If you’re reading this article, it means that either you own your own business or are thinking about starting one. No matter which category applies to you, it’s important to remember the following: Your business deserves the same amount of attention as any other client!
This includes responding promptly to emails and phone calls, following up on every lead, and getting referrals from satisfied customers. It is equally as important for your business to succeed as it is for a new client, so be proactive so both parties can benefit.
This may seem overwhelming, but it is definitely possible to treat your own business as if it were a new client. With these simple guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to success.
Schedule time for strategy
It’s very easy to let your mind drift as you’re working on a project for yourself. This is especially dangerous for business because if you aren’t thinking about the future, it won’t be in the future.
Instead of letting your client work take over your life, schedule a time during your week where you can dedicate yourself to promoting your own business.
You know all that amazing work you do for your clients? Yeah, it’s time to do that for yourself.
Think about where you are and where you want to be. Then determine what tasks will help you get there.
- Are you struggling to find leads?
- Are your leads not right for your business?
- Are you attracting low-paying clients?
- Do you want to grow a new area of your business?
Now you have a list of goals, tackle these as you would any other client problem. This is just like working on any other client project. But don’t let yourself off the hook. Treat this as non-negotiable client work, give it a deadline, assign a value to it. Whatever you need to do to make it happen.
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Prioritise email response times
When someone emails or calls to inquire about your services, respond promptly! The more prompt you respond and provide the information they need, the more likely they are to become a paying customer.
And once you have paying customers, you can’t drop the ball and ignore their messages. This is especially important when it comes to email.
If someone emails you and receives no response within a couple of days, they are more likely to look for another option rather than wait around for you. Set a goal for email response times (24 hours, perhaps?) and then stick to it.
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Think about lead generation
Switching off lead generation tools once you’re fully booked is a recipe for disaster. Instead, keep lead generation moving forward and put systems in place to start booking work months in advance.
Some clients won’t wait, because they want the work now. But others will recognise the value in choosing the person who is booked up months in advance.
In many ways, being immediately available can be a red flag for potential clients. They would prefer to see stability and dependability in a professional. Make sure you’re promoting yourself as someone who will continue to provide services in the future.
Follow up on every lead with a call or email, even if they didn’t book
You must follow up on any leads whether or not they chose to work with you. Keep the conversation flowing, or ask if you can add them to your mailing list. You might not be the right fit now, but you might be perfect in the future. Or they might refer other potential clients your way.
Make time for your business
You’ll never focus on growing your business if you let client time eat up your whole schedule. Set aside time every week or every month to focus on growing YOUR business. Once it’s in the schedule, I find that I’m far less likely to bail on the tasks.