How Do You Measure Success?

I delivered a workshop at a Youth Entrepreneur Conference on the 24th of February 2013 on “How to Bring your Business Idea to Life”. It was a great conference with so much “Can-Do” energy. I was intrigued by a question a young man asked me. He asked “what is your definition of success?”

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That question got me thinking for a while about what success truly is. Most of us want the finer things in life – in varying quantities. Are we willing to sacrifice that inner deep emotional need for fulfilment for these other things money can buy? My answer to this young man was “success means different things to different people”.  To some of us helping more people however we can is our definition of success. The good news is money is normally a by-product of doing what you love – if done the right way. Even Sir Richard Branson testifies to this.

Monetary Value

Some people measure success by monetary values, how much money we have in the bank or coming into our businesses? To some, whether things work out outside of the process of making money doesn’t matter. Money is a defence according to the bible so it’s therefore a necessity for daily life. If money is the true measurement of success, why do some rich people still end up miserable? This is a good indication that money is not the only measurement of success.

Adding Value

Like me, some people’s success is linked to the number of people we can help or add value to their lives. This can be through the products or services that we sell. It can also be the assistance we render through compassion for others, charitable deeds, social enterprise or a community group.  It can also be through motivating, inspiring, teaching or uplifting others.  In the process of adding value to the lives of others, the life of the giver is also enriched.

Fulfilment

1181306_jumping_couple_2 lusiFulfilment in doing what they love and enjoy is all that matters to some people. They may have a job that pays the bills, but their spare time is spent doing what they truly enjoy with no cognition of time, money or effort. To this group of people finding fulfilment is their own definition of success. At Business First Steps we believe what you do should be a lifestyle and not a chore.

Define Your Success Parameters

As business owners or start-up it is important that we set the right objectives for starting and developing a business from the onset. You do not want to get halfway through your business journey and throw in the towel because you aren’t fulfilled. The problem when things fail in most cases is not just the business model, but also unrealistic expectations, incorrect definition and measurement of success.

Knowing what you expect from your business when you start out will give you a good way of gauging your progress and success. For example, your aim could be to help 10 women set and achieve their short-term goals in one year.  This can be done voluntarily or for a fee.  The measurement of success is not how much money you make in the process, but how many women actually fulfil their short-term goals in a year.

The definition of success is determined by you. So spend some time questioning yourself to find out what you use to measure success in all your endeavours.  Once you have got your answers set goals, take action and aim for the sky.

What does success mean to you? How do you quantify success in your life?  I will love to hear from you so please comment below.

Your Partner in Business

Temi Koleowo

We love to help people define their passion and do what they love and enjoy. If you are still searching then get in touch and let’s dig and discover together. Business First Steps

Photo by Lusi & Sheela2010 sxc.hu

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Products or Services Development Tip 1

They say ideas are a dime a dozen but how do you get that idea that is bound to create a storm in the market place.  Understandably, you want to follow your passion and create a business you can run whilst also having some fun.  Let’s be honest if you follow your passion and your bills never get paid, it is a matter of time before you pack it in.  I am a firm believer of maximising passion to make a living but in the same light you have to ensure there is a demand for what you want to offer.

So what are the things you can do to check if your product or service idea is a viable one?  The following tips can help you develop an idea around your passion:

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What Group of People Engage and Interest You?

This thought might never have occurred to you, but we are all more comfortable with certain groups of people than others. Some love being around mothers, students, football enthusiasts, foodies, professionals, women, men or techy people.   The people you like to hang out with and things that interest you might be an indication of who you can be selling your products or services to.

Facebook Founder

Take for instance the story of Facebook founder Mark Elliot Zuckerberg.  He launched Facebook from his dormitory room. With the help of friends, he took Facebook to other campuses nationwide and soon after moved to Palo Alto, California. By 2007, Facebook had made him a billionaire at the age of 23. By 2010, Facebook had an estimated 500 million users worldwide and reached 1 billion in 2012.  Wikipedia 2013.

That is a simple indication of how the people you hang out with can become your target market.  So get those magnifying glass and look at them closely.

My Mini Story

There are many people with similar stories who built their businesses based on the needs of people around them.  Due to my analytical ability, my family and close friends used to approach me when they are contemplating a business decision – initially I wasn’t sure why.   After many years of writing business plans for free, it dawned on me that I can actually make a living doing this albeit in a professional way.  My first few customers were my family and friends and I am grateful for their trust in me.  Now that my company accommodates people from all walks of life, it is amazing to think that this was something that was always a part of me.

Taking the First Step

So if you want to start a business on a part time, full time or as an additional income to your current career – look closely at the people that interest you.   It could be your work colleagues, your jogging buddy or your lunchtime/church group.  Do not start looking at them on the basis of money but on the basis of meeting their needs.  It is easier to sell to people you know to start off and grow from there.  Study them and start jotting down in a notebook what you think they need that you can provide.

Till Next Time…Don’t Stop the Process of Your Business Start-up.  Keep Moving!

Temi

www.businessfirststeps.co.uk – personalised and practical business set-up and start-up services.

Market Your Business With Knowledge

I was quite disturbed to read about a well-known supposedly Marketing Guru whose company was fleecing people for money. It reminded me of when I started out in business and was so eager for information. I was buying into so many empty promises of what will catapult my business to the next level. Little did I know that there is hardly a miracle marketing technique anywhere?

1159730_yell YodesignerI learnt after a few hard knocks that if you do not work on your business putting the right foundation in place, no matter the marketing strategy you engage in, you will fall flat on your face. I strongly believe that businesses that succeed work through a step by step marketing strategy. This is not to say marketing strategies do not work, but you need to know your business and how people respond to what you offer. I dare say that not all businesses will grow via social media. For some it’s the interaction with their customers face to face that will grow their businesses.

The following tips are some of the things you should be aware of to help you choose the right marketing strategy for your business:

Core Values – Understand your core values and how it translates into your business. What is important to you? Is it financial gain, longevity in business, popularity, your integrity or customer satisfaction? When you understand what your core values are, it will be easy for you to project it through your business marketing materials and strategies.

What Do You Sell? – Strange as it might sound, there are many businesses that are not clear about their aim and objectives and what they offer. That was me in times past; I was trying to do so much without defined products or services. It is confusing to say the least to those you are targeting if you don’t have well defined products or services. Are you a party planner/caterer or are you a graphic designer/copywriter. Whether you offer two, three or five services, make it clear through your website, marketing materials and even your elevator pitch.

Who Are Your Customers? – Who are the people that will buy your products? Who are you targeting? Young, Old, Rich, Middle Class, Students, Women, Mothers, Men etc? When you started out, who were you going to sell to? Keep that in mind when you develop your marketing plan. Where can you find them, what do they read, what else do they buy that can compliment your products? Some businesses can only serve a local area except they expand their service offerings. Let’s say you run a salon, except people come to your store, you can’t get much patronage. But if you now offer hair products online, use YouTube tutorials etc, then you can increase your target market by a wide margin.

What Is Your Budget? I feel on my face with this one over and over again until I made some realisticand hard decisions. So many people will offer you services that promise to grow your business miraculously. You need to align every proposal with your business aims, objectives and budget. How much have you put aside for marketing this year? Having this information to hand will prevent you from being swayed by marketing gimmicks.

21411_cash_notes_3 andyculpinLook Beyond the Money – I have had some simple engagements that have opened so many doors to great relationships and business opportunities. Whilst some have not gone beyond the single task, event/meeting. You will know a good opportunity when you see one. Do not be guided by money alone but let the prospects of what is to come help you make informed decisions. Attend networking events to build relationships and not just to sell your products or services. Offer your target market free offers so they can learn to trust you and you can build relationships with them too.

The Time Factor – How much time can you dedicate to your marketing strategies?  Can you afford to spend two hours a week listening to an audio training on marketing strategies?  If you can’t, then it is futile to purchase a plan you can’t commit to.  I love what someone suggested on Facebook – find 30 minutes a day/week and dedicate that time to building your business through one marketing effort at a time.  The thought of a huge marketing plan can be overwhelming. If you can update your social media status once a week start with that and don’t beat yourself down if you falter. Just try a bit more next time and before you know it, it becomes second nature. Remember Consistency is the key to organic business growth.

I could go about my marketing mistakes and what I have learnt that actually works. Believe me when I say I have tried quite a few, and quite ashamed of my gullibility in some cases.  But hey you learn in business and grow.  Now it is not so easy to get my hard-earned cash through hocus-pocus marketing strategies.

Buyers Beware!  Before you commit to another fomular, make sure you maximise the opportunities that present themselves to you at no cost.

I’ll love to hear from you – If you have got some marketing stories or tips you will like to share, please comment below.

I wish you good success

Temi Koleowo

If you need help in developing your products or services or even develop a Sales Funnel, there is nothing a Brainstorming session can’t cure. Get in touch and let’s give your business a boost.