I’ve been talking to a lot of small business owners recently and I keep hearing the same problem coming up…
They’re doing all the things they’ve been told they ‘should’ do, but aren’t seeing real growth to their revenue or profit.
With so many things to get done and so many decisions to be made, it can be hard to know what to prioritise in order to move our business forward and achieve our goals faster.
Knowing what to focus on now can mean the difference between success and spinning your wheels feeling stuck
If you aren’t really clear about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, it becomes really easy to get distracted by all the possibilities and new ideas that are flying around in your head. This means that you’re not really committed to one thing. You end up flitting from one thing to the next and so never build any real momentum and don’t achieve the success you ultimately want.
This keeps you in a cycle of feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and stuck which is never a fun place to be in business.
Here are three mistakes that can keep you feeling stuck:
1. Having a vague idea who your ideal client is
It is really important to understand who you serve and the ONE problem they have that you can solve. If you are not clear on who they are, then you’ll struggle to know how to reach them and nurture them to build the trust that will turn them into buyers.
Top Tip: When you think about this person, you want to think of your ideal paying client. Someone who sees the value in the work you offer and is willing to pay you for the solution.
When thinking about your ideal paying client, think beyond the demographic information that most avatar exercises focus on. This will only give you top layer superficial information where what you really want to know is the heart level stuff. Like what your ideal paying clients life looks like before they get help… how do they feel, what effect does this have on other areas of their life, why does it matter? The same goes for how their life looks after they’ve had the solution that you provide.
Who would you really love to work with and why? Think of someone you already know that you would love to help. What are the qualities you love most about them? And most importantly, what transformation are they looking for that you can help them achieve?
2. You don’t have a simple marketing and sales system in place
Do you have a simple, marketing system that takes your clients on a journey from first discovering you to becoming a raving fan? This system is known as a customer journey or a funnel.
It means that every marketing activity in your business is part of a bigger strategic plan and is in some way connected, leading your ideal paying clients to the next stage in their journey with your brand.
The problem that many small business owners face is that there are so many ways to go about marketing and selling your offer and this is where shiny objects and distractions come into play.
When I’m working with my 1:1 clients and we are mapping out their strategy, I always get them to choose ONE channel for each step of their marketing and sales system. You don’t need to be on every social media channel for example, choose one and execute on it consistently.
The key here is to ensure that all the steps are connected and not leading your audience on a wild goose chase to find out how they can work with you.
Top Tip: When deciding which channels to use, consider what is in alignment with your strengths and also what will work best for your business.
There is no one-size fits all in business so it’s important to find the right fit for you and your business. This will make marketing and sales feel more enjoyable and ultimately work better for you.
3. You aren’t focused on the most important activities
You are busy doing lots of things but aren’t seeing results. Does this resonate? Time is your most important resource and as a small business owner there are so many things that are fighting for your attention, so it’s vital that you know how to prioritise what needs to be done right now and what can be parked for later, delegated to someone else or deleted entirely.
When you focus on the most important activities that are going to move the needle in your business you will start to build momentum. You will start to see results and you will start to grow.
Top Tip: Be aware of what your business objective is right now and focus on the areas to help you achieve that objective e.g. if you are wanting to increase revenue then your priority will be marketing and sales
Be really clear on your business goals and have an implementation plan in place to achieve them. Put the blinders on to distractions and new strategies and tactics that will stop you from working YOUR plan.
The points I have covered are so often overlooked because they aren’t seen as sexy or innovative, but they are foundational and every business needs strong foundations to grow for long-term success.