For the last day of National Small Business Week, we’ve asked SMB evangelist Carissa Reiniger, founder and CEO of Silver Lining Ltd, to provide tips for helping small businesses thrive. After founding Silver Lining in 2005, Carissa created the SLAP™ Methodology, which has helped over 10,000 small business owners in nine countries set and hit their financial goals. She has partnered with Citrix to provide SLAPbootcamp sessions at no cost for attendees signing up by May 30.
It is the last day of National Small Business Week, and I want to ask you an important question: are you any further ahead in actually figuring out how to grow your business than you were on Monday?
Too often we participate in networking events, courses, workshops, seminars and activities where we talk a lot about our businesses and learn new ideas about how to grow our businesses, but we don’t ever seem to DO anything with all of that information. I am so ready for us to stop talking and start building profitable and sustainable small businesses!
How can you end this year’s National Small Business Week in ACTION and really set yourself up to grow your business?
- Cancel unnecessary events and activities. Pretty much every business owner I know is always worrying about cash flow and struggling with feeling totally overwhelmed. Your time and your money are your two most valuable resources and yet we often squander those two resources on activities that are not getting us results. Open your calendar and look at every event and activity that you have scheduled in the next 60 days. Cancel anything that you cannot justify as having a direct impact on your business goals.
- Set a goal to have three new meetings a week. The way you get new customers and grow is by meeting with the right people, discussing business opportunities and finding ways to work together. Disregard old school thinking about “sales,” “marketing,” “lead gen” and all that other jargon. Just connect with people. Don’t pitch; converse!
- Put accountability into your day-to-day life. Find a “buddy” who will hold you accountable. Set up 15 minute calls each week and one hour meetings at the end of each month to keep each other on track. You ask each other only two questions at each check-in. First: “Is the work you’ve done in the past week/month getting you closer to the results you want in your business?” Then:“Why” or “Why not?”
While none of these things seems like rocket science, it is amazing how these three simple, actionable practices can really change the growth rate of your business.
Growing your businesses doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money — but it does have to be intentional. And it isn’t about having a big fancy plan. It’s about taking the right actions day after day until you hit your goals.
If you want some help building an Action Plan for your business, we are really excited to be offering you totally free access to SLAPbootcamp (regular price $399). In SLAPbootcamp you go through a guided process of setting growth goals for your business and then creating an actionable plan so that you know what to do on a day-to-day basis in order to hit your goals.