Would you believe, I used to think that business was boring?!
When I was a kid, my mom told me that she got her baccalaureate degree in business administration. To which my fun-loving child brain said “Eww, that’s no fun”… and resolved to major in something I loved (luckily, I discovered graphic design in high school, and the rest is history).
So it strikes me as so CRAZY and AWESOME, that I ended up a designer/entrepreneur, and that business is (most of the time) so much fun that it makes my mind buzz with excitement + anticipation + ideas! Creating new things is just one of the many reasons I love it (other reasons include helping my clients put their best brands forward, and providing inspiration + motivation to my fellow small biz owners 😉 ).
So on that note, I want to feed your fun factor…with this list of twelve things you can change, create, and shake up…to grow your business! So get your thinking cap on, tune into “Chief Growth Officer” mode, and see which of these things might lead to the next big BOOM in your biz. My treat!
Bright Ideas to Boost Your Biz
1 Create that grand new product you’ve had forming in your mind for the past year. The details are already up there in your head, now all you have to do is flesh it out on paper, build it, and get it into your customers hands!
2 Try a new marketing technique or strategy, one that is off the beaten path, that you’ve never tried before. For example, you could start a weekly talk show on YouTube (not just a video, but a LIVE show), or get on that hot social media site you’ve been hearing so much about (but don’t just dabble, really make a commitment to see it through).
3 Take a course, and learn much-needed skills (like how to hire your first employees, or how to use affiliate marketing to increase your sales).
4 Seek help from an awesome business coach or growth consultant – someone who can help you dream bigger than you ever imagined, and develop a plan to make that dream a reality.
5 Hire an intern, virtual assistant, or your first full-time employee…so you can spend more of your time on top revenue-generating tasks, and less on those pesky little tasks like spreadsheets and e-mail.
6 Jump into an area you never thought possible…like public speaking, live workshops, selling your wares in major retailers, etc. Make it your goal to add that new income stream, and keep working at it until you make it!
7 Figure out how to make money off of something you already have. Like a collection of all your freebies, up for sale as a bundle…an e-book compilation of every blog article you’ve ever written…a product you’ve already created, that could be easily duplicated in other colors, sizes, or variations…you get the idea.
8 Put on your best face: update your wardrobe to power-preneur, relaunch your web presence with a whole new look, and/or make a totally awesome backdrop or new set for your YouTube show. Then, go on a PR/social media/tour/promo blitz, to get your new face out there in front of your target market.
9 Throw out the deadweight (the stuff that’s not selling), and double up on the kinds of products or services that are/have sold well for you. Make new varieties, roll out new editions, or take down a certain item for a time while you make improvements and upgrades – and then re-introduce it as “new and improved” (you could even bump up the price a bit, if the improvements are worth the increase).
10 Raise your prices! You know it, I know it, and it really is true – many of us are undervaluing our offerings – especially in the early years of business, when we think that we have to have lower prices in order to compete (SIDE NOTE: leave the low prices for Wal-Mart, unless “cheap” is actually part of your business model).
11 Stop conforming to stereotypes and expectations, and be the CEO/writer/maker/leader you’re meant to be. Somewhere out there, is a niche market of people looking for exactly your style of doing things, your unique product or service, YOUR business.
12 Simplify your marketing! Get rid of things that haven’t brought in the type or amount of clients or customers you’re after, and spend more time on the marketing techniques that DO work well for your business. Get a double bonus, by saving time that you would’ve spent on fruitless marketing, and using that time to better serve your customers and generate more word-of-mouth marketing (it’s free and it works!).
Whew, I’m tired after thinking about all that business growth! Don’t overload yourself by trying a whole bunch of these; just zero in on the one or two that make the most sense for your business where it’s currently at, and work on implementing them. And remember, to be creative and have fun! 🙂
About Barbara Austin
As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!