Given the uncertainty of the past two years, perhaps you’ve found your business in a very different position to what you expected. It’s likely that you’ve found yourself with an increased number of online clients, you’re relying on technology more than ever, and now you’re wondering what your business will look like in future. Given the above, right now can be a good time to pause, and reflect on how things have been going.
A good way to do this is by undertaking a business micro review. We’re calling the review “micro” because it’s a simple, pain free process to encourage you to learn more about your business and will set you on the right path to move forward and grow.
Any sort of review can sound a bit overwhelming, but not this one! We’re going to guide you through it by getting you to think about some key questions in relation to your business. We’ll also be providing you with some top tips to help you refocus and use to propel your business forward this year. We’ll share another two questions in our next newsletter, so keep an eye out for that too!
How successful is my marketing? Where do my clients come from?
These are such vital questions for every business to ask, and yet maybe some of the trickiest to answer.
Trying to organically build and maintain an online presence on Instagram or TikTok can be a full-time job, and you really need to know what you’re doing, which let’s face it, many of us don’t. Directories also claim to have a wide reach, but is the extra expense worth it?
We suggest you start by learning more about where your current and new clients are coming from. For example, if you’re paying for a regular presence in a directory, yet not one of your clients have found you there, then it may be time for a re-think.
Don’t be afraid to ask your clients how they heard about you either, these responses will provide you with key data that can develop your marketing efforts more effectively. Remember that word of mouth is now digital as well as in real life; if you can determine where your new business is coming from, you can focus future marketing campaigns accordingly.
Don’t ignore the basics when it comes to marketing your business. For example, be sure to set up your free business profile on Google, which will:
reassure clients that you’re open for business
allow you to establish the location of your business
allow you to share your opening hours
provide you with insights around how clients discover your business
create a space for client reviews
In the same vein, make use of your Facebook business page which is also free and often a space that potential clients will check before getting in touch.
Don’t forget you can still be local in this digital age. Take advantage of local radio stations, local newsletters/newspapers and check whether you can advertise in local coffee shops. These might sound like simple, long forgotten approaches, but simple can often work very well!
Reach out and connect to complementary practitioners in your area where you can develop mutual referral partnerships.
Which clients are regular, returning clients?
It can be useful to do some segmentation research on your existing clients. After all, how often have you taken a step back and assessed your client base? Learning more about your current clients will provide you with essential information that will feed into any future marketing you do.
During this assessment, you may, for example, discover that the clients that find you via Google or social media can provide very different value from an insurance company referral. The drive behind a client's need for your services will also very much determine whether they will become regular clients. By collecting this data you’ll be providing yourself with essential information that will feed into any future marketing you do.
Creating a client persona can also be a helpful way of understanding more about your existing, regular clients. To keep it simple, you could examine basic demographic information such as age, occupation and gender identity. All knowledge is power!
This may also be a good time to review your charge rates in tandem with your regular clients. Are there any sweet spots that appear to encourage a returning client?
Be sure to manage and maintain your relationship with all referral channels and keep a record of the types of clients that come from referrals so that you can learn from the data.
Am I making enough money?
Time, as we are told, is money. But what if a lot of your valuable time is being taken up with rescheduling appointments, organising invoicing, and writing up notes? Being able to manage time effectively can be one of the most challenging tasks for a business owner.
We suggest that you consider setting an income goal. Your income goal will help ensure that your business is profitable, it will keep you on track, and will force you to look at what you’re spending versus what you’re earning. Once you know what you need to earn to cover your costs, you’ll be able to make better decisions about the future too.
Deciding what to invest in can be tricky; ideally any outlay should offer you great value in return. As we’ve already mentioned, reassess your marketing efforts and take advantage of the free advertising that’s out there too. If you find you are spending valuable time and money on an Instagram campaign that’s given you no direct leads, then perhaps it’s time to invest your money elsewhere.
By reviewing the various efficiencies of your business, you may find yourself with additional time which you can use to upskill and develop your offering to include more valuable services.
You may also be aware that whilst online appointments used to be cheaper, this is no longer the case, people now expect to pay for a safe space online. Make sure that your prices reflect this trend.
If this subject resonates with you, we’ve covered more ways to optimise your time in one of our online reports: 4 essential questions you should ask yourself to optimize your time as a private practitioner
So, there it is. The first part of your business micro review done. It’s not so bad, is it?
We’ll leave you to be getting on with these top tips, but there’s more to come! Look out in your inbox for our next newsletter where we’ll be covering “am I compliant?” and “what opportunities am I missing?” along with some more top tips to help you along the way.
Author: Sam Colyer and Kim Page for isosconnect