Be your own business coach
Want to fall in love with your business again?
Become your own business coach and get your company into better shape for when the pandemic ends.
Rather than dwell on the pandemic and how it’s affecting your business (which is difficult to do, we’re not suggesting otherwise), use the time that you’re unable to trade or the downtime in-between customers to get your business into a much better position for when the world remembers how we used to live our lives, as opposed to this perpetual state of simply existing.
There are some fabulous business coaches out there who could really make a difference to your business, but if you don’t have the means to afford one at this moment, there are some things you could do to make your business leaner, more efficient and better-equipped for the near future, when restrictions ease and businesses can trade (almost) freely again.
Learn a new skill that you currently outsource
If you have time on your hands, why not use it to save/earn you some money in the long run?
Maybe you pass every financial aspect of your business to an accountant and/or bookkeeper because you’ve never understood that element. There are plenty of free/funded courses that cover the basics of keeping your own books. Whilst we would never recommend doing away with your accountant altogether, you may be able to reduce their bill significantly if you have the time and skills to do some of the financial recording/auditing donkey work yourself. Of course, once things get back to normal in the world and your business becomes busier, you can go back to outsourcing this aspect again; however, you will retain this knowledge forever, and it’s always useful to better understand the figures related to your business.
It doesn’t have to be accountancy that you learn…what about graphic design? You could create some of your own content and save on designer’s fees by studying Canva or learning how to carry out basic design using the Adobe suite of programs.
Alternatively, take a course that covers website building/design. Whilst you may not intend to ever design sites for other people, it may help you keep your own site fresh and functional, rather than paying your website designer to action every little change.
Explore confidence courses, to help you better negotiate in the future or so that you can close a sale more effectively. You could enrol on a basic PR course, which will show you how you can get your own media attention.
Or why not spend some time studying the basics of SEO, so that any money you invest in the future on marketing, advertising and promotion brings you better results.
Outsource what you don’t like doing
On the flipside, money may not be that much of an issue for you at the moment, though you may feel bogged down by your business nonetheless.
There’s no law that says you must carry out every task your business creates; in fact, there’s a strong financial case for outsourcing the tasks you don’t like. Your time has a value—you would earn more money if you spent it servicing customers than sitting down one afternoon a week sorting your receipts/diary/marketing.
If you can afford to speculate to accumulate, outsource your menial tasks and focus the time you free up on gaining more customers and providing your offering to more people.
Become a dragon
Not literally, of course. We mean echo the investors on Dragons’ Den and look at your business through their eyes.
An investor would look objectively at how your business is run—at the cost of sales, at operations, the customer journey, scalability, market share, etc.
Are there areas within your business in which you could do better? Could you improve your customers’ experience? Is your product competitively priced? Are there practices you employ that don’t serve the bigger picture and which could be cut?
As well as giving such deadwood the chop, identify where growth will come from within your business and plan how you will achieve this.
Widen your network
A business coach would encourage any entrepreneur to widen their network, build new relationships and maximise ensuing opportunities.
The smaller you keep things, the less likely you will be able to move into significant revenue. If you don’t place any importance on gaining new connections or customers, you will eventually run out of sales as your close-knit band of clients eventually die off or opt to shop elsewhere.
Though networking is all online at the moment, don’t dismiss this as the reason not to do it; online networking can still be effective—if the above example of a shrinking client pool is your only alternative, what do you have to lose?
All of these things are quite achievable on your own; if you adopt each one, you will find your business in a much better position going forward.
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