Can you believe it, we’re already halfway through January.  Time’s been flying and this year is going to go by just as fast.

If you’ve got a great idea for a new business, or some amazing new ideas for an existing one and  you’ve decided that 2017 is going to be the year you’re going to up your business game then keep reading this week’s post is for you

Lots of people come up with a great business idea, but very few people execute. Often, it’s because they’re not sure how to break down their idea on paper into real life executable steps. But bringing your idea out of your head and into the world is possible for you if you’re ready to put in the work. Here’s what you do:

ACTION STEP #1: “Date” Your People

Have you ever noticed how many questions a man will ask you when he’s really feeling you? That curiosity is a natural part of attraction. It lets a person know you care about them. Well, your very first step in launching your business is to get to know your customer.

You might be thinking, “Shouldn’t I just go ahead and make a website?” or “Shouldn’t I start with branding or designing how my service will be better than the competition?” The answer is no. So many new entrepreneurs get off to a bad start because they jump right into developing their product before they’ve ever asked their customer base about it.

First, you’ll need to learn these things about your customer. What you learn will guide how you set up your business they’ll get to know, like, eventually trust, and want to buy from.

Where are they from? What do they do? What are their hobbies? What are they passionate about? What do you have in common? What do they daydream about? What are their goals for themselves, their family, their career and their lifestyle?

There are lots of free ways to do research on your target audience:

  • Jump into some Facebook groups full of your target market and ask questions. If your business is wedding planning in NYC, you would ask brides in the “Getting Married in New York City” group what the hardest thing is about planning a city wedding. Or what aspect of their decor matters most to them on their big day.
  • Get on social media and read comments. Find YouTube videos, Instagram posts or even blog posts about your business’ niche and read what the readers are saying. You’ll get insight into how your audience thinks and what they think is important enough to comment on. You can even jump into the conversation to ask more questions.
  • Do a survey. Make a free survey on a site like SurveyMonkey and share it with people in your network that fit your target demographic. Ask them questions about their biggest challenges and their biggest desires.

The great thing about this first action step is that you begin to build awareness about you and your business before it’s even started. It’s free marketing. People get to know you as someone who’s interested in them, and you may even mention to the people you talk to that you’re doing research for a new product or service you’re launching. If they express interest in your idea or in staying in touch, get their email address and add them to an email list you start for your business.

Action Step #2: Deconstruct Your Business

The next thing to do is to make a list of tools, systems, equipment and physical items you’ll need to run your business. The things on this list will become the action steps on your To Do list. Here are some examples:

  • How will I source or create my physical product?
    • A clothing company would write: “Research where to buy the best quality fabric for the best price” and “Compare reviews of sewing machine brands”
  • What tools or equipment will I need to run my business on a daily basis?
    • A tech company would write: “Purchase new laptop” and “Buy coding software”
  • What systems do I need to create to run my service?
    • A childcare company would write: “Create new parent welcome brochure” and “Find a good system to automatically bill parents on a monthly basis”
  • What do I need for marketing?
    • “Hire a graphic designer to create a logo, choose fonts and choose a color palate for the business” and “Create a website and social media accounts” and “Get customer reviews to add to my site” and “Research how much an ad in The Gazette would cost”
  • What tasks related to my business will I need to outsource?
    • A pastry caterer would write: “Hire a company to print branded packaging for my baked goods”

Getting to know your customers and breaking down your business into its smaller parts is the easiest, most effective way to turn your great idea into a plan you can use to make moves.

What’s on your business launch To Do list? Let me know in the comments below!

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