Monthly Archives

May 2021

The Benefits of Support for Small Businesses

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Support for small businesses is vital. When you are a small business, especially a sole trader, the benefits of having a group of like-minded people alongside you on your journey cannot be underestimated.

 

In this blog, one of my Step Up To Success members, Michelle Eshkeri explains the value she has gained from being part of the group and why the benefits of support for small businesses are so huge.

I’m Michelle Eshkeri, a copywriter and children’s author and I joined Step Up to Success around 3 months ago. My business is called Let Me Write and I’m a sole trader who set up about 6 months before the pandemic lockdown in March 2020.

For the first 6 months I mainly relied on face-to-face networking to find clients, which worked pretty well and when the lockdown came, fortunately the groups I was in transitioned quickly to online networking.

As a result, my business grew very quickly over the summer and autumn of 2020 and I found myself needing to put more focus into planning, process and systems streamlining and looking at my business model more closely to identify the most profitable work.

At this point, I had been visiting Debbie’s Athena groups online and found out about the group that Debbie was setting up to provide support to small businesses.

Who is the group for?

Step Up To Success provides support for small businesses who are run by women entrepreneurs. It provides a safe space for us to discuss everything related to business (and somethings things on the periphery) so we can be more successful and enjoy out businesses more.

The benefits of support for small businesses are huge.

When you work on your own, life can be a bit lonely. You don’t have others around you to bounce ideas off and you don’t have people to pick you up when you’ve had a tough day. That can make life as a self-employed person hard.

Step Up To Success has given me the following benefits:

  • Accountability

When you work alone, it’s easy to put things off for another day or to waste too much time not achieving very much at all. The business support group gives you the accountability to get more things done. Each month you can choose to have an accountability buddy who you check in with as much as you both agree, and this helps you to stay on track. When you know you must report progress on your goals to someone else, it gives you much more focus.

  • Sounding board

Sometimes you think you’ve had a great idea and later it turns out, it wasn’t so brilliant after all. The Step Up group gives us a safe, non-judgemental space to explore potential new business ideas and do some market research which can save you a lot of heartache and frustration down the line. Recently, I took the hotseat at one of the Mastermind meetings and asked the group about a new product I was thinking of launching. I received valuable feedback and suggestions which has helped me to develop my offer.

  • Encouragement

The support and encouragement I’m receiving from Debbie’s group makes a big difference to my motivation to succeed and I love the fact that we also celebrate the wins and successes with each other. When you need a pick me up, the group is there for you and when you need to shout about something that’s gone brilliantly, they are cheering you too. Encouragement and support for small businesses can make all the difference to your achievements.

  • Target setting and tracking

Each month we choose 3 goals to work on for the month. This is great for giving you short-term focus on task that must get done to be more successful – especially those ones you may have been procrastinating over. Just this past week, I finally stopped talking about moving my email list from Mailchimp and actually did it. That’s a tick off my list for May 😊.

  • Training

Debbie is providing amazing value for money with this group – mind blowing, actually. Not only do you get multiple brainstorming and mastermind sessions and your accountability buddy each month, but there is also a monthly training session which delivers enormous value. The group is worth the cost of only £24 for this training alone. I will be delivering the training this month on how to write SEO blog posts to drive traffic to your website – better make it a good one!

As far as I can see there are no downsides to joining Step Up to Success. I’ve gained so much – insight, encouragement, knowledge, tips and tricks, friendship, accountability – in short, every support for small businesses you could possibly want – except perhaps someone to make me a cuppa as I set my keyboard on fire writing for my clients 😊.

If you feel you’d also like to gain those benefits, then I urge you to get in touch with Debbie today at debbie@stepuptosuccess.co.uk or complete her contact form and jump right in.

What do you have to lose?

You can also find Step Up To Success on Facebook and Instagram.

This blog was written by Michelle Eshkeri, a copywriter and children’s author. You can connect with her at www.letmewrite.couk or on LinkedIn.

 

The Benefits of a Spotlight at a Business Mastermind Session

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The benefits of a spotlight at a business mastermind session

Last week in Step Up to Success, an online business mentoring and support programme, it was my turn to take the spotlight in the business mastermind session. Thirty minutes just to talk about my business Let ME Writewith several other like-minded women business owners who were prepared to help me tackle one of my current business issues. In the lead up to the session, it was hard to decide what to bring to the meeting but eventually I settled on doing a bit of market research.

Market research is tricky

Author and former business executive Seth Godin said: ‘Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers’ and that’s very sound advice. You might create a great product or service, but you won’t be successful if nobody is interested in buying it. With that in mind, I decided to test one of my copywriting programmes with the mastermind audience to find out more about what they think they need when it comes to content and copywriting for their business.

What I learned during the business mastermind session 

  • There is no substitute for real life deep dive questions

When you start out in business, it’s easy to make a lot of assumptions about what your customers might want from your products or services. However, if you don’t test your theories and bring your product or service to market without checking if it’s really what your consumer needs, then you are much more likely to incur costs which you cannot recoup through sales. By doing focus groups, or in this case, a spotlight during a business mastermind session, it is possible to get very targeted and valuable feedback about what you are offering.

  • I need to adjust my Signature offer

With the opportunity to explain in detail my signature programme, it was really helpful to talk through have fine detail of what I do when I help clients with their content writing and to discuss the price of my service as well. Feedback was that although the content of the course looks great, I could consider creating another package which would suit those with a smaller budget or newly in business.

  • I could consider another premium offer

We then went on to discuss other options for packaging up my content and copywriting services., From this discussion, I am considering developing a brand messaging package which would cover a range of common pieces of writing that all businesses need for marketing and awareness. After the spotlight session, I was able to continue to gather feedback via the group mastermind closed Facebook group. This has been extremely useful in helping me to develop a potential new service.

  • Spotlight sessions focus the mind

Spotlight sessions are generally quite short, perhaps 30 to 60 minutes which means that you need to get really focused to achieve maximum benefit. When you don’t have time to waste, everybody in the room is less likely to waste time.

  • Everyone benefits

Whether you are in the spotlight or a participant in the business mastermind session, everyone can take something away from this session . Even though we were talking about my business, much of what was discussed it was also applicable to everybody else in the room.

Summary of the benefits of a Spotlight session

  • Like-minded individuals giving honest opinions
  • Gain clarity on how real customers view your products and services
  • Exposure to business people who may think differently from you
  • Bring issues to the group for help brainstorming solutions.
  • Increased motivation and creativity to achieve more.

 

Step Up to Success for female business owners provides spotlight session as just one of the many business benefits of an online community for entrepreneurs. At only £24/m, it’s a great investment in your business’ future.

 

Contact Step Up to Success leader Debbie Diggle here and check out some of the customer success stories.