One of the worst feelings in the world is when you feel like you’re doing everything in your power to make your small business a success and it just isn’t coming together.
Which is why I’m giving you 3 incredibly specific things you can literally do right now to make more money in your blog or small business today, complete with insights I often reserve for my coaching clients, behind the scenes exclusives into my highly successful workflow and very real, very actionable steps you can start taking toward making the money you deserve.
Not later. Not tomorrow. Not 6 months from now. But right freaking now.
When I started blogging full time, and then later freelancing as a designer, writer and photographer, I was constantly in fear of rolling into my over-draft balance. Hell, I was $70K in debt and had zero savings. I wasn’t sure where my next paycheck was coming from or who my next client would be. And I often had to choose which bills got paid that month and which didn’t. Not to mention the countless hours I funneled into marketing strategies that just didn’t work.
There was a time when I swear to G, I was ready to throw in the floppy, sopping towel that had become my life and high tail it back to that shitty desk job to work for someone else.
But because I was stubborn like a mule – and frankly, a little desperate to “make it” – I stopped doing what wasn’t working and started doing things a little bit differently. Okay, a lot differently.
And as it turns out, making more money in your small business doesn’t require super-human-powers. Though those would be pretty cool too. You know, if you didn’t have to get bitten by spiders or electrocuted in some diabolical lab by an evil genius or whatever.
What it does require is a shift in perspective and taking actionable steps to make things happen in very effective and focused ways so your time, money and resources aren’t wasted on tasks or people that really don’t intend to invest in you and your products or services.
Here are 3 incredibly specific and damn well effective things you can do RIGHT NOW to make more money in your small business.
I’ve tested these. I’ve tried them. And they’ve proven very lucrative both in my own highly successful small business and with my coaching clients. Sha-zam!
1. Create a plan and use the right tools to make it a success!
Can you imagine if The Avengers tried to fight the bad guys without a plan? Or if Thor tried to take down Loki with a picnic blanket instead of his hammer? Even his oh so sexy, Hemsworth man arms wouldn’t save him then.
Now like I said, you don’t need super-powers to make more money in your small business. But even as an ordinary human you can see why a floppy piece of fabric would not be the best choice.
Or take a real life example. You wouldn’t use a wet fish to bang a nail into the wall, would you? It’d be bloody messy and take a long time. That’s not very efficient. You’d use a hammer. Just like Thor.
The point being, in order to make more money in your business you have to be as efficient with your time and resources as possible. You have to be like Thor.
Hence the importance of making a plan and executing that plan with the tools that are best for the job.
Depending where you are in your small business, this may mean:
- Finding your voice and establishing a niche
- Effectively managing your time among tasks including content creation, marketing and billable work
- Investing in a quality website
- Instead of spreading yourself thinly among all social media platforms, find out where your niche and audience hang out on social media (where you’ll get the most return for your energies) and spend your time there engaging with them in the right ways.
- Starting (and maintaining) a newsletter that doesn’t suck
Executable: As soon as you’re done reading this article, sit down with a pen and paper (old school, yo) and write down your ultimate goal this year for your business. Be bold, be specific, and be realistic. Now ask yourself what you have to do to make that happen. Is it any of the above points? None of the above points? All of the above points? That’s okay – whatever it is, establish it. Get it out. On paper. Make it tangible.
Now work backwards. In order for your goal to become a reality, what needs to happen? What tools will help you accomplish this? Get specific. Nitty gritty. And then use your specifics as a road map for acquiring and executing your plan with the right tools for the job.
2. Stop Networking!
Seriously. It doesn’t work. When was the last time you went to a conference and came home with a purse full of business cards or connected with someone on LinkedIn and it really, truly became a real lead in your business?
Truth time? That’s never happened to me. Ever. And yet I sustain a very profitable, very successful small business. Sure I’ve made some good contacts, but none of them turned into a serious sale from simply networking.
You see, once the excitement and shiny-ness of an event or “let’s connect” alert wears off, so does the real connection.
Stop building networks and start building relationships.
It’s loyalty that sells. It’s trust that sells. It’s the genuine connection between you and your potential client that sells! Not to mention the fact that relationships make us happier, fuller and generally better human beings and business people.
Thus, investing in your community rather than just increasing the number of followers in your circles is far more profitable than shelling out business cards to anyone who glances in your general direction.
Executable: Set aside 15 minutes, 2X per week to shoot 3 emails to people whom you admire. These might be potential clients, past clients, industry leaders, inspirational friends and colleagues, or anyone else in your industry that nourishes you in some way. Make it personal but professional; get specific so they know you’re talking to them but keep it brief. Thank them for what they do, mention why it matters to you. And here’s the kicker – ask NOTHING of them. No promotional discounty stuff, no “check out my latest post”, no referral requests. Just be there for them. And then mark it in your calendar to check in with them again in 3 months. If you’re feeling particularly randy, you could even make sure you follow them on social media and engage with their regularly.
Nurturing relationships is a long haul and it’s worth it. Not only does this increase sales and raise awareness about your brand but it also nourishes you. And happy people are abundant people.
3. Show Up and do the work. Duh.
If your long term goal is financial independence then the long term strategy must reflect that.
You must show up fully, passionately and consistently over time.
This means creating a solid work schedule that feels balanced in your life and sticking to it. This doesn’t mean you’ll never get a break – I take off all major Canadian holidays, Sundays for Walking Dead marathon parties, if I’m sick I lay in bed, and it’s in my calendar to take 1 full week off every quarter as a standard business practice. A well balanced life is the key to longevity in business.
But for the times when I’m at work, I’m there. Fully. 100%. Here’s a few tangible examples of how I make it work:
- There’s a space – albeit a small one – in my home dedicated to working. So I go there at the same time each day and focus for a solid 6-8 hours a day, 4 days per week (3 days of client work, 1 day of my own work.) Breaking of course for lunch, stretches and pee breaks. Which I take a lot of.
- I’ve allocated 3 different coffee shops in my area to work from to get me out of the house and in the right frame of mind if the home office isn’t producing results or I’m finding my Marvel DVDs to be too much of a distraction. Change your perspective, change your life.
- Because genuine relationships sell the most effectively, I don’t automate my social media. And you shouldn’t either. Seriously.
- I don’t take meetings that are longer than 20 minutes and that don’t have a clear, defined purpose. Period.
- I check in with my business – and myself – when I get back from my quarterly break. What’s working? What isn’t? Am I happy? Excited to wake up each day? I evaluate and revise as needed. And I use THIS tool to do it!
- I exercise. It’s included in the iCal every single day. Because when I take care of my body, my body takes care of me and I can handle the pressures of running a business with a clean and healthy mind.
You’ll see that showing up has an awful lot to do with organization and space.
It’s time to clear a space – figuratively, physically and mentally – for more abundance. More freedom. More money. More happiness. More success. And less bullshit.
Just like how you don’t need super powers to make more money in your small business, you also don’t need a ton of time or space. If you don’t have a full day or a full week all the time, you can find growth, presence and dolla’ billz in the small moments. 5 minute motions add up! Just make sure you’re using the right tools (see point 1) for the job so whatever time you do have – 20 minutes, an hour, a full day – is fully actualized by you and your presence.
Executable: Open your iCal or grab your agenda and look at the week. Are you making the most out of your time? When you’re good at time management, you’re good at being fully present. Get ruthless here: What stays? What’s gotta go? Where can you shuffle tasks or use your time more effectively? Use your goals from point 1 as a starting point.
Now block off realistic time frames for projects and tasks – don’t forget your own business in addition to the jobs you do for clients. Set timers and colour code things if need be. And then show up; Do the work.
What do you struggle most with your blog or business? What has been successful for you? What’s a waste of your time? Do you have a goal this year? Care to share? Leave a comment below or please shoot me an email and tell me! I wanna hear from you.