3 Secrets to Fast Track Business Growth for Solopreneurs

In this article I’m going to share with you the three essential ingredients to fast track business growth for solopreneurs. My name is Helen Roberts I’m an entrepreneur and started my first business 20 years ago and have gone on to build multiple successful businesses. In the past 11 years I have worked with over 15000 people, people from all walks of life in every imaginable industry and I’ve helped them to start up and grow a successful business.

Too often people become self-employed or start a business and it limps along. They find it difficult to make the money they want and need. Many people don’t even make as much as they did when they were working in corporate or for someone else. Instead they become a slave to their business; make less money, work longer hours and have less time freedom and experience more stress.

I want to change that.

Business Growth

I am passionate about entrepreneurship and helping people to create a model that works. A model that can help you create the life you want, by making the money you deserve, in the time you want and feel fulfilled.

Let’s dive right in and look at secret number 1.

Secret number 1: Build a powerful mind to achieve more through the good, the bad and the ugly.

Mindset is your greatest asset. If you can build a powerful mind you will be able to achieve the success you want in your business and in your life. If you commit to your personal development; it will be the greatest investment ever made and will stand you in great stead for the rest of your life.

It is the biggest secret weapon – arguable the most important factor in creating any success. If you believe you can, you will. If you believe you can’t, you won’t. The most successful people on the planet today, the billionaires, the multi-millionaires, the most successful scientists, sports stars,  actors etc; the single most important ingredient they all share is, they believe they can.  And when they face adversity, they face it head on and come back even stronger.

Business is a tough sport and there are bumps in the road, that’s inevitable, if you haven’t faced one yet, it’s just a question of time and it is up to each one of us as to how we respond to it. When things are going well it’s easy to maintain a positive mind. It’s when things don’t go so well; then it proves to be more difficult.

If you can create a powerful mind to respond well to everything that comes your way you will stay in the driver seat in business and in life. You will have the ability to spot opportunities and take the action you need at the right time.

To build a powerful mind you need to:

Conquer your mountain.

Business Goals

Own everything that comes your way. The good, the bad and the ugly. Take responsibility for it and be accountable. It doesn’t serve you to blame others; it costs you. If things don’t go well, learn from it and take the blessing from it and move on.

Your thoughts create actions. Be conscious of what you’re thinking about. Face the mirror and be true to yourself. What are you thinking about day in day out; all day every day?

Are you thinking good thoughts, thoughts that serve you, make you feel good?

Or negative thoughts that don’t and make you feel bad, more stressed and can send you into depths of despair?

If you’re not sure about what’s going on for you. Create an inventory of the thoughts you are thinking to know your baseline. Take a notebook draw a line down the centre of a page, have one column as positive and the other negative. Every time you think a negative thought put a dash under that heading and the same for a positive thought. At the end of the day, week tally up and see where you’re at and understand what work needs to be done.  

Dr. Deepak Chopra says that 90% of the stuff we worry about never happens. Think about the energy we expend stressing about stuff that probably won’t ever happen. It’s a lot of wasted energy and mental space that we could be focusing elsewhere.

What Stories are you telling?

Business Story

What stories are you telling that serve you? What stories are you telling that don’t serve you? Where did these stories come from? Perhaps you’ve been carrying these stories with you since you were a child; maybe your Dad told you that you’re lazy or a teacher said you’re not smart or you didn’t do well at school or you don’t have a degree so you decided that is the case. Perhaps as you have journeyed through life; you’ve picked up stories along the way. Perhaps your business has gone under or people have told you that you would never be able to start a business. Or maybe you’ve had a number of failed marriages or relationships and now think you’re not relationship material. Or perhaps you feel you haven’t experienced the success in life that you want.

You need to think about the stories you are telling and why. 

Write down the stories that you are telling that serve you, nurture you and make you feel good and write down the stories that don’t serve you. They crush confidence, self-esteem and make you play small in life. Why are you telling that story? What new story can you tell that will serve you better?

Water your own garden.

Grow your business

Always reach for a better feeling thought from where you are. Water your own garden, work on your personal development each day. Honour yourself and your word first. Your word is your bond.    

Ask yourself what one thing can you do today to make the biggest difference in your business / life? Do what you are passionate about and that you love. 

Meditate, spend time outdoors, run, bike, kayak, read, see loved ones. Whatever it is for you. Set yourself up for success.

One of my favourite quotes: “Change your thoughts and change your world” – Norman Vincent Peel.

Take small steps, each and every day to create momentum, that’s the secret. Small steps over time every day equals big results and equals a very big belief!

Secret Number 2: Become a NINJA planner & live business on purpose.

Every solopreneur or small business owner needs to become a ninja planner; there’s only one of you and you need make every hour count to be able to survive and thrive.

“The quality of your business is not governed by all the things you start, but by the things that you complete”

There are two ways you can go about your day. There are 24 hours available in a day.  What are you going to do with it? How can you make it count in your business?

The way I see it you are have 2 choices:

  1. Be on purpose: Focus on the big picture stuff, the stuff that will make the biggest difference to your business, accomplish above the line tasks and create the momentum you need.

Or

       2. Or stay busy with menial tasks or below the line tasks that don’t make a big difference to    your big picture.  They just eat up your time and focus and have nothing to show for it.

Don’t become addicted to activity. You know if you are addicted to activity if you are always busy and never have any free time. If you play below the line you will run around like a headless chicken working on stuff that won’t make a difference to your business / life.

People who play below the line convince themselves they need to run around like headless chickens in order to be productive. Now, unfortunately, if you’re a busy person who doesn’t plan, chances are you focus on the things that scream the loudest and often the things that scream the loudest aren’t the most important things for you to work on.  They’re just things that are screaming the loudest or perhaps you are feeding bad habits developed over time.

If you play above the line you become laser focused on outcomes and completion of activities, not focused on just being busy.

Business Planning

It’s super important to think strategically, think big, and think about whether the tasks you do daily are actually adding value and contributing to your big plan. If it isn’t – don’t do it!

It takes discipline and you have to learn how to say no!

It’s about super charging your productivity and taking it to a whole new level.  Focus on the bigger picture and your purpose & mission – this will make all the difference.

What’s your why? Uncover your WHY and it will be the rocket fuel you need to create the success you want in your business and in your life. Uncovering your why will create certainty around where you are at in life and you’ll feel like you’re exactly where you are meant to be. You will be anchored in your vision and purpose which will allow you to create optimal performance, feel fulfilled and stay on track.

Ask yourself: Why are you here?  What is your purpose? What are you deeply passionate about? What do you love?  What lights you up inside and makes you feel alive? How will you leave this planet a better place?

To make sure you stay on course and focus on the things that will make the biggest difference to your business I recommend you work through the following:  

Purpose              Why does your business exist?

Mission               10-year plan what is your mission? Reverse engineer your mission.

Priorities             High level things to be completed within 12 months that get you closer to your   mission

Goals                   These are the priorities broken down into quarters, months and weeks

Tasks                   These make up the goals to be completed daily

If you want to become a ninja planner the first step is to become clear on your purpose.

What is your purpose? My purpose is to help people live a life of their dreams.  By giving them tools to start and grow a successful business which can sustain themselves and family. This means I can help people live the life they want on their terms.

What is your mission?

This is your big goal that you want to achieve that’s directly related to your purpose based around what you want to achieve in the next 10 years.

E.g. my mission is to build the world’s best business support programmes that are inclusive to help 1 million + people from all walks of life in every industry around the world start up and grow a successful business by 2030.

What are your annual priorities?

Annual priorities once you’re clear on your purpose and your mission, you need to look at what the most important priorities are for the next 12 months. The ones that will get you one step closer to achieving your mission while ensuring you’re living your life purpose.

My 2020 annual priorities:

Here is an example of some of my annual priorities

  1. Complete 3 programmes of biz support – start up, scale up, food biz support programme
  2. Create joint venture partners for all 3 programmes
  3. Establish sponsorships and marketing opportunities
  4. Build out marketing and sales funnels for each programme
  5. Build entry-level ticket gateway
  6. Revamp websites and fine tune members area
  7. Generate a library of great content production
  8. Lead generation
Business Inspiration

Each annual priority needs to be broken down in to bite-sized goals. Those bite sized goals need to be broken down into four quarters of the year.

Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4.  What 3 things do you need to achieve in each quarter?

From here, you will allocate yourself monthly goals from the quarter you’re in which will then get broken down into weekly goals and daily tasks.

BE SMART (Specific, Measurable, As if now, Realistic, Timed)

And only work on the tasks at hand everything else is not relevant

Weekly review your performance and ask yourself – what was done, not done, in progress.

What bottlenecks are in place, is there anything stopping or slowing your workflow?

Take this kind of purposeful action and you will become UNSTOPPABLE you will create serious momentum and live business on purpose. Honour your word.

Secret number 3: Business is a work in progress & must continue to evolve.

Business Work

The business landscape is dynamic, it is continually changing.  To survive and thrive in business you need to be aware of the constantly and continuously changing environment and adapt your offer accordingly.  You often need to pivot quickly and it can sometimes be the survival of the fittest.

More recently Covid-19 is just one example of that, where the virus fundamentally changed the way we work, live and play.  Another example of the changing landscape is: Technology. More technology has been created in the past 10 years than ever before, changing the way business is done for many. With the increasing numbers of people starting and growing a business you need to be aware of the competition because sometimes they can change how business is done overnight and potentially wipe you out.

It’s not always the product or service that needs to be changed; it can be other factors like the speed of delivery or the customer onboarding model, finances, resources, tech, logistics, sustainability etc.

When you want to start or grow a business; you need to continuously monitor the business landscape and understand what’s happening. What is happening in the industry you are in? Is it in growth, static or in decline?

If it is static or in decline you need to ask some questions about why you are still in it?  If your business is in an industry that’s in growth however your business is not, you need to ask why?  Is it your; offer, business strategy, lack of sales and marketing / lead generation model, or lack of finances or resources –  what is it for you?

If it’s your offer or the way you are delivering your offer; you need to make some changes, quickly.

If it’s the whole industry, it is time to draw a line and focus on bringing something new to market, something that people want.

It’s important to face the mirror and accept what is happening. It can be scary however better to face it; than live in denial and continue to do the same thing and expect a different result and suffer more during the process.

When starting or growing a businessask:

What does your customer want? What problems / challenges do they have? What is their biggest pain? How can you solve that pain?

When starting or growing a business many people focus on what they think customers want. This is a big mistake.  It’s imperative to do the research and speak to people directly, reach in and get it from your target audience, ask the right questions to find out what their pain is and create a solution to solve that pain.

Aim to solve it better than anyone else in the marketplace. Own that mountain, conquer it, become the leading expert. It’s imperative to have a clearly defined differentiator or as I call it, a blue ocean.  

If you do, people will flock to you and you will command a higher rate.

Business Horizon

The more competition you have doing exactly what you’re doing, it’s driving down the price and making it difficult to survive. If there is too much competition in your space and you won’t be able to live on the money you’re making. Find your micro niche and own that space.

As part of your business evolution – automate, automate, automate.

Automate everything you possibly can especially all the routine tasks. You are on your own or have a very small team therefore resources are limited. You can build a large business today with limited staff if you utilise the technology out there.

On the customer onboarding front build a model that works for you 24/7 365 days a year.  Gain traction on google real estate. Build up an audience and engage them by giving something of value every time.

Here is a model that works for tangible and intangible sales.

Business Marketing Model

Develop a repeatable marketing model.

At first you need to create your ads and marketing content across 5 to 6 different routes to market and track all activity. You need to know who you are targeting and make sure you offer something of value. That content should have a call to action; to drive them to your website. On the website there should be a free or low-cost value offer which hooks them on to a call and then you create a compelling offer on what they want and finally you need to create an easy purchase option. Make it simple. If you have a tangible product skip the call and go straight to a sale with easy purchase options.

This is a system that works for you 24/7 365 days a year. This is where you have a full-time sales system working in your business without you needing to employ anyone. You have lead generation whilst you sleep which means you can get on with serving your clients. When we implemented this, it changed everything for us.

In 2020 it takes on average of 20 contact points before someone buys from you.

You can’t possibly have the time to focus on this one by one by one, there’s no way you could keep up and it’s all you would spend your time on.   

If you work on these 3 essential ingredients – your mindset, which if your greatest asset, become a ninja planner and master executer & continue to evolve your business you will fast track your business growth and be able to create a business that works for you. You will be able to live your life on your terms, making the money you want for you and your family, and have the time freedom to do what you want when you want, from wherever you want in the world. You can spend time working on the stuff you love the most – serving clients.

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About The Author

Helen Roberts - How to start a business

Helen Roberts

A millionaire by 26 having started her own successful recruitment business Helen has gone on to build several multi-million pound ventures. Now the MD of a successful consulting business Helen shows people how to start and build a successful business quickly. With over 20 years experience, Helen is a multinational award winning business who has worked with other 15 thousand people to date.