One of the greatest complaints and challenges in business is almost always money. We rarely consider the REAL reasons we don’t make money but it goes BEYOND “the Economy” or “Budgets” truth be told clients will always FIND money for services they believe in. In addition, consider that there are small businesses who absolutely do NO selling and make all the money they need and more BECAUSE they are doing one or all of the things below. (click Next above or below to see the next segment)
Look at what you are producing. Are you up to date?
This is a HUGE mistake I have seen people make in the music industry and my business. The music industry is very fast paced and things can literally change from week-to-week. Many small businesses in the industry are not up to date. They are run by one person who doesn’t have a staff and who constantly uses excuses about not hiring anyone like they don’t have the extra money. Most times we DO have the money even for assignment based jobs but we are often cheap and greedy and we don’t want to share our profits. There are some people who legitimately need the money but most people I come across could cut out the cable they never watch at home and put that money into building their brands. You will NEVER have the extra money if you are not up to date and if you don’t SPEND some to make some (wisely of course). Hiring family is not a good idea because they may or may not want to do what YOU do and it creates problems. Hire someone even part-time or on assignment who is strong where you are week. If you are not able to keep up with current trends in your industry it will be very obvious in what you produce. Don’t take that chance because once you are labeled “dated” you are just that and potential clients will lose interest in you.
Stop using your Tenure
People who use their tenure to bully clients into buying are mere cry babies. Your tenure is meaningless if you are dated and at times It can work AGAINST you because you will appear OLD. I have had this problem for years with competitors who ALWAYS call my clients whenever they see an ad on my site or my publications. They moan and groan like kids in a playground about being left out and how they have worked so many years in the industry and should have the same benefit as my brands do but they never do the work. They copy and steel from others (including me) and want their own credit for it. They do that because their products suck and the clients often come back and tell me this. Focus on the product FIRST. What is it that you can do that nobody else, even competitors can’t do? If you can’t come up with anything, like my competitors can’t you will rely on whining and belly aching about being left out like its a child’s baseball game and you were the last to be chosen. Clients are outrageously annoyed by business owners like this and if you have to struggle especially after your first year in business and you don’t have several steady clients… something is wrong.
Use Social Media Networks
I am a HUGE social media person with my business and it works to my advantage because most if not all of my competitors have never taken the time to learn or understand how important social media is. We are all over 40 but that doesn’t mean we can’t be on top of the trends but some people are lazy. I will tell you if you want to earn more you have to be more and DO more and part of that is constantly branding your product. Social media doesn’t have to be a chore and it can actually be automated by using a few services while you work. There are also apps for retailers that can either film you working or help keep customer up to date to check out your services.
Stop comparing yourself to others
I had a boss that once told me that if you are in a race and you look to either side of you, you lose time… he said only focus on the finish line. I have to agree. When you look at what someone else is doing AND you compare yourself to them, it speaks volumes for your services or what you lack. What can you do BETTER or how can you provide more appealing services to your clients? Stop copying and come up with your OWN way of promoting and succeeding with your brand.
Upsell Your Current Clients
Chasing dead clients is a waste of time. There are some clients who will NEVER support you. Stop calling them and asking them to support you and focus on your current clients who would probably be willing to spend even MORE money with you if you have something ELSE to offer of value. Don’t try to raise your rates on them, you may lose them if you do that.
How Can you Improve?
Having a business is not only about working, it’s about researching new trends and educating yourself. Are you doing that? Some entrepreneurs work WAY too many hours a day, especially those with mobile businesses. Check out Groupon and Meet-ups for meetings that will help you network with other entrepreneurs so that you can learn more about what’s going on in your industry.