As I explore strategies for building my consulting business, I have learned there are at least a twelve aspects to being an owner/operator of a business. To succeed you must have strategies in place for each one.
Business Aspects for Review
The aspects I am reviewing about my own business in an effort to make an educated step for expansion and growth include:
- Sales and Marketing Strategies.
- Systems Strategies.
- Financial Management including Increasing Profit Strategies.
- People Strategies including being a great Leader.
- The Customer Experience.
- and one that touches on them all Communication Strategies.
Over the next few weeks, I plan to write a synopsis of what a small business owner should consider when reviewing these strategies for his/her business, and by small, I mean mom and pop shops.
A small business owner, or solopreneur cannot always afford to outsource these tasks. Specifically when getting started.
However, sometimes you must consider outsourcing when it is something that is:
- Not the core of your business or
- Not one of your strengths.
This is where I am at right now. I am spending far too much time on things I’m not necessarily the best at and I need to consider finding some other way to get those things done.
Sales and Marketing
I have been so blessed over the years that sites like Guru and Upwork have helped me put my business in front of people who need it. However, as the virtual work world changes, I need to expand my marketing and sales avenues.
Systems and Tools
Systematizing the day to day operations of your business intrinsically frees you up to focus on the core of your business.
More importantly, if you have employees or subcontractors, it allows everyone “stay in their lane” to prevent waste and confusion. Tools can include project management software, email and shared documents.
Understanding where your money comes from and where is goes is the key to being a success at business.
Controlling your overhead in a virtual workspace allows you to offer very competitive rates and make a decent size profit.
Remember to plan for the future and the day when you must increase your out going monies to stay competitive. Having a solid understanding of your finances and a long term plan in place is important.
Whether you are a one person shop or a mid-sized business, having good people skills is important. Your interaction with people affects your sales, the support you receive, hiring or management.
Knowing yourself and how to influence others is important. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses, that’s life, but being aware and being willing to admit and address those is vital to maintaining a healthy , joyful work environment.
I don’t know who said it, but I know you’ve heard it. Word of mouth marketing can be the best or the worst thing for your business ever.
A happy customer is going to talk about it, a customer with a bad experience is going to talk about it exponentially more. Managing the customer experience is key not only to your day to day work environment, but also to the healthy longevity of your company.
There are lots of strategies out there for this and I am looking at them all!
Let’s face it, in this technology filled age it’s really easy to put the word out about something. You can blog it, Tweet it, Post it, Take a Picture of it, Pin it…you get the point.
The key is to have effective communication, communication that is actually heard. I will explore the tools, the branding, the scripts and the theories.
I’ve found my key over the years is to communicate the way a client hears it – as much as I don’t want to, there are some clients I MUST pick up the phone and call. Some expect small talk before we can tackle the root of the call. Whereas others would greatly prefer a short text.
Understanding your audience is the secret!
I can’t wait to dive in and share my findings and resources with you, and I am sure that I will learn as much from you in the process!