How to Implement Changes that will Grow Your Business
Let's talk about how to do these sorts of things, implement changes that are gonna grow with your business. That was really the example that I gave you. You wanna think about creating an infrastructure that's going to keep growing. It may not be thousands for you, right? If you're selling a physical product, it very well may not be that many, but you want to be focused on something that's going to make you money in a way that you enjoy doing it. So for me what sounds like a huge change actually wasn't that big of a change at all. I create crocheters. I just changed how I do it. So going all the way back to your core message, what's the product you offer, is really helpful. The first piece of low-hanging fruit that I want you to think about is where are you leaving money on the table? We had the great example of the photo album, right? Why are you sending someone to go print the photo album yourself when you can just be like here you are, and you know they're gonna buy it. One thing to ...
think about is a sales funnel for your newsletter signups. If you could hire a professional who creates sales funnels, we talked about them on Upwork, who for every person who signed up for your newsletter got a one-week plan that would tie them closer to your brand, and maybe 10% of those converted to a sale. Whoa, isn't that worth your money? That's a real place where you're leaving money on the table. You're getting people coming to your site, and then you sort of like stop, and you're not doing anything more with them. What if you paid someone to set up an automated reply to sales? Every time someone buys with you they get this beautiful thing that says thanks so much for buying from me. Here's what you can expect. Here's a free download. Here's a whatever. Those are sorts of things where, they're the little steps we tend to forget about because we're just behind the scenes, we're just doing it, But where are you leaving your customer hanging a little bit? Here's just a couple of ideas for how to amp it up a notch. The email sales funnel we talked about. Newsletter content, so even what's stopping your newsletter from being the absolute best place people get knitting advice? Or what's stopping your newsletter from... I have a realtor back from Minnesota, so I'm never buying a house in Minnesota again, but he sends me this newsletter about home stuff, and I'm like (gasps). I'm reading this dude's newsletter about home stuff in a state I'm never gonna live in again. So using the newsletter as a way to connect to people 'cause if I have a friend who needs to buy a house in Minnesota, I'm tellin' them about Dave 'cause I'm thinking about him all the time. I mean not all the time, like whenever I get a newsletter. Another great example is there's a photographer, I travel a lot, there's a photographer in Sydney, Australia where my husband's family is, and they did our family portrait like six years ago, but they post such interesting articles on Facebook. The odds I'm getting another photographer in Sydney are pretty low, but they're in my attention span because they're putting out really great content, and so that's what you need to think like. How can I be the most amazing, ra, for my customers. Professional product photos, if you're selling a product and your photos are like meh, someone's gonna think that your product is meh. So is it worth it to you to hire a, photographers, I hear people say they're expensive. They're not expensive. They're an investment. If you have all of your products physically and you hire someone for a day to come over, hire one model, and the whole day you're just taking product phots, it's actually not terribly expensive to do, and you could have what looks like an amazing new website basically because... If you look through website templates 'cause you're shopping for a website and you're like man, I want an amazing one like that. What you'll notice is they're all pretty boring websites with really good photos (laughs), so taking your website to that level could be something. Copy written product descriptions, if I was like here's some water, or it's like this deliciously tasting, clear, transparent, whatever, the things people say that make you buy water. Ads, eventually you're gonna have to get more customers. Buying new equipment, these are the sorts of things like a fabric printer, or I mean it depends on what your kind of business is, but new equipment that would somehow allow you to streamline some kind of production. New packaging which is something I'm gonna give you a really great example about and new logo. These are all ways, they're not changes to your business. They're just ways to amp your business up an extra notch. This is a quote from Aeolidia. Aeolidia does websites and branding advice, and they allowed me to use one of the examples of a client they worked with which is Handcrafted HoneyBee. I have a series of photos to show you. Stacia and Rob of Handcrafted HoneyBee had a great product, a lot of people do, and a fantastic vision for their brand, but until they invested in professional design for their logo and packaging, they were struggling to tell a story that resonated with their customer. I think a lot of us can identify with that. We're really confident about our product, and then we're just like but it seems like people aren't really getting it, right? This is Stacia. We had a choice to make. Either take a hard look at all aspects of our current brand and fix it to attract the target customer or just go all-in, ground-up rebrand to provide real value to our actual customers. This is this gut-wrenching decision that you have to make. So they went that second path and hired Aeolidia to do their rebranding. This is top-level stuff to do. This isn't what you do on the first day of your business. You've heard all these things that they've said. They are familiar with their brand. They are familiar with their desired customer. They have a great product already. This isn't what you do when you're like oh, I might wanna make some lotion, I don't know. You really need to know your customer first. Here's what the rebranding looks like in the end, and it's amazing. Aeolidia did all of these little inserts and the packaging. They sell these kits for like young, older girls to kind of do sciency things and put together their own makeup products which is really cute. Now that they have this packaging that's really on point, they've been impressing their retailers, they've gotten into press and the customers that they want to reach. Their business is growing really quickly, and less than a year after the redesign they've already had to hire help and move into a warehouse. I think a lot of us who have been in business for awhile we feel we've reached some kind of plateau. Okay, things are going good. It's growing 1% a year, whatever the great growth rate is, and then you feel like but I'm not at the next level. This is an example of a kind of a next level sort of thing. I call it phase two (laughs). We're in phase two. All of those worksheets that we did, I think you really need to do every year for your business because you calculate what you're worth per hour, what you're earning on your best product. That is constantly going to be changing. You're always needing to think where can I grow more? Do I need more time off? Is this still working in my life? Let's say your emails tripled. Last year you didn't need an email person, and now you do need an email person, and that's fine, and that's all part of business, and maybe now you can afford it where you couldn't before because you have more customers. Maybe you need to start sourcing different packaging because you're getting so many, like let's say you've moved on to wholesale. Now you need bigger boxes instead of little tiny boxes because you're mailing to an entire store instead of mailing to individual stores. Reanalyzing your business needs, I always say at a certain level of business when you have a certain number of employees if your philosophy is that I really need to be there 12 hours a day, they need me, you need to start training your employees differently because you want to train the people below you to train themselves, to manage themselves, to be doing the things that they're strong at and doing them, and not growing a kind a company where you're there micromanaging, putting out fires constantly because not many of us want to be doing that 12 hours a day. I mean I don't (laughs). It's a continual process of reevaluating. Another really important point I wanna make, because I mentioned growing out of the advice that's available for free on the internet, is developing relationships and masterminds. I peeked over Jim's shoulder. Some of the chatter earlier was really encouraging people to find in-person network events. Whether it's a show that you go to, whether it's a group that's kind of behind some gate like a private Facebook group or something, meeting people who are at the same level that you're at who you can be open with and just brainstorming. Being like I can't tell if my website needs a redesign, or I'm kind of feeling like I need to order a million of these things and I can't tell because you get to a point where you need someone to spend more than two minutes with you to get really solid advice about how to move forward. You can't just be like and what should I do next (laughs)? So having a group, I have a mastermind group. Mae, who's gonna be joining us, is in a lot of them (laughs). We meet regularly. We meet for an hour every month on the phone. We take turns, we call it the hot seat, one person really delves into a problem they're having with their business and we give advice on it because you kind of outgrow a lot of the advice that's out there, and so that's really important as well.