about rachel zivYour poised – ready to begin (or accelerate) your entrepreneurial or small business journey.

You may have a website, business cards, a strong product or service offering and even a couple of clients to get you started.

You may have years of experience in your chosen industry. Or you may have none at all (my first business was to import novelty items from overseas – something I knew absolutely nothing about at the time!).

But the main thing is, you know what you want. You want to step out of your comfort zone. Steer clear of working for the man. Make up your own rules.

And to get you there faster, I’ve put together the best of what I’ve learnt in 10 years of working for myself.

These tips will help you navigate the business landscape faster, and go from “getting by” to “fully booked” before you know it...


(1) It’s OK to change your mind.

You can’t know everything before you set out on your own. But you’ll never understand how to make a business work from the outside. You just need to start and learn from experience.

And as you move forward, you may change your mind about what you’re doing. And that’s OK!

Running an import business taught me that I loved copywriting more. So I didn’t hesitate to get qualified in my new area of passion and approach my network as a copywriter rather than a distributor. And when I left Sydney for Canberra (by choice – it’s a much better place to live!), I left all my clients behind and started fresh. I added website design to my business model and started to focus more on online copy and SEO.

Don’t be afraid to grow and evolve, but you’ll never evolve until you start.


(2) Have passion and determination.

Yes, everyone says it. But it’s true. I live and breathe what I do. I think about it all day and night.

Your business is a gift. And if you want an extraordinary life, you need to have an extraordinary attachment to it.


(3) Define what you want and what you do.

I think the worst thing I see some new business owners do is to not fully understand their own product or service offering. If you can’t clearly identify how you add value to someone else’s life when they give you money, you need to work it out.

You also need to know what you’re working towards. Is it a full time wage but within your own business? Is it to get bought out by a larger company? Having a specific number in your head will hasten your success.


(4) Tell everyone what you do.

You can’t get booked solid if no one knows who you are or what you do. Even if you’ve just started, don’t be afraid to own it and tell everyone you know and meet, “I do this now! And I’m awesome at it!”


(5) Focus on a number.

I once read a great business book that said studies prove that if you focus on a number, it goes up. Makes sense to me, as I’m guessing Warren Buffett focusses on his worth, not his level of debt.

So for your business, decide to focus on the number of incoming calls, enquiries, sales or revenue in a week. And then watch as it goes up.


(6) Be transparent. And real.

People trust transparency. Be open about your pricing, your process and why you do what you do. The more people feel like they know you, the faster they’ll buy from you.

And write your website copy and business communications in a conversational tone. No one has time to read through boring business speak anymore, so be clear, concise and real.


(7) Price for your ideal customers.

I offer affordable copywriting and website design services, because my favourite people to service are entrepreneurs and small business owners (with relatively small budgets). If my ideal customers were big business or government, I would charge more.

Choose who you want to service, understand what they can afford and then charge accordingly.


(8) Provide great service.

Especially in this town, word travels fast. A bad job can ruin you. But a good job can land you 20 referrals!


(9) View competitors as friends.

At a certain point you’ll have more work than you can handle, or requests for work you’re not all that keen to do.

Competitors are only competitors when you don’t believe the work you do has enough value to keep you booked solid.

If you believe in your value, you’ll find yourself needing your competitors as they can not only help you by taking excess work off your hands, but they can also refer their clients to you.

For example, I only create HTML websites. I can’t create Wordpress sites, yet I get a lot of enquiries for them. So rather than try to convince them my way is better, or knock them back and let them go elsewhere, I refer them to someone who is wonderful at Wordpress sites. And in return she refers her clients for all their copywriting needs!


(10) Remember old school advertising still works.

I hate social media, and I don’t own a single account (except LinkedIn, which I’m very bad at!). That’s a whole other post in itself, but the point is I don’t waste my time fumbling around on 10 different social sites, waiting to see how many thumbs up I got.

There are benefits to social media, but I’d say it’s worth 30% of your marketing time. Look for other marketing avenues with the remaining 70%, particularly community magazines, newspapers, radio, websites, flyer drops and so on. Even if your product is a national one; own where you live first.

Other marketing ideas include joint promotions with complementary businesses, swapping your services for free advertising, sponsoring events and handing out business cards.


And those are my top 10 tips for getting your business off the ground and booked solid (or sold out) faster!

I wish the very best of luck, and leave you with this: There is no greater purpose in life than achieving your heart’s desire.


About Rachel Ziv
Rachel Ziv is a website designer and experienced copywriter who provides her lovely clients with affordable websites and quality online and offline copy. To learn more visit www.rachelziv.com.au