10 powerful tips for women who run a small business!
I’ve been a small business coach for 12 years, a mindset coach for ten and I’ve also been running my own businesses for 20 years in March. And I see the same mistakes being made over and over again (and indeed the ones I used to make too!) by small business owners.
So I wanted to share 10 power tips, the things you absolutely must do if you’re in business, or thinking of setting one up. That will mean your business will not only be more successful, but waaaaay more enjoyable too!
Because business can and should be fun. But you have to put your business hat on and ensure that at the core of your business, are power actions and an empowering mindset to boot….
You have to know exactly what you want or need – What income do you want? How many hours a week do you want to work? How many weeks off do you want each year? What’s the minimum you need to earn? What’s your optimum income you’d like to earn? You have to absolutely know this to be clear on what you need to do, especially if you have to make a certain amount. Most small businesses fail in the first year. Why? Because people do not start with this stuff! They have no clear goal, no clarity about time and they get overwhelmed, make silly decisions and lose money. Don’t let this put you off, let this be a reason to take things seriously so you can super charge your success 🙂
Brainstorm ALL the ways you can bring money in – Think in the box, out of the box and everything in between! Don’t be stuck on what you’ve always done or what you think you should do. But all the ways you could bring money in. If you have an expansive mindset around this (rather than a fearful, contractive one), SO many amazing things can come about. I recently helped a gites-owner in France become a successful Instagram coach from doing this exact task! She is now making good money, doing something she loves and it’s also COVID proof . A year ago she would have thought I would have been barking mad if I told her where she is now. The mistakes I see in a lot in small businesses and in small business potential, are not opening up your mind to all your revenue options OR, indeed having too many ideas that you can’t harness down!
You have to know numbers and you need to make decisions – A lot of businesses become an expensive hobby, or an unnecessary stress because people avoid the number crunching side. What are your costs? What are you charging? What is your profit margin? Not just overall, but across ALL the things you provide if applicable. What’s your personal tax threshold? What’s your tax on income after that? How many hours do you need to put in? How many units do you need to sell? Do these figures actually match up with what you want? I get all my small business clients to also look at which things bring in the most revenue for the least amount of stress and time. That’s not being lazy in business, but the opposite. This is being very clever and something you need to do for long term sustainability in your business. You can still 100% deliver high end services and products this way. But a lot of small business owners end up spending most time on things that make them the least amount of money. Which causes no end of stress and lack of good boundaries. Owning all this stuff is essential… AND it can 100% be fun with the right approach too!
Get a simple plan together – Yes some small businesses need a more detailed business plan for sure, but for most, a simple strategy is what’s better. When you work out what you want and then work out the best way to make that happen, you need to get savvy with a strategy. In this you need to work out… What are you doing when? What do you need to do before that to make that happen? What’s your time frame? Who are your ideal clients? How are you going to build your audience? What’s your most important to do list for the next month, week, day? And by doing this, you’ll also be ensuring that you are not in urgent mode! Being in important but non-urgent mode (read 7 habits of highly effective people by Steven Covey for more on this) is where you want to be in your biz. And this is where business feels kinder to you AND where you can think better and achieve more. If you’re always chasing your tail in your business, you’re strategy and panick-y working style will not give you success, balance and enjoyment. The three things I want women in business to have MOST!
ONLY do the most important things that take you towards your goal – The greatest change I’ve made in my business in the last 12-18 months is focusing on POWER ACTIONS. It’s so easy in business to waffle along, brain farting through the day and convincing yourself that you’re being busy and productive. If you’re not doing the most important things that take you towards your goal, then your business is going to become stressful – as it’s highly unlikely you won’t get what you’ve set out to achieve. Each day you’re likely to feel devalued and flat as a pancake, as your to do list will seem never ending but the sales you want to make won’t be coming in. I work with women who are working 60-70% less time (as kids off home schooling) but they are still achieving a LOT in their business. Why? Because they work in peak energy power slots, have a clear plan (that might well have had to be adjusted when the schools shut ha ha!) and are only doing the power actions that take them towards their clear goal.
Don’t overcomplicate things – Last year on my BEST:Business program, something I saw with nearly everyone, was women making things way bigger and waaaaay more complicated than they needed to be! When you make things big and scary, your motivation goes down. You’ll procrastinate and find excuses. Perfectionism can also be an issue with this too. The idea that everything must be perfect before it goes out in the big wide world, needs to be switched up big time. Most small businesses can get a website up and running in a couple of days. You can always tweak it and expand it once live! Most people can get started with a nice looking home page, an about us page (what most people check out first after the home page on a website), a services / products page (ideally with online shop), a contact us page, a blog if you want one, a testimonials page and that’s about it. I’ve seen people turn this simple task into a 2 year toxic project behind the scenes – just by over thinking it all! Last year I set some of my BEST:Business clients a deadline to get a mini online course out in 7-10 days. And they all did it. And they all said how much easier it was than they thought it would be! You can achieve an awful lot in a few weeks in business by keeping things simple and just get going (and with a deadline – more on that below!). When I look back at my first online course I chuckle to myself – but because I got started, I got better. If you don’t start, you won’t learn. You MUST have a growth mindset in business.
What’s going on in that head of yours? Because most small business owners are the problem in their business, not the business itself! Unhelpful thoughts, self-limiting beliefs, feeding fears, business comparison, imposter syndrome, focusing on weaknesses, procrastination, distraction, self-sabotage, crappy habits – these are all business MINDSET issues! What you tell yourself day in day out, you’re hearing. And the more you listen, the more this stuff builds. Saying your business is stressful? It will be! Telling yourself that you have no time? You won’t! Saying that no one will buy from you? No sales! I find starting each day with 5-10 minutes of empowering thoughts massively helps to keep me calm, focused, have clarity and have way more confidence. Lack of confidence is also one of the biggest causes of business-paralysis. And turning around confidence is a mind-mastering game. They don’t teach you this at school, university and on hardly any of the high ticket priced professional courses out there. So many people who are qualified, numerously qualified in many cases, don’t get going, because they don’t do what I’m sharing here and aren’t used to going alone. So are like deer in headlights, qualified to the eyeballs but no business. And this breaks me! What I love most is helping people push through roadblocks, so they’re driving the car!
You need to be in control of your time! This means doing high energy power action hours, time blocking throughout the week (so that ONLY the most important things get done) AND switching off. There are always things you can do in your business, always. But if you can’t manage your time and switch off properly you’re in trouble! I have a saying “Janey you are enough and you’ve done enough” about mid afternoon. And that’s it, work is put aside to the next day. AND IT FEELS AMAZING! Plus you 100% need to set yourself a deadline to get stuff done! When you work for someone else there is a consequence of not getting something done by a certain timeframe. When you work alone, there are still consequences of course. But they come much further down the line so you can put things off and off until weeks and months and even years have passed! So setting a deadline and scheduling when you’re going to do it makes you much more productive and you relax MORE when you switch off too as a result!
You have to be comfortable talking about money and selling – Most women are not very good at this! And you have to learn to become an authentic seller! You have to connect with the VALUE you provide for clients and customers and basically take you (and any unhelpful money stuff) out of the equation! This can be a joy, a solution, a positive or helpful experience, pleasure or support for example. Focus on this and remind yourself of what your client and customer GAINS from buying something from you. Connect with people that you know need or want what you sell. And sing it from the rooftops with pride. My programs transform women’s businesses, health and lives and I have no problem telling people about how I can help them, and also recommend them to sign up if I think I’m the person to help. Authentic selling is NOT selling for the sake of it either. It’s about matching the right product or service to the right client and customer. On that note, you must, must, MUST, also make it easy for your customers to be able to pay you. It’s a massive roadblock for a lot of small businesses. Nowadays people expect to buy online swiftly. And if it’s not easy, you can lose them in seconds. And if your website is complicated and full of jargon your customers don’t get, you’re likely to lose a lot of sales.
You’ve got to shine bright! OMG, most small business owners are like black cabs with the lights off. Seriously! People are looking for what you offer, but they can’t find you or can’t see you! They’re waiting to buy from you, they have money to spend AND they need you! But you’ve dimmed your lights and so they go off, searching for another cab with their lights on. Resistance about being visible in business is one of the biggest roadblocks I see with small business owners. I hear things like “I don’t want to put myself out there!”. This needs to be reframed massively. Switching up language can help. How about “inspiring others” or “connecting with customers who really need me” instead? And remember competition can always come along. There is a place for every business in the world and competition is not a bad thing at all. But there will always be someone else, willing to push through their fears and do the things you’re afraid of. Pushing past fears is one of the greatest joys of running a business. It’s SO empowering! But fears stay and manifest all the time you don’t push through them! Start small if you must. And you don’t need to jump right out of your comfort zone. You can tiptoe into the growth zone. And all baby steps really do add up!
BEST:Business starts on Monday 17th January 2022, please sign up below!
Women are the heart of the economy and we need small business owners to show up and shine bright more than ever before right now.
Never struggle alone in your business, don’t let fear get in the way and make sure you take those business dreams seriously.
And I’d be delighted to help you make your business dreams become a reality!
If you have any questions at all, please let me know!