Ideation Digital | Marketing Agency | Charletson, WV

Feel like your business has stolen your life? Here’s how to get it back.

Feel like your business has stolen your life? Here’s how to get it back.

Whether you own a business or not, you’ve probably dreamed about the freedom and exceptional lifestyle being a business owner guarantees (at least in the movies).

If you actually chased that dream there is a good chance that you soon realized that the movies lie (it’s their job, don’t get mad.)

The good news is if you feel overwhelmed and stressed, are missing time with your family, and are tired of worrying about making payroll or paying vendors, there are some straightforward ways to get that under control that don’t require a cape or movie star looks.

Start Putting Systems in Place

 

If you are a business owner and constantly feel overwhelmed, it’s most likely because each day arrives and you don’t have a plan for how to deal with it, and neither do the people that work for you.  If you feel like you are constantly putting out fires instead of growing your business, it’s time to create systems and standards so people understand their jobs and can be more effective(including you).

Ask yourself a question right now.  How long could you step away from your business without hurting its success?  An hour?  A day?  A week?  A month or more?

If your answer was a resounding “are you nuts?” to any of those, your business owns you, you don’t own your business, and systems and standards will be your new best friend.

If your business owns you, it’s because you have concentrated on day to day events rather than building a sustainable growing business model, and that needs to change.  Today.

Accept this now, if every customer needs to talk to, touch, see, or deal with you, you do not have a business you have created yourself a job.

Nobody will buy your business because you are your business.  Want to finance growth?  A bank realizes your business’ growth potential is limited to what you can personally handle and oversee.

If your goal is to build a business that makes you money, gives you the lifestyle you want, and can someday be sold or handed off to someone else, then you need to start thinking in terms of repeatable, standardized, systems as being the lifeblood of your business instead of yourself.

So you are already overwhelmed, stressed, and under-motivated by the state of your current business so where do you start?

What’s the one thing you say “I wish I didn’t have to do this” about every day?  Start there.  Think you can’t?  You’re wrong.  You learned it, that means someone else can too.

When I started my business I believed nobody could develop client strategies  except for me.  Turns out that was more ego and lack of information that truth.

We now have checklists and step by step processes for many strategic processes that I used to think I always had to do myself.  When I sat back and put my ego aside, I realized I learned everything I was doing from someone else, and if they could teach me, then I could teach someone else.

Equally importantly having systems and checklists have even made me more effective at the work I choose to do in our company as well.  There is no chance that I accidentally skip a step or miss an important detail (or a minor one) that is going to lead to doing work over or answering additional client emails.

You don’t make mistakes that cost you time?  You are a liar.  And worse than that, the mistakes will snowball and increase the more overwhelemed you let yourself get, so address it now.

Think you are the only one that can onboard clients?  You’re wrong.  Think you are the only one they want to talk to you?  Wrong again.  Your clients and customers want results, value, consistency, and great experiences.  Guess what you won’t be giving them soon if you keep letting yourself get buried?

Start simple and start now.


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Do Less

Business owners inevitably think they have to be everything their customers could possibly want.  When I started my first business I bought every interesting piece of equipment that I came accross because it would allow me to offer yet another service.  Shockingly the $2000 windshield polisher has yet to pay for itself nearly 15 years later.

This isn’t just about wasting capital, it’s also about wasting time.  Be the best at what you do.  That’s why you started your business.  You believed you could do something well enough that people would give you their money instead of giving it to someone else.

Now instead of making the best tomato sauce in Topeka, you used to make the best because trying to make the best salsa, pasta, pickles, and home basket weaving kits that random customers asked for has taken your attention away from where it belongs.

Be the best at what you are the best at, charge more, get better marketing, put systems in place so people can do the work for you, and suddenly the life you’ve been wanting will appear.

Automate or Delegate Everything

If there is a piece of your business you can’t delegate, than you haven’t created a good enough system yet, get back to work.  If you can’t delegate, your business still owns you.

Additionally, if you haven’t started automating pieces of your business yet, you are wasting time and money, and falling behind your competition.

Email, phone, and text communication can all be partially automated fairly easily now at very low cost. Managing and maintaining social media accounts, advertising online, and managing your schedule and calendar, same story.

Bookkeeping, investing, payroll, the list goes on and on.

If you just asked yourself what I could possibly be talking about, make Google your new best friend or reach out to me and I’ll be happy to give you some guidance.

Schedule time for yourself

If you don’t have scheduled time 100% away from your business, you are doing it wrong, and your business owns you.

If you aren’t taking time to do the things you love, spend time with the people you love, get some sunshine and exercise, and experience new things, you aren’t living your live anymore.

More importantly if you aren’t doing those things, your creativity is gone, your passion is gone, your energy is dwindling, and you no longer have the things that you used to create your business in the first place.

You can’t effectively grow your business if you are only a shadow of yourself.

You are more important than any meeting, any phone call, any bookeeping, it’s time to start treating yourself like it.

Get Your Life Back

These four simple things will change your business and your life.

I know it because I was the burned out business owner desperate to get the life he expected, and that desperation leads down a road fraught with mistakes, stress, and bad decisions I promise you.

Put yourself first and create a business that you are in control of instead of the other way around, and live the life you always expected.


Sign up for the small business freedom summit

Want to learn more?  Join me and 21 industry experts for the Small Business Freedom Summit where 21 experts will share their secrets on how to leverage your business to get the life you dreamed of that made you start your business in the first place.

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Growing your business: Why knowing where your customer spends their time is more important than ever

Growing your business: Why knowing where your customer spends their time is more important than ever

Ideation Digital Marketing Agency 222 Capitol St, Charleston, WV 25301 https://ideation-digital.com/

The world is simultaneously getting bigger and smaller every day.  There are more people in more places with access to more information than ever before, but they are also more connected than at any other time in history.

There are more people in more places with access to more information than ever before, but they are also more connected than at any other time in history.

That also means there are more ways to reach, connect with, and advertise to your potential customers than ever before.

You can’t be everywhere at once so where do you start?

First of all, unless you are in the business of marketing or research, I recommend spending time finding someone really good at those to do it for you and not spending time learning it yourself.

Yes, that’s a self-serving statement, but it’s also true.  I promise you I don’t spend my spare time learning accounting and tax principles, software coding, design, or any one of 100 other services my business utilizes even though I could, because that’s not what I’m best at, and it’s not the best use of my time.

At a minimum, hire someone and get them trained really well, reach out and I can recommend some great resources for that.

Moving on.

Think you need an app, because that’s how you will stay in touch with all of your customers?  49% of smartphone users downloaded zero apps last month.  When’s the last time you used any app that wasn’t a major social media network or related to messaging or directions?

Billboards reach everyone who drives right?  What’s the last billboard you drove past?  When’s the last time you weren’t on your phone or talking to your kids or planning your day when driving and even noticed a billboard?

Is radio the answer?  What’s the last commercial you heard on the radio?  When is the last time a radio commercial drove you right to a business or got you to take your phone out and call them immediately?

It’s all about Facebook and Twitter right?  There are 300 million active users on KIK, Taco Bell has a bot on Slack, and Facebook messenger messages get opened get 3.7 times the open rate of an email.

How many of those are you using to reach your ideal customer?  If your customer is under 50, why aren’t you using all of them?

If you aren’t leveraging those platforms, you probably also don’t know how to communicate with their audiences.

Have you looked into a branded emoji yet?  2.3 trillion (with a capital T) mobile messages with an emoji will be sent this year. Approximately 50% of consumers state they would prefer to have a branded emoji.

Emoticodes, Emogi, if you haven’t heard of these companies yet, you need to.  How would you like to have your own emoji that linked directly to your product or business page?  How about geo-filtered or branded emojis to enhance your customer’s conversations about your brand?

Are these ideal for you?  Only you can answer that after some research, but if you don’t even realize they are options, your business is getting left behind, and your ideal customers are out there without you.

Want some more food for thought?

Sites that use augmented reality (think the Pokemon Go craze) see 475% higher conversions than those that don’t.  You’d be more likely to buy that couch if you could see it in your living room without leaving your home too.

Or how about seeing that 10 business suits or dresses on yourself without having to go to 5 different stores?  In a world that’s moving faster than ever, you need to be prepared to keep up.

If this seems alien to you, check out the companies Augment and Fitting Box that are leading the way on some of this technology.

Need to reach 25-45 year olds with expendable income?  Have you checked out E-sports marketing yet?

When you finish smirking, remember that Pokemon Go craze and consider that Esports bring in more revenue that professional hockey, soccer, and the NBA.

E-sports as a marketing channel is completely under-utilized and opportunities to organize tournaments, teams, venues, be a sponsor are unlimited.  How about a celebrity endorser?

How about a celebrity endorser?  Yes, they exist in E-sports, and yes they will be a lot cheaper than that superstar NBA player.

The bottom line is your customers are harder to find but easier to reach than ever before.  It’s your job to stay aware of changing trends and work with professionals that can help you utilize those trends.

Adapt or die has never been truer in business than it is now.

We used to live in a world where you needed to re-invent your business every 10-20 years.

Experts now estimate that at 3-5 years for most businesses.

If you aren’t prepared to create a major new product, service, marketing/branding shift, or industry every 5 years as part of your business model, change your business model.

If you aren’t asking someone younger than you where they are giving their time and attention to, you aren’t creating a sustainable business model.

And if you think you can realistically and effectively do all of this yourself while also running and growing your business, you aren’t utilizing your resources effectively.

Add a strategic marketing and business manager to your team now. Hire one, create one, partner with one, but get one on your team.  Soon.

Or get left behind.

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