Do you know which season your business is in? Just like Mother Nature, your business has seasons too but sometimes it’s as hard to figure out whether we should be in business building mode or marketing mode as it is to figure out if we need a sweater or sunscreen. Here are five ways to figure out whether you should be planting seeds or selling your wares.
SHOW ME THE MONEY!
The first question is, have you hit a financial groove or are you building toward it? If you’re still working toward your financial goal, you’re still in the business building phase. You will need to be planning daily actions to meet, connect, and share with potential clients or customers. If your business is providing consistent revenue and you’re happy with what you’re bringing in, you are in the branding and marketing season. Your focus should be on keeping clientele happy and in providing consistent messaging and branding so that you can fill spots as they become available.
SHALL WE DANCE?
If each new client brings to light a missing step in your process or a new challenge that needs to be worked out, you’re still in business building mode. During this season, you’ll want to work out a systematic approach that can be duplicated with each new client. Once you have all the steps in place and once you find yourself (and your team) easily able to execute the routine, then you’ve turned the corner into marketing. If you find yourself having to recreate the wheel with each new client your focus must be on creating processes and improving communication. Without these pieces in place, you’ll never be ready to move toward marketing autopilot programs such as an auto drip campaign.
HANDSHAKES AND COFFEE DATES
At many networking groups, you’ll hear the phrase, “You’re either networking, or you’re not working!” This is partially true, in that networking can be a very important part of your business building season. By showing up every week for a networking meeting early in my career, and scheduling frequent face to face meetings, I set myself apart from the other social media specialists who visited the group inconsistently. Each week, with each meeting I built a name for myself and my business. Over time I got hired by people in my networking group and they began to market for me. This allowed me to focus less on face to face meetings and more on strategic relationships that would help me take my business to the next level.
SOCIAL MEDIA, WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME
If your people on Facebook and Instagram don’t know about your business, you’re still in the season of business building. If you’ve got a business page that isn’t generating leads, sharing great reviews and isn’t filled with content that tells your story you need to commit to creating a more vibrant online community. Now is the time for you to explain your “why” to answer FAQs and to share the thing that sets your business apart for all your competitors: you. When you’re still building your business, sharing various aspects of your story is crucial. As you become more established, your focus will shift slightly with customer testimonials and stories of client problems that you solved with your products or services.
By now you should be clear on whether you’re in a season of building or tending and you know where your energy and attention should be directed. Like all growing things, your business will continue to change, and you’ll find yourself switching gears as you add services or change direction due to a new chapter in your life or changes within your industry. By adjusting to the changing seasons, you’ll meet each day with a clear vision of your destination and the insight you need to prepare for the days ahead.