I’ve been talking to lots of businesses over the past few weeks with varying challenges. Some are small businesses and haven’t quite worked out whether they want to enjoy their hobby or be seen as a serious business. It’s an interesting question and comes back to the basic point of where you see yourself in one, three- and five-years’ time. What is your vision?
When I thought about this question a couple of years ago, I said that I wanted to wake up with a view of the sea – which I now have in Whitstable – and that I wanted a business which I could run from a coffee shop anywhere in the world. I now have that too just about. I teach some courses face to face but the majority of my clients will soon be online, making good use of the technology which we all have but don’t use to it’s full capacity. When I said what my vision was initially, I had no idea how I would achieve it but by evaluating opportunities as they arise, I’ve chosen the ones which take me in the direction that I want to go to achieve my vision.
Once you know this, you can work out your goal funnel, your strategy and what you need to do in order to achieve your vision. When you put all this together, you have a business plan.
Another part of your business plan should be some competitor analysis. What are others in your sector doing? Why would potential customers choose you rather than them? Part of the answer to that is you. People buy from people they know, like and trust. Are you visible so that people get to know you as a person? Being on social media, speaking at events and attending networking meetings will all help with your visibility.
Competition is a good thing and not something you should worry about. Your strategy however should include having something that makes you different, makes you stand out from the crowd. Have a look at what you offer, whether it be a product or service, and see where you can add value. Adding value doesn’t necessarily mean that it costs more but that your clients feel that they are getting more, whether that’s something simple like arriving on time or something like a loyalty card with a discount after a given number of purchases. Tradesmen in particular have a bad reputation for being late so if you’re always on time, people would definitely be loyal – as long as you do what you say!
Most business owners have similar challenges when you look across the board. They key is to look closely at what you’re doing, and work ON your business rather than IN your business. If the systems and processes that you have in place are not delivering the result that you want, then it’s time to change things and get a different result.
If you’d like to see how I can help you, book a call with me.