1. Have your website up and running and make sure it works. I know this one may seem obvious, but you would be amazed at how many people are trying to run a successful business just from their social media sites, without having their own dot com. Put in the effort to build your own website. It’s so easy to do with free website builders like Weebly, Strikingly and Godaddy, you have no excuse not to! Also, make sure all of your links and buttons are working properly. Nothing turns a potential buyer off more than coming to a website and finding out that what you’re promising to deliver is not working.
2. Have systems in place. When I first started getting real business coaching, I kept hearing the word “systems”. I thought it was some big thing that maybe you plug into your computer and BAM --- there is your "system" that runs your business. It’s kind of like when I became an adult and started living on my own and would always hear about the IRS. I thought it was some big giant green monster that came to take everyone's cash, until one day I had to speak with the IRS and there was a nice lady on the other end of the phone! I felt betrayed... like everyone had mislead me… because for so long I had heard all bad things about the IRS when really they're just people like you and me :) . Anyway, back to systems and your business. A system is simply a systematic way that you do a particular thing. Example: If you sell jewelry, what is the process you follow when you get a jewelry order? Do you write it down on a random piece of paper, shove it down in your purse and hope to find it later? Or does your website handle your orders for you? After you get the order, do you have to search around your house looking for all the tools you need to complete the task? Or do you have a special place in your home where you make it all happen, such as in your home office? (By the way, if you need help setting up your home office, click HERE to read 5 Ways to Create a Home Office That Sets You Up For a Successful Business!) How do you package and ship your products? These are systems. System simply means Saving Yourself Serious Time Energy and Money.
3. Be a giver. Have you ever gone to a shopping mall and walked passed the food court to see people standing there with trays of chicken with a toothpick sticking in it, or the pretzel guy giving you a taste of those delicious, hot pretzels? Well, that's the same thing you should be doing with your business. What are you giving away? Long gone are the days where we could just post something on our social media site or send out a message to our email list asking people to buy what we've got. People want to taste, then buy. Be generous and you’ll see it come back to you tenfold. You can give through blogging, video, audio or how-to's, depending on what makes sense for your product or business model.
4. Know who your audience is. It is very hard to market your product or service to the world when you don't know whom you're speaking to. Who is your target market? Is it women between the ages of 25-35 that are single moms and are struggling to balance their life? Is it businesswomen who travel the world and don’t have time to shop for clothes for themselves and need you to shop for them? Is it women who have natural hair and are committed to using only handmade hair products? Do you get my point? It makes marketing so much easier when you know exactly whom you're talking to. For example, my target audience is women between the ages of 30-40 who desire to get paid to do what they LOVE and not work a 9-5 job doing what everyone else told them they "should" do. Now, that does not mean that a woman in her 50's would not benefit from working with me (several of my clients are over the age of 50), it simply means that this is who I focus on when I am making my videos, writing my blogs and posting on social media. Always remember this phrase: It's Your Niche that Makes You Rich!
5. Stop comparing yourself to other people. In today's world it can be so easy to look at what others are doing and try to compare yourself to them. It's OK to look at others for inspiration. I do it all the time, but at the end of the day, be true to who you are. That's what makes you stand out from the crowd. People are often afraid to go into business for themselves because they feel there is too much competition in their chosen field. There may be a boatload of people that do what you do, but no one, and I mean no one, can do what you do the way that you do it!
6. Start promoting yourself. Successful business owners are great promoters… of themselves. They sell without being "salesy", like in the way that you would think of a slimy, used car salesman. They know their product or service, they know whom they are talking to, and they have no problem promoting themselves because they are confident that they can deliver.
7. Believe in yourself. If you have a business, it is because you desire to make someone else’s life better because of your product or service, right? Stop doubting yourself... that's SO 2013! I made a video the other day and in it I mentioned how the pastor at my church had us repeating a mantra to ourselves that was simply this, "NOT THIS YEAR!" Whenever doubt or insecurity shows up for you... simply say, "NOT THIS YEAR!" and get back on track serving the world with your business. There is no way you can be a good promoter if you don't believe in yourself. Someone needs and wants what you have to offer. Believe that! Want to watch that video I made? Click HERE.
8. Be innovative. How can you take what you already do and put a unique twist on it? Example: if you’re a hairstylist in a salon, you can be innovative and have a Hair Party at your house or at a client’s house. Gather your friends and your clients and their friends and let them know you'll be having a Hair Party… and they’re all invited!
9. Ask for the sale. You know the saying, "you have not because you ask not"? Well it's no cliché, it's real! Maybe you are simply not asking for the sale. I mentioned in point number 3 to be a giver, but at some point you have to ask for the sale or people will not even think you are a real business.
10. Ask for a referral. The person you are speaking to may not need what you are offering, but they may know someone who does. This is why it is so important to be crystal clear on what your product or service is. People want to support and help you spread the word about your business, but if they are not clear on what you’re offering, it will be hard for them to refer you.
11. Be consistent. Like with anything else in life, if you are consistent with it you will see results. It's not what you do every now and then that brings in results, it's the habits you practice each and every day that have an impact. People are watching you. They are coming to your website and reading your blogs and checking out your social media pages. Even if they are not "liking" or commenting on it, people are watching. If you are consistent, they will consistently buy from you.
12. Be the leader. You have to understand how powerful it is to surround yourself with the right people. For some of you reading this blog, if all you do is change your circle of friends, your business will increase! You have the skills, you have the talent, you even know how to get started, but because no one else around you is doing big things you don't want to step out and be the only one. #NOTTHISTEAR !
Say it! Repeat it! NOT THIS YEAR! This is the year you step out and be the leader you know you are called to be. I call it the L&L syndrome: Leader sometimes = Lonely. Listen, there will come a day when you will look back and reflect on those times that you labelled as "lonely times", and instead you will see them as the sweetest times of your life. It's when you grow, it's when you gain the confidence it takes to step out and be a trailblazer and do things with your life that nobody's ever even seen before! Don't worry, you will meet the right people, at the right places, at the right time. When you step out from the crowd, you become more sensitive to God’s voice inside of you. You are able to learn and grow in this moment. You are able to take constructive criticism here without getting offended, because you know God is doing something great with your life. You begin to accept compliments from people more easily because you realize you are a child of the creator of the UNIVERSE! You're a big freakin' deal!
13. Ask the right questions to the right people. Your friends and co-workers may not have the skills or information you need for your business, but so many of us make a habit of asking them what we should do in our business because they know us and we feel "safe" talking to them. You have to go to people who have what you want and ask them how they did it. Get out of your comfort zone of "familiar faces" and speak to people you normally wouldn’t think of associating with. I don't care what people say, we do judge books by their cover more than we care to admit. My daughter had the AMAZING opportunity to go to NYC last year to attend a business development program. Thank you Mr. Robert Pruitt, for making that happen! Forever grateful! And my daughter said the number one thing she took away from being there is to not be afraid to befriend someone who doesn't look or talk like you. That's huge, because that's what it takes to have a successful business. You have to be willing to ask the right questions to the right people, and maybe those people don't look or talk like you. You need diversity on your team, so don’t bypass people you normally wouldn’t have thought to consider. Who has what you need? Do they have a product or service you can buy or are they someone you can pick up your phone and call? On the other side of your comfort zone is everything you're praying for. Ask the right questions from the right people!
14. Market your booty off! Now, go out into the world and let people know who you are, why they should care, and offer your business as their solution!
15. Put your own answer here. After reading this list of 14 tips, what ideas came up for you? Print this page out. Hang it somewhere you will see it every day until these things become a habit for you!
I hope you put some of these tips and ideas into practice for your business. If you do, let me hear from you. I want to know what you found most valuable to use for your business
Angel Richardson is an author, speaker, mentor and coach dedicated to helping women create their ideal lives and businesses.
Angel’s lifelong desire to help others was born out of her own discomfort in life. Feeling insecure as a
teen and succumbing to peer pressure to try to fit in. A high school drop-out who had her first child at
18, and on welfare for 5 years. Many would not have given her much chance at a happy and successful