Yesterday was my birthday. Go me! I feel that I have accomplished a lot in my short time here on Earth and part of that is making a few mistakes (that I still occasionally do). As a business owner who’s also a woman, I’m glad to say that I’m making it in a field that is still being shaped. And I get to help shape it! Along the way I’ve learned a few things which I wanted to share:
- System for New Leads
- Follow Up
- Features or Benefits
- Effective Planning
Focus, or lack thereof, can be a problem of mine. I am a multi-tasker (being a woman, I am good at that), and so I tend to have a lot of things on my plate. With that, only a few things ever really get completed while more things keep getting added to the plate. As time has gone on, I’ve learned that its nice to have a lot going on (jumping from project to project solves my ADD), but not ever accomplishing those projects made me feel worse. I’ve learned to spend time focusing on a few key projects. I still need to jump from project to project to keep myself from boring myself with one thing, but I’ve limited myself to about three. By focusing on fewer things I get them done faster, better, and with more sanity on my part.
A System for New Leads, is hard to accomplish in anything, but when offering a one-time service, if you do not have a way to drive new business, your next paycheck will be far off. Here at Border7, we’re still working on the perfect system. When we first started I will have to admit that I expected work to fall into our laps, and I was wrong. With time, we began developing low cost effective strategies to drive business. A lot of Border7’s work is from referrals and for now that brings in enough business to pay everyone’s bills.
Follow Up is important in any and all aspects of life. If you cannot follow up, you waste a lot of time and energy in the initial portions of any project. I am really good at following up, when I’m in my workaholic stage. There comes a time when I get exhausted and I let my to do list pile up. These are bad times and I’ve since developed a checker system to keep me from forgetting. I utilize all the Border7 tools and have them email me, text me, and ask that the staff ensure that I’ve followed through with all the tasks that are mission critical. Granted, I still leave a few things on my list at the end of each day, but none are crucial that would kill the business. Plus, they let me feel like I worked hard enough but kept my sanity in tact.
Features versus Benefits
When pitching a project to clients or when they ask what makes us different, in the beginning, I would explain to them the process we use to complete the project. Generally, this didn’t work because that did not explain what made us different. I eventually started telling them that by working with us they were part of our network. I explained how we also provided basic SEO training with each project. I mentioned that we treat the client as our number one priority. When I started offering the benefits that made us different, we had more clients sign on.
I made lots of goals and tasks when we first started. It made life easy because I could focus on certain things. However, I didn’t establish how I would accomplish these goals or tasks so then they ended up just becoming an endless list. Now, when we have a goal in mind, we actually thoroughly think it through and establish what needs to be done to accomplish it. We plan ahead and because of that we accomplish more.