Here’s my 2-minute read with 4 tips for building a sustainable business, one for each of the 4 years of Nikki Alderson Coaching
Happy 4th Birthday
After 4 years in business, today I really do feel like celebrating.
I talk a lot in workshops/ webinars about daily gratitude journaling. Equally, focus in coaching sessions on client skills, strengths and achievements which can be celebrated and spot lighted. I approach my own business no differently.
Success in a Pandemic year
How grateful I am then today, not only having remained in business for the last 4 years, but successfully so. That’s particularly after the 2020 pandemic and “online pivot” that so many of us, ordinarily speaking at live, in person events up and down the country, had to do, and rapidly.
Defying the odds is good. In a pandemic year, even more so, particularly when referring to the stats. They tell us that 20% of businesses go bust in their first year, whilst around 60% fail within the first 3 years of trading.
But instead of simply giving myself a great big pat on the back, I thought a good present to share would be this. Four quick-fire reflections on the things that have gone well, to encourage other fledging business owners to stick at it. My hope is to help them not only survive but also go on to thrive.
Establish yourself as an expert by identifying early on who your target audience is. Become the go-to problem-solving person in your field for them. The best thing I ever did was, 6 months into business, realise with a background in law, that my strengths lay there. My ability to speak the same language and really “get” the legal profession and the challenges with in it became my USP. I also made it my mission to commit to sharing solutions as widely as I was able. Initially I blogged profusely, used (and still do use) social media effectively, and spoke where ever I could about my niche practice. This included on a global stage. The specialism was truly nailed though after writing a book, the first of its kind specifically written for the women I serve.
Once clear on your audience, then get clear about the problem you aim to fix. Then articulate exactly how you provide that solution to that audience. By doing so, you make it easier for clients to find and relate to you. They can also more readily identify which products or services you offer and which they need. Even if you offer similar services to several different types of clients (in my case, coaching and speaking), important to be clear how you help each. For example, in my case, I clearly explain how I work with HR departments to support organisations to retain female leaders and to empower female professionals on an individual basis to achieve career ambition.
Know Your Own Value
I’ve talked a lot about this on social media and in blogs recently. So important to know your own value and charge accordingly. If you undervalue yourself and what you offer, so clients will reflect that in how they show up. Their levels of commitment towards your services will varying. Likely you will experience decreasing levels of “buy in”. People are more likely to show up to events they’ve invested in rather than free events. They also tend to appreciate more the clothes they’d paid a higher ticket price for rather than the everyday, knockabout Primarni stuff. Investing in business services isn’t any different.
Love what you do!
Being a sole trader/ entrepreneur can be a lonely business. I encourage collaboration and connections wherever possible along the way. A sense of community and that your trusted circle has your back can be so important to get you through the toughest of days. And there will be a few, particularly at first. But equally, for all the sacrifices involved in initially starting your own business, the late nights, the disappointments, the learnings (no mistakes here!), the general blood, sweat and tears, you’ve got to love what you do. Passion can carry you through the early days, and midnight-candle burning. A genuine love for what it is you do will offer more long-term sustainability.
You can find extended discussions on these topics elsewhere on my blog page. Please do take a look. In the meantime, all that remains is for me to wish you every success in starting or sustaining your business. I’m off to eat cake. And lots of it.
Cheers – here’s to YOUR success.
Nikki Alderson Biography
Nikki Alderson, specialist coach, speaker and author and former Criminal Barrister:
- supports organisations, law firms & barristers’ Chambers to retain female talent; &
- empowers female lawyers to achieve career ambitions.
Nikki specialises in 3 areas:
- Women Leadership Transition and Change;
- Enhanced Career break returner support; and
- Workplace resilience, confidence and wellness.
She is the author of Raising the Bar: empowering female lawyers through coaching, (https://amzn.to/3fodKQX) nominee for the Inspirational Women Awards, Champion of the Year Category & finalist in the 2019 International Coaching Awards, International Coach of the Year Category.
Follow Nikki on
Or refer to www.nikkialdersoncoaching.com