Which Area 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 bookkeeping, marketing, writing 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.
No, I'm big on focusing on the stuff you do best and working on making your strengths even stronger.
You can outsource the bits you really struggle with or don't enjoy. But, first you need to know what these areas are.
Here's how to figure out which areas of your business need a little more love
If you get clarity by putting pen to paper (I certainly do) you can find the template for this exercise in my Find Your Focus workbook. Alternatively grab a notebook and jot down what comes out of asking yourself the questions below.
Products and services
This one is first because without products, 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?
Next up is sales, how are your sales, are you getting enough, are you getting enough at the right price point? And are you happy with your profit margin? Are you recording your incomings and outgoings in enough detail?
Are you confident that everything is up to date? Is the money that’s coming in supporting your dream lifestyle, if not how can you add income streams or improve your profit margin and grow your business. If your money is supporting your dream lifestyle, how can you celebrate it?
Don’t forget, if finances are your number one most hated area of your business, you can find an accountant to help with this. More often than not having an accountant pays for itself and it’ll take an expert a lot less time than it will take you to complete a tax return if you lack confidence with finance. If you're not there yet, check out my free money and pricing workbook for some help with pricing and finances.
Think about all of the connections in your business. Suppliers, wholesale accounts, partnerships and even business buds. Are you making the most of these connections and are there any more opportunities you could tap into with the connection you already have? If you have other friends who are in business, are there any opportunities to help each other out?
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 to create new income streams, inventing creative content to educate your customers about your creative process, just going exploring, reading and feeding your love for creativity.
How are you feeling about your forward planning? Think back to last Christmas or another busy time in your business, were you prepared for the rush or were you fire fighting? Are you working on new projects consistently to help grow your business and make it more sustainable in the long term?
Marketing can feel like a huge, massive thing. If we just call it, talking about your business and educating your audience about your products, how are you feeling about that? Are you feeling confident and like you’ve got this one totally under control or are you feeling a bit icky about marketing and a little stuck on where to start?
Your brand is something that can always be evolving and it’s reflected in everything you do, your website, your packaging, even the way put your customer’s address on the package, 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?
[OVER TO YOU]
- Score each of these areas out of 10 in your Find Your Focus workbook or a notebook - you'll immediately start to see where the gaps are.
- 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.
- If you've found something you'd really like to outsource, here are my tips on where to start with outsourcing