On this first episode of Hey Spark Plug!, Join award-winning social entrepreneur, business educator, and founder of Jan Ditchfield Co., Jan Ditchfield as she shares from her extensive experience as to why businesses struggle financially and her top five tips on how she went from spark to the CEO of a thriving online business in 2020.
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I'm Jan Ditchfield and I went from frustrated corporate business consultant and serial entrepreneur to the CEO of a thriving online business. But it wasn't an easy journey. And after many missteps, and moments of massive self doubt, I finally found the secrets to get past my roadblocks so I can build the business of my dreams, one that helps others to do the same.
I created the Hey Spark Plug! podcast to share with you these easy-to-follow strategies and frameworks that will help you take your dream from spark to launch. If you are a professionally driven woman, or a first-time entrepreneur, who is looking to understand how to build a business which allows you the lifestyle freedom you want, then this is the podcast for you. Ready? Let's dive in.
Welcome to the very first episode of my new podcast Hey Spark Plug! Every Wednesday, I'll be dropping a new episode sharing tips on starting, launching and scaling a business. In my past life, I worked as a gun for hire, helping businesses to overhaul their operational and financial strategies. Fast forward 20 years, and I now teach women how to build a profitable business from the ground up. I love everything about business development and have seen a lot in my career.
One of the main reasons why businesses struggle financially is because they were started with a lot of passion. But without a lot of planning. Passion matters in business, but it shouldn't be the sole focus. Your why, as in why you started your business may matter to you, but it rarely matters to your customers. And it never matters to the bank when their waiting for you to make your mortgage payment. With my students that I teach inside of my course the Side Hustle Academy, I always have them focus on their strategies around profit first, always. Don't get me wrong, they’re still super passionate about the businesses are building. But they all know that passion without profit is not a business. It's a hobby. So, in this episode of the podcast, I'm going to share with you my top five tips on how to build a profitable side hustle from scratch.
So here we go.
Tip number one, you need to know who your ideal customer is. Knowing your ideal customer is will guide everything in your business planning from your service offers marketing strategy, your value proposition, your pricing, tone of voice and so much more. When you're sitting down to figure out who that perfect person is to buy from you, you should look at things like what are their goals and priorities? How can you help to actually solve them or meet them? What are their frustrations and challenges? You have something that's going to take away a pain from them? Can you speak directly to that? Where do they get their information from? So, are they people who'd like to be like say traditional prints? Are they more like I get my info from social? Wherever they are, that's where you need to be. A common mistake that I see early entrepreneurs make is starting a business for themselves. They get so focused on their own why's and wants, that they completely lose sight of what matters, what your customers want and need. Their why is the only thing you should be focused on. If there's only one thing you take away from today, make it this. Never start a business for yourself. start a business for your customers. That's how the money will come.
Tip number two, when building a successful side hustle, the riches are in the niches. The cliché is true. Everything gets easier when you know who you are selling to. A successful business knows who they are marketing to and gets hyper niche when defining what they do and who they serve. A common fear that people have when it comes to creating your niche is feeling that by becoming so focused on one person or one area, that they're leaving money on the table. In fact, it's the complete opposite. When businesses don't spend time defining their niche market, they end up getting lost in the fray because they haven't found a way to be noticeably different in a crowded market. It's the spaghetti business model. Just throw as many things against the wall as possible and see what sticks. But if you focus on getting really great at one thing, or a couple of key areas, and put all your efforts into growing that you'll see a return much faster.
Tip number three, your email list means more than your social media when it comes to driving sales for your business. Now I know that I might have lost you there. I say this a lot in my teachings and always get the side eye from somebody but hear me out as the oh so very wise Amy Porterfield explains your social media platforms are rented space, whereas you own your email list.
If Facebook or Instagram decide to make a change to the algorithm, you have no control over whether your content is getting in front of the people you want to see it. But with your email list, you are in full control of getting your materials in front of them when you arrive in their inbox. Make this your priority. Use your social media to drive lists signups. All businesses, no matter what you're selling should be using an email marketing platform that offers customizable signup forms and landing pages to help bring in more email subscribers. The secret to driving people to get on your email list is by creating a high value free offer for potential customers who will give you their email address in exchange for your offer. Like a free cheat sheet, or how to guide create something of value to your customers and give it to them for free. Building trust and rapport with your customers will take you far.
Tip four, focus on where you want to go, not where you are now. Imposter syndrome is real, but there are ways to manage it. Within my course, the side hustle Academy, I teach my students to look at their competition with an analytical eye. Analyzing the competition is where you identify major direct competitors, and research projects, sales, and marketing strategies. When you do this, you're able to create solid business strategies that improve upon what your competition is doing. Identify who your top five competitors are, and focus on people who are directly in your field who offer the same or similar services or products to what you want to be doing. Then forget about them. The key to success is to run your own course and not compare yourself to what anyone else is doing around you. Instead, find someone in the market that you wish to become and put them as your goal to chase.
And last, tip number five, your brand is more than your logo. When I say the word brand, almost everyone automatically thinks of a logo. But your logo is actually the last thing that you should be thinking about when it comes to developing your brand. Your brand is what your customers think and say about you when you're not in the room. When you are starting out, focus on creating a brand statement first, instead of your logo. I want to be known for being blank so that I can deliver blank to blank. Fill those blanks in I want to be known for being what do you want to be known for? So that I can deliver what? What do you sell? What is the solution you give to your customers? What is the transformation that they will experience because of you? And finally, who are you delivering it to? Who is your ideal customer or niche market? Your brand statement will never be a forward-facing statement but will guide you in your decision making when it comes to delivering a brand that speaks directly to the heart of your customers. So, it's vital that you truly identify with your brand statement, because you need to live it and breathe it every single day. So, take the time to make sure it best represents who you are and what you can do. And that's it! So those are my top five for you.
And let's recap them quickly. One, know who your ideal customer is. When you understand who you're selling to, you will know how to sell to them to their riches are in the niches. Don't be afraid that you're going to leave money on the table by getting specific with what you do. Drill down. Three. Your email list means more than your social media. When it comes to driving sales for your business. Build a list of leads and nurture them. Four focus on where you want to go. Not where you are now. Learn from your competition. But don't make them your sole focus. Focus on your long game instead. And then lastly, five. Your brand is more than your logo. Your brand should speak to the heart of what you offer, how you help and who you are serving.
If you're thinking about starting a business or trying to figure out how to breathe new life into the one you're running, join my free side hustle boot camp, a 30 day business Kickstarter for female entrepreneur That starts on January 4. Where I'm gonna walk you through eight key decisions you need to make to turn your idea into a profitable business. You can sign up at jenditchfield.co/bootcamp or find the link in the show notes.
Also, let's get friendly on social. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram @Janditchfield.co. So, thanks for joining me today. And I'll be back next week, same day, same time until then sparkplug keep building something magical.