I see a lot of over-complication in business. People who are working hard to make too little. It’s tiring for them, I guess, because it’s tiring for me to watch.

I don’t know exactly what you want most from your business, but here’s what I want: I want to increase my profit a little more every year while working a little fewer hours. I want simple systems that bring (fairly) predictable results. I don’t want to start things that I don’t have the bandwidth to continue.

I want to travel regularly and not have to start my marketing and hustling over again when I return. I want to keep editing what I offer, so that it’s as relevant, useful and valuable to business owners like you as possible.

I want to derive joy, creative satisfaction and (that word again) relevance from my work, while avoiding placing too high a burden of expectation on it. It doesn’t need to satisfy every creative itch I have.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with work; if technology and processes seem overly complicated; if you know you’re working too many hours; and if you’re keen to earn more (far more?) than what you currently are, I’ve got seven simple things to focus on next year, to make it your best in business yet.

Keep it simple

We humans have a tendency to overcomplicate things. Your business name, your tagline, the benefits of what you do, and your unique value should be easily understood. Confused people don’t take the time to figure it out. They walk away.

But this doesn’t only go for your marketing and promotions. What about your actual products and services? What about your prices? Confused people don’t take the time to weight up their options, consider your pricing structure and make an informed decision. They leave.

I’m not for a moment suggesting you change your products and services. I’m simply talking about how you offer these for purchase. Make it simple.

Streamline your pricing – no, even simpler than that. Cut out the amount of variants on offer.

Cut down the number of actual things for sale. Not only does this make the act of doing business with you far easier on your clients, it’ll make marketing easier and cut your administration significantly. You can spend your extra dollars and time on a holiday. (Thank me later.)

Have premium products

Your premium products serve many purposes beyond increased profitability. They allow your clients to enjoy a deeper, more fulfilling experience of your business.

This strengthens your client retention rate (which cuts down on your marketing costs), increases the likelihood that the client will have an awesome experience (which means raving fans and more word-of-mouth referrals), and is likely to be far more enjoyable for you (and your staff if you’ve got them) to create and deliver. Happy you equals happy business.

Finally, your premium products make your other products appear much better value.

Sell in packages, rather than singularly

Packaging your products or services is not about offering a group discount for multiple purchases. It’s about making your clients’ lives far easier because you’ve given them everything they require to have an awesome time in just one purchase.

Further, if your package involves multiple visits to your business, your clients are likely to get far more out of it than a singular visit, which means they’re happier, more enthusiastic, and referring more business to you. Good for your bank balance, good for your clients.

Keep your leads coming

I hear a lot of business owners expressing that they don’t want to email their clients if they’ve got nothing to sell – it feels like they’re bothering them. But the person who only ever gets in touch when they want something from you becomes pretty annoying pretty quickly.

Your marketing should be regular and consistent, regardless of whether you’ve got a promotion on. Content marketing is about offering value first – giving first – and asking later.

When your marketing focuses on delivering regular, useful, valuable and relevant content to your community, your leads are informed and committed. Plus, they’re regular. They know you because you’ve taken the time to develop a rapport. They don’t need to be sold to – they just need to be asked to buy.

Partner up

Combining marketing dollars, databases, and networks in a joint promotion with a complimentary business is smart use of resources. You’ll reach a far larger crowd, grow your own database, and offer variety to your existing clients. Done well, partnering up is a win for all concerned.

Keep learning

Being in business for yourself is one of the most intensive forms of self-development you can do. You’ll need a hundred new skills, you’ll become very familiar with your strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll experience massive frustrations and setbacks as well as times of momentous satisfaction. It can get lonely and you may feel like you need to figure out absolutely everything yourself.

Ongoing learning such as the Hustle & Heart group program, will not only accelerate your business growth by increasing your skills and knowledge, it will overhaul your perspective, reignite your enthusiasm and reintroduce a sense of fun into your business.

Focus on your plan

It’s easy to get distracted in life and in business so we need a plan to focus our energy and attention. There’s no such things as a right or wrong plan – it can be as detailed or simple as you like – so long as you commit to it.

Planning without commitment is just extended procrastination. Distractions and procrastination are a killer for your business.

Having a plan will help you regain your focus quickly when you are derailed. When we can visualise what we want and translate this into an actionable plan (with deadlines!) we are half way towards getting it.

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