What were the small business tips and ideas that most resonated with Flying Solo readers in 2016? Lucinda Lions lays out the top six for you today.
1. Stop making business life more difficult than it needs to be
Dave Gillen believes that smart people chronically underperform in business because they choose unnecessarily complex paths.
He suggests being clear about your core goal and taking simple steps to achieve that goal without muddying your actions with complicated ideas that lead to inaction or ineffective results.
For example, if you want more people to know about you, don’t overthink it, just get out there and knock on doors. If you want to be the most active person in your industry on social media, simply post more and comment more than anyone else.
As Dave sees it, simplicity is the new smart: “If your caveman-self can grow a business faster than you can, it’s because he has a plan that is dead simple, and completely under his control”.
2. A 30-second daily habit can create huge clarity
We all love a quick fix, don’t we? And what could be quicker than improving your life in 30 seconds? Improving it in 29 and under, I guess. But, if you can spare a full half minute, last year I suggested you ask yourself two questions before getting out of bed every morning.
- Where do I want to be?
- What will I do today to get there?
The simple act of mentally asking and answering these questions will propel you to the business life you want, rather than a business life you just exist in.
By the way, the author of the daily habit article was me, Lucinda Lions. Usually I never refer to myself in third person but I can now see the ego-inflating benefits. To see a practical example of how to implement the 30-second strategy, read Lucinda Lions’ article. Lucinda Lions will really appreciate it.
3. It’s time to establish a dedicated work space
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. In this article we can learn from someone else’s mistakes without actually making said mistakes ourselves.
Paul Holper made the exciting transition from the corporate world to micro business, and he kindly shared the nine things he’d do differently and immediately if he had his time over. They were:
- Establish a dedicated work space
- Develop a routine
- Maintain networks/socialise
- Reach out and make contact with at least one person per day
- Attend events
- Join and participate in professional groups
- Get a good accountant and lawyer
- Invest in accounting software when starting a business
To read more about Paul’s tips and the various ways in which he feels he stuffed up, check out his article.
4. Yes you can work just four hours a week
Yes, you read correctly. It’s not a typo and your eyes are fine. Amanda Westphal implemented strategies to ensure she was able to work a genuine four-hour. Was it easy to do? Nope! It took an investment of over 4000 hours but she’s reaping the time benefits now.
She implemented the following strategies:
- Handing over tasks to a website developer
- Hiring a virtual assistant
- Supplying answers to customer questions using a help desk platform
- Batching the task of answering phone calls to certain hours
- Tweaking the welcome text in her introductory email sequence
To find out how Amanda achieved this time cutting, business-boosting utopia, read her full article.
5. There are seven steps you need to get more customers and leads
This article by Leigh Hankin is so meaty, after reading it your iron levels will skyrocket.
The seven steps are:
- Identify who your target customers are
- Identify where your target customers hang out
- Get your positioning sorted
- Create a marketing plan
- Have sales funnels
- Create a follow-up system for keeping in touch with new leads
- Communicate with your leads
For a complete explanation of each step, including useful examples, read the full article.
6. Set up your new business correctly from the start
Registering a business isn’t as exciting as creating your website, setting up a Facebook page or watching YouTube hedgehog videos, but it’s the essential foundation of a strong, sturdy, legal business.
In brief, the government registrations and licenses you need to know about include:
- Australian Business Number (ABN)
- Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- Tax File Number (TFN)
- Pay As You Go (PAYG)
Read Eddie Addicks’ 4 essentials for starting business in Australia for more juicy details.
As you can see, these business-boosting tips range from being in the right head space to being in the right work space. The wide-ranging advice will ensure you have your best year yet. So go forth and bust out your best!
What were your favourite small business tips from our 2016 articles?
We’d love you to share it with us below!