As we close the chapter of 2017, we reflect on the learnings of this past year and start to look under the hood of our businesses. Working with all of our incredible users has allowed us to have a unique insight into all walks of small businesses. Our team came to a quick understanding that no matter the industry, whether you run a photography business, an accounting business, or even a clown business; these tidbits can apply to you.
Here is what we found:
- Master sales. No one else is going to be able to sell your service, talent, or product like you can. Learn sales techniques and find training sessions to further your knowledge and skill sets. Some of us do not have the natural flair for sales, and as frustrating as it is, we still must strive to perfect our pitch. Going through our own journey of brand identification, we’ve learned that the best sales pitch is the honest one. Lucky for you, that makes it much easier. When learning from training sessions and articles always keep in mind to sell with the edge of authenticity and your genuine story. It will take you much further, we promise.
- Stop comparing. Every business journey is going to be different, and comparing yourself to someone who has been in the game longer than you doesn’t do you any good. Instead of comparing their success to yours, find out what tactics they focused on for growth. Some like to master marketing and sales, others will tell you to put all of your energy into client experience. Take in all the information you can from your entrepreneur community. Your community will keep you from feeling isolated, from falling behind in the latest updates of your industry, and most importantly being in a group of like-minded individuals will remind you that you too offer great advice and other entrepreneurs look up to your business.
- Slow months are going to happen. For some of us there will be a $0.00 month. Don’t let that get to you, it happens to everyone. Everyone who is looked up to and called that all too familiar word a lot of us strive to attain, an “influencer,” has had a zero dollar month. We can bet they’ve had many zero dollar months along their business journey. The key is to know that slow months can be just as valuable as high revenue months if you can figure out why it happened. Was it because you were not following up? Did you raise your prices too high? Was it the time of year? Once you figure it out (and it is OK if you can’t), move on and remember to keep your attention on average sales and the big picture. The ebb and flow of your business can change and that’s not always a bad thing.
- Pricing. Realize there is a strategy in pricing. If you want to raise them do so with confidence and tact. Focus on bringing value to your services. Under promise, over deliver — throw in some bonus “gifts.” Note: When we say “under promise, over deliver,” we do not mean — under sell or under promote yourself. We mean tell your clients, with confidence and passion, what they are going to receive. Then give them more. Send them a handwritten thank you card, or a discount code for next time; find an inexpensive, non-time consuming “extra” to unexpectedly give to your clients.
- Tell yourself “my work is good enough.” Perhaps it’ll never be perfect (for some of you maybe it will!). Sometimes you will make mistakes, and that is OK. What is important to remember is that your business and it’s success thrives off the happiness of your clients. Be expressive and genuine. However, your business especially needs failures. You and your business cannot grow or learn if you are not failing from time to time.
- Our dream (and it should be yours too!) is to see small businessesRUN THE WORLD. Entrepreneurship is the community you want to thrive in. You chose to leave the already carved out path of a W9 job and make your own with your ideas and passions. Don’t listen to the noises of the world telling you running your own business is going to be a bust.
- Success can happen anywhere, in any market. The average household income of your area does not define your pricing. There are business owners in all industries that find success in low income, middle income, and high income areas. If people like you and your work, they will invest.
- We’ve all been there, wishing days had more hours. 24 hours isn’t always enough and sometimes 24 hours seems like far too long. Finding balance within your day to day routine IS possible. You can still hustle and get to bed by 9pm. Time management is a tough cookie to crack, but it is not impossible. There are entrepreneurs out there who have found their perfect formula: they eat healthy, rest easy, and spend time with family. However, it is imperative that you realize your perfect formula is different than the entrepreneur sitting next to you. The only thing that matters is what you do to feel balanced and healthy.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate. Outsourcing things you can’t do yourself, or the things you know someone else can do better (and for relatively cheap) is a smart business move. If you ARE a master at a trainable skill, well then train someone! Pay a person $10/hr so you can do the things that cost $100/hr.
- Tracking is absolutely, positively essential. Know your numbers down to each dollar. Not only is having a finish line important, following your progress closely is just as crucial. Know where your leads are coming from, know what packages they typically pick, figure out what is working and what isn’t within your business.
- Always reflect back to your WHY. Why are you doing this? Then every time you get paid, make a sale, or have a great client — CELEBRATE!