Whether you own a Dickeys barbecue pit franchise or a small Etsy store – I’m sure you want to 2019 to be the year for you when it comes to your business. I’ve been blogging for 6 years now and although I’ve been earning an income for just over 3 years, I still can’t get into the habit of calling it a business. Even though skinnedcartree is registered as a business, I pay tax, I send invoices and I track expenses. I’m not sure what it is about that imposter syndrome I’m not sure at what point I’ll start to think of this as a business.
A guess the moment you start selling or providing a product or service, then you’re a business.
So with that in mind, I guess I’ve been a business owner for over 3 years and here are some tips I want to share.
Know your goals.
Having a clear set of goals that you want to achieve is key to success. Otherwise, you might find yourself just plodding along, doing the same things and getting the same results.
You should always be looking to grow in some way or another!
Focus on customer service.
Whether you are a B2B business or B2C, service is very important for brand awareness, reputation and customer retention.
I class myself as a B2B (business to business), ermmm business (said it too many times, doom) and I often work with the same companies again and again. I believe I do this because I do the following things.
- I deliver to deadlines
- I do not take on work unless I know I can meet the deadlines.
- I communicate.
- I keep clients up to date on when they can expect work to be done.
Every business will have different types of customer service, so find the customer promises you want to keep and stick to them.
Keep up to date with the industry.
Things change fast! It’s important to know your industry inside out and keep up to date with any changes.
I read blogs and listen to podcasts to keep me up to date on things like:
- Social media
- Digital marketing
More and more people turn to social media than calling up helplines when it comes to praising and the not so nice complaints. Some companies that are a little bigger have decided social media accounts, like ASOS and their here to help Twitter account.
When customers contact you on social media, aim to respond within an hour. If you are not able to respond around the clock, be sure to put in your bio the times people can expect a response. Monday – Saturday 9 am to 6 pm, for example.
We live in a world where people expect instant responses and instant replies. How you handle a complaint on social media can prevent it from getting out of hand and prevent people from trying to publically damage your reputation.
Revisit your original goals.
When you first started your business, whether it’s small side hustle or your full-time gig, go back to your original goals and mission statement.
How does your current business fair up against them? Has your mission statement and core values changed? Do you need to get back to them?
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in profit and the operation that you might forget your core purpose and what you want to achieve.
Review the previous year.
It’s always a good idea to see what went well over the last year and what didn’t. What things do you need to stop, start and continue to do to grow your business?
Give yourself a break.
Owning a business is never easy and I need to take a massive leaf out of my own book as I type this. It’s currently 7:30 pm on Saturday night and here I am, writing this post. I need to put my laptop down, finish dinner and relax a little!
It’s so tempting to work around the clock when you are passionate about something. But you need to learn to switch off and give yourself a break. You might find it handy to set yourself set working hours and set times to have some fun or chilled out time!
And on that now, I’m going to enjoy my Saturday night.
Good luck in your businesses in 2019. I’d love to hear your tips!