You have a business that works, but can you make it better?
At the beginning of a new year, it’s always tempting to change things dramatically. And after a month, you go right back to the way things were. The status quo always seems to be in place. You want to change, but, more importantly, you NEED to change. Gone are the days when you could ride a good idea for a decade.
You need to evolve as an entrepreneur. And that needs to start now!
Take a Risk…
Over the past two years, it may have felt that every business decision you made was a risk. Since the market was topsy-turvy and the stocks were diving, you might have felt that just being in business was success enough. It’s not. If you want to thrive in your market, no matter what it is, you need to step up, take a deep breath, and take a risk. You need to do something or say something that NO ONE else has thought of. Or you might want to just do something so insane that people can’t help but talk to you. Risks are exactly why you became an entrepreneur…stop playing things safe this year.
Be Ready for a Stormy Day
That said, having some funds saved up for a rainy day is a good idea too. You want to take risks without having to resort to Ramen noodles for your meals. Each time you get paid, pay your savings account first, then the rest of your bills. It’s going to seem like a lot at first, but once you see that nest egg grow and your blood pressure go down, you’ll see just how important it is to stop spending it all today. You want to have a future, don’t you?
Know Your Market
If you don’t know your market by now, you need to start yesterday. Each and every person that comes to your website, your store, or your Facebook page needs to be someone you know. Even if you don’t know what their middle name is, you need to know their hopes, their dreams, their education level, their income, etc. You need to know who you’re trying to persuade to buy your products. If you don’t know who you’re selling to, you may not be using the most effective sales tactics. For example, if you’re trying to market to a group that’s never on Facebook via a Facebook fan page, you’re not going to get a lot of return on that investment. Get to know your customers through surveys, market research, and talking to loyal customers.
Adapt, Adapt, Adapt
You can’t simply put something out into the market and expect it to be perfect forever. You change, the market changes, and the world changes. For example, today, you can buy your books to read on an e-reader. While this doesn’t seem like a big change, this also means that you should sell any informational products in that e-reader format since that’s what customers will be looking for. Be aware of the changes in your market, adapt your services to them, and see what happens. You don’t have to change your entire business to stay effective.
If the last few years taught businesses anything, it’s that you need to spread your marketing out. You need to make sure that you’re not just advertising via mailing lists, but also on Facebook, on Twitter, etc. There are a number of ways you can post your information in all of these spots at the same time, so don’t think this is going to take up a lot of your time. That’s not an excuse. What you will want to do is to find as many social media markets as possible and make sure that your company message and brand are there. You can’t be singularly minded anymore.
2011 looks to be a successful year for all of those who approach it with the right attitude. If you’re ready to say that you’ve had the most successful year of your entrepreneur life, it’s time to stick to your resolutions. For once.