Five Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Business

Five Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Business

improve your businessIs your business where you want it to be? Could it be better? Here are five things you can begin doing today that will improve your business.

Improve your public speaking skills.

We’ve all been doing it since we had to give book reports in the third grade, but public speaking still ranks at the top of nearly every list of “most common fears.” I’m not sure what it is that terrifies us so much, but it often tops things like “fear of dying.” As Jerry Seinfeld once said, this means that if you’re going to a funeral, you’d rather be in the casket than delivering the eulogy.” Public speaking is one of the best ways to build your business. There are countless networking groups, business and civic associations, conferences and even schools that would welcome your expertise. Whether you are giving a sales presentation to a potential client, introducing your business to a local leads group or sharing an idea to help others build their business, you are establishing yourself as an authority and professional in your field—and if you do it enough, not only can you gain new clients and build your business, but you may become good enough that they’ll actually pay you to talk about what you do. If you aren’t sure what you need help with or how to improve your skills, find a local Toastmasters’ group. They’ve been helping people improve their speaking skills for nearly 90 years.

Blog regularly.

Ok, I admit it. I’ve fallen off the blogging wagon in the last month or so. And can I tell you I have really felt the effects of it? (We’ll talk about why in another post.) New content gives people (meaning potential customers or potential referrers) a reason to visit your site regularly. And if they’re visiting your site regularly, they’re going to remember you—and when they need your services, they’ll know who you are. Also, if you’re blogging regularly, your readers have something to share via their social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn—and so do you. Blogging regularly requires you to exercise your creativity, stay on top of your industry and gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and demonstrate your expertise.

Create a focus for your business.

Do you ever feel like you’re wandering in the business wilderness? You know what you’re good at but you’re not really sure how it translates into customers and dollars? I know that feeling, too. Take a time out if you need to and figure out where you want to go. Sometimes our business can be led in directions we really didn’t intend for it to go. When you discover that is happening to you, you need to step back and decide if that’s really where you want it to go. If it’s not, it’s up to you to figure out where it is you want to go and create a plan to take it in that direction. This may require the help of a business coach, a mastermind group or some additional training. But if that’s what you need to achieve the success you’re seeking, it will be worth every dollar and hour you invest getting it there. Allowing others to dictate the direction of your business will eventually lead to dissatisfaction and then failure. Taking charge of your own future is empowering and builds your confidence, which will show through in what you do and lead you down the road to success.

Get out of the office and meet people.

Running an online business and working in the virtual world is great, but if you really want to take it to the next level, you need to ditch the fuzzy slippers and get out from behind your computer every now and then. Online business-building and networking groups can expose you to new ideas and to clients who live outside your zip code. In-person networking groups will help you meet real people and allow them to meet you. You can build relationships that will be both professional and personal, create a support group (being a solo entrepreneur can be very isolating and lonely) or mastermind group. Getting out of the office can also lead to those speaking opportunities and to business with people who like to do business with people they know. Small business is still personal—it’s still about relationships; expanding your business beyond the virtual can open up a whole world of opportunity for you.

Get a life.

It’s good to be passionate about your business. It’s good to love what you do so much that you’d do it 24 hours a day. Working at your business 24 hours a day isn’t good. Your life needs balance. You need to get out from behind the desk or the camera or the kitchen. You need to have relationships that have nothing to do with what you do for a living. You need to expand your horizons, have new experiences, do something creative, develop a hobby. All of these things won’t just build you a better business, they’ll make you a better person. It really is true: “All work and no play does make Johnny a dull boy.” If you’ve been working so long and so hard that you can’t think of anything to do that isn’t business related, start by just putting on your shoes and going out for a walk. Pay close attention to your surroundings and make note of what catches your attention, whether it’s an art gallery you haven’t been in before, a new restaurant or a beautiful scenic view—and then go check it out.

 

These are five things you can begin doing right now that will improve business—and your life. Have you tried any of these? What was your result? Or what other things have you found that have improved your business?

27 thoughts on “Five Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Business

  • January 24, 2013 at 7:46 am
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    I love this post Marie…a great reminder to start the year right. Tip #4 is absolutely correct: meeting people outside creates a whole new world of opportunity for my biz.

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    • January 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm
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      Thanks, Lorii. You are so right–#4 is definitely good for your business. And it’s pretty much good for a lot of businesses.

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  • January 3, 2013 at 4:41 am
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    Love all of these tips Marie, especially the one about getting out of the office. When you run an online business you tend to feel like you have to be behind the computer all of the time. But, some of my best business contacts have come from networking in real life. And, besides that, it’s fun to get out and socialize with people who think like you do. The other one I’m trying this year is to expose myself to new stuff. Instead of just the same blogs, websites and people I connect with, I’m really trying to explore new avenues and look for things I don’t necessarily agree with so that it will spark some new creativity in me!

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  • January 2, 2013 at 7:21 pm
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    All of these are good tips to help out in my Direct Sales business. I have not done a blog before; that is something I will try this year.

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    • January 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm
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      These would definitely all help with your direct sales business–and a blog can most certainly help you build your business.

      Reply
  • January 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm
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    GET A LIFE! Hehe….I am! Spent today, the first work day of the year on the beach! A bit too long on the beach getting a life but hey…it was an awesome day!:-) Great article, Marie!

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    • January 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm
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      The beach?! And you didn’t invite me? It’s 35 here today and my little toes are frozen. I miss the beach. Glad you started your year off right, Carl. Hope you remembered the sunscreen!

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  • January 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm
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    awesome insight Marie! I teach fourth grade, and I always have the “you will need to be able to speak on front of people” talk with them, even as early as 9 years old. I thrive speaking to others…love it! But this year I need to help others on my team realize the power that speaking to others holds. Thank you for this post !

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    • January 2, 2013 at 10:23 am
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      Thanks, Laura. I love speaking, too. I gave my first public speech when I was 5 (Sunday School), and so it’s never bothered me. But I am always amazed at how terrified so many people are to speak.

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  • January 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm
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    This post is so very true!! I need to do all of these things to continue to grow my business!! I work full time as well as my DS business, butt this is a great reminder and guide! Thank you!!

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    • January 2, 2013 at 10:23 am
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      You are most welcome, Courtney. Good luck this year–it sounds like you definitely have a full plate.

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  • January 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm
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    Wonderful tips and insights! You cover so many important aspects of being successful! Thanks!

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    • January 2, 2013 at 10:24 am
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      Great, Norma. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. Don’t you love it when someone else’s post can give you some new ideas for a post of your own?

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  • January 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm
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    All great tips Marie. I agree getting out of the house and meeting people is important to take your business to the next level.One of my 2013 goals!

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    • January 2, 2013 at 10:25 am
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      It definitely is. Those of us who work online get way too comfortable with the relative anonymity of our computers. Getting out and getting to know people can be a HUGE boost to your business. And you never know where it might lead. . . .

      Reply
  • January 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm
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    Wow Marie – great insight about things that make a difference in business (and life). Truly great tips. Thanks for sharing.

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    • January 2, 2013 at 10:25 am
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      You are most welcome, Takara. We need to always be stretching ourselves out there.

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  • January 1, 2013 at 1:24 pm
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    Great tips here! You are right, they can all easily been done today to see improvements immediately. I especially love the GET A LIFE. You are so right, all work and no play makes you lose focus on what is really important.

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    • January 2, 2013 at 10:26 am
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      It is so easy to get wrapped up in our work, especially when working from home–it’s always right there to do just “one more thing.” It’s important to remember when it’s time to step away and refresh ourselves.

      Reply
  • January 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm
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    Great reminders, thank you! In reading another blog today, I was reminded to dream as well. We often get too caught up in tactical execution.

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  • January 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm
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    Great tips, Marie and I really appreciate how you emphasize that it is so important to keep balance in your life. That is such an important reminder “to get a life”. Absolutely!

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  • January 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm
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    Thanks for these 5 important tips Marie. You hit the nail right on the head. Part of my plan this year is to “Get Out More” and “Improve on Public Speaking”. They seem intertwined & should help towards improving business. Thanks again for sharing. Have a great 2013.

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    • January 2, 2013 at 10:27 am
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      They really are, Gary. Getting out and networking will help build on those same skills that make public speaking come more easily.

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  • January 1, 2013 at 10:48 am
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    Happy New Year, Marie! I love this blog post! Great tips to improve our business and our life! I’ll be concentrating on getting out of the office and meeting people. I enjoy working from home yet I don’t get out enough, especially now, in the winter. Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply

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