Your friendly, small business pep talk
With Q4 coming to a close it’s time to look back over the year and consider your Q1 goals. The age-old adage: fail to prepare, prepare to fail, is entirely applicable to small businesses.
Start the upcoming business year with a plan by evaluating what worked last year, and what didn’t. Any data you have from previous years is worth looking at as you put your upcoming plan of action together.
- What is my mission for this year?
- Have my values changed?
- What would I have done differently last year?
- Do I have to redesign my strategy?
- What were my successes last year?
No matter how you answer those questions be sure to pat yourself on the back. Owning a business is hard work. Being in a position to reevaluate and plan your goals is a sign of success, in my book.
Ponder collected insights. On social media platforms, this will direct you where to put your energy for content creation, ads, or direction to give social media managers or virtual assistants. If your target audience has responded well to it, do more of it! Repurpose popular content.
Check out our friends, Makenzie and Joshua at Jamias Creative and their 10 tips to help improve your social media strategy.
Next, if you aren’t already using a post scheduler it’s time to utilize what you have available. Many of our clients aren’t ready to invest in services in the beginning stages of business ownership. However, we believe in working smarter, not harder as Meg B Marketing shows you in this helpful article: 5 ways to use 1 piece of content. The Facebook business suite has everything you need to promote your business on Instagram and Facebook with no effort. Don’t let your budget or lack thereof hold you back. There are accessible solutions available for everyone at every stage.
While we’re on the topic of scheduling, don’t forget to schedule your own vacations and any conferences you’ve got your eye on attending. Schedule self-care, and set workday hours to help you be more productive and to keep your mental wellness in tip-top condition. The effort you put into this is pointless if you burn out and run yourself into the ground.
Speaking of social media, if we learned anything last year it’s that sadly, we can’t depend on these platforms for business. As long as they’re around they’re a very valuable tool. However, the outages and bugs we witnessed last year were disruptive and stressful for business owners who solely depend on them. It’s time to build your email list. Do what is within your control. Add your newsletter subscription link to your linktree. Offer an incentive for subscribing, either a discount or freebie often works well. If Instagram suspends your profile for whatever reason, you’ll still have a database of potential clients/customers and contacts.
If you depend on social media for networking it’s time to look outside of these groups and direct messages. There are in-person networking groups happening all around you. A wise place to start would be by asking the people in the local online groups you’re already in. Crazy idea, right? Business ownership can be very lonely. Contact with actual humans is important even for those of us who are not very peoplely.
Review and update your website and social profiles. Fill all the information in as fully as possible. If potential clients can’t contact you, that’s on you and can be quickly rectified.
Your website should continue to work for you. Make sure you have everything in place and ready for the new year. Refresh your site if needed. Update information, copy, and images, update plugins, and check for broken links. If you need updated headshots or product photos, schedule to have them taken. Now is the time to make these plans even if they’re a few months down the line.
Write down what’s been on your mind. Make your own list. Do you have the energy to put in a little extra effort? Can you put together a template now that will save you energy later? Are your subscriptions paying off? It’s time to cancel subscriptions that aren’t working for you and potentially upgrade subscriptions that are.
The end of the pep talk
Small changes can and do create big impacts. We want you to feel comfortable using the tools you have available to you. You don’t have to make big investments right now but affording them shouldn’t be a far-off dream. You are capable of the success you’ve envisioned. Be aware of what is available to you and make the best choices you can.
Go, little business owner.
You’ve got this.