Hello SOTGC community,
Have you ever been told, “You can have a business … or, you can have a hobby.”
I was in a mastermind the first time I heard that six years ago. My heartbeat started to pick up, I lowered my head a little then scanned the room to see if any of the other female entrepreneurs would notice me … the “hobbyist” … among our bunch.
What did having a hobby versus having a business really mean? It meant that I didn’t understand — at that time — how to price my services, add additional revenue streams, much less see the big year vision for my business. What I also didn’t realize — hindsight is a great teacher — is that all of those blank spaces, the unforeseen questions and the slight discomfort as I learned more about building a business, were totally NORMAL. Most entrepreneurs learn as we go, we fly by the seat of our pants and learn by reading books, making mistakes, masterminding, watching Shark Tank and sharing our stories with other entrepreneurs.
So if you’ve started a business (or plan to), have been giving it all of your effort and energy but still can’t “crack the code” to growth, here are three quick fixes to implement moving forward.
Price for profit. I address this first because profitability is a good indicator of the health of your business. Also, a common mistake entrepreneurs of all backgrounds make is pricing to break even. It’s admirable if you can sell your services and cover your expenses but you need to profit. Take a look at your costs and current pricing. Add 20% on top of that number and use this rate going forward. You are now priced for profit and will be able to have some money left over to save, pay yourself, and put back into the business.
Make Marketing and SALES a Priority, daily. This is a BIG ONE. Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid, actually broke this down for me and I share his gems with you: marketing creates awareness, SALES creates the cash flow. Often times, business people and entrepreneurs alike lump marketing and sales into the same category. However, while marketing will put your brand and business front and center on someone’s computer or Instagram feed, SALES is the action that actually turns that “someone” into a customer. Armed with this new information, it’s important to move beyond marketing and selling a few days per month. There are activities you can do daily — while tracking on the back end — to cast marketing and sales magic that will make it’s way back to your business sooner than later. Also, make sure to set monthly sales goals and create a sales report to see how your efforts panned out. Best-case scenario? You will find the sales and marketing process that works for you, and, as you pay attention and correct what isn’t working, you will start to make money. If this seems a little scary, I can help! More info at the bottom of this article.
Look Ahead. When we first start a business, much less keep it going and growing, we can tend to have a very microscopic view of our potential, the market, the future. Let’s say you start a jewelry business and sell rings via Etsy. You get busy making and selling rings via Etsy. You may miss out on an opportunity to sell on Amazon or to create a nationwide jewelry-making tour. You may not think to pitch yourself to speak at a big jewelry convention or to meet with potential retail partners. And, if you don’t want those things, that’s fine too. All I’m saying is the sky is the limit, especially with our ability to share and connect online these days. So, be busy and focused and responsible in the “here and now.” But make sure to also stop, pause, and look ahead. Chances are you started this business to fulfill your dreams and passions, and you don’t want to be so busy or stressed that you accidentally forget them!
Have a business fix that you’d like to share with the SOTGC community? Tweet it, or comment below!
Ready to look ahead and take your business to another level? I can help! Let’s set up an unstuck session. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org