Happy New Year! Oh wait, I mean, Happy Fall! It may not be 2017 just yet, but with the changing of the new seasons, we can still “turn over a new leaf” or two (no pun intended) within our businesses — in order to finish out the third quarter of the year strong and with full steam ahead into the final quarter.
There are so many things to love about the autumnal season – being outdoors, curling up in a hoodie and sweatpants (that’s all year long for me) – the beginning of football season, pumpkin (EVERYTHING!) and more. We’ve spent the last few months sweating away, cranking out work and probably feeling some burnout from it. But once the leaves start changing colors and hitting the ground — and there’s a cool crispiness to the air — it might be good for us to breathe it in, trade in our summer wardrobe for sweaters and boots and get to work readjusting our sails and trying new things to help us transition into the holidays and with finishing out the year.
I’ve spent some time thinking about what I’m going to change in my business for the last few months of the year (because it’s never too late) with the changing of the season and I’m thinking that they might just help you, too, if you’re feeling stuck:
1) Figure out what worked best so far this year.
The biggest and best investment that I made in my business this year has been hiring a business coach and becoming involved in a group program with other female entrepreneurs. I could literally write a blog post alone about all of its benefits (and will down the road, so wait for it) but, long story short, it’s literally changed the way I do business, look at my business, feel about my business and as a result, changed my life. I’ve increased my rates, packaged my services (and added more value to those packages.) I’ve started working with my regular monthly clients on a retainer basis, I’ve been published on the Huffington Post and interviewed on two podcasts. And, all of that alone has happened just this summer. If I could do all of that in a short three months, I can definitely keep the engine running and do the same throughout September, October and November. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I will keep benefiting from the coaching and incorporating new systems and practices into my business that have been working for me recently. Who knows where I will be one or even two months from now! Maintain your momentum, keep using the systems that help you run your business easier and more efficiently (whether it’s with social media, blogging, accounting, emailing, etc.) until it no longer works or you grow and need to start implementing bigger and better things.
2) Decide what isn’t working.
Why keep riding a bicycle with a flat tire? Why settle and spend your time on and with things that don’t make you any bigger, better, stronger, happier or more money? Cut out the fat. Remove any systems (whether they are digital platforms or contactors you outsource to) that are proving to be a waste of time or not giving you a return on your investment. Are you selling products that cost more to make? Are you providing a service that isn’t benefiting your niche market? Get rid of it! I’m all about quality over quantity. I would rather sell one or two types of services that truly benefit my clients and help them make money over five other ones that don’t (just because it might look impressive on my site or makes me APPEAR a certain way) and have an email list of 30 truly loyal followers and future clients than 1,000 nobodies who will never buy from me. Take a really hard look at what serves a purpose in your business and what doesn’t. Keep things simple and running, as they should.
3) Think about where you see your business in the next six months, a year or 3-5 years…
I am always setting goals and making plans and projections in my mind and heart. Whether they’re personal or professional aspirations, I am always thinking about “what’s next” or what I can improve on (while also enjoying being in the moment – which is just as important!) If you’re going to have a business that doesn’t just survive, but actually thrives, you need to set it up for that success. Whether you plan to make $60,000 in a year or $250,000, you need to think about the things that you need to invest in (or again, the systems that you will need to put in place) in order to make those financial dreams a reality. What are the next steps that you need to take? Do you need to outsource more, so that you can focus on what you’re really good at and passionate about? Do you need to hire a coach? Are you making a certain comfortable amount monthly, but want to double it? There are people and programs all over the world waiting to help you – go figure out and find the best fits for you and your business, so that you can get where you want to be!
4) Hone in on what you truly want to be known for and your dream client base.
In business, it’s not about being a “jack of all trades.” When you’re not known for doing something specific, because you offer a little bit of everything, people are not going to buy from you as quickly or easily because they’re not going to know you or exactly what you do. As such, if you try to be everything to everyone, you’re going to run into A LOT of not-dreamy clients, who end up giving you more tedious work to do than work you love, emotionally drain you and don’t pay you enough. When you really focus on the maybe 1-3 things that you do well, the exact services and products that you want to offer, the work that you TRULY love and find the right clients who you can truly help, you will find that making money is much easier and doing the work is much more enjoyable. Find the right niche market – for yourself and your clients.
What are some of your “fall resolutions” and things that you will be readjusting for your business within the next month or two? Let me know in the comments below!
If branding is something that you could work on and make better within your biz, you don’t have to wait until the New Year to start. Sign-up below to receive the link to download my new and free PDF tool “Branding 101: What it is, what it isn’t and why you need it” — right now! This quick and simple guide will walk you through why it’s important to establish consistent and memorable branding within your biz — and if you can DIY some of it or if you should hire a professional. If you have any questions after going through it, let’s connect and chat some more! If you do decide to hire a professional, I have branding “starter” and “expert” kit packages available for businesses at different stages and budgets. Let me know what you’re interested in today!