5 Ways to Boost Your Business
It’s common for business owners to go through phases of feeling stuck, or in a rut. Maybe it’s the weather (I think January broke a record for the number of consecutive days without sun in Toronto) or the political climate, but we’ve been hearing this as a recurring theme among our members this winter. So if you’ve been feeling this way too, know that you are not alone.
Also know that you can turn things around with a few mental shifts and new habits. We decided to pull together our first Mamas & Co. webinar to share valuable strategies to help our members get themselves out of a rut.
Here's a summary of the 5 ways we shared to help give your business a boost, starting right now.
Know How You Want to Grow: Create a Sales Plan
This is something our co-leader Lianne talks about a lot. And with good reason! That old adage “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” rings true. Creating a sales plan means that you have sales targets set each month and overall for the year. But actually using the plan is where success comes from. You have to check in on your actual performance on a regular basis to understand where your money’s coming from and how you’re doing compared to your targets.
Set and Track 90 Day Goals
90 days, 3 months, 1 quarter… no matter how you slice it, setting specific goals for 90 day periods is key to staying focused and seeing measurable results. These goals should help you achieve your longer-term vision, be tied to something tangible, and have a number associated with them. For example, your vision might be to quit your day job, or have enough money to go on a family vacation next year. Your goal then, might be to increase sales by $x over the next 90 days. You can then plan projects and tasks that will get you to that goal. Again, weekly and monthly monitoring is key to success here.
Expand Your Network
When we asked people where they can look for leads, most responded with past and present clients, collaborators, former colleagues, etc. Don’t forget about your personal network too! Keep your friends and family up to date with what you’re working on - you never know who they have in their network even if they can’t directly give you leads or more business. Community and networking groups (like Mamas & Co.) can be a great way to meet like-minded business owners outside your normal circles. Expanding your network by focusing on well-connected and respected people (or “hubs” as described by marketing coach Tad Hargrave) can result in more quality leads than if you’re networking for individual customers or clients all the time.
Set aside time every day (or least a few days a week) for activities that actually generate income. This doesn’t include playing around with Canva making amazing social media images or editing your blog for the 5th time (just get it up already!). These are activities like sending follow-up emails to prospective clients, chasing down payments owing, booking public speaking gigs to sell your services, etc. Setting time aside for these activities on a regular basis is key to actually booking those clients and getting paid.
Build and Leverage Relationships
The easiest way to build a relationship is to focus on others. Ask: “How can I help you?” By shifting your mindset not from the immediate opportunity for a sale, but for a long-term relationship with a collaborator or client, you stand to gain much more in the long-term. It is easier to keep helping existing customers than to reach and build trust with new ones, so don’t forget about the relationships you’ve worked so hard to build. Look at what you can offer your existing clients: How can you make their lives easier with a new offering? How can you stay top-of-mind for them when they need your service or product?
Adding these 5 focus areas into your weekly schedule will help you stay on track and focused on your business in a meaningful way. It can be challenging to fit it all in or remember it all, so we encourage you to find a scheduling system that works for you - whether it’s an online planning tool, calendar, or paper planner. Use it to record and monitor your goals, projects, and activities, and use it consistently. Success will follow.
If you liked this post and are a new business owner, we think you’ll love our next conference! We would like to invite you to our full-day New Business Bootcamp. We’ll be covering important information on legal and finances plus strategies for sales, marketing, and social media. If you’re in your first few years of business, we’d love to see you there!