Are you looking for easy ways to grow your small business? Most entrepreneurs that I speak with are. While there are no shortcuts to success, there are some steps you can take that will make your rise to the top of your field quicker and easier.
Easy Ways To Grow Your Small Business
In today’s business world, who you know remains as important as what you know — in some cases the “who” is almost more important than the “what.” How and where can you get to know more people with whom you can partner to help both of your businesses thrive? By attending networking events. The importance of networking events include:
The people you meet may become customers
You may find referral partners
You may find great employees
You may find someone who can provide the goods and services your business needs
You will learn more about the industry in general and your industry in specific
What kinds of networking groups should you seek out?
Those in your specific industry
General networking events
General business groups
Industry specific entrepreneur associations or trade groups
Non-business groups — your church group, an organization for which you volunteer.
How can you make the most of your time at these events?
Know your business story
Practice your elevator pitch
Become involved. You’ll get out of a group what you put into it
Shake hands. Introduce yourself to others.
Listen. Listen. Listen.
Do you find value in networking events? How often do you attend?
Are you a “yes” man or woman? When you’re an entrepreneur it’s easy to say “yes” to every opportunity, especially when you’re just starting out. If you’re an over-committed entrepreneur, you need to find a way out so you can begin working smarter, not harder and so you can focus and deliver the highest quality to your clients and prospects.
Are You An Over-Committed Entrepreneur?
How can you get out of your over-commitment? Here are a few ways.
Don’t shun the responsibility of having “brought it on yourself.” You need to look at what you’re saying yes to, why you’re saying it and how you can have better processes in place to know when to say yes, when to say no and how to complete the tasks you’ve committed to. No one can force you to do more than you have time for — it’s your over-commitment. Own it.
Do you have a fear of missing out? Generally called FOMO, it is something that faces everyone — entrepreneurs are not the only ones who want to be involved in everything and worry if they say no they will miss out. The fear of missing out is a powerful “motivator” for many entrepreneurs to become over-committed.
You don’t look closely enough at your calendar. In order to not be over-committed, you need to know what time you have available in your schedule. Block out time for necessary tasks, block out time for personal and family time, block out time for new opportunities.
Know what your goals are and what the most important tasks to complete first. Complete them. Move onto the next task. If you don’t know what the important things are you may let items fall through the cracks. For many, the important, may be the most time-consuming and require the most effort, but you need to complete them to move forward. Block time in your calendar to complete these items.
Practice self care. Even though you may be thinking, “I’ve over-committed. I don’t have time to take time off or get a good night’s sleep.” I am here to tell you, you don’t have the luxury of not practicing self care. If you get ill, who will run the show? If you’re a solopreneur, all tasks fall to you. You need to be healthy enough to perform them.
What do you find yourself over-committing to? Do those items fall into the same categories? Are you clear enough on your goals and business vision to know what you should be saying no to? Take a step back. Regain your perspective. Start anew.
Have you ever wondered how to build your email list? Have you ever wondered, why do I even need an email list? If these questions have come up, and chances are if you are anywhere online you will have heard the conversations around “list building” and you may wonder how it will help your business grow.
If you have a website and if you are driving traffic to your website and if you are not capturing the emails of those who visit your site, you are missing out on potential new clients. Visitors to your site could potentially convert into customers and one way to do that is to get them on your list. To do that, you need to offer an “ethical bribe” to get them to give up their email address and take the chance on being on your mailing list.
Offer great value. Rather than having your sign up box say, “Sign up to receive my weekly XYZ Newsletter” make it a value-add. Tell them why they should sign up. Offer great value. For example, “Do you want to save time and make more money? Our weekly tips offer actionable ways to do just that. Sign up to get started.” You’ve offered value and incentive.
Be clear. Don’t offer “time and money saving tips” but talk about “50 ways to jump start your business idea.” The ethical bribe and the sign up information should be cohesive.
Offer a discount to subscribers. If you have a course or a webinar or an inperson seminar on the horizon, offer “money off” to those who sign up for your newsletter. Money savings is a great incentive.
Include a call to action. Once your email or auto responder message reaches the new subscriber, have a call to action (other than the “confirm you wanted this message”). They have just signed up. They are invested in what you have to offer. Strike while the iron is hot.
Offer a money back guarantee. If you’re selling a product or service, offer a bullet proof money back guarantee. This gives the subscriber and individual paying for your course a way to feel good about the purchase and it also pushes you to provide the highest quality goods or services.
Do you have a way to capture emails? Once you have them on your list are you offering newsletter content that is of value? If you’re struggling with this, reach out to us, we can help!
Your company is on an upward trajectory. Congratulations! Now that you’re growing you may be faced with many choices. Should you hire? Should you move to a different location? Do you need to invest in new equipment? All of these are certainly signs of growth and can lead to growing pains, but you need to look at your budget and make any investments and moves wisely.
Employees. Should you hire employees or employ contractors? Remember, with employees come employee taxes and other tax ramifications. There are benefits and drawbacks and challenges to either employees or contractors. Talk with your accountant or accounting department to fully understand the cost of an employee to a business — remember, it’s more than just the hourly rate. Then decide which fits best in your corporate culture. Do you have space for employees? If you had to move to a larger space and then had to hire employees, you will be looking at a big hit on your budget, can you truly afford and sustain those costs? Are you better-served to hire a professional who can perform the tasks you need but who will be an independent contractor who will work at his or her own site and use his or her own equipment. Oh yes, don’t forget, if you hire you need to invest in equipment for the employee.
Do you need to rent an office space or will your current space suffice? If you’re continually meeting potential clients at a local coffee shop and want to amp up your image, you may need, or want, to invest in renting office space. If you meet customers virtually, your home office may remain the ideal (and most cost effective) option.
Does your business need more equipment, software or upgraded technology? If you’re in a growth spurt that appears to be one that will continue, you may need to upgrade and update equipment. Again, this is a conversation to have with your accounting professional who can help you make that decision. It doesn’t make sense, though to operate your business on outdated and continually breaking down technology or software that just doesn’t meet your needs.
Congratulations on your growth! Do it wisely and with forethought and may the trend continue! If you’re an entrepreneur in the midst of a growth spurt but are struggling to get to that next level, contact us and inquire about how coaching might help push you past your barriers.