Yes, you need a Business Plan
It may be only you, or a small team, and you all may think you have it all figured out. Do yourself a favor and put that on paper. A business plan isn’t just for large companies. More than anything, you need to solidify who you are, your purpose, an outline of your team, specific financials, the type of product/service you’re offering and your plans for growth over the next 3-5 years. When you’re sitting in front of a client, you should be able to explain your business in less than five sentences. When you’re on social, your content should be in line with the core values of your business. Additionally your team’s understanding of the business needs to be in sync, only then can you work towards a common goal. If you’re unsure of writing it yourself, sites like Freelancer makes finding the appropriate talent much easier.
Social Listening brings the content to you
As an entrepreneur, you’re operating with minimal resources in a digital world filled with noise. With multiple social networks, media outlets, blogs and other platforms for disseminating information, it can feel like you’re inside a maze. Social listening is an excellent way to navigate that noise, find a way to build your voice and ultimately reach your audience. Knowing what people are saying about your brand, and keeping track of what they’re saying about competitors is invaluable insight when tailoring your strategy. Tools such as Buzzsumo gives your small business the flexibility it needs in this crowded digital world.
Learn on-the-go with podcasts
As an entrepreneur, you’re bound to know the mantra ‘Time is Money’ and rightfully so. ACM gets it; as a small business ourselves, we understand the value of time, and using each day as productively as possible, not just for the business but also, our own personal growth. That’s where podcasts come in. Digesting new information can seem like a hassle, but as an entrepreneur, staying abreast of new trends and learning how to improve your operations is key to your business’ longevity. A couple of our favorites are Cut The Crap and Freakonomics. You can find a host of other examples here, and a quick Google search brings tons more. Drawing from the knowledge of industry experts will bring new life and inspiration into your business.
Speaking of personal growth…
At ACM, we encourage the building of our individuals selves. Not only is it a way to keep us on our toes, it brings new understanding of the various platforms and tools we use. For example, I didn’t have an Instagram before starting this job and now I use it as a test and research area to understand its inner workings. Encourage this type of social curiosity and creativity. Use it to brainstorm and bring fresh ideas to the forefront. Especially now, with so many platforms to choose from for example, learning how to leverage them will give your business the upper hand.
And speaking of giving your business the upper hand…
I’m sure choosing the life of an entrepreneur is not a decision you made lightly. My boss can attest to that. Another thing I’m sure of is that you have a story to tell, so do just that! Blend that story into your business’ narrative and show clients the human side of the business they’re giving their money too. Utilize the cost effectiveness of social media to leave your footprint, be it through blogs or short video clips, or quote cards. Use your past experiences to enhance your present offerings and future opportunities. Build your voice and create a recognizable social portfolio that gives you an edge on your competition. LinkedIn is a fantastic place to start presenting yourself as a thought-leader.