I absolutely LOVE coming up with ideas to help my friends build and grow their businesses and have been coming up with these for years and I’m giving this particular top 10 list a post-pandemic facelift from a blog that I wrote for WIFS Denver (2017) and WIFS (Women in Insurance and Financial Services) National.
Get ready for some “Aha” moments!
Clean up that contacts list friend
What do you do when you lay at the pool, beach, park, or binge watch the latest series? What you do is scroll through your phone. Don’t fib to me. I know you do. When was the last time you went through your contacts list on your phone? Yes, really. It was that long ago. Go in and do this first. Trust me. Just do it.
(1) Edit, update, and delete contacts
Who are they? How do you know them? Can you help them? Can they help you?
If you don’t know who they are or are labeled ABC Bar hottie or John/Jane from Bumble or Match- delete those dudes (or gals).
- Complete name and company or type of business they run in your contacts
- Birthdays. Birthdays are big if you it add it.
- In the notes put in how you can help each other – prospect, client/customer I’d like to clone, referral partner, tribe
- Text (or call) them and set a time to meet and chat
Here’s a crazy idea- ask for help
Ask for help? Are you mad? Am I mad (that’s debatable)? Let me tell you something all the best people are a little mad (Alice in Wonderland). People won’t know you’re growing or building your business if you don’t tell them.
Who do you ask and what do you ask them for?
(2) Ask people who want to see you succeed. Your tribe, your circle. Ask for feedback on your business, product, or services.
Do I/we provide value and how?
Is our site easy to navigate?
What do you like and dislike?
What do you want more of?
How can we improve your experience?
Remember to thank them for their time. Thank you cards, cocktails to discuss, lunch, or a complimentary service or product you provide and make sure you let them know how much you appreciate them.
(3) Ask customers and clients you’d like to clone for referrals and feedback. These clients and customers are the ones that keep coming back, that you enjoy working with and seeing. Make sure they know you are growing your business. They may think you are already wildly successful or at capacity. The conversation may go something like this, “Chris, working with you is such a joy and I value you, your business, and your feedback. I am growing my business and I want to work with more people just like you. If you have anyone in mind I’d love an introduction or referral. Please feel free to send them in.”
Give your clients and prospective new clients/customers and incentive to do business with you. Maybe Chris and her referral both get $25 dollars off their next visit or maybe there is product/service for a friend you can give away.
There is a new little local yoga studio named Everybody Yoga. I absolutely love them, the space, location, owners, and teachers. The studio provides a discounted rate for a set amount of time so people can try different classes and times before determining which membership package best suits them.
Start networking again
(4) Oh my gosh! We are allowed to get together in groups! Like, in real life people GAHHHH!!!! Get out there! Get out from in front of that HD webcam and ring light, put those yoga pants away (the ones with the pockets, yep, those are not going out pants), put on your public pants and go meet people. Shake hands, hugs, and talk about how we all get back to business. Pre-pandemic it was more of a chore. Now people are there to listen, collaborate, communicate, and get shit done. If you want to build and grow your business get off your booty and go out there and meet the people you want to work with, serve, and help.
(5) Hold a client or a customer appreciation event. Have a private event where you invite all the clients and customers you would like to clone and ask them to bring a guest . Yes, this can get expensive quick BUT if this is the group that you want more of then this is you investing in your business. Depending on your business and those you serve you’ll be able to determine what is appropriate and if planning the event is challenging for you look at hiring an event planner.
(6) Host an open house or a networking event that you have in your space. If you don’t have a space then pick one of your favorite places ( it could be a park, pool, beach, or brewery). Create an event on your social sites and send invites out to your mailing list. Clearly state your purpose in the event information.
Be a good human and give back.
(7) Volunteer, donate, or raise funds. Identify some non-profits and causes you are passionate about.
- Volunteer. I volunteer at the local animal shelter because I love the pups and I want to help. I meet some pretty cool people who work and volunteer there and we have brief conversations.
- Donate. Maybe you do a food drive, clothing drive, a book donation, or donate proceeds from a specific product or service you provide.
- Raise funds. Have a fund raiser. Maybe you host an event at the local brewery and do a silent auction or do a raffle.
- Be a sponsor. Put a booth up at your next art festival, farmer’s market, race or walk. The most recent one I participated in was a walk to help raise funds for the humane society. This is another great way to meet other local small business owners and members of your community.
Pick your passion. Grab your team or your tribe and take a day to do habitat for humanity project or volunteer at the local food bank. If you don’t already know who you or how you want to help do a Google search for non-profits in your town or city.
Be loud and proud!
(8) Brand yourself. Wear you all over town and get your fans, followers, customers, clients, and besties to wear you too. Have fun! And don’t get crap material. Get the soft comfy t-shirts not the thick stiff as board ones that can stand on their own.
- T-shirts, tanks, sweatshirts
- Beach towels
(9) Sponsored ads and boosting events on your social sites (you can pick your price point)
For goodness sakes have a plan.
(10) Technically this should have been first but I didn’t want to turn you off in the first 30 seconds. I know you know you need to have a plan. How else are you going to know if you’re taking off or off the rails? And don’t say your bank account. I know this is not the most fun and sexy thing to do. You need to know how to keep score and your plans are what help you do that.
What are you trying to achieve?
Where do you want to be?
How will you get there or achieve your goal?
Where are you now?
When do you want to get there?
It will also help you stay the course. If what you are doing does not help you achieve what you want should you be doing it? Probably not.
That’s a wrap!
Remember to reward yourself and your team if you have one. Go on a vacation, weekend trip, spa day, or whatever makes you feel good.
Please send me any ideas, topics or questions you have and I’ll try to address them on a future BB Small Business Beat blog.