When you’re just starting out, your mind is usually filled with so many ideas because you’re reading and consuming so much exciting content. So many possibilities can leave you confused about which one to choose.
How do you filter out the noise and pick the best one?
There’s so much free content out there that you may find they start preaching similar things. When you’ve re-read the same content more than once that’s when you know you should get started on your business and implement the stuff you’re learning. 😂
“Get your core values, your mission and your vision in place before you start your business”Probably me
I was preaching this message in my recent workshop. They are super important but I’ve found that everyone knows that they’re important already. The internet has spoken. We all know the steps to take but what we all desire is a good quality business idea with a set path all laid out with 100% success rate. Where the F do I find that? It does not exist.
You don’t have to follow this procedure but when we started up Madhat Girls <- I think you’ll be seeing this phrase a lot 😂. I was SO lost! I didn’t think I was lost until I got over that hurdle of just doing stuff because I thought it was a great idea. No research, nothing. Just me, myself and I 😂.
We started it up with the intention to promote email marketing because WE loved it so much. I didn’t realise that I hadn’t worked in email marketing for like…4 years? I was so rusty and it seemed like something I thought I loved until I built our website and then….crickets…no one showed up. I didn’t even know how to market it or know what I was offering apart from my love for email marketing. Is that even a business idea? 😅
Then I discovered this course on Linkedin Learning. I learnt about Strategic Planning and how to build a business strategy from scratch which really helped narrow down my kajillion ideas into a strategy which sculpted the idea for Madhat Academy. It is by no means going to succeed but drafting a strategy gave me the confidence in going ahead with the idea. It also gave a solid process and system to put new ideas through – kind of like a filter to weed out the bad ones.
You may have heard about this process before many times but I will walk you through in my own words using Madhat Girls as a case-study. I hope it will spark your own methods to move you towards clarity in defining your idea.
Feel free to grab a pen and paper and jot things down. 🙇♀️
Step 1: What are your Strengths?
- What do people usually come to you asking for help with?
- Think of the last time you achieved your goals what skills did you apply to achieve that goal?
- What are you good at in work?
- What projects have you spent hours on without getting tired?
- What are your hobbies and why do you enjoy them?
- What have others complimented you about before?
- What resources do you have at hand?
My example: i love social media, online networking, design skills, writing skills, people always ask me for help with their websites or computer, spend hours on laptop, hobbies include learning and marketing my blog, last time I achieved a goal it took patience, perseverance and determination.
Step 2: What are your Weaknesses?
- These are things you may struggle with at work
- What do you do courses in – looking to upskill in?
- What traits or skills do your friends have that you wish you had?
- What projects/tasks drain your energy?
- What have you had to ask for help with in the past?
My example: social media marketing skills, time-keeping, verbal communication/presentation skills, keeping to plans, socialising tires me out, fear of failure, fear of judgement, consistency.
After you’ve spent some time assessing your strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to get input from those closest to you: your colleagues, your partner, your best friend, close friends, or family members.
Step 3: What are the current opportunities that you can see?
- What is happening in the world right now?
- What are your competitors not good at?
- Are many others doing what you want to do?
- What’s the market like for your product or service?
- Do you have any media coverage or a good network?
My example: knowledge of the internet, lots of free time, people are consuming more online content, people are looking for direction in life – coaches are pricy, growing market for eLearning, DIY generation.
Step 4: What could be a threat to your idea?
- What might jeopardise your idea?
- What issues may you encounter?
- What struggles are you having RIGHT now?
- Have you had a bad public review or negative experience?
- What attitude do people have towards you?
- What’s the economy like right now?
My example: my unemployment, job insecurity, economy is not looking good, corona-virus changing customer spending habits, an increase of competitors in the same market, fear of failure, my own mindset
Then you highlight things you can ‘bunch’ together with similar themes to form a strategy.
Here is a screenshot from one of our slides to plan our strategy. The colours are there to separate them into groups where they can be linked to form a strategy.
As you can see there’s blue, yellow, red and highlighted. You start by highlighting one from strengths then how it can contribute to opportunities than same in threats that might affect that and then an opposing weakness. Then you try to form a strategy.
If that sounds confusing… I honestly, HATE videos, but I know people digest information in different ways and this makes it easier to express what I’m trying to show. I know whoever lands on the video is going to think WTF but I made it for you guys which hopefully can help you understand what I mean.
There you have it. That should guide you through what is known as a S.W.O.T analysis which you most likely would have heard of and perhaps even done before. Except you’re doing one for yourself.
After S.W.O.T Analysis and Strategic Planning
S.W.O.T analysis is only one part of your strategic planning. I didn’t want to overwhelm you but I will be covering this in our micro-courses when Madhat Academy launches. Only when I took a step back, sat down for 2 weeks to learn more about business, crafted a strategy (very slowly), and turned what I have learnt to help people into a product. This was when everything changed.
I’m not saying follow what I’m doing because I’ve still got no idea. I’m just telling you the things I have learnt and my process as it helped push my idea into reality. I really hope it will help you with yours too. This part of starting a business is the trickiest because you don’t want to invest until you know you will get something back but that’s the biggest jump of being an entrepreneur. You will never know until you try.