Ah, a new year and a fresh start. There’s always something magic about a new year, but this year just feels particularly special. Although I know there’s nothing really magic about January 1st, it feels exciting to start the new year on the right foot. New goals, new routines, new habits.
I’m adding new routines to my behind the scenes that I’m excited about, but I know that sometimes even when you’re excited for change it can still feel confusing on how to get the ball rolling.
So I’m sharing with you 5 habits that you can start working on in your business to not only feel good about the work you’re doing but also grow your business so you can hit your goals.
1 | Show up consistently on social media
As long as social media has been used by business owners to generate followers, leads, and income there’s been the advice to show up and post consistently. And yet, there are so many people who regularly “post and ghost”.
I’ll admit that over the past year I’ve made it more of a goal to show up regularly on Instagram, and life has still hit the fan from time to time and a week or two will go by with no fresh content from my account.
Here’s the thing, though – showing up consistently on social media does so many things for your business. First and foremost, it shows people that your business is still active. If you want to make money, then you have to tell people that you’re accepting clients or that your products are still available.
Posting consistently also teaches people that they can trust you. If you say you’re working on this goal and then you can’t follow through, what does that say about what it’s like to work with you? Do you ghost your clients, too? Think about the message you’re unintentionally sending to potential clients.
Something else I realized recently is that showing up on social media doesn’t necessarily mean that you post consistently. If you dive deeper and think about why you want to post on social media, why it’s important for your business, what it means if you post and don’t post, you may realize that by not posting you’re telling your subconscious that you’re not good at following through, which has a snowball effect.
If this habit feels overwhelming to you, try to focus on less posts per week that are high quality instead of posting every single day.
2 | Respond to leads quickly
One of my biggest pet peeves when I’m reaching out to work with someone on a project or simply trying to collaborate with another business owner is when it literally takes forever to get a response. I’m talking multiple days or weeks.
I get it – not everyone checks their inbox or responds to emails every day, but this is a fast way to lose potential clients. Think about it… when someone reaches out to work with you they’re likely the most excited about the project. If you take days to get back to them, you’ve given them time to get busy with other tasks, forget about you and why their project is important, or move on to someone else.
I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve heard from that say they’ve actually gone so long without responding to an email that sometimes they never do. If this is you and you’re wondering why your business isn’t growing, then this is a big wakeup call.
Try to make it a priority to respond to leads within 24-48 business hours. If you’re struggling to do this, start by making a canned response that you can send over quickly with the most important details, questions, or action steps. Do you need to schedule a call? Include a link. Do most people ask about your prices? Attach an Info PDF with all of the details.
If you still can’t get back to people within that time frame it may be time to consider working on your time management or simply outsourcing some things on your to do list (like inbox management) so someone else can help make sure that your potential clients are getting the information they need to turn into booked projects.
3 | Make connections
The end of the year (and decade) brought on a lot of memories on people I’ve known and projects I’ve worked on over the past nearly 10 years of running my business. It was nothing short of amazing to think of all of the people I’ve collaborated with outside of client work to bring various projects to life. Some of those projects have been retired, but none of them would have happened without my taking the time to make connections with other business owners.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always the best role model for making connections with other people online, but I strongly value the connections and friendships that I’ve been able to build over the years. After all, I wouldn’t have this business without going out on a limb to connect with other people.
Making connections and just friends, in general, can seem daunting and downright scary at times. Remove the pressure on yourself to meet your new biz bestie right away. Instead, make it easy on yourself. Respond to someone’s Instagram post or email in your inbox. Answer a comment in a Facebook group. Find an accountability partner in the programs or courses you join.
Something else I want to encourage you to remember here is that the person who could have the biggest impact on you is not necessarily the person you follow with the biggest business, greatest income, or most Instagram followers. When I met my (now) best friend, I’d been in business longer than she had. All these years later I truly feel I’ve learned more from her than I ever could have imagined. It’s something I’m truly so grateful for.
4 | Ask for help
I’ve been incredibly fortunate over the past year to grow and expand my business in ways that have required me to ask for help to get work done. Whether it was learning how to do something, asking for advice, or outsourcing work, I’ve asked or reached out for help more times in 6 months than I have in 6 years.
Most people are quick to buy courses, purchase products, or hire coaches, but I know there are a lot of us who will roll up our sleeves, work through the muck, and get it done regardless of the late nights or long weekends that could be better spent not working.
The problem with that is that after a while you realize a few things:
- You’re incredibly burnt out because you’re doing #allthethings
- You’ve missed goals or milestones because you’re juggling too much
- You literally cannot grow your business more because there aren’t enough hours in the day
At some point in my businesses I’ve realized all of these things, and most recently I realized the last one. Not only is there nothing wrong with asking for help, but it can actually be a huge blessing to finally take some things off of your plate. I got even more excited about my plans for this year when I realized how much more I could do as soon as I started outsourcing to a virtual assistant.
Even if you can’t or don’t need to bring someone on for 10 hours a month, consider how you can get help with a few tasks or a few hours each month to help you free up some time.
5 | Practice gratitude
Last, but certainly not least, is one thing I’m most excited to make a daily habit this year: gratitude. There’s something to be said about being grateful for where you are, everything you’re accomplishing, and the goals you’re working on this year.
Last summer I made it part of my nightly routine to write in my Dream Life Design Planner every single night before I went to sleep. One of the most rewarding things about this was not just that I was showing gratitude but I was also reframing the day in my mind. If I’d had a long, rough day, taking the time to write down a few things that I was grateful for really helped me go to bed thinking of the positive that had happened that day instead of feeling defeated.
If you’re into the whole ‘woo’ thing, there’s also a belief that you can manifest your dream life and reach your goals by being grateful for things you want to accomplish ahead of time. For example, maybe you want to book 2 new clients this month, then you could write or say, “I’m so happy and grateful that I’ve booked 2 brand new clients in the past couple of weeks.” Some people also do this by journaling a date in the future.
I did this a lot in my Dream Life Design Planner, and I recently flipped back toward the beginning and realized that I actually hit the monthly income goal that I’d been wanting last year.
What new habits will you create for your business in 2020?
Beyond just goal setting or things you’re planning on doing for your business this year, I’d love to hear from you – shoot me a DM on Instagram and let me know what’s ONE new habit you’d like to work on for your business?