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    Advice

    What Goes Into Building Your Business For The Long-Haul

    January 23, 2020

    When you start your business, there is a flurry of things to do. You’re spending time scrolling through millions of articles on Pinterest, downloading every online business expert’s freebies…and it can seem like everyone is telling you to start somewhere different.

    It’s no wonder that 90% of online businesses fail within the first 120 days of opening their doors!!

    That statistic shocked me when I first heard it, and it’s my mission to help you run a successful online business that seriously supports the life you want to be living! After working with online entrepreneurs build their online foundations for over a decade — I know what it takes to set things up for success and see them support your dream life for the long-haul.

    The biggest difference I see when it comes to businesses that keep their digital doors open and thrive? They think long-term, and they focus on their foundation first.

    Focusing on your online business foundation:

    Are you feeling like you’re constantly working and trying to get things done for your biz…but you’re not seeing much progress? Like everyone else seems to be so much further along than you?

    You’re probably spending most of your time focusing on the sprinkles when you need to be focusing on baking your cake! huh? 🤪

    This is my favorite analogy for building a business: It’s just like baking a delicious cake! To make the cake amazing, 90% is about all the details that go into baking the cake correctly, using amazing ingredients, and making sure it’s sturdy to hold everything together. This is the foundation. When you have that set, you can start to add the sprinkles and all the exterior decorations you want!

    If you’re only focusing on how it’s going to look — or adding the sprinkles — you’re going to have a cake that might look amazing…but who’s going to come back for seconds if it tastes terrible and is crumbling from the inside out?

    Your biz is the same! If you’re focusing on the sprinkles (aka your Instagram grid, taking all the flashy courses on one-off skills, diversifying your income stream too early)…then you’re not going to have a solid foundation to grow into the future! Your biz is going to crumble.

    How to build a solid foundation for your online business:

    Here’s the thing: You need to build a solid foundation for your business if you want to have it sustain you for the long haul.

    This means focusing on the 90% of your business that builds the foundation:

    —–> Solid processes for your offerings

    —–> Your values and how that creates your client experience

    —–> Focusing on one or two marketing channels and doing it well

    —–> Clarifying your brand voice and message

    —–> Having a solid sales strategy…always knowing the next step for someone, and having packages that support a cohesive customer journey

    —–> Defining your target audience like woah! You can get in their head because you know them sooo well!

    —–> Finances and cash flow. You know how much money you have in the bank, what you can sell to reach your goals, and the profit margin for each offering

    —–> CEO leadership – cultivating your skills as a CEO so you can lead your business

    —–> Strength with mindset – knowing your boundaries and cultivating distance between your internal reactions and the actions you take. Cultivating calm!

    —–> Clarity on your big vision, and knowing how to take the small steps towards it

    —–> Risk management. As an entrepreneur, risk comes into play. You’ll need to make these choices to grow, but what is your risk threshold? How safe are you going to play?

    —–> Getting comprehensive support and accountability from a coach or program that teaches you the skills for your unique business, helps you see the big picture vision, and holds you accountable to the details that get you there.

    When it comes down to it, growing your business is soooo much more than showing up on Instagram. It takes all of the above to grow a sustainable business that brings in consistent income.

    How to think long-term with your business:

    When it comes to thinking long-term, you need to carve out solid time to take a step back from the go go go of your business. This allows you to take a look at what is working, what isn’t, and be able to make decisions that will propel you forward. When you’re making immediate decisions in the moment, there is so much more room for making short term gains.

    Going back to that cake analogy — if you decided in the moment that eating cake for lunch every day sounded like a great idea, where would that get you? Most likely not feeling great, sluggish, overweight, and not reaching your goals. Sure, it is fine once in a while, but if you make that decision every day and don’t think about the long-term effects, it won’t be pretty in the long-term! The same thing goes for your business! If you’re making decisions on the spot and just getting through your days, you’re not going to end up where you want to go!

    Here are a couple of questions you should be asking yourself to think about your business long-term:

    1: When in the next week can you take an hour or two to focus on your business planning?

    This will give you time to think about your future, and where you’re currently at! This time is invaluable, and one hour of this future forward-thinking can pay dividends for years afterwards!! When was the last time you gave yourself some solid thinking time in your business?

    2: What is working, and what isn’t working? What do I need to double down on, and what do I need to cut out?

    When you take this time, it’s important to think through what is working for not only your business, but your life. Do you need to get a hold of your schedule and create better boundaries? Do you need to raise your rates? Do you need to set some solid time to engage on Instagram because that seems to be bringing in sales?

    It’s so important during this time to create a list and figure out what is and isn’t working. You can’t keep doing the same things, and expect different results! Taking this time and critically thinking about your business is what moves the needle forward in the long-term.

    I also want you to think through what isn’t working. What are you spending a poop ton of time on that isn’t giving back the results you need in your business? Are you spending hours and hours tinkering on your website, when you really need to be networking with new business friends? Tracking your time for a week can be an amazing exercise to see where you’re spending your time, and seeing what is actually giving you results!

    3: Implement this into your business

    Thinking through these questions isn’t enough. You need to think through how you’re actually going to implement these changes into your business. Create a new schedule, or create new canned emails that clearly outline your boundaries with clients. Better yet – work those boundaries into your contracts up-front so there is no question about them moving forward! At the end of your time noticing what is and isn’t working, spend a few minutes sorting through an implementation plan. Define time and space in your schedule to implement the new knowledge you’ve gained from this time!

    When you can do this consistently, this is when you’ll start to see the compound effect of thinking long-term. Instead of that cake for lunch, it’s like eating a big bowl of greens with some yummy protein…over time it’s going to fuel you in all the right ways and make you feel amazing!! You might not notice the difference after one lunch, but you certainly will after 6 months!

    Ready to build your solid foundation?

    Do you feel like you have the talents, and you’re ready to grow your business for real? Are you looking for accountability and more consistency with your income? Are you ready to step up as the leader in your business?

    This is exactly why I created the Aligned Business Academy. Growing my online business as an online service provider, I have had to figure this out over the last decade. This program is created with you in mind — to get your business SOLID, so you can continue to grow and have your service-based biz support you waaaay into the future!

    If you’ve been feeling any internal nudge towards getting your business in tip-top shape for your future…this is your nudge to take things seriously and enroll now!

    If you’re ready to build the foundation for your biz so it can support your big dreams into the future — this is THE program for you as an online service provider ready to make major moves in 2020!

    Click here to enroll today!!

    Having any feels pop up as you think through this decision? Send me a DM on Instagram — I would love to chat with you and see if this is a good fit. Seriously, I’m personally here to chat and talk through alllll of the things that can pop up! I’ve totally been there when it comes to making big investments in your business…and if you’re ready to think long-term, this will be something you’ll have to get used to ;) Eeeeek, I know!!!! Sending you love!!!

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    and I’ve been helping entrepreneurs and businesses build their brands and online presences for over a decade. I deeply believe that everyone has the potential to make their dreams reality and my agency helps people do just that. As your creative director, my job is to help take the vision in your head, ground it in strategy, illuminate it with design, and make it your digital reality. 

    I’m Kelsey Kerslake, founder and creative director of Pinegate Road

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