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8 lessons Solo Entrepreneurs can learn from innocent drinks

by Alison Bradford

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I love reading business books and have normally got a couple on the go at any one time. Bits and pieces in them sometimes inspire a blog post or a Twitter comment or Facebook post. I’m always on the lookout for new recommendations to add to my ‘wish list’ but recently one landed in my lap that I hadn’t come across before – even though it’s ace!

It’s the story of innocent drinks ‘innocent – our story & some things we’ve learned’. I was lucky enough to be sent it as a gift with some other innocent goodies for supporting a recent Twitter chat they initiated about what inspires people to set up their own business.

It’s full of useful advice and tips, and written in a very easy to read style (always good in a book!).

This isn’t a book review, but I can’t resist sharing some of the nuggets with you here.

Whether you have ambitions to grow your company to be as big (or bigger) than innocent or not, here are my top 8 lessons from their story that are relevant to Solo Entrepreneurs:

  1. Know your audience – innocent understood right from the start the importance of knowing who their target client was, what their problems were and how their product would solve these problems. Do you have a crystal clear picture of your target client and their problems?
  2. The granny test – (I also call this the 5 year old test) Can you explain your business and your offering in a way that your granny (or 5 year old) can understand it? Too many ‘elevator pitches’ I hear are too wordy and complicated, trying to appeal to a wide audience.  Keep it simple and concise, and focus on your target client.
  3. Start small, but do start – the only secret to moving forward is taking action.  Don’t keep waiting until something is ‘perfect’ – get out there and take some imperfect action instead. One of my fave quotes from the book is “the main difference between those people who are successful and those who aren’t, is that the successful people are the ones who actually got going.”
  4. It will take longer than you think – especially when you are starting out. Allow for this financially, making sure you have enough funds to live on for a few months, or even keep an existing job whilst you build up your business.
  5. Do less, better – this is right on tune with my belief in keeping things simple. Don’t try and do everything – focus on your strengths and work to these, getting help with the rest. Creativity is essential to business success but don’t get distracted by your latest ideas to the detriment of your core business. Use that creativity to improve what you already have.
  6. Know what you care about – having a set of ‘values’ in business helps you to be clear about your brand and what you represent, as well as connect with your target customers. For Solo Entrepreneurs this also comes back to your ‘why’ – Why are you running your own business? What do you hope to achieve? What’s important to you?
  7. It’s all about the people – whether you choose to employ people or not, it’s essential to build the right team around you. This may be outsourced help such as a virtual assistant or book-keeper, a support network or mastermind group of like-minded business owners, or a business coach or mentor. The important thing is to recognise what your own strengths are and where you need help, then go and get the help!
  8. Listen up – it’s all about the customers. How easy are you making it for your customers to contact you and give you feedback? How often are you asking them for feedback? Listen very carefully to what your customers are saying and use this information to improve your product or service.

 So, over to you now.

Which of these lessons stands out for you right now in your business? What actions are you going to take?  Leave me as comment to let me know.

Want some more help? Book in a 30 minute call with me (on the house) and let’s figure it out together.

PS – Are you with the other awesome business owners who are getting my free ‘Rock Your Biz’ tips each week,  to give you clarity, focus and energy to grow your business? You can get them here.

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Carole Renshaw September 8, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Great blog Alison and thanks for pulling out the top tips for us.

Point 3 resonates with me – waiting for the perfect timing, product, audience is a no-go zone! Get out there and learn, and just as importantly make mistakes. I built my confidence levels by finding ways to do things better – and you don’t get that learning by sitting behind a laptop googling and researching every day!
Carole

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Dawn Connolly July 6, 2013 at 11:40 pm

I love the quote….Listen to your customers, know what they want, give them opportunity to give feedback!

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