New Year, New focus, or not…

As most people I am writing about the New Year.  As with New Year resolutions we should evaluate our business and see if there are things that we should be doing or need to change about how we do business or get business.  Re evaluate what you are doing, how much time things take and what they are doing for the business.

Advertising

Do you know how much business that ads and other types of advertising is bringing you? If you advertise in print as well as online media it is always good to find out which one is bringing you more business.  There are a lot of stats that I have heard over the years and most of us know that you can’t place one ad and expect that your door to be inundated with new customers. But on the other hand if you have been advertising for years and have only had one or two clients from it, does the cost outway the profit?

Trying out new media types can be a good way to start the year, but only if you measure how well they do.  Ask new customers how they found you.  See what happens over 6 months, then decide whether to continue.

Passive Advertising

What is this? Most people who know what it is are using it, some people are using it but don’t know they are.  If you write guest blogs, articles, tweet, network, you could be passive advertising.  Sometimes people who do those things are very blatant but it is usually the passive actions that get the most business. A lot of this takes our time but if we do it right then business can come our way.

Think about the people who you meet and the articles and blogs you read that turn you off, yes I did say turn you off.  By looking at what you don’t like you can look how you are and what you write to see if you do those same things.  One of my bug bears is when I go to a networking event you have the people who come over to you and within 2 minutes they are asking what you do, why not get to know people first then find out what they do.

Another bug bear is when you are networking and someone can’t stop talking about their kids.  I get the impression that they can’t do their job right because they are concentrating on their children.  That is usually when I start talking about my cats like they were children.  Then try and avoid the person for the rest of the event.

I like to meet people and network with people who are interested in getting to know other people, as people not how they can give them more business.  That kind of thing comes later.

Write blogs that will help people, if you have written a blog that helps someone they will remember that and when they do need your services they will call you.  Have faith and look long term.

With social media, do put out the ad posts but also get to know people, when someone has a question try and help them even if it means passing them someone else’s details. 

Sometimes it is just an active web presence that can help your business. By guest blogging or blogging on other peoples/businesses websites you can increase your business sites website ranking.  Each post should have a link back to your website, usually this is in an author box.  This needs to be a regular occurance, doing this once does not work.

Other business activities

Most of us at one point or another find ourselves doing or not being able to do something in the business, might be the bookkeeping, getting receipts organised, or filing. A lot of businesses say they are quiet in January so it is a good time to see if there is anything that you can outsource. Find the right person or business to work with and set things up.

I have changed bookkeepers and what a difference it makes, it started out giving me more work because we had to get a process worked out but now there is less work for me, and less stress.  I can get more done within my business.

Is there something that you are doing in your business that does not make you money but needs to get done that you can pass to someone else?

Finally…Products and Services

Look at all your products and services, I have talked about this several times before. Clear out.  Less can be more.  For products groups or categories are great, and for services packages that are clear are the key.

Ensure your website, brochure, catalogue and anything with your products and services is clear and is correct.  That prices are clearly stated, I go to websites all the time where they don’t mention price, I don’t ask.  I do research before approaching so I just want figures if I have to ask that means that they probably change the price for each person.  If they put the top end price even then that would be find.  If you tailor your service for each client it is still best to have packages and prices down, what if someone just wants something off the shelf? Only tailoring narrows your client base even more.

By doing a New Year clear out of your business, and being brutal about it you can make room for more business in the new year.

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