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When I started my business January 2017, I had no idea what to expect. But I knew I needed to make it work. I made a plan and set revenue goals, aiming for a part-time income. After March ended, I looked back and saw that I had doubled my revenue goals for the first quarter of the year.
In this post, I want to share with you how I did it and give you some pointers on what you can do to get your business off to a great start as well. This is specifically for service providers, but it may also apply to other types of businesses as well.7 things I did to double my revenue goals in the first 3 months of businessClick To Tweet
How I Doubled My Revenue Goals in the First Three Months of Business
1. I built my business based on relationships.
During 2016, I spent a lot of time online and in Facebook groups, getting to know people from those groups through coffee chats and telephone calls. I collaborated with some of the women I met, and those collaborations helped me grow my other blog. In addition, these relationships helped me as I grew my email list and launched my online course.
I was also involved in a local business networking group and had built up relationships within that group over the past several years.
So when I decided to launch Morningstar Media Services, I already had established a strong network of business friends online and in person. When I let them know about my new business, many of them were more than happy to support me.
This was critical to the success of my business because without those relationships and the referrals that resulted from them, I would not have achieved the income goals that I did.
For example, one of my online friends is Carrie Sharpe, a communication expert. She and her husband teach others how to have strong communication skills in their marriage and in their businesses. We worked together on the launch of my marriage course, and when I started this business she was one of my first customers. After I performed some work for her with Pinterest, she quickly began referring customers to me.
Another one of my colleagues, Natalie Gingrich, started her project management business at the end of 2016. We had also gotten to know each other online through my mom blog and her More Mom Movement.
In addition, she had joined the mastermind that I started at the beginning of 2016. When I launched Morningstar, she became a steady source of referrals for me and even ended up becoming one of my clients as well.
The key to these relationships and the others I have formed online is that they started without any ulterior motives. We simply got to know each other, built connections together, helped each other, and in the end, we have mutually benefited from the relationship.If you put yourself out there, ask questions, take action, & provide value, you WILL see the benefits.Click To Tweet
2. I became active in Facebook groups.
When I was working on building my WellnessMomLife blog, I joined Facebook groups related to blogging and business, and I developed relationships within those groups. When I began thinking about and researching this idea of starting a service-based business, I joined a couple groups specifically geared toward service providers.
I became actively involved in one of them, Living the Laptop Life–asking questions, watching the webinars offered by the hosts, and joining in on the conversation whenever I could. At the end of 2016, I was surprised when the hosts of the group offered me a free membership to their program for 2017 as part of a giveaway they were doing!
It was a huge value and great blessing to me, and it confirmed my decision to pursue this business. But I didn’t just get lucky–I showed up. I actively engaged in their group by both being open to learning as well as providing value for others in the areas that I could. This put me on their radar and is what got me noticed.
Again, I had NO idea that my active engagement would lead to such a great blessing. I did not go into the group seeking to get something free from it. But it was certainly a positive side effect.
The lesson is this: If you put yourself out there, ask questions, take action, and provide value, you WILL see a benefit from it. It may not be the same as the benefits I’ve seen, but they will come!
3. I committed to continually learning.
My journey of building my blog has been marked by one thing: constant learning. And not just learning, but taking action on what I learned.
So when I set out to start Morningstar, I knew I needed to apply the same principle. When I joined the LLL Facebook Group, I was committed to learning as much as I could about building a business as a service provider. I also listened to podcasts, webinars, and read blogs about starting and growing my business.
Then once I became part of CYLL, I dove into the information and material and sought to apply what I was learning. Since my business grew quickly in the first couple months, I also joined one of the masterminds offered by CYLL and learned about scaling my business even faster.
In addition, I made the commitment to go to the live event in Chicago so that I could get the in-person experience and learn even more. This meant spending additional money, but I knew that it was worth it. That brings me to my next point.
4. I made the decision to invest in myself and my business.
I believe I doubled my revenue goals in the first 3 months of business because I decided early to invest in myself.
I had seen so many people who were afraid to spend money in the beginning of their business, and I didn’t want to be that person. When I started Morningstar, I knew I needed to invest in myself, my personal development, as well as the right tools and resources, to grow my business quickly.
That meant spending a bit more money than I was comfortable spending. The Scale Up mastermind was not cheap, but it was insanely valuable. The biggest change for me in going through that mastermind was my mindset–I was truly able to begin recognizing the value I could bring to my customers using my skills and strengths.
Likewise, making the trip to Chicago was a financial investment that I did not take lightly. But what I gained from that experience was invaluable.
If there’s anything I can say to a new business owner who is getting started is that you need to be willing to take some risks. You must invest in yourself and your business in order to get your business off the ground.
I’m not saying to spend money foolishly, but as soon as you start making some money (and sometimes even before), you need to be investing back into your business and into yourself.You must invest in yourself and your business in order to get your business off the ground.Click To Tweet
5. I treated it like a real business (because it is).
I recognized that if I wanted to make a full-time income with this business, I needed to set business hours and treat it just like I would a full-time job. Since I had been looking at getting a full-time job prior to starting a business, I knew the sacrifice that would’ve meant for my family and myself.
Setting my hours and being disciplined with my time was not negotiable. It also meant having some hard conversations with my family about what my time was going to look like and making some adjustments in terms of our family routine and responsibilities.
I can say that after six months, it has been so worth it. Although I am working more than I have in several years, I’m doing so from home.
I didn’t have to go get a job outside of the house, where my schedule would have been dictated by someone else. I also get to choose exactly the type of work I do and make sure it lines up with my own strengths and skills. And sometimes, I get to enjoy working while sitting by the lake.
6. I used my natural gifts and the skills that I have learned over the years in other business ventures.
When I first joined the workforce, I was a social worker. Then I joined a party plan company where I hosted parties and shows for 3 years, selling scrapbooking supplies. After that, I started a different business with a wellness company. Each of these experiences taught me a lot about working with people, the right and wrong ways to promote yourself, and how to sell.
I also have had a blog for several years, and I’ve worked for my church doing administrative, social media, and communications. Through this varied experience, I’ve developed skills, became familiar with my own strengths and weaknesses, and discovered the things that I really enjoy doing.
Thanks to being a blogger for several years, I learned several skills that I can now use with my own clients, such as how to use WordPress, Canva, Photoshop, how to host a webinar, how to develop an online course, how to build an email list, and so on.
If you are wanting to start a business and make income right away, you need to have some skills or knowledge that you can utilize to help others. If you don’t have those yet, then I suggest you start by learning one or two skills really well. Spend some time thinking about what you really enjoy, or just start doing things for yourself or for someone as a way to help out, and you will begin discovering what you love and what you are good at.
7. I offered free work in exchange for testimonials.
In the research phase of my business, I was learning all I could about the best way to get started. I participated in a challenge with Stacy Tuschl, and I won a free call with her. In that call, she recommended that I start by offering a free 1/2 hour of work to 10 people in exchange for testimonials.
I came up with a list of potential services I could offer these people, and then I began sharing the offer with other business owners, bloggers, and within Facebook groups (on the appropriate threads).
Very quickly I had my first 10 “clients” and was able to collect testimonials and headshots from them based on the work I completed for them. Some of those turned into paying clients and some became sources of ongoing referrals for me. It was an effective way to jump-start my business!
What About You?
I didn’t write this post to tell you that you are going to double your income goals in your first three months of business. Rather, I wrote it to show you that nothing happens overnight.
The fact that I was able to double my revenue goals in my first three months of business is the culmination of the past 15 years of my work experience, the intense effort I put into building my own blog over the past year and a half, and the determination I had to start a business where I could earn an income doing things I truly enjoy instead of working for someone else.
That being said, I do believe it’s possible to start earning an income quickly if you’re doing what you love and if you have the right support network to help you get started.