While the summer is in full swing why not take some time out to attend your own business summer camp? Here are ten pointers to consider doing before September to develop your business.
1. Update your profile on LinkedIn. If you haven’t got a profile on LinkedIn then set one up. Look at other aspects of social media and see if they are relevant to your business – Facebook, Twitter. If you’re not familiar with these tools, set an aim to learn about them before September.
2. Update your website, or at least the home page. Even minor changes to your website make a huge difference from a search engine point of view, but also from your customers point of view. If you don’t have a website, start to put one together. It can be far less expensive than you might think.
3. Change your work routine. Start radically early e.g. at 6:00am and finish at lunchtime. It’s a great way to make the most of the summer while the kids are off school but also allows you to think creatively about your business when you break the routine.
4. This is a great time to write to former clients / colleagues and say Hello. Many will be away / busy / preoccupied… but about 2 out of 10 will be really glad you took the time to connect with them.
5. Raise your fees, with effect from September. Most of us don’t review our fees / salaries / prices often enough. Why only once per year for example? If you are getting excellent customer feedback, you already have the basis to act. If not, how about exploring the value of what you are already doing. The easiest place to test a new price is with a new client.
6. Make plans for the next four months of the year. Review what you have achieved since the start of the year. It’s amazing how time goes by so quickly. Then detail out exactly what you want to achieve by the end of the year.
7. Write an article, typically between 500 and 1,200 words, and send the draft to three editors of publications that your potential customers regularly read. It is a great way of getting exposure for your business.
8. Take one small step to improve an internal system or procedure ideally by simplification and to ensure reliability. For example, if your main computer were to crash now, how well are you backed up? How do you know?
9. Do some simple research to keep your marketing message topical and relevant to your customer’s world, and use this as a basis for service-development.
10. Measure your business pipeline at each key stage. Relate to numbers from previous months, forecast future business, and identify what could be improved at each key stage to increase your conversion.
If you are doing some of the above suggestions, you will probably experience some new energy for your business. As new power flows in, use it to focus on longer-term plans rather than shorter-term catch-up. This will serve to inspire you for the months ahead.
Paul Davis is a Business Growth Specialist with Davis Business Consultants