Another school year is upon us. It may look and feel different than previous years- helllooooo online learning!- but that back-to-school energy is a great time to pause and think about what you want to accomplish for your business this fall.
1. Who do you want to be?
I gave myself pink hair streaks the first day of Grade 7. It was temporary, and it was severely lacklustre, but I thought it gave me a “rad new look” (Yes, I was a child of the 80s). Starting a fresh school “year” gives us a fresh start in a lot of ways.
So, WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE this year? Are you the one-stop experience for coffee connoisseurs? A savvy consultant/coach passionate about solving problem XYZ? The dentist with cool toothbrushes and a zen-vibe? (“Siri, remind me to book my teeth cleaning…”)
It’s important to get clear on who you are, and what you actually DO in this business world. Remember: we’re here to solve our customers’ pain points- what do you want people to say about you and your business?
2. Make New Friends
It’s time to put the social back in social media. Who are your customers, what are they interested in, and why do they like you?
Make it a priority this fall to engage in authentic conversations: respond to ALL comments on your social media posts. Cheer on others in your industry. Wish people a happy birthdays/congrats on their launch/cute dog adoption. Send voice messages to people, thanking them for following you.
Learn about what makes your fans & customers tick!
- Long wait lines due to Covid?- have a QR Code or link to a fun, short survey they can fill out on their phones while they wait.
- Do polls on social media.
- Ask them to share their best (& worst) back-to-school stories.
Revisit your marketing strategy and review how you’re finding NEW customers- brainstorm three NEW ways you can engage new fans. By learning more about people who love your business, you’re able to streamline what you offer and identify key revenue opportunities you may be missing out on.
3. Back-to-School: What will I learn this year?
As a business owner, what is your commitment to growing your business? What areas do you find yourself struggling the most- accounting? Marketing? Managing your team?
With so many FREE resources and training available, now is the time to schedule 1-2 hours a week to LEARN more so you can DO more (in an efficient, productive way).
- Try a Google Search with your biggest business questions and see what pops up.
- Search hashtags on instagram like #socialmediatraining or #taxtips and follow great online business educators.
- Subscribe to my YouTube channel @CorporateCanuck for free mini-trainings on all kinds of small business & self development topics.
- Use a service like ReadItForMe to read/listen to key summaries of books by the world’s best business & thought leaders.
The most successful entrepreneurs I know are the ones committed to lifelong learning. It doesn’t have to be at a desk in a classroom, and it doesn’t have to be JUST about business- learn how to make the most of your day, balance your life all around, & drive your business forward!
4. Back-to-School: Do Your Homework
I was a very engaged student (probably not a shocker to most people who follow me), and didn’t mind doing homework. In my business life, it’s very much a part of what I do when I work with small business owners to grow their business. You need to be looking OUTSIDE of your business for inspiration; it’s far too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and miss those opportunities. Give yourself time and space to THINK, even if it’s just a walk outside for 10 mins a day.
It’s also important to do your research around your business and industry:
Q: What are your competitors doing, and what are they doing BETTER than you?
Q: What trends are happening in your industry + globally that could impact your business? (Zoom meetings, anyone? :-p)
Find 1-2 newsletters (or YouTube creators) that you find interesting and enjoyable; any more than that and you’ll probably not even read them- save your inbox! Commit to reading them daily/weekly. (I like to save mine for my Saturday morning coffee time). It’s a fun, easy way to keep learning about what turns a good business to a GREAT one!
5. Clean your locker!
1st day lockers are the best- they’re all cleaned out and ready for you to jam things in them, never to be found again.
In other words: GET ORGANIZED.
- Set up your receipt sorting system (Get my tips HERE).
- Create folders in your email inbox to keep things organized.
- Enter your shoebox receipts into your accounting software (Quickbooks and Freshbooks are personal faves)
- Check in on your task management systems and clear off old tasks (do ‘em or ditch ‘em- your choice!).
- Streamline your employee scheduling & clock-in (I use Homebase for several clients- it has awesome free and paid features available)
That September energy is such a great time to get organized for the months ahead- use it to get clear, get organized, and plan for business success.
And bonus: sales on sparkly school supplies 🙂
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