by Cara Lumen
The great thing about being an entrepreneur is that we are responsible for our own success.
The scary thing about being an entrepreneur is that we are responsible for our own success.
I am so far removed from where I started my business that I make it a policy to rethink my business every year. It often happens organically. Things slow down and I have time to think about how I’m doing. I love those times. Every time I take time to realign my business to my vision, good things start to happen. There are seven elements I examine and the first is always my business plan.
#1. Rework your Business Plan
Every time I rework my business plan I uncover another layer that brings me clarity and a new sense of purpose. It gives me an opportunity to drop what’s not working and expand on what is. I use my business plan to expand my vision based on the new skills I have developed and the new possibilities I see. I look carefully to see that my passion is still high or if I’ve developed a new area of interest that needs following. And then I set new objectives and make the changes I have discovered that will take my business to a new level.
#2 Keep on marketing
Start marketing smarter. Find creative, innovate, inexpensive ways to uplevel your marketing plan. Find new ways to get free publicity. Interview and be interviewed, have a podcast, add another specific subject blog to attract people to one particular aspect of your business. Offer free introductory calls to stimulate interest. Survey your clients. What do they need? How have their needs changed since you started marketing to them. Are you supplying them with what they want? Rethink your product positioning and bundles.
#3 Cut Expenses
This may be a bit tricky if you are a solopreneur. But look closely. Reexamine your phone bill, shop for better long distant rates, cell phone deals. Shop your internet provider for combo offers. Sometimes you pay less when you pay for an entire year of a service like your shopping cart or web host rather than monthly. Get creative. What service can you share with another entrepreneur?
#4 Add new money-making services
It’s usually easier to add new services than new products because there is only the investment of time. For instance, group coaching allows more people access to your services at a lower rate. There is the potential they will become private clients. Bundle your services to encourage larger sales. Change your services packages to encourage people to sign up for longer periods of time. Once I found my copy writing services were needed, I added that as a service. I can do that on the days I don’t schedule coaching clients. Ask your clients what they need that you might provide and see if that is something you can add.
#5 Keep the cash flowing
I have a friend who hates to put out invoices. Her cash flow would improve if she would set up a monthly payment plan. Think of the time the money is not in her account earning interest. My coaching clients are on monthly automatic payments through my shopping cart. My invoices are updated every time I finish a task. If I’m doing a copy writing job I send them invoices in increments of $500 so the amount is manageable. Offer a discount to people who pay you within 30 days. Add a penalty to slow payees. Put a percentage into savings for those one a year renewals.
#6 Stay close to the money
Your time is your most valuable asset. Be certain you are using it wisely. Don’t spend your time doing things that other people could do for you even if you do them well. You are the brains, the creative fire that fuels your business. Your time and focus should be directed at ways to make more money.
#7 Keep high expectations
Expect the best. Do not settle for second best. Expect to attract people who value what you do and easily have the money to pay you. Keep an eye for the unexpected joint venture possibility that suddenly appears. Keep a list of your ideas and periodically check them out to see what you should do next. Then take action. When I decided to offer my Magnetic Business Plan teleclass I wrote the sales page in one evening and the class in the next two days. Let your passion create your next service and product.
Remember, the great thing about being an entrepreneur is that we are responsible for our own success. And we can have a great time doing it!
© 2008 Cara Lumen