By Dawn Shuler
In order to successfully run your business, you have to focus on more than just the thing you do (coaching, consulting, assisting, bookkeeping, CPAing, whatever). You have to also focus on the actual running of your business. Some people find the running-of-the-business activities not fun and fulfilling, and so they don’t run their business smartly.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to run your business like a big girl or boy and attend to ALL areas of your business.
The good news (see how I play “bad cop, good cop”?) is that you can outsource some of this. The bad news is that you still need to pay attention to these areas and do at least some of the work.
You have to be the CEO of your business.
What I’ve found in my own business and those of my clients is that once a business owner starts focusing on CEO areas, her business grows. There’s the saying, “What gets measured gets managed.” Meaning… if you’re paying attention, you’ll see better results. So… pay attention!
I have broken down a typical small business into what I call focus areas (and the idea is that you FOCUS on them at various times – daily, weekly, monthly, as the case may be).
- Administrative/Infrastructure – Some of this is daily, like email and scheduling. Some of it has a regular cycle like bookkeeping, invoicing, website maintenance (can you say, “Updating WordPress plug-ins”?). Others are project-based and as-needed: new business cards, new technology, update materials.
- List-building – This should be a CRUCIAL focus area for your business. Your livelihood is your list and requires regular attention. This includes things like creating or freshening up your opt-in on your website, offering teleclasses and webinars, and participating in joint ventures.
- Lead Generation – Leads are more than your list… You want to connect with people on a deeper level than just adding unknown people to your list. It includes offline and online networking, social media, and personal outreach to peeps (phone calls and emails).
- Marketing – Marketing falls into two categories: foundational marketing and promotional marketing. Foundational marketing is that regular form of communication you do with your tribe: ezine, blog, social media updates, visual graphics, free gift offer on your website, video updates. It’s basically content-rich and solidifies your brand. Promotional marketing is the extra… free teleclass, new eCourse, product/program/service offering… that you do. Maybe it’s on a regular basis, or maybe you promote something every so often.
- Product/Program Creation and Development – Even if you’re a one-trick pony and only offer one service, you might want to expand and leverage your skills and expertise and create products and programs. In addition, if part of your lead generation and marketing activities include speaking events and joint ventures, you have to actually design those topics and events.
- Training and Continuing Education – The more you grow, the more your business will grow. The world is a fast place, and you have to keep up. Training, continuing education, and even personal development are key to growing as a business, and as a human, I might add.
- Revenue Generation – Of course, this should absolutely be a STRONG focus area. It includes the work you do (the things people pay you to do) as well as client (former and current) care, adding new clients, touching base with the low-hanging fruit, and asking for referrals.
- Visibility and Credibility – To grow in your business, you have to be seen as an expert in your field. (If you’re not good at what you do and you can’t proclaim, “I’m awesome!” then you probably need to find something else to do. Otherwise, yes, you’re an expert. End of story.) This focus area includes getting your stuff out there – posting articles on article sites, sending out speaking queries (and doing the speaking), writing articles, posting in social media, adding photo quotes and graphics, doing videos, and more.
- Financial – You didn’t think I had forgotten this part, had you? 🙂 This may be the part most people don’t enjoy, but it’s vital to the health and longevity of your business. You have to know your numbers. This includes bookkeeping, invoicing, projections, and the all-important review. For example, do you know your five highest-grossing products and services? You should.
Every one of these focus areas should have a place in your business, on your calendar, and in your task list. Again, what gets measured gets done.
What do you need to start focusing on?