It’s pretty safe to bet that at some point in the past week (maybe even in the past 24 hours) you asked yourself, “How am I going to get it all done?” We live in a world where we are expected to do more and more, and that goes double if you’re an entrepreneur who’s struggling to get your business off the ground. You have to be your own project manager, marketer, sales manager, etc. You’re working multiple full-time jobs, and if you’re a parent as well, then you have another full-time job, but you still only have 24 hours in a day.
The good news is that there are ways to get more done in less time. Let’s start with three of the most basic things you can do:
Give Yourself a Break
Know When You’re Most Productive
Remember Your Why
Sometimes we have a hard time getting through certain tasks because we’re unmotivated. Whether it’s because we’re tired and burnt out, or just because it’s an aspect of our business we don’t enjoy but needs to get done anyway, sometimes just sitting down and making ourselves do it is the hardest part.
Helping my clients get more done in less time is one of my specialties as a business coach. Whether you’re struggling to get it all done, or you’re not sure which of your endless tasks should take priority over all the others, having a coach at your side to show you the way can make your next steps, not just more clear, but also more successful. If you think it might be time to get a strategy rockstar on your side, schedule a FREE clarity call now so we can see if coaching is right for you.
You’ve started your business and now it’s time to get the word out, because people can’t buy your great products/services if they don’t know you exist. In order to let people know all the awesome ways you can help them, you need to do some marketing, but these days, marketing includes everything from blogging to videos to public speaking. You could easily spend all your time marketing and not have any time left for your clients, but I have four tips to help you develop a marketing strategy that will get results for your small business.
Know Your Audience
The first step to creating an effective marketing strategy is understanding who your audience is. The world is huge and the internet is almost as big, so the first thing you need to identify is who your target audience is so you can find out where they hang out (both online and off).
You also need to understand the pain points you’re solving for your clients so you can talk about them in all your marketing materials. Understanding, not just the pain points, but how that pain affects your prospects’ lives and drives them to find solutions is key to getting in front of them at the right time and in the right place, and saying the right thing to convince them to work with you.
Put the Pain Points Front and Center
Once you have a solid grasp of the problems you solve for your clients and how much that’s worth to them, you need to make sure those pain points (and your solution) are communicated throughout all your marketing materials. Make it clear you understand where they’re coming from, and that you have a way to make their lives better in tangible ways.
Know What Works … and What Doesn’t
Understand the Power of Relationships
While advertising tends to focus on getting people to buy, marketing is more about building relationships so people get to know, like, and trust you before your advertising (or sales call) can be effective. Marketing can focus on building a relationship between prospects and your brand, or building a relationship between you and your prospects. After all, as small business owners, we often are our brands, and especially in this Digital Age, your personal brand is at least as important as your company’s brand. So decide what represents that brand. What would make your target audience want to work with that brand?
Helping small business owners develop and implement their marketing strategies is one of my specialties. Whether you just started your business, or you’ve been in business for a while and are struggling to get the results you need, I can help, so schedule a FREE clarity call to see if coaching is the right next step for you.
A lot of small business owners talk about the ups and downs of running a business. Feast or famine. Either you’re very busy and making a lot of money, or you’re twiddling your thumbs while watching all the money drain out of your bank account. But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be that way? That you can have steady income as a small business owner?
It might seem like it’s too good to be true, but it’s a very attainable goal if you have a business development strategy and you follow through with it.
Determine Your Destination
Define Your Ideal Client
Defining your ideal client is a crucial part of your business development strategy because it will drive every other element of your business development efforts, from the networking events you choose to attend, to the topics you cover in your marketing materials, to your marketing channels. Only once you know who your target audience is, what pain points you’re solving for them, and where they tend to hang out (both online and off) can you create a successful business development strategy.
Define Your Goals
Remember the definition of a SMART goal: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time sensitive. So how are you defining your goals and what metrics are you going to use to determine whether you reached them?
Identify the Resources You Need
Once you know where you want to take your business, it’s time to make a list of the resources you need, both to get there, and to measure your results. This can mean technology to help you get in front of and stay in touch with prospects and clients, or it can mean people, whether it’s referral partners to help spread the good word about you, or people to take some of the work off your hands.
You’ve probably heard this phrase so many times it’s stopped meaning anything to you. It’s too easy, right? Gaining clients and growing a business can’t be as easy as following up with someone after we’ve already had a conversation with them.
But it is! Because here’s the thing: it takes an average of 6-8 touches to convert a lead into a sale. That means people need more than just hearing your elevator pitch to want to work with you. They’re going to want to get to know you first, but they’re not necessarily going to be the one to reach out to you after that first point of contact, so you need to have a plan in place to reach out to them. Here’s what I recommend:
Try to follow up with any leads within 24 hours after that first point of contact. If you wait any longer, they’ll be more likely to have forgotten you and the conversation they had with you. It also doesn’t make a very good impression to wait too long to follow up because it makes them feel like they’re not a priority for you, and if they don’t feel like a priority as a prospect, they’ll assume they won’t be a priority if they become a client.
Once you’ve scheduled a follow-up meeting, send them an invitation as soon as you’ve finished scheduling it, because that makes it more likely the meeting will go on their calendar and they won’t accidentally double book themselves for that time slot.
Be sure to follow up again after the meeting. As with the event, you’ll want to take notes during the meeting so you can reference the conversation you had with them in your follow up email. Similarly I have a pre-made email template that is customizable for this too.
For more tips and tricks like these, you check out my other blog posts, or you can check out my online academy, which covers everything from the first steps you need to grow a business, to networking and making sales calls. It’s a great option for those who are just starting out and don’t yet have the budget to hire a business coach.
It’s the beginning of a new year and people everywhere are making all kinds of resolutions to be better versions of themselves, and if you’re a small business owner, chances are good that at least one of your resolutions this year is to grow your business. But it’s one thing to say you’re going to grow your business, and another thing to actually achieve that goal.
If you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the what and the why, but you get stumped on the how, I have a few ideas to help you achieve your small business goals for 2021:
Set Growth Goals
Map Out Your Course of Action
Once you have your course set, you need a map to figure out how to get there. How are you going to get from where you are now to where you want to be by the end of 2021? Your action plan needs to be as concrete as your goals. What steps are you going to take to get in front of new leads and convert them into customers? Or what are you going to do to convince existing customers to spend more money with you?
Determine Your Growth Tools and Processes
If you’re planning on traveling somewhere overseas and all you have is a car, you know at some point you’re going to have to switch to either a boat or a plane. The same goes for your course of action to help you achieve your growth goals for your small business. Take a look at what you have, how far those tools and processes can get you, and then take a look at how far you need to go. Do your current tools and processes have what it takes to take your business to the next level? If not, what do you need add, change, or get rid of to get where you need to go?
Put Your Plan into Action
You’ve probably heard the saying that people like to work with those they know, like, and trust, but have you stopped to consider what that really means? What is required to get people to know, like, and trust you?
The answer is that you need to focus on building your relationship with them before they’ll be willing to work with you. Building relationships is key to achieving success, but it’s often overlooked. Let’s stop glossing over this very important skill and talk about why you can’t achieve success if you don’t focus on building relationships.
Get to Know Your Ideal Client
As you get to know more about your clients, you’ll often find you solve pain points for them that you didn’t realize they had, and that allows you to sell more. This is not about pushing extra products/services on your clients that they don’t need. It’s about solving problems for them, and if you realize they could benefit from something you offer that you didn’t know they needed (and/or they didn’t realize you provide) why not let them know how you can help them? Yes, it increases your bottom line, and of course that’s good for you, but it also solves a problem for your client, and that’s good for them, too. Everybody wins!
Focus on Long-Term Goals
Whether you need help building relationships with your ideal clients, or any other aspect of growing your business, I can help. Schedule a FREE clarity call with me now so we can talk about all the ways I can be of service to your business so you can be of service to your ideal customers.
I work with a lot of entrepreneurs who do everything for their small business, and while that might be necessary when you’re just starting out, it’s not sustainable. As you grow your business, you’re going to need to recruit some help, but a lot of small business owners get so used to the idea of doing everything themselves that they don’t know when or how to start building a team to meet the growing demands of their business. If you’ve been thinking it might be time to start outsourcing certain things for your small business, let’s take a look at three of the most common signs that might be a good indication you need some help.
You Constantly Feel Tired and Overwhelmed
Things Are Falling Through the Cracks
If you feel like you’re working all the time, but there are still things that aren’t getting done, it’s time for your team to grow to match the needs of your business. If customers have started wondering where you are, or if they’re ever going to get the products/services they ordered, it’s time to outsource some tasks for your small business so you can make sure you have the time necessary to devote to every customer’s satisfaction.
You Don’t Have a Steady Income
If you’re ready to ditch the feast/famine cycle and generate consistent income from your business, consider outsourcing some of your business tasks to a virtual assistant or a marketing manager. If you’re not sure where to start looking for professional help for your small business, consider scheduling a free clarity call so we can talk about where your business is and what are some things we can do to take it to the next level. I do TONS of networking and have relationships with professionals in many areas that I can refer you to so you can start outsourcing quickly and with a sense of confidence.
As entrepreneurs and business owners, we often make the mistake of assuming we have to do everything ourselves. We have to have all the answers, and if we just buckle down and work hard enough, we can do whatever we set out to do.
But the truth is no one has all the answers, and achieving your goals requires much more than hard work. It requires strategy, and a business coach can point out things you hadn’t previously considered and help you come up with a strategy for your business.
If you’re on the fence about hiring a business coach, consider whether you’re ready to see these results in your business:
Grow Your Business
Regardless of your income level or how big your business is, a coach can help you take your business to the next level. Whether you just want to bring in more sales, or you want to explore new sources of income, a business coach can help you grow your business until you see the results you need.
Put a Plan in Place
Put Systems and Processes in Place
It doesn’t matter what you’re offering your clients if you don’t have the right systems and processes in place to let your ideal customers know what you have, why they need it, and then provide it to them. Each of those steps requires having the right systems and processes in place, and that’s where a business coach can help you grow your business. You know your product/service is extraordinary, but a coach can help you communicate that to your target audience so they become customers.
Enjoy Life More
Too many stories of entrepreneurship glorify hard work, and while hard work is certainly one part of the equation, it’s far from the whole story. What most people won’t tell you is that one of the most important secrets to running a successful business is to work strategically, meaning you identify the tasks that really need to get done, and either ignore or outsource the rest, or put it lower down on your to-do list. It is possible to enjoy life to the fullest while running a successful business.
If you’ve been struggling to get the most out of your business, it might be time to get some help from a business coach. You can schedule a call with me now to talk over your struggles and how I can help you take your business to the next level.
Learning is not just for children and young adults. And it doesn’t need to happen in a school (or online, as is the case for most of our students these days). Learning should be a continuous pursuit throughout our entire lives, and prioritizing learning actually becomes more important as we get older. Here’s why.
Continuous Learning Is Good for Our Brains
Continuous Learning Reduces Stress
I talk with a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners about fear and doing things they don’t want to do, and there seems to be a common thread running through them all: fear of the unknown. We tend to fear something if we’re not very familiar with it, and that fear can lead us to avoid it, which prevents us from getting to know about it, and the cycle continues.
By focusing on continuous learning throughout our adult lives, we can reduce stress by learning about all kinds of things that used to scare us. Most of the time, we find it’s really not all that scary.
Continuous Learning Makes Us Better Business Owners
Few things are as scary as starting and running a business. There are so many different elements and moving parts, and most entrepreneurs who are just starting out have to be a kind of jack-of-all-trades, doing everything from marketing to customer service to billing, even if they’ve had little or no training in those aspects of running a business.
I always recommend hiring help whenever possible so you can focus on your genius zone instead of wasting time and energy on something that doesn’t give you joy or make you money. But even when you do hire help, you should know at least a little about the task you’re hiring them to do so you can make sure you’re hiring the right person for the job. So if you’re a business owner, you should constantly be learning new things about your business, even if you delegate certain tasks to some of your team members.
Continue Your Learning with My Online Academy
When someone is looking for a particular product or service, there are some factors they’ll consider before making their decision. The first factors they look at are usually price and quality, maybe location if it’s something that can’t be provided online. But what if your price and quality are fairly similar to those of your competitors? What’s the one thing only you can provide that will make someone choose you over one of your competitors?
I believe we all have something unique to offer. Plenty of people can do what you do, but no one can do it quite like you do. The trick is to find out what that special something is that makes you unique and convey it in all your messaging, so let’s go over some tips on how you can do that.
Your branding should also include the tone of voice you use in all your content. Think of your favorite movie or TV show. If you were to see a written line of dialogue from that movie or TV show that you had never heard before, would you be able to identify the character who said it without being told? If the writing is any good, it should be easy, and the same goes for your brand’s content. People should be able to know it came from your brand, even if they don’t see your logo.
It’s a common saying that we do business with those we know, like, and trust, and it is so true. Even if your competitors are offering a lower price or have a more impressive website, someone who already knows and trusts you is much more likely to work with you over anyone else, so make sure you devote time to building relationships with your prospects.
Attend networking events. Meet with them individually so you can get to know them on a more personal level. Empathize with their pain points, regardless of whether it’s something with which you can help. Even if they’re not ready to buy from you now, putting in the time and effort to help them now will pay off later when they are ready to buy. (If you'd like some great tips on Networking, check out my free online course Networking to Effectively Reach Your Goals.)
Your branding and relationship building should both be part of the foundation of your business, which means they come before everything else. If you can solidify those two aspects of your business, the rest will follow.
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