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6 min read

THE SOLOPRENEUR SUCCESS CYCLE: PHASE 2: Doing

Solopreneur Success Cycle Phase 2 (Do) Emphasized

This is the second blog on an overview of the Solopreneur Success Cycle. You can read the first post here.  This blog series is intended only as an overview of this process. there is much more content related to this on the LifeStarr website.

Phase 2 is about DOING and there is only one Step in this Phase, which I call Execute. In this Phase, much of what goes on is very specific to your business. But there are things that almost all businesses have in common. I can't tell you the best way to produce your product or whether Facebook or TikTok is a better platform for advertising. But I think I can help with some of the basics. We also have a podcast on this subject.

Filling the Funnel

Every company needs customers and to continually find new customers or new deals you have to drive new business opportunities.  Marketing is the key to this

Attend The Next Solopreneur Brain Trust Event. Learn more now.

You will need to figure out what kind of marketing works best for you. But there are some things that can definitely be useful. We also have a podcast with author John Jantsch, creator of Duct Tape Marketing.

Get referrals

Nothing makes people more comfortable with your company than positive referrals from real people. These can be one-to-one or your customer can give you a quote for your website.

Talk About Current Events in Content and on Social Media

I recently did a podcast on what solopreneurs can do about inflation and recession. It quickly became our most downloaded podcast. Relevant topics get noticed.

Use Email to Stay in Touch With Your Customers

You want to stay top of mind. But don't overdo it and make sure your emails are providing valuable information. 

Keep Your Website Up-To-Date

Nothing says "I'm not on top of things" like a website talking about an upcoming event that happened two months ago.

Be Consistent

If you are producing a blog weekly, produce on every week, preferably on the same day. If you plan to make 15 cold calls a day, do it every day. If your plan includes 3 social media posts per week, then do it every week.

Most people aren't consistent and the ones that are get the results.

Produce Quality

Whatever you are doing to fill the funnel, make sure it's being done well. If you're blogging, you don't need a Pulitzer Prize winner every week but make sure that you are providing useful info for your target. The old days of quantity over quality are long dead.

Stick to It

Marketing takes time and it will take time to show results, particularly if you are using and "inbound" methodology like content marketing. 

Measure and See What's Working and What Isn't

Measure, or at least observe, what's happening. For example, if one of your social media posts goes viral, try to figure out why. If you blogs are not getting any readers, you may want to rethink your approach. 


Attend The Next Solopreneur Brain Trust Event. Learn more now.


Sales

You're in business so you're selling something. Marketing gets the prospect to the table, but selling gets the deal done. 

Your Sales Process

Depending on your business, you may have a "high-touch" sales process, a "low-touch" sales process or something in between. High-touch may involve multiple in-person meetings with the prospect whereas a low touch may be as simple as clicking on an app in the app store.

Selling Skills

Regardless of how "touchy" your sales process is, rules 1, 2 and 3 are to talk about their problems and how you can solve them. As the old saying goes, people hate to be sold to but they love to buy. By talking about their problems, making them feel uncomfortable and then providing a solution, you get to help them buy.

If your sales process is high touch, there are a lot more skills that can help you to be successful. Check out this podcast on "What Solopreneurs Need to Know About Sales to Be Successful".

This course from Tony Robbins is also extremely good though expensive. But if you truly need to become a master salesperson for your business it is well worth the cost.

Selling Tools

There is really no reason not to use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool; some of them are literally free. These tools allow you to keep track of your customer interactions and stay organized. Which one you choose depends on your business and your tastes. Here is a list of CRMs for solopreneurs.  I personally use HubSpot for my businesses because it is powerful, easy-to-use, and has excellent support.

Business Basics

While every business is unique, they all have a few things in common.

Accounting/Bookkeeping

The first is bookkeeping and accounting. EVERY business needs this and not just for tax returns. You need to understand how your business is doing health-wise. Financials statements are the key.

Working Capital

One of the great ironies of the universe is that a lot of businesses get destroyed by being too successful due to a lack of working capital. Working capital is the money available to you to run your business. It's a lot like blood is to a body. Imagine a creature with 5 pints of bloods suddenly grows to 3 times its size. If it still only had 5 pints of blood, it's going to die for lack of oxygen and nutrients reaching its cells. There just aren't enough blood to do the job anymore.

This is what can happen to businesses that grow too quickly. Working capital pays the bills that are due before the customer pays you. Watch out for this and talk to banks and the SBA about loans BEFORE you have a problem.

Accounts Receivable

One of the best ways to maintain adequate working capital is to get paid quickly by your customers. You can offer small discounts for quick payment.

It's important to make sure your customers know you expect to be paid on time. To do this you need to be proactive. This means not waiting until a payment is late before reaching out. Something as simple as a polite reminder phone call or email a week BEFORE it is due can work miracles. Then obviously following up again after the due date. Try to be diligent but pleasant in this process so as not to alienate customers.

Working With Outsourced Service Providers

As a one-person business, you are probably not doing every job that needs to be done and have contracted certain aspects out to others. If you aren't then you might want to look for ways to outsource some functions to be more efficient. We have a spreadsheet tool that can help you decide what to outsource.

Get the "Hire a Pro or No" Tool

If the outsourced job is occasional or a one-off, then you can define the process for working together at the start of the project. However, if it is a regular part of the operation of the business, you want to create a routine for how to work together for the long haul.

Let's say its bookkeeping and accounting services. You should decide on a regular date for sending over info as well as a standing meeting to discuss and review. Treating a core function of your business as though it were ad hoc is asking for that function to break down or at least be much less efficient than it could be.

Managing Time

Unless you've come with the ultimate passive income business, you'll be spending time running you business. I've already encouraged you to outsource some functions so you can focus on using your time to do the things that create the most value.

Focus

Simple but effective. Turn off the distractions. Do Not Disturb mode is your friend. Check email only a few times per day. Working undisturbed is much more efficient.

Check out 7 Tips to Help You Build Mental Stamina for more info as well as How the World's Most Successful People Overcome Distractions.

Organization

Hopefully you're not organizationally challenged like me. I've spent my life trying to overcome this and eventually built a free app just to do that. It will be out soon and you are welcome to try it.

If you do struggle with being organized, do something about it. I highly recommend David Allen's process, Getting Things Done. Here is a podcast on the subject. This approach can really help those of us who find being organized a challenge.

Prioritize

You want to be sure to have a process of prioritizing that makes sense. There are things that are or aren't urgent and things that are or aren't important. Most people spend most of their time doing things that are both urgent and important. But this can result in a life of "fighting fires". Things aren't running the way they should and stuff is constantly becoming an emergency.

This is why it's important to carve out time to work on things that are important but not urgent. Most of this will be done in the next Phase of the Solopreneur Success Cycle, but it's important to think this way to identify those non-urgent but important items and prepare to deal with them.

Follow-Through

It's very important that you manage your time in such a way that you do what you've committed to do when you committed to do it.

If you can't meet a commitment for some reason, get ahead of it. Let the client know before it's late and give them a good, honest reason why. This massively mitigates the amount of trust lost between you and the client.

Here is a podcast on holding yourself accountable.

Keeping Score

As you are running your business, keep notes about what working and what isn't. You may think you'll remember when the time comes to adjust but it doesn't always work that way. A journal keeping track of the good and the bad will be very valuable in the next Phase of the Solopreneur Success Cycle.

Next Week

Next week, we’ll look at Phase 3: Improve. Be sure to subscribe to the Solopreneur Starr Blog to get notified.


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