A Simple Roadmap For Starting A Lifestyle Business
For people who are looking for more time, more money and more freedom in their lives, here's a simple roadmap for starting a lifestyle business.
With all the tools now available online, there's never been a more effective or affordable way to earn a living from the comfort of your home or in your spare time. So, jot down these steps and you'll be on your way to creating a business that fits into your lifestyle.
What Is A Lifestyle Business?
A lifestyle business is a business that you create around your personal interests or passions; whether it's a hobby or something that you find intriguing, a lifestyle business allows you to enjoy what you're doing while earning money doing it.
The objective of a lifestyle business is to provide a great quality of life, in that you build your business to support the lifestyle you desire. It's formed for the purpose of sustaining or supporting your income and personal requirements, so that in its maturity, your lifestyle business provides a harmonious work-life balance.
As you grow your expertise in your subject matter and master the territory of operating an online business, over time you'll develop into a well-rounded business person. With perseverance and a desire to learn about your niche market, you're able to leverage the internet so you can have location freedom.
To recap, the key features of a lifestyle business can be summed up as follows:
- The owner(s) is/are the sole employee(s) of the business.
- The owner already makes a reasonable living, earning a respectable income with the goal of replacing that income through a lifestyle business.
- The owner decides how the business will fit into their lifestyle needs, creating a work-life balance that best achieves their financial goals.
- The owner pursues subjects and interests she's passionate about, while providing valuable content and insights on the problems unique to her audience.
- There are no intentions of exiting the business or selling it off. The lifestyle business is built to sustain a desired standard of living.
Starting a Lifestyle Business: A Simple Roadmap
Through my own personal experience, I've compiled the key components of building a profitable lifestyle business. The following steps outline a simple roadmap for getting started, where you take your lifestyle business is completely up to you.
Step 1: Define Your Goals
When you know what you want, it's easier to stay focused on the actions that will get you to your destination. Consider the following questions to help you define your goals:
- How much financial freedom, location freedom and time freedom do you want or need?
- What level of income will you need to support the lifestyle you want?
- What is the first realistic milestone you can work toward that would prove to you that you're on the right track? (Be specific and realistic).
Step 2: Identify Your Passions
A lifestyle business should be based on something that you enjoy doing or a subject you have a strong interest in. If you're unsure of what to focus on, do the following brainstorming exercise to get started.
- Make list of every product, hobby, niche, and interest you think you could build a website around.
- Keep brainstorming until you have a minimum of 50 ideas.
Step 3: Pick A Profitable Topic
To create a sustainable and profitable online business, you'll need customers. You'll need customers that can afford the products, services and opportunities you offer them and are willing to pay.
This means that you'll need to do some research on the profitability of your desired topic by investigating the people and businesses that are already serving your niche. Your research should allow you to see what your competitors are doing, how they're doing it, and the ways that you can do it better or provide value in your own unique way.
The main take-away from your research is to make sure there is earning potential in your niche before attempting to generate revenue from your desired topic and audience.
Use the brainstorming list you created in Step 2 to identify the business ideas that have earning potential by doing the following activity:
- Identify all of the business ideas that have a profitable market around them.
- Filter your list down further by identifying the ideas that feel right for you.You should be considering this in terms of enjoyment and being able to help your audience through education, insight, entertainment and providing resources.
- If you don't have a subject or topic that you're an “expert” in, are you willing to become an authority in your subject through ongoing learning, networking and sharing your knowledge? In other words, is there a subject that you can become passionate about learning?
- Finally, pick one of your ideas. The process of starting, setting-up and testing your idea is part of the entrepreneur's journey. If you find that your idea doesn't have a large, paying market; make adjustments and start again until you find the right balance between your passion and a profitable market.
Step 4: Identify The Recurring Problems In Your Market
Now that you know the subject you're going to focus your lifestyle business on, it's time to identify all of the problems that are occuring in your niche.
You're likely to have more customers for your lifestyle business if you're able to provide solutions to their problems. You can get a sense of the recurring problems in your niche by taking note of what your target audience is spending their money on, what your competitors are writing about, and paying attention to the conversations people are having on social media and discussion boards.
Focus on building your blog around one problem at a time so you can build your expertise around your subject matter. Learning is a continuous process, so attend trainings and seminars related to the business you chose to go into.
Keep yourself up to speed with the latest developments related to your chosen field of interest – this is how you can provide the most value to your audience through the content you create.
Step 5: Build A Strong Foundation
Your foundation consists of your website, an email list and a social media following. There are many micro-aspects of an online business, but the ones just mentioned are at the core.
Build Your Website
Your website needs to be simple, clean and focused around your subject matter. You have a short window to capture someone’s attention. If your website is confusing or difficult to navigate, people will leave as quickly as they arrived.
Have an “About” page that’s personal and connects the reader to your message and your mission; create a blog that aims to solve the problems in your niche; have a page that highlights the products and services you're offering to your customers: and have a sign-up form that captures your visitors' email addresses.
Build Your Email List
Email marketing is the best way to convert a lead into a customer.
Through the use of incredible content or small digital freebies, your goal is to entice members of your target audience to join your email list.
Through your email list, you're able to re-engage, reconnect and retarget your audience with content, products and services that provide solutions to their problems. It's a way to stay connected with the people who have shown interest in your business.
Build An Engaged Audience
Raving fans and followers will tell everyone they know about you and your business. This type of engagement is created by delivering inspiring, informative, entertaining and focused content.
You should commit to only creating quality content that you know your audience will appreciate because it solves their problems. Your lifestyle business is all about your customers. Use social media and your email list to stay connected and attuned to the heartbeat of your audience.
Step 6: Generate Revenue
Whether you have a service to offer, a product you've created, or you're promoting someone else's product for a commission, the purpose of operating a business is to generate revenue.
In a lifestyle business, the services, products and opportunities that you promote to your audience should always be focused on the needs of your target audience. Everything that you write, sell and promote should revolve around the issues that are relevant to your customers.
If you keep the needs of your customers as the primary focus of your business, the money will follow naturally.
There's a lot of work that goes into starting a profitable lifestyle business, but there are core components that all online entrepreneurs build their businesses upon: focusing on a niche market; identifying the recurring problems in their niche; building an online foundation that serves their audience; engaging with customers to stay informed and connected; offering targeted products and services that generate revenue and meet the needs of their audience; and a commitment to becoming a well-rounded entrepreneur through ongoing learning and self-development.
All things combined, these core components provide lifestyle entrepreneurs with the ability to create sustainable online businesses.
But the real beauty of a lifestyle business is being paid for work that you enjoy doing. The result of a profitable lifestyle business is location, time and financial freedom – and what could be better than that?
Do you have a simple strategy for creating a Lifestyle Business that worked for you? Please share your insights...