Aloha! Tom Gaddis, here. New entrepreneurs often ask me what I would do differently if I had to start over again. They want to know what I can tell them about getting a business off the ground with the knowledge I’ve gained.
The first step? Change your mindset about preconceived ideas, but once you’ve made the mind-shifts necessary for building your business, what’s next? Where should you direct your focus so you can create a thriving business that delivers financial and lifestyle freedom?
Many aspects of a new business will pull your mind in varying directions. You may not have a lot of time, money, or knowledge about how to make your dream a reality. What is the most important thing to focus on when you’re starting a business?
Getting started is the hardest part! When you’re trying to start something, you have to fight against overthinking everything.
I’m going to tell you about one thing that is absolutely critical for your success.
By the way, if you want to hear this in podcast form, simply follow this link.
Focus on Sales
The number-one thing you should focus on is getting cash in hand.
As I started my businesses, I got wrapped up in building websites, optimizing SEO, choosing a name, picking out software, and small e-commerce details like which shopping cart was the best to use. But while I focused on all of that, I sold nothing.
I read Michael Masterson’s book, Ready, Fire, Aim, and it opened my eyes to this: the only thing to focus on at the start of your business is sales. All the other stuff is secondary.
It took me a long time to realize I could simply adjust aspects of my business as time went on. Once I understood that, I had the freedom to make decisions and move on with generating cash flow.
This tactic may change some of your priorities and force you to adjust your strategy at the beginning. For me, that looked like setting aside building my online business (for a time). I started selling a service because that’s a faster way to get cash in hand. I gained $4000 in profit, which I turned around and invested back into growing my business.
Even though I ultimately wanted to build an online business, I began with an offline service because it generated money quickly. I gained experience selling that I could later use in an online business. My online products had credibility because they already worked in real life.
We all have to start somewhere. Consider focusing on a simple, revenue-generating activity and then invest the profit into your dream business. Start by getting cash in hand, build your confidence, and then work up to your goals.
Check out my FREE guide for more knowledge and tactics about how to generate cash immediately when you don’t know where to start.
Revenue Generating Activities
New entrepreneurs come up with all kinds of reasons to get sidetracked. They keep busy, but they don’t generate income! If we try to get everything in order, first, we forget that we aren’t focusing on revenue producing activities– RGAs. We aren’t really getting anywhere when that’s the case.
Do the bare minimum requirements to start a business and start selling!
Jim Collins says the process of starting a business “resembles relentlessly pushing a giant heavy flywheel, turn upon turn, slowly building momentum until a point of breakthrough and beyond.”
Here are some tips to help you stay focused on RGAs:
1. Keep Reminders in Front of You
Make a list of RGAs specific to your business that you can do right now. Put reminders on post-it notes, and put them in places you will notice. Each time you see them, ask yourself if your current work is keeping you on track toward that immediate goal of making sales.
2. Don’t Overthink Your Strategy
Push through your doubts, and take the first step. Your first goal is to get cash in hand. Everything else is secondary. Start offering a service that will generate income as soon as possible.
If that means networking and face-to-face meetings, then do that. If it means reaching out through emails, do that. Do whatever is necessary to make sales.
3. Be Realistic About the Time You Need to Invest
If you don’t have a ton of time to devote to starting your business, it’s going to take longer to accomplish these goals. If you’re working another job and trying to start a business on the side, you will have to put in a lot of hours. Eventually this will change, but you may need to reconcile that you have to tough it out in the beginning stages.
Set realistic goals and commit to getting the work done now, and you will reap the benefits, later.
Remember, your sole goal at first is to generate revenue. Just get started. Focus on revenue-generating activities, and don’t get caught up in busy work. You will have a better chance of success when you go ahead and create ways for cash flow.
For more tips about how to have success getting started, check out my podcast: