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I imagine that you’ve been sitting on a business idea for a while now and you just haven’t managed to get it out of your head and into the real world to start making an impact. I get this question often from aspiring business owners who are often starting a business solo: Where do I start?

While I’ve created several tools that help women solopreneurs get their businesses off the ground, there’s nothing better than having a conversation to work through it. So that’s what I want to do today. The next best thing. I want to provide you with a few steps and a couple of tips that should help you, at the very least, take the first step to making your business a reality.

If you’re ready for no more procrastinating, no more putting yourself or your business on hold — read, digest, and apply the steps below. You’ll be on your way to doing the groundwork you need to begin the process of building a viable business.

First Step

Flush out your thoughts and get everything down on paper. Write down all of your ideas and what you envision your business to look like. There are so many elements to consider from what your business does specifically to how it looks, how it makes people feel as well as the impact you expect it to have and the extent of that impact. Are you touching the world or your local community? You also have to think about what you expect to get out of this business in terms of annual income and lifestyle. This step is key because it will serve as the foundation for the business you build.

There are a slew of questions you could ask yourself to gain clarity around what you're wanting to start. Here are a few questions from the 100K Workbook:

  • What do I want to create for myself?

  • How is my life calling me forward?

  • What gifts, talents, and skills can I leverage in my business?

  • What do I want to teach others?

  • What is the problem I am seeking to solve?

  • How do I believe I can solve this problem?

  • What is the vision I have for my life/business?

  • How will my business impact people?

That's a start. Once you begin the process, keep writing until you've emptied out all the things that relate to your business idea and the impact it will have on your life.

How to Plan Your Goals in Your Planner and Crush Them! Download Our Printable Goal Setting Worksheet

Second Step

Partner with someone who can help you take what you’ve written on paper and actually work with you to bring it to life. This can take a few phases to nail it but you don’t want to skip this step if you’re wanting to build a business that is viable. A viable business is a business that is: [Capable of success or continuing effectiveness; practicable.] This doesn’t have to be as complex and overwhelming as it feels. There are many options available to help you get moving, so let's go over a few of them.

You could find a DIY tool that navigates you through the steps of building your business. This includes courses, workbooks, and guides. There are a plethora of workbooks out there that can at least provide you with a place to organize your thoughts and provoke strategic thinking.

Not everyone wants to go it alone. I get it. You could bring someone on board such as a coach or advisor that can guide you through this process and be a valuable resource as well as a source of inspiration and accountability.

My absolute favorite way to get the ball rolling >>> You could collaborate with another woman solopreneur who has expertise in the areas you need filled. Collaboration is a powerful tool for growth throughout your business journey.

And the Third Step

Once you have a solid idea with a working plan in place, including a target customer profile, you’ll create the strategy and processes that will make it functional. These include how you’ll attract your customer and offer your product, where you’ll offer it, how you’ll navigate your customers through the sales process or onboard your clients. You want to have a clear path to make a sale. If there’s a kink in the process, you could cause a backup in revenue.

In the BMBG Method, I explain it like this: If you were building a house, your strategy, including processes and systems, would represent your plumbing and HVAC systems. The water for example, when you run your faucets, do laundry, and flush your toilet, needs a direct route to flow through the pipes within your house and out, otherwise sewage would back up inside your house and the pipes could burst. It can get bad pretty quickly. That’s how bad things can get in your business when you have a flow of customers but no systems in place to guide them where you want them to go.

These are three gigantic steps so you can imagine that there is a lot of action and moving parts in between. But let’s simplify it by summarizing.

  1. Dump your business idea and thoughts on paper with a good brainstorming session.

  2. Use a workbook, guide, or coach to help you review your idea, organize your thoughts and bring your idea to life, including goals and a plan to achieve them.

  3. Once you have a solid idea with a working plan in place, including a target customer profile, you’ll create the strategy and processes that will make it functional.

Key Things to Think About When You Are Starting a Business

When you’re planning your business, these are the top 5 things, in my experience, that you don’t want to compromise on.

Start with purpose. Many businesses start with providing a solution to a problem and monetizing it. That’s one way to get going, but if you’re looking to have a business that makes an impact, you may want to start with purpose. Purpose is the very seed of a business idea as it guides your decisions around the problem you want to solve. Take some time to answer the 5 W’s — Why, Who, What, Where, When. I recommend getting the 100K Workbook. With many thoughtful prompts, it has everything you need to get your ideas on paper, organize your thoughts, and begin the planning process.

Create a customer persona because you have to know who you’re creating this product for, who will buy it, who you’re marketing to, and who you’re speaking to when you post on social media, write blog posts and articles or have speaking engagements. It will allow you to create a much more relevant customer experience.

Get a working sample of your product so that you can make a competent and confident decision about what solution your product will provide and what it will look like. Having a sample will save you money and although it takes a little time, it will save you time in the long run.

Validate your idea. At the end of the day your target customer is your consumer so keep them in mind as you finalize your product offer. It needs to be solution-based. If it doesn’t solve a problem it may not be sustainable long-term.

Just because you’re starting a business solo, doesn't mean you have to do it alone. From the very beginning of your business, create a culture of collaboration. In a solo business there are many roles to fill and to experience life-changing growth, consider being open to bringing someone on board every now and then to achieve a goal or complete a project. Ask for help when help is needed.

I don’t want this post to be too long (I may have missed the mark on that), so I’m going to end here. Hopefully, I’ve provided you with a little nudge to begin the process of making your business official.

Give Yourself an Opportunity to Get Excited About Your Business

One way to work with me is one-on-one. I start with an introductory call where we’ll get to know each other. I’ll go over strategy and the roadmap we’ll use to create structure around your business. I want to make it as simple as possible and make this experience fun. It shouldn’t be overwhelming and stressful. I’d love to take the stress away. You can book one here.

Another way to work with me, if you’re not quite ready for a one-on-one, is to utilize a combination of my workbooks that I’ve created to guide you through the process of not only setting up your business, but also developing a focused growth strategy for your first year in business. This works if you’re starting over as well.

When you have someone to help you work through the process of planning and starting your business, it doesn’t feel as monstrous.

Download Our Printable 100K Workbook with the 5 W's worksheet here.

This workbook comes with a collection of worksheets you need to plan your business goals. It goes in depth with STEP 1: Getting Clear on What You Want, STEP 2: Turning What You Want Into Goals, STEP 3: Creating a Plan for Your Goals, and STEP 4: Prioritizing Your Daily Actions with a few BMBG™ Tools. It's a companion to the 100K Planner to create a solid plan of action for your business.

  • It comes in the following size: Letter (8.5"x11")

  • Format includes: a high quality PDF that can be printed 1 or 2 sided with a 0.500 inch margin on all sides WITH OR WITHOUT bleed and crop marks.

This is a classy, printable monthly planner for your business. It's a collection of planner inserts that helps you with productivity, goal planning, and monthly weekly management.

  • It comes in the following size: Letter (8.5"x11")

  • Format includes: a 2-sided planner spread with a choice of 0.500 or 0.750 inch margin for hole punching WITH OR WITHOUT bleed and crop marks.

I hope this helps you plan your business more efficiently to get your idea flowing. Maybe one year from now you'll look back and say, Wow, I did it!!

Let me know what methods you've used to plan your business and if you have any additional tips you want to share. And if you're using the BMBG Method™ in your business, I'd love to hear how you're doing.

Be fabulous!



Wanauma Graham is a “do what you love” enthusiast and author of Totally Unstoppable. She’s the founder and creative behind BossFreeMedia.com, a personal development and business productivity brand for women entrepreneurs looking to start and run a business that's centered on purpose. Her digital products shop, known as "The Shop for Women Solopreneurs", offering planner inserts, templates, courses, and guides is gaining popularity. Connect with her: facebook.com/wanaumagraham

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