Nurture what’s working, weed out what’s not.
Most of us in the northern hemisphere are finally celebrating the arrival of spring. Plants are popping up, trees are budding, grass is greening – and we don’t have to do a thing to make it happen! But that’s a mixed blessing; if we don’t step in and provide some direction, what grows may not be to our liking.
The same is true in business. You’ll end up with a bunch of “weeds” – disappointing results – unless you actively nurture the “flowers” – the rewarding outcomes you started your business to enjoy.
And there’s a lot that needs nurturing when you own your own business. Think of this process as maintaining a three-legged stool; if you don’t ensure that all three legs remain strong, you’re likely to find yourself falling flat on your butt sometime you least expect it.
Nurture your business.
You’ve heard it before: “You can’t just work in your business; you also need to work on it.”
You’ve heard it – but are you acting on it?
Business development deserves at least 50% of your time. If you’re not consistently nourishing your business, you’ll end up on a revenue roller-coaster. You know what that looks like:
- “Ack! I don’t have enough clients – or money! Must market like crazy!”
- “Yay! My marketing paid off. Busy, busy, busy! Cha-ching!”
- “Ack! All those clients are wrapping up, but I didn’t take time to keep marketing, so I have no one in the pipeline. Must market like crazy!”
And on it goes.
Just stop it! Schedule your time to ensure that you systematically address the 4 P’s of Business Development™:
- Professional and personal-management skills
You can learn more about each of these key elements here.
Nurture your clients.
If you do a search online, you’ll find a plethora of studies indicating it can be anywhere from 3 to 15 times more costly to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one.
Nurture your productivity and effectiveness.
Even if you decide the higher figures are exaggerated, it’s still pretty clear that keeping a current client is more cost effective than getting a new one. There are a number of ways to cement your relationship with your existing clientele:
- celebrate their accomplishments, both professional and personal
- act as if you have to earn their business every day (‘cause you pretty much do)
And if you feel stuck in this, I can recommend a great resource. My friend and colleague, Deb Brown, is the founder of Touch Your Client’s Heart; she specializes in client retention and appreciation. It would be worth spending a few minutes exploring whether her services are one of the revenue-enhancing strategies you’ve been searching for.
Nurture your self.
Self-care…You’ve heard about that, right?
For many small-business owners, and especially for female entrepreneurs, self-care is more of a theoretical construct than an actual daily practice. Yet it’s crucial to your long-term business success. After all, your clients pay for what you can provide them; if you run yourself into the ground and can no longer provide value, your clients – and your income – will disappear.
Self-care doesn’t have to be hugely expensive or time consuming; it just has to be effective. You can:
- put on a music CD and sing along
- dance (because nobody is looking)
- step away from your desk and stretch out your neck, back, legs, and butt
- walk around the block
- set a timer and take 20 or 30 guilt-free minutes to read a book and drink some tea
- get a massage
- take a 10-minute break to play with your pet (these are my beasts, Riley The Clueless and Barkley The Adorable)
Another colleague, Kelley Grimes, knows how essential self-care is. In fact, this is the core concept around which she built her entire business. Her goal is to “[create] peace and meaning through the art of self-nurturing”. You deserve to check out her recommendations.
What are some things you do to nurture your business, your clients, and your self? What sort of benefits have you seen from this?
Or does the idea of intentionally, effectively taking care of important things remain a laughably unlikely event in your world? Do you feel you’re so busy bouncing from one activity to another that nothing is really being effectively grown? Maybe I can give you a hand.
I’m good at helping overwhelmed entrepreneurs figure out how to be productive, instead of just busy. I know this is one of my strengths, but I don’t know if it’s what you need right now. I’m curious, however.
How ‘bout you? Is it worth spending 30 or 40 minutes getting acquainted so we can figure out if we’d make a great butt-kicking team? If so, it’s easy to set up that no-charge, no-risk, nobody’s-committed-to-nothin’ conversation: just call me at 319-270-1214 or email me with “I might be up for some nurturing” in the subject line. We’ll figure out a time to talk, then see what shakes out.This entry was posted in business development and tagged effectiveness. Bookmark the permalink.
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