Starting a business can be a daunting task. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and courage to take the leap and pursue an entrepreneurial dream. Where do you start? How do you create a business identity that resonates with your target audience and represents your values and beliefs?

In Episode 21 of the Starting a Business Simplified podcast, Suzy hosts Jessica Millhiser, of J Mills Consulting. Jessica shares her insights on business identity and how to create a solid foundation for your business. 

In this blog post, we break down the key takeaways from the episode and offer practical tips to help you simplify the process of identifying and solidifying your business identity.

Take the time to discover your business identity

Jessica shares that it took her nine months to figure out her identity and all the components that go into it. She emphasizes that it's crucial to take the time to figure out who you are and what message you want to convey. Business identity requires introspection to understand personal and professional beliefs, as owning a business is personal, and personal and professional beliefs are often intertwined.

As a business owner, it's important to get comfortable with who you are, what you are about, and what matters to you. This will attract the right people to you as your energy radiates and your messaging becomes clearer. 

To achieve this, Jessica recommends finding a quiet, distraction-free space and meditating on what success looks like and what you hope to achieve with your business. She also recommends journaling and handwriting as a way to solidify thoughts and feelings.

By asking oneself deeper questions about identity, values, how they want to show up, and how their business can help others, business owners can gain clarity and direction for their business. Getting clear on these components will help business owners solidify their messaging and stand out in their niche.

Recognize the value of your own experiences and skills

Jessica commends Suzy for following their natural instincts and using their life experience to create a business. She emphasizes the importance of recognizing the value of one's own experiences and skills. Often, business owners make the mistake of overlooking their abilities and experience, but these are valuable assets that can be leveraged to create a successful business.

Jessica suggests taking an inventory of one's own skills and experiences to identify the unique value proposition that will differentiate one from the competition. This differentiation will help in creating a clear messaging strategy that attracts the right people to the business.

Identify what the world needs to create a successful business

Creating a successful business is not just about identifying one's own skills and experiences, but also understanding what the world needs. Jessica discusses the common mistake of people rushing to create an LLC without a clear business idea or plan in place. 

She emphasizes the importance of identifying the gap in the market and how one's business idea can fill that gap. This understanding of the market need is the key to creating a successful business idea.

Niching down is essential

Jessica discusses the importance of niching in business. She notes that there are different levels of niching, including identifying the target audience and the specific services offered. 

Using the example of a virtual assistant, Jessica explains that being too broad in your services can make it difficult to manage and message. Instead, narrowing down the target audience and specific services offered can provide clarity and make it easier to market.

She encourages business owners to start with a narrow service offering and gradually expand based on customer needs. Niching down is a key strategy for standing out in a crowded market and attracting the right customers who need that specific service.

Solidify your internal operations

Jessica helps women in business with their internal operations, processes, procedures, workflow, and team growth. She emphasizes the importance of solidifying internal operations to create a well-functioning and organized business that can scale.

Having clearly defined processes and procedures for internal operations helps in streamlining the business and reducing chaos and inconsistency. 

Having a workflow that works for the business saves time and money and increases productivity. Having a team growth plan helps in scaling the business and ensuring that the right people are in the right positions.

Create a routine that works for you

Jessica recently created a productivity workbook called "Master Your Week" to help people manage their time and be more productive. The workbook includes a three-step framework that involves Sunday evening prep, prioritizing tasks into three categories, and time blocking. 

The goal of the workbook is to help people develop a routine that works for them and feel more accomplished at the end of each week.

Jessica encourages users to try the workbook for a month and tweak the routine as needed. Having a routine that works for the business owner helps in managing time and increasing productivity. This routine can be adapted as the business grows and priorities change.

Business identity is the North Star

Jessica emphasizes the importance of business identity in planning and expanding a business. The speaker believes that business identity is the North Star, which means every single thing a business does comes from its identity. 

The business identity includes mission, vision, values, who you are, what you're about, where you're going, how you're showing up in the world, how you're serving and helping others, and ultimately what you're hoping to achieve.

She encourages people to sit down and think about what success looks like for them as individuals and how it aligns with their vision for their business. Clarity in messaging and solidifying the business identity helps others know who to refer to you. Being niche is better, and niching down eventually makes one more focused and clear in messaging.

In conclusion, creating a business identity is a crucial component of starting and running a successful business. By taking the time to discover one's identity, recognizing the value of one's own experiences and skills, identifying what the world needs, niching down, solidifying internal operations, creating a routine that works for you, and making business identity the North Star, business owners can create a solid foundation for their business. 

These steps will enable them to stand out in their niche, attract the right customers, and ultimately achieve their business goals.

You can connect with Jessica on her website JMC.

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