I began my entrepreneurial adventure with a fantastic idea to help Christian women! But it failed…
I was so proud of this amazing idea! I knew it would change everything for the women I wanted to serve! But nobody paid attention to it…
I created a website and poured loads of time, energy, and tears into its creation. But only a handful of women even looked at it…
My fantastic idea failed. Why, what did I do wrong? I was all caught up in my thinking. I relied on what I thought women needed, but they didn’t know they even wanted it and may even have had the wrong motivation at first.
The needs vs. wants of potential clients
You know what your potential client needs but do you really know what your potential client wants from you? How do you know which of your great Christian business ideas to choose from and which is the idea God wants for your business?
In this post, I’ll explain the four steps to how you can choose with confidence your Christian business ideas.
Here’s how to narrow down all those Christian business ideas
I know as an entrepreneurial-spirited woman, you have many ideas. You are good at so many things and have so many interests. So, I understand how it can be super difficult to choose which direction to go in when you want to start a business, re-focus an existing business, or transition into something new.
- What do I know how to do? First, take some time to list all the things you have experience in doing or have credentials. Then, list out things that you are good at and enjoy doing.
In Calling Clarity, we call these exercises our experience and expertise modules.
From the list, you created, start to cross off things that do not appeal to you or highlight the things you really like.
- What do I want to be known for?
If you already have a strong direction with the business idea, check it against these criteria.
- Do I have the experience and expertise for this idea?
- Do I want to be known for being the go-to person in this area?
You have to start with a business idea that is suited for you. God has given you all these opportunities in your life to bring you to this point. He has equipped you to step into this next ‘thing’ with confidence.
Be specific about who God is calling you to help or serve
Often the people we want to help through our businesses are very much like ourselves. Why? Because we have the best experience and expertise in the areas, we have had to go through ourselves.
When I became a business owner, I had to learn many things the hard way. However, I needed to go through each step of ‘what not to do’ so I could create the coaching business I have today that helps Christian women avoid the same pitfalls of entrepreneurship I went through. As a result, I can keep them from making the same mistakes I made and thrive much quicker.
- Who am I going to serve?
I know you have probably heard this before. Narrow down your ideal client avatar or ICA. There are plenty of exercises out there to help get started with the demographic and psychographic information. But that is not enough.
Remember when I said that many times they are like us? Well, it may not be that you have gone through a specific set of circumstances that make you similar. Instead, it could come from an outside interest, hobby, or topic you know much about.
Client Example – Anita
For example, one of my clients, Anita, is a copywriter. Now, did she get a degree? No. But she has been a writer all her life. It was one of her interests, and she did the proverbial 10,000 hours of study ‘they’ say it requires to be an expert.
When she first started, she decided she wanted to work with Christian women who are business owners. After just a short time, she had many different types of clients. But then, it started to get overwhelming. She had to switch focuses for each new client.
It was overwhelming because though she thought she had narrowed down the ICA, she had not gotten specific enough. I know this can be scary. I have heard repeatedly that “if I niche down too far, then I won’t have any clients.”
The more specific you are, the louder and more confident your voice becomes
However, the opposite is true. By getting more specific, you actually make your voice louder. What did Anita do? She took another interest, health & fitness, which she had a great deal of knowledge about because she had made it her mission to personally improve in this area, to be a more specific focus.
What did this do? Well, it gave her a topic or at least a set of issues that she could focus on when doing her copywriting. She didn’t have to know just a little about various topics but could dig deeper into a subject she was genuinely interested in.
This breakthrough came for her when she went through the talent module in Calling Clarity.
How to get confirmation on your Christian business ideas
But, we can’t just keep making all these decisions in our heads: What the Christian business ideas will be, or Who will we serve. We actually need to talk to people.
- How can I get confirmation that I am going in the right direction? I’ve already said the answer. Next, you need to talk to those potential ideal clients.
That had been my initial problem when I went into business. I created my program without ever talking to a single person. Of course, I listened to what my ideal clients were saying, but I jumped ahead of them by assuming several things about their wants. Let’s face it. I thought I knew what was best for them and presented that.
That’s the problem, we can think we understand their needs, but many times they don’t know they need it. So I like to say, get them into your world with what they want and then give them what they need. When you do, they will think you are amazing!
How to talk to potential clients confidently
There are many ways to ‘talk’ to your potential clients. Some call it market research. I call it ICA interviews. Yes, I mean talking to real people, asking them real questions.
Now I work with many introverts, and this is something they all cringe at doing. But everyone can talk to one person, right? And, if you have a short list of questions prepared, it is even easier.
This exercise is crucial in Calling Clarity because it helps you determine if what you thought in your head was really what you wanted.
Client example – Kheri
Let me tell you about Kheri, a social worker who wanted to work with families helping with better parent/child communication. In her first round of interviews, Kheri started very broad with parents at all levels with all types of communication issues.
She found that many she interviewed said they wished they had met her when their kids were younger. It would have helped a lot. She also found out that the moms (biological and foster), more than any other group, had wanted to have these strategies. So from there, Kheri focused on moms with kids 11 and under.
In conducting the interviews, she also discovered their biggest struggle was getting kids to listen and do what they were asked to do without having the meltdown and frustration they were experiencing now. This dovetailed precisely with what she considered her expertise in dealing with parent/child behaviors and communication. As a result, she felt very confident in explicitly focusing on creating a program for them and those problems.
By the time she conducted her second round of interviews with this more specific focus, she could collect the emails of many potential clients so she could present her program when completed. They were interested. This was her confirmation.
How to build and test your Christian business ideas
In creating a lifestyle business, you want to be able to prioritize and fit in all the things in your life that are important to you. You want to work in your God-given design. You want your life to work for you.
So often, I have seen clients try things that are not a good fit for them. They get caught up in the shiny objects that seem to be working for others, so they try them, only to be disappointed with the results. That’s what I love about what I teach in Calling Clarity, by knowing God’s design of you, we can work to create the perfect business for you. One that works for you as well as with the wants of your clients.
Q. How can I build something and test it so I know it works? This is such an important thing to know for not only your clients but for you as well. So how do you do this?
First, you set up a Beta group. This is a LIVE set of your ideal clients going through your first iteration of the ‘thing’ you have created. It could be a program, coaching sessions, membership, etc.
From your interviews and through the modules, you have created your unique business, your Mosaic Masterpiece. Think of all those pieces from your life, from your research, coming together to create something new and beautiful.
Now it’s time to see if it works! We call this flying the plane as you are building it. You launch with as much knowledge as you can at this point. That first Beta group is those who will help you determine if you have all the right pieces to get them from their zero states to the hero state. Take them from their frustration to the results they are looking for in your area of expertise.
Client example – Me!
Though I have been coaching through my Calling Clarity program for years, when I created this new iteration at the beginning of the pandemic, I tested it again. We were LIVE for 6-weeks with nine women. What did I find out? I needed to add something very crucial. My transformation promise was they would know how to narrow down their ideas, be confident in which direction to go, and know that they were in God’s Will doing it.
What did I find out? They needed a step-by-step process of launching or re-launching what they had discovered. So, I created my 40-Day plan with those instructions. I continue to add and tweak the program. Why? So, I can make it the best it can be for my clients.
The other part of creating this lifestyle business was to think through and decide HOW I would show up for my clients. I wanted a life. That meant deciding how much time I would spend with clients, what commitments I was willing to make, and when I would work. That is all part of the process in Calling Clarity. I don’t ask my clients to do anything I am not doing daily in my own business.
Needs vs. wants
Your great Christian business ideas mean nothing if you don’t give clients what they want. I hope these four questions have given you something to think through as you create the God-centered business you are called to develop.
- What do I know how to do?
- Who am I going to serve?
- How can I get confirmation that I am going in the right direction?
- How can I build something and test it so I know it works?
If you want to know more about what Calling Clarity can do for you, I invite you to a Clarity Call with me. Let’s discover how we can work together to give you the business you want and that God has designed for you.
Stop being distracted, get out of the trap of indecision, and focus on the direction you should be going so you can experience the satisfaction in your business that comes from following God’s calling.
Sharilee Swaity says
Yes! This is why I am working with you — because I can relate to this so much.. Making “the thing” and then having no one show up to it (or very few.) Doing a little bit here and a little bit there but never making a significant impact. You are describing my life for the last 5 years or so. I loved how you explained the whole process here and I am looking forward to figuring out all of this for myself. Thank you. <3