Business growth is something we all want but it can sometimes feel quite elusive – perhaps it’s the unicorn of the small business world. But it doesn’t have to be.
In the first post of our March series on how to grow your business, I want you to know exactly what you are doing and why. You can’t build an addition onto a house without enhancing or ensuring the foundation first. Likewise, you can’t grow a business without knowing who you are.
As we consider ways to grow our business this month, I want to first take a look at our foundations. Our foundation for growth is our “thing.” It’s what we are good at, it’s what we love doing, and it’s what makes us a little bit different. I’m going to suggest three things you need to consider as you look at ways to grow your business starting at the foundation.
And I’m throwing in a new tool we recommend to help you get growing!
Consideration #1: Where do you currently find the most success?
Where you currently find the most success is pretty simple. Are most of your clients real estate agents? Are your contacts mostly business consultants looking for a little extra help or information? Are your most requested services scheduling or social media management? These things are your strengths. They are your money makers.
The tendency is to focus on the things we aren’t good at or the clients we aren’t getting to improve. That’s all well and good and perfect at certain times. But, when it comes to our foundation, focusing on what you are already good at, the markets you are already breaking well into, and the client group who already respects you is the best use of your time.
A world-renowned soprano singer doesn’t decide one day to try to also be a world-renowned alto. It’s not her strength. Unless you’re Michael Jordan, a world class basketball star doesn’t decide to also play baseball. It’s not his strength. And, honestly, it didn’t work out all the well for Michael either.
Focus on your foundation, your strengths, and use your strengths to get stronger.
Consideration #2: What do you enjoy doing the most?
I would never be that person that tells you to suck it up and work. That’s not the way I want to live and it’s not the way I want you to live either. It seems like a pretty… well… sucky philosophy.
You must do what you love. You won’t always like it, but you should still love it. So why not focus on the parts of your business you love the most? Of course, as with all business, there will be parts we don’t like, such as inventory or billing. These things take time and don’t necessarily grow our business but we still have to do them to actually have a business. That’s not what I’m talking about. Please continue to bill your clients. Please.
If we focus on the big things we love, whether we are Bakers who prefer cupcakes or Virtual Assistants who love introducing our clients to new technology, focus on that and emphasize it. No need to always be doing something outside of your love zone. If you love it, you will most likely be good at it. If you are good at it, your clients and customers will love reaping the fruits of your labor of love. The big things we love doing should be the things we promote the most and offer first.
Don’t try to force yourself into a new product or service that you absolutely hate doing simply because everyone else is doing it or your mom’s neighbor’s hairdresser things it’d be great.
It’s simple. Do what you love, make it your focus, and growth will come.
Consideration #3: What makes you stand out?
For our current clients and customers, there is a reason they chose to work with me instead of someone else. Hint: it's because they trust me and my team. It's because we get it done when we say we will. And it's because we want to love their business and life as much as we love our own.
We all have something that makes us different, we just may not know what it is yet. And it may be something small. Maybe they like how personal you are. Maybe they like how you always remember their name when they walk in the door. Maybe they like your in-depth knowledge on a certain topic or how efficiently you work a calendar.
If you don’t know what it is, ask. Then once you know, use it to your advantage. Focus on continuing to make your current clients happy and entice potential future clients with your skills – that little something-something that makes you different.
Growing your business doesn’t always have to mean being something you are not. It starts with knowing who you are and what you do and keeping that the main thing. The best restaurants are the ones with small menus. And the best businesses are the ones who know what they do, what they are good at, and what makes them different – and they embrace it!
NEW TOOL HIGHLIGHT: Focus Booster
Now that you know what to focus on, exactly how do you do it? Several weeks back we talked about tools that help remove distraction so we can focus on our work. Once we know what our foundation is made of, it’s time to get to work.
Get to work with fewer distractions using Focus Booster. This new (to us) tool is perfect for your Mac or Windows and utilizes a Pomodoro-based model of time management. Because time well managed is time well spent (and money earned).
You can sign up for a free starter plan but subscriptions start at just $2.99 per month. Well-designed visual charts show you how productive you’ve been, but the best part of THIS application is that sessions are automatically recorded in your timesheets so you no longer have the headache of trying to recall where your time went.
You can try it today for free…they won’t even ask for a credit card. Bomb dot com.