Smart Start™ Program Details
I Offer Smart Start™ Personal Mentoring on YOUR Timetable
Who is this for? The Smart Start™ program is for people with marketable skills from previous work experience, who are new to owning a professional, service-oriented business and want to dramatically shorten their learning curve. It’s ideal for consultants, freelancers, designers, coaches, therapists, attorneys, independent sales professionals, etc. who want a solopreneur business, avoiding the responsibilities of employees.
This unique program provides in-depth, personal mentoring on a flexible timetable that matches YOUR needs, as you discover the basics of establishing and marketing yourself as a solopreneur.
Unlike most coaching programs, the Smart Start program doesn’t rush you to move on to the next step before you’re ready. It isn’t restricted to just a few weeks if you’d like more time to fully absorb the material or to fit the program into the rest of your life. The flexible schedule even allows you to start setting up your solo business while you’re still at your current job!
On the other hand, if you’re in high gear and ready to blast through the program at top speed, the program will keep you motivated and moving forward! With the Smart Start program, you’ll save immeasurable time and money compared to finding your own way, and you’ll present a strong, professional image in the marketplace, right from the start.
The Smart Start program emphasizes achievement of important milestones rather than some arbitrary length of time. These milestones are met as you achieve each of the 10 Objectives in the program.
Objective 1: DECIDE what you want from your business.
Examine and clarify your expectations and your vision of how your business will fit into your lifestyle. Identify which skills from your previous experience can be re-packaged into a viable solo business. Compare financial goals with the degree of energy and time commitment you’ll need to achieve them.
Objective 2: DISPEL self-doubts, limiting beliefs and money myths.
Review previous experiences to create a thorough inventory of skills as well as personal strengths and weaknesses. Identify confidence and self-image stumbling blocks and devise strategies to overcome them. Conduct a reality check by comparing your experience, expectations and personal profile to those with similar businesses.
Objective 3: DEFINE your ideal client.
Zero in on the characteristics of the audience you want to serve — the more detailed the better. Conduct market research, if necessary, to identify the specific problems they have and confirm that your business offers solutions to those problems. What pain do they have that you can alleviate? What are their emotional needs? What is their self-image? What aspects of your services will they find appealing?
Objective 4: DISCOVER the value you offer.
Evaluate your skills and personal attributes through the eyes of your ideal client. Research how others with similar businesses position themselves, as well as how, and how much, they charge for their services. Develop a variety of concise messages expressing the benefits your clients will realize from purchasing your services.
Objective 5: DEVELOP your marketing plan.
Begin creating your marketing plan now that you have identified your skills, your ideal client, and the best way to position your business. Choose a specific niche, audience and message. Pick your business name, taking into consideration the availability of a related domain name, Twitter handle, etc. Create attractive visual images that clearly convey your message and appeal to your audience — logo, business card, website, newsletter header and Facebook page. Establish a professional identity with an effective LinkedIn profile. Determine where your ideal clients are most likely to discover you, including in-person and/or online locations. Craft a variety of interesting responses you can deliver in 30-60 seconds when people ask what you do. Decide if you want to acquire email addresses for ongoing contact via a mailing list.
Objective 6: DESIGN your signature system.
Organize your services into a logical “system.” This makes it easier for you to explain, and for potential clients to understand, what you do. Find an acronym or compelling name for your system. Create a variety of services based on your signature system to accommodate clients with different needs and budgets. Isolate individual elements of your signature system that could stand alone as free website downloads, low-commitment offerings, or home-study courses. Draft a couple of outlines for presentations, if you plan to do public speaking.
Objective 7: DELIVER valuable content.
Dive deep into your chosen niche, learning all you can. Research hot topics and established experts to fully develop your expertise and personal style. Discover the range of in-person and/or online methods you can use to reach your audience. Prepare an editorial calendar so your content delivery is consistent, meaningful and interesting.
Objective 8: DIVERSIFY your content and services.
Discover ways to repurpose your content into various formats, expanding your offerings and reaching all your ideal clients. Break your content into stand-alone segments to appeal to clients with different needs, at different price points. Construct specific messages for different segments of your audience. Consider partnering with other small businesses to enrich your offerings. Identify potential additional income streams, especially passive ones.
Objective 9: DETERMINE logistics and pricing.
Decide which vendors you will use to create your in-person and online business presence. Research and choose technical (e.g., website host, email list manager, payment processor, teleseminar host, etc.) and human (e.g., bookkeeper, virtual assistant, social media strategist/manager, etc.) service providers you will need for ongoing business support. Decide customer service policies and procedures. Develop a pricing structure that will cover your costs as well as your time and creative efforts.
Objective 10: DRIVE prospects to act on your message.
Create communications that clearly convey customer benefits and incorporate effective calls to action so potential clients are motivated to take that next step. Construct incentives for choosing to do business with you and consider offering a guarantee. Decide on payment options you will offer. Explore collaborating with other small businesses to share contacts and create mutually supportive referral networks.