Getting Started, Business, Scaling Your Business

Your Business Needs a Roadmap (Here's What To Do In Your First 2 Years of Business)

Episode 138: Show Notes

On today’s show, we will be answering our most frequently asked question: “How did you get from point A to point B?” We will be sharing what to do, when to do it and how to do it all in your first two years of business. These steps got us from zero dollars to nearly half a million dollars and we want to give you a step-by-step breakdown of everything we did along the way. Even if your goal is not to make half a million dollars, the strategies we implemented and the lessons we have learned can definitely be applied to any business goal. Whatever your ultimate goal, the strategies and order we did them in are the same.

On today’s show, we will be answering our most frequently asked question: “How did you get from point A to point B?” We will be sharing what to do, when to do it and how to do it all in your first two years of business. These steps got us from zero dollars to nearly half a million dollars and we want to give you a step-by-step breakdown of everything we did along the way.  |  The Strategy Hour  |  Think Creative Collective

Inside this episode, we give you a business roadmap and the eight main steps we took to reach our goal. The order of these steps is key and that is exactly why we will be sharing them in detail with you! To give you a little taste, here is how we are going to break it all down. 1) Build Your Foundation, 2) Craft Your Message, 3) Nurture Your Dreamies, 4) Streamline With Systems, 5) See The Big Picture, 6) Create Sustainability, 7) Formulate A Passive Business, 8) Reach Those #Squad Goals. Okay, are you ready? Let’s get started!

Number One: Build Your Foundation

Finding your Most Viable Product (MVP) is crucial. In our business, we discovered what our MVP was and got it to market. These were things we were already good at, things we already had, things we could whip out of our back pockets and the things we already had the most practice in. For us, this was designing and marketing for Abagail and photography for Emylee. We were both building our foundations separately at this point and focusing on the other crucial aspect for building a foundation: building those in-person relationships and a grassroots client base.

Number Two: Craft Your Message

Fast-forward two months, we began bringing our different skillsets to the table and crafting our message together. We started building a website; taking the services we were already good at and putting it out in a more professional manner. We put them out on service page and a booking page and very quickly created opt-in’s so we could get people on our email list right away. And this is the first snowball strategy that we want you to pay attention to...

Number Three: Nurture Your Dreamies

From there, we started our social media channels and started putting out consistent content. Although our client base and referrals were coming from our in-person relationships predominantly at this point, we knew in order for it to be sustainable we had to grow our online presence.

Although our clients might not have been finding us through our online platforms, having an online presence made it, a lot of the time, easier to close the deal. We also started to nurture the people who were following us online. We started to engage with them more regularly and they were able to see what we were up to; weekly emails, posting every day on our Instagram, commenting and sharing. This where we put our energy. We cared a lot and that’s what showed.

Number Four: Streamline With Systems

At this point we were building an audience, a community. So how do we utilize that to its best ability? We had Squarespace, WebinarJam and Leadpages. These were the systems we invested in as soon as we started to host webinars and they are still systems we use to this day. In about October / November of our first year in business, we switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit. Back then, free MailChimp was way more basic than what it is today and is the reason we made the switch. At this point, we also looked at setting up new streams of income with affiliate marketing. The minute you begin to streamline, the more efficient your processes begin to come.

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If you make the choice to set up some automations, guess what? You get that time back.
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Number Five: See The Big Picture

This is where the pivot started. No one pivots overnight. It took some time. But in January 2016, we quit cold turkey. We took down the “services” page on our website and stopped talking about clients’ work. From January to March 2016, we weren’t making much money at all. We spent this time setting up our first course and launching a membership. This was a totally new playing field for us and we only started seeing money in about late March that year. We started re-structuring that membership and set up a new course that July, both for a couple of hundred bucks. We realized it was better to sell something that was more expensive to less people rather than something that was cheaper to more. We had to make this pivot in order to ensure our business was to be sustainable and scalable.

Number Six: Create Sustainability

How could we make these courses sustainable? We starting monitoring how much we were consistently making from online courses, which amounted to about 10k. That was due to launching every two weeks and passive sales with Trello for Business. In order to figure out “what else can we offer?”, we picked up the phone and we called our students. After talking to them, we ended up creating a couple of different things, such as the Follow Through Method.

Emylee adopted a baby. We started a podcast and we were launching every two weeks. Things got crazy and we hit a massive plateau. So from July to December 2016, we were repeating and circulating about four different programs of ours through a launch method. Our revenue was not increasing and we knew things had change. We had to try something new.

So we launched our signature course, The Strategy Academy, in June 2017 and, at the time, had our biggest month ever of $67,000. We knew things could get better from there but we had to change where we were putting our attention. This brings us to the last two steps.

Number Seven: Formulate A Passive Business

This is the most crucial order that we want you to pay attention to. If you do not take the time to set up your systems and see what you can set up for free, or for very inexpensive, in order for things to happen automatically in your business, you are never going to save yourself any time! Taking the time to write canned responses, figuring out a scheduling system and figuring out Zapier or Trello – make time for these things. Once we had set these systems up and made sure they worked, we, only then, looked at hiring a VA.

Number Eight: Reach Those #SquadGoals

If you make the choice, finally, to take time and set up some automations, guess what? You get that time back! This year we hired a Director of Operations and have been working to nurture our team and company culture. We never thought we would have team members in the first place, so it has been a hard couple of months and we are still learning. It’s exciting and we need to keep reaching our goals and creating new ones in order to scale our business and not remain stagnant.

If you want to know more about these strategies, doors have just opened for our Strategy Academy Course. Here, we dive deep into these strategies and are super excited for you to join. If this episode has given you an inkling as to how you can tackle these challenges in your own business – just wait until you see what’s inside this course. It’s this episode times a million!

Highlights

  • Number One: building your foundation and find your MVP! [0:04:30.1]
  • Number Two: crafting your message and why you should create opt-ins right away. [0:08:40.1]
  • Number Three: nurturing your dreamies and growing your online presence. [0:11:00.1]
  • Number Four: streamlining with systems and seeing your business start to soar. [0:15:40.1]
  • Number Five: seeing the big picture and discovering how your business works best. [0:26:10.1]
  • Number Six: creating sustainability and asking your students and clients what they want to see more of. [0:34:10.1]
  • Number Seven: formulating a passive business plan by knowing your systems inside and out. [0:39:15.1]
  • Number Eight: reaching those #SquadGoals and getting to incredible levels of excitement! [0:48:47.1]

Today’sGuest

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ABAGAIL & EMYLEE

The Strategy Hour Podcast

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We help overwhelmed and creative entrepreneurs break down their Oprah-sized dreams to create a functioning command center to tame the chaos of their business. Basically, we think you’re totally bomb diggity, we’re about to uplevel the shiz out of your business.

KeyTopics

  • Most viable product.

  • Passive income.

  • Systems.

  • Business sustainability.

  • Squad goals.

  • Memberships.

  • Course launch.

  • Strategy Academy

  • Growing a business.

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