I’ve been blogging for a few years now, and there is a business side to it that you guys don’t see but are probably very curious about. The thing is, I run this site just like any other business. Here are some of the things I have picked up over the years that have helped me to make my business a success and that you can apply to your business too.
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What are your business goals?
This might seem really simple but most people aren’t sure what their goals are when it comes to their business. For me, I started off “just wanting to write”. And while it sounds romantic, it doesn’t pay the bills. What do you really want? Is it to be a millionaire, or just wealthy enough to not worry about the price of batteries? Is your business local or worldwide? It can be tough but you need to strip it all back and have a good look at what you want to achieve over some set time periods, plus what your overall goal is.
Be clear with your objectives
So, you know what you want with your business goals, now you need to get really specific. I recently started making a list of objectives for every year. But how is this different from a goal? Easy, a goal is an idea or a general statement and an objective is a measurable target. Goals and objectives go hand-in-hand so don’t worry if you mix the two up a bit when you are starting out. But an easy way to think about it is like this- “My goal is to make a million pounds this year, so my objective will be to make X amount of sales every month so I can reach my goal”. You might have a few different goals and they might have a few different objectives to make them happen, so don’t forget to make a note of your goals and objectives, and review them regularly.
Target the right people
Some businesses can target anyone, but the likes of my husband, he needs to be clear with who he needs to target so that his business reaches the right people. For me, being a writer, I have different target areas to focus on. My blog is mainly for women who are aged between 18-150 years old, but that’s not to say that men won’t find some of the stuff on here interesting too. I have a history book, and this needs to be targeted at my local community and people who are interested in military history. My husband is the manager of a local removal company so he needs to make sure that the local community knows what services he can offer them. There is no point in him advertising the company 50 miles away or on the other side of the world because they are a small, local company who move people across town, not across the world. Know your target audience and make sure that they know that you have a business that could be of use to them.
Who are your competitors?
This is a tough one because business is business. And while you want to keep food on the table, you don’t want to completely ruin the competition. Why? Because you might need them. It is important that you make your business better by knowing the competition and offering a better deal than them, but never bad mouth another business. I’ve seen it countless times, mostly aimed at my husband and his workers, where they get bad-mouthed by another firm who think it is ok to slander other companies. But, what this company doesn’t realise is they are losing out on a mountain of work because of this bad attitude. There has been plenty of times that my husband has been snowed under with work and has passed on the details of another firm to a customer because he just couldn’t fit them in. There might be competition out there but don’t think that you can’t work with them and still offer a better deal.
Use the proper channels
When it comes to getting your message out there, use the best channel for your business. When it came to promoting my history book, I posted in my local group pages on Facebook and some history groups. When it comes to my husband, he uses some of the same groups as me plus the local papers. What channels you use will depend on what type of business you have and where you are in your goals/objectives. If the goal is to take your business worldwide, you won’t advertise this until you are ready (and able) to take that step. But this doesn’t just cover advertising. You need to make sure you have the proper insurances and qualifications for what you are doing. My husband can’t go around telling people that he has insurance on the van when it only covers road use and not the stuff inside it. He needs proper insurance for his business in case something gets damaged in-transit.
Plan your strategy
So, you have the business and have done so research, what now? Now you need a strategy. This is the how of the business plan that will make the goals a reality and is measured by the objectives. Think of it as a high-level plan for reaching those objectives and goals, and it is something that you hate the sound of already. But without a strategy, you might as well close your eyes and hope for the best, and that never ends well when it comes to business. There are so many different things to think about when it comes to planning a strategy but a few simple things can help give you an edge. What is it about your business that makes it unique and stand out from the crowd? How does your business fit in within the industry?
Be prepared to budget
When it comes to the first year, it can be tough to make the budget work. But it has to. Some of the points above are dependant on what sort of budget you have. Having a budget and the amount you are willing to spend on your business are two very different things. You could throw everything you have at your business and blow the budget, but will you survive? Or, you can budget and spread your finances over months or years until you have a well-established brand that is profitable. The thing about a budget is, it can change and adapt to your needs.
Get the right people for the job
This is by far one of the toughest ones but you never really know who will be great at the job. I might be a hard worker but my husband wouldn’t hire me as a full-time member of his staff because of the amount of heavy lifting that is involved. He’s not being sexist, I have a bad back after years of being a care assistant. At the same time, I wouldn’t hire him as a full-time member of my staff because he hates sitting still for any length of time, he prefers getting his hands dirty and his brow sweaty. It might be tempting to hire friends and family, you need to ask yourself if they are the right people for the job.
Like this? Then check out some of my other business posts-