The goal of learning and acquiring new skills is so that you can find relevance and economic value in the new world. Learning is not enough, the things learned have to be deployed and put to use. Whatever it was you chose to learn must now be brought to the place of practice. In essence, this is where the rubber hit the road, from this chapter onward it is all about actions and outcomes.
If you have ever been down with a protracted illness that lasted for over a week then you know how difficult it is to get up and return to normal. After a protracted crisis like the one we just faced the most trying thing for many is how to stand up and do something again. When starting out on a new venture or course it is normal to face some tooting problems in the very early days. However, you need to know that everything depends on your next move.
Launching out or relaunching out is not a joke, in the last couple of weeks I have been in several conversations either with people who are tweaking their business models or are in the process of starting a new business altogether. From all these conversations I have drawn out the most important criteria for a successful launch.
- Get Your Road Map: no one in their right senses will leave their homes without a predetermined destination in mind. Before launching you need to have a clear sense of direction for your new job or business. The goals and objectives must be stated clearly. In your past life, someone gave you deadlines and targets that you had to meet. Now you have to give yourself targets and set for yourself expectations that must be met. One thing I need to mention is unrealistic expectations. The reason why many of us burn out at the beginning of new ventures is that we come in with bloated targets forgetting that everything in life requires time and watering to grow. You won’t make a million in one day regardless of what your internet business guru tells you. If you are just starting you need to give yourself time to test, fail, and repeat until you find your own magic recipe. By all means, be optimistic about success but also add some pinch of reality to your optimism.
- Know the right tools: find out the precise tools you need to succeed in your business. Do you need a website? Do you need to pay for software? Do you need to invest in new equipment or machinery? What do you need? Find out what tools you need and by all means invest in them. Because of the massive disruption of the pandemic certain tools are no longer necessary, at the same time new tools and methods are been rolled out that allow us to get things done cheaper and faster than expected.
You need to know how you can leverage these changes to optimize and accelerate the growth of your own business. Unknown to many entrepreneurs a lot of service providers are giving massive discounts and price slash on their service. I can tell you this categorically because I got close $5000 worth of service for free during the lockdown. You will not know this except you make moves to get what you need.
- Know Your Vitals: I know this is not a book about health matters but vitals are critical to survival in business too. There are so many voices out there right now trying to sell you on the new gold and the new oil. You need to have focus and avoid shiny object syndrome. You need to keep your eye on the most important metrics for your business. You need to greet your hustle with grit and focus. Right now, you only have strength for what is important, leave the frivolities and nonessentials for another day. Don’t pay for a website if you don’t need one, don’t pay for a premium tool when you can get a free version for a few weeks. You are not trying to impress anybody. Focus on what is essential to get your business off the ground.
What I said up there is part one, part two I knowing the vital metrics. Let say you decide to run a post on Facebook to generate leads and at the end of the promotion, your post reached 5000 people but you had just 10 engagements and 1 lead. If you do not understand your metrics you can be celebrating when in fact you should be calling for the firefighters because as it is your business is catching fire right in front of you. Now poor promotion doesn’t mean something is wrong with your business itself, it just means you need to make adjustments to get more people to buy from you.
- Start where you are: what you have right now can do something, start with what you have right now. I preach bootstrapping, if all you have is your mobile phone, it is enough to launch. Leverage on your friends and family to help give your business a voice and create a rave of some sort in your own little way. Don’t be ashamed to pressure people to promote your business. Stop waiting till you get the advanced start with the basics that you have. Use whatever is available to fuel your business and get moving. This is particularly essential in situations where you have to learn or acquire some level of mastery. Let people know that you are just starting and every review will help you get better.
Don’t be afraid of makin mistakes, nobody became a pro overnight. If people are reluctant to pay you, offer them a free gig at no cost. By all means, keep your face out and push for opportunities.
- Improve on the go: this is not the time to be rigid especially if you are just starting out. You need to use feedback meticulously and adapt it to improve on your idea as you go. Some people will have you pack so that you can get better, or suggest in the name of excellence that you wait for a more perfect time. Don’t listen to them the people told me they are preparing some years ago are still preparing today. Be flexible and let your customers know that you are constantly your model to give them the best service.
- Prioritize Funnels: sales funnels are swallowing websites. You may need a website depending on what type of product or service you provide but in 2020 your focus should be on funnels. What a funnel does basically is that it helps you attract leads and converts those leads into customers. You can have the best product and still be the best-kept secret. Learn how to design a sales system for your business. A sales funnel goes beyond sales letters, landing pages, and websites. A sales funnel is simply a system that brings customers to your business. My sales system mastermind was designed to help businesses and service providers find and attract their ideal clients.
- Create Your Story: I ordered a book during the lockdown from one of Nigeria’s foremost online influencers. The interesting thing is that I had known about the book for a while but nothing was going to make me pay for it until I heard him tell his story.
His story was so compelling that I brought out my credit card I the middle of the lockdown and ordered his book. After ordering the book I was told I had to pay extra for shipping I didn’t mind in fact I placed a call to the office to have the account details sent when I felt they were delaying that was how badly I wanted to pay for the book.
You have a story too, what made you start this business? What is your why? The goal is to use your story to inspire your targets to turn your way. People who feel a sense of connection with your story will cross rivers and scale walls to come to you.