As a Small Business Owner, you have an unlimited number of options (which is both exciting and motivating!); however, when you combine all those choices with an equal number of distractions, your day will result in chaos, confusion and exhaustion. How do you ensure that you create effective, meaningful results every day? Read on for seven strategies to keep on track...
1) Be Clear on Your Core Offer
When someone asks you what you do, can you deliver an engaging statement that leaves them wanting to hear more? What makes you different? Be specific! Articulate how you’re exceptional and deliver great value so that your clients and prospects can quickly differentiate you from your competition.
2) Stand for Something and Share Your Strong Opinions
To be distinct, you need to be different. To be different, you must be yourself. So many business owners hesitate to voice what they really believe in or stand for. This is a tragedy for your business. If you market “plain vanilla”, you are not differentiating your offer and you create ambivalence in your clients. Be clear on what you believe and what you stand for and don't be afraid to share it! When clients connect with you on that level, and you give them great value, you will have them for life. When your clients don’t connect with your fundamental beliefs and values, you go home with a lot of headaches at the end of the day. I’d rather go home with enthralled clients and an abundance of energy, wouldn’t you?
Most small business owners somehow believe that they can do it all. … you can’t, so stop trying. The fantastic thing about building your own business is that you can build it your own way! If you're serious about creating a sustainable and competitive business, specialize and focus on what you do best. Outsource the rest to professionals who excel in those areas and you will always deliver exceptional results. And … you’ll be a lot happier.
4) Don’t Re-Invent the Wheel
Some areas of your business require your creative energy and distinct style. Those are the areas that ultimately create revenue for you. Let go of the desire to personalize routine aspects of your business ... it's busy work and not productive. Invest in templates and programs to support processes and system requirements. Focus on perfecting client-driven deliverables that create real value for your clients and have the greatest impact on your success!
5) Track Top Opportunities
Your prospects are bombarded with over 30,000 commercial messages every day (it was 3,000 messages per day in 1993). More than ever, it’s critical to implement a consistent and persistent follow-up system to stay top of mind with your best opportunities. If you’re not top of mind when they are ready to buy, you risk losing them to your competition … even if your company was at one time their preferred choice! Many client management software programs have tracking systems built into them. If yours doesn’t, then create a simple solution until you can invest in something more robust.
6) Appreciate Your Existing Client Advocates and Create New Ones
Your existing clients are worth much more to you than new, unknown prospects. Ensure that your clients have a WOW experience every single time they connect with you and your company. Your best clients can become your best sales force if you nurture them! Consistently remind them of how much you value their continued business and loyalty. Step up your service and experience offer. Give them reasons to tell people about you! If you’re doing an outstanding job, they will want to tell people about you. If you’re simply meeting expectations, they can get that pretty much anywhere. Your clients are giving you their business and, at a minimum, they deserve your appreciation and thanks.
7) Develop Processes, Policies and Procedures
For the most part, entrepreneurs avoid structure and process at all costs! If you’re like the majority, you started your own business because you value independence and freedom. Without effective processes, valuable time is spent spinning your wheels, searching for information, responding to crises, and essentially just trying to stay afloat. I'll encourage you to stop now and invest some quality time in analyzing your business. Develop clearly defined processes for repeated actions and, if necessary, outsource them. You will become more efficient, you will have more time and you will get to go after bigger and better opportunities. Just imagine the freedom you’ll have!
Start building a better business today. Choose one idea from the list above ... the one that will be easiest and quickest to implement and have the most impact on your success. Make that idea happen. Get it working well before you move onto the next idea. Once one new change is implemented consistently, then you're ready to start working on the next great idea.
Focus on one idea at a time. Repeated, small successes culminate in exceptional results over time.
Be true to yourself ... always,