As 2019 comes to a close and many of our clients start to wind down to a well earned break, it is time that we focus our energy into creating the business that we want in 2020. Now for some this may mean repeating what you did well in 2019, however, for many it is all about tweaking, reviewing and assessing strategies, systems and what we really want from our business.
Finally after twenty five years of business I am taking my own advice that I give to my clients, to make the time to look at my business and to make sure I tick off my To Do List, research and even surpass my targets while still being able to function happily as a wife, mum and a nanna.
Spring cleaning the office recently I found some notes at the bottom of a draw which I had obviously put there to not lose, however, they became buried under equally if not more important paper work and therefore the great ideas that I had scrawled across the paper are still there on the paper and had not been put into practice. To be honest this has happened a few times over the years and there is nothing worse than finding that note from ten years ago that has the idea that could have made a big difference in your business. However, it is not too late.
So in 2020 I am going to make sure that the notes don’t get buried but instead become a 12 month plan with each step to be ticked off and a reminder to celebrate the wins.
With time being so precious let us just FOCUS on three key areas:
Technology and the human interaction
Delivering on your marketing promise
Telephone, Writing, Website and Face to Face.
Each communication must be focussed upon the client, their outcomes and what you can deliver.
How often do you miss calls? Is there someone who can answer the telephone (professionally) that your clients can speak to? There is less chance of losing a prospective client if they speak to someone instead of leaving a phone message.
This also goes for existing clients. If a client feels that you are “constantly busy” and can never speak to you when they want to (within reason) then they may start seeking out another Coach.
It is great to be busy but don’t let it interfere with all the great work that you do by pushing clients away because they can’t reach you.
For some the website has become a supplementary “Business Development Manager”, with some Coaches believing that the prospective client can learn all about them and what they offer online before they speak to them. This is true in part, however, the website is an overview of your business but it can’t replace you actually talking to the person (or skype due to long distance) and answering their questions, well before the “sales pitch kicks in”. Coaching is all about connecting.
Marketing is a constant changing process in business, as are your clients. They maybe the same demographic but the way they find out about your service has changed and websites and apps are the “First impression” of your business.
When was the last time you did an audit on your website and perhaps even your competitors? It’s easy to say “I’m going to do a blog or post those photos or update the information on Page 3” but actually writing it down in the 12 month plan to be performed on a certain day leaves no room for out of date or incorrect information.
Repeatedly we are told; we need to immerse yourselves into social media = facebook, twitter, linked in, blogs, newsletters, e-zines, published articles, you tube clips and podcasts. Whether you do some or all, more importantly is doing it right consistently and then measuring your marketing returns.
Choose the social media channels of your current clients and pick out the top three channels and FOCUS upon them. If you want to change your client base do the opposite!!
For many of us keeping up with the trends in technology is very time consuming and not our true passion. Undertaking an online course or a seminar on “How to” may assist you, however, if you have the ideas and not the time then engage someone who can.
The hiring of a Virtual Assistant or somebody to come into your office is not always easy for many Coaches who have worked “solo” for many years. It is important that the person that you do hire lives and breathes your values and understands the culture of your business and how it connects with your clients.
Unfortunately after many years of experience of employing staff and VA’s, it is not an easy task and sometimes you have to make the decision to “fire as quick as you hire”. There has to be the right fit for you, them and most importantly your clients, especially if you have been “solo” for a long time.
Before starting out on this journey ask yourself:
What are the core values of your business and do they underpin the organisational culture of your business?
Do you have an interview and induction program when engaging someone to speak on behalf of your business?
The foundation of all businesses is the experience that is provided to our clients and it’s the feeling that they have before, during and after the interaction. No matter how good the marketing is, if the experience is delivered in an unfocused manner chances are there won’t be ongoing business from a client or referrals to others.
Research shows that there is a buying cycle that differs on experiences as well as for people, your job as a Coach is to figure this out:
Who is your target market?
What does your brand stand for – what do you want your business to be known for?
Are you and your staff passionate about the business?
Do your values underpin the organisational culture?
Without passion and commitment you are not going to be any different from your competitor.
People are our business – without clients coming through our doors (so to speak) there is no business and in many circumstances without staff choosing to work in our business – there is no business.
Surveying your current clients is a great way of finding out what their perceptions are of your business, of you and your staff, feedback on your marketing and where your strengths and weaknesses are.
Make 2020 your year of success and fulfilment in life and business. Focus on your needs and true passion. As a Coach you ignite the potential of others now take the time to nurture and rekindle your inner flame. Love every moment in your business.