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Remember those far, far away days or should I say years ago when you were working so hard to get your business to where it is today. Today, your business is booming or maybe just coasting along and those days of seeming so far away you can barely remember. Well, good for you.
What has any of this got to do with the title of this post? Well, I was speaking to a business associate a few weeks ago and he was saying to me if a business is not growing it is dying. I don’t know if I agree with him wholeheartedly but I can see what he’s driving at. When things are going well, we can often adopt the “if it ain't broke don’t fix it” attitude, not realizing we are allowing our business we’ve worked so hard to build to stagnate, slowly wither and maybe eventually die when the winds of change come sweeps on by. Which brings us back to the question, “What have you done lately for your business?”. Here are five checklists you should go down to see if there’s anything you ought to be doing.
Have you looked at your competitors lately?
I recall sitting down with a client, Classic Cuts & Shave a few years ago to design their website and one of the things he told me was that his vision was for his Barber Shop to have a GQ look. At the time I incorporated that look into their website. However, the shop itself even though it tried to get that look wasn’t quite cutting it. Business was starting to face challenges and then one of the Barbers invited the owner to go have a look at his competitors. A light bulb switched on and the last time I went to get a haircut the shop had received a drastic makeover and was finally looking and living the GQ look they had aspired for, increased their prices and are fully booked on most days.
Having a look at your competition from time to time gives you an idea of things to do to improve upon your business or even challenge you to be better.
Looked at how you appear online.
There are about 60 online directories and search engines. Is your business listed on any of them and if it is, is your information out there accurate? Remember that time who changed your phone number or moved location? What of those services from five years ago you had listed that you no longer offer…did you remember to update them? Are you missing out on potential clients or confusing them altogether? Do you know what is being said about your business online? Is that disgruntled customer whom couldn’t be appeased out there tarnishing your good name? If you haven’t looked at how you appear online the Yext listing and reputation management tool will give you an insight. Go on, have a look.
Interacted with your client.
So, you have a social media account like Facebook or maybe you even have two, three or more. After all, everyone has one these days and by golly, you are not about to miss out on that social media party. Kudos to you, you have one part of that equation right. So, when was the last time you interacted with all those 300 something people who have liked your page? You’re probably thinking, “I’m busy running my business. Aint nobody got time to be messing around on social media.” I feel you; social media can be addictive and a potential time waster if you’re not disciplined in your usage of it. All the same, your customers are also on social media. What reason do they have to keep coming back to your page if you aren’t reaching out to them or keeping your business on their minds through regularly scheduled posts? It’s time to add your social media to your to-do list. From a customer’s point of view, there’s nothing more disappointing than reaching out to a service provider with a question or banter and they never respond. Don’t neglect your tribe, you need each other.
Updated your website content.
Your website has finally been built and you are proud of what your designer put together for you. Now you can get back to other things. WRONG! Your website is an integral part of your business. Personally, I like to think of it as your brand ambassador which works 24/7/365 on your behalf and probably not getting the credit or love it deserves from you. On a practical side of things, one of the factors Google considers in ranking a website is by that website’s relevancy. You gain relevancy when there’s constant traffic to your site. It shows Google that providing value to people. A website with great traffic is a potential to be harvested. You can run a paid ad, sell courses, run a competition which will bring you additional business. The best way to gain organic traffic to your site is to provide great contents that keep people coming back for more. Therefore, it’s important to constantly or periodically update your website.
Have you refreshed your storefront?
I was talking to a client who was telling me about his desire to increase his prices for his hair salon. We didn’t finish that conversation. However, it got me thinking about my talk with a business associate who was telling me that in order for people to raise prices they have to do something different. One of the things he mentioned was given your storefront a facelift. Is it time to redesign your shop. Is it time to get rid of old furniture? Is time to add a few accents pastel colors? Your clients are probably getting used to the same old, same old. Now might be a good time throw them for a loop, in a good.
Is business booming for you? If so, what keeps you motivated in applying the 5 points above? What changes have you made lately to improve your business and what types of results are you getting?