As entrepreneurs, no matter how our journeys started, it’s crucially important that we are aware of our overall journey, what our future roadmap looks like in terms of achieving our dreams and goals in order for us to actually reach those dreams and goals without getting (too) stuck on the way there. We need to keep the bigger picture in mind at all times.
Driven by passion, backed by Financials
We all start our entrepreneurial journey because we are passionate about something. We are passionate about a hobby that may turn into a profession; we are passionate about solving a problem, which turns into a business. We are driven by passion.
However that passion will only take us so far. We need to ensure our passion can be turned into ROI (return on investment). No business can run without financial backing (not even charities) and no matter how much we may want to just ‘do what we love to do’, we need money to keep on doing it.
The first and most important aspect about running your business is financials. Your P&L sheet (profit and loss) in other words – what you spend vs what you bring in. We need to keep on top of the numbers at all times, every day, no matter how tedious it may sound. If we are not on the pulse with our financials – we cannot forecast, we cannot guarantee a sustainable business model and most of all, we cannot ensure we have a business the following day. Keep your finances at the core of your business.
Never forget the power of Marketing
In the midst of developing and growing your business, it’s very easy to forget the actual marketing of your precious idea. There’s already a multitude of other matters to focus on, such as financials, development, team matters – never mind daily admin tasks and paper work.
It’s no surprise that sometimes we forget to market ourselves, our brand and business – and this gets left on the back burner.
We need to however remind ourselves that marketing is indeed the back bone of our businesses, and not to be ignored. Marketing is something that can take us to the next level if done right. Marketing can make us market leaders.
So how to start planning your marketing strategy? Let’s take a look at a few elements to consider:
– Market research
ensure you know where your target market can be reached and engaged with (online vs offline environments)
how are your marketing efforts maximised and optimised, what KPI’s (key performance indicators) are tied into the objectives of your marketing strategy and how can these be achieved and exceeded
– Tracking and measuring results
there’s absolutely no point in investing budget in marketing unless you know where the money is going to, why and what the results are. And indeed, how further activities can be amended, enhanced and improved based on results. Once again, it’s all about effective ROI.
Operations are the heart and soul of your business
As an entrepreneur, you are driven by passion. However as soon as your business starts to grow it will demand operational organisation. You need to spare some though as to how your business is developed in the most effective way, what kind of methods will be used to get there, what processes, policies and growth strategies need to be in place and in implementation in order to make it all happen. Operations are the heart and soul of your growing business. And heart and soul is very closely connected to the already explored other imperative areas of the business such as financials and marketing.
Without sounding too religious, we need to think about these elements as the holy trinity: Financials, Marketing and Operations. Without these a business cannot survive and grow. Ensure you find your perfectly balanced FIMO.