Is anyone else bewildered that we are already in 2022?
I don’t think any of us will ever forget the weird vibes that these last two pandemic years have been sending out. It’s like time has stopped, fallen out and passed at light-speed all at the same time. There have been a lot of upheavals during this time but now that we are two years in to “the new normal”, it’s time to make 2022 the year you set your business up for success and thrive.
Not sure where to start? Setting goals for your business isn’t always about the bottom line, in fact – it’s about the action you take for yourself and your business which trickle down to that profit margin in big a surprising ways. Let’s talk about five goals you should set to set yourself up for a successful year ahead.
Set Customer Service Hours – and Stick to Them
The biggest burnout for business owners comes from feeling the need to cater to customers 24/7. We are glued to our phones, eager to respond, forgetting that there are many other priorities in our life that deserve our attention. A good business owner knows that allocating time accordingly for all that life entails is a crucial part of balance to prevent burnout.
This starts with how you deal with your customers.
Choose business hours that work for your schedule. During this time, devote 100% of your focus to your business task and customer service. When this time is over, resist the urge to check back in. When you check back into your business during other moments in life, you are checking out of what is going on around you with your loved ones and other responsibilities. It is entirely possible to tackle everything – it starts by establishing a time boundary with your business and honoring it accordingly. Don’t worry about it being hard at first! In a few weeks time, you will unapologetically stick to your hours and enjoy how much less stress, exhaustion and burnout filters into the other areas of your life.
Be Consistent in Your Marketing
If you ask anyone who is successful what the secret is, they will tell it is CONSISTENCY.
You don’t have to have a Facebook group, TikTok, Instagram and text list that you access every day to be successful. You only need consistency in your efforts. As business owners, this means being realistic about what we can achieve first and foremost. You will never find me giving you advice like “Do 30 TikToks in 30 Days!” because this is simply unrealistic for the average business owner. When it comes to marketing your business, the only thing that matters is your consistency. One blog post a week or one email/text campaign or one TikTok is better than burning yourself out for a week only to do nothing for the next three months. I’m sure that scenario sounds familiar to some of you because it happens all too often.
Algorithms across the web thrive on your consistent effort vs the volume of your effort. Therefore, think about what you can do and stick to it.
If you have an Etsy shop, post 2-3 new listings per week.
If you have social media accounts for your business, commit to one or two posts
If you are using email or text marketing – commit to one mailing per week.
Growing your business isn’t meant to be complicated. If you are simply consistent, the algorithms will catch on and work in your favor to help you reach your customers. Also remember, it is not about the results you see in a week or month; it’s about the results you’ll see in a year. Trust me, consistency even in small quantities will take you further than fast-hack marketing “tricks” ever will.
Don’t Let Your Investments Collect Dust
If you made a goal to buy a new printer or software or course and haven’t touched it since then using these items is a must-do goal for success this year. The absolute worst thing to do for your business is to invest your hard-earned money into anything that you let collect dust.
Why does this happen? We get overwhelmed. We get intimidated. We don’t have time. We find excuses to not take action. It doesn’t take too long for those investments to start haunting us.
No one has ever succeeded without trying or learning something new despite their fears and failures. You have to take action on your investments if you want to see results. Don’t worry about what can go wrong; focus on what can go RIGHT. Investments you’ve made in your business equipment or skills were done with intent on GROWING your business. Push the excuses and fear aside.
And if you are someone who “never has time” to get to trying out your equipment, software or courses – then I encourage you to find the time to devote to them. You hold yourself, your business and your goals back by ignoring your investments.
Get Your Business Online
Listen, it’s 2022. E-commerce has continued to increase as the way of the world for 20+ years. If your business is not online then please do not complain about how you aren’t getting the results that you want. The unfortunate reality is that your local market is rarely a sustainable sales channel when you create handmade items like ours. There are hobbyists willing to do the work for a fraction of the cost and your competition is a dime a dozen.
Building a website or Etsy shop is only scary if you let it be. These platforms, with consistent effort and a little marketing, help you reach customers far and wide. The internet is not saturated – but your local market probably is. The internet isn’t targeting people who complain about your prices – but your local market probably is. If you are in business, you have to be online if you want to survive.
I know, some of you are concerned about shipping. Believe it or not, shipping is a piece of cake. Automated pricing retrieval from UPS and USPS takes all the guess work out of the process. Tracking on packages and protocols for fraud protect you, your business and your customers. And the occasional hiccups that can happen – you’ll find out they are completely surmountable.
Set a goal to get online and work your online presence so that you can surpass your financial goals this year.
Find a Niche & Tailor Your Selection to It
Our topic this month is NICHING DOWN and how it can help your business. If you are feeling like the market is saturated and everyone is selling the same thing – you are not alone. There has come a clear divide between hobbyists and successful businesses – their product collection. Hobbyists continue to make anything and everything that their audience requests or they see selling. Successful businesses are setting collections of only a handful of products and ramping up the hype to increase sales and decrease overhead and stress. Since I started Sub That: Sublimation Graphics & Tutorials, I have emphasized selecting a few products and not focusing on mass product selection. We are seeing this technique in full force in the handmade business world and it’s helping sellers THRIVE.
You are not Walmart. You don’t need to have every product available for sale. You are not McDonald’s. Your customers don’t need to have it their own way at a fraction of the cost that customized work sells for at a brick and mortar. Commit this year to changing the way you do business by picking a niche that you get excited about and learning how to market it successfully.
In this new year, we are committed to doing business smarter – not harder. Let’s cheers to big changes, big growth and big results!