You would think having your fifth son would be a time to gather your energy and buckle in for the ride of parenthood.
Not for me!
After twenty something years in the nursing profession, working shift work, building a career in education and being blessed with five babies, you would think this to be enough.
The thing is, when you have a passion when you have that dream to build something, work for yourself, call the shots and run your own race…being an employee just isn’t enough.
Hello, my name is Bron Watson and over the past six years, I have had the pleasure and pain of kicking off two businesses with a third due to launch July 2017.
I wasn’t one of those people who always knew they were destined to own a business, for years I was happy to work in the nursing profession, always searching for a better way, for quality patient care, for improvement.
Big dreams with the wrong strategy.
The dissatisfaction grew as I witnessed first hand how corporate offered little opportunity to those who work part time. As my family grew, so did my belief I could never fulfil my dream of making a difference…
With a couple of friends running small businesses, it looked exciting, how hard could it be?
What was I thinking?!
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN…2011
After the birth of my youngest son, I found a business mentor and convinced her to take me on, even though I had sweet nothing to bring to the table.
I came up with my first business ‘Nurse Power’, an online community for nurses who value who they ARE above what they can DO, who believe they are more than a statistic on a roster.
I was told at the time, I would need between $20 and $30 thousand to get the business off the ground, I chose to ignore this and work it out as I went. With no financial backing, it was up to me to create something from nothing.
The first two years as a self-funded small business owner were hard. I worked four jobs to pay for the mentoring and all the tools I needed…websites (four in two years due to NOT knowing what to ask for and being ripped off, something I am more than happy to share), programs, apps, accounting to name a few.
Working 9 to 5 for someone else and 7 to 11 on what I really wanted to be doing.
As the job count went from four to three, to two, to one, the revenue in my business grew.
AND IT CONTINUED
In 2013, I started to teach what I had learnt, and the ‘Bron Watson’ brand was launched.
It was at a time when you were able to advertise on Facebook without transparency with no website, no logo and no branding. So, with 34 likes on my business page a whole bunch of courage mixed with learnings and growth from the Nurse Power business (thankfully I had learnt with Nurse Power how to attract the right people to my page) how to market strategically, and more importantly, how to believe in myself, and what I was somehow able to make sales in the first week!!
With the plethora of information freely available on the internet for start-ups and small business owners, I feel this is more of a challenge than a help…where do you start? What will work and what won’t?
The most important aspect for any small business owner is to know who your ideal customer, your niche, your target audience is, and what is important to them?
Hint: It may have NOTHING whatsoever to do with you and your solution.
What keeps them awake at night?
Being online, and every business needs to be online, you get such a small time frame to grab attention, to stop the reader in their tracks and create curiosity.
Start with Facebook…the vast majority of people are on social media, and at the moment, offers the best bang for your buck with paid advertising plus organic reach, which costs nothing…is not dead, if you know how.
Study your current customer demographics, watch what your competitors are doing on social media, and follow the bigger players in your industry.
What are they posting about? What is working, as in with their marketing…engagement, post likes, comments and shares? What are their audiences being attracted to? It may be cute pictures of cats, but do not be alarmed, you can use that to your advantage.
Remember, social media is all about being social…not selling. It’s about relationships, about life, it’s about people.
One of the biggest problems I see and after talking to hundreds of business owners is this very problem of niche.
Not only not knowing their niche deeply enough, or respecting it for what it truly is, but thinking you can help everyone. This may be true, but you simply cannot market to everyone at once and expect to improve your cash flow.
However, when it comes to marketing both online and offline, the biggest problem still comes back to niche, …the people you would love to see walk through your business door and really ‘get’ what you do.
Growing a business is way harder and challenging than it looks, budgets are usually tight and knowing what to do next can be overwhelming.
You will need a website, a site where you can offer valuable, relevant, newsworthy and interesting content…all written to that ideal client, by you.
When asking for advice from those around you, listen to people who have done what you want to do. I love my Dad, but when it comes to running a business, he hasn’t run one, which means his opinion, when it comes down to it, is worthless. Listen to those who have gone before you, who are in the trenches and really understand the dilemmas you face on a daily basis.
Do not give in to the fear of failure, of not being enough, of not having enough, that fear won’t go away.
What is enough anyway?
If you see competition in the market, you are on a winner because there is a market waiting there for you to tap into.
Bring your uniqueness to the market and not be like everyone else…your ideal customers will see through it quicker than you can.
There will ALWAYS be challenges when you run your own business, if you think it stops with better cash flow, think again. The problems just get bigger.
Stick to your niche, and keep it simple.
Work on your craft and be the best you can be, first for yourself and then for your community.
JUST DO IT!