We’re in interesting times and things are changing day-by-day. More than ever we need to be investing in our businesses by keeping up with trends, the current technology that’s available to us as business owners, and making sure that we’re not getting left behind.
If you’ve ever had thoughts about whether you want to go into business full time, part-time or have a side hustle for yourself, then you’ve probably thought about the fact that the world is changing a lot at the moment.
You may have questioned what this means for business owners? We’ve always got to be up-skilling and keeping current, so here are 5 ways that you can make sure that you future-proof your business.
Number 1 – Be Tech Savvy
Technology is evolving at a rapid rate, and if we want to future-proof our business, we’ve got to be able to keep up with it. As a business owner, here are 3 things I recommend you’re on top of regarding technology.
Doing videos is important, especially at the moment as we can’t run live events. It’s so important that you get your skills up to speed with video software, Facebook Lives, plus online platforms like Zoom, where you can have group chats and conversations online.
There are so many amazing functionalities with Zoom. I was crewing and assisting in a coaching certification course over the last six days, where there were about 70 participants on the Zoom call. The International Coaching Federation changed their rules during the COVID-19 season, to be able to qualify coaches online.
We are now in a world where people can coach each other in an online platform, and I was able to jump into the different breakout rooms and assist and help people by observing their 1-1 coaching. It went from 10 am to 6:30 pm for six days.
At the end, they did a poll and 79% of people said that they enjoyed doing the event online, more than they did the live event, which I found fascinating.
It’s so important that you stay up to speed with technology and you don’t have to be a total tech whiz either. There are so many programs that are really user friendly, but you’ve got to learn it.
2. A C.R.M System
I also recommend that you make sure that you have a C.R.M (a customer relationship management system). It’s so essential to being able to email your clients in a professional and effective way.
Using a platform like Mail Chimp, you can separate out your audiences, segment your email list and target different people for different needs.
You can automate your emails and link it all to your other platforms.
And you CAN have a really automated business that runs smoothly and streamlined without losing a quality client experience.
You also want to make sure you have landing page software. I love using ClickFunnels, it’s by far is the one that I find most user friendly, and it has most functionality for what I want to do.
I host my webinars, online course, and landing pages for 1-1 sessions, freebies, and events on ClickFunnels and it’s all automated and synced to auto-responders.
Funnels are life-changing! They allow simple automation and save LOADS of time.
I never thought that I would be the kind of person that would sit down and learn how to create marketing funnels, but I’m so grateful that I have because now I’ll get an idea, create the landing page in the funnel and everything is all set up.
I can do it in about 45 minutes now from start to finish. From an idea that I have in my head, all the way through to having the funnel set up in less than an hour.
4. Online Calendar
Automation is key with business. You want to make sure that you’ve got an online calendar that people can easily book in with you and also change appointments. I use Calendly and really like the functionality of it.
It saves loads of time going back and forth with people, and means people are more likely to book in because they’re doing it on the spot, rather than waiting for you to get back to them. It’s a game-changer.
5. Online Payment Processing
Having an effective online payment system is something you need when looking at automation, so you can take payments from people – and not end up being a bank! You don’t want to chase people for money. You want that system to be seamless.
You want to be able to send invoices to people, and it’s all done in an automated way rather than manually, so you save loads of time.
I promise you the technology is there, you can do it, but you do need to up-skill in that area.
Automation is an important key for how we future-proof our business. There can be a lot to learn, but if we don’t we’re just going to be left behind.
Number 2 – Build Your Personal Brand
Building your personal brand is so important.
A brand isn’t a logo, it’s not your pretty colours. That’s part of your branding. The most important thing in branding is that you’re showing up that you are giving value, and that you are helping people.
You are providing value with your content, your videos and through your writing. It takes intentionality.
You always need to be visible, out there and talking to your people. There’s a tribe of people that you are here to serve.
You need to grow and develop your community and be a community leader. Step up as a thought leader. You have skills, knowledge, experience, stories, hard work and personality that makes up who you are and your brand.
No one is like you, as no one can do it the way you do it. No one has got your unique D.N.A, your unique mission here on this planet.
People are struggling and you can help them. You help people by showing up to your Facebook group and to your communities online, jumping onto video so that people can connect with you, giving value to your community – it’s all part of building your personal brand.
Number 3 – Extend Your Network
At the moment, we’re not going to in-person business breakfasts, seminars, workshops or conferences, but we’ve got an incredible opportunity to network in the online space.
What I recommend that you do in order to position yourself as someone who is a thought leader, has influence and adds value, is to start running your own online events.
There are a whole lot of things you can do – like a webinar, summit, Facebook challenge or one-day online workshops.
This helps you raise your positioning which can open up opportunities for you to be a guest speaker in other people’s spaces.
I’ve done about seven of these during this pandemic season. People have asked me to come on their podcasts, and I’ve done a range of summits and talks.
Put yourself out there by showing up online with value, so that you’re more likely get invited to be a guest speaker about your expertise.
It really gives you exposure and expands your reach. It puts you in touch with other audiences and networks. If you don’t have a big email database, then you want to tap into other people’s communities.
The reason I get invited is that people have gotten to know me, because I’ve built a Facebook group and a YouTube channel and I’ve consistently put out content. That’s when you start to really extend your networks and people start inviting you to speak and introducing you to their networks.
Number 4 – Develop Your Key Skills
There are five main skills that I recommend that you develop if you want to future-proof your business.
1. Marketing Skills
Marketing skills are so important and investing in these skills will only help your business.
Be honest and rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 regarding how good you are at marketing, how good you are at attracting clients and running Facebook adverts. If your skills are on the lower end of the scale, then invest in some marketing training.
2. Sales Skills
How good are you at having sales conversations and being able to connect, engage and influence people? How good are you at getting money into your bank account by these conversations? If this is an area you are lacking in, then up-skill in sales.
3. Copywriting Skills
Having the ability to write in a way that draws people in is a key skill. How good are you at writing landing pages, sales letters, emails, captioning your social media posts? Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10. If you are on the lower end, then up-skill in copywriting.
4. Your Ability to Present
Your ability to speak on camera is key. Being engaging, building rapport and connection is important for future-proofing your business.
Being able to stand up in front of a group and present is a skill that if you can do it, you will easily be able to get clients and you will also position yourself as an expert authority.
5. Technology Skills
Developing your tech skills is so important. Learning how to create funnels, put together landing pages, set up Zoom, synch your emails and calendars are important tech skills that are needed in business at this time.
I recommend that if things aren’t working for you, if you know that you’re not making as much money as you want to and don’t have as many client’s as you want, then commit to up-skilling to future-proof your business.
5 – Build a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset embraces challenges. It loves a good challenge! That’s the entrepreneurial mindset. When problems come along, you don’t get dramatic, you don’t get emotional, you don’t get stuck in the problem, you don’t blame others and you don’t make excuses.
You are on! You’re switched and when the challenge comes, you know you’ve got this! This is a growth mindset. There are a lot of people that start in business and don’t make it, because they’ve got a nine-to-five mentality. They’ve got a fixed mindset.
It’s so important that we keep up-skilling and investing in our businesses, because businesses are an asset.
If we continue to invest time, energy and money, we will continue to future-proof our business.Want to know how to apply these strategies to your own business, so you can attract new paying clients?
I’m running a FREE half-day online workshop on Saturday 23rd May ‘Attract New Clients With Ease’.
I’m sharing my proven 5-step Client Attraction Formula. It’s been tried and tested and it works.
Hope to see you soon!