Every entrepreneur has goals. Where do your goals fall on your priority list? Although it’s exciting to fantasize about all the possibilities your business can reach, your visions are only as powerful as your will to make them a reality. It all starts with improving your checklist for business success. It sounds painfully basic, but it's not! Before I launched my social media and coaching business, I learned that progress rarely just falls in your lap. Here are some valuable checklist tips that helped me move forward.
Find the weak spots
A new routine
Every business has room for growth. But when you're stuck in your entrepreneurial comfort zone, you stick to routines that feel safe and familiar instead of experimenting with new risks. Not that I blame you-- once we’ve found a flow in our business, we’re usually not eager about disturbing the peace to throw ourselves back into the hurdle.
But that’s what entrepreneurship is all about! An entrepreneur with confidence can challenge themselves with new routines. So ask yourself: where do I see opportunities for improvement? Consider all aspects of your business: product quality, ad conversions, customer service, target market, sales, SEO, ect.
Start your checklist
Identify your top three weak points and write them down.Now for each weak point, consider three main reasons you think these areas are slow. Then for the last step in your checklist, write three carefully-planned solutions for these business problems.
This brainstorming process shouldn't be a quick minute fix. You might need to set an entire day aside (including your ego) to re-evaluate your business with an open mind.
The stubborn seller
Stubbornness gets in the way of solutions. Listen to this story: An acquaintance of mine had started an Ecommerce store for organic skincare products that offered incredibly quality (I tried them). However, she was barely making sales. Assuming it was a marketing issue, she continued to spend more money on sponsored ads. Still, there was no improvement.
Refusing to accept failure, she eventually faced the real reason her sales were suffering: it was her products! Although her products were great, nobody else was seeing it. Why? It was the competition. There are countless other brands offering similar skincare products that work, so why would consumers bother switching to a brand they don't know?
She realized that her products needed to be special, maybe a cooler ingredient or funkier branding. The lesson here is that just because you’re over-the-moon in love with your product or service, doesn’t mean everyone will share your enthusiasm-- especially if your target market already prefers the competition. So try your best to be objective when looking for weaknesses in your business. If not, your checklist won't work.Sometimes the hardest part is accepting that your product is the problem.
As you see, to improve your business checklist, you need to be your own worst critic. Here's another case you may consider: your brand's reputation. What if your sales are decent but your online reviews are dropping? Think about why its reputation may be suffering. The reasons could be your delivery process, the manufacturers or your customer service.
Or what if your Ecommerce story has some loyal buyers, but overall, you’re getting barely any web traffic? Consider whether it's a creative issue, like the look of your website, or a technical one, like your website's searchability. Maybe the problem is both. So include these areas in your checklist: web content, blog and SEO.
Marketing strategy checklist
Maybe your weak spot is marketing. How often do you rethink your marketing strategies? Consider them all: Google adwords, social media, newsletters, blogger outreach, ect. Decide which of these tools, if any, are helping your business. Otherwise, you’re just letting money float away into marketing channels that won’t reach your target.
I know an entrepreneur who continued making poor marketing decisions. He was set on using Facebook ads to promote his gum cleaning tool, but he wasn’t getting any conversions. We decided that Facebook wasn’t the right platform to feature his product. Instead, he tried something more targeted; he contacted dental websites to get advertising on their homepage.
Every business problem has a solution, but they won’t often be easy to solve. In order to make an effective checklist for success, you might need to invest more time, creativity and money into making your business grow. Being a successful entrepreneur is an endless learning curve. Good luck, friends!