If I told you it takes only 5 simple steps to build a business, would you do it?

by Tara Fitness

My best mate called the other day. It was great to catch up. We don’t talk as often as we normally would because I’m in the UK and he’s in Australia, and the time zones often make it an inappropriate time to call when the thought crosses my mind.

During the conversation, he shared his new business idea with me –  to create a 4wd modification workshop. It’s a long-term plan; something he’d like to pursue in 3 to 5 years.

My advice:

Start today!

Most new business owners have their business model back to front.

A few times throughout the conversation he said:

“I just need to get the money to set up a shop”.


My response:

“That’s the last thing you need to be doing”.


But he wants a 4wd shop so he needs all the equipment to complete the builds, right?

In time, yes.

But what builds?

It’s human nature to think if you rent or buy a building, fill it with tools and slap a fancy logo above the door, work will come to you. To be fair, a little bit might. But if you spend, for example, $500k setting up the shop, unless you won the lotto, your loan repayments alone are going to be crippling… like ‘we need 15 new customers walking in the door each week’ crippling.

You’ve heard the saying “you have to spend money to make money”. But if you’re thinking about setting up a business in 3-5 years, you shouldn’t be waiting for that time to pass so you can drop a load of cash into property, a bunch of equipment and a truck-tonne of advertising.

Instead, start now and when you’re you’re ready to go full-time in 3-5 years, you should have a parking lot full of people hankering for you to throw open your front door.

Here’s the 5 step plan I gave my mate, which you can also use to set up your dream business.

Step 1 – Undertake a transformation and document.

He plans for his first 4wd build to be on a vehicle he currently owns. Working full time, it’ll likely take him at least 12 months to complete the build. He’s planning a complete overhaul; a real transformation.

I recommended he document everything. From stripping and rebuilding the car, purchasing parts, testing, tuning and well, anything else that’s relevant to 4wding. I told him to video it all, talking his audience through what he’s doing every step of the journey.

Step 2 – Pick a network and share your journey.

As it’s a very visual transformation, I recommended he choose either YouTube or Instagram, and post every piece of content he creates. It’s important to post throughout the journey too, not just wait until the end and put up a few before and after pics. The key to building an audience is making them feel like they’re trekking along beside you, supporting you all the way.

Step 3 – Engage with your audience.

It goes without saying that he should reply to all comments and shoutout to social media followers regularly. But what about building initially?

Simple – choose 10-15 top 4wd accounts on the social platform of choice, and consistently interact on every post they put out. Don’t be a douche who says “come follow me”. Instead, add value to the conversation. In time, followers from the larger sites will check out your site and follow you too.

Step 4 – Monetise.

On YouTube, once he has 1000 followers, he can advertise on his channel. It’ll make a pittance, to begin with, but as he continues to upload better quality content (which should happen as he becomes a more experienced content creator) and gaining followers, he’ll start earning a tidy sum to stuff in the money bags for when it’s time to set up shop.

Once he reaches a significant number of followers, say 50 000, I told him to start reaching out to relevant product suppliers and ask if they’re interested in developing a mutually beneficial partnership. Some companies are happy to provide free product providing influencers use and promote them on their social media. Others are happy to pay a monthly retainer for their links to be posted or their products to be referenced on each post.

Step 5 – Create an offer and launch.

We’ve finally reached the step where he planned to begin. However, having completed steps 1 through 4, he should have an excited audience who cannot wait for the 4wd modification shop to launch. In fact, by the very nature of using social media, people may even drive past 10 other shops to have the work completed by him instead.

Why? Because by now, they’ve been following my mate for years, and they want their dream 4wd built by someone they know, like and trust.

Follow these 5 steps to build a business.

It’s easy to think the workshop is the nuts and bolts of the build, but that’s far from the truth.

The frame, suspension, bodywork and all that sits under the pretty exterior – that’s made up of one key component, building your audience.

The workshop… that’s just the paintwork that finishes off the job.

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