As business owners, we should always plan ahead. It’s imperative that we’re always looking to improve our businesses and grow them. So let’s take a look at how we can get ahead in 2023 and be the one soaring at the end of the year.
Each year is filled with new challenges, whether you’re in the start-up phase, growth phase or expanding phase, there’s always challenges. When those usual challenges combine with external challenges like a down turning or unpredictable economy, then it becomes imperative that you prepare now and get in front of it.
If there’s anything the last few years have taught us, it’s to be prepared for anything.
That’s where planning and realignment comes in.
Here’s my top 4 tips to help guide you through 2023 and improve your business for the long haul.
1. Work smarter not harder.
We hear this saying all the time, but what does it really mean? Ideally, it could just be shorted to “get organised”. Working smarter, not harder refers to making the most of the time you have to work ON your business. All business owners should be working ON their business as well as IN it. But it’s easy to get lost in the day to day activities that keep your business afloat that we forget to plan ahead or look to do things easier.
One easy way you can work smarter is to organise your processes and streamline them. Are there tasks you are doing on a daily basis over and over again that you can streamline, automate or outsource? Do you reply to the same types of emails each day sending the same information back and forth? Maybe you can automate those emails or set up a template that you can simply copy and paste to save typing.
Since I started using Dubsado for my project management, I’ve saved time collecting information from clients and also saved time arranging appointments. I have it automated so potential customers can book a time convenient to me (and them) and automated emails reply with a questionnaire they complete prior to the chat. This means I have all the information I need in front of me before we chat. It also keeps the information in one place instead of several emails that can get lost. It’s been a massive time saver for my web design projects.
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Another area I streamlined this year was my website management clients. Each month, client sites are updated, security checked, performance checked and backed up with a report sent each month to keep my customers up to date on their sites. The more sites I began to manage, the harder it was for me to do it all. So I hired a VA who automated my processes and reports, which are now automatically sent on the 1st of each month. Of the whole process, the reports were taking the most time, but they were the least important in the big picture. The most important was to ensure my client’s sites were up to date and operational – not the summary report. This has saved so much time and allowed me to focus on what I do best.
In short, look at what you can automate, streamline or save time doing because your paid time is precious and every hour you spend on unnecessary tasks is taking you away from that – and costing you money.
2. Focus on your customer journey and existing audience
Competition increases every year, there’s always someone else popping up in our field ready to jump in our pond. But, the longer you’ve been in the pond, the more trust and authority you’ve built up. Use that to retarget your customers or introduce a new offering that might interest them. If you’re not sure what your audience are looking for, ask them? Run a poll or email them and ask what they’re struggling with.
What problem can you solve?
A good way to retarget your own audience is with funnels and automations. Build on your existing email list with a new offering and create a funnel to draw them into it. Explain how it can benefit them or help them through a pickle they might be facing.
For me, I’m looking to increase my online offerings with a new course (or two if time permits) and workshops to pivot more into a 1:many offering. What this does is helps your clients get the same outcome, but for a little less investment and maybe a little more DIY. In a market where some business owners may need to watch their pennies, as service orientated business owners, we need to help them still achieve their own goals but make it easier to attain. What I mean is, a 1:many offering can be priced at a lower price bracket than a 1:1 service. You’re still making your income, but your attracting more people at a lower price bracket. Of course, the service won’t be as tailored or personalised, but for customers looking to spend less, this is an attractive option.
3. How’s your website looking?
You knew this one was coming didn’t you! As a web designer, I could bang on all day about how important it is to have a converting website to improve your business sales. There’s a lot of factors that go into making a website a good website – design, functionality, user experience, call to actions, easy to follow path etc. A website that is stuck in 2015 isn’t going to cut it in 2023. Time flies and technology flies even quicker.
Advice I give to clients is to take a look at your website from a customer point of view. You know your website back to front so you know where to find everything, but is it easy for your customer to navigate?
Design plays a big part in attracting, retaining and converting customers.
Did you know, 38% of visitors won’t engage with a website if they find the layout or content unattractive. And, when given 15 minutes to consume content, 2 out of 3 people said they would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain. Yikes!
So how’s your website looking? Is it up to par with your competition or have they passed you by?
Do you look at your website and think, gee, it’s a bit drab or it’s too content heavy or not content heavy enough? All these factors could be costing you customers and profits! When people are being more cautious with their $$ ,it won’t take much to turn them away… so entice them in!
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4. Try videos
Videos are great for drumming up interaction with your audience. I know, they’re daunting and a little more time consuming than a quick post. But, they’re getting more popular by the day. And Google and Facebook LOVE them! And, they’re also converting machines!
Aside from social media though, did you know you can add videos to your website as well. Do you have a product service that’s a bit hard to explain in words? Why not showcase or explain it in a short video. Having a video on your product will increase sales because people can see it in action. The thing to remember when selling online, people can’t see, touch, hold, feel, smell or use your product, so they are trusting you to answer those questions for them. A video can do that in about 1 – 2 minutes – if that! If you need a hand uploading your videos to your website, I know someone who can help 😉
As I mentioned, the best thing to do in uncertain times is to work to improve your business and fool-proof it. People will always be looking to spend money, they will just be more careful about how and where they spend it. So make sure it’s with you, because you can solve their problem! 🙂