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If you’ve thought about starting your own business, you’ve probably envisioned it a certain way. But what would your dream business even look like?
Maybe you’ve imagined staying home full time with your kids, being your own boss, creating a cash flow of X amount of dollars, or maybe just having the freedom to take vacations when you want.
But I guarantee that you slightly have different priorities than I do, which means that you will want a side hustle that is perfect for you.
Vertical vision vs horizontal vision
The first step to accomplishing this is understanding the concept of vertical vision vs. horizontal vision.
Small business owners who have vertical vision are those who contantly look upwards when it comes to their new business. They’re making goals, defining dreams, working upwards and “staying in their own lane”, as they say.
A successful entrepreneur with vertical vision pays attention to his or her own business and where they want it to go.
Conversely, those who have horizontal vision are contantly comparing themselves with other small businesses. They change their marketing strategy anytime the girl next door does something different, they buy trending products without doing any research on them and they’re always worried about the competition.
Horizontal thinking is the equivalent of driving 80 mph on a freeway with no lane lines, using no turn signals. It’s a mess, and someone (or rather, someone’s business!) is likely to get hurt.
Social media, while often a great way to market and share what our business has to offer, can also become a breeding ground for horizontal vision. There’s just too much opportunity to check out what others are doing and notice how you may or may not be measuring up.
No one but you can create your dream business
A successful business owner knows this one, fundamental truth: There is no one on this entire earth who can serve your customers or clients like YOU can. This is not just lip service, it’s a fact.
No one has your exact experience, talents, mindset, courage and personality to put into your business. Even though there are a million different ways you can use these skills to create the business of your dreams, it is yours and yours alone.
Here’s another truth bomb: you AND your business will become the best versions of themselves through the building process. There is no destination, there is only the journey (excuse the cheese).
Starting a business in real life is a lot like motherhood. Nobody knows what they’re doing as a mom and we all screw up a bunch and think we’re gonna ruin our kids. But that’s how to we become the best versions of ourselves as moms AND as business owners.
Make a plan
It’s always a good idea to start with a business plan. You’re going to want to know what success looks like before you get started, so you know where you’re headed.
A few things to include in a good business plan are:
- target market research – who’s your client/customer and what do they want? Ask around, create surveys, research competitors’ clients, pay people to give you input.
- start-up costs and funding – do you have enough money already or will you need help? For funding, you can use a credit card, loan from a financial institution, angel investor, venture capitalists, etc.
- business name and legal structure – will you be a sole proprietorship, limited liability company or corporation? Find a lawyer or tax expert to walk you through your options and help you decide.
- what you’ll sell or offer and at what price – this will also require some research and number crunching to ensure you’ll turn a profit.
- short and long-term goals – what kind of business do you want to create? How much money will it make long term? How will it benefit society and your family?
But above all, the most important question you need to ask yourself is, what do you want from your business?
When I started my first business, almost a decade ago, the only thing I wanted was to begin feeling some purpose to my days as a mom of many small children. I chose a specific niche to blog about and took a leap of faith by becoming a sewing pattern designer. The fact that my tiny business helped me feel excited about my day as a mom was exactly what I needed to consider it successful.
My next business dream was to begin my own clothing brand. I started Novalie several years later but, instead of diving into manufacturing my own original designs, I got cold feet and instead invested in other brands’ new products. I sold those for 2 years before remembering my original definition of success for that business: it was to produce my original designs! So I shifted focus and finally accomplished that dream in 2021.
Are you seeing a theme here? The perfect time to start your dream business is now and the best way to set goals is to ask yourself, “what do I really want from this business?”
That’s right, friend, it’s that easy. Decide what you want, then go out and get it.
I’m here to help.
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