From floundering to flourishing: 5 key steps to a successful business

Want to build a successful business? Follow these 5 steps to business success…


You’ve just gotten off a call with a prospect having unfortunately received another ‘no’ to what you thought was a well-crafted, irresistible offer that was going to provide them with everything they needed to achieve their goals.

Business success The hours you dedicated to putting your proposal together combined with the time spent in rehearsing your presentation leaves you confused, frustrated and questioning “what on earth went wrong?”

Can you relate?

Looking back in my own business several years ago, that’s exactly where I was – confused and a little annoyed that despite how hard I tried, prospects were just not investing in my services.

I hired a graphic designer to redesign my logo and presentation materials; I read everything I could online to see if I could pinpoint what I was doing wrong; and I spent countless hours writing and re-writing my sales copy and marketing material.

But nothing worked.

That was until I invested in myself and my business and hired a business coach and set about implementing key elements that I now see were missing and the reason for my continued struggles.

Want to know what those key elements were?

Over the last few years I’ve written numerous articles about the steps I put into place, which I believe were fundamental in helping me more than double the results in my business.

Here they are:

Business Success Step 1: Define Your Niche

When I first started my venture, because every small business owner and solopreneur could benefit from my services I thought that offering them to anyone and everyone would allow me to build my business much quicker.

Boy was I wrong.

After spending some time in defining my niche, I tailored EVERYTHING I did to ensure my marketing message spoke directly to the needs of my ideal client.

Action Step: If you are still offering your services to anyone and anyone then I suggest you read my article: Niching: Aim small to grow big to help you define your ideal client.

Business Success Step 2: Create Your Signature Brand

Despite everything I did, it was impossible to distinguish my services so I could stand out powerfully from my competitors.

With the help of my business coach (and using her magical Branding with Archetypes System) I unearthed my inner brilliance and built a powerful, authentic Signature Brand. (I loved this system so much that I became certified in it and now use it with my own clients – it is THAT good).

My Signature Brand’s core message is now incorporated in everything I do and say both online and offline and ensures the look and feel of my brand is consistent.

Action Step: Here are several articles to get you started thinking about your powerful, authentic Signature Brand and why it’s so important:

Business Success Step 3: Craft Your Memorable Introduction

Standing up and introducing myself at a networking event was always trial and error.

As a heart-centered coach, I’m passionate about helping my clients get out of overwhelm and confusion so they can build the business of their dreams.

And, because I wanted to tell people as much as information about how I could support them, with the limited time allowed, all I ended up doing was confusing people with my garbled and rushed introduction.

So, I developed a simple and effective formula that enabled me to incorporate vital things in my introduction that previously I had been forgetting to tell people.

Action Step: Here’s an audio that will show you a few of the key elements you’ll want to incorporate into your Powerful Introduction.

Business Success Step 4: Measure YOUR Personal Best

I stopped constantly comparing myself to my competitors and feeling bad about what I was NOT doing and rather concentrated on measuring and enhancing my personal best.

This was a huge game changer for me, both psychologically and emotionally and enabled me to focus all my attention and energy on things that would drive my business forward. Not keep me stuck as I had been previously, because of my feelings of inadequacy.

Action Step: If you can relate to this I encourage you to read more about what I started to measure in my article: Fallen Victim to the Competitor Comparison Trap? 5 key components to boost YOUR personal best

Business Building Step 5: Get comfortable with ‘selling’

Whenever I spoke to a prospect my heart would race and my throat would go dry when they asked me that dreaded question “So how much do you charge?”

I would respond by rushing through my spiel and stating my price to which my prospect would tell me ‘thank you – I’m just ringing around and will get in contact with you if I need any more information.”

Needless to say, I’d never hear from them again.

With the support of my coach I developed a step-by-step process so I could answer the question with ease and professionalism, and in a non-salesy manner – something else that was very important to me.

Action Step: Here’s an article I wrote: How much do you charge? 3 simple steps to answer that dreaded question

[By the way, I recently held a webinar on the topic of key pricing strategies for Solopreneurs when pricing and packaging their programs. I added more templates and scripts and created my Charge What You’re Worth: Practical Pricing Strategies for Solopreneurs Homestudy Program.]

If this is something you struggle with I highly recommend you grab a copy so you can answer that dreaded ‘how much do you charge’ question with ease and professionalism too!

Each of these five steps has made an incredible difference in my business and they will for you too, if you take the time to work on them.


Do you see gaps in your business that are keeping you stuck? So, what steps will you work on first? Let me know in the comments below. And, if you see that investing in you and your business by hiring a business coach to help you work on these areas, let’s talk! A great place to start would be with one of my complementary Business Breakthrough Strategy Sessions.

I work with purpose-driven service-based businesses, implementing compelling brand and communications strategies (including setting up their own podcast/podcast series) so they can attract more clients who pay them what they are worth. Through working with me, my clients have doubled (and even tripled) their results. >>> Want to double (or triple) your results - while BOOST your reach and influence with your own Podcast Series? Let's talk! My details are on the Contact link (top of page).
I'm also the Host of Ambitious Entrepreneur Show & Women In Leadership Podcast, and have often been referred to as the 'Podcasting Queen' by my community. I hope you'll subscribe to my shows!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Thanks for this Annemarie! Step 5 is the one I tend to struggle the most with. This is an area I am targeting for my personal development for sure.

    • Hi Peter, you’re very welcome. I’m glad you found the post helpful. I think many small business owners can relate to having difficulties around step 5 – so you’re certainly not alone. Hopefully you can adapt and use some of the steps I’ve outlined in the other blog post – it certainly helped me immensely.

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  • I do have many struggles at first. But, I realize that our visitors are prospects. So, I just give info what they wants and so they like my writing 🙂

  • Many people cannot identify their niche and their strengths, so they are headed in the wrong direction from the start. These two in my opinion are essentials to a successful business. Thanks for sharing these useful tips.

  • Danyelle Franciosa

    Such a great and useful breakdown on how to become successful in business. Niche has been very important and it must very effective. Though at first time you failed but then you woke up and you have to stand again..

  • Achieving success in the business is the fundamental aim of starting s business. But many a times, the business lose its focus in the middle of the road, for such businesses these tips can act like a medicine and provide the much needed relief. It is crucial for a business to hit on the right niche and product to taste the success. Patience is definitely the key. Thanks for the share.

  • Sometimes we can’t avoid some situations like what you had experienced. You think it’s the best strategy or you did all your best just realizing that your effort was not enough. It really hurts. Thanks for the tips Ann! Your tips here sound so helpful to all marketers out there. You should identify your niche first so that effort and time you have invested will not put into waste.

    Keep on providing us, your readers great contents 🙂

    All the best.

    • Hi Belinda, thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments – I really appreciate it. I’m glad you found the tips helpful, and agree with your statement that identifying your niche first is so very important. All the very best and much success with your business too!

  • Anyone who hires salespeople could benefit by providing good training that includes steps 3 through 5. The dreaded cold call might be the most difficult task of all. One must be confident, prepared, fearless and succinct!

  • All business are non profit first it takes a lot to get in process to get return on investment and how valuable our website traffic and customers