There’s an old saying that often proves to be (annoyingly) true.
It goes like this…
If you do what you’ve always done you’ll get…
well, you know the rest.
It’s true with diet, exercise, excuses, and golf.
It’s also true for your business.
If you want to grow your business you need to challenge routine.
You know, the way you get sucked into the InBox pit when you really should be following up on sales leads.
Or how you love the feeling of getting everything down into a list, but don’t love actually working from a list.
Or your habit of telling everyone how busy you are – as if that’s a sign of success – when what you’d actually like is more time to put your feet up and read a trashy novel.
Yeah, those routines.
Maybe COVID – as disastrous as it has been – is an opportunity to change all that.
We aren’t travelling as much, going to networking events, or, in many cases, spending as much time with clients.
So, what have you been doing with all that extra time?
Maybe this is your opportunity to get organized and take charge of your business.
Let me start with a couple of questions:
- Do you feel organized and on top of your business?
- Do you work from plans and goals?
- In the last week have you improved a system or process in your business?
If you answered “No” to any of these, this will help.
In this post, I’m describing 4 systems that should help you get organized and take charge of your business.
If nothing else, it will keep you out of your InBox for the next 5 minutes.
*** By the way, you might be thinking: “Gee, isn’t BlogWorks all about helping business owners attract more business with brilliant blog articles?”
The answer is YES we do all that, AND we want you to be successful. We know how hard it is to own, run, and build a business.
It’s what we’re doing every day.
Articles like this are our small way of helping.
Let’s start with the hard truth…
The hard truth
The reality is that there will ALWAYS BE TOO MUCH TO DO!
No way around it.
You can either be busy, busy, busy, frantically putting out fires, or working smart to grow your business.You can either be busy, busy, busy, frantically putting out fires, or working smart to grow your business. Click To Tweet
That’s why you need to take charge of your business and get organized.
And this is the perfect time.
How do I know?
I know because if you don’t take charge of your business now, next week or next month you’ll be getting the same results you’re getting now.
So, let’s jump in and get started with systems.
Love your systems
Systems build a business.
I’m talking about systems for managing your Inbox, welcoming new clients, invoicing, writing your blog, or planning your week.
A system is simply a routine you practice, improve, and rely on for getting stuff done in the most effective way possible.A system is simply a routine you practice, improve, and rely on for getting stuff done in the most effective way possible. Click To Tweet
One of my favourites is PLAP – Plan Like A Pilot. This is a system that lets me look ahead and ask where do I want to “land” at the end of the week – on Friday.
I first wrote about PLAP in my book Give me a Break. I also explain how the system works in this post.
In this article, I am introducing 4 new systems I’ve been using during COVID to help me focus on building BlogWorks.
It’s all about using simple systems to help build my business without getting overwhelmed.
Let’s have a look…
1. Build connections
In the “old days,” we would go to conferences, business meetings, and networking events. We’d meet new people, make connections, follow up, and that could turn into business.
COVID has meant more time on Zoom calls, loads of emails, and increased social media activity.
Building your sales means more people into a sales funnel. I explain how my sales funnel: attract, educate, engage, and convert works in this post.
If you want more leads, start by building a system to attract new connections every week with these strategies:
- Use the LinkedIn filter to make new connections on LinkedIn.
- Reach out to clients and ask for referrals (be sure to include the reason why they should stop what they’re doing and help you).
- Build a simple Google Sheet (or use tools like Sugar, Zoho, or Pipedrive) to send regular emails to companies you want to work with.
- Write a roundup post on your blog by interviewing other experts in your field.
Now that you have a system to attract new connections, it’s time to nurture your clients.
2. Nurture clients
You’ve worked hard to get your clients, now you need to nurture them.
Sure, you deliver great service or products, but remember there’s always competition trying to lure those clients away.
A critical part of taking charge of your business is a system that nurtures your clients, let them know you value them and exceeds their expectations.
Here are some ideas for how to nurture your client relationships:
- Interview clients on Zoom and then share those interviews on social media.
- Write a blog article mentioning some of your clients.
- Thank them! Write an email, send a favourite book, or write a card (remember how mail works?)
- Survey your clients, asking for advice on how you can improve your service.
3. Publish content
Let me ask you a question:
Would you buy a car without a test drive?
Or, a new computer without first seeing how it works?
Of course not.
It’s the same with your service—customers want to discover what’s different, unique, better, cheaper, or faster with your service.Customers want to discover what’s different, unique, better, cheaper, or faster with your service. Click To Tweet
That’s why you need to publish long-form content that showcases what you do.
Shameless plug. Our team of local writers can get you back on the track with SEO-rich articles published on your schedule. Click here to tell us more.
It could be a video, article, ebook, lead magnet, webinar, or podcast interview but it needs to explain your approach to solving your customers’ problems.
In this article, I explain exactly how to find topics (including 36 to start with) your customers will love.
Before we go on…
Before we move to celebration (and don’t we all want to celebrate more), a word about taking charge of your business.
When I write about habits, systems, and strategy I know it all sounds like I MUST DO MORE TO GET MORE.
It doesn’t have to be that way. As I edit this post I have one foot out the door for a mini road trip to go hiking, visit a daughter, and enjoy some off-line time.
A big part of taking charge of your business is taking charge of your time.A big part of taking charge of your business is taking charge of your time. Click To Tweet
I’ve mentioned it before in this post, but if you struggle to take charge of your time, start by reading how to plan your week.
Okay, now we can celebrate!
4. Celebrate completion
Nothing happens unless you deliver, or as author Seth Godin says, “ship it.”
There’s no video until you take a deep breath, stand in front of the camera (or smartphone), and hit ‘record’.
There’s no blog post until you write what author Anne Lamott calls, “a shitty first draft”.
There are no new connections unless you log into LinkedIn for 10 minutes and invite people to connect.
There’s no customer loyalty unless you target one expectation you can exceed this week.
And there’s no celebration if you treat your business like a JOB and ignore all the little successes you made happen in the day.There’s no celebration if you treat your business like a JOB and ignore all the little successes you made happen in the day. Click To Tweet
You made the choice to have your own business.
Now is the time to celebrate that choice – how every happy (or unhappy) you are with your income.
This is the right time
Every day there are lists to be made and crossed off.
But, that’s not where the magic is.
The magic in business happens when you pause, step back and ask what’s possible?
If you were to take 10 minutes every day to make new connections. Or reach out to one client every week to thank them. Or take a day off to finish writing that new e-book, blog article, or lead magnet.
Or to celebrate how brave you are to have a business in the first place.
That’s where the magic is.
Enjoyed this rant? Well, here are 3 more rants you might enjoy as well:
21 Incorrectly Used Words That Make You Look Dumb
How to Overcome Writer’s Block With This 7-Step Template
3 Secrets to Selling Like a Pro (And Overcoming Self-Doubt)
Photo of fountain pen by Aaron Burden on Unsplash