The Smartest Investments To Make At Every Stage Of Your Small Business – Part 1: Just Starting Out

The Smartest Investments To Make At Every Stage Of Your Small Business – Part 1: Just Starting Out

Notes/Transcription

Today I’m sharing the common problems you might face when just starting your small business, and the smart-investments to make to help you solve them!

The biggest problem you’re likely going to have in this stage of your business is that you have no clue what you should be doing when you sit down to work every day.

You feel like you need to be working, but without a clear direction, you end up filling your day with tasks that don’t actually move the needle.

Let’s jump right in, Smart investment #1 – Online courses

I’m not saying you should do any old course. If you are looking at growing your list, for example, Amy Porterfield’s List Building Society is great, I have used this course when I first started out but I am still referring back to it regularly.  

Doing a course that teaches how to do specific things in can fast-track your business and kept you from wasting time learning hard lessons or spending hours/days/weeks on the non-essentials. 

Regardless of what field you’re in, find the expert on that topic, and then learn from that person.

Smart investment #2 – Get a professional website

It’s pretty impossible to have a successful business without being online. But it’s not enough just to have a website.   This is your online storefront, your business card so it better be professional.

If you are just starting out, you don’t need to hire a professional web + brand designer (for now.) 

Now, professional designers are 100% worth their weight in gold, and this is definitely an investment you’ll want to take down the road. But even if you’re completely sold on your business idea, it is going to change a lot during those first few years. 

At this stage in your business, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to invest large amounts of money on getting that fancy website and brand made up, only to have to pay more later to have it updated.

It is possible for you to DIY a website using an easy to use platform such as Squarespace.

Smart investment #3 – Good stock photos

Photos can make or break a visitor’s impression of your website and brand so don’t use crappy photos.

But don’t book a photographer just yet! You can do pretty amazing things with your website and social media posts using stock photos, and they are cheaper than hiring a photographer when you’re first getting started.

Here are a few places to find professional-looking quality photos:

Pro tip: Always buy from the same few photographers to keep your brand and website images looking cohesive!

So there you have it! My list of smart investments if you are just starting out.  I hope you find this useful in planning out your next big investment in your business! 

For more tips subscribe to my YouTube channel



What And When You Should Outsource To Be More Productive In Your Small Business

What And When You Should Outsource To Be More Productive In Your Small Business

Notes/Transcription

Hi, today we’re going to be covering what you should outsource as a small business owner. 

Small business owners generally tend to do everything themselves. I do that myself, I don’t like letting things go, and I do notice it does hamper my productivity. Trying to figure things out yourself takes so much time. For example, I was having a bit of technical problems, it just drove me up the wall and I wasted pretty much a whole day’s work trying to figure that out. Then when it comes to, for example, social media posting, editing the videos, posting the videos, all these different tasks are very time-consuming where I could be focused on getting new clients.

Why I need to outsource to a Virtual Assistant

It has to come a point in my life where I am seriously thinking about outsourcing and I have outsourced before to virtual assistants. I’m not sure if you ever heard of virtual assistants, but they are fantastic and there’s lots of different kinds which could help you more with the technical stuff or more administrative things that you need to have done. 

So this video is basically going through what you could outsource and how you even start the whole process of looking for somebody and where you look and what the cost is and all that. 

Benefits of outsourcing

Let’s discuss what and when you should outsource to be more productive in your small business. First of all, we are going to be talking about the benefits of outsourcing because a lot of people think, oh, it’s quite a hassle to brief the person I’m outsourcing to and I don’t have the control. But there are many benefits that I find way much higher than the disadvantages.

  1. It frees up your valuable time. You are your business, but you cannot be everywhere. So you need to be able to free up your time that brings in more money into your business instead of focusing on the little tasks that actually don’t bring in that much volume of money. 
  2. It increases your productivity. Of course, it does because then you don’t have to worry about all the little nitty-gritty. Somebody else is doing that for you. 
  3. You’re also then much more flexible because you have less tasks to focus on. You’re focusing on the bigger ones that actually show bigger returns.
  4. Your quality of work improves because you are not spread thin. You can really do a good job at what you are focusing on and then the rest is covered by somebody else.
  5. Which leads to less stress. Because you have more hours in the day, you can feel less stressed and really relax a little bit. Also, you could be pulling out your hair, trying to figure out why something doesn’t work, whereas if you hire somebody who has the technical knowledge, they can do it in five minutes where it usually would take you three hours.
  6. It’s less risky.  If you hire someone directly you are responsible for the labor costs, the salaries, and you are fixed with them. If your business gets a bit quieter over certain periods of time, you still need to be paying those labor costs. You still need to be paying their salaries. But if you outsource it, it is very flexible and you can stop the contract for a certain period of time and then when your business picks up, you can carry on and so on.

These are the benefits of outsourcing, especially for digital marketing. When you have to do it yourself, it can be really overwhelming because there’s so much to do. I mean it’s endless. There’s website, social media, blogging, SEO and email marketing, the list goes on. So if you’re trying to do everything yourself, you can easily, easily feel overwhelmed. Instead of doing it all yourself, outsource it to a virtual assistant.

What kind of tasks can you outsource?

This is just based on digital marketing in this case, but there are lots of other types of tasks that you can outsource such as bookkeeping that will help you as well. 

Social media

  • Create a social media calendar
  • Research inspiration and ideas for social media posts
  • Find images for social media posts
  • Click “like” when people comment on your social media posts

Website/blog

  • Basic management of blog/website 
  • Format and publish your weekly content
  • Have weekly content transcribed (video, audio, podcasts)
  • Research blog topics relevant to your niche

Email marketing

  • Prepare and schedule newsletter
  • Set up your lead magnet opt-in, thank you page and confirmation email
  • Set up your new subscriber and/or new customer nurture sequence

Customer Service

  • Respond to questions and inquiries 
  • Send thank you notes, emails or shoutouts to followers and customers 
  • Handle Facebook group community management

Miscellaneous

  • Research guest blogging and podcast or video show interview opportunities
  • Create lead magnets
  • Research keywords
  • Get testimonials
  • Set up Facebook ads

Where do you find a VA and what is the cost?

As a small business owner, sometimes you don’t have lots of money that you could just throw around and just get somebody else to do it. That’s why we do a lot ourselves…to save of course. 

But you’ve got to weigh out the benefits of saving the money versus the time that you waste doing the little things where you could be actually going out and increasing your income. 

Here are some places you can find virtual assistants. 

Hire a freelancer

Find them on Upwork.com, and in Facebook groups such as Virtual Assistant Savvies

Rates start at 10$ per hour. (depending on skills)

Virtual Assistant agencies

Priorityva.com (US based)

Timeetc.com (UK and US)

Boldly.com (UK and US)

More expensive per hour – starting at 20$ p/h and may have “enrollment” fee.

As you can see it’s not that expensive. And the return that you get on that because it saves you so much time and you can actually go and get more clients, which boosts your income really, really makes sense, doesn’t it?

Conclusion

This was a little video on what I think about outsourcing and how it actually could benefit your business. Try hiring a VA and hopefully you can see a huge return on your investment in terms of time and more sales.

If you want to learn more and ask questions about digital marketing for small businesses, tips and hacks, join me in my private Facebook Group – Digital Marketing Simplified. I hope to see you there!

Bye for now.

A Common Struggle When Running A Small Business…Lack Of Time!

A Common Struggle When Running A Small Business…Lack Of Time!

Links mentioned in the video:

Free download – Time Saving Tips For Small Businesses

Video Notes/Transcription

I have been doing research the last couple of weeks and have posted surveys in women business groups.

The main struggle that all have in common is lack of time.  So I wanted to address this and tell you what I do to save time and be more productive in my business.

1 – Use a project management tool called Asana 

There is a free and paid version.

It is effectively tool I use every single day all day to list my tasks, order them by due date and keeps me focused on what I have to do every day.

I used to do handwritten lists every day but found myself slacking and losing the lists so I looked for an electronic format since I am on my computer most of the time for work.

There are other tools out there but I found Asana suited my needs and can recommend it.

2 – Schedule time to be on social media

Being on social media can really suck time out of your day.  You start doing one thing, and then the next time you look at your clock hours have gone by.

I am open to say that there is an element of addiction being on social media so I have had to be strict with myself so that I can be more focused and productive on my business and more present in my life.

I try not to look at my phone upon waking.

When I get into my “office” – although at home I login to my social media accounts on my computer, not my phone and set a timer for 30 minutes to be present in social media groups, see what my friends and family are doing etc…

Then once the half hour is up I close the tab completely and get on with the tasks I need to do for the day.

At the end of my work day I spend another 30 minutes on social media to catch up on conversations I had in the morning.

Lastly, I do NOT take my phone into the bedroom.  It sits in the lounge on charge.

This is a good day, of course, not all days are like this but I try not to be too hard on myself and start the next day with a good intention again.

3 – Batch creative tasks

This is a new tactic I am using to try and stay ahead of content generation and social media.  Instead of posting or recording a video when I have time (which is NEVER), I schedule time in batches.

For example, the videos I am creating for social media which I post once a week, I record in 1 day (8 videos for 60 days).  I then send them all for transcription.

When I receive them back I schedule another Batch day of editing the transcriptions and converting them into blogs and posting and lastly, a batch day for creating the posts and mailshots that go with the videos.

I lastly then schedule the posts and emails to go out once a week.

This way I only work on my videos, blogs, posts and mailshots every 2 months!

I am trying really hard to do this for 2020 so I can ensure I am sharing content, helping you in your business and grow my list and business.

These are my top 3 tips to save time in business.

  1. Use a project management system like Asana
  2. Schedule time to be on social media
  3. Batch create your content, social media posts and mailshots

I have created a cheatsheet for you to download – Time Saving Tips For Small Businesses , print and stick on your wall so you can also save time!

Bye for now!