If you’re at that point in your business where you’re very busy, but need and want to generate more sales, you’re at a pivotal stage of decision-making. It’s a point in time that could either launch your business upward OR keep you stuck and exhausted.
First, congratulations on your progress! You created a real business, and have built momentum! You love what you do and are seeing some success as a result, but it’s requiring a high level of continued effort that would be difficult to sustain. Plus, you want to enjoy other things in your life too! You deserve peace of mind knowing that if you take a day off to spend time with your family or have a much-needed spa day, your business won’t fall apart.
Build on the foundation you’ve established without losing traction. Take these three powerful steps NOW:
Follow these steps by starting with the one that would get you unstuck, that would lead directly to revenue generation, or give you much-needed breathing room.
Get direction. Review your goals and your progress toward reaching them. At this stage you must have clear direction or you will waste more time, energy and money than ever. Use the goals you set for the year as your guide and to check in on the progress you’ve made- you’ve probably been too busy to even celebrate your success! If so, carve out a few moments to toast to a milestone met. Get clear on where you’re at- it provides the perspective you need to move to the next stage.
Don’t have specific goals you’re working toward? It’s time to set a few major goals that excite you. Be sure your goals are relevant for your business and are clearly connected to building on what you are already doing. They could be: financial, growth / expansive (e.g. expanding a current service or features of a service/product), and/or building capacity (e.g. systems/process development, hiring an assistant, upgrading your website). With all you have been doing, it can be challenging to set aside time for strategic business decisions and activities, but if you don’t, you’ll stay in treadmill mode- trying to keep up and wondering where it’s all leading. Blah! If you’re following the Fab 4 Framework, this step is all about getting your Head in the game.
Delegate. Decide what you need to hand off to someone else. Are you still wearing all, or most of the hats in your business?
Sure, that can save some money, but eventually it will wear you out! First, you’ve got to “get okay” in your mind about getting assistance. It’s tempting to want to grasp onto everything and micro manage because “nobody will do as good a job as you,” but that’s just not true. There may be a learning curve for someone in the beginning, but there are plenty of capable people who can assist you with whatever you need help with most.
So, what do you delegate first? Out of all the many things you do on a regular basis to keep your business operation and grow your business, I’m sure there are things you love to do and things you probably can’t wait to hand off. A simple evaluation of what those things are is a good starting point.
Beyond what you enjoy doing there are a few other factors to consider. I use a delegation plan template for clients in my Signature Business Building program, which includes looking at what activities take up most of your time and energy that are NOT income generating. That could be bookkeeping (unless you’re a bookkeeper), creating social media memes, blog post set up and photo curation, event registration and confirmation, follow up calls, office administration like filing, organizing and labeling items, etc. Becoming a master at delegation is a key Habit for successful entrepreneurs who desire to focus on what they do best, enjoy more free time, and have serenity now! And, getting help is likely one of the best business decisions you’ll ever make.
Evaluate and streamline. Decide what’s working and not working, and what one or two areas to improve. It’s time to sort through the clutter and streamline, so growing your business feels easier and less chaotic and more intentional. By now you’ve experimented, and tried marketing strategies or networking groups. If you’re spending lots of time at events and networking, but are unable to follow up with people, what’s the point? Evaluate what opportunities are the best fit for you and the direction you’re headed, and attend only those events and groups. That alone could free up the time you need to make the follow up connections you need to grow your business.
Follow up is a common area of business that poses angst for fempreneurs, even though it’s fairly common knowledge that a consistent, good follow up strategy and process can provide huge pay-offs. Staying in touch with contacts, keeping a steady stream of leads coming in, and converting qualified leads into buyers requires time and thought. While setting up an initial follow up system will get you going, this is not a one-time project. Maintaining it and evaluating your results needs to be an ongoing activity. After all, a healthy follow up and lead nurturing system is the engine for most businesses. What step can you take to set up or improve your follow up with contacts?
Another aspect of streamlining is eliminating simple distractors and time wasters. Like me, you’ve probably signed for lots of blogs, enewsletters and free online trainings. Hopefully you’ve benefitted from most of those. I love professional development- both strengthening my skills and knowledge as a coach and consultant, and also getting better at being a business owner. As a result, those dozens of resources started to clog my inbox each time I’d check email. So, I unsubscribed from the resources I just wasn’t reading or opening. For the resources I did want to keep receiving, I wanted control over when I’d see them, so I set up a filter for those to be automatically filed into a specific folder for later viewing. That took a total of 30-40 minutes and it was worth it! Now is the time to weed out what’s not working, nor serving or supporting you and your business goals. It’s a habit that will serve you well going forward.
Which of the 3 business decisions above are you going to make first? Are you in the midst of doing these right now? Don’t stick it out alone- share your progress with us! Please leave a comment I the comments box below.