Have you ever felt like your time was being squeezed so tight that it felt like you couldn’t catch your breath? Have you felt like time with your family is being compromised just so you can keep up with the day-to-day tasks that keeping your business going? Business owners, especially the ones that try to do everything themselves, feel like this time and time again. Once they realize that something needs to change, and they have to take the steps necessary to make that happen, their business will start improving. It is the difference between a disaster waiting to happen and a well oiled machine. You see, the “one day” day doesn’t magically just happen. People say “one day I will have time to communicate better with my customers”, or “one day I will get my business on social media so I can increase my sales”, or “one day I will find a way to organize my business records so that I can see how my business is doing”. You have to make it happen, and if you follow these 4 easy steps you will be on the road to getting the organization you must have to get the peace of mind that you so desperately need.
1.) Get your business records organized. You need to have a program, I recommend QuickBooks, that can organize your business expenses and income into one place where you can look and see how your business is doing. It has lots of reports that you can utilize that will tell you exactly how your business is doing in terms of profit and loss. At tax time your accountant will love you. They can just log into your QuickBooks after you have given them access, and download all the reports they need to be able to fill out your tax return. No more paying accountant rates to go through your receipts, bank records, and credit card statements and organize them into a general ledger that they can then convert into the figures they need for your business tax return. This will save you a lot of time and money. It is cost efficient and easy to learn.
2.) Social Media. Create social media accounts that will increase your exposure to your target demographic and increase your sales. Certain social media platforms are better than others for different types of businesses. Choosing the right platform and engaging not only your existing customers but your target demographic for future business and sales could grow your business more than you ever thought. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest are some of the top rated platforms. You can give your customers tips, show pictures of your products, set up a click to buy, or promote your posts that will not only increase your likes, but your sales or services too! The statistics don’t lie. These social media platforms can help grow your business!
3.) Email Marketing. If you have a list of customers you have sold a product or a service to and you have their email information you can communicate with them on a consistent basis. Don’t bombard them with meaningless email that will make them hit delete every time they see your name. Send them information on a special you are having, or a newsletter with DIY tips or videos. Most people don’t mind getting emails if it is a way to save them money or help them in some way. Video is very popular right now. People don’t read plain text as much as text with pictures or video. Short 1-2 minute video’s are easy to make from just pictures and text. You could also make it a DIY tip video on a particular topic. Whatever you choose to send them, as long as it is engaging, will keep your name in front of them and they will be more likely to remember your company when they need something. There are both free and paid accounts you can set up in Constant Contact or Mailchimp that will let you upload your entire email contact list and create beautiful email campaigns with pictures and lots of color that will catch your customer’s attention. Staying connected with your customers will keep them coming back!
4.) Hire a virtual assistant. You can’t do it all… you need help sometimes. Learn to delegate. Learning this will improve several aspects of your business and personal life. The more organized your business is the more time you have to enjoy your personal life. The things I mentioned in this blog are all things that take time. They will definitely improve the way your business flows and help you get on track, but you might not have the time, or the understanding of how they work to get them all accomplished. You might find that you need some help in just certain areas. By hiring a virtual office assistant you don’t have to pay a full-time or even permanent part-time employee to do the things you need done. A virtual assistant works only when you need something done. If you need help getting your QuickBooks set up or even someone to help maintain the invoicing, receiving of payments, and recording of expenses, they can help. If you need someone to help come up with creative content ideas for your social media platforms, they can help. If you need someone to create email marketing campaigns and videos to promote your business, they can help. Virtual assistants can simply help you set these programs up so that you can do the work yourself each month, or they can keep up with them when you don’t have the time. Most of them charge by the hour or by the project. They are very fast at what they do because that’s all they do. It is their specialty. Some people who have used them don’t know how they ran their business without them.
Making your life easier is simple. Don’t let the business you started and love drive you crazy and keep you from doing the things you enjoy. There are ways to organize, grow, and get help managing your business that will make “one day”.. this day. You just need to quit thinking about it and make it happen.