I used to experience this daily, as have many of my clients. Even the more experienced ones – we all find ourselves a little stuck in the swamp of overwhelm from time to time.
You know what? I think it’s okay – normal, in fact! Small business is hard, and please don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. There is no miracle cure, and nobody ever gets rich overnight. Although, there are plenty of charlatans on the web who would love to tell you otherwise, and charge you handsomely for their ‘secrets’.
But if it smells like BS, it probably is!
Making it as a small business owner or solopreneur is way harder than being employed. I think the important thing is to remember why we started. I know that I started because I was 110% done with being an employee. And I must admit that being employeed was a lot ‘easier’; it just didn’t sit well with me. I wanted to be the captain of my own ship, and I was really done with workplace drama.
So I chose the solopreneur path to follow my values and make my soul happier. But it IS a trade off; especially in the first couple of years. It takes time to scale and automate things in your small business.
So what can we do?
Here are a few things that I know to be helpful:
1. Get psychological support
This really doesn’t need to be a therapist, unless you feel that you want one. Conquering the mindset of small business ownership is a huge game changer, and your employed friends and family really won’t know how to help with this, despite their best intentions.
So what I’m suggesting here is to find yourself a coach or a mentor. Getting on top of your mental game is more than half of the battle.
A clear mind helps with a clear business plan, which in turn help everything stay on track.
2. Simplicity is key
A simple marketing plan is essential. Complicated funnels that you don’t understand won’t help you. And spending hours per day across several social media platforms will not have a good return on your time investment.
Focus on just a couple of social platforms. Keep your marketing funnels simple. Streamline everything; efforts, costs, and execution.
3. Map it out
The long standing joke about entrepreneurs is that they plan everything out on the backs of beermats in the pub. It’s a bit of a silly generalisation, but I get where it came from.
I have seen many people try to hold too much in their heads. And when it comes to marketing strategy, I think it is essential to map it out on paper or a spreadsheet.
Marketing funnels need to be viewed as a whole to make sure they are “leak proof”. Therefore, I strongly encourage all of my clients to draw their funnels from start to finish. You need to be able to look at the big picture – not just fragments of it.
Seriously – draw it out, stick it on your wall, and get really familiar with your funnels. Having “leak proof” funnels is the beginning of successfully automating your revenue-generating activities. It really is worth spending a little time on planning your funnels properly.
Just remember why you started. If your WHY is strong, then you can make it happen for you!