How to Make 2022 The Best Year Yet for Your Small Business: Entrepreneur Tips for Success
As an entrepreneur, it can be hard to know where to start — and once you’ve started, you’re faced with so many decisions and to-do’s that can be hard to navigate on your own, especially when you’re wearing many hats (many of which may be outside or your comfort zone and area of expertise). Since starting Monarch Design Co, I’ve undergone so many changes and have learned a lot through the process. Through my own journey with entrepreneurship and experience helping fellow ambitious small business owners take flight, here are my top tips to set you up for success this year!
In a digital landscape that is becoming ever more saturated, it’s essential to hone in on what makes you unique, the mission that drives you and what draws clients to work with you. Even if you’ve already done so before, reflect on your “why” — what is the driving reason behind what you do? Has your mission changed or evolved?
Start out by asking yourself a few questions:
During this stage, it is helpful to do an honest reflection of your biz: write down your greatest strengths, the value you offer your clients that others can’t, where you have room for improvement and if your dream clients have pain points that you’re not meeting. Reviewing what makes you stand out and where you have room to grow provides a steady foundation that will allow your business to fly! No matter what you discover, you can move into this next growth phase knowing where to invest your time and attention.
Now that you’ve done some soul-searching into the heart of your business, take a look at your branding: does it reflect your story? After all, branding goes much deeper than pretty surface level design: it should uniquely reflect you and your journey. From your logo and website down to every little details including your fonts, colour palette, tone of voice, imagery, business stationery and social media, your brand should evoke feeling and leave a lasting impression.
Maybe you’ve DIYed your branding and it doesn’t quite fit the vibe you’re going for or you’re using an off-the-shelf brand that doesn’t allow your biz to stand out the way it deserves. Investing in your brand is one of the best investments you can make in your business: so go for a fully customized branding solution to create an authentic, unique brand that speaks to your dream clients and reflects what makes you shine ✨
If you’re ready to level up your branding, let’s work together to create a beautiful brand that tells your story. If you’re still interested pushing your business forward without investing the time and 💸 in a full custom branding experience, enter our Creative Cocoon for a single day transformation that can be spun to suit your business’ goals and dreams!
So now that you have a brand that tells your story, it’s important that you’re consistent with it! No matter where your ideal client finds you — whether it is through social media, in person or your website — your branding should be instantly recognizable and memorable. This is truly the key to making sure your dream clients know and remember who you are and what you’re about so they can’t help but to work with you!
Remember: your branding is the face of your business, so make sure you’re using the same branding across all of your platforms down to your fonts, graphics, logos, colour palette and tone of voice! If you need a little help creating a cohesive, memorable website, social media presence, and/or print materials that leave a lasting impression on your dream clients, let’s make it happen 💫
A website acts as a home base for everything you do, so investing in a website that showcases your products and services in their best light, who you are and how to work with you is key to turning clicks into clients. A professionally-designed website also leaves an impression that you’re serious about what you do and adds a new avenue to attract clients.
In designing your website, make sure it is consistent with your brand, user-friendly so your visitors can easily navigate through your products and services and SEO-friendly so you can attract potential clients when they’re searching for something in your realm!
Creating a captivating, user-friendly and SEO-driven website can be hard: many website platforms confine you to restrictive templates and limit creative freedom, especially if you don’t know code. Part of running a small business is knowing your strengths and where you should delegate things to the people that know best — so if you’re looking for a beautiful, fully-optimized site but are feeling lost, allow me to walk you through it!
Social media can be a wonderful tool for small business owners to get their voice heard and build a loyal audience. However, navigating algorithms and increasing engagement across platforms can be tough! The best way to grow your social media is by consistently showing up with authenticity. In the current Instagram algorithm, consistency is key: make sure you set up a manageable posting schedule for yourself.
Once you get into a routine, take a look at the variety of what you’re posting: try your best to use all of the platform’s features. For Instagram, this means making use of stories, reels, posting to your feed and using any new features they may release! As an entrepreneur, you’re busy doing what you do best, so it may be easy to let your social media slip or break your routine — so if you find yourself having trouble keeping up, try batch creating your content and using scheduling platforms like Later, which you can sign up for with my referral link for 10 extra free posts a month!
While growing your social media takes time and a little patience, it’s all worth it: these platforms offer wonderful ways to connect with your audience, build meaningful client relationships and share your story. For more tips on increasing your social media engagement, I interviewed my lovely social media manager Annie Brioux from The Social Aesthetic Co. for The Self Made Life podcast — listen here 🎙
Your marketing shouldn’t begin and end with social media — email marketing is a fantastic tool to create more personalized, long-form content to foster relationships with your existing clients and send targeted content that resonates with your subscribers to encourage clicks to your website! By communicating with your clients in this way, email marketing will help you build loyal relationships, provide even more value to your audience, generate leads and build a contact list that isn’t dependent on algorithms or other platforms.
My favourite email marketing platform to use is Flodesk because of its beautiful design options and easy customization for creatives 💌
As an entrepreneur, navigating tax season can be overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be! One of the first things you should do if you’re launching a business (or if you haven’t done so already) is to register your biz. Once you register, head straight to the bank and open up a separate bank account just for your business. If you don’t keep everything separate, you’ll be lost in paperwork — trust me, you’ll thank me later!
Keeping on top of your finances is one of the most important things you can do to make sure the behind-the-scenes of your business is stress-free and running smoothly. If you need a little help keeping things organized, an account and bookkeeper are wonderful resources. Building a business takes a village, so if you’re more comfortable on the creative side and aren’t so fond of the finances, leave it to the people that do it best!
For more tips on navigating finances as a small business owner, I interviewed certified bookkeeper Jessie Manuel of Boost Bookkeeping on The Self Made Life podcast — tune in here for her expert financial advice for entrepreneurs!
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