Everyone wants their business to grow. They want to see progress in revenue, reach, impact, and more. To an extent, that’s the whole point of business! That makes it both frustrating and discouraging when—no matter the amount of hard work and effort you pour in your business refuses to scale. In the case of lackluster business growth, you might begin to doubt your product, services, or work ethic when you really might just need to tidy up your systems!
Have you ever heard the term “messy systems don’t scale”? If you find yourself and your business in a place of constant work, dedication, and planning, but no forward progress, then it could be time to look into your business’s operation for solutions. A solid foundation is critical to business growth. It’s important you check your systems to be sure things are in proper order before you, A) allow the discouragement to swallow you, or B) quit on all your hard work.
Here are 3 foundational aspects of business you should check on to be sure they’re set up well and operating properly for your business to succeed. If you find they’re not well organized or running smoothly, then you might have a messy system and that could be what’s holding you back from reaching your fullest potential.
3 Things That Could Be Keeping Your Business From Scaling
This might be one of the most complicated (and also boring) aspects of business, unless you’re an experienced accountant who enjoys paperwork and comparing numbers.That being said, making sure that all of your accounting is in order is key to a successful business. Without keeping track of the money coming in and and the money going out, you have no way to determine what’s successful, what needs tweaking, and what’s simply not working. You don’t know where to invest or where to stop investing. You don’t know what you can afford and what’s losing you money.
If you have little to no idea what’s up in the accounting department, then it’s best to get some systems in place as soon as possible. That could mean hiring an accountant or getting better at balancing your own checkbook. Be sure you know all of your expenses as well as all of your revenue!
2. Targeted Marketing
It’s important that you truly know who your business is, what your business is offering, and who your business is offering things to. Without these things, it’s harder for you to sell products and services, but it’s also harder for your desired audience to find (and therefore buy from) you! While you most likely know what you do, you might find that you don’t know what problem you solve for your customers or clients. While you most likely know some people who purchase from you, you might not know who your target market is. Take some time to truly get to know your business and your client base in order to develop a better plan for moving forward.
3. Other Systems and Procedures
Every business has its own unique way of operation. While it’s great to be able to find procedures that work for you and your business best, it’s important that these procedures actually do work for you and don’t create work for you. Look into the way your business operates as a whole and also all the nitty gritty pipelines and flows. Keep an eye out for outdated systems, procedures that take longer than necessary, or any way you can save time and money without compromising your business success or value. Do you need to hire someone to help projects not fall through the cracks? Do you need to get rid of standard steps just clogging up business flow? Do you need to update your programs or technology? Efficiency is critical.
If you need help identifying aspects of your business that are operating improperly and holding back your business growth, then schedule a call with me and get a clear perspective of your business and operations.
Have a great week!
In order to build a profitable business, something important you need is a go-to marketing strategy for getting your new products/services in front of ideal customers.
If you create this in an organized fashion, you can rely on it for years to come. Of course, sometimes tweaking may be necessary as you gain experience or the market changes, but having the basic outline will save you a lot of time and money versus starting at square one for every new project.
Other benefits of having a go-to marketing strategy include:
- Shortening the time it takes to get new products/services on the market
- Helping to minimize cost and work efficiently
- Improving company growth and development
- Boosting your confidence and assuredly
How can you build an effective marketing strategy, that can be used over and over again? Although it will vary depending on exactly what it is your business offers, these are the main points to cover when designing a customized strategy:
#1 Define Your Target Market
Get very clear on WHO you are marketing to. Who are your dream/ideal clients? Who needs what you have? Who do you want to notice and pay attention to what you’re marketing? Consider age, demographic factors, location, types of careers (if applicable), income brackets, etc. The more specific and detailed the better.
#2 Set Your Value Proposition
How valuable is your service or product to customers? What advantages does yours have over your competitors? Is your product meeting a need or solving a problem for your clients? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to find the right audience for your product as well as set a price they will be willing to pay. You can also decide whether you want to use a subscription to lower cost, or another pricing strategy such as value-based pricing or skimming.
#3 Brand Positioning
How will you place your brand in front of different audiences? If you have multiple target markets, you may need to come up with a separate plan for each of them. If your product will appeal to multiple age groups, for example, you are going to need to market them differently to each one. Will you have promotions? Discount opportunities? That all falls under this step.
#4 Choose Sales Channels
Determine the most effective places to promote and sell your product. This will depend largely on WHERE your target market is shopping and/or spending most of their time. Are they out shopping at physical locations? Or do they spend most of their day online? Do they shop at malls/outlet stores or places like Walmart and Costco? Are they on Facebook or Instagram? Twitter? Pinterest? Other social media channels? Do they take recommendations from influencers?
Whatever you choose, be sure to create a CONSISTENT experience for your potential customers. Whether they purchase your service or product online, in a store, from a booth or at a trade show, your brand and message should remain clear and consistent.
#5 Measure And Adjust
Have clear methods and parameters for measuring success. As time goes on, you will likely need to alter your strategy to increase profit and create maximum impact. Be flexible and conscious. Recognize what isn’t working and be willing to shift it as needed. Set high but achievable goals.
By taking the time to create a go-to marketing strategy, you will be giving your business a better chance at making it in the long run.
Have a great week!
Learn to Love the P Word…Planning
Are you a naturally organized person? Did you get that special organizing gene at birth? Lucky you!
Keeping all the aspects of a coaching business organized and running smoothly is difficult at best, especially if you don’t have a system or a plan of what to do when. Even if you have a big picture plan of where you want to be in five years, you need a daily plan to get those admin tasks completed along with your marketing tasks and your content creation. It’s enough to make your head spin, right?
Daily Task List
Creating a plan of action or a daily task list will keep you organized and focused from the moment you sit down to do work. You know exactly what has to get done, without question. You’ll know when you need to write blog posts, when to send emails, when to do your billing, and when to schedule your client calls. I’ve been using Todoist for a little while now and I find it really helpful and easy to work with.
Make Yourself a Client
As much as you want a full coaching calendar, leave some space for yourself to complete your administrative tasks. Running your business is equally as important as caring for your clients, so make your business tasks a priority, including your content creation. Blocking time is a popular way to schedule longer tasks, such as blog post writing or email marketing. Set aside an hour or two, write up those posts or emails, get them scheduled, then move on to the next list item. If you block enough time, eventually you’ll start having two or three (or more!) pieces of content ready to publish at any given time, which will relieve some stress.
Eliminate Writer’s Block with a Content Creation Plan
No more sitting at the computer to write a blog post only to stare at a blank screen with no thoughts. Schedule some time on your calendar to plan out your writing, video recording, or other content creation; not only when you’ll get this done but what topics you’ll discuss. Create an editorial calendar and make note of important topics or themes. Is there a big event coming up in your city or in your niche? Write about it. Interview panelists and speakers. Become an affiliate for those companies sponsoring the event. Are you planning the launch of your signature product? Schedule special content around the launch date.
Outsource Your Content Creation
If creating content isn’t your strength, hire a copywriter to do it for you. But keep in mind, you still need to have a plan or an editorial calendar. This way your writer has firm deadlines to meet and you will have a stress-free outsourcing experience.
Want Some More Help with Planning?
If you’re tired of “flying by the seat of your pants” when it comes to creating a plan, click here to schedule a call with me. It’s all about working smarter, not harder when it comes to creating content and good habits.
Is your business still a one-man band? Here’s how to know when you’re ready to hire some help.
It’s fun running a business on your own, but it does have some limits. If your long-term goal is to grow big then eventually you will need to hire someone. But when is the right time? Becoming responsible for someone else’s income can feel daunting. Hiring that first contractor can feel like a huge leap and many small business owners wait too long before making the jump.
These are a few signs you may be ready to hire some help, whether it be contractors for specific tasks (VA related things, a web designer, SEO help) or actual hourly/salaried employees.
- You’re turning away potential clients. Do you have new clients knocking at your door but not enough time to serve them all? Are you constantly running out of stock on popular items? This is a big sign that you are ready to expand. You could hire an assistant to take on simple but time-consuming tasks so you can spend more time with your customers. Or maybe you need some sales people to help you sell your product/services. Figure out where the bottleneck is happening and consider hiring help to increase your client/customer capacity.
- Your current clients are complaining. Are you getting emails from clients complaining things are moving too slowly? Or that the work quality is suffering? This is a sign that you have spread yourself too thin, and hiring someone to help could really make a difference.
- You don’t have time for invoicing and paperwork. Constantly behind on paperwork? Delegating this to someone else will not only take the stress off you but will help keep you in your passion zone.
- You’re feeling a major learning curve. It could be building your website, writing content, analyzing SEO, marketing, advertising or anything that you simply don’t have the skill set for. You could spend hours upon hours figuring it out on your own OR you could pay someone who already knows how to do it. Do you want to spend your time or your money? If you don’t have a certain skill that is vital to growing your business, it could save you a lot of time and even money to hire someone else to do it for you.
- You are multitasking frequently and/or staying up until 2AM. Are you answering emails while on the phone with clients? Are you staying up until 2AMmore than a couple times a month? Hiring help could greatly improve your quality of life and help your business run more efficiently so you can be 100% present with whatever task you’re working on.
Craig Murphy who runs specialist web design company ALT Agency in Birmingham
believes that when looking to hire a web designer you should not jump into signing any contracts with them. Whilst it’s very exciting working with a new web design agency, it’s important to define key items such as:
- Will they be charging by the hour or per project?
- How will your project be managed?
- In what format do you need to deliver your brief to them?
- How quickly can the agency respond to you submitting tasks?
It’s important to know these things before jumping into bed with any web design agency as it will save you headaches and a lot of time in the long run.
Do you resonate with 2 or more of these points? It might be time to bring on your first contractor or employee.