While there is so much to do when running a business, there are some common areas Sophie French hears from her clients in which they spend so much time in, that they’ve got no time to actually be creating clients. Here are four of the most common areas she hears her clients focusing on, which are really not as important as getting clients, especially when first starting out!
Are you guilty of thinking about these things a little too much when you could be creating clients instead?
While there is so much to do when running a business, there are some common areas I hear from clients in which they spend so much time in, that they’ve got no time to actually be creating clients. Here are four of the most common areas I hear clients focusing on, which are really not as important as getting clients, especially when first starting out! Are you guilty of thinking about these things a little too much when you could be creating clients instead?
We’re such creative beings us, humans. When we’re scared to do something, we can think of a million trillion things we could or should be doing instead of doing the actual thing we’re scared of doing.
This shows up a lot in business. Because, yes, there are a million trillion things to do. But most often, if your goal is to be creating clients and making money, which, if you’ve quit your job or are all but hot and ready to, is probably where your priorities lie. And there are some sneaky things that often creep up with my clients that stand in the way of them doing the client–intaking and money-making. And I want to share with you what a few of those are in case you recognise some of the distractions or excuses you may have been using, too.
Some things that don’t need to be distracting you or taking up your energy or attention:
As far as I’m concerned, a business plan isn’t necessary unless you are looking for a loan or an investment. A business plan at the beginning of your business is nothing but an overwhelming document full of questions you don’t know the answers to and would make even the most confident and visionary of people say “I think I’ll just hang out here in my job that I hate as it sounds way less complicated.”
Yes, write down your visions. Yes, write down your hopes and dreams. Yes, get clear on your figures. Yes, make a plan to make it happen. But in whatever format gets you most excited and with forward motion, not under the constraints of a business plan.
This is something that stresses so many people out. And yes it’s important to know what’s going on, but we give it way more energy than it really truly needs. We hear all kinds of horror stories about being charged a ton more than we need to be, and never being quite sure what the rules are, or whether we’ll have enough, or whether we’re ever getting it right at all and might get the actual ‘tax man’ knocking on our door in the middle of the night and sending us to prison for tax evasion.
Have a chat or consultation with an accountant complete with a list of all the questions you want the answers to. They are there to help you, we are never taught about this stuff, so there is no such thing as a stupid question. Hiring an accountant is one of the best investments I’ve ever made because it gives me peace of mind in the middle of the night, and a full night’s sleep is worth its weight in gold!
Some recommendations for brilliant finance savvy superbabes that can help you out and stop your midnight panics are these awesome ladies:
I promise that tax and accounting are not as terrifying or complicated as we are led to believe. They’re also completely personal and unique to your business (so don’t take advice from anyone else about what they have done or not done unless they are an accountant and looking at your business specifically as it makes things way more confusing!).
Four years into my business and I’ve never checked my keywords or monitored my SEO. There, I said it. Yes if you have a product business and you’re really open to customers from all over and want google to be a key place they go to find you, then great and it’s worth looking into. BUT, even then, there is so much more power in building a community and creating a core audience of customers and referrals. With service-based businesses, a personal brand and community is going to be so much more powerful, and also meeting people in real life! (Wait, what?!)
If you think about actually how many clients you want to work with or can take on, it may not even be as many as you think (if it’s loads, there may be some pricing work to look at but that’s for another post!) but otherwise it may be between 1-5 in any given month in order to meet your goals. You will not find those people in keywords or SEO, you will find them in conversation, in your community, and likely already in your network!!
If you’re just starting out (or even if you’re a way in) and are stressing out about SEO and keywords: stop right there – get right back to basics and send some emails about the work you’re doing to friends and friends of friends, or your Facebook page, or family friends, or people you met in real life so long ago that said ‘keep me posted with how your business goes it sounds amazing!’ These are the connections that will support your business to grow, and it will be all the more powerful for doing so.
As far as SEO and keywords go at this stage, let them goooo, let them gooo!
If you’re looking for help with SEO – check out all these fab blog posts by fellow Co, Pri.
Oh, don’t we love a bit of what Denise Duffield-Thomas calls ‘procrastabranding.’ Which, as you may imagine and recognise, is spending so much time making things look pretty, and not so much time actually putting things out there for people to see or enjoy or buy! I’ve definitely been guilty of whiling away an afternoon on Canva getting a font just right or finding the right photo or creating a few different versions of a graphic. And while of course, it’s important that things look nice, it’s most important for people to be able to see them. It shouldn’t be taking forever to get a visual right, and if it is, it might not be your zone of genius and this is something you could outsource (more on that in another post!)
When you get really real, the amount of time you’ve spent creating the perfect graphic for your awesome new offer, you could have picked up the phone or sent an email or proposal and made a sale. But that’s the SCARY bit, which is why you’ve spent so long on the graphic to avoid doing it, huh? Been there and I get it! But it’s super important to get back to your ‘why’ here and how long you’re really spending on certain things, what the purpose is i.e. making money, and if that change of font is REALLY going to sell it, or actually getting it out there is more likely to…
So, are there some things you might be doing that are actually just distractions rather than doing the work? Are you complaining about not getting clients, but spending hours prettifying your website or logo?
Where might you be able to hold your hands up, realise you’ve been following distractions, and go tell people how they can work with you!
Come and share your thoughts on the Small and Mighty Business Community and tag Sophie French to see how she can help.
Sophie is a Life Coach & Business Mentor supporting women in business to ‘crush the can’t’ in their head, own their superpowers and share them with the world. To date, she’s helped hundreds of women ignite confidence in themselves. Her clients have quit soul-sucking jobs, launched businesses, tripled their monthly income, launched workshops, become fully booked and much more because they’ve learned how to bust through their limits and pursue their dreams.