If you’re a small business owner or solopreneur and you’re ready to level up, it can be hard to know where to start. There are infinite ways you can spend your time and money. And I understand the challenges of being a small but growing business, so I wanted to narrow it down. Here are the essential components that every small business should have in place.
1. Trim the Fat
Is 20% of your business generating 80% of the revenue? If so, focus on that. Trim the fat – cut out areas of your business or service offerings that are costing you more than they’re worth. Instead, start putting more of your focus into the areas that are already paying dividends. Doing so will not only free up your time and energy but it’ll also help you reduce opportunity costs.
Sometimes, the things we do to save money end up costing us valuable time. That’s why it’s essential to know how to prioritize—for example, saving $3000 by making your website might cost you $5000 in lost business.
2. Pay Attention to the Numbers
Use a bookkeeping tool or an accountant to see where you’re spending more than you should. An accountant can help you set realistic targets for your business’ finances and show you where to remove redundancies in your spending. They can also advise you on whether you should charge more for your product or service by helping you get clear on your profit margins and financial goals.
Once an account has helped you set realistic financial objectives, you can switch to an automated accounting system or bookkeeping to save money. But in my experience, having an accountant is invaluable.
3. Set Up Automations
Are there any routine tasks that you repeatedly do? If so, you’ll benefit from automation. Whether it’s bookkeeping, invoicing, or email marketing, if there are areas of your business that are routine and repetitive, you can use a tool like Dubsado or HubSpot to automate these systems. Unless you’re a pro at getting systems up and running, I suggest hiring a virtual assistant or a freelance project manager to save you time and effort.
4. Create a Lead Magnet
If you have a website, you should have a lead magnet. A lead magnet is an offer on your website that people can trade in exchange for their email addresses.
Sometimes people are interested in your business, but they aren’t ready to convert. A lead magnet can keep you top of mind when you have insights or offers to share – send out an email whenever you want to reach your audience. Just don’t do it too often – about once a week is a good aim.
Take some time to create a lead magnet that makes sense for your business. Create a discount code if you’re an e-commerce business or a helpful guide if you’re a service-based business. Your developer can help you put this up on your website and integrate it with an email marketing service.
5. Set Up a Referral Program
Create a referral program so your customers can start becoming your word-of-mouth marketers. A referral program is a growth marketing tactic that incentivizes happy customers to share your business with family or friends. You may offer them a gift certificate, a discount, or a free product for every person they send your way.
6. Invest in Photography & Branding
Consider investing in professional photography and branding. Having a polished look – whether through photos, graphics, or signage – will make your business stand out.
Investing in branding and photography can bring your business to the next level. You’ll gain confidence through the experience, and you’ll be more likely to share your business with others.
7. Develop Your Website
Once you have new tools and systems to use for your business and new photos and branding, you should consider investing in a professionally developed website if you don’t have one already.
The right website will not only look great and attract the right users to your business, but it’ll function well for you. As a web developer, this means that my clients have secure websites with appropriate hosting support for their needs. Furthermore, my client’s websites are protected against malware, their websites are up to date, and they trust that the website can handle high traffic as they grow.
If you need customization requirements for your website – animations, membership areas, marketing automation – one of the best investments you can make is to have your website developed by a professional.
8. Create a Google My Business Profile
If you haven’t already, register your business with Google My Business.
When your customer is searching for someone local to solve their needs – whether you’re a hairdresser, sushi shop, or dog groomer – there’s a good chance that they’ll look at the map in their search results. As long as you have a business that sells a product or service, you can sign up for Google My Business to put yourself on the map too. This is a more straightforward solution than paying for ads or developing an SEO strategy.
If your place of business is your house and you’re worried about putting your address online, don’t worry. You can use the city you live in instead.
9. Get Help with Content Marketing
Now that your shiny new website is up and running, you want to bring as many people as you can to it. One great way to do this is through content marketing. Content marketing refers to any content your business creates, including blog posts, social media posts, or videos. Content marketing aims to answer questions or educate your target audience.
By answering their questions, visitors come to know and trust your brand. Although they might not convert right away, a good content marketing strategy will help you turn strangers into fans and fans into customers.
I hope this has given you some good ideas for what to do next in your business. All the expenses I’ve listed are investments, not costs – when done right, they’ll bring you a return on investment. Moreover, all these costs are tax-deductible.
If you’re looking for a web developer to help improve your online presence, book a call.