15 Tips For New Business Owners (2023)
Top Tips For New & Small Business Owners
New Business Owner Checklist
New Business Owners are often challenged by many obstacles in their path to success. In this post you will find the solutions to the most common problems with concrete tips.
Get Comfortable Talking About Yourself as a New Business Owner
One thing that you may struggle with early on as you shift into business ownership is actually owning the part of being a new business owner!
It's definitely a weird transition, but well worth the initial struggle.
Most people spend a good majority of their lives working for someone else, often a huge company.
So you may be used to referring to yourself as an employee rather than as a business owner. This definitely will take some getting used to.
Why is it important to get comfortable in the role of business owner?
One major reason is that when you have a business you need all of the free exposure you possibly can get.
That includes being able to share the information in your own words, to people you meet and already know.
Remember, you are your own best advocate.
Again, like most people, you probably have spent a lot of time speaking from the perspective of an employee who works for someone else. Now you are the person with the company.
So every chance you get you'll want to be letting people know about that so that they can pass the word along about your products and services to others who may need them.
Is there an emotional component to this?
Why is it initially so difficult to talk up your business in real life?
There may well be. Most people feel validated by the idea that they are valued as a contributing employee at a company.
So when you take that away and find yourself at the helm of your own business, you must adjust to the emotional role of providing your own validation because you're not going to get it from someone else anymore.
If you're thinking this is about ego, yes it kind of is.
A business owner must be strong and self assured without the need for that constant reinforcement that comes from working for someone else or from playing a role as part of a larger functioning entity.
That's what makes it a little bit strange to suddenly have to toot your own horn. Because essentially that is what you are doing.
When standing there having a conversation and someone suddenly announces they have a need, and that need is based on what you offer, you've got to be assertive.
Your success will depend on your ability to mention this to others so they know... and you've also got to do it in a way that doesn't make you sound nervous or desperate.
Again, it will take some time for words like "my company," "I have a business" and "I offer services" roll off your tongue in an effortless way.
But with practice, you will find it gets easier and easier to let people know that you have a business and are out there providing and answering to a specific need.
How to Get Good at Telling People You Run a Business
Wondering if you’ll ever find your voice as a business owner?
Some people may know that you’re an entrepreneur… but do they have an idea what you actually do?
How can you find ways to get the word out about your business and do it without spending a fortune?
Can you achieve this without sounding desperate?
Let’s explore the possibilities.
Think about it, you would likely spend thousands crafting an advertising message to push the word out about your new business.
So why not do a very simple thing and start and offer a basic explanation of the products and services you deliver with your business?
At the very least, at some point someone who knows someone who needs what you deliver, will remember your name and that can turn into a profit producing situation for you.
Below find some essential and EASY ways to let people know about your business that you work so hard at running, every day!
Any chance you get, have your business card ready.
You can actually save yourself a lot of time in trying to explain what you do to any level of detail.
Just sum it up on the business card and put in a compelling logo as well as your basic contact information.
Then, you can talk with people about your business offerings.
Before the conversation goes off the rails, put your business card into their hands so that they can refer back to it later and maybe even follow up and want to do some business with you.
Network like crazy.
Another way to get comfortable talking about yourself as a business owner is to network with other people who also have their own business.
These people will be in various phases of company ownership. Some may just be starting out.
Others may have had their own company for years. Still others maybe have even flipped businesses, making this old hat to them.
The point is that if you surround yourself with like-minded individuals who are also eager to get the word out about the products and services that they supply to their customers, you will adapt to their way of speaking and ease into the habit of talking freely about having your own business.
You’ll also be able to refer each other to friends and relations!
Work up an elevator speech.
An elevator speech is supposed to be a brief explanation, just a few sentences, letting people know about your business and what you offer.
They call it an elevator speech because you should be able to say the words and offer the explanation in a clear and direct way and do it in the amount of time it would take to ride an elevator.
Being able to whip this simple message out at a critical time is definitely a good way to get into the habit of talking freely about your business with other people.
Plus, that simple phrasing will help cement in people's minds what it is that you do in your business.
Finding Ways to Work Your Business Into A Conversation
Wondering how to get the word out about your business, and do it in a way that flows naturally with the conversation?
It’s not always easy to talk about your business, and if you’re the shy type you might feel uncomfortable, as though you’re bragging.
Even so… the more you practice easing your business mention into an everyday chat, the better you’ll get at it, and that means more business for you.
Here are some ways to practice slipping in a mention of your business without sounding awkward or desperate.
When people ask about your work, don't be afraid to get specific.
Think of how many times in your life that you have talked about work with family members and friends.
"I was at work today,"
"I just got home from work,"
"I brought my kids into work today."
People talk about their work in this vague manner all the time.
In fact, you can go years without even really knowing what a person does at their job beyond the basic facts like what company they work for and what their position or title is.
And for this reason that's why it's so important to share at least a few key details about your business when talking discussing work with family and friends.
See yourself as the solution, when people bring up a specific problem they’re having.
Suppose you run a yarn shop, and today your friend has started a conversation about how it’s supposed to be an exceptionally cold winter.
This is definitely an opportunity to mention your yarn shop, and all of those hats, scarves and mittens that you and your colleagues and customers will be making in time for the chilly season ahead.
Work a gift into the situation. If you’re not so great at explaining what you do in your business, you can always help people understand by showing them, with an actual product example.
Think of all the opportunities that exist to get your offerings out there.
Maybe you sell chocolate bars with custom printed wrappers, and there’s a school fundraiser coming up.
Or maybe you’re a freelance writer, and a local business is in need of a press release.
Offering a small gift that will take no more than an hour or two of your time is a great way to get your name associated with a specific type of offering so you can attract more business down the road.
Find the teachable moment. Sometimes people have questions about how to do things.
They’re looking to master a new skill.
Is that skill a part of what you offer with your business?
At first you might feel shy about this, like you’re tooting your own horn.
But if you’re an expert at something, you’ve earned what they call bragging rights.
That means you get to share what you know with people who can benefit from learning about the information.
Why Doesn't Everyone Support You in Your Small Business?
The notion of working for yourself as opposed to working for a company is definitely something that a lot of people feel uncomfortable about.
Why is this?
They just can’t relate.
Running your own business is different from the expected norm. Things that are different make people feel uncomfortable because they don't understand or know the details.
The more uncomfortable something feels to someone, the more likely they are to reject the idea.
They are envious.
Another reason people may not support you as a small business owner is that they may have jealous feelings.
Somewhere deeply embedded into their psychological makeup is someone who resents the fact that they are dependent on their company and trapped in a situation that no longer brings them joy.
So when they see you out there, engineering a perfect career that is just right for you and that likely makes use of your skills and talents, it stirs up uncomfortable emotions for them that they would rather not think about.
They’re deeply dissatisfied with their own lives.
So for many people who seem not to support you in your business endeavors, it could be a deep-seated personal issue. They might even be so unhappy in their own work and/or personal life that they would take away your happiness just to in order to stay in denial of their own dissatisfaction.
They’re stuck in herd mentality.
People don't like the black sheep. The person who strikes out on his or her own in business goes against the grain of modern, corporate-driven society.
Many people pledge their allegiance to a powerful entity such as the government or a corporate organization, and feel happy and satisfied doing so.
They’re clinging to an outdated model.
Die-hard corporate and government loyalist type workers dedicate their lives to delivering a profitable outcome for these organizations who in turn make promises to take care of them.
But as the world changes, some of these promises can no longer be made.
So the reality is that people who have their own business might be a few steps ahead of individuals clinging to the old corporate model.
They prefer not to understand this fact, and you.
They have mistrust of non-conformist types.
In many ways, people who work as an employee of someone else’s company are conformists.
There’s nothing wrong with this.
A lot of people thrive in a supporting role, and we all need to be and do what we’re meant to.
However, as the business owner you are the non-conformist.
You did not find happiness or dissatisfaction in working for another company where the role was created for you and the rules were set for how you should conduct yourself in your daily work life.
You felt more natural in a self-created professional role which came in the form of your own business.
This makes you the underdog, the black sheep, the square peg trying to fit or not trying to fit into the round hole.
When other people have a lack of appreciation for you as a small business owner and show their disapproval, it often has something to do with their mistrust or dislike of a person who seems unable to conform or unwilling to follow the influence of a much greater power.
What to Do When People Don't Take You Seriously as a Business Owner
Do you struggle with getting people to take you seriously as a business owner?
Today we’re discussing naysayers, people who do not offer you their approval or support when they find out that you have a small business.
These can be people who you know from the social scene, members of your community, parent peers if you are a mom or dad, or and such.
Of course it would be ideal if people who you had social connections with took you seriously as a business owner.
But even worse, family members seem to lack faith in us as a small business owner.
What’s up with that, and what can you do about it?
The “what’s up” is primarily about others not appreciating that you prefer to work independently and not follow the group.
We will talk about this more in another article in this series.
For now, let’s explore ways to cope when we find ourselves at a loss for support and encouragement in our business endeavors.
Limit time discussing the details of your work.
If your family, friends and people you socialize with seem to have a negative reaction when you talk about your business and that makes you feel bad and demotivates you, there is a simple solution.
Minimize the discussion of details that relate to your business conduct.
Even better, you can just not talk about your business at all to these people.
Keep it vague so that they do not have any information that they can twist and use against you in a discouraging way.
Minimize contact with people who do not support you in your business endeavors.
Face it, if you are a business owner then you're probably busy.
You don't have time to waste talking about irrelevant topics with people who do not have your best interest in mind.
If you find yourself getting stuck in a conversational trap with a nay saying family member or friend who isn't supportive of your business goals, then do the simple thing. Just avoid or minimize your contact with such people.
You'll find yourself with some extra time that you can put toward growing your business which can definitely be very lucrative and awesome for you.
Find a business-minded crew to run with.
Find a new crowd of people to hang with who can offer encouragement, ideas, helpful suggestions and useful solutions to everyday challenges that you face in your business.
You may discover that there is a local group of individuals who own businesses right in your town or in a neighboring town.
Band together with these people to discuss important business related topics.
They will likely serve as a springboard for your ideas and bring positive reinforcement to help you make big gains in your business.
If you're not sure where to start with this, look up local business networking and see if you can't find an in-person group to meet up with.
What to Do on a Slow Day in the Life of Your Business
It's only natural that your business will experience profit surges as well as dips.
Whether your customers are buying depends on a variety of factors
These include current needs based on the season, as well as current happenings.
Another factor is whether or not your current product line is meeting today's needs.
Things could be going on in the real world that affect sales.
For example, people are often in a buying mindset in December but decide to tighten up the purse strings after the New Year's hits.
For this reason, not every day will be a high sales day in the life of your business but there will be ebb and flow.
The question many small business owners have, is what to focus on when things go from hopping to barely happening?
Here are a few ideas.
You have a few areas of concern in this regard.
The physical space of your business, current inventory if it is a physical product, and also things like your office or shop floor, warehouse shelves, and even online and tech-based aspects of your business like your database or maybe an online membership.
All of these things will need to be purged and reorganized and restocked from time to time.
[A slow day, week or season is the right time]
You want to take a good look at your product offerings and see if they’re still relevant as well as make sure everything is functioning correctly in terms of your order process and fulfillment process.
A slow day is a good day to make necessary changes, reorganize, check the flow of operation of your daily operation and give the order and products a test run from the perspective of your customers.
It's a good time to straighten things out because what you don't want is for your business to begin coming undone on a very busy day when people are trying to order such as those times when you're running a sale or have launched a new product or there is a surge in business based on the season and current need.
A slow day might seem like the last reason to start looking for outsourcing. But that's only because we tend to panic when business slows down and start thinking worst-case scenarios. A better idea is to recall all of the times that business was soaring but you didn't have enough hands to make orders happen and fulfilled fast enough.
How can you prevent that from happening again?
Getting a broad view of the ebb and flow of your business will help you decide where to bring in outsourcing help.
These days, many people who have a small business opt to higher part-timers on an as-need business basis.
So think about who you can add to your team and how often you may need their services.
A business attorney, accountant, administrative assistant, bookkeeper, expert and customer service representative can all help you at various times.
Having these types of professionals in your corner mean potential expansion and damage control.
Take care of background tasks.
Background tasks for your business are those functions that we hardly pay attention to but serve as the backbone of your daily business operation and keep profits flowing in.
Things like keeping the computer systems updated, filing, archiving old files and doing backups are all smart things to take care of on a day when not much is happening in your business.
Enjoy a day off.
One needed aspect of being a business owner is-- believe it or not-- treating yourself to a day off.
People who work for someone else often don't realize that it is difficult to turn off your brain and get out of constant planning, strategizing and executing mode when you have your own business.
The fear is that if you relax too much, something will go wrong at the last minute or you might be needed.
Or… you mentally won't be able to tear yourself away from work.
This is a self fulfilling prophecy for sure!
One thing can stifle your creativity and productivity as a business owner is not giving yourself that needed time away.
A slow day can be a blessing in that you can decide to temporarily close down your business operation and give yourself some soul replenishment.
This can be anything from enjoying a day out on the town, to taking a ride somewhere to explore a different scene, to treating yourself to a spa day, or spending time with family, friends, pets or whomever and whatever brings you enjoyment.
Again, try to let go of the guilty feeling that so many business owners have when they decide to make their day about themselves and not about work.
Although it is possible that something may go wrong in your business, you can at least give yourself the blessing of a true break because you have very likely earned it and when you return to your business matters, your company will benefit.
Quick List of Ideas to Keep Profits in Your Pocket
Wondering as a business owner what preparations you can put in place and steps you can take to keep profits flowing in, as well as make sure your hard-earned dollars stay where they belong – in your bank account?
Here are a few ideas to take a look at:
Plan for the upcoming season.
Many businesses are based in seasonal changes. If you have never thought about this for your business because it is something that you consider a dry topic like accounting or law or what-have-you,consider the ebb and flow of your typical calendar year.
-Where does your business offering fall into place for spring, summer, fall, winter?
-What is going on in the world at those times which coincides with what you do?
-How can you or business be of service to people at specific times of the year?
Once you get going with this type of thinking you can start to plan what you will offer.
Don't forget that an addition to physical products you can also incorporate online products to ensure 4-seasons flow of income.
Explore budget cuts.
One very useful practice to get into the habit of is to see how you can cut expenses by changing the way you normally do things.
Whether it’s downgrading your computer system, cutting employee hours, doubling up on responsibilities for single employees or for your business partners, there are many ways a business owner can save money.
Also think about taxes.
Are there expenses that you may not be factoring in when you itemize your business taxes at the end of the year?
Take some time to work up a fresh profit and loss statement, and give your accountant a call to discuss tax benefits that you can take advantage of as a small business owner.
Keep better records.
Start keeping receipts and better records of what you spend as it relates to your business.
Even something like buying lunch for people who you outsource work to count as a business expense that can be deducted at tax time.
A slow day is a perfect day to organize this type of information so you can easily access it when you need it.
Reduce energy costs.
Finally, look into ways that you can decrease the amount of energy that you use.
If you have a physical location for your business can you decide to power down at the end of the day?
Can lights be shut off when people leave the conference room or can you switch to a virtual business model with employees working from home?
Believe it or not, outsourcing those everyday tasks to someone who accepts a lower rate of pay than you do will give you the free time you need to do what’s necessary – strategize, plan and run your business.
Think about the big-ticket tasks and who’s handling them.
If no one is, that’s a sign that it’s time to get out of your own way, farm out the small-potatoes but necessary daily doings to people who are experienced and qualified to handle them.
Then, slip into your rightful role as CEO – and start that brainstorm of business-building projects to get underway.
Coming Up with New Income Streams as a Business Owner
Trapped into one income bracket as a business owner?
It’s time to bust free of your limitations.
One of the most challenging aspects of having your own business is that unless you have a ton of capital, resources and manpower to start with, plus the business acumen to run your own company, you are probably looking at not a lot in the way of profit.
As a small business owner, it will become necessary to think about bringing more streams of income.
There are a few reasons to do this.
That way, if one means of income falls through for any reason, you will still have the others to rely on.
Two, because if you can set up some profit-producing activities that run on their own, then you can keep cash flowing in without having to work yourself to death.
What kind of income can you set up as an additional stream?
The common ones are as follows.
Get strategic with your financial investments.
There are many ways to profit by putting your money to work. You can wisely play the stock market, get a mutual fund, or even try your hand at some of the newer investments such as cryptocurrency.
Sell digital products online.
The need for information never goes out of fashion. If you have acquired a lot of knowledge on a particular topic, then you can teach other people what you know and pocket a little extra cash in the form of ebook sales.
You can also set up a more complex type of online course that includes video instructions, homework assignments for your students to work on, and other learning materials.
There are many ways to make money with real estate including fixing up and flipping homes, rental income, and even getting your real estate license.
People always need homes, and real estate is a very scalable profession that you can commit to at a level that works with your current availability and lifestyle.
Monetizing a blog.
Do you have specific interests that you love to research and write about?
For example are you a health expert, do you help people lose weight, is gardening your passion or do you love pets?
There are so many topics that you can develop a niche blog around and it is easy to setup a blog
Monetizing a blog means that you'll want to sign up as an affiliate of specific products, be consistent in what you share, set up advertisements and maybe even sell digital goods like ebooks for instant download.
Set up an e-commerce website of physical products.
Pop-up stores are becoming all the rage online, with seasonal apparel and products making appearances on social media.
You can visit a website like Ecwid and learn all there is to know about how to set up drop shipped items that can be ordered from a supplier anywhere in the world. Here are 13 essentials to optimize your eCommerce store.
The Abundance Mindset, and What it Does for Your Business
You’ve probably heard about the abundance mindset.
People say that it’s about giving without expecting to receive anything in return.
For a business owner the abundance mindset is necessary, yet not easy to cultivate, especially if your beliefs around money have been molded to the tightwad mentality.
We get this from our parents or the people we surround ourselves with, throughout our life.
It’s hard to embrace an abundance mindset when we’ve been told to not let people walk all over us. Right?
If you give, you should expect compensation for that gift.
If you’re in business, you want to be paid what you’re worth.
The time, expertise and attention that you give to others, should be compensated for. Right?
Otherwise, how else do you stay afloat in your field?
The thing with the abundance mindset is this.
No, you can’t just give and give and be utterly boundless in that giving.
You’d end up penniless.
Giving in the matter of a bottomless pit just isn’t a way to make a living.
And yet… in many instances, the abundance mindset can take you farther than you would have gone just sticking to the “what’s in it for me” attitude.
If you’re open to a radical change in how you think, you can train your mind to not always approach business with a nickel-and-diming thought process.
Instead, you may actually be able to broaden your perspective, and hit the sky’s-the-limit, open-minded, freely giving point of view.
Why is this important?
Because in business, not everything is always going to end up with you running away with armloads of cash.
As a business owner, you know this. It takes a sacrifice of your time, and the learning experiences that go along with being a business owner, to be successful.
And yes, at some point, you want the time you put in to pay off.
But the payoff comes in due time, and with due experience.
And part of that experience can be going into a potential business scenario, with a no-holds-barred, benevolent mindset.
So think about it: does the abundance mindset work with some of your profit-producing activities
Think about how you can team up with a potential partner, give to your community, pool ideas with others…
all of these are great ways to offer an abundance mindset that will help you grow tremendously in business.
How Can the Abundance Mindset Help You Make More Money?
Still wondering what is the benefit of having an “abundance mindset” as a business owner?
Isn’t it better to keep your guard up, hoard your best ideas, tuck away trade secrets so they can’t be thieved by prying eyes, and cling to every last penny you earn?
The truth is that an abundance mindset is what’s needed to become incredibly successful and blow the doors off your business so you can welcome more profits.
It can open your mind to free collaboration – that sharing freely with others gains you their good will.
It also helps you remember that two heads (or more) are better than one.
Next time you’re having a solo brainstorm, try to think of someone who can help you bring your ideas to the next level, and maybe even put those big thoughts into action.
It can help you help someone else. Has anyone ever helped you?
Showed you how to do something?
Helped you understand?
Fixed something in your business that was broke?
Your experience can put you in this very same spot – getting to pay forward your knowledge and assistance to others.
It can put you in touch with the community.
Think about what you can give back to the people in your town, or in your social and business circle if your business is virtual.
How can you extend to someone else, or a group of people, and reach others by being a boundless giver?
What kinds of like minds might you attract by offering some of what you have to others who may need it?
It can help you find new solutions to old problems.
Being a ready giver means that when an opportunity comes your way, you’ll be able to seize the day because you’ll have trained your brain to see the possibilities.
The abundance mindset means that you won’t limit yourself to making the same mistakes over and over.
How to Turn Unglamorous Business Tasks into Instant Profit
Do you put off those boring tasks in your business that must get done?
Is it far easier to take the quickest path to profit, while neglecting things you must do but which don’t yield immediate cash flow for you?
The thing about neglecting unglamorous tasks in your business is that they will eventually weaken the entire foundation.
Think about a house and the stone that it rests upon.
The safety, security and stability of that structure relies on the foundation.
But now think about what happens when a crack forms in the foundation.
Water begins to seep in, and erode the surrounding soil.
Without that snug fit, the base of your home begins to move and sink into the ground.
It’s so with your business. Those low yielding tasks, like the crack in your foundation, must be attended to.
Otherwise, problems seep in and before you know it, you’re looking at a much bigger issue that will impact your revenue over the long term.
What types of background tasks that may seem low yield for the immediate future can actually help you increase profits for the long term?
Automating computer tasks.
Any tech based solution you can come up with for turning manual procedures into automated actions that happen in real-time can be a huge boon to your business.
Think of systems where customers can log in and manage their own orders and information. Hands-off file deliverables upon instant request via email.
Purging old data.
Old files that no longer apply can be deleted.
Web pages that have expired, products that are no longer active, customer profiles that are no longer active, and information pages that have outdated information should be sorted through and purged as needed.
Run system updates and dump old files as needed.
You can also save any information that may prove useful in the future, such as customer data and contact info.
Updating your product offerings.
This includes individual services, seasonal products, bulk discount packages, limited time only bundles and digital products that may have become outdated.
All of these details should be reviewed and updated as needed.
It’s important to keep your products and services fresh and relevant, even if that just means taking a second look at the benefits, breathing new life into your branding and breathing new life into an old message.
To Do List
Let’s Monetize Your Business To-Do List
So now that we’ve taken a look at some low-yield business tasks that you should ideally focus with some regularity to ensure the backbone of your business remains in place… let’s explore how we can make that mundane to-do list into a moneymaker.
Is there a way to turn business background tasks into money?
Of course there is.
The key is to be transparent about what you’re up to.
Communication is key, and so is making an exciting event out of a ho-hum occurrence.
How to make things exciting? Let your customers know what’s happening behind the scenes.
The more transparent you can be about how you run your business, the more your customers are likely to appreciate your honest approach.
And of course, the best way to monetize these tasks and communication?
Create a sale, of course!
Why tell your customers that you’ve decided to revamp your website, add a product member area, purge outdated files, freshen up your branding, dump dead leads, and other things that serve as low-yield but necessary tasks?
Here are a few reasons:
The more you communicate with your customers, the more forgiving and understanding they’ll tend to be.
So if for example, you’re purging your contact list and you say so, you can avoid the mix-up of removing someone from your list who didn’t actually want to be removed.
You can get people looking and listening.
So what if your new website design offers almost nothing of value to your customers and followers?
Just the simple act of talking about it, and sounding excited, playing up the new features of the site and how your customers can have an improved user experience, is enough to get some heads turning your way.
The more you talk about the actual nitty gritty of running your company, the more your customers will begin to understand the love and care you put into the work you do for them.
The more times you show up for your customers, the more examples they’ll be able to see of you trying, doing your best, making changes in the hope of improving their experience of doing business with you.
So all that said, what can you do to actually bring more business during those times when you’re working on functionality, information management and other background tasks?
The formula is simple:
Give customers and followers a heads-up that changes are in the works.
Talk to them about how these changes will hopefully work to improve their experience as an end user of your products and services.
Offer them a preview of any new packages, features or programs that may be coming down the pike.
Give them a timeline of when to expect the new rollouts, and a heads-up on any sales that you plan to run or reduced pricing that you may be offering in the way of bulk discounts and package or bundled deals.
Announce that you’ve completed your latest work phase, reveal any tangible or physical changes or upgrades that you may be offering… and spell out the details of your special offer with call to action and expiration date.
5 Ways to Shake off the Blahs as a Business Owner
From time to time, as a business owner who’s caught up in the day to day tasks that make your company run, you may grow weary of the same old, same old.
What once seemed like an intriguing challenge has officially become a headache and a hardship. Or has it?
Do truly entrepreneurial people ever stop searching for ways to create, innovate and keep profits coming in?
Possibly not… but like any human, you’re bound to have a dry spell from time to time.
Here are a few ideas on how to liven up the daily enterprise when you’re a burned-out business owner.
Spy on the competition.
Here’s one way to kick-start enthusiasm for running your business.
Go poke around and see what the competition is up to.
You can visit their website or peruse their product pamphlet if they’ve put one out that you’ve managed to scoop up in your travels.
Check out customer reviews and feedback. See what they’re doing right as well as where improvements may be needed so you can step up your own game.
If theirs is an online business model that includes an online membership or ordering process, sign up for what they have going on using a fake account.
Is it spying? Yes.
Do people do it all the time, YES, they do!
This will enable you to live their customer experience and compare it to what your own customers want, need and are getting from you
You can even make a purchase on their website if it will help you get clearer on what things you can be doing better in your own business.
Buy your business a gift.
Thinking you’d like to break up with your business?
Buying a gift for someone you love can inject new life into a tired relationship… so why not do the same for the company that you’ve put so much love, equity, sweat and tears into growing?
Your business would love any number of gifts, and you can go big or small depending on how much you’ve got to invest and what you’ve prioritized in the way of new growth and expansion.
Could a branding overhaul be in the cards for you?
What about some fresh tech upgrades?
Even something simple like signing up for a subscription to Camtasia that enables you to take screencast recordings and share them with your audience, could make a huge improvement in your business communication which can really help you grow sales.
Or what about a selfie stick, so you can take more day-in-the-life business photos to connect with your fans and followers online?
Here’s another amazing idea for a business-centered gift.
How about investing in a seminar or retreat?
You can focus on motivation, business creativity, forming collaborative relationships, creating winning coaching products, or anything else that might result in improvements to your product line, services offered, or result in a new income stream.
Start with a Google search or explore your favorite business networks to see which boss babe or power marketer is hosting an event near you.
Or, hit Airbnb for possible nearby (or hey, why not go for exotic!) locations where you can meet up with a few business colleagues and get cozy with a relaxing, rejuvenating, business-focused retreat.
Plan to run things like brainstorms, creative themed events, spoken presentations and work-related assignments (like course creation) as a way to make it productive and stuffed with profit potential.
Learn a new skill.
Here’s a gift to give your business that will keep on giving. Enroll in a course, sign up for a seminar, purchase a tutorial or take an in-person or virtual class that covers something you’ve been wanting to know.
It could be something you master in a week, like how to make your own branding and design elements using a program like Canva.
Or it could be a more in-depth skill, like becoming certified in website design, or obtaining your real estate license.
Feeling like you don’t have the extra time to invest in extensive learning?
Worried about money, or the lost productivity that you can’t afford to let go of at the present time in the life of your business?
Then do something simple. Just set aside some time in a single afternoon, to research a new skill or area of expertise that relates to your business.
This can be a necessary first step in:
Run a sale.
One of the quickest, easiest, most profitable ways to drum up new interest in your business is to run a sale or offer a price break of some kind.
You can make this as simple as you like, or you can get into the finer details if you think it would result in more business for you.
What does this mean?
A simple sale could be a percent off, good through a specific series of dates.
The percent off might apply to only certain products. Or it could be a sitewide, or store-wide sale.
If you do a percent off, and you have other coupon offers already circulating, you’ll want to set some rules just to minimize confusion and let people know exactly what they get and what applies, up front.
You might say, one (or two, or three) coupon(s) per customer.
Or you might include a disclaimer that reads “Does not apply to existing coupon offers in effect.”
Another thing you can do is apply a bulk discount.
Could be anything from a buy one, get one free sale, buy two get one half off, or get reduce pricing when you buy 10 or more (units of whatever it is you’re selling).
A package deal is another possibility, especially if you offer services.
Try to come up with a running theme.
Do your services work around a certain theme?
What if you’re a relationship coach, and it’s Valentine’s Day?
You can easily package up a fun product theme that includes 1 hour of spot coaching for your relationship troubles, 1 marriage journal with 7 days’ worth of assignments to explore challenges you’re having with your partner, one set of Love Coupons for couples to share (include things like “cash this in for 1 back rub”)
Get customer feedback.
One quick way to inject new life into your business is by opening the lines of communication with customers.
There are a few things you can do to start a conversation around the customer experience, your products and services, and how things are functioning in general.
Here are some ideas:
Send out an email asking for customer testimonials, feedback and criticism.
Direct your customers to a specific method of submitting their comments.
Could be email, could be a review site like Yelp, Google, Amazon, LinkedIn, Facebook, Etsy, or wherever you hang out online.
Offer a survey.
People like to take surveys, the trick though is to catch them when they’re not busy.
And people are busy all the time, so you might think about an incentive to get people to take the survey.
You can offer a special discount, free giveaway, or something else.
5 Low Cost Ways to Get the Word Out About Your Business
Starting up a business… or giving your old company an overhaul?
Whether you’re the new kid on the block of your industry, or a business owner ready to re-emerge on the scene…
you have plenty of options to get word about your business out to the masses.
Before you do anything, start with a logo and basic branding graphics.
Spend some time fleshing out your images, and settle on a design, colors and fonts that you’re happy with and which reflect the personality of your business and brand.
Even if your business has been around for a while, a rebrand using new colors, images and fonts will get people looking and listening for your new message.
You’ll be able to use these to increase awareness of your business on all social media platforms.
You’ll also need these to create a business blog or website that will serve as the online home of your company.
Once you have your branding visuals ready, begin your web and social media business awareness campaign.
You’ll want to create a company blog before you do this… and you have plenty of workable options that don’t require much in the way of tech experience.
Here are 5 basic online marketing methods to open up new accounts, upload your brand images, describe your services, and keep updated with your latest business news, events and offerings.
Your blog or website.
Again, you don’t need to be a tech whiz to manage your own business blog these days.
Hook up the basics like hosting, a domain name and a platform.
Get your messages together.
Your email newsletter.
If you haven’t set up a basic way for people to join your mailing list, you really should.
It’s not enough to email customers from your inbox.
Sooner or later, the tech won’t work once your list grows, and you can end up with your IP banned so your mails won’t be reaching people.
So choose a provider, such as Mail Chimp or Aweber.
Prepare your logo and put together a list of articles that your target readers may be interested in learning.
When you share on your blog and on your social accounts, don’t forget to provide a link so people can sign up for your mailings.
And then… don’t forget to mail them!
Related: Email Newsletter Ultimate Tutorial
LinkedIn is one of the best social media sites to share your business news, information and updates.
Most everyone there has an account meant for professional reasons
So you can push your message out without the distractions that many other sites have happening.
Special interest groups online.
Facebook is congested these days, but you can start with a basic business page, and start from there sharing in special interest groups that match what you do.
Also join some groups online on the various social sites that relate to the services you offer, the types of professional connections you seek, and the people who would want what you sell.