9 Things To Do For Your Business Now
Whether you are still able to run your business, or it’s temporarily on hiatus, now is a great time to sit down and focus on areas of your business that you perhaps forget about or avoid dealing with. I would recommend putting aside time every month or two to focus on each of these areas, just to ensure that you are achieving every aspect of your potential.
Here are nine things that you could be doing for your business right now:
Check Your Goals
I recently shared the following quote on my social media:
“A dream written down with a date is a goal. A goal broken down into steps is a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” Greg Reid
Goals are so important to help create a pathway to what we want to achieve, and we can then break down those goals into mini-steps that will help us to reach them. They are also helpful if you feel that your business has fallen into a bit of a rut.
When was the last time that you sat down and set out what you want to achieve from your business? Have you ever done it? If not, now is the time to.
Start by thinking about what you want to achieve, and what your biggest goal for your business is. Don’t be afraid to go big. If money wasn’t an issue, or lack of skills, or confidence, where do you want your business to be in five years? Ten years?
It might seem out of reach right now, and that is a-ok! What small steps could you take to get there?
Are you already working towards your goals?
Write down what you are doing and keep track of everything you have achieved already towards your goals. Looking back at what you have already built can be an enormous confidence boost.
Are there any areas that you feel you could be doing more? Spend some time looking for how you could refocus your efforts to help you move your business forward.
If you’re struggling to figure out what goals to set for yourself, here are a few ideas:
Making 1000 individual sales
Taking on an employee
Expanding your overall range of products
No matter what kind of products or services you offer, it is a good idea to keep an eye on how well things are performing.
What is performing well?
What isn’t performing well?
How can you use this information to improve your range and improve your sales? Look at trends.
Do some products perform particularly well at specific times of the year? If so, could you widen your range to include more products during peak seasons?
A simple example is expanding your Christmas range during the months leading up to the festive period, and then replacing them with different products once January arrives.
There is absolutely no rule that says you have to offer the same products all year round, even if the seasons don’t dictate business as distinctly for you as it might do for others.
Without marketing, it is incredibly difficult to run a business. How are people going to purchase from your business if they don’t know it exists? Many people avoid marketing because they think it is expensive, however with the rise of the internet, it doesn’t have to be. It is probably significantly cheaper now than say twenty years ago.
Examples of cheap marketing include:
Word of Mouth
Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc)
Business Cards – these don’t need to be flashy or expensive, and there are so many options that will allow you to get creative
Other, perhaps pricier options include:
Adverts in local media
Adverts in industry publications
Look at how you are currently promoting yourself; Is it working? Could you do more?
Also, take time to ensure that your brand is consistent across all areas of your marketing.
Social Media Strategy
I know social media forms part of marketing, but I thought it deserved it’s own section because in 2020 social media has become the number one way to market any business.
Easy to use
Everyone and their dog – literally – are on one form of social media or other
Plan your posts ahead of time, but make sure your posts can be flexible. This is especially so with the current situation. Sometimes things in the world might change which means your posts could become insensitive or inappropriate. It’s important to keep an eye on this so that mishaps can be avoided.
Does your social media strategy fit in with your goals and marketing strategy? If not, consider refocusing your efforts.
Your website should also play a key role in your marketing strategy. It is essentially the brain for your business, meaning that everything should lead towards it. All advertising, all social media accounts, all backlinks everything should point directly at your website.
For this reason, it is important to regularly audit your content, and answer questions about each page:
Is the information still relevant and up to date?
Does the information serve the purpose of why a customer would be on this page?
Could the information be repurposed and reused somewhere else? Perhaps on social media, or as part of an ebook?
How does this page work into your marketing strategy?
If you’re not sure how to answer this final question, you might want to spend some time analysing what role your website plays in your business. What do you want it to do for you? Do you want to make more sales? Do you want to offer customers extra information about products and services or even yourself?
Talk to Your Audience
This might sound like an odd one, but how often do you interact with your customers? Of course, you might normally interact with them in your shop, if you have one, however, it’s important to talk to them in other ways as well, to help build relationships which will bring them back whilst encouraging them to recommend you to their friends and family.
Engage with them through your social media, or how about occasionally sending out an email to past customers updating them, without constantly bombarding them, about your business?
Get to know them on a personal, their pain points, their wants, their dislikes, and then use this to offer them products, services, and information that will help with each of these.
Recognise Your Weaknesses
When you were setting out and analysing your goals, you probably found some areas that you weren’t able to focus on, perhaps because you don’t have the skills, experience, knowledge about, or perhaps because it’s just an area you don’t have time for or any interest in doing.
You know what? That’s okay. Something no one tells you about running a business; you do not have to do everything.
If you need to outsource jobs to an agency, a virtual assistant, etc, then do what you need to do to achieve your goals.
If you are keen to do more stuff for yourself, you might consider learning new skills. Make sure you do y our research before parting with any money.
Check Your Finances
Finances are never fun to look at, but if you are being honest, when was the last time that you properly checked in with yours?
If a quarter of your custom disappeared, how long could you manage for?
How about half of it?
All of it?
It’s a scary prospect to have to think about, and none of us want to, and the chances are that knowing the answer will be an incredibly difficult one. However, it is important to be aware of this information.
Analyse Your Competition
First, stop calling them your competition. No one is competing with anyone; business is a marathon, not a race; you may have the same big goal; however, you are going to get there in different ways, at different speeds, with different skill sets. It’s also likely that you have different personal goals. Therefore, it’s time to start referring to them as your peers.
Nevertheless, keeping on eye on what they are doing could be a huge benefit, as it can help you to see things that you might have missed in your own business.
The two important questions to ask are:
What are they doing differently?
What could you learn from them?
What are you waiting for? Go work on your business right now, whilst you’re thinking about. Or, at least set aside some time in your diary to dedicate to it, because you really will thank yourself for keeping on tops of things.