Updated: Sep 18, 2020
These are unprecedented times. For some of us, business has slowed or come to a screeching halt. No matter where you are, I hope these tips and tasks will help strengthen your business so that when this is over, your business will be stronger than ever before.
My suggestion is to pick one or two things on this list and then block out an hour or two a day to work on them. If you have not slowed much, pick a couple of hours a week instead. When one is complete, pick another one. Don’t try to work on more than 2-3 at a time.
1. Google My Businesses & Google Analytics
Google My Business and Google Analytics are important for you to be found locally as well as understand your web traffic. The best part is, both are free and are easy to set up. Simply Google “Google Analytics” or “Google My Business” and you will find all the steps you need to set up both of these tools.
Google Analytics does not require any maintenance on your part. If you don’t know what it is or how it works, no problem! Just set it and forget it. It will be working in the background for when you or your web developer are ready to use it. The goal is to start capturing information and data which will help inform future ad spend or marketing.
Second, register (ie: claim) your business with Google My Business. It is simple and free to set up. Be aware this can take a week or two to set up as Google often needs to send you a code in the mail to verify your address.
Once your business account is set up with Google, customers will be able to leave reviews. Ask, ask, ask for reviews! Be sure to space out your asks for reviews so that you have some new information each month, or, if you serve a high volume of clients, try to ask for new reviews each week.
2. Know your numbers
Do you know the numbers you should be tracking in your business? Do you know the ROI on your last ad spend or how many new customers you need each month to reach your yearly goal?
While it may seem overwhelming to look at your business in such a sterile way, it is vitally important for your long-term success. You will see patterns and wins and weak spots like never before! The data will help you know where your time, energy, and ad dollars are best spent. If you are not sure what numbers to track, start with those numbers tied to money. Customers, customer acquisition, ad spend, budgeting, etc.
3. Update your contacts
Who is in your network? Who are your current prospects? Who are your greatest advocates? Who can you call if you have a quick question about a Facebook ad?
If you are a soloentrepreneur or a small business, you may not need a fancy CRM, but you should have a searchable record of people important to your business. This can be as simple as a spreadsheet. Or, you can use an application like Airtable or Hubspot depending on your needs and goals.
4. Evaluate each process
What is the process for each portion of your business? From on-boarding new clients to record-keeping to social media and billing. When was the last time you took a step back and asked yourself, “is there a better way to do this?”
For some tasks, it may be useful to write out, step by step, the process you use to complete the task. Then, look at those steps as a whole. Where can you save time? Are you adding in pieces you don’t actually need? Are there ways to combine steps? Are you asking for the information you want vs. need?
Next, think about the things people say to you about your processes. Has anyone ever said, “I would have scheduled online, but the process was confusing” or “I wasn’t sure if...”. Also, think about how often are you asked for specific pieces of information. These are all little ‘tells’ that will help you smooth out each process, save time, and make the experience better for your customers.
5. Projects on your “when I have time” list
Pick one or two things on your, “when I have time” project list. These should be project-based, meaning they have a start and an end, not operational tasks. For example, updating your website, making a list of blog ideas, creating a brochure for clients, setting up a CRM, cleaning up your CRM, etc. Once you pick your project, break it down into steps, and start working!
6. Read a book
During this time when demand may have slowed, pick a book to read that will specifically help you develop a new skill. Are you struggling with marketing or client retention? Do you want to create better systems or start an online store?
If you don’t love to read, pick a podcast or webinar. Or, grab a fellow business owner and learn together. Talk about a book or podcast together and how you can implement what you are learning.
7. Hire a coach
If you are struggling to identify the numbers you need to track in your business or are having trouble evaluating your procedures, a coach can help. This is a great time to dig deep into your business and make it stronger.
This year, I helped a business owner cut her client on-boarding time by 50%. I helped another business owner understand his numbers. By understanding his numbers better, he was able to identify ways to increase his profit margin by an additional 15%. Another client was hitting her Q3 financial goals in Q1 because we clearly identified the activities most important for her to execute.
8. Take some time to rest
We can often confuse our value with our output. We are not what we accomplish. We are valuable simply because we exist. If you are tired, drained, and overwhelmed. Take a moment to breathe. Watch a movie at 10 am and don’t feel guilty. Go to sleep early. Your body will thank you.
Running a business takes an immense amount of energy and focus. You started a business so that you didn’t have to be chained to a desk or work “9-5”. Take advantage of this time to refresh yourself. Practice meditation and yoga. Soak your feet and drink some tea. Whatever is refreshing for you – do it. Taking care of yourself in these ways will help your “work” time be more productive.
Amy Lynne Coaching is located in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN and works with solopreneurs and small business owners to help them reach their goals.
If you are interested in learning more about coaching with Amy Lynne Coaching, you can schedule a phone call here!