I started my small business in 2006, and it hasn’t always been easy to focus on the business rather than working in the business. Client work always comes first, but through deliberate effort, I’ve managed to re-brand and grow my business significantly during the past 6+ years. And I want the same for you. Here are 3 ways you can focus on your business and move it forward this year:
1. Get to know your customer
Where are they?
Where are your customers? Take some time to find out which social media platforms they are using, the blogs they are reading, how they found out about you in the first place, and focus your energy there. If your audience is on social media, connect with the influencers there and let them help you. You can post to your blog and social media accounts day and night, but if your customer base responds best to email marketing, that’s where you need to concentrate resources. Know where they are. Be where they are. (Even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone).
What are they saying?
Are your customers reviewing you on Yelp or another referral-based network? What are they saying? Keep up with how your customers see you and address their issues and appeal to what they like. These are the people talking about you, so you want to be sure they’re pleased with your company. If they’re not talking about you there, get them talking.
2. Update your look
Is your visual brand up to date?
Is your brand “look” working for you? Yes, your brand is much more than just your logo–you want to be visually appealing as well as have a clearly defined brand message and voice. Know what message you want to send, what’s going to appeal to your customers, and make it consistent across the board. If it needs to be freshened up, freshen it up.
How’s your website working for you?
Your website is out there making first impressions. If you’ve been online lately, you know things are changing. How’d you get online? Did you use your smartphone or tablet? Does your website play nice with these smaller screens? Is it cluttered with unnecessary or outdated information? Has your website kept up with your brand? Auditing your website for content and usability and making consistent, timely changes, can make a big difference on the impression your small business has on visitors and what it says about your brand before they do business with you.
3. Take time
Are you taking time for you?
You need to designate time specifically for your business. Put one of your business goals on each week’s must-do list. Then, do it. Maybe you’ve heard of this strategy where you list the three most important things you need to accomplish the next day before you leave work. When morning comes, do those things before you even open your email. If that idea makes you sweat, fine, but prioritizing your business, at least once a week, will help you better focus on your own growth.
I love my small business, and I know you love yours too. So no matter how hectic work gets, make time to take time to move your small business forward in 2013.