A few months ago, I wrote about taking ownership of our results. My business wasn't going as well as I hoped and I had to do something about it. Fast.
My business is now thriving financially after implementing a few subtle, but profound changes. These are five of the key aspects I focused on to turn my business from struggle town to thriving online enterprise:
1. Added platforms
The biggest issue I had was that my business was very flat. I offered one service, with a few products on the side. This did great for my focus, but not so great for my income.
Not long after I made this realisation, I attended an event where my business idol, Lisa Messenger, was speaking. She mentioned how important it is to be attached to your message, but not so attached to your platform.
This opened my eyes. Of course I can stay true to the message I want to live through my business, but it can be delivered in many ways.
I have now introduced higher level offerings, which have been snapped up greedily. I am well on track to earning six figures this year. I will soon be rolling out a new book, home study courses and various levels of coaching support. I look to expand into an online shop next year, as well as the prospect of an annual retreat on a tropical island. Because why not? The possibilities are limitless.
The biggest fear I had in adding more platforms was dissipating my focus. I have the attention span of a goldfish - I'm easily distracted and love to create when I should be doing my finances or arranging partnership opportunities. The thought of having to fill out high end coaching programs, then group programs, then book sales and everything else was way too daunting.
I have learned to focus on one outcome at a time. That means doing all I can to reach my desired outcome with one platform before moving onto the next. I can still have everything on offer through my website, but my energy is focused on one particular area at a time. My productivity has escalated and I'm reaching my targets at a much faster rate.
Photo credit: Oliver Freeman
3. Hired a mentor.
The best decision I ever made was to hire a business mentor. It's not much different to having a supervisor at work but small business owners are not fully appreciating the benefit of hiring a mentor. I didn't and learned firsthand why they are invaluable to any business owner.
The fresh set of eyes to look at your business provides the opportunity to pick apart the areas that aren't working and hone in the ones that are. I strongly resisted focusing on supporting women in building their online business - I wanted to focus more on life coaching. But that wasn't my strength and it wasn't what my potential customers were asking from me.
A business mentor pulls you out of the emotional rollercoaster of business and redirects you on the right path. Everybody needs one regardless of their level of experience in business.
4. Reviewed the finances.
All small business owners should be on top of their numbers game. Admittedly, I wasn't.
I invested in Xero and reshaped my full accounting process. I fixed my money leaks (plugin subscriptions that you don't use, anyone?) and cut the services that weren't working.
I had to learn how to separate emotion from the money. I was too attached to certain products and services that simply weren't working. My new process when reviewing my finances is to always question:
What is working?
What isn't working?
This business of mine needs to generate money to stay afloat. I cannot create the change I want if I do not have the money to do so.
5. Articulated my services
Another big issue I had to recognise was the fact that I wasn't articulating who my services were targeting. I was too broad - small businesswomen who were struggling with confidence isn't exactly niche.
I honed in on my strengths and coupled that with who I was naturally attracting. I'm knowledgeable when it comes to building a strong online presence. My strengths are in strategy, networking and building an online business that can support women to pursue their passions.
I started to target a very specific problem: women who had started an online business, whether it was a blog or shop, but weren't actually making any money from it. Every snippet of advice I provide is now directed at solving this problem.
In less than 3 weeks, I built a Facebook group to 260 women and it continues to rapidly grow. My message is now clearly understood and is being heard.
Photo: Oliver Freeman
You can always turn your business around when it's not going great. The key is to shoulder the responsibility, make the hard decisions and implement the necessary changes.