticking it out despite what you’ve had to face.
If you're now ready to level up, revisit the things I’ve already discussed whenever you need to, and adjust them to suit your growth path. This will be based on how your business and customer base has evolved.
Then tune into what you want going forward and redefine it all, to prepare you for the next leap.
Whatever stage you're at, it's important to get clear about what you want to give your customers and how well that aligns with their needs.
Then, get out there with confidence and show them what you've got.
Just make a start.
It won't be perfect, but it's called a startup after all, not a perfectup!
Trust your intuition.
Be tenacious with your efforts.
Creativity will set you apart.
And always lead with your heart.
Your mind will work out the rest after.
And if you need support you can reach me at marieskilling.com. You’ll also find more inspired thinking at my Instagram account marie.skilling.
And remember, we need people like you.
Please make a start then grow until you’re ready to level up.
Best wishes with whatever you do.