Most small business owners aim to scale operations and increase revenue and profitability. But getting from Point A to Point B…and then to Point C…and then Point to D…and then, well - you get the picture. (There are a lot of letters in the alphabet, and there are a lot of opportunities for a savvy small biz owner to grow.) However, making those jumps can be intimidating and overwhelming. That's why you need a strategic approach and a thorough understanding of the challenges that will be nipping at your heels along the way.
Here are five key strategies you can use to scale your operations.
Develop a growth strategy: You need an action plan outlining how your business intends to grow. Consider all areas that have room for improvement, like marketing, operations, finances, and sales. Then take those areas and create objectives, timelines, and metrics to measure success. Don't treat this like a wishlist or vision board. There's a time and place for...
Owning a business can be a fulfilling and exciting experience, but it's not all smooth sailing. Sometimes it's more akin to a trip aboard the Titanic. Or it is being stuck on one of those cruise ships where everybody gets food poisoning. It can be beautiful sunsets and neverending Pina Coladas on the upper deck. It can also be dysentery and an unfortunate starboard encounter with an iceberg. And more often than not, it's a little bit of both.
Still, no risk, no reward, right?
There are plenty of highs and lows when it comes to owning your own business. And even knowing what we know (and what we've seen), we'd throw ourselves onto that ship every single time. But it's a decision everyone has to make for themselves. If you're just starting out or thinking about buying or starting a business of your own, keep in mind some of the high points and the low points you will encounter on the way.
High - Independence and freedom: One of the biggest perks of owning a business...
Social Media. Love it or hate it, its presence in our personal and professional lives is not going anywhere anytime soon. And for business owners who hope to leverage its power to grow their customer base and reach a larger audience, it can be both rewarding and an absolute nightmare.
The first thing we need to remember is that these platforms are in continuous flux. What worked two months ago may not hold true today. Algorithms change, updates are made, new rules and regulations are created, and restrictions are imposed.
And all of that falls completely outside of our control.
That’s why most marketing experts (and us) recommend not putting all your eggs in the social media basket. However, just like an adult-sized bib at a Lobster House, everything has its benefits; you just need to learn how to use it to your advantage. You can’t throw up a handful of posts and then walk away and expect to see any results. It takes consistency, creativity, a lot of trial...
As business owners, you are responsible for communicating with your employees. That’s just part of the job. And whether you have one person on the payroll or one hundred, you need to know how to effectively communicate your vision and expectations if you want to lead for long-term success.
There have been entire books dedicated to the subject, but we’re going to listen to our own advice and get straight to the point - or, nine points in this case.
The robots are coming for your jobs.
There are a lot of worries, misinformation, misconceptions, and fear-mongering surrounding the increasing popularity of Artificial Intelligence.
AI is the buzziest of buzzwords these days; more and more applications are entering the mainstream, and the possibilities feel endless. It's sort of like one of those late-night infomercials. "But wait, there's more!"
On the one hand, yes. The robots HAVE taken jobs. You can order a fast food meal, pay a toll, or hitch a ride without ever interacting with an actual human being.
But on the OTHER hand (we have two, remember), AI is predicted to actually CREATE jobs; 97 million by 2025, to be precise.
The fact of the matter is that it's not going anywhere, whether you embrace it or not.
So why not embrace it?
AI continues to transform everything from manufacturing to farming, data entry, janitorial tasks, investing, insurance...the list goes on. And for small business owners -...
Want to know how you can get into bed with your customers every night?
Or be by their side nearly every minute of the day?
It’s not as scandalous (or stalkerish) as it sounds.
We’re talking about two simple words: Mobile Marketing.
Mobile marketing is a powerful and effective way to reach customers where they are at any time and any place. Think about how often you’re on your own phone. You’re checking emails. You’re reading the news. You’re scrolling through Twitter or responding to texts or checking your bank balances, or playing Wordle. Point is, you’re on it a lot - and probably more than you realize. According to Zippia, the average American checks their phone approximately 96 times PER DAY. (That’s once every ten minutes.)
So yeah. Why wouldn’t you want to tap (into) that? Here are five of our favorite strategies to consider incorporating into your own business.
1. Develop a mobile-friendly...
In just a matter of days, we’ll be closing the door on 2022 and welcoming a brand new year - and with that, many of us will set resolutions for 2023. Now, whether we KEEP those resolutions is another matter entirely (an estimated 65% are abandoned in the first month), but it’s important to at least try, right?
Our newsletter last week (aptly called The Weekly, check it out if you haven’t already) touched on four things small business owners should address before the year wraps up. But now it’s time to really double down on number 2 from that list: Plan for next year.
1. Get better at managing your finances: Make a commitment to better understanding and managing your business’s finances. That includes creating (and sticking to) a budget, tracking expenses in a timely manner, and regularly reviewing your financial statements.
2. Prioritize customer...
When it comes to running a business (or life in general, really), two things nobody ever complains about having too much of are Time and Money. We can’t imagine any scenario where someone would turn down more of either. And yet, both are far too often squandered by small business owners.
Where money is concerned, it’s easier to track. You’ve got bank statements and budgets and cold hard numbers to determine where the waste is happening. It’s all very black and white; it just takes some leg work.
Time - more specifically, effective Time Management - is a bit more nebulous. A dollar is a dollar, but what one person can do with an hour is vastly different from what the next guy can do with those same 60 minutes. People work at different paces.
That’s why it’s critical you carefully evaluate your own time management skills on a regular basis. Time is a valuable asset, and you want to ensure you’re getting the best ROI for the effort...