If you've been putting your all into your business and yet you're struggling to make it work, you might be making one of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs often make: not focusing on the core activities that really move the needle in your business.
With all the hats most entrepreneurs wear - business owner, parent, carpooler, sports coach - it can be easy to lose track of what we really need to focus on in our business day in and day out. You may be so overwhelmed by the mountain of activities you think you need to do that you’re not even sure where to start.
How do you create the best business plan for your business?
What activities should you put in your to-do list?
How can you leverage your marketing efforts?
How do you implement marketing and promotion activities in the best possible way?
And finally, which parts of your business should you be focusing on to get the highest possible return on time, money and effort?
There's so much information out there that you may not know exactly what you need to focus on, so I'm breaking down the top business activities you should be doing to book more dream clients and make a fantastic income in your business, no matter what niche you’re in.
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#1: Create a revenue-focused business plan
The thought of planning out my business used to make me feel a bit queasy. I had visions of spending days slaving away creating some stuffy old document that I’d never use. Yet I knew the right kind of plan would help me grow my business faster and better, so I figured out how to create a plan worth the time it takes to create.
A useful business plan should help you organize everything that you’re going to do in a way that works for you. It should reflect your overall vision for your business, what you want to achieve over a certain time period and how you’re going to make it happen. The most important piece of your plan revolves around how you’re going to make sales that bring money in the door.
And, what creates those sales? Your paid offers do, so it makes sense to plan your business activities around them, doesn’t it? When looking at what you’ll offer over the next six or twelve months, double-check that you put your offers in a logical sequence; one offer should logically lead to the next.
The beautiful thing is that once you have your offers scheduled into your calendar, you can more easily plan out all of the content you’ll create and your promotional efforts in a way that gets you far better results with less effort.
The bottom line: Intentionally plan out your business tasks to support sales.
#2: Ruthlessly prune and prioritize
One of the things that holds many ambitious entrepreneurs back is their ambitions themselves. You probably have big dreams and goals and a very long list of everything you want to do. Many entrepreneurs get in a hurry to build their six- or seven-figure businesses and end up creating overwhelming to-do lists, piling on more of everything and burn themselves out working more hours than they did in their old 9-to-5 job (and with few results to show for all their efforts).
If you currently feel overwhelmed or like you’re doing a hundred different things but not really getting anywhere, take a hard look at how you’re spending your time and energy. Do you have so many irons in the fire that you’re not really doing anything well? Which things could you simply stop doing? Which ones can you hand-off to someone else? Which things must have or are worth your personal time and attention?
When you’re clear on exactly what you’re offering and which marketing strategies align with your personality and available resources, it’s much easier to know exactly what to focus on every day.
Let’s say you’re excited about using video to market your programs or products. Before you take on any other marketing strategy, you need to be consistently producing video content that builds your customer base. Get that first marketing process nailed down and only then add another.
#3: Pick the low-hanging marketing fruit
If you’re out there doing good work, tell people about it! There are many one-time promotion activities or things you only need to update periodically that you can do quickly, but so often people overlook these “low hanging fruit” opportunities.
Changing your email signature to include what you do. It’s a one-time activity that lets people know what you’re doing, what you stand for and how to find you.
Create a lead magnet (aka, freebie) that you can use over and over to grow your email list.
Once people are on your email list, make them what I call a lead-generating offer, which is a lower-priced product or service that requires little to none of your personal time after you’ve created it. Even before you have an email funnel in place with an official tripwire offer, you can email your list with a lead-generating offer.
More important than getting everything “right” is getting the right things done.
#4: Implement ongoing marketing and promotion activities
Here’s where a lot of entrepreneurs trip themselves up, and I can say this because I did it to myself. It can be really easy to hide behind all of the administrative activities in your business and prioritize those things over the tasks that actually bring money in the door, which are primarily ongoing marketing and promotion activities. Especially if you’re starting off and you’re not totally confident in either your message, work or the value that you provide, administrative activities can be used as an excuse for not having enough time to do the things you really need to focus on.
In my 6-Figure Business Checklist I’ve included an extensive list of the top revenue-generating activities that you should be doing more of, like doing livestream videos, blogging, getting out there with regular promotional posts on social media and offering your own high-end signature programs. If you’re not sure which one is the right next step for you, which marketing activities do you feel excited about (even if you also feel a bit scared)? Which ones fit your personality best?
#5: Establish an effective online presence
Your website is your online business card and although you don’t have to have one to successfully market yourself online, it adds credibility. Your website doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to be effective and support your brand (otherwise it can do more harm than good). Include a well-written About Me section or page, compelling copy about your services or programs, an attractive photo (even if you simply take one with your iPhone) and how people can get in touch with you. That’s really all you need to get started.
You can quickly build a beautiful one-page website on Squarespace or Wix, even if you have no tech know-how. I went down the Wordpress website rabbit hole for way too long when I first started my business and realized I wasted far too much time on researching website platforms instead of simply making a decision and moving forward with it. I opted to use SquareSpace and have been very happy with it.
As your business grows, you can add things like a blog (as long as you’re able to do it consistently) and additional programs, products and services. The key is to make every section and every page supports your brand, bolsters your credibility, and, ultimately, helps you book more clients.
#6: Create higher-fee programs, products and services
The last category that’s really important is sales of your higher-fee programs, products, and services. While you may feel you’re being helpful by putting out tons of free content and lower-priced offers, unless you’re selling a ton of them, you’re not going to be in business for long!
Just as important is that free information won’t solve people’s problems. If it did, then the world wouldn’t have any problems with the amount of free information out there. The truth is that your clients often don’t get results from low-priced products because they have very little skin in the game. It’s easy to purchase and then never use a $47 online course because it was “only” $47. But when people make a bigger investment in themselves through your higher-fee program, product or service, they feel a much stronger need to see a return on investment and are more likely to step up to the plate and do the work. They’ll also see more value in you and your work simply because it carries a higher price (otherwise known as “perceived value”).
I’ll give you an example of getting skin in the game. Every year there’s a charity auction for a private lunch with Warren Buffett, which has gone for as much as $2.6 million dollars. Now you may be thinking, “Well, he’s Warren Buffett. Of course someone is willing to pay $2.6 million.” Yet the only reason these people are willing to pay such an incredible amount of money for an hour or so of time is because they feel that the personal access and tips and insights he can give them are going to be worth ten times as much as they’re paying for that lunch. They feel the return on investment makes it worth the price.
The same goes with your clients. When you create higher-fee programs and effective offers that successfully position the rewards as more than worth the investment, you help your clients step up, say yes to themselves and getting the transformation they need.
Share your thoughts!
How do you best love to connect with your potential clients?
Which business activities create the highest return on your investments of time, money and energy for you?
Share in the comments below!