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Business Owners? Critical Steps To Ensure A Great Start To 2021

critical steps for business owners

Marketing Kuel Category Expert: Lori Lyons

For most of the world population, 2021 can’t get here fast enough! This has certainly been a year that has challenged us and pushed us all to change directions many times. And it may not have all been negative.

Yes, dare I say it, for some it was positive. We’ve changed our businesses and pushed ourselves to be daring and try new things. But, are all these new “things” working?

This month is a great time to reflect and catalogue what has worked and what hasn’t this year. One of my favorite expressions is that sometimes you have to take two steps back to move forward three steps. I think this is one of those times. I offer critical steps for business owners to consider as they wrap up 2020.

End Of The Year Evaluations:

“evaluate your target market, your branding, and your digital presence”

It’s a great time to think about what we want to change, or tweak, or do to grow our businesses for the upcoming year. We make business New Year’s Resolutions! For this year – since we’ve had so many twists and turns, let’s start with the basics. First, evaluate your target market, your branding, and your digital presence.

Is Your Target Still Your Target?

It’s very possible that your target market changed this year, morphed or it may have gone away completely. Three simple questions help to determine this:

  1. Has your target market changed and how has it changed?
  2. What is your target market’s primary interest now?
  3. Is the message still reaching your target market?

I ask and answer these questions every year with my business. This year, the answers have taken on a different meaning. Our ideal clients have gotten older, some may have retired or started new businesses entirely. Sadly, some of our ideal clients went out of business or totally changed their business plans. They found new social media platforms or they are in totally different facebook groups. Or, they moved away from social media totally!

Is the messaging you use in “old language?” Are you using language that builds the “Know, Like and Trust” factor? Are you speaking in THEIR language or YOURS? Take a good hard look at what you are saying and who you are saying it to. For more information on your ideal client, July’s Kuel Life article was all about this!

Are You Wearing A Branding Mullet?

Simple items to evaluate with your branding and that are easy to correct are your photos, your colors, and presentation in various outlets. Remember, branding is someone’s perception of you, not your own view of your own company. How others perceive you can make or break your business.

  • Are your photos updated? Do you still have your same Princess Di haircut on your headshot? Or, ever worse, is it a selfie? Is your hair even the same color? If not, make an appointment to have your photos updated and refreshed. Make them fun and alive!
  • Refresh your colors. Make the blue a bit more current or remove the bright colors. Calm and muted is the trend for 2021.
  • Check your social media headers across all the platforms. Are they consistent with your brand and will someone know immediately that is your business?

For more on branding – take a look at the branding article in Kuel Life!

Is Your Digital Presence Helping You Or Hurting You?

“Evaluate and review your digital marketing yearly”

One thing was very clear in 2020, you HAD to have a digital presence to grow your business! Entrepreneurs were suddenly scrambling to update websites that hadn’t been touched in years. Email funnels were created virtually overnight. Yup, there was some panicky and desperate marketing going on! Evaluating and reviewing your digital marketing yearly will keep panic and desperation from setting in!

5 Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Website:

  1. Does your website offer a great customer experience?
  2. Are your offerings current?
  3. Are your photos updated? (see above)
  4. Is your overall site clean and uncluttered?
  5. Are your fonts large and readable?

7 Must Audits For Your Social Media:

  1. Do you get engagement?
  2. Are your photos branded or generic stock photos?
  3. Are you still using the social media platform where your target audience hangs out?
  4. Do you plan your content online or winging it?
  5. Do you have a way to move your followers off your social media and onto your email system? Check out the Kuel Life article on list building here.
  6. What about a lead magnet? Do you have one? (First step in owning your social media followers!)
  7. Does everything you do or put out to the world have a call to action?

Simple Steps To Start The New Year With A Bang:

Utilizing these critical steps for business owners, yearly – or better yet – every six months – will keep your marketing on track so that your ideal clients will find you, hear your message, and ask you to help solve their problems. 2021 will be off to an amazing start for your business.

What are you going to do this month to make sure your business has an amazing 2021?

About the Author:

Lori is America’s Midlife Marketing Maven helping GenXBoomers take the frustration and mystery out of marketing their businesses. She owns a digital marketing agency, Igniting Your Business and specializes in website design, branding and marketing strategy. She loves teaching Encore Entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses so they can concentrate on following THEIR passions and THEIR clients. Lori thinks there is nothing better than seeing someone’s eyes light up when they “get it” and then they take it and make money, easily and simply and without the stress they had before.

Lori will be launching her podcast, The Encore Entrepreneur Podcast this summer where she will be interviewing entrepreneurs and talking about how they market their businesses and the tools and techniques they use. She lives in Atlanta with her husband of almost 30 years and helps her 22 year old entrepreneur son with his marketing. She is a sports fanatic and loves her Atlanta Braves baseball!