Building a business is like building a car and to get your business engine purring like a kitten, you have to have the right tools. Tessa Ashford, Director of Marketing at IdeaPros, shares with you her favorite tools needed to get the business running and firing on all cylinders.
Follow These Steps to Build Your Business Successfully
When building a business, just like building a car, you have to have in mind that you are the one who will drive it. Even if you have help creating it, it is up to you to take it, and drive it.
“You need to take care of it, spend time on it, and keep track of where your levels and emergency lights are.” – Tessa Ashford
Luckily, if you follow these essential steps and use the right tools, you will get there.
Step One: Have A Plan
The first column of a successful business is your business plan. There are great tools that can help you put yours together. At IdeaPros, we use LivePlan to create business plans for our partners. You have sections you add information to, with little videos telling you what you want to accomplish. It shows you how other people have used it for their business and helps you come up with your plan. Once you have all the information in one place, it is easy to boil it down into a fast version.
LivePlan has a pitch page that shows the problem, takes all the info, and puts it into the pitch section. Your overview, mission, or unique positioning statement, which is the short version of what your business is all about. With LivePlan, you have your sales channels, marketing activities, resources digested in one place, and when you take it to the bank, they will be happy to see it. Instead of going through 50 pages of a traditional business plan. It lets you do forecasting, benchmarks, publish, present, and share a link.
“LivePlan helps you keep your business running because it is clear what your focus is.” – Tessa Ashford
Another document that can help you with planning is our one-page business plan. If you don’t want to dive into a huge pitch in LivePlan, get these down in short form and have it easily accessible. Figure out what are your problems and what your elevator pitch and your solutions are. It is designed to be short, easily printed, and kept on top of your mind.
Step Two: Understand Your Priorities
Every business owner is overwhelmed with all the things they need to do. As you are the accountant, the marketer, the innovator, and the one who chooses team members. It’s hard to prioritize, but necessary at the same time.
Project management systems can help you a great deal. At IdeaPros, we use Asana. You can have quite a few team members working without upgrading to the paid version. Asana is fun and good-looking, too. It lets you make lists and tasks that you can prioritize. You can put tags for different priorities, see recent messages in the inbox, and information on the task. Attach notes easily, assign projects, and even get a cool little celebration when you complete them.
The other tool is ClickUp which is similar to Asana. You can see all the items on a board or in a site map. Use Asana or ClickUp to organize and prioritize your tasks.
If you are more of a pen and paper person, you can go one step back and use a grid method of important, not important, urgent, and not urgent. This method saves time and when you feel overwhelmed it helps you decide on the next task.
“As a business owner, you have to be able to say: This is not something that’s helping my business right now. I will do it down the road.” – Tessa Ashford
Step Three: Find The Right People
When we first start our business, we try to do it all by ourselves and often burn out. Having people you can rely on makes a huge difference in alleviating some of the stress. Delegating is not easy, especially at the beginning because it takes time to train your team. Find that perfect balance between training and managing someone, and giving them the freedom to do their best. Have a template with processes that you can share with your team, so they know how to contribute to the growth of your business.
Upwork and Fiverr are platforms of freelancers that have been around for a while. Acadium is an internship platform where you can get an intern to help. It is more affordable if you are ready to train them and help them expand their knowledge. Test new people, especially if you are looking for an assistant or a social media team.
So, go out there, get those tools and those cylinders on fire!
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.