Normal Business Produces Normal Results
What challenges do you face as you promote your company online?
Sadly, there is no room for small business owners wishing to be normal. Business as usual leads to mediocre results. So I ask you. What can you do to make your brand more distinct? Here are 3 tips to help your brand stand out:
Typically, we turn to others in our industry to find out what has worked for them. Financial professionals visiting an event regarding finances or photographers visiting an event for photography. And that is OK. Just not all the time. Being new to the world of networking, I have discovered the benefits of visiting events that involve small businesses professionals of various fields.
A room of like minds with many ideas as well as the opportunity to make many connections.
I have really been able to expand my own business while networking with individuals with unique businesses. As I learned more about my ideal customer's struggles, I have been able to tailor and expand my services.
2. Be Like The Big Companies
Another way to step out of the norm is to watch what the big companies are doing. Have you shopped the Dollar store or the Bulk Barn? Notice that they are always prepared for national celebrations months in advance? In August a very small section will be dedicated to Halloween. By September, it's an entire row! December 24th, you will find a small section for Valentine's Day. Three weeks later it's Valentine's in 2 rows.
What if you were that strategic in your planning? When I create online strategies for entrepreneurs, they are built around upcoming goals that allow a business to grow and see measurable results. For example, I am working with a professional DJ who would like to be booked for the spring. It's December and we are connecting his social media platforms to event planners while using hashtags such as #torontobride and #torontoweddings.
3. Find Out What Your Customers Want
Be a step ahead by asking questions. Conduct surveys and find out from your current customers what their struggles are. What type of service would they like to see?
My husband was shopping for a gift card for his neice. She LOVES Bubble Tea. He visited 5 different Bubble Tea franchises and asked if they carried gift cards. The answer was no, but they all totally thought that it would be an amazing idea. I wonder who will be the first to implement this service.
Normal business produces normal results.
This is your time to be creative and think outside of the box.
The fact that you are an entrepreneur who runs their own business makes you awesome!
Let's face it. As small business owners there are only so many hours in a day and unfortunately they are never enough. It's not always easy for us to let things go or most importantly delegate them out. Sometimes this negatively affects the passion we have for our business. This fact was perfectly summed up in Tara Gentile's Help Yourself podcast featuring Charlie Gilkey (Episode 14).
Where do you find joy and flow in your work? What do you consider Dread Work as you run your Biz? Is there a process in your business that you may able to smart source?
Can you change your Dread Work into Joy Work for someone else?
Keeping the books in my business is the last thing that I want to do. Paper and keeping track of where every penny goes is the bane of my existence. I met another small business owner who has a bookkeeping company. I called her to put the wheels in motion and inquire about her services and if we could be a good fit. Speaking to her I was left with the impression that Bookkeeping is her passion. It brings her joy. I booked her.
Now I know that I could potentially save some money and manage the books on my own. But I would also be stealing away time from focusing on my business and serving my clients. My business would be working harder and not smarter. It is a priority for me to have my clients work smarter; therefore, I must practice what I preach.
Pay attention to your Dread Work and Joy Work. Know that your Dread Work is someone else's Joy Work. Holding onto the Dread prevents someone from working on the Joy with your business not working as smart as it can.
•Pay attention to the things that you dread doing
• Pay attention to what you find joy in doing
• Pay attention to the things that deplete you
• Pay attention to the things that nourish you
• and for Godsakes take those seriously
How Can You Optimize?
Do you enjoy all the tasks involved within your business? Are you resenting some of them? Where you may find yourself experiencing resentment may be a good area to optimize. What can you do in your business to experience more joy and less dread?
Do you require a bookkeeper? How about someone to answer customer inquiries? For my clients it's about delegating the task of managing their online presence to me. Having the courage to delegate can allow you to optimize the tasks that you love. The tasks that make you happier and allow your business to flow and make your days better.
What is your Joy Work? Are you able to look within and to see where what you do can have more impact?
Should have. Could have. Would have.
My business is up and running phew! I work with many start-ups and small businesses owners. I love the passion, but I also recognize what may not work. What does work is goal setting. #sorryNotsorry. It has to be done. This week's blog post is about setting up a plan to put you on the track to achieving progress in your business in year one and can also be used for the business owner who is looking for techniques to focus and attain new goals.
Create A 3 Month / 6 Month / 1 year business plan
Many business owners get caught up in the trap of "preparing" to launch their business. I call it a trap because often the launch gets pushed back because "It's not the perfect time." perhaps your website is delayed, your business cards are not perfect, one of your product items are not ready.
Before you start your business:
List out your launch date as the hard date (the must do) and then list out your tasks to be completed in order to launch. Now work backwards.
Where do you want to be in 1 year?
• Is it about the amount of clients you wish to have?
• Your take home or how a total of products or services sold?
• Is it that you want to leave the day job and do your dream job full-time?
Write It Down!
3 months Where do you want to be?
This is where you write down and no more than 2 action items for your business that will take you to the next level of where you would like to be at the end of 3 months. They could be:
• setting up your social media profiles and sharing posts that will assist you to your goals of more page views, email list building, sales on your site or leads.
• Attending a certain number of Networking events to connect with the right people and allow you build the right connections.
• Listing out everyone that you meet that inquired about your business, or that you connected with at an event and studying why did a sale go through with some and why it it did not go through with others. This allows you to work towards being able to point out who your target customer is sooner than later.
6 Months Where do you want to be?
This is where you write down and no more than 2 action items for your business that will take you to the next level of where you would like to be at the end of 6 months. They could be:
• A website rebrand. Now that you have been in business for 3 months you are a bit wiser. You know exactly who your target customer is and are more clear on how to reach them.
• You want to have more visitors going back to your site as opposed to staying on your social media platforms. Social media is like the blind date. They like you... Now it's time to get them to get them to your home for the romantic dinner.
• Start a blog. This adds current content to your website and shows your site visitors that you are definitely open for business. It is also great for your SEO. Google loves fresh content!
• Rethink how you connect with leads. Can you stream line your process and meet them via Zoom, Skype or Facebook face to face chat?
Now I have not listed a 9 month plan.
At this point the this is the perfect opportunity to revisit the goals that you have listed and are working on. Do they need some tweaking? Do you have to pivot a little to get back on track? Are they moving you towards the one year goal?
Is there a goal that should be dropped? Maybe it is not working. As you build your business, you do find at times that something is not working or not as important. And that is OK. There is no shame in this. It's is awesome if you can spot this and be big enough to move your attention elsewhere. You can add another goal as long as it is not one that distracts and it helps you to the next level at the end of the year. Or you can just lighten the load and focus only on the current goals.
I hope you found value in this post. I myself am working on a Service Launch for January 2018. If you click this link you will be the first to know about it in January. It is under wraps but as a thank you for joining my list you will be sent an exclusive Promo Code a month before launch.
So are you a start-up or established business? What are some of the action items that you will be doing to get you to the next level? Please share in the comments below!