New Year, New Website and Time to Re-Focus
The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to refocus on your small business.
Scenario 1: Maybe you’ve been dabbling in a side-hustle for a while now while continuing to work full-time.
You know your business could be something special, but you haven’t been majorly motivated to work on it after spending all day at your 9-5. I know it’s hard to come home from work and continue to do more work, I’ve been there. I spent all day on a computer doing accounting work, to come home and do work on my website - talk about brain drain and eye strain! But, I love designing custom Squarespace websites, so it’s totally worth the sacrifice, and I’m willing to bet you feel the same about your side gig.
Scenario 2: Maybe you’ve gone all in and are working in your business full-time, but you cut corners on certain things just to get started.
Now that you’re living and breathing your work, you’re likely in place to revisit those places you cut corners originally in favor of an upgrade. Odds are, when you got started, you had a laundry list of expenses. On that list was your website, and maybe you took the cheap route by doing it yourself. If you’ve been in business a little while and starting to see success, you’re probably ready for a new website that shows off all of your hard work!
If either of these scenarios sound like you, it could be time to consider a new website for your business.
In the first scenario, a great website could be the jumpstart your business needs to grow by leaps and bounds. You would be showing potential customers that you are a professional, and they would, in turn, take you more seriously. Your website would give them more ways to contact you to request your services or make purchases. A new website could be used as a marketing tool to attract new customers and give you the freedom to ditch the 9-5.
In the second scenario, your business has made progress, and you want a website that reflects all of the success you’ve had since you started. Now that you’ve got a little more cash flow, you can invest in more of the bells and whistles that not just look good, but make life easier. There are things you can integrate into your website, such as e-commerce, that are going to cost you a little more, but can give you a sales boost. If potential customers can make a purchase right on your website, they’re more likely to move forward. If you can make more sales by doing less work, it’s a win-win!
In either case, a Squarespace website could be a great fit for you. It is super user friendly, and looks clean and modern. Read my whole blog post on this topic here. So, whether you’re just getting started, or looking for a new and improved website, this is a great option. Of course, I’d be happy to design it for you, so feel free to reach out at the bottom of this post to schedule a free call ;)
Your website isn’t the only place you should be focusing in your business, of course.
These are my suggestions for the other areas you should be paying attention to, especially with a fresh start of a new year:
Focus on Helping - If you’re in business just to make money, you’re not going to be as successful. Your potential clients and customers will sense that you don’t really care about them, and go somewhere else. If, however, you focus on helping those same people, they will want to support your business. You’ll also feel more of a sense of fulfillment, and enjoy spending time in your business, instead of going through the motions, forcing the business to work.
Focus on Marketing - You won’t find potential customers knocking down your door just because the open sign is there. You have to put effort into marketing your business, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a lot of money on advertising. If you use your website wisely, such as by blogging on a regular basis and optimizing your SEO (see more info here and here), you will see more traffic on your site. That traffic can turn into paying customers. A word to the wise: try not to do absolutely everything. Hone in on one or two primary marketing strategies and do them consistently. You’ll burn yourself out trying to keep up with too many marketing channels, and none of them will be that effective.
Analyze what’s working, and change what isn’t - Your business isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of operation. You need to constantly look at your results, determine how you got there, and readjust. So, if you’re seeing that the majority of customers on your website are coming from Facebook, keep at it. But, if your spending several hours a week on Instagram, but no referrals from there, don’t waste your time. If something’s not working, drop it, and try something else. Spend more time doing what works, and you’ll see results.
Running your own business isn’t for the faint of heart. Above all else, I encourage you to keep a positive attitude. I know this is easier said than done. In the past year, I’ve developed a habit of reading as much as I can, which really helps me stay motivated.
Here are 5 of the best books I’ve read recently and recommend to anyone looking to improve their outlook and way of living:
The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod - Hal walks you through setting up a morning routine that will seriously change your outlook on life. I now wake up at 5:10 a.m. because I want to!
You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero (also You Are a Badass Everyday, which is several short blurbs that are a nice pick-me-up) - I recommend this in the audiobook version because Jen is hilarious and relatable. I would buy any book she’s written.
The 5 Second Rule, by Mel Robbins - Great for procrastinators and hesitators, teaches you to just do it!
Make Your Bed, by Admiral William H. McRaven - Thoughts on living a fulfilling life from the viewpoint of a retired U.S. Navy Veteran, a short must-read.
The 4-Hour Work Week - An oldie, but a goodie - worth reading and re-reading. I found this one highly motivating to push myself out of the 9-5 and into self-employment.
My husband went through a phase of reading tons of business-related books, and I thought he was nuts. I generally read chick fiction as an escape, but once you find the right books like those I listed above, you’ll want to read one, after another, after another! They’re a great tool to keep you motivated and push you to continuously improve personally and in your business. I’ve found podcasts to also be inspiring, so definitely find some you enjoy.
It’s a new year - take advantage of this opportunity for a fresh start, and get to work!
Every new day is a chance to hit reset, so don’t let yourself get down if things haven’t gone your way. Push on to the next day, and re-focus! If all else fails, take a break with a good book and come back to it.