The Big 6 Things that every business owner should be focusing on as we emerge from lockdown…
For Britain’s small business owners, now the lockdown is nearly over and government support is coming to an end, the hard work really starts.
How do you get your sales and, most importantly, your profitability, back to where it needs to be?
Noel Guilford is a chartered accountant and certified coach with the Entrepreneurs Circle. He has 18 years’ experience of running his own business and advising other business owners how to really understand their numbers and helping them to grow through the rhythmic acquisition of new customers.
There are ‘Big Six’ things that every business owner needs to be aware of, and focus on, during the next few months to give themselves the best possible chance of getting sales and profits to where they need to be.
- Firstly, it’s critical that you remember that there isn’t a recession for everyone.The numbers that they talk about in the media are the high-level macro numbers, but that doesn’t reflect what’s actually happening with individuals.
The reality is that there are lots of people – and businesses – that right now are sat on more disposable cash than they’ve ever had in their lives.
Sure, there are also people and businesses that are struggling like never before, but the important point to lock onto is that there is money out there and people who are willing to spend it.
This isn’t like a normal downturn where everybody’s been affected the same. That’s simply not true. So if you can think creatively, in the right way, getting your sales back up to, and above, where they were before lockdown is a very achievable objective for many.
- Your success during in the second half of 2020 will be determined 95% by you and 5% by the outside world so my second point is that it’s critical that business owners recognise their responsibilities here.
It’s what YOU think and do that will make the difference to your sales and your profits.
When bad things happen in the world and problems emerge, most people think that they have to feel bad as well.
Successful entrepreneurs aren’t like that. Their approach is simply: “Okay, another problem. Let’s deal with it.”
It’s absolutely critical that you recognise that what happens to your business over the next six months is down to you. It’s all your fault.
So if you have a crappy frame of mind, then you’re screwed. It’s not going to be possible to flourish in the weeks and months ahead without your head being in the right place.
And again, that’s down to you.
- Third on my list is an appreciation that the more things you get done over the next few weeks, the more profit you’ll make.
Getting stuff done is by far the best way to predict your future.
Putting aside 90 minutes each day to focus on your marketing, for instance, would be the smartest thing any ambitious entrepreneur could do moving forward.
You can spend the rest of the day getting immersed in the nitty-gritty, delivering for your customers, looking after staff and all the other stuff you have to deal with, providing that you’ve got those 90 minutes set aside to focus on doing the things that will make your business more successful…
- … that brings us on nicely to the fourth of the Big Six , which is “be aggressive with your marketing”.
Right now, marketing is NOT a non-essential spend.
If people don’t know about you, what you do and why they should choose you, then they ain’t ringing you up, or coming to see you or visiting your website. And that’s bad for business.
Almost all media is cheaper right now.
The cost of advertising on Facebook and Google plummeted during lockdown and it’s not too late to benefit. But you have to get on the front foot. You have to be out there. And that’s why you need those 90 minutes to make sure you’re focusing on the right things.
- Fifth on my list is the importance of video.
Video really is the new normal. It’s so easy to do now. You don’t need a production company – you just need your smartphone and your personality.
So many of us feel inhibited on video – I know I do – but the price we pay for keeping ourselves and our business hidden is massive in terms of lost sales and profit.
Facebook Lives are a brilliant way to strengthen relationships and create awareness of what you do.
If your website hasn’t got a video of you talking about what you do and how you help people on the front page, you’re undoubtedly missing out on sales.
In simple terms, business owners are going to have two choices with regards to video moving forward; they can reluctantly embrace it or they can enthusiastically embrace it.
Look, you don’t have to be perfect – that really doesn’t matter. People want ‘realness’, authenticity and integrity.
And that can come across in spades when you are yourself on video.
Start doing it this week.
- Finally, the best way to kickstart your own liberation from lockdown is to focus on all those unconverted leads that you have sat around.
People that enquired in January and February, during lockdown, or even at the back end of last year. Just send them what we call the three line email.
“Hi, Bob, are you still looking for a (whatever it is that you do)?
If so, I’d love to help…
There’s nothing more to it than that. It’s not salesy. It’s not pushy. But it generates really good responses. You could send it out this afternoon and you’ll have people wanting to talk to you within a matter of hours.
Of course, whether you do that or not is up to you.
But then that’s the case for this whole recovery from lockdown.
Accept responsibility. Get stuff done. And never forget that what happens next will be all your fault.
Noel Guilford is the founder and principal of Guilford Accounting and is dedicated to helping business owners get to grips with their numbers and grow their businesses. As an EC Certified Coach his clients have access to coaching and more marketing tips and templates like the 3-line email. You can contact Noel on 07768 350762 or email@example.com