• Birthday Candles

    It’s hard to believe that what started as a creative spark in October of 2003 is now a thriving business 10 years later. A freedom-based business that supports my core values and allows me to work and play anywhere I choose.

    There have been a lot of laughs, a lot of tears and a lot of lessons. I’m going to share my top 10 tips for success with you here.

    1) Have clear plan and strategy (and know it will change): Know your vision and uphold your mission by putting a plan in place to support your projections. Your marketing strategy is key to the success of your business. Especially for mission-driven entrepreneurs who are creative by nature. You need a road map for success. It’s also important to remember that your plans may change and that is OK as long as they are changing to support your vision. The key is to be consistent and always be marketing your message.

    2) Be really clear about your marketing messages: Base your BIG vision, mission and overall plan on your values so everything is congruent. This give you a solid foundation to uphold your word and your word is everything. NEVER underestimate the power of the word. When you are clear and coming from a place of true service and integrity you’ll be MILES ahead of the game.

    3) Trademark your business name: Once you are clear about your vision and mission, be sure to trademark your business name. It will save a lot of legal hassles and give you security when someone tries to imitate you or use your business name (this WILL happen intentional or unintentional). You must protect what is yours as this protects your reputation.

    4) Negotiate full rights to your design work (web, logo, etc.): Always read the fine-print and make sure you own what you are paying for. Negotiate FULL rights otherwise your designer may turn around and charge you royalties for using your logo on promotional items etc. beyond initial design fee.

    5) Always check references: I cannot stress this enough. Unfortunately people are not always who they say they are and they cannot always perform the work they claim they can. Do your due diligence to avoid surprises.

    6) Choose your team wisely: Refer to #5 and be sure to speak to others who have worked with team members especially if you’re working with independent contractors. Have written job and task descriptions in place (and be sure to discuss them verbally to make sure team members understand what you are saying (often communications styles vary and expectations can be unclear unless you talk about it). Remember that your team members will grow with you or they won’t and change is normal here.

    7) Remember that people are not numbers: When it comes to business numbers are a part of the game. They are especially important when setting and reaching projections. However, the biggest mistake I’ve seen is treating people like numbers (a personal pet peeve) especially when building online lists (I liken some of the techniques to schoolyard bullying and you can bet there will be a blog post about this soon).

    8) Challenge the norm: This is important and it ties in with trusting your intuition. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right. If I hadn’t challenged the norm, I would have never created the NEW marketing model for success and my “Challenge. Solution. Invitation™” copywriting and marketing formula. Just because someone says they are a guru or others think they are a guru doesn’t mean everything they do and say is right for your business. Don’t be afraid to create new ways of doing business that support your values. By challenging the norm I’ve been featured in Inc. Magazine, the book Wonder Women: How Western Women Will Save the World and more. The buzz continues to create new revenue streams for me (speaking, training, breakout sessions and beyond) and additional media exposure including my regular appearance on Experience Pro’s Radio (listen to a quick clip here).

    9) Do what you do best and outsource the rest: I spent far too much time doing things I had no business doing. Like my books, admin work, etc. These are very important functions of business and they are not the best use of my time. Take a good hard look at everything you are doing in your business and get support so you are focusing only on your magic. Note: this is an ongoing process.

    10) Invest in topnotch mentors: We are not meant to do it alone and while I think you should challenge the norm, (see #8 and #5), I believe you should invest in the right mentors to move your business forward.We all have strengths and weaknesses. Get help where you need it most.

    Interested in more tips? Grab your  Copywriting Action Plan (go to the top of this site and enter your info or click here).  Still have questions? You can ask me and I might even blog about you and your business. Get the details here

    You’re also invited to comment below. I respond to your comments personally.

     

    Lisa Manyon is "The Business Marketing Architect" a content and copywriting strategist for mission-driven entrepreneurs. She's the creator of the NEW marketing model for success (as seen in Inc. Magazine) that's changing the way people market today. She specializes in powerfully communicating your marketing message to increase results via Manyon Marketing Web Makeovers, website copy packages and content strategies to effectively market your business. She offers a free Copywriting Action Plan and marketing resources on her award winning blog. Her consulting and coaching is known to help produce million dollar results www.writeoncreative.com/blog

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    21 responses to “Top 10 Tips From Being in Business for 10 Years”

    1. Sue Painter says:

      My favorite part of all of your tips is challenging the norm. Not being willing to think outside your comfort zone is the one biggest sticking place I see for small biz owners. It is a mindset, and you can train your way into always challenging.

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Sue,
        I agree that “challenging the norm” is perhaps my favorite business tip. Too many people second guess their intuition and blindly follow the “leader” only to be disappointed. I think it’s important to be very solid on your values, vision and mission and to do whatever it takes, including challenging the norm, to make it happen.
        Write on!~
        Lisa Manyon

    2. Outstanding tips Lisa. These are very timely considering I am starting on strategic planning for year #5 of my business.

    3. Congrats on 10 years!!

      This is a great list, thank you so much for sharing. Definitely going to keep these things in mind as I move into year 7.

    4. Jessica says:

      Ten years has gone by so quickly! You are such an amazing woman both in business and in life. Wishing you many many many more years of success and good wine. Keep the great tips coming. This list was terrific!

    5. #4 is a good one – I have to get better at that!-)

      P.S Congrats on 10 successful years in biz xxoo

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Jennifer,
        I think we all need to continually refine our skills in all areas and there are more, too. These were the top 10 that came to mind when writing the post and there are so many more lessons. Being a business owner is an ongoing discovery and journey. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
        Write on!~
        Lisa Manyon

    6. CONGRATULATIONS!! Ten years! That’s awesome, Lady Lisa!

      I love your tips… And know it will change!

      Love,

      Katherine

      Katherine C. H. E.
      Author, Be True Rich

    7. Let’s celebrate your ten years in business! I raise a glass to you. Brilliant tips. Diamond sharp. Distilled. They all resonate. I’m grappling with many, across the board. I especially dug the “consistent” in your trademark glowing purple. That’s a challenge. I get sidetracked by creative projects. You enter another dimension. So creating a plan and support for staying on track is critical for me. I’m also thinking about Conrad Jay Levinson…what a beautiful tribute you paid him in your newsletter. Powerful remind to create opportunities — and, (more consistency, follow through), act on them — before it’s too late.

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Rachel,
        Thanks so much for your comments. Yes, consistency is key The glowing purple a link to even more info about keeping it solid.
        I look forward to watching your business grow. You’re already doing amazing things.
        Write on!~
        Lisa Manyon

    8. All great tips, Lisa. Each one of these is critical to creating a profitable and sustainable business. I think a lot of people these days really forget about challenging the norm and simply default to what everyone else is doing. Long-lasting businesses are usually innovative trend-setters rather than followers.

    9. Mitch Tublin says:

      Anyone in start up mode would do well to be guided by your ten tips. The proof – you! Ten years and going strong!

    10. Congrats on 10 years in biz!! and for challenging the norm – good for you!

      These are all great tips – thanks for sharing

    11. Just hired someone this week and ALMOST skipped checking their references. Thankfully, experience kicked in and I remembered it’s critical. Saved me from no telling what.

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