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7 Ideas To Help Reset Your Business For The New Year

7 Ideas To Help Reset Your Business For The New Year

It’s a new year, the perfect time to reset your business. Set up some time for these seven activities so that you start 2023 with less mess and more focus on your business goals. 

#1 Make a plan

No surprise with this one; setting goals and mapping out how you will achieve them will give you a solid foundation to help guide you through the year. Without a plan, it can be challenging to be intentional with your time and efforts. 

There are many ways to approach goal setting for your business, and downloading my free e-book would be a good place to start. However, you should have some revenue objectives and a viable plan to achieve them.

# 2 Do a website review.

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that a lot can change in a year. But think about what has changed in your business in the last year. Is your website up-to-date with your current services/pricing and branding message?

Other things to check:-

  • Links: Do all the links on your website work, especially your social media ones? It is so annoying for customers if they don’t
  • Sidebar and header items: Are they still relevant and promoting your most successful services and products
  • Blog categories: Are they still appropriate, and are all your posts categorised correctly?
  • Buttons: Do all your buttons lead to the correct pages, and are all forms on your site working correctly 
  • Pages: Are they all up-to-date (the new year is often an excellent time to be also looking at your pricing and if anything needs to change to remain profitable).
  • Plug-Ins: Make sure your plugins are up-to-date
  • Testimonials: Do you have any new ones to add to your website? 

Like your website, you should also review whether your social media accounts are all up to date. Make sure all the information is up to date, including any new professional headshots and check your pinned articles are not dated.

Finally, check your Google page and any listings on sites such as ‘Yell’ to ensure a consistent online presence.

#3 Tidy up your files!

The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to get your files tidied up and organised. Your folders and files should be organised so that it is easy to find things. Get rid of any documents you no longer need or that your GDPR/privacy policy states you should no longer be holding. Take time to back up all your files and data to a cloud or an external drive (although, ideally, this is something you should be doing monthly anyway).

#4 Clear out your email lists.

Your email marketing lists need a regular clearout. This should be a minimum of a yearly review, but I recommend doing this quarterly.  

Review all your email automation to make sure a) they still work and b) they are up to date and appropriate. Recheck any links (especially if you make changes to your website) and ensure that the graphics align with your branding strategy. If you have many different emails going out, plan to do this in phases (maybe once a week starting|beginning with your welcome sequence). 

Do you have a lot of cold subscribers, the ones who never open your emails? It’s time to face the truth; they are not interested, so ditch them and focus on interested customers. 

#5 Make your inbox a happy place.

A clear inbox will undoubtedly help you kick the year off right. Do away with newsletters you have saved but have yet to get around to reading (if you wanted to read them, you would have!). Unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t save for later, they are just filling your inbox with ‘junk’.

Just like tidying up your PC folders and files, organise your inbox folders to ensure you can easily find everything. Again delete anything you should no longer be kept under GDPR or your document retention policy.

I recommend scheduling some time (Friday afternoon, maybe) to have a quick email tidy-up. That way, things never get too out of control.

#6 Conduct a tools audit.

Are you paying for tools or services you are no lower using? In the current economic climate, every penny costs, so you want to avoid paying for a higher service package when a lower one gives you everything you use. 

Are your tools the best solutions for your business? Technology is constantly evolving. If you signed up for a tool a couple of years ago, new technology might offer you more for less.

Another top tip is to set reminders about a month before your tools renew if you are on an annual subscription. That gives you time to research to see if other (cheaper/most effective) tools exist. Plus, it gives you time to cancel if you aren’t using the tool anymore.

#7 Reset your content calendar

Content creation can take up a small business owner’s time. So, think about how to work strategically by re-purposing previous content or resources.

If you don’t currently have a system for your content creation, start one asap. I use Trello to manage my content. Each card is a post or potential post, so I can see what I have completed, what is still in draft and what I have used before that could easily be re-purposed. 

 

Bonus tip to help you reset your business for 2023

Eat the frog

You know the thing you keep saying you will do but never get around to it (for me, it’s my yearly accounts). If you have had something that keeps coming up on your to-do list, why not start the new year by eating the frog and getting it done?

 

5 Routines All Entrepreneurs Need In 2023

5 Routines All Entrepreneurs Need In 2023

As we start a new year, now is the perfect time to establish new habits and routines. In this blog, I will show you 5 routines all entrepreneurs need to build a successful business.

Building a business is tough, especially in the current economic climate. There are so many different ways to spend your time each day, and it is easy to lose focus. These five routines will 100% benefit you regardless of your business model or product/service.

 

1. Working On Your Mindset

In my experience, most issues small business owners face have nothing to do with their operations or strategy. Instead. they are linked to the business owner’s mindset.

Building a business is hard and sometimes damn right scary. There are often challenging situations you have yet to encounter, which can increase anxiety levels. Having a mindset routine gives you time to analyse these situations before they become overwhelming. That’s not to say this time will solve the problems immediately, but it will give you the space to view them in a less emotional way.

Consistently working on your mindset helps you develop the resilience needed to keep moving your business forward. The ability to keep showing up even when you have setbacks. The ability to constantly step outside your comfort zone to achieve your desired results.

Hence make it part of your weekly/daily routine to work on your mindset. This time could be spent with a coach, to give you accountability or just time out of your day to re-centre on your goals and mindset.

 

2. Networking

Networking can be, and for most small business owners, often is, their most powerful marketing tool. Especially with service-based businesses, you need to establish the ‘know, like and trust’ of prospective customers before they will purchase your services. The most effective way to establish a relationship with your target market is to get to know them and learn more about them. Networking gives you the ideal opportunity to talk one-to-one with your potential clients. 

Networking is the fastest way to connect the know, like and trust factors since it helps you establish genuine relationships with potential customers or potential referral partners. Because networking does not just build one-on-one interaction but also helps to build trust by association.

Referrals have been the most successful way I have grown my business. BUT networking is not all about marketing your company; it’s also about finding like-minded people to support you in your entrepreneurial journey. We all need people around us who understand what it takes to build a business and can provide constructive feedback on improving your business.

 

3. Asking For Reviews

Having social proof can have a significant influence on potential buyers. Being able to show testimonials and tangible results from clients can put you ahead of your competitors. It’s a simple yet massive boost to your know, like and trust equation if someone else endorses your services.

So, make sure you have a system in your business that proactively asks for reviews and ensure you maximise the value of this social proof by sharing on your websites or social media channels.

Check out my reviews by clicking HERE

 4. Understanding What Actions Generate Results

Put simply, are you spending the time in your business on things that bring results (usually money)?

Do you understand what is working and what isn’t working in attracting, converting and retaining clients?

It helps if you were tracking your results. The main figures to track, of course, are your finances. You should have a system to track revenue, cash flow and profit regularly.

You should also track your marketing. What is working, what isn’t, and how much each successful client acquisition costs you – because if it costs you more to acquire a customer than the profit you make, that is bad business. You also want to understand what products/services attract the most interest, this can be used to shape your future offerings.

It’s essential you also understand where you are using your time. After all, time is money, so you want to ensure you focus on revenue-generating activities – and potentially outsource anything else.

Your business will work best if you approach how you spend your time strategically. The first step is conducting a time audit of your current activities and then planning an adjusted activity schedule that focuses on your goals. This brings us to the final point …

5. Having (and using) A Project Management Tool.

I know I bang on a lot about this, but the sooner you start using a project management tool as part of your day-to-day work, the better!

It can be challenging to follow a strategy and recognise where your time is spent if you do not have anything in your business documented. However, once you do start documenting your processes, you need a centralised location to store those documents, processes and business strategies. That’s where a project management tool can help.

By using a project management tool, you will have a centralised location that stores, organises and even systemises the moving pieces of your business.

Building systems that make running your business a lot more manageable makes sense. It’s about simplifying, streamlining, organising, and ensuring you are taking action and moving towards your goals.

If you need help establishing any of these routines why not book a 30 minute consultation. We can chat about how I could support you in setting up systems, your networking activities or taking responsibility for your non-revenue generating tasks.

Why Planning for 2023 is Important For Small-Business Owners

Why Planning for 2023 is Important For Small-Business Owners

It’s December which means it’s nearly the end of the year. Some of us currently do last-minute Christmas shopping, while others work tirelessly on our business. While I don’t want to ruin your festivities, make sure not to forget about your business and your planning for 2023!

That’s because the next year could be your chance to grow your business to new heights. However, that can be a difficult task to do. So if that sounds like something you’re struggling with, keep reading.

 

Why Planning for 2023 Is Essential For Every Small Business

why planning is important

If you don’t plan your next steps, you’ll never reach your desired heights. Even worse, you could go bankrupt.

Think about planning like this. Two people want to go from Seattle to New York. One of them has an old banger minivan, while the other has a Ferrari. Which would get to their destination faster if there were no speed limit? You’d say, Ferrari, right?

Wrong!

The thing is, it doesn’t matter how fast your car is. What matters is if you have your travel route set out. You could be in a Ferrari and drive as fast as possible, but you’re not guaranteed to get there – you could get lost if you don’t have a map.

And the same goes for your business! If you haven’t started your planning for 2023, you won’t even have a chance to get close to your business objectives!

 

What Makes a Good Business Plan

So how do you create a great plan? That mostly depends on you and your business, but here are some things you should have in your 2023 plan:

  •  Your Business Objective – That’s the most critical step. You cannot create a plan if you don’t know where you want to go. But when choosing your goal, don’t make it vague, like “I want more sales this year.” Instead, make it specific, like “I want £150,000 by the end of 2023”.
  • Business Milestones – To reach your business goal, you must cut your objectives into multiple milestones. That helps you to see if you’re on track with your plan.
  • Business Strategy – Writing down goals and milestones is one thing. The other thing is figuring out what to do to get there. That is one of the most challenging planning tasks, so if you need it, get someone to help.

If your plan incorporates these three aspects, you can be assured that your business plan is better than the average one.

 

2 Tips That Help You Succeed in Implementing

By now, you should have a better-than-average business plan. That’s great, but if you want to ensure your plan succeeds, I have two tips for you to help ensure that you get results.

 

Tip #1 – Review Your Plan After a Few Days

why planning is important

Once you’ve completed your plan, I suggest you leave it aside for at least 24 hours. That will help you freshen up your mind and find any problems with your plan. Once you’ve taken a considerable time gap, it’s time to review it again.

 Look through everything and brainstorm anything that could go wrong, and do your edits. If you can, make sure to get others involved with it. For example, discussing the plan with your team can help you set more realistic expectations. Also, you could schedule a consultation call with me so that we can revise your business plan together.

Tip #2 – Track your progress weekly

One of the worst mistakes most small business owners make with planning is not having a way to monitor their progress. If you don’t track it, you’ll never know if you’re actually moving the needle.

 So find some data you can track. For example, if you’re an eCommerce business, and your goal is to get a certain amount of sales, try monitoring your add-to-carts, conversions, clicks, and other vital metrics. Then every week, look through your data and find solutions to your problems to get back on track.

Conclusion

And that’s why planning for 2023 is so important. Without planning, your business will either stay where it is or fail. And if you need any help with your ambitious plans, then I’d love to help you out. Just schedule a call with me, and let’s see how we can grow your business.

How To Keep Your Business Plan At The Front Of Your Mind

How To Keep Your Business Plan At The Front Of Your Mind

Your business plan ought to be a clear, concise roadmap that will lead your business to success. Without a plan, you’ll find it harder to communicate your vision. Harder to see the actions you need to take to grow your company.

Below are five ideas I’ve found helpful when preparing a business plan, both for myself and my clients

#1 Cut the blurb

You know all the buzz words and phrases you often hear in a business meeting. For your plan, be as concise as possible and eliminate any fluffy filler language, i.e. the blurb. The fluff distracts from your message and aim, even if it sounds wonderful. Investors, employees and even clients don’t want to be reading pages of waffle. They want you to get to the point and understand the necessary actions.

#2 Be realistic

It is not wrong to have big dreams for your business, ambition is a good thing. But your business plan is not the place to be writing about your dreams. Instead, it would be best if you were honest with yourself. In your business plan, think about the challenges and opportunities, this will give you a balanced approach to what is achievable. Considering the challenges is not a negative approach; your business will succeed if you have a strong idea. But, considering and understanding the risk makes good business sense.

#3 Show you are cautious

The bottom line is no one wants to invest in a reckless entrepreneur who doesn’t understand the numbers. When setting targets, use examples to show how you have reached those conclusions. Look at the data, and if anything, err on the side of caution when working on your projections.

Again, you could argue this is a negative approach. But if the figures are saying you can succeed in the worst-case scenario, think how amazing it will be if none of the challenges materialise

#4 Include visuals

They say a picture paints a thousand words; hence whenever possible, use visuals in your business plan. Graphs, charts, photos and illustrations help break up the text and bring your concepts to life. Appropriately used visuals can help you take the reader on your journey. They can create a flow to the document and helping any visual learners understand your concepts better.

#5 Be Creative

We have all watched Dragon Den; the best pitches are those that grab the audience’s attention and get them excited about a product.

It is the same with your business plan. Include something creative and unique in your plan that makes you stand out from the crowd. That excites the reader and makes them want to invest in your ideas, plans, and dreams.

If done correctly, your business plan will help identify and overcome any weaknesses or areas of concern for your business. It will help you identify and hone in on your market and how to best meet their requirements. Your business plan will be essential in applying for investment or funding. Plus, if you ever get to the point of sale, it will show your sound business sense.

Keeping Your Business Plan In The Front Of Your Mind

Elements of a Business Plan diagram

So great, you are the proud owner of a well-thought-out business plan. But exactly how do you turn your plan into relativity? Here are a few ideas to help you ensure your business plan is always at the front of your mind.

#1 Turn the plan into a series of actions.

Identify what needs to happen at each stage of your plan. Break your business plan down into manageable actions, then prioritise and allocate those actions to your team. 

#2 Use a project management tool

Use a project management tool (I use Trello) to share information and collaborate with your team members. Don’t forget to record the milestone on the tool so everyone can see your progress.

 

#3 Calendar regular review dates

Pop regular review dates in your calendar so that you regularly revisit your plan. I would suggest at least quarterly. However, if that seems a lot of work for a particular month, break it down so that you review one element of the plan each month. For example, you might look at market research this month, competitor analysis next month and operational efficiency, the following month.

Always remember, though, that no plan is perfect. Your business plan is a living document and needs constant adjustment depending on and the market. But, starting with a well-thought-out strategy can be the difference between the success or failure of your business.

3 Key Metrics Every Small Business Should Be Tracking

3 Key Metrics Every Small Business Should Be Tracking

In business, you should track certain key metrics to help you measure if you are working efficiently. Understanding your business metrics can also help you understand if you are using your time and resources effectively. Below are a couple of areas you should be tracking when it comes to tracking your business metrics.

 

No Money, No Business

Let’s start with the money because if your financial figures don’t add up, your business will not succeed.

Revenue

You should know how much you are bringing into the business, where that money is coming from and when it will be coming in. This is especially important if you have multiple revenue streams. Understanding what products/services are generating money and which are not helps you focus your business activities that maximise your revenue.

Expenses

While it is essential to understand where the money is coming from, it is equally important to monitor where it is going. Understanding both gives you a better handle on your profit and cash flow.
However, as well as tracking the actual figures, you also need to understand what those expenses are in relation to your revenues, i.e. what is bringing you the best return on investment. For example, if you are doing Facebook ads, you need to know if those ads are getting you the right type of responses that you can convert into clients and revenue.

Is your website working for you?

Google Analytics

Google Analytics
Google Analytics can tell you a great deal about your marketing strategy, content strategy and target audience. Plus, not just who your target market is, but also their buying habits. Understanding their patterns should help drive and shape the content you are putting out on social media and marketing.
Top questions to be looking for in your Google Analytics: 
  • What social media networks or other conversion channels, e.g. email marketing, drive your website traffic?
  • Check out the ‘acquisition area’ to find out what pages are visited from which source. Then the ‘behaviour area’ to understand which blogs or resources they visit? These are your prime pages for putting offers on.
  • Again under the behaviour section, check what blogs are visited? Write more like these and less on the ones with no traction – it’s about using your time wisely.
  • If you have multiple products/services, are certain ones getting higher website traffic than others? Again these could be the ones you need to focus your efforts on with regards to marketing. But also ensuring you convert as much of this interest as possible into sales.
Google analytics can initially look overwhelming; it has many different reports and ways to slice and dice the information. But remember, you don’t have to figure it all out from day one. If you are starting to use Google Analytics, focus on these key questions and begin to monitor them consistently, you can build on your reporting as you get more confident with the system (or ask a Virtual Business Manager to support you, of course)

Key Metrics For Social Media

Posting consistently brings social media success

 

Tracking your social media statistics and growth can help you understand where to focus your efforts/time. Also, where your target audience is hanging out and the messages, they are responding to. The easiest metric to track is the monthly growth in followers, as all platforms provide this information on their built-in dashboards.
 
New followers show:-
  1. that people on that social network are interested in what you are sharing
  2. it gives you an idea of whether your efforts in that network are productive. As well as a reflection on whether your content strategy is working.
    However, while followers is an excellent statistic, it is not the whole picture. Engagement is very important to measure, plus any actions that bring your followers to your website and into your customer journey funnel. The measure of this engagement piece can be seen on your Google Analytics. It helps you get an indication of the social media channels that are bringing people to your website, plus the pages on your website generate the most interest.
     
    Not as trackable but relevant is how you regard the engagement on each social channel. Most of us have a channel we feel we get more comments from and feel more connected with. However, is the messaging working if that channel isn’t bringing you any new business? Is it a productive use of your time?
     
    Remember that most social media sites will give you insight into the number of comments or interactions on their in-app dashboard. So make sure to check this as well regularly. Additionally, many programs or apps are designed to give you insight. I use the in-built apps for Facebook and Linkedin. For Instagram I use the in-app dashboard, a phone app called ??? and the phone app ??? for Twitter.
    There are loads of tools and information on your social media activities. However, I have the same warning as for Google Analytics – it is easy to drive yourself crazy with numbers. When starting out, pick what you are measuring and do it consistently to understand trends. You can add to it later if needed.