Working 9 to 5, but have an awesome idea for a business? Me too! Here are 12 steps to get started

I have seen a lot of start ups in my time. From my study days in my undergrad in marketing and Masters in Entrepreneurship, to being involved in Start Up Weekend and Key Person of Influence programs - I must have seen hundreds of pitches for new business ideas. Unfortunately the rate of success in turning the idea to reality is tiny, less than 1%!


What separates the best from the rest is not how pretty your slides are or robust your business plan is - it's something much more basic. It really comes down to three essential questions. Is it what you love, do you have the means to do it and is the market ready for you. If you can affirm all these three things then you have a chance of taking your idea and making it a profitable business.


Once you have said yes to these three questions you have to test your idea on the market. Talk to potential customers first! There is no point going out and spending money on logos, fonts and registering business names if you don't know if anyone would buy your product.  In lean start up methodology that the best companies in the world use - they say do a minimum viable product and see if the market likes it! Then invest in the rest.

Once you have tested your idea you need a few key items to start. I have created my very own 12 step process to see if you can take your business from Passion to Profits which I use with my 1:1 clients to great success and also in my group courses.  Follow this process and you will soon know if your business is sticky. Take the 12 week challenge today! 


Step 1 -  "Where are you now" Understanding your current situation. 
Step 2 - "Where do you want to go" Understanding your goals and mapping out what you want to e-ttract. 
Step 3 - "How are you going to get there" Understanding your target market, products and business model.
Step 4 - "Documenting your brand plan" Document your plan for you, the company and your products.


Step 5 - Build your LinkedIn. The essence of your personal brand and passion business is a high quality LinkedIn profile to attract clients, staff, investment, partners and any other opportunities you require.
Step 6 - Build your Social Media. The other social media channels are essential to understand and choose specifically to fit your business plan Facebook, Google + and others are important.
Step 7 - Build your Websites. Build a personal, business website and product landing pages.
Step 8 - Digital accessories. CRM, mail systems and any other necessary parts more.


Step 9 - Connections. Once we have our digital ecosystems built you need to have an audience to see your new business. We will create connections in social media with our perfect clients.
Step 10 - Content. We need to be activating our business in our new social channels so create a content plan for your new businesses.
Step 11 - Pitch. Every interaction we have with people online or offline is an opportunity to create a lasting brand impression. Learn how to pitch! 
Step 12 - Launch! Ask the most important question - would you like to buy this!

Once you have gone through this twelve step process you will have the framework of a business. It is by no means complete, in fact businesses are always changing! However it will give you enough to presence to give it a red hot go.

I believe everyone has the ability to run their own passion business and take back control of their time and income. I encourage you to test your ideas on the market and build your own Passion Business.

Andrew Ford


PS Contact me on  if you are interested in my 12 week Passion to Profits course starting 21st of September, where I will guide you through all the steps of your start up with like minded people. 

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Andrew Ford

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.