Stop running on empty
Have you noticed that running a small business goes with being sleep deprived? As an entrepreneur, you’re the widget assembly person, the sales and marketing team, the CEO, the janitor, the customer service call centre staff and the tea lady, all crammed into one very sleepy individual.
To make the best use of your limited time, and to grow your business into the beautiful beast you know it can be, you’ve got to build efficiency into the framework of your business:
- Put website content to work. Spend half an hour a month updating your website with new photos, or information on the projects you’ve been working on. It will show that you’re getting regular assignments and that your business is active and successful. On top of all that perception stuff, search engines like Google will be more likely to index your website because of the frequent changes you’re making.
- Be front of mind, all the time. Use technology to remind clients and prospects that you’re out there in the world, with a great service to offer them. Encourage people to follow you on Twitter and Facebook and then update regularly. Link to your website, post new photos and make regular status updates. Email campaigns can also be quite cheap; it can cost as little as $6 to send an email to 100 people and often the services come with pre-designed templates, so you only need to write the content.
- Automate repetitious tasks. Invest in software that will automate your workflows. For invoicing, Freshbooks (www.freshbooks.com) is an affordable online system with invoices, timesheets and expenses tracking. For communications with clients, spend a bit of time creating templates like a detailed questionnaire to give to clients at the start of assignments so you can better understand their needs.
Once you’ve got everything bubbling away, you’ll find yourself with more time on your hands to have a nap, or more likely, to hone your craft and generate more business.
|When she’s not writing her blog, Cult of Clothes, Pili is a corporate advisor working with businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to stock-exchange-listed companies. She is fascinated by the evolution of small businesses and loves to combine her passion for writing with the opportunity to help entrepreneurs grow and learn.|