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Steer your small business to success and prepare for the new financial year ahead

They say the only constant in business is change. As times go on I find this more and more true. With a global pandemic behind us and a recession in front of us, small businesses are really feeling the pain of the constant change and the fear of the unknown, and wondering how long things will continue to feel ‘hard’ and when business will be more in flow.

While I don’t have a crystal ball to future proof the success of your small business, I do have some practical tips to share that I hope will help you and give you a sense of clarity and confidence during a challenging time and help you prepare for new financial year ahead, and remember: what goes down will come back up again. Business will get better.

  1. Deep dive across your inbound channels and identify what works and what doesn’t.
    We’re talking about the marketing channels you’re using to promote your business. The place your clients meet you for the first time. Take a look at what’s working and what isn’t. Understand why and build out a plan to make improvements. This could mean hiring an agency to support you in improving your channels or dedicating time to optimise these yourself. Getting clear on your channels and what changes need to be made is the first step.
  2. Review your conversion rates and identify if there are any key areas that need improvement.
    Are there particular products or services, or even website pages, inbound channels, or team members, that just aren’t converting as well as they should be? This is your opportunity to audit your conversion rates and look for opportunities to improve. This is an area you have a lot of control over and is within your power to improve.
  3. Continue nurturing your existing audiences to stay top of mind.
    Keep in touch with your audience and nurture them where you can. Activities like social media marketing, email marketing and customer surveys are all a great way to connect with your audience and ensure that when they are ready to make a purchase or enquire, you’re the one that comes to mind first.
  4. Incentivise your warmest audiences through value-adds to help drive conversions.
    Your warm audiences already exist, but they might have some barriers or objections to spending money with you at the moment. How can you help to address their concerns and get them across the line, in a way that is not only helpful and beneficial for them, but doesn’t eat into your margins or start a price race to the bottom amongst your industry.
  5. Pay attention to your current customers.
    Observe your existing audience and spend a little more time servicing them and adding more value to your service if you can. This will go a long way in making them feel valued and retaining them as long-term customers and supporters of your business. You may be able to provide free information or value which supports them during this time and positions you as a trusted, people-conscious business.
  6. Focus on content creation to attract new audiences.
    Content creation is the best use of your time if business is quiet as it’s a great way to create more interest and awareness for your business and, if done well, it can increase your audience and overall conversions. Spend time creating organic marketing content such as blogs, videos, tutorials, free resources and more. When you have the time to do them well, they’ve a long-term value and may be great tools to leverage when the market picks back up.
  7. Pre-plan so that when things do pick up, you’re well prepared to service those sales and customers.
    Spend some time going over your operations and tightening up any areas that may need it, so that when sales pick back up, you can service customers to a high standard. It can be easy when times are good to just continue with the same-old systems or processes, this is your opportunity to critically evaluate and optimise!
  8. Look for outreach opportunities to strengthen relationships.
    Consider outreach opportunities that are in line with your business goals – working with influencers, using outbound content marketing tools, and even utilising PR are all great ways to grow your business and awareness when your business is going through a quiet period, especially if your resources are limited.
  9. Improve your follow-up processes for enquiries so you’re closing business better.
    Processes are essential to every business, but even more essential to a successful business. Take the time to make sure your processes are smooth and streamlined so that your enquiries have a great onboarding and offboarding experience. If they reach out via online, how quickly are you responding and taking to address their query? The better you are at this, the better you can expect your conversion rate to be!
  10. Ensure you intimately understand your cash flow and runway.
    Know your numbers inside and out. Look at your accounts everyday and make sure you know what is coming in and when. This is absolutely essential and will bring ease and certainty during a challenging time. This one is out of our area of expertise, but we highly recommend you follow along with Accounted For You and reach out if you’re needing extra support around this.


I’m an open book and here to help you build and grow a successful small business – if you have a topic in mind that you’d love to hear more on, please feel free to reach out any time.

Lauren

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