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Maintaining a business is tough enough but moving your business forward takes dedication. Below are some tips on how to make this happen.

Firstly, ensure you are blocking out time for you to focus on moving your business forward. It is easy for time to pass quickly when you are dealing with all your current clients and your own business needs are being put on the back burner. You need to create the capacity for you to focus on your business and if you feel there are not enough hours in the day: hire someone to help!.

Forward plan and set specific goals for your business. When writing down a goal also take into account how you are going to achieve your goal. For example, I am going to gain three more clients in one month, I am going to achieve this by increasing my marketing activity on social media.

When shaping and improving your business you need to create a clear brand, it is your business identity and voice. Is there something that makes you unique to other businesses? Highlight these features as your unique selling point. Your brand needs to be recognisable in everything you create; bespoke documents, website platforms, and social media posts.

Bear in mind business cards are useful to have for those impromptu interactions but it is important to be visual online. This is not only owning a static website but consistent uploading on social media or blog posts. Quantity and quality are key. Create a calendar of content to schedule posts in advance. If you have several social media platforms choose the most appropriate for your post, try to avoid posting the same content to every platform as there will be different potential clients interacting on each platform.

When posting online always include a picture within your posts or even better a video. It has been predicted that in 2019, global consumer Internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic. That’s an astounding figure. People also tend to spend a longer time watching a live social video compared to a pre-recorded video so if you are feeling confident you can now ‘go live’ on social media platforms and chat with potential clients in real-time. Clients before investing in your business will want to get to know you through what they find online, it is the digital version of making a first impression. So try to target those that will benefit from your services and let them know how you can help.

A great way to understand how to attract potential clients is to research social media trends and trends in your own field of expertise. Research will present new ideas, a chance to be creative and think outside the box. Such as connecting with your competitors (bear with me on this one). Your competitors will have likely come across the same barriers you could be facing and may have the solution to your problem. Of course, this will work both ways!

Which brings us onto a vital part of increasing your business growth through networking. Whether it be online or in person. Avoid the hard sell. Be sociable, not a sales person. Your client wants to know you genuinely want to help them and they are not just another statistic. Connect with multiple groups, make your name known. Join Facebook groups relevant to your desired clients and start your own group to build your business community by engaging in conversations because let’s not forget you would not have a business without clients, it is about how you can provide value for your clients. It is important to note that although an interaction with one person might not mean they are your next client, that one person might be chatting to someone who needs guidance and then mention your name!

Any feedback is good feedback, everyone can be wary and afraid of the ‘unhappy client’ online however it can be beneficial. Create a place where your clients can provide you with feedback. Whether the comment will be on Facebook or Trust Pilot. Understand your client’s expectations so you know how to fulfil their needs. A dissatisfied client will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. Knowing the cause for the ‘unhappy client’ will mean you can be seen to rectify the problem, therefore, building trust. A satisfied customer can be invaluable, increasing referrals through word of mouth and online reviews.  If on that rare occasion you do have an ‘unhappy customer’ reminder that mistakes are okay to make as long as you learn from them.

In order to move your business forward you need to know your worth. Not everyone is good at blowing their own trumpet. You have valuable skills that will assist your client in achieving their own goals. The more satisfied clients you acquire, the more clients will be willing to pay.

Ensure you are making the best use of the tools already at your fingertips. There is an abundance of apps and software, many free, which can help you to organise your business and increase productivity. Try out different tools to find which are the best for what you require. OneNote is useful for quick organisation and Excel can be used for more than just business expenses.

Skill up! Learning is a continuous process, it gives us the ability to keep reinventing ourselves and our business. Identify any areas you need to work on or anything you would like to know more information about and sign up to a relevant course. Invest in yourself.

Reignite your dedication by reminding yourself why you started and what makes you passionate about what you do. If your potential clients can see your dedication to your business, they will be more likely to invest in your business. Ask yourself, what gives you drive? And use that driving force to move your business forward.

To chat about how we can help you be more productive and grow your business, give Emma a call on 07977 640119 or email emma@theumbrellatree.co.uk.

www.theumbrellatree.co.uk