Do you have dreams about owning your own business or becoming part of the gig economy? Making your own hours? Working from wherever you want?
Then you’re not alone.
There are an estimated 582 million entrepreneurs (about 775,000 of them in the US) already working for themselves. And that number is growing. According to Guidant Financial, 27% of people polled in 2020 wanted to start their own entrepreneurial enterprises because they were disenchanted/dissatisfied with corporate America. And a lot of people are rethinking their current jobs because of COVID.
Whatever your reasoning, you may be hesitating because going out on your own means leaving your comfort zone and the things you’ve become accustomed to. If you’re looking to become your own boss, here are some things you need to know.
The scene is a common one these days. Lines of people waiting to pay in a restaurant, retail establishment, or grocery store. Tempers flare. Customers yell at staff and wonder why there’s only one person checking people out. Your staff thinks, “Who needs this?” and they’re not wrong. They feel overworked and underappreciated. Customers are demanding and loud. Customers vow not to return. It makes for a bad situation for everyone.
So what can you do to ensure it doesn’t happen in your business?
Dealing with angry people during a staffing shortage is not easy, especially since one problem creates the other. People are angry because they have to wait. People have to wait because you are short staffed. No one wants to work in an environment filled with angry people.
Here are some things you can do to diffuse the situation.
Let’s face it. You can’t throw a rock these days without hitting a help wanted sign. If someone wants to work, there is little stopping them on the employer side. (There may be things like childcare or scheduling on the employee’s side but that’s another article.)
If you’re running ads along with all the other employers out there, you’re at the mercy of their budgets—and if they have a larger one than you—they may be able to get their wanted ads in more effective places more often. A sign in your place of business can also be effective but only if the right person passes your place. To stand out in this employee’s market, you need to get creative.
Many of us have spent this year concerned over the health of our businesses or those in the community. Ultimately, a healthy business has a good balance sheet. It has more coming in than it does going out. But that is not the only indicator of business health.
In today’s world, where a quick decision from a politician can radically affect your business overnight, it’s important to know the early indicators of business peril. This of these things as your business’ “canary in the coal mine.”
Do you want to appeal to a younger demographic? Want to get people talking about you? Maybe you want to attract an ultra-cool influencer or celebrity customer? If you do, rebranding and becoming a “fun” company may be just the way to get more attention.
Why are we suggesting “fun”? With Gen Y being the largest generation in the U.S. in 2019, with an estimated population of 72.1 million, they have strong purchasing power. They also enjoy experiences and tend to tell others about products and businesses they like.
If you want more customers, becoming a “fun” business with an identifiable tone and brand, can help you build a loyal audience that enjoys talking about you.
News stations are finally embracing the word that COVID numbers are going down and vaccine administrations are going up. That’s allowing people to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. If you have weathered the storm so far, you know your business is not completely in the clear. There are always unexpected challenges like freak snowstorms and mass electrical outages that are keeping us all on our business toes, regardless of where you sell or operate from. Nothing will tell you faster how interconnected we are than understanding how weather in one part of the country can stimy business operations in another.
But as we begin to see COVID numbers drop and (eventually) restrictions loosen, there are several common marketing mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
You current clients/customers are likely an untapped resource of additional revenue. After all, it is much easier to sell to someone who already likes you than it is to win over a new person.
But there’s a lot of competition out there.
There’s a saying in the restaurant industry that a diner who described their meal as “satisfactory” will never be back again. In order to get return customers, upsells, and referrals you must do better than just meeting expectations. You must exceed them.
Thankfully, as they say, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just a little extra. In this article, we’ll give you seven quick ideas on how to create those extra opportunities that will translate into greater upsell and referral opportunities. When someone is “wowed” they will buy more and talk about you (exactly what you need for referrals).
A few years ago, a trend hit—customizing your offerings to what your customers wanted. It involved surveying every part of their experience and shaping your business based on results. Customer-designed offerings kept a lot of businesses alive during COVID. The idea is a great one, give them what they want, make them feel important, and they’ll return.
This premise was so widely adopted that we all became professional survey takers. Now every moment you spend with a business (online or in-person) is followed by a survey on your experience. From airlines to doctors, they’re all doing it. These requests are exhausting and make people regret giving out their emails.
But it’s important to ensure your business offerings are in-line with what your customers want, right? So how do you ensure this without giving them survey fatigue? Here are a few ideas that will help you get the information you need without annoying them.
When I was in marketing for a tech company in the beginning days of content marketing, links were gold. Every time someone linked to our content my boss got excited. While I loved the free publicity and SEO awesomeness we acquired from links, I hated the act of actively pursuing them. It felt like we were begging people to like us and—let’s face it—we were.
But while a lot of things have changed since that time, the importance of links is still relevant. Search engines use links from other sources to your website as an indicator of quality content. While it’s not the only indicator, it is an important one.
Your business website needs links to show the search engines you’re loved by others. But not all links are of the same worth. Here’s how you can get some great links for very little effort.
The world is full of gurus who will tell you to set some goals, drive action, make it happen. And that’s good advice.
But just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should.
Launching a new product or service is not something you want to do because you had a wild idea one morning over coffee or in the shower. There’s a lot more that goes into the launching of that product or service. But research and development can be pricey.
What if you have a business idea you want to run with but don’t have the money to hire someone to crunch numbers and present data? Should you launch without it? If you do, that could prove to be even more costly.
So how can you test an idea without a huge investment?