By Russ Taplin
Beat the Freeze!
There’s been a common theme in the conversations I’ve had in the last month. Clarity of thinking. Not everyone has realised that’s been the issue, but they’ve suffered the symptoms. I usually work with people who are clear on their idea and know what they want to do and why. Like you, probably, they are in the early stages of their purpose. I’ll give you a summary here so you can take some practical steps around your plan to help you move your idea forward.
This is an exciting time – you have finally got past any previous frustrations (whatever they were) and are now starting out on your journey with your idea. You will be filled with excitement and hope for what comes ahead. But, watch-out, there’s a curve and it’s Frustration! > Idea! > Excitement! > Fear! > Freeze! Or in short, “I’m stuck, how do I make this happen?”.
So, I’ve counted up six conversations this month, with some truly inspiring people and ideas – check out these two in particular - Kristy Kurowski of The Real Human (www.therealhuman.co.uk) and Katherine Baldwin (www.katherinebaldwin.com and www.fromfortywithlove.com). Both Kathrine and Kristy were thinking next steps and to some extent needed to unlock the “Freeze!”.
Client’s backgrounds, purposes and thought processes are always different but for you, as an entrepreneur, there are two things I want you do at this point (there are others of course, but these are the key ones for today):
· Understand what makes you tick – or how deep is your Fear!
· Develop a plan – to unlock your Freeze! With short and long-term next steps
You can’t help yourself if you don’t know what type of person you are and importantly understand your true appetite for taking risk and making decisions. More bluntly, if you don’t know how you make decisions or go about doing things, or what’s important to you, how can you go about making reassuring yourself, or recognising what’s holding you back? This is a subject in its own right. So, there will be some more for you on this in a follow up blog.
Your plan is more practical. There are some key steps to take first – this is what I see as the order, not always, but usually:
Find a name that works at Companies house and on the web (also not too long for your email addresses - I learnt that one!)
Find an accountant (you can do this after you’ve registered your business, but if you want to use them as your registered address you’ll need one first)
Get on Companies House and start that limited company - £12! What’s stopping you? (Limited by Shareholders 99% of the time – with a couple of other considerations to make too) You’re accounting timeframes kick-off once you’ve started and you’ll have to let HMRC know once you start trading
Secure that web-name! There are a number of places you can go to do this. You can get on and buy the domain, get simple tools, and be up and running in a long-morning, with little or no expertise if you use templates and all you need is a landing page
There’s something satisfying about doing something – you have committed! But the really important steps which are those that help clarify your thinking are all around what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how you monetise it. It sounds so much more exciting to say it like this, rather than call it a plan!
A plan is NOT a template that you have to fill out for a bank or to borrow money, it is your story! It is the one thing that can help unlock your thinking more than anything else - the one thing you can keep going back to, to guide all your future decisions. It is your principles, laid out, right there. Don’t treat it like admin, treat it like a living breathing document – your story and why wouldn’t you love that?
Can you tell your story in twenty seconds? If you can that’s the first page on your plan. Your reason to be
Next, I like to focus on how you monetise your business. It has a way of focusing the mind. This means defining your basic level of product or service, how it will be delivered, your price and your underlying costs. OK, so now you have four spreadsheets:
· Your sales forecast
· Your price calculation
· Your cost breakdown
· These multiply out to give you your weekly/monthly business forecast– this is what you track to. It guides your decision making
I know there are many more factors you need to consider once you’ve got to this point, and even questions on how you may do each of these steps – but what I have found is that if you can do this, then the next steps become much clearer in their own right. You have stopped not knowing what to do next and moved into doing and fulfilling. Because that is what is important. #ScrewItJustDoIt