Last week we celebrated Valentine’s Day with roses, chocolates, cards and love… well, I bought myself a bunch of daffodils and went out to lunch with my husband a day later – but I’m sure you’re a lot more romantic than me!
But Valentine’s Day is a great reminder of the joy we feel when we’re sharing the love – and isn’t it a nice idea that we don’t just share the love with our nearest and dearest – that we should also share the love with our business?
Let’s face it, for the majority of us, our business is a huge part of our lives – we live it, breath it, dream about it, can be totally consumed by it – and so we also need to love it and nurture it. Not just on Valentine’s Day – but all the time.
And so, here are 7 ways you can show a bit of love to your business.
Oh, I bang on about this all the time, don’t I? But that’s because it’s so important. A business plan is all about where your business is going right now. You need to know, so that you’ll know when you get there.
It’s like planning for a journey to somewhere you’ve not been to before. If you just get into the car and drive, you won’t know if you’re going the most effective, efficient way – and you might not recognise your destination when you think you’re there.
But if you use a Sat Nav or a map, you can plan your route. You can take a planned break along the way to have a coffee and a slice of cake. Yes, you’ll likely meet unplanned roadworks or diversions, but you can rework your plan quickly and easily if those circumstances arise.
A business plan does the same for your business – keeping you on track to meet your goals.
Read my blog ‘How to plan for your business if planning isn’t your thing’ to find out more about planning.
Review your Plan
You will need to take time to review your plan often. As I have just said, if you meet a stumbling block on your road to your goal, you will need to review your actions promptly to get around it.
But also, there may be stumbling blocks that aren’t obvious in the day to day of business life. Taking time out to go through your plan step by step may highlight these and then you’ll be in a great position to make any changes before too much damage is done.
Read my blog ‘Six questions to ask when you’re reviewing your business plan’ to find out more about review and evaluation.
Being in business can sometimes feel quite lonely, especially if something is keeping you stuck. Perhaps there’s an issue that you didn’t perceive would come up and you just can’t get your head around it.
It’s great business practice to take advice.
There are people who have been where you are, had similar issues who can help. Other business owners who’ve had to overcome a similar problem. There are also trained professionals who can offer advice around a business situation.
You’re in business because you’re amazing at what you do – but it doesn’t mean that you are an expert in the business of being in business – that’s a whole new area of learning! So take advice from those in the know.
Track your Numbers
This one’s like Marmite! Some people love to track their numbers and others absolutely hate it.
Simple tracking at the very least is so advisable – you need to know where you are at any given time in your business.
Which numbers should you track?
Financials are a definite! It may be your accountant’s job to process your numbers for you but it’s absolutely your job to understand them!
What are your profits – do you have a profit target and are you meeting it?
How healthy is your cash flow? What are you spending your money on in business? Is all expenditure necessary. Regular reviews of these numbers will really keep you on track.
Sales – what are your numbers for each service you offer? What sells well? What doesn’t? Do you have an email list? What percentage of subscribers convert to sales? Who visit’s your website? When? Where do they come from? Ask clients where they found you – that way, you can do more marketing in those places – doing more of what works best.
Google is a great business asset – I’m sure you’re very aware. Whatever you come up against in business you will likely find an answer by researching. This is very similar to the advice about taking advice – but this is about taking the responsibility for yourself, if you like, it’s about starting the process of finding out for yourself. Knowledge is power and the more we learn, the more we expand as business owners and take on our own business super power.
Make sure you stand out.
If you’re working in an industry that’s becoming saturated, you need to figure out why clients would want to choose you to work with – what sets you apart from the rest?
This is a really good exercise to do anyway – it makes you dig deep to work out who you are against who you want to be and if there are any gaps you can do something about it.
Do a mini SWOT Analysis on yourself (identify your strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats). This will give you a really clear insight into what you can offer over and above others in your industry.
Also never forget that being you is unique in itself. You will naturally be different and do things in different ways but it might be a good idea to talk to past clients to find out which of your qualities they loved and what you did specifically that helped them get results when they worked with you.
Enjoy and Have Fun!
The last thing we want to create is an unmanageable beast. Our business is our livelihood where we spend so much of our valuable time – sometimes to the detriment of other things. So, we should be enjoying the whole process.
We shouldn’t be having the Sunday night blues, we should be excited about what we’re achieving and how we’re doing. If we’re not, something is wrong, and it needs to be looked at – See steps 1-6!
Enjoy your business – we’re only here once apparently and this is what we’ve chosen for ourselves – so go out there and smash it with a smile 😆
Do let me know your thoughts, how you share your love with your business and the results you get from doing so in the comments section of the blog.