It’s almost June already, I thought it would be a good time to touch base on a few small, impactful changes that can help your small business soar.
Personally, I LOVE LOVE LOVE making resolutions and setting goals. Especially the BHAG ones – the:
I get it, you could be thinking, “You know what Jenn, I don’t like goal setting or making resolutions…” then that’s ok – totally ok.
But if I told you the definition of a resolution was as simple as a decision to do something differently and bring about a positive change – would you still think you don’t make them or won’t make them?
If you’re in business, then somewhere along the line you are definitely making decisions to do something differently to bring about a positive change – otherwise you just wouldn’t still be in business!
That I know for a fact!
One of my favourite sayings is the following:
IF YOU DO WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS DONE, YOU’LL GET WHAT YOU’RE ALWAYS GOT
It’s hard to know who said it first (if you google it it’ll come up attributed to Tony Robbins) but I first heard it from my business mentor.
Hand on heart I can tell you, it’s fundamentally changed my life. Sounds stupid I know, but it has.
Words are pretty powerful like that.
So, if we’re going to change so we can get changes we want, here’s my top 5 suggestions on how to get some small, impactful changes into your business:
- MAKE MARKETING YOUR PRIORITY
It’s not a coincidence that this is Number 1. if there was one thing that was drummed into me in my mastermind and by my mentor time and time again, it’s this!
You have just got to make time for marketing. It can’t be a back-burner activity.
And by that, I mean prioritise it. Marketing our business can’t be a I’ll do it when “I finish this” or “get this off my plate” or “I have some free time”.
I know you wear a lot of hats, and this is another one. But if you make this your priority in going into the second half of 2020, I can tell you the results will astound you.
One of my members in my Marketing and Social Media group has embraced marketing. She’s been in business for almost 15 years, smashing it, kicking goals for sure, but last year saw her make marketing a priority and I just love her texts or phone calls or DMs she flicks to me saying, “I did this, and this happened” etc. She is smashing the marketing mindset out of the park!
There’s a reason why my Podcast is called Small Business Made Simple and not EASY. This whole “owning your own business” stuff isn’t easy. In fact sometimes it can be completely overwhelming! But to be honest, what we need to do in business IS simple – attract more customers or clients, convert more customers or clients and keep them coming back over and over again.
We can’t grow without customers, in fact we’re out of business completely without them!
See not easy – but simple, YES!
- LEARN TO MANAGE YOUR CASH FLOW MORE EFFECTIVELY
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any small business. Statistics tell us that 82% of small businesses fail due to poor cash flow management.
Cash flow isn’t intuitive. You simply cannot do it in your head and making sales doesn’t mean you are making money.
And business growth sucks up cash. The biggest times of growth can be hiding your worst times if you don’t manage your cash flow through the ebbs and flows of business. The faster you grow, the more capital you need to create to invest back into your business.
The current Covid-19 situation not withstanding, if you know you often have cash flow problems, seek out and track through where/why/how this is happening.
For example, is it a particular time of the year that always seems problematic? Or a specific reason why it’s occurring? Once you identify these, you can then start working on steps of how to fix it, and really focus your energy on that.
There are solutions for cash flow problems – you’ve just got to reach out or look at your numbers more often.
I’m no accountant or financial adviser, but if this is where you need the most help, please do reach out to me. I’ll put you in touch with just the person you need to solve this problem! Alternatively, you may already have a trusted “numbers” person in your circle, so touch base with your own accountant or finance expert.
Don’t let recurring cash flow issues continue along in 2020. The pandemic situation only compounds that as small business owners, we really need to be on top of our cash flow to give us the best chance of riding this situation out.
- LEARN HOW TO DELEGATE AND DO IT MORE OFTEN
Did you just squirm at reading that heading? Does the thought of delegating make your inner core shake?
If you’re a doer and a business owner, it’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to that dirty word – delegation.
I know this from personal experience, I’m one of them! Even with my kids and family I’m a “give it here, I’ll do it faster/better/right etc …” (Or at least I was, I’m reformed now – welllll slightly reformed anyway!)
But here’s the thing – delegating is a skill you CAN learn and it’s worth its weight in gold!
If you’re not a delegator, start with something small and delegate that. If you’re a solopreneur and have no one to delegate too but are still overwhelmed – investigate utilising a Virtual Assistant (VAs), or someone to do your social media posts, or hire a uni student to do data entry – give yourself permission to not do EVERYTHING.
If you’re not sure what to delegate answer these following questions:
- What are the 3 things you’re best at in business and if you didn’t do them, money would stop coming in the door?
- What are the activities that you do, as the business owner, that drives your business?
Whatever you answered above then you focus on DOING THEM, and start to look at delegating or outsourcing the other smaller stuff to help ease the load on you!
You are your businesses greatest asset after all!
- INCREASE YOUR DIGITAL PRESENCE
This is a timely reminder that as a small business owner, you need to be thinking of your digital platforms as a marketing platform and not a selling platform.
You’ll hear me say this a lot – till the cows come home virtually!
Your online presence is all about winning the digital interview.
No convinced online marketing is for you – here’s some tough love:
The only good thing coming from you not using your digital platforms well, is the profits to your competitors.
Ooft – yes, I know, that statement can sting. But no small business owner I know wants to give more money to their competition!
So strategically review your digital presence and what you can do to improve it.
I have a wealth of blog posts, podcasts, freebie e-books (Ultimate Beginners Guide to Facebook Ads, 108 Social Media Content Creation Ideas, 7 Sure Fire Ways to Accelerate Your Instagram) and my e-course (Facebook Ads For Beginners) on my website that can help you with this very thing – I would love for you to take a dive in there and see just how taking some time to focus on your digital presence can really make your business shine!
- TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR PRICING STRATEGY!
When was the last time you had a look at your prices or even put your prices up (or in retail – changed the formula you use to come to a RRP)?
Perhaps it’s time to raise your rates or prices to correspond with the value you bring to the table?
You might be thinking that raising your prices will alienate certain people from becoming a customer. That could be the case, but then they simply aren’t your target market.
The story of “they won’t pay that for it” is a story I hear all too often when chatting to small business owners, and it’s something I’ve certainly experienced it myself.
But when I’ve tried doing a price adjustment, guess what? The customers HAVE paid the new price. They absolutely have.
When I was in my retail business, they’ve paid that much for a fry pan. In my speaking business, they have paid to come along to events that were once free.
We humans, we’re funny people and awfully hard to put all into one basket. Yes, you may lose some customers, but we were probably going to lose those customers anyway because they clearly price driven and don’t value you and all that your business offers.
It’s time small business owners, it’s time – review those prices – and see what comes!
I truly hope before the rest of this year unfolds, that you’ll take the opportunity to look back on your business over the last 12 to 18 months, and review what worked, what didn’t, what goals you achieved and which ones were missed (and why) – and start setting some goals for the rest of this year for your business (and even for you!).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners. Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.
With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)
Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast