A lot of business owners sometimes feel like giving up because they want to get to the end destination without going through the foundational things of the business. What they don't know is that once they have these business foundations in place, their business is going to fly.
This episode is all about the importance of business foundations. I explain what these foundations are and some of the steps that you can take to get those foundations in place.
Listen and let’s build our business the right way.
01:08 Episode Intro
01:53 Business as an ongoing process
01:54 Enjoying the business journey and slowing it down
03:23 Business foundations build business momentum
05:12 Planning for the business that you want
06:42 Knowing and understanding ideal clients
07:30 Speaking to your clients
07:58 Having a website
08:26 Recap of 6 business foundations
11:25 What's stopping people from doing these foundational things
Ruth Gilbey 00:04
Hello and welcome to the inspiring women in business podcast. My name is Ruth Gilbey, and I'm a business and marketing coach. I'm on a mission to inspire women to start and play bigger in business. Now I started this podcast because when I first went all in and left the corporate world to be a freelancer, I was just grateful for any work that came my way. After over 20 years of freelancing and working for other people, I started to realize I'd created a glass ceiling myself. It was in 2017 when I finally started listening to that voice that had been telling me for a long time that I wasn't doing what I loved, and I wasn't fulfilling my true potential. It took a critical illness to give me that wake-up call. And I don't want the same thing to happen to you. You can expect practical advice, interviews, inspiring stories, and a lot of aha moments as we uncover and kick to the curb all the obstacles you've been putting in your way.
Ruth Gilbey 01:08
Hello, and welcome back to the inspiring women in business podcast. Today's episode is all about the importance of business foundations. I've wanted to record this podcast for quite some time. It's a subject matter that I talk about quite a lot because it never really ceases to surprise me how many businesses, even you know, businesses that have been around years, don't have very good foundations in their business. And I'm going to explain what those foundations are and some of the steps that you can take to get those foundations in place. One of the things that crop up a lot when I start working with people is making sure the foundations of your business are in place. Whether you're a freelancer or a limited company, you still have a business.
Ruth Gilbey 01:53
Starting, running, and growing your business is an ongoing process one course or one book isn't magically going to get you to the end destination. It's an ongoing process, you're going to be impatient, you're going to want to give it up. And you might question whether you want to get a full-time job. And that's okay if you do. I've seen people do that. And they're perfectly happy. Whatever works for you.
Ruth Gilbey 01:54
My best advice to you is to try as much as possible to enjoy the journey and also slow it down sometimes, and understand that slow and steady wins the race. It isn't a race to the finish line. It's about taking consistent actions, the people that I see that just keep going they keep chipping away at the things that are actually working in their business are the ones that are growing it particularly in the first couple of years in your business when you're starting out, and you've got so many questions, and you feel like you've got a lot to do. Those are the times where a lot of business owners can feel like giving up. And when people start working with me, they often think there's some magic business or marketing strategy that's going to not just get them clients but just magically solve things. They're just so impatient. They want to get to the end destination. And I often have to spend quite a lot of time gently persuading people that there are foundational things that you do need to do. And once you have them in place, honestly, your business is going to fly.
Ruth Gilbey 03:23
I'm afraid that these foundational things aren't particularly exciting, they aren't going to get you success overnight, but they do work. They help you build momentum in your business. So many businesses skip these steps. And then they find they need to go back to the foundations before they can grow their businesses effectively. And you know what? Also, that's okay. Taking messy action and then going back isn't the end of the world. You don't know what you don't know, do you? But if I could actually save you months or even years and save you a huge amount of time and money. Would you be interested in hearing what does actually works? I'll assume you're nodding along here in saying yes.
Ruth Gilbey 04:07
Now before I share my advice, I do have a big caveat here. I do not want you to use what I am saying as an excuse or an obstacle to not take action to say, well, I can't do this, or I can't do that because I've heard that you have to do these things. What I want you to promise me that you will do and write this down is I want you to implement and take action as you go along. You cannot afford to always be the student or hide behind your laptop or hide behind your to-do list. This is going to slow down your starting or growing your business. I want you to take steps I want you to take action. So if you're starting your business or feel like you don't have those foundational things in place, or perhaps you don't know what the foundational things even are, here are what I think the six steps are to building a really solid foundation in your business and you really standing out online and you really having the best chance of attracting your ideal clients that are ready to work with you, that want to work with you, and can afford to work with you.
Ruth Gilbey 05:12
The number one thing is to choose the business that you want and design your plan, and your marketing around that you can do other work that isn't your ideal work is your bread and butter work but plan for the business that you want. Set goals, make a plan, even on a piece of paper, just one piece of paper just saying what you want it to look like. This sounds really easy, maybe, but it isn't easy. And if we aren't taught to do this kind of thing, we aren't taught to think about what we actually want, we go where we think the money is, we go where the leads are taking us, but we don't stop and go, Okay, I can take that work. But it might not be my ideal work. But don't create a business around the leads you're getting. Don't create a business around all the shoulds that I should be doing this. I should be doing that. Release yourself from that and just sit down and plan the business you want.
Ruth Gilbey 06:07
The second thing is to niche. Now you might cringe when you hear this, but your marketing will be easier and cheaper if you do this. Now, some people really struggle with this. And they just pick a niche because they think I just have to niche. Now, if you're finding it hard, just get a bit more specific. And I could spend a whole podcast talking about this. So what I'm going to say is let's leave that for another podcast episode where I will either chat to you more about or give you more steps around niching. Or I'll maybe even bring in an expert on niching. And we can have a chat through some things if you're struggling with your niche.
Ruth Gilbey 06:42
So let's move on to number three. Number three is right. So number one, you've chosen the business you want. Number two, you've made steps towards getting more specific and niching. Number three is to get really clear on who you want to work with. And then get to know them really deeply, really understand. You may have heard people talk about user personas or client avatars, but they can't. They need to be real people. You need to understand and know them really well. Like they are your best friend. So you know who you're speaking to you you're not assuming you know what they want. You've done your research. You've had conversations with them, you know, they need what you offer, you understand their problems, all these things are just so amazing for the foundations of your business and your marketing.
Ruth Gilbey 07:30
Number four is, and it's kind of a follow-on from that is learn how to speak to your ideal client, in person, on emails, and on your website. So you've done all that research, you know who you want to work with. You know how to speak to them. That will evolve with time by speaking to them by getting to know them by testing content out, not by you sitting assuming you know what they want. You've got to take action. You've got to speak to them. You've got to start testing things.
Ruth Gilbey 07:30
Number five. And this is something that I see people get really quite stuck on is creating offers and services that you want to offer and what your customer needs, make them clear and easy to understand. So that's number five. Honestly, it is that when you get really clear on what you want your business to look like, what you're actually offering, it makes and who you want to work with and who your ideal client is. It makes everything so much easier.
Ruth Gilbey 07:58
Number six is prioritize having a website. 90% of the time, my clients are focusing on social media, they're either ignoring their website, or they don't have a website. And I believe that it is such a great foundation for your business. It shows the world you mean business. It makes it very clear. All your marketing takes people on a journey to your website through your website shows the offers that you're putting out into the world.
Ruth Gilbey 08:26
Okay, so there. The six things I'd love to know. I mean, messaged me on Instagram and let me know, were they a surprise to you? Are they missing from your business? Are you doing them? So let me recap those again. Number one, choose the business you want. Number one, number two is niche or get more specific, make steps towards niching. Don't just pick any old niche. Make sure there's a reason you understand why you want to do it. It's connected with what you want to put out in the world. And also, if you're finding some resistance towards that niche, explore that. Number three was getting to know getting clear on who you want to work with, not who you think you should work with, not the business you think you should have or the niche you think you should have, just what you're really clear on who you would like to work with who your ideal client is. Number four is learning how to speak to them in person in your marketing, and your messaging is so important, and you only can do that really by testing out the content speaking to them listening to them. Number five, create offers and services that you want to offer. And number six is prioritize having a website 90% of the time. My clients are focusing on social media.
Ruth Gilbey 10:09
So what's stopping you from doing these things? Here are some of the things that come up. When I speak to people about doing these foundational things, sometimes people say to me, you know, I just don't have the marketing experience. They didn't know that you needed to do these things. As I say, you don't know what you don't know. Or maybe someone's told you, you don't need a website, or you know, just go on LinkedIn, or go on a particular channel, and everything will be okay. And that sometimes that does work. But I do wonder what else people have tested before that's worked for them. That's the skeptic in me, or maybe you're relying on word-of-mouth referrals. And word-of-mouth referrals are amazing. They're like the lifeblood of a business. And it's where I started out my business, I started just telling people what I wanted to do. If you're relying on word of mouth referrals, if you're really starting your business, I'm going to put a link in the show notes to my get your next client guide, which is all-around kick starting and getting those first clients and really without having to do the foundational things that I've talked about, that's a quick kind of you want to get some clients, you want to get a pipeline of people that workbook is amazing for, you know, uncovering the leads that you didn't know you already had.
Ruth Gilbey 11:25
I'm sidetracking here a bit. Maybe someone's told you to rely on word-of-mouth referrals. That's an excuse I hear. I don't need to do all these things. No, you don't. But believe me, if you do, your business will fly, everything will get easier. And you can still have word-of-mouth referrals. But you can get have a pipeline of clients coming in from other areas as well. And another reason why people might not be doing these foundational things is they might be a bit scared of telling the world. This is what I want to do. You know, this is what I want to do hello world, this is what I want to do, this is the offer that I want to put out there. This is the service I want to put out there; these are the things I want to do. That can feel quite scary. And that's why another reason why people don't do these things. Or another thing that comes up quite a lot is they get stuck with number one, which is they can't decide what business they actually want. You're not sure what you actually want to do. And that can that's why it's not always as easy as going through that list of foundational things and getting them done because you might get stuck on number one. And I see this happen quite a lot. I see people coming to me saying I actually just don't know what I want to do. I don't know what type of business I want.
Ruth Gilbey 12:45
Go and check out the business building hub, check out the get your next client guide to getting clearer, you know, to get clear on how you can get those next clients, and all the foundational things that I have spoken about in this episode are all inside my amazing program, the online business blueprint. The blueprint is my foundational signature program. It's foundational, but so many people go back to it. I go back to it in my business because my businesses evolved as well. But it takes you through the steps of helping you choose the business you want, helping you with your niche, guiding you through your niche, helping you with the research on who your ideal client is crafting those irresistible offers, getting that amazing website out there. It's got step by step kind of like Lego manual guides on how to get your website out there. Then it goes into you know your pricing and your money mindset how you can get your offers out there at the price that you want. And it also goes deeper into getting your next clients and your sales funnel going. That's it for this week. I'll be back again, helping those of you who are feeling stuck about what you want your business to look like.
Ruth Gilbey 13:26
Thanks for listening and subscribing to the inspiring women in business podcast. Please do take a few moments to leave me a review. I love getting reviews they absolutely make my day. Also, go and check out my business-building hub. In there, you're going to find lots of great resources, free resources for business owners who are launching, running, or growing their businesses and I have a brand new masterclass for you. It's called the Sold Out Solution and in that, I share my exact roadmap to help you get your first online clients in 30 days. And guess what? It's only a 29-minute masterclass as well. So I get straight into the value. Lots and lots of great advice for you in there. And also, for those of you who watch the masterclass a freebie for you within the masterclass as well go and check it out.