Buckle Up, Buttercup:
Discover the 5 Stages of a Woman’s Business to Help You Know What to Expect Next
If you’re like most women, you dream big, but somehow along the journey, you start questioning why you started your business in the first place.
Not to be all negative Nelly, but I am here to tell you that the journey of entrepreneurship isn’t always easy. There. I. Said. It.
Sometimes in the optimism of starting a business, we forget that running a business has ups and downs. The highs are high and the lows feel low. Sometimes even lonely if you don’t have a great support system around you.
The things that are truly important to us – things like financial and personal independence, a truly fulfilling work situation, and the ability to organize and use our time as we please – get pushed to the background if we don’t understand the phases of small business.
Because I love to travel, I broke out the phases of small business into 5 steps so you know what’s coming up.
Knowing what to expect in your business can reduce your anxiety and fuel you for future growth.
Your business journey is as easy as getting on a plane and heading for some far-away destination with different pit stops along the way that have always fascinated you.
You just need to give yourself permission to go and take to proper steps to make it happen.
To help you along, I’m going to walk you through the five stages of a woman’s business, so you’ll know what to expect from the journey.
1. PRE-FLIGHT:: PREPARATION BUT NOT PROCRASTINATION
A pilot would never dream of starting a journey without filing a detailed flight plan with the proper authorities.
And…if you’re thinking about starting your own business, you need to develop a ‘flight plan’ of your own before you ‘take off’.
First, think hard about what you have to offer. What can you do that no one else can? What are you known for? When people describe you, what are the things they mention first?
Research is critical when you’re thinking about starting a business, and the most important thing you can research is YOU. Write down your thoughts in a journal for a few weeks.
Analyze these sample questions and any others that help you pinpoint what you can use to build a successful business.
When you find your offering, Google your idea and see who else is trying to do similar things and whether or not they’re succeeding.
This stage can take a while, but the one thing you must do is set a deadline for completing this phase and stick to it.
When the deadline day arrives, make sure you know what you’ll be up against, and get ready to take on the world.
2. BOARDING:: YOUR DREAMS BECOME REALITY
Your decision is made.
You’re going out on your own, doing something you’re passionate about that will benefit others. This is the heart of the preparation phase. Like a flight attendant preparing the cabin, you’re getting everything ready for the customers before they arrive.
You’re laying the groundwork, setting up your financials, leasing space, obtaining product or developing programs…whatever it is you need to do to have your launch go off without a hitch.
Then, at the tail end of this phase, you’re welcoming your customers.
You’re getting them settled; explaining how things are going to go, convincing them that everything will run smoothly and they’ll have a great time.
3. TAKE OFF:: A LITTLE BIT TENSE, A LITTLE BIT SCARY, A WHOLE LOT OF EXCITING
The third stage of starting your business is the take-off. You’re taking your first customers through their experience.
You’re stressed, you may be a little freaked out, but most importantly, you’re holding steady.
You’re learning as you go and refining your practices.
You’re getting your first bank deposits and seeing progress.
This can be a time of rushing adrenaline, crushing doubt, indecision, and wild mood swings.
That’s completely natural.
Many people, even experienced travelers, find the take-off the toughest part of the flight. It’s a time of uncertainty, endless possibilities, and sometimes, a teensy bit of dread.
You’re facing the unknown, and anything can happen. It sounds a lot like what will happen to you when you’re in this phase of launching your business.
And just like a commercial airliner, if you’re prepared and conscientious, your take-off will be successful. Hold strong…the next phase is coming.
If you believe in yourself and in your business concept, the currents will catch you and you’ll be on your way.
4. CLIMBING:: WHERE THE HARD WORK AND HUSTLE KICK IN
An airplane works the hardest during the initial climb, and you’ll be working just as hard during this critical period.
Your satisfied customers will be referring you to others and your marketing will be bringing in even more inquiries.
You’ll be working crazy hours to give impeccable service to everyone and grow your business.
You may feel a little resentment here and there because you think that there isn’t room for anything else in your life but your business. This is an alarm bell you cannot ignore!
Balance is critical to a successful flight.
I’m sure you’ve been on a plane at least once or twice when the flight attendant asks some of the passengers to switch seats to allow for better ‘weight and balance’. This will happen in your life, too.
At this point, you need to find ways to take back some of the more personal aspects of your life.
This is the time to hire a dream team, to outsource, or to become more selective about the clients you accept.
Delegate so you don’t detonate.
5. CRUISING ALTITUDE:: IT’S BETTER AMONG THE CLOUDS!
After you’ve come through the hurly-burly of the climbing stage, it’s all smooth sailing.
Your business is swooping along, silently covering the ground and delivering you to your eventual destination.
You trust those you’ve brought on board to treat your company as if it were their own, so you can take a stress-free vacation, give educational talks to other women all over the country, or even go take up a hobby.
The money comes through in a steady stream, so you don’t have to worry about keeping the lights on.
You can guiltlessly devote time to other pursuits that make you relaxed and happy.
You’ve achieved balance and efficiency, and you’ve become a role model for others. You’ve finally arrived!
So, that’s it, in a nutshell.
Well, it isn’t exactly easy, but with the help of smart people who’ve done it before, you can definitely reach your dream destination.
No matter what stage you are in…you’ll know what to expect in the future.