One of the main questions I get are “How did you start Unashamed Impact? Do you have any tips you can give me?” So in this post I wanted to take the time to highlight some of the main steps you want to take in the genesis of launching your ministry/business/organization. There’s nothing I love more than helping see the dreams and visions of others become fruitful. Now these are practical steps considering the fact that you’ve prayed about, talked to your spouse, etc and now you’re ready to get started.
1. Make the vision clear. I have a journal that is specifically dedicated to writing down the visions and ideas that come to mind. I carry it everywhere. If you have a great idea write it down. You’d be surprised how easily life can get in the way, things come up and you lose your thoughts. When specifically targeting what exactly it is that your vision is to accomplish you want to answer these 4 questions:
- What needs will your vision meet?
- Who is your target audience? (What group of people do you want to directly impact- teens, women, families, couples, business owners, etc)
- How will you actively meet the needs listed in question 1?
- What is unique about your service/product? (More important for businesses- what makes your service/product different.)
2. Write your mission statement. A mission statement is a short concise summary stating the purpose of your business/organization. You’ll want to capture your overall goal. I recently had our leadership team come up with a mission statement for us as a team. Exp: Our mission is to serve our generation and one another in love, excellence and dedication to foster their growth in becoming the best leader God has called them to be.” Its simple, its straight forward and as you grow it serves as an anchor to ensure your actions are aligning with your main goal and purpose.
3. Find a few like-minded individuals. Now that you’ve made your vision clear, you’ve got a mission statement I encourage you to put it all together maybe in a short document as a brief proposal. Pull in a few trustworthy individuals who share the same passion and would be interested in helping lay the groundwork. That may be a friend, a classmate, colleague or your spouse. Or maybe you’ve advertised on social media a bit about what you’re planning to launch and others have shown interest. (I initially created a youtube video briefly explaining my vision with Unashamed Impact and was overwhelmed by the positive responses and interest shown.) Teamwork makes the dream work. You’ve explained what you’re planning to do, why you’re doing it and how it’ll be accomplished which makes a much more compelling presentation. It shows that you’re serious and you now have a clear blueprint with a plan to make it happen. Suggestion: Be discerning of who you bring on.
- What is their character like?
- Are they a team player?
- Are they a dedicated individual?
- Are they passionate about the mission?
- What are their skills?
These are all questions you want to have answered before hand. It’d be wise to assign skills according to each others strengths and you want a team that will propel this mission forward, not drag dead weight.
4. Delegate Tasks. Communication is such a key role in every type of relationship and especially in starting up any form of organization. When you delegate clear tasks of exactly who is doing what you’re on the right path to avoiding a headache of confusion and frustration between one another. You’ve also set the expectation of getting down to business. In the beginning you’ll find yourself doing most of the work and thats natural until more people begin to come on board.
5. Meet Consistently. You’ll want to meet on a consistent basis with your team. Every 2 weeks is usually pretty reasonable whether being in person or via conference call (Freeconferencing.com is a great service). Take that time to vision cast- what do you want to see happen within the next month? Set goals, create deadlines, see how everyones doing in general (how is their welfare), update each other on your progress thus far. The goal is to stay on one accord and foster a culture of open communication, growth and fellowship.
6. Lets get Legal. Now this wasn’t my favorite part about the process but Im grateful that by this time I had a couple others who were willing to help out. Assuming you’ve brainstormed an official name for your company/organization you’ll want to first look into getting your DBA (Doing Business As- basically certifying that the name is yours to do business with). If you’re a business you want to apply for your LLC, if a non-profit possibly your 501C3. You’ll want to Trademark your logo if you have one. These are things you can either talk to a lawyer about personally if you want more insight or like many, Legal Zoom is an easy online route. It will cost you, so be ready. What you file depends on your service so do your research, talk with someone who knows what they’re talking about and make sure your ducks are in a row. It’ll be a pain to do everything over if not done correctly.
7. Social Media & Website. Lets face it, to every business or organization people want to see a virtual face or platform to stay in touch with the people and places they love- or want to get to know. With social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc the world is at your fingertips and since 1.4 billion people are on social sites like Facebook alone you’re now able to engage with people you may have never met otherwise at any time of the day. This is a great way to keep your audience engaged with the heart of who you are, events you’re having, sales and any other information you’d like them to know about your business/organization. The same principle applies with having a website. Your website is the landing page that anyone can read into to find out more about who you are and what you’re doing at anytime. You can either create something easy on a site like wordpress or save up to pay a web designer to create something more professional. These are some of the more basic first steps of getting your vision off the ground and running. But I do want to share a few nuggets of advice as you continue forward:
- You will make mistakes…and you will learn from them. Don’t beat yourself down. Making a mistake means you’re trying.
- Never limit any vision. First its impossible, then its difficult, then its done. A lot of people hinder their best work from the fear of failing or simply trying to escape hard work.
- Foster the culture always. Sometimes its so easy to get tied down into the tasks and to do lists that we forget to assume full leadership. Thats not only guiding the direction of the overall mission but making sure the culture, relationships, excellence, attitude and vibe of the organization/business is healthy and at its best.
- Encourage. Always encourage those around you. Always show appreciation. Love makes the world go ‘round.
- Focus on the solution, not the problem. What you feed is what will grow. When you encounter a problem make it a point to focus on being a part of the solution instead of complaining about the obvious problem and giving it more power than it deserves.
- Communicate Clearly. As I said earlier, communication is everything. Be clear about what needs to be done, what results need to come forth, what your expectations are.
- Read. Learn. Listen. Invest in your vision and the brain that carries it. Conferences, podcasts, books- continue to gain insight, learn and develop knowledge in your field. It’ll only be beneficial to you and your work.
- Never Stop Dreaming. One thing I’ve learned is that where you currently are is NOT where you will always be. Keep that vision journal in hand. We’re meant to evolve, to grow, to develop and so is your vision. Never get so conformed to what is that you restrict stretching yourself to the wonders of what could be.
Your Turn: If you currently have started your own ministry, business or organization what other tips might you add on. If not, what questions do you have?
Brittney Moses | @Brittney_Moses