Andrew and Bree discuss candidly how important it is not to be beating yourself up…
Stop ‘Making Do’ and Make Your Business Better Now
A few years ago, my husband and I sold the first home we purchased together. The house itself was nothing flash, in fact, it was the opposite of flash. It was cheap, but in the right area and it came up at the right time, so we went for it.
We made do for a while, but it was tiny. And as our family started growing, it became obvious we needed an upgrade. It was time to sell. So, we brought in the experts. And the first thing they did was show us how with just a few cheap and easy changes, we could increase the value of our home and make it a much more comfortable place to live. It took five days and just under $5 000 to render our house unrecognisable. And we loved it! We sold before we even officially went to market, and with heads still spinning were left wondering why we hadn’t made these changes sooner.
A little more recently, we began the process of finding a buyer for one of our businesses. Again, we called in the experts, and as I sat across the table from our broker, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu. We’d started our meeting going over the basics of our business, and finished up with him telling me where he thought I could make improvements for both value and comfort. Here it seemed, was another area of our lives where we had been ‘making do’.
I left the meeting determined to go back and look at all of our businesses with fresh eyes. To start making small but valuable improvements, that would see us enjoying the benefits now, rather than waiting to make the improvements when we were ready to sell.
So here are my 5 top areas to look at improving for a better quality of business life:
1. Streamline your business image and design.
Our advertising material was all over the place. We had flyers, but they were outdated. We had business cards with the same issue. We’d stopped wearing uniforms, and one of our mobile vehicles was still not wrapped in advertising. So, it all got an overhaul. And just with that we felt refreshed. Shiny, new and professional.
2. Use social media.
Social Media is one of the most powerful, yet underutilised means of marketing a business and ours had become lazy. We had a strategy but it was outdated, and as we became busier, it got pushed to the side. Our pages were completely lacking in any relevant information. Along with the business image, our social media presence got a revamp and priority in the day to day running of our businesses.
3. Get out there and network.
While it’s nice socially, frequenting the same networking groups and talking to the same people week in and week out, can get stale. There’s nothing like getting out and selling your business to a new group of people to get you excited about what you do. Meeting new people means new opportunities and fresh ideas.
4. Touch base with existing customers.
One of the best ways to learn where your business could use improvement is to ask your existing customers. Particularly the ones you haven’t heard from in a while. We were astonished at some of the feedback we received when we did, and as a result made some pretty drastic changes for the better.
5. Take more risks.
This year I did my first Facebook Live. I spoke for the first time at an event. I launched a brand-new business, in an area that is still relatively new to me. I was terrified it would all be a complete disaster. The end of my world as I knew it. But it wasn’t. On all occasions, I learned valuable lessons and made contacts that helped propel our businesses forward.
We seem to spend a lot of our time just ‘making do’. Making excuses. Saying things like, “I don’t have the money” or “I don’t have the time”. In reality, there are so many quick and easy changes that can be made to make your business not only more comfortable but more valuable.
Start now! Don’t wait until it’s over to reap the rewards.
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