“Thanks Wendy Pitts Reeves, you are a dynamite coach! Your module on creating packages is stellar!”
One of my clients posted this online after working through a training module in my coaching program, The Courage Academy.
When I talked to her about it later, she was still excited. “Seriously, Wendy, this is the bomb. I can’t tell you how helpful it is….”
And it was affirming to hear that. Because if I’m not any good at what I do, it doesn’t matter much what the rest of my business looks like, does it?
There are five secrets to growing a successful business of any kind, any size. You may not have all five at the start, but you’ll need them all as you grow.
And the first one is the most important of all.
1. HIGH LEVEL SKILLS.
The number one key to designing and building any successful business, hands down, is that you must be good at what you do.
Better than good. One of the best.
Because you may have the cutest bake shop in town, but if your cakes taste like cardboard, you won’t be in business long.
On the other hand, your shop may be a tiny place in a back alley, but if your cakes are unusually delicious, customers will find you.
And you can’t stop there. Developing new skills through ongoing training is just as important, no matter how long you’ve been in business.
2. ACCURATE PRICING.
But if you’re good at what you do, yet undervalue your work, or give it away, you can’t survive.
This may be your calling, your highest purpose on the planet. But it’s also your livelihood, your income. So it’s critical to develop a healthy mindset around your value, and adjust your pricing accordingly.
And as your business evolves, your pricing should too. When was the last time you gave yourself a raise?
3. CLEAR STRUCTURES.
You may be good at what you do, and get paid what you’re worth, but if you’re available 24/7, you won’t last either.
And if your packages change by the day or your payment policies are unclear, your income will be inconsistent and unpredictable.
You need your own version of Policies and Procedures that clearly explain how you work. What hours are you available? Can clients text you? How do you accept payment and when do you require it? What do they get for their investment? What’s your promise to them?
And once you have those policies in place, enforce them. Otherwise they mean nothing.
Clear boundaries and solid structures create healthy relationships. Always.
4. A STRONG TEAM.
And if you’ve got the skills, pricing and structure in place, but do everything yourself, you can still only go so far.
It’s natural, at first, to wear many hats in your business: content manager, bookkeeper, janitor, marketing director, service provider, clerk. But eventually, you’re going to need a team to keep it going…
…and to grow.
What you need and when will vary. It could be anything from an accountant to a web designer to an administrative assistant – or help at home.
Sometimes having someone clean the house or finding a personal assistant to run errands would be the most effective way to free up your energy.
You need to focus on your genius work. Get help with everything else.
5. ENTREPRENEURIAL SUPPORT.
If you have great skills and good pay, clear boundaries and a solid team, congratulations. You are well on your way to building a business that is profitable and sustainable!
But you still need one more thing: and that is support. You need someone to challenge your ongoing growth as an entrepreneur, and to encourage you when the growing is hard. Without high-level, entrepreneurial support, you risk stalling out and losing momentum.
There are many ways get that kind of support. Finding an accountability partner, joining a mastermind, or hiring a coach are all solid ways to strengthen your mindset and empower your strategy.
Do you have all 5 of these in your business?
If not, what are you missing?
Photo Credit: Mark Strozier on Flickr