It’s normal to feel stuck sometimes as a business owner. Sales may be slow, clients become stagnant, travel has you exhausted or you just might feel like you’ve plateaued. When this happens, it may be a great time to look at your operations to see what you can tweak to make your life a little bit easier when it comes to your business.
The first few tips are going to be a few things you can implement right now that will keep your mind at ease and allow your business to grow.
1. Always Buy Refundable Flights
Work travel can be fun and adventurous but often becomes overwhelming after a certain amount of time. I’m sure most of us have experienced canceled dinner plans or unexpected family emergencies. Now imagine if that happened and you’re the one flying in for these plans. The liability for you is much greater because you can’t turn around and go home. You may not want to dish out the extra money for the refundable airline tickets at first but if something unpredictable comes up, you’ll thank yourself later.
Being away from your home when traveling is one thing but losing out on hundreds of dollars because of a circumstance that is out of your control is another.
2. Have and Join Rewards/Loyalty Programs
Majority of humans are creatures of habit. People typically go to the same grocery stores, use the same credit card, etc. Speaking of traveling earlier, people fly the same airline, stay at the same hotel and more. With that said, loyalty programs will do just that, increase your customer loyalty. Once they shop with you, an easy way to keep them coming back for more is offering them a reward. This could mean offering a discount of some sort, a points system for them to earn and get $ off, referral incentives, punch card programs etc. This will passively drive sales, keep your business at the top-of-mind and build a strong relationship with customers.
With that said, as a business owner, you are able to join rewards programs like this as well to receive the same benefits for your business. If you travel often, sign up for airline and hotel programs. This will give you the ability to earn free stays and airline miles. If you’re using certain softwares or CRM systems, see if they have a referral program. There are many ways to stretch what you’re doing and using right now to benefit you even further. (We always have our discount codes linked in various blogs for those who are looking)
The next few tips may take a little more time to apply but will be way worth it in the end.
3. Build a Team - Don’t Do Everything Yourself
A big mistake entrepreneurs make is trying to run a business by themselves. At first you may have started doing everything yourself. You built a website, uploaded all the product images and did all of the descriptions and marketing for it etc. However, after a while, it gets overwhelming and more importantly, time consuming. This is the time you could be using to brainstorm more ideas, build relationships with other businesses or spend time with your family. Once menial tasks start to affect more important parts of the business and your life, it’s time to build a team. Find people who genuinely have interest in the business and your vision. Those that are interested in what they are doing will have a deeper connection with the business and will want to grow with you.
4. Automate as Many Things as Possible
Automating menial tasks will not only save time but ensure that things don’t fall through the cracks. Automation simplifies areas of your business that would typically be done manually by you or an employee. You can automate things from leads, engagement, customer service, invoices and so much, much more.
Today, we’ll touch on a few that are most important. Email automation is a necessity because this will save you time and make you more money. For example, if someone is shopping on your website but doesn’t check out, you can automate a “Complete Your Purchase” or “Your Cart is Ready for Checkout” email that will remind your customer to purchase. This can also be used to prep for sales and promotional discounts.
Another important automation at the top of our list is social media. Social media is a crucial part in a small business's success. Reaching as many audiences as possible is key. Posting on every single platform multiple items a day seems like an impossible task but it doesn’t have to be with the right tools. We are currently loving Planoly.
5. Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Running a business can make you feel like you’re burning out but it should also be rewarding! This is your chance to turn your passion into reality, achieve financial independence and give you the flexibility to do more things in life. If you make work tasks fun it will benefit your mental health while getting things done.
Examples: work in new places (if you’re remote) like a different coffee shops or outdoors spaces, celebrate small wins, host team building activities etc.
You started a business for a reason and although it’s common to have ups and downs, you can’t forget to have fun along the way.
People often say “it’s the small things that make the biggest impact.”
This can be applied to your business as well. Do these small things to save yourself the headache, allow your business to grow and bring a little happiness to your day.