Founder of The Business Womans Network Mandie Holgate shares her top 5 tips to make 2018 better than 2017…ignore them at your peril!
“Running your own business I don’t think I’ve ever seen a year that’s not been described as “really tough” or “unprecedently difficult environment for business” From Brexit to interest rates, wars to weather, there’s always a reason why this year is the toughest year yet, however why and how is it that some seem to thrive regardless? Creating new products and services and more importantly selling them in their thousands to adoring customers while other struggle to make ends meet and seem to fight for every sale?
What can you do to ensure the same old story doesn’t impact on your success in 2018?
Fail to learn.
Don’t berate yourself if this year saw you make the same mistakes or very similar ones to the previous year. Consider what the reasons are for this? Seriously, take a moment to look at the things that impacted on your success this year that was the same or similar to the year before. What are you scared of? What is becoming glaringly obvious as an obstacle to success. (You don’t have to tackle it (yet!) but you do need to know what it is!
Don’t go it alone.
It is a sad fact that November and December are my busiest times of the year because people struggle on through the Autumn thinking “I can do it,” and the very real realisation hits in at the end of the year that you are going to face another year of disappointment unless you do something different and fast! It’s sad because I know that if people had come to see me for coaching earlier in the year we could have dealt with the obstacles, increased sales and most importantly helped them have the business they wanted. Don’t go it alone, get some professional help. Why do we always assume we have to be master of everything in our businesses? Which leads me on to top tip Number 3.
Learn new things.
Learning new things can be scary, especially if we aren’t keen on technology, or speaking to crowds of people. Therefore, accept that to achieve more and not let 2018 suck as bad as this year, you are going to have to go for it and learn the things you hate, that or go for Top Tip Number 4.
Getting help is not a sign of weakness it’s a sign of sense. I asked the Insiders the other day if they could work just 3 quarters of their working week and still maintain their clients, productivity and current profit margin. The point being that if they couldn’t how are you going to grow your business? Learn what you can outsource to others so that you can get on with the money making jobs. (Which leads me nicely into…)
Is it a money maker?
I’ve lost track of the clients in 2017 that I’ve worked with who have discovered within the first half hour of our session that their business model is destined to fail. When you take the time to do the maths and actually work out your earning potential, as your coach I’m public enemy number one when I showcase the limitations that a clients current pricing structure, business model and strategy are creating. The realisation that no matter how hard you work it’s going to fail to produce the results you would really like is disheartening, however, I’d rather get a client to know the numbers and create a powerful business model charging the right prices before we start filling your diary with tons of clients. (There’s nothing more soul destroying to discover you are working so hard and won’t get the riches of business success!) If you have failed to make a great profit this year and you’ve worked so hard you feel you need a holiday it could be time to look at what you charge, who you work with, what hours you work and how your business model is (or is not!) working for you. If not you could be agreeing to another over worked year with little benefits for all your hard work, take half a day of 2017 to work out what really needs to change, and ask yourself “What can I expect to get more of in 2018 if I don’t take action right now?”
Don’t be a busy overworked fool, make the changes now to see the benefits in 2018.
Want more help? Check out Mandie’s courses on increasing sales, writing your first book, rocketing confidence, powerful elevator pitches and more. Ranging in price from £7 to £24! Perfect present for every busy business woman!
You see an effective marketing strategy WILL deliver leads, and if you are getting quality leads then guess what that leads to?
You guessed it, more customers.
But I do appreciate it can be tricky to factor in time to market your wares as well as to make and deliver them. So what can you do to make life easier?
Before you even think of aiming to make marketing easier to manage. Do you know what works?
If you don’t know this STOP right now. You see, you need to know what is working to deliver great leads and enquiries so that you can replicate that. So first of all concentrate on researching and analysing what works.
WHEN you know this information you can then use tools such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule your social media. Taking into account when your ideal clients have the time to read your offerings, comment, reply, etc.
Next look at the real world marketing that works for you. Picking up the phone, public speaking networking, meetings, etc. What have the biggest impact and concentrate on making them deliver MORE to you.
For instance networking can only be effective if you dedicate to it. Know what you want beforehand. Attend regularly to build relationships so that people want to do business with you and most importantly follow up after EVERY event.
This approach needs to be applied to all areas of marketing that you have and constantly consider this…
What are you doing so that people are automatically keeping up to date with you and your business?
How can other people support your marketing strategy?
Affiliations, discounts, special offers for loyalty etc.
A VA could be a great resource for you too. What areas of your marketing could you outsource to someone else to do?
At The BWN we have a number of great VA’s that attend our events that would happily produce your newsletter, look after your social media and pick up the phone for you. (You can check them out here – https://old.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/the-business-women-of-the-bwn/)
Unless you are a larger company with a lovely thing called a “marketing budget” this is going to come down to you and if you don’t find a way to create a marketing strategy that fits into your busy life you will always have dips and troughs of customers. Now wouldn’t it be nicer to just have that steady flow of new customers heading to your door?
(This blog came out of a number of conversations with business women this week and has sparked this blog so thank you for sharing. And it has also sparked the next BWN Business Clinic with me – to learn more.)