Which Areas of Your Business Needs a Little More Love
When you’re running your own creative business there are so many things to juggle. All of a sudden you’re supposed to be an expert not only in your own creative field but also in finance, marketing, writing sales pages and product descriptions, sales, SEO the list goes on.
It’s very easy to focus on the areas of business that come easiest or are most enjoyable, other areas can easily be forgotten. But, all areas of your business need a bit of love to keep things running smoothly. [SPOILER ALERT] This isn’t a post about all of the things you ‘should’ be doing in your business. But the truth is there are some basic areas you need to have covered to keep your business running smoothly.
I'm also not saying that you need to be a juggling, plate spinning extraordinaire who's an expert in every area of running a business.
I'm all for focusing on the stuff you do best and working on making your strengths even stronger.
The best place to start with figuring out which parts of your business need some attention for you to take it to the level you really want it to be at, is to break your business down into the key areas, marketing, finance, products etc. This way you can start to look at more business in a more practical and less emotional way. I’ve broken down the key areas of most side-hustle businesses below. Grab a notebook and jot down or journal out what comes out of asking yourself the questions below.
Products and services
I’ve pulled this area out first because products and/or services, you don’t have a business. Have a think about your product range, have you got a broad enough range of products or perhaps you have too many? How confident are you in your product line and how cohesive is it? How are your products or services reflective of the business you really want to build and your brand values?
You're a creative person, right? So are you making time for creativity? By this I mean dreaming up new product ideas, innovating in your business, whether that’s to find a more ‘you’ way of communicating your message or experimenting with a new marketing approach. Are you making enough time for YOU to take time away from work and your side-hustle to get outdoors, go exploring, read a good book and stoke your creative fire? If this is something you struggle with my free workbook Make the Time for YOU is focussed on helping you prioritise your self-care and reap the rewards you’ll see in your work as a result.
Leading on from the products and services area, next up is sales. Note down whatever comes to your mind first when you ask yourself these questions. Are you getting enough sales to create a sustainable business? Are you getting enough sales at the right price point? Are their ways that you can boost sales if they’re not where you wan them yet? Or, have you got too many sales meaning you’re always busy and stressed out (suggesting you might be able to put your prices up)?
Partnerships and collaborations
Think about all of the connections in your business. Suppliers, wholesale accounts, partnerships and even business buddies. Are you making the most of these connections and are there any more opportunities you could tap into with the connections you already have? Could you and another friend in business team up to do something that would be beneficial for both of your businesses? Could you interview someone for your blog who could in return share the blog post and help you promote it? Partnerships and collaborations are so powerful when you’re building a business and I think definitely deserves some attention if you don’t think this areas has had much love before.
How are you feeling about your forward planning? Think back to the last super busy time in your business, perhaps a product launch or the run up to Christmas. Were you prepared for the rush or were you fire fighting? Are you working on new projects consistently to help grow your side-hustle and make it more sustainable in the long term? If planning if your downfall you can find out how to get started with planning in my post about How to Make an Action Plan for Your Side Business. Or if you’d like to dive in and really get intentional with your planning, my course Make a Plan > Make it Happen might be just what you need.
Marketing can feel like a huge, massive thing. If we call it making connections with your audience so that they can get to know, like and trust you, does that feel less overwhelming? Does your marketing feel a bit icky to you at the moment? How consistent are you with your marketing? Do you have a marketing plan? What channels and ways of promoting your business are you focussed on? How clear are you on your ideal customer?
Are you confident that everything is up to date? Is the money that’s coming in supporting the lifestyle you dream of? If not, how can you add income streams or increase your income to help grow your business to where you want it to be? If your money is supporting your dream lifestyle, how can you celebrate it? Are you recording your incomings and outgoings in enough detail?
Don’t forget, if finances are your number one most hated area of your business, you can find an accountant to help with this. And if you’re not feeling confident at all with money right now, a good place to start might be with my Make a Money Plan workbook. It’s a practical workbook that takes you through how to make a money plan to grow your side-business to a level where it can support the slower, more meaningful lifestyle you long for.
Your brand is something that can always be evolving and it’s reflected in everything you do, your website, your packaging, even your email auto responder. It all reflects your brand. How are you feeling about your branding right now? Is it reflecting your values and the purpose of your business?
Last, but certainly not least, YOU
When you run your own creative business, you are the most important asset you have. Your skills and creativity are what’s grown your business to where it is now. So, how are you feeling about you? Are you spending enough time on self development and learning new skills? Do you manage to get enough down time and time for creativity?
If you’ve been journalling out your answers you’ll have loads of scribbles and thoughts, to make things a bit clearer and less nuanced, try scoring each of the above areas out of ten. Just go on what your gut tells you and that will start to create a picture of which areas of your business need a little more love. This isn’t about piling loads of work on, it’s about just focussing on the areas of your business that’s going to have the biggest impact on where you want it to go.
The next step after this might be to make a plan to give your business a little more attention where there are some obvious gaps. Just start with the area that's feeling most unloved and go from there. And finally, if you've found something you'd really like to stop worming on yourself but that’s essential to the running of your side-hustle, here are my tips on where to start with outsourcing.
As always, I’m cheering you on every step of the way!
If you’d like to hear more from me on side-hustling and making the lifestyle you long for a reality, make sure you’re signed up to my fortnightly side-hustle letters. You’ll also get access to my free resource library, packed with eBooks, workbooks and templates to help you level up your side-business.