Business

  • 2019 Review


    This blog post includes affiliate links for tools and products that I use and love. If you purchase using any of these links, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) to help fund my caffeine addiction. More coffee for me = more great content for you, so it’s a win-win situation really!


    As 2019 draws to an end, I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about how little I’ve achieved this year and how time is quickly running out for me to achieve the goals I set for myself this time last year.

    Then I was inspired by Elizabeth Goddard’s 2019 Review blog post to write my own in the hopes that by writing out everything that happened, I would feel better about my achievements for the year.

    This post didn’t have that effect AT ALL! But it felt quite cathartic to write it. I debated whether or not to share it because I actually felt embarrassed about the year I had but then I remembered that we all have to start somewhere and progress is still progress, no matter how small so I’m sharing it anyway.

    Like Lizzy’s post, my 2019 review actually starts in December 2018. So, let’s jump in!


    ** Trigger warning – this post contains details of pregnancy, labour and general baby “stuff”


    December 2018

    Moving house + having a baby!

    The first weekend in December saw a heavily pregnant woman, her fiance and her dog move house (that woman is me, by the way!). Whilst we only moved 3 streets over from where we were living previously, it felt like a completely fresh start and I was crazy excited about getting our new home ready for the arrival of baby Copeland.

    By Tuesday, most of our boxes were unpacked. By the end of Wednesday, our Christmas decorations were up. On Thursday I went into labour (a week early)!

    The early stages of labour were on and off and really quite manageable so I carried on getting the house straight and doing client work.

    My contractions stopped completely on Saturday morning so we headed off to the hospital just to make sure everything was okay. The midwife we saw was incredible and he put our minds at ease as soon as we got there.

    Hooked up to the monitor, we were told that baby’s heart rate etc. were all perfectly fine. My contractions started again while we were there so we opted to have an examination to see if I was dilated at all – I was 1 cm which, meant that we were all good to head home again.

    Everything then started to move pretty quickly. We got back from the hospital around 6 pm and my contractions were getting stronger and closer together. I really didn’t want to head back to hospital too early, only to get sent home again, so managed the contractions at home with the help of Mark, the bath and Sherlock (the dog for those of you who aren’t familiar with him yet!)

    At 1.00 am on Sunday morning I just “knew” that it was time to go to the hospital so we grabbed our bags and headed off. I was still quite anxious about getting there too early but when we arrived around 1.30 am I was 7-8 cm and by 4.30 am Ella was here and laying on my chest! At 6 pm on the same day, we were in the car on our way home!!!!

    The next few days/weeks were a total blur but I was back to work the day after Ella was born. The beauty of working virtually – I was doing client work in bed with a newborn attached to me!

    Income

    Despite moving house and taking a couple of days off to have a baby, I earned around $2,000. I also signed 2 new clients who I would start working with from January.

    January

    You’ll be happy to know that the rest of this post is much lighter than December!

    No idea what’s going on!

    I barely remember January – it was just a blur of sleeping, breastfeeding, changing nappies and working. I was working during Ella’s naps and in the evenings when Mark got home from work.

    I was surprised by how much I was able to get done and actually felt rather smug about things. I was looking after a newborn on my own, 6 days a week and still working “full-time” hours, as well as keeping up with housework etc. This was mainly because, as a newborn, Ella slept a LOT – things were going to change.

    Clients

    I started working with 2 new incredible clients that I had signed in December and had my highest earning month to date.

    Income

    $2,700 – this was the best month I’d had so far in my business and I’m not really sure how it happened as I was in a bit of a new mum daze!


    February

    Nothing new here

    Nothing changed in February. Mark was working 6 days a week selling cars and I was running my VA business during Ella’s naps and in the evening.

    I had hoped to start blogging on Flourishing Business Mum again (and every subsequent month!) but that didn’t happen. VA work was bringing in immediate money whereas FBM is a long-game so I decided to dedicate my time and energy solely to VA work.

    Income

    $2,000


    March

    Happy Birthday to me!

    March is my birthday month. It also saw me and Mark going out for the first time without Ella. We headed to the pub for a meal and some drinks to celebrate my birthday while my mum had Ella for the evening. I thought I would find it really difficult being away from her but I didn’t!!! (probably because it was only for a couple of hours)

    Busy booking new clients

    I signed 4 new clients this month and was pretty much fully booked for my VA Services for the first time ever.

    Business Investments

    Joined the Profit Planner Lounge with Haley Burkhead – even as I’m writing this in December, I’ve barely looked at it!

    Income

    $3,900 – quite a jump from last month due to new clients.


    April

    Big changes

    April was a BIG month for us! It was the month that our 3-year plan of Mark working from home with me became our 3-week plan.

    At the start of 2018, I had written down a 3-year goal that in 2021, Mark would be able to quit his job and work from home with me. By February 2019 I was feeling really lonely working from home and my depression and anxiety were really bad. I felt completely lost.

    So we made the decision that Mark would leave his job at the end of April and work on the business(es) with me.

    Clients

    Signed 6 new clients in preparation for Mark working from home with me from May onwards!!!! This actually turned out to be a terrible decision – not because of the number of clients but because of the types of clients they were (hello inconsistent work!)

    Income

    $2,500 – the new clients I signed paid in May.


    May

    Say hello to Organise + Grow!

    In May shit got real! We registered Organise and Grow as a limited company, me and Mark became company Directors and we opened a business bank account.

    I started working on a new website that reflected the changes in the business. I wasn’t “Dani Fairhurst – VA for Creatives” any more!

    Mini business retreat

    I went on a mini business retreat with Zoe Linda and Ana from The She Approach. We stayed in a gorgeous AirBnB cottage in North Wales with Ella and our doggies. We chatted business, made plans and watched TV together.

    It was SO exciting to meet my biz besties in real life and it’s something I want to do a lot more often in 2020.

    Amy meets Ella

    My little sister came to visit from Australia and met Ella for the first time. It’s actually the only time that she’s met her but she’s coming to visit again in February 2020 and I CANNOT wait!

    Clients

    Signed 1 new client.

    Fired a client for the first time ever! One of the clients I signed in April turned out to be a complete disaster with absolutely zero respect for scope, boundaries or me as a business owner. After chatting it through with the ladies on our mini-retreat, I pulled the trigger. It felt horrible to do but I felt so much better afterwards.

    Income

    $3,300

    June

    Ch-Ch-Changes

    June saw the launch of the new Organise and Grow Website, along with a suite of new services. I decided that my passion for setting up project management systems, creating SOPs and workflows etc. needed to be a part of our business so I added the “streamline your biz” services to our site.

    I also increased my rates from £25 to £35 per hour.

    Digital Products

    Feeling very unsettled with the constant churn of clients and the pressure of needing to find new clients on an almost monthly basis was starting to take its toll on me. I’ve created digital products before for Flourishing Business Mum so in June I created and launched Organise and Grow Your Biz with Asana, the Organised Blogger’s Toolkit AND the Organised Launch Toolkit.

    Income

    $3,500 – this is 90% from client work. The bulk of the income from the digital products arrived in July.


    July

    Our first family holiday

    We had our first family holiday and spent a lovely week at Peaks and Pods in Settle, Yorkshire (we’ve been before and loved it) to celebrate Mark’s birthday.

    We spent lots of time walking, drink coffee and eating cake. It was perfect.

    I took the whole week off from work – the only time I’ve taken off this year!!! It was lovely to spend some time with the family and not think about work but sadly, we’ve not taken any time off since then. Definitely, something that needs to change!

    Rebel Boss Summit

    I was a guest speaker at Eden Fried‘s Rebel Boss Summit and presented on how to use a VA to run a successful digital product launch. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of my first-ever virtual summit and can’t wait to take part in more next year.

    I gained 200 new email subscribers and sold $200 worth of digital products as a result of the summit.

    Clients

    Signed 2 new clients and got completely ghosted by a client. As in, I woke up one morning and she had removed me from everything – Slack, Asana, email accounts…everything – without a single word to me. Luckily she had paid in advance but it was still super frustrating and made me really doubt my entire business.

    Income

    $3,200 – $3,000 from client work and $200 from digital product sales

    August

    Does anyone need a website?

    Decided that I LOVE designing and setting up new websites so added this to the list of services that I offer (also signed 2 website design clients and designed 2 additional sites for friends)

    Scrambled brain

    If you’ve never visited my Flourishing Business Mum site or don’t follow me on social media you may not know that I struggle with mental health issues.

    In August I was the lowest I’ve been in a long time and made the decision to go back onto medication (I stopped when we were TTC). This meant having a few weeks of nausea and brain fog as I adjusted to the medication. The medication also made me feel pretty “meh” towards everything and I considered giving up on the whole online business thing.

    One of my main big goals for 2019 was to start working on Flourishing Business Mum again but by August I’d barely even had time to think about – I felt like a failure.

    I was (and still am) really struggling to come to terms with my mum-bod! I had figured that by now I would be back to my pre-pregnancy fitness but I was actually the biggest I’d ever been with no motivation whatsoever to change that!

    Clients

    Signed 4 new VA clients and 2 website design clients.

    Income

    $3,900 – all from client work


    September

    Feeling more settled

    After months of signing new clients and parting ways with clients on a monthly basis, things started to feel more settled in September.

    Ella also started nursery 2 days per week which freed up a lot of time to start working on other things in the businesses. FINALLY, I could start making some progress on those 2019 goals I had!!!

    Income

    $6,600 – the best month in our business to date.


    October

    Lots of new ideas

    I’m not sure why but October was a month for a TON of new ideas and lots of inspiring energy.

    I had one brain download after another with ideas for the O+G Hub, as well as a Flourishing Business Mum membership AND a course for aspiring VAs (keep your eyes peeled in 2020 for these things!)

    I think having a good income month in September and finally securing clients that are a great fit has had a huge impact on my mental health and energy generally, as well as making me feel better about the business as a whole.

    Investments

    In my excitement to start working on new projects, I invested in the LMS software, LearnDash. So far, I’ve absolutely loved building out my courses in it. It’s super easy to use and, combined with Elementor, I’ve already made a few good looking lessons!

    Clients

    Signed 2 new VA clients and 2 website design clients. This was the first month that I started to feel really good about where I’m at with clients. I finally had a strong client base of AMAZING clients who I absolutely adore. Work and income are now more consistent and I’m continually learning new things from my clients.

    Income

    $6,500 – the wave of new inspiration and energy really shone through in my income this month! $300 of this was in affiliate commission (I usually make around $50 per month)


    November

    In the online business world, November means two things – Black Friday Sales and 2020 planning!

    Black Friday

    I made some pretty big business investments during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales including:

    • MemberPress – to start building out my membership sites in conjunction with LearnDash.
    • Pinterest Powerhouse by XO Sarah
    • Annual Membership to Haute Stock
    • Annual Subscription to SmarterQueue
    • ThriveCart (not actually a sale but as I was investing heavily in the businesses this month, it seemed like the right time to make this purchase!)

    2020 Planning

    I’ve spent a huge amount of time planning for 2020. I have a LOT of ideas but I know I need to be realistic with my goals. I was going to write about them here but thought I’d add a section at the end of the post instead.

    This year I’ve chosen to use the Passion Planner and Powersheets, along with Asana to plan out 2020.

    Mike Wazowski

    November was also the month that I made Ella’s first-ever Halloween outfit!

    Income

    $5,500 – disappointed to have dropped back below $6k but still in a fairly good place.


    December

    Ella’s first birthday and “first” Christmas

    Although Ella was born before Christmas, this year definitely feels like her first one.

    We took things slowly and ended up taking quite a lot of time off from work to watch films and walk the dog as a family which was nice.

    Ella was NOT impressed with Santa, especially when he started singing Happy Birthday to her!
    My mum with Ella on her Birthday

    Income

    $3,500 – December is always a quiet month for work so I’m happy with this month’s income.

    Final thoughts on 2019

    It’s probably worth mentioning that I’ve been running my VA business full-time for just over 2 years now. Until April this year, my aim was purely to make enough money to cover my own bills as Mark was our main source of income.

    From the start of May, I became the sole income provider and that put (and continues to put) a huge amount of pressure on me. This pressure stems from the fact that client work can be very unpredictable. Looking solely at the income figures for 2019 I’m massively disappointed in myself! My goals for 2019 were to have consistent $5k months, moving closer to $10k towards the end of the year.

    BUT I’m super proud of being our sole source of income whilst raising a baby at the same time. It’s really tough to strike the balance (ha! balance!) between working and spending time with Ella and I constantly feel guilty about whatever I’m not doing.

    2020 Goals

    I’ve spent a LOT of time working on my 2020 goals and breaking them down into actionable steps. 2020 is going to be a HUGE year for both businesses – I’m sure of that!

    I’d love to hit $100,000 for the year, stop worrying about finding new clients and finally launch my memberships. I also want to get my health back on track (note, I didn’t say lose weight!), attend more in-person events and work with a coach!

    Here’s to 2020!

    READ MORE

  • The Ultimate Guide to Combating Loneliness When You Work From Home


    This blog post includes affiliate links for tools and products that I use and love. If you purchase using any of these links, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) to help fund my caffeine addiction. More coffee for me = more great content for you, so it’s a win-win situation really!


    Today’s post is all about combating loneliness.

    There are many, many perks when it comes to working from home. For one thing, you don’t actually have to leave your bed if you don’t want to. You can wear your PJs all day. You can create your own schedule. You can even sit in front of Netflix whilst tapping away on your laptop and nobody will tell you off!

    Not that we do that. Obviously… 

    However, as glorious as it is to work in a hoodie and not have to make tea for the whole office, if there’s one thing that a lot of us struggle with it’s this: Loneliness.

    After all, working all day, every day without the desk-to-desk chatter that comes with working in an office can feel more than a little bit isolating. This post is all about combating loneliness when you work from home so if this sounds like you, read on…

    The Ultimate Guide to Combating Loneliness When You Work From Home

    Why are we talking about Loneliness?

    You probably landed on this site looking for productivity tips or systems hacks and might be wondering why on earth I’ve decided to write a post about combatting loneliness.

    There is a reason – bear with me!

    Not only is loneliness bad for your mental health generally, but it can also leave you creatively drained which is bad for your work too. If you aren’t putting your mental health at the very top of your priority list, your business will be just one of the areas of your life that suffers.

    That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to start combating loneliness before it even sets in and gets the best of you.

    Knowing that you are either a business owner or want to be, I thought I would share my to tips, to hopefully save your productivity and happiness levels by stopping isolation in its tracks.

    1. Work with others 

    Do you know any fellow work from home-ers, business owners or self-employed pals? If so, make the most of it! 

    Meet up with them for co-working sessions to recreate an office environment, without the boss looming over your shoulders. Whether it’s for a few hours or a whole day a week, this is something I love doing, especially when coffee and biscuits are involved!

    I try to book in co-working time when we’re tackling more creative projects. That way, not only will it keep loneliness at bay, but it gives me the perfect opportunity to bounce ideas off another person. Plus, it’s helpful to have someone close at hand to tell you how much you’re bossing it when the imposter syndrome sets in!

    If you don’t have anyone close by who work from home, look into local business groups on Facebook to see if you can make a new business buddy that you can meet up with in person.

    2. Work around others

    There is a huge difference between working with others and working around others. Seriously HUGE.

    Working with others means tea and chats, working around others means getting all of your more strategic tasks done without distraction, but with a nice buzz of conversation going on around you.

    The absolute dream, right?

    The truth is, sometimes you just need to get out of the house to avoid cabin fever. Coffee shops and libraries are a brilliant option for this, as nobody is likely to disturb you, but you’ll still be surrounded by people and a bit of background noise.

    3. Have a virtual meet-up 

    Don’t want to leave the house but do want some kind of human interaction in your day? I feel you!

    This is when a virtual meet-up is ideal. I love booking in Zoom chats with clients and other self-employed friends to catch up and chat about business and life. It’s good to be able to talk about these things with people that understand, but it’s also good to be able to do so in PJ bottoms, ya know?

    As well as arranging 1:1 chats, I’m also a HUGE fan of having group chats like the ones we have in the O+G Hub. There’s something so magical and inspiring about a group of strong, creative business-owning women joining together with a fresh cup of coffee, bucketfuls of energy and heaps of ideas from the comfort of their own homes.

    4. Turn off the silence

    Working in silence can make being at home feel even more lonely. That’s why background noise is pretty much essential for me when I’m working.

    What I listen to depends on the level of concentration I need: If I’m having an admin day, I might pop on a podcast, an episode of How to Get Away with Murder or even a Harry Potter film! But, if I’m writing something, I choose something less distracting like a chill out playlist on Spotify.

    However, this will all depend on how you work. Play around with different stations, playlists, and podcasts until you find the perfect soundtrack to your workday.

    5. Take breaks!

    Would it be a blog post about working from home without us telling you to take breaks?

    In my experience, days without proper breaks are the ones where I feel most overwhelmed. My negative emotions – including loneliness – are hugely exaggerated and the whole thing can feel pretty hopeless.

    Taking a break from work – usually getting outside with the dog – really helps to clear my mind. Seeing other humans while I’m out and about also does a huge amount in making a start on combatting loneliness as it’s always great to know that there actually other people out there!!!

    6. Attend events 

    Finally, I’d highly recommend attending any workshops, events or talks near you that are relevant to your field. It’s a brilliant opportunity to get out and meet people in your area (remember those coffee dates I mentioned earlier?) and to get the business inspiration flowing around like-minded people.

    Not only is it the perfect way to combat loneliness in the short-term, but it can also allow you to build up a network of connections for combating loneliness in the long-term. Perfect!


    No matter where you are on your working from home journey, let me reassure you that you’re not alone in feeling alone! Switching from office life to “I can work from my bed if I want to” life is glorious. But it’s also a big transition to get used to.

    Most importantly, you need to find what works for you in terms of feeling content whilst working. Try all of the methods that I’ve listed above and figure out what your ideal level of sociability looks like in your workweek. 

    If you’re looking for an easy way to meet like-minded business owners, attend virtual co-working sessions that are arranged for you (I’m all about minimal effort!), be held accountable to your goals AND get your hands on a ton of worksheets, checklists and resources to help organise your business, then the Organise and Grow Hub is just what you need. Find out more below.

    Can’t wait to see you there!

    READ MORE

  • Reviewing and Adjusting Your Goals for Happiness in Your Hustle


    This blog post includes affiliate links for tools and products that I use and love. If you purchase using any of these links, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) to help fund my caffeine addiction. More coffee for me = more great content for you, so it’s a win-win situation really!


    As I mentioned in our last blog post, I’m a big believer in bringing a strategic element to any and all of my goals. 

    Whilst I love that literally everyone and their dog is talking online about reaching for their big dreams, it’s also really important to discuss how to practically go about doing that. Otherwise, you can be left in a never-ending loop of inspiring quotes, without any results!

    That’s why I sat down and talked you through our step-by-step system to focus in on your goals for faster business growth. However, strategy shouldn’t just come in at the beginning. It should also be a part of reviewing and adjusting your goals, which, I think, is just as important as creating them. In fact, it might actually be more important!

    After all, your review sessions give you the opportunity to see what you have and haven’t achieved and to adjust your daily habits accordingly.  

    Sound overwhelming? Don’t worry. I’m here to walk you through it.

    Reviewing and Adjusting Your Goals for Happiness in Your Hustle

    Step one: Make the time

    Just like a client or that first coffee in the morning, your goals should be a total priority in your life. If they’re not…well, you’re probably never going to get them done! That might sound harsh but you know I like to tell you things straight!

    As such, setting time aside to review and adjust your goals is non-negotiable. Not only will it ensure that they are always at the forefront of your mind (did somebody say “focus”?!), but that you can assess what you’ve currently got nailed and what needs to be pivoted. That way, you’re always on the right track. 

    As I said in our last post, there are three types of goals: Quarterly, monthly and weekly. Your review periods should line-up with this system. Set time aside – yes, actually put it in your diary – to review your goals at the end of each week, at the end of each month and at the end of every three months. 

    Each of these reviews will look very similar but, naturally, the longer the period of time you’re assessing, the juicier it will be. I’ll cover how to structure these sessions without the overwhelm in a bit. 

    Pro tip: If the idea of reviewing and adjusting your goals on your own feels completely overwhelming, head over to the Organise + Grow Hub where we host weekly check-ins and monthly planning sessions (plus LOADS more!)

    Step two: Track, track and track some more

    So, you’ve set your goals. You’ve scheduled in time to review them. Now what?

    Well, obviously you’re going to start working towards them. But, if you want to do your future-self a solid, also be sure to track your goals as you go. This will make your review sessions SO much easier and less time-consuming. Trust us.

    How you do this will massively depend on what you’re aiming for. But here are some ideas to get you started: 

    • If one of your goals is around getting more clients, you could use Chloe Slade’s “circle method”. To put it simply, you draw a circle for every client you want to gain. If you want 10 more, draw ten. Then, every time you secure a contract, you write their name in a circle. Not only does this act as a visual reminder of your goal and allow you to “make space” for new work, but it also lets you keep track in a fun way. 
    • If your goal is around something you want to do daily, for example, posting on Instagram or replying to all of your emails, a habit tracker may be the way to go. Simply create a space in your diary where you can tick off whether or not you did that task each day. At the end of the week, month or quarter, you’ll have a solid visual reminder of how consistent you were. The Powersheets actually have a space in them for this which is part of the reason we love them so much but you can definitely create a DIY version.
    • Perhaps less exciting but definitely necessary in the world of business, spreadsheets are the way to go when it comes to tracking your financial goals. Not only is staying on top of your finances essential for ensuring that your business is on the right path in terms of viability but it also makes sure you’re prepared for when tax season comes around! 

    Step three: Get honest with yourself

    Now it’s time to get reviewing. 

    Like I said, whether you’re doing this at the end of the week or the end of the quarter, it will look very similar. However, it can be handy to take some notes during each review session as your shorter-term goal assessments may feed into your longer-term goal assessments.

    I recommend structuring your goal reviews by answering the 5 following questions. It can be helpful to create a printable table with these written in, so that you can use it every time. Alternatively, just write them down as headings, with your answers below them in a notepad.

    1. Did I achieve this goal?

    Simple but effective!

    Look back at all of the glorious tracking you did. This step needn’t be complicated, it’s simply a “yes” or a “no”. A tick or a cross!

    2. If I achieved my goal, how? If I didn’t, why not?

    Really sit with yourself on this question. Progress in any area of your life requires you to be honest with yourself.

    For example, did you really not have the time, or were you not realistic in what you could achieve? Was the goal actually not realistic, or did you just not make it a priority?

    If you achieved your goal, look at what habits you shifted in order to be able to make it happen. And, of course, do a happy dance whilst you note them down!

    3. Was this goal aligned with my bigger picture?

    Ticking off a goal is truly pointless if it’s not helping you towards your business dreams.

    Look back at your “big picture braindump” that I walked you through in our last post and assess whether each of your goals truly aligned with it. I recommend asking this whilst you actually set your goals, too. However, doing things in your real-life can give you a different perspective! So, it’s always worth checking back in with yourself.

    If you find that a goal isn’t aligned: scrap it. It shouldn’t be a priority in your life. You could be doing something that actually moves your business forward or watching Netflix instead. 

    4. Do I need to bring this goal forward?

    If you achieved your goal, you don’t need to bring it forward. You can sit back and come up with a new one. Exciting!

    If your goal wasn’t achieved and you still think that it aligns with your long-term plans, you probably want to bring it forward to the next week/month/quarter. Really dig into why you didn’t achieve it from question 2. What can you change about the goal or how you’re trying to do it that will make it a success this time?

    Maybe you need to schedule in the 15-minutes a day it will take. Maybe you need to make it more achievable and drop those 50 new clients down to 5. Maybe you need to get your processes in order so that it’s less overwhelming.

    Whatever it is, take note and make sure that you’ve got it on hand for the next time you sit down and set your goals!

    5. What adjustments do I need to make?

    The title of this post is “reviewing and adjusting your goals” so we should probably talk about those adjustments!

    From the answers to the 4 questions above, you may have noticed some patterns – maybe you’re setting goals that are easily achieved and not really pushing you. Maybe you’re constantly not hitting weekly goals because you simply don’t have time to achieve them all…whatever patterns you see, identify adjustments that can be made to “fix” them.

    Rather than give up on a goal, think about what adjustments need to be made to make it possible. Rather than stay in your comfort zone, think about what adjustments need to be made to get out there and grow!


    Reviewing your goals can sometimes leave you disheartened if you haven’t achieved all of them. So, this is your reminder not to be too hard on yourself. When it comes to having big aspirations, getting there is often a long journey. Give yourself time to rest, recoup and then re-strategise!

    You’ve got this!

    Want to get your hands on goal tracking templates, plus loads of other goodies to help you streamline and grow your business? Then check out the Organise + Grow Hub.

    READ MORE

  • How To Focus On Your Goals For Faster Business Growth


    This blog post includes affiliate links for tools and products that I use and love. If you purchase using any of these links, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) to help fund my caffeine addiction. More coffee for me = more great content for you, so it’s a win-win situation really!

    Do you struggle to focus on your goals?

    Goal setting is something that gets talked about a lot in the online world.

    In fact, take one scroll through Pinterest and you’re almost guaranteed to come across a quote about setting your goals, sticking to them and just generally living your best business life! Most probably with a background featuring a sunset/flash car/cup of black coffee. You know the ones…

    But whilst it’s brilliant to have your business inspiration sparked, it’s also important to talk about the practical side of your hustle. Otherwise, you can be left with all of the snappy quotes, but none of the action.

    That’s why I thought it was about time that we sat down and talked about something that has truly been a game-changer within my businesses: My method for setting (and reaching!) goals. Whilst having ambition is often talked about in a vague way, I wanted to give you a practical, step-by-step guide to making every single day goal-focused. 

    Step One: Think Big 

    If you don’t know what you want in the “big picture” it’s impossible to know what to do in the “small picture”!

    Before you start incorporating goals into your everyday life, you need to look at what you really want to achieve in the long-term.

    This can often feel overwhelming, so it can be helpful to do a “brain dump” to really get the juices flowing. In the middle of a page write “The Big Picture” and then jot down anything and everything that comes to mind when thinking about what your dream business would look like. 

    Enough income that you are comfortably able to take on team members (we have a whole list of people we want to bring on board as soon as we can!)? A reputation as the best in your field? A seven-figure income? Write those bad boys down!

    Don’t worry about the how just yet. Instead, focus on the why. Think about what achieving each of these goals will do for you and how they would make your life better. 

    Step Two: Where do you want to be in three months?

    The first step was all about getting that motivation flowing and being inspired to commit to the goals that you’re about to create. On the other hand, step two is where we start to get strategic! 

    I recommend never properly planning more than three months in advance. It’s hard to imagine just how much can change in a business in that time. That’s why I suggest creating quarterly goals instead.

    Base these on your big picture “brain dump” by asking yourself what you could do over the next three months to get you closer to that dream business. However, unlike with step one, make the goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely). Three to five goals tends to work best in our experience.

    Naturally, your goals are already “timely” as you want to have ticked them off within 3 months. However, to make sure that they are specific and measurable, clearly define what you want to achieve and attach a number or completion criteria to it. For example, specific financial milestones, products/services you want to have released, or even systems you want to put in place all work well as quarterly goals. 

    Next, in order to ensure that they are attainable, also be aware of your calendar for the quarter. If there are specific events or busy periods that you cannot move, your goals need to take these into consideration. 

    This will be the most time-consuming part of the whole process. Luckily, you only have to do it four times a year! 

    Related Post > Why You Need to Set Goals for Your Business (and how)

    Step Three: Strategise the month ahead 

    Now we’re getting closer to putting your plan into action by focusing on just the next 30 days. 

    For this, take a look at your Quarterly Goals and break them down further. If you want to get 5 new clients, maybe you can aim to have pitched your services to 10 companies by the end of the month. Or perhaps you could plan to create a Facebook advert to get the word about your services out there. Or even create a killer automated onboarding system for when you take those clients on.

    Make sure the goals are realistic but also optimistic. I believe in you, even if you don’t just yet!

    Step Four: Focus on the day-to-day

    Now it’s really time to put the work in.

    Using your monthly goals, assess what you can reasonably achieve in the next 7 days to help you get closer to them. For example, if you want to reach out and pitch to 10 potential clients this month, within one week you could create an email template or intro pack and make a spreadsheet to keep track of your outreach. 

    These will be very personal to you and your business so there’s no cheat sheet here, sorry!

    Before putting these tasks into your calendar, sit down with all of your notes from the previous steps in front of you. Ask yourself whether your weekly goals, monthly goals, and quarterly goals are aligned with your “big picture”.

    Are you working for your future self? 

    Yes?

    Looks like you’re on to a winner!

    No? It might be time to re-focus by starting this process from Step 2 again. 

    Once you’ve outlined what you would like to achieve in the next week, put each task into your calendar. That way, every day will be driven by purpose. 

    Through following these steps and repeating them when necessary, not only will you feel a hell of a lot more organised, but your tasks each week will be aligned with your larger goals. Everything you do within your business will take you one step closer towards your ideal workday. 

    Now that’s a recipe for business success and happiness in your hustle!

    Goal setting is a meaty topic that I’ve got plenty to say about, so stay tuned for our next blog post which will be all about reviewing your goals and how to know if you’ve set the right ones for you. 

    READ MORE

  • Why Every Successful Business Owner Needs to Set Goals (and How to Set Them)


    This blog post includes affiliate links for tools and products that I use and love. If you purchase using any of these links, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) to help fund my caffeine addiction. More coffee for me = more great content for you, so it’s a win-win situation really!


    Setting goals for your business is one of those tasks that we tend to put off.

    We think that we know in our minds where we want things to go and how we want our businesses to flourish and grow. There seems to be little point in setting time aside to think even more about the subject.

    But that’s where you’re wrong!

    Every business needs goals if it’s going to be successful. And that’s what this post is all about! We’ll start with why your business needs to have goals and then how to go about setting them.

    Why You Need to Set Goals for Your Business

    1. Motivation

    Whether you’re new to your biz or you’ve been working in it for years, your business needs to have a purpose. For some, it will be as simple as paying the bills each month. For others, it will be about being able to stay at home with their children, or being able to do exactly what you love to do every single day.

    Having a clear purpose gives you the motivation to keep going when times get tough (and trust me, they will from time to time). And that purpose is what will form the basis of your goals – every goal you set will lead to that overall purpose.

    I have my “purpose” up on the wall in my office so that every time I’m feeling tired or like things aren’t worthwhile, I can look up and remember why I’m doing this.

    2. Focus

    Having goals for your business will help you stay focus and on track for your overall purpose.

    One of the biggest challenges I faced when I first started out on this journey was wanting to do EVERYTHING. I had so many ideas and I wanted to do them all NOW.

    Having big ideas, drive and that level of excitement for something is amazing. Trying to do all of those things at the same time is not. You’ll soon find yourself switching between projects and ideas and never finishing any of them. That can start a bit of a downward spiral because you feel like a failure for being unable to complete anything and then you start doubting everything! Okay, so that’s a bit dramatic, but you know what I mean!

    If you set your goals in the right way (more on that later!) you’ll have a plan in place, with a fixed order to do things in. I’m not saying you can’t do everything you want to, but having a plan in place that helps you make sense of those ideas and when to work on them will increase your productivity massively! (And you’ll actually start completing things rather than just starting them)

    Put simply, better focus = more progress.

    3. Growth

    This follows on nicely from the point above (it’s almost like I planned this post out before I wrote it!!)

    When you know your purpose and you are able to focus on different elements of your business, you’ll start to see growth. There are two main reasons for this:

    Firstly, you will actually be working on the right things. You won’t be wasting time on tasks that aren’t working towards your purpose AND you won’t be trying to work on #allofthethings at the same time so you’ll actually be able to dedicate time and energy to those important tasks.

    Secondly, you will be able to see your growth. Without having goals, you can’t possibly know if you’re making any progress or growing your biz! By setting benchmarks you will be able to track and analyse your progress against them.

    4. Your sanity

    Running a business can be tough. Especially if you’re a solopreneur and manage every part of your business yourself.

    Goals will help you stay sane (I say help – I’m not making any promises here!)

    As I mentioned above, without goals, it’s easy to try and take on too much. And, unfortunately, that leads to burnout. I see it a lot with business owners just starting out. They go in, guns blazing, trying to do everything all at once and they get burnt out.

    When you’re the only person in your business, if you’re burnt out and can’t work, your business stops functioning. It’s that simple. Even if you’ve been proactive and planned some things out ahead of time, things will slow down and progress will start to taper off.

    There’s also this small issue of overwhelm as a business owner.

    There have been so many mornings where I’ve woken up, thought about everything that I need to get done and felt completely overwhelmed. So overwhelmed, in fact, that I’ve just decided to do nothing at all. Kind of counter-productive, right?

    When you have goals in place, you know exactly where you are heading all of the time. This really helps with the overwhelm, especially if you’re setting bite-sized goals that are achievable (again, there’s more on this in a min).

    5. Accountability and gratification

    When you work for yourself, there’s no manager or boss looking over your shoulder. There’s no one there making sure that you’re actually getting stuff done. There are no judgmental colleagues glaring at you when you come back from your 4-hour lunch break!

    So, by writing down your goals, you hold yourself accountable. If those goals don’t get met, there’s no one else to blame but yourself. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably pretty hard on yourself when it comes to your biz and getting stuff done!

    On the other hand, when you absolutely smash your goals, that’s all you too! Yep, you get ALL of the glory! Time to pop that champagne!

    The feeling of being able to tick things off your list and meet your goals week after week, month after month, is amazing and will do a lot towards that motivation I spoke about earlier.


    How to Set Business Goals the Right Way

    So, now you know why you need to set goals for your business, let’s get on to how.

    It might sound silly – surely you just write down what you want to achieve and then start working towards it?

    If you did that, you’d end up in the same position as before – having lots of ideas and dreams but no logical way of approaching them. I know that goals are meant to challenge you (otherwise there wouldn’t be any growth), but their main aim is to help you make progress.

    Before you get started

    The idea of setting big goals for your business is pretty exciting. Getting out your not-so-secret stash of notebooks, highlighters and pens, and getting your ideas down onto paper is thrilling. Okay, maybe not to everyone, but it certainly is to me. And that makes it really difficult not to just jump in head first and get carried away.

    Make sure that, for each of the steps below, you really take some time to think about them and that you carry out your goal-setting process somewhere that you can really focus and don’t feel distracted or rushed.

    1. Know your “why”

    I mentioned your purpose right at the start of this post. That’s your “why”

    Your “why” or your purpose is essentially your end goal. It’s what you should be thinking about every time you do anything related to your business. From making decisions to setting these goals, you should always be asking yourself if it brings you closer to your “why”. If the answer is “no”, then chances are, what you are doing isn’t right for your business.

    2. Know your skills and limits

    This is probably one of my biggest business downfalls.

    I’m not realistic about what I can actually achieve.

    Don’t worry, this doesn’t spread into client work – I’m not sitting here telling clients I have experience in X, Y, and Z when I actually have no idea what I’m doing!

    What I mean is that I tend to be unrealistic when it comes to setting my business goals. I underestimate how long my own tasks will take me and then “plan” to get 20 things done in a day when, in reality, I’ll be lucky if I have time to do one of them!

    This isn’t about selling yourself short, doubting your abilities or putting yourself down. It’s about being realistic.

    Knowing what you are capable of, and what tasks you struggle with will help you manage your time and expectations. And, more importantly, set goals that are actually achievable. There’s very little point in setting goals that are impossible to reach!

    3. Think about the big picture

    Now we’re getting into the actual goal-setting part of the process.

    You already have your “why” in mind, now it’s time to think about what you want to achieve in the next 12 months, 5 years, 10 years…in the long-term!

    These big-picture goals will be the basis for your smaller goals so make sure that you think carefully about them as they will ultimately impact everything you do for your business.

    Here are a few ideas to inspire you:

    • Income goals – To make £40,000 over the next 12 months
    • Day job goals – To quit your 9-5 within the next 6 months and retire your husband/wife/partner from their 9-5 within the next 5 years
    • Other financial goals – To be debt-free within 3 years
    • Order/booking/sales goals – To sell 400 items per month by the end of next year/ to have 3 new clients onboarded each month/ to make £4,000 worth of sales each month
    • Statistical/ growth goals – To have 20,000 Instagram followers within 12 months. To have 100,000 unique pageviews per month. To have 5,000 email subscribers in the next 2 years etc.

    4. Break down your goals

    Those big-picture goals are great BUT how do you actually achieve them?

    It’s time to break them down into quarterly, monthly and weekly goals and then break them down even further into daily tasks.

    So, take one of your big-picture goals at a time and work out some sort of timeline for achieving them. For example, if one of your goals is to earn £40,000 over the next 12 months, work out how much you need to earn each month and then think about what income streams that money is going to come from.

    Remember to think about your skills and limitations when setting time frames – you don’t want to put yourself under too much pressure and risk getting burnt out!

    For each of my big-picture goals, I have the following:

    • Quarterly goals
    • Monthly goals (my quarterly goals spread out across the relevant months in that quarter)
    • Weekly and daily tasks (the steps I’m going to take to achieve my monthly goals and stay on track)

    And, before you know it, your huge, overwhelming goals have become small, easily manageable daily tasks!

    5. Track your progress

    There’s very little point in setting goals if you don’t know whether or not you’ve achieved them. So, a huge part of the goal-setting process actually happens after the goals have been set.

    Tracking your progress against your goals will help you see if you’re on track and will also help you to identify any areas of your biz that might need additional work. For example, if your income goals aren’t being met, you might want to put more work into your marketing.

    One great part of tracking your progress against your goals is that you can see how amazing you are doing! Don’t forget to celebrate the wins, no matter how small.

    Need help setting goals AND sticking to them? We’d LOVE to have you in the Organise + Grow Hub – a community for business owners who want to get shit done!

    READ MORE

  • Why No One is Buying Your Digital Products (and how to fix it)


    This blog post includes affiliate links for tools and products that I use and love. If you purchase using any of these links, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) to help fund my caffeine addiction. More coffee for me = more great content for you, so it’s a win-win situation really!


    Are you wondering why no one is buying your digital products?

    We’ve all been there.

    You’re crazy excited to launch your next product. Maybe it’s an awesome action-packed course, a crazy detailed ebook or a genius time-saving template.

    You spend days, weeks or even months pouring every part of yourself into your product. And that whole product creation process is exhausting! You launch your product and wait…

    …you hit refresh a few hundred times but nothing. Crickets. Tumbleweeds drift by and you decide to head to bed feeling defeated.

    A few more days go by and still no sales. It sucks!

    But there are a few common reasons why you’re not making any sales and the good news is that they’re easy to fix.

    Why No One is Buying Your Digital Products

    Reason #1: Your audience don’t need your product.

    There’s a LOT that goes into a successful launch.

    You might think that just creating a product and hitting “launch” on your online platform is enough and everyone will somehow know that your product exists. But there’s so much more to a launch!

    The first step in any strategic product launch plan is actually finding out if there is a demand for your product (if there’s not, that might explain the lack of sales!)

    Before you even start creating your product, it’s worth surveying your audience to see if they want or need your product. It doesn’t need to take you long – just send a short email with a questionnaire attached, put a poll in your Facebook Group or on your Instagram stories and review the results that come in.

    If your audience’s main pain point is growing their email list, creating a course on how to get your first 1,000 subscribers is likely to sell better than a course on how to create graphics in Photoshop.

    Reason #2: Your product launch wasn’t strategic

    Second up on my list of reasons why no one is buying your digital products is a lack of strategy behind your launch. A lot of people seem to think that a launch is just about creating a product and announcing that it is now available to purchase!

    But there’s so much more strategy to it than that.

    This is what my sales funnel looks like:

    Each element of that sales funnel has its own part to play in my product launch. And each element needs to be prepared and tested before the launch happens to make sure everything is running smoothly.

    For a launch to be as successful as possible, you need to be strategic about each step. Target your sales emails to people you know are already interested in your product.

    How do you know?

    By testing the waters with a freebie or even a low-priced tripwire based on the same topic. (P.s. if you want to learn more about adding tripwires to your business model, check out this incredible Tripwire Training from Elizabeth Goddard)

    How do you get your audience there?

    By creating content tailored to that topic and promoting it well in advance of your launch.

    Reason #3: You aren’t selling enough

    If you want people to buy, you need to sell.

    As business owners, this can be super tough. It’s something that I really struggle with even now. It makes me feel super awkward when I promote myself and my products. Even though I try to do it in a non-sleazy way, it still makes me cringe.

    But, if I didn’t promote my products, no one would ever know that they existed or where to buy them from and I would make zero sales!

    So, if you’re not promoting or selling your products to your audience, you won’t be making many sales. It’s kind of obvious when you see it written down like that but it is still one of the most common blocks a lot of people face.

    On the other hand, if you’re being super pushy and sales-y you might start to push people away – it’s all about getting the balance right.

    Reason #4: You don’t have social proof

    People like to know that what they are about to invest in is worth their hard-earned money. The best way to reassure them that it is a great investment is for your previous customers or students to tell them.

    Of course, you’re going to say that your own products are great and that after purchasing them, your customers and students will see x, y, z results. After all, you’re trying to convince people to buy from you to make money, right?

    But the testimonials of other people will speak to potential buyers much more strongly. They are impartial and have nothing to gain from telling people how great the product is (well, not when we’re talking about testimonials – affiliates are a whole other ball game!)

    Side note: You can also use social proof when it comes to selling your services too. Check out my testimonials page here for an example of showcasing client quotes.

    The best time to get testimonials is during your testing period. Ask your beta testers for feedback and a short written testimonial that you can use on your sales page when you first launch your product. Once your product has officially been launched, set up an automated email sequence to go out to people who have purchased and use that to ask for testimonials too.

    Reason #5: You don’t have a decent sales funnel

    There is a trend in the online business world to have an open/close launch where people can only purchase your products within a particular window of time. This might be a one-week period twice per year or it might be a 2-day period one a year.

    I don’t like this style of pressure selling (I’m a sucker for it as a customer though! FOMO is real!) and, because my audience is small and still growing, it’s not an effective selling tool for me and my biz right now.

    So I create evergreen sales funnels to ensure that I’m making regular sales AFTER the initial launch period and immediate hype is over.

    You might find that no one is buying your digital products because you’re not leading and nurturing them to that point. An effective sales funnel is a way to showcase your expertise to your audience, share valuable information with them for free and gain their confidence to the point where they want to purchase one of your products.

    If you set up your sales funnel the right way, it can run on autopilot – hello, passive income!


    Now that you know 5 of the biggest reasons that no one is buying your digital products and how to fix those issues, you’ll be making more sales in no time at all! Whilst some of these fixes might require a bit of work up front, they’re totally worth it in the long run!

    READ MORE

  • How to Know When You’re Ready to Outsource Work


    This blog post includes affiliate links for tools and products that I use and love. If you purchase using any of these links, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) to help fund my caffeine addiction. More coffee for me = more great content for you, so it’s a win-win situation really!


    Outsourcing work when you run your own business is a scary prospect. How do you know when you’re ready to outsource work? Are you even ready?

    Entrepreneurs often have the mindset of ‘If I can do it myself, I should do it myself.’

    In my experience, there are two main reasons for this.

    First of all, it’s very scary to think about handing any part of your business over to someone else. After all, that business started out as an idea in your mind. And it was you who worked hard to get it to where it is today. If you outsource to someone who gets things wrong, it will be you and your business who suffers (I’ll talk about hiring the right people in another post, don’t worry).

    Secondly, there is a common mind block amongst small business owners that outsourcing is only for big companies and corporations. This simply isn’t true. Yes, you need to be making enough money to pay someone else to complete tasks for you, but that’s pretty much the only requirement.

    You will come to point in your business that, if you want to continue growing, you will need some help. This post will explain to you, how you’ll know when it’s time to get that help and know that you’re ready to outsource work.

    How to Know When You’re Ready to Outsource?

    1. The Hustle Isn’t Real

    First off, I’m going to bust one of the biggest entrepreneurial myths out there…

    …you DON’T have to ‘hustle hard’  if you want to be successful.

    Yep, you heard me (well, you read me) right!

    Starting and running an online business IS a lot of hard work. It takes time, dedication and a whole load of passion for what you are doing.

    It doesn’t, however, require you to hustle.

    In my mind, hustle means working all hours of the day and sacrificing pretty much everything else in your life. Don’t get me wrong, there were one or two days that I had to do this when I was getting things set up but it’s certainly not how you should be doing things long-term. That’s how you get burnt out!

    So, if you’re finding that you’re working all hours of all days and feeling pretty damn exhausted, it’s probably a good sign that you’re ready to outsource work.

    Why You Should Outsource

    Like I just said, you don’t have to hustle to be successful.

    So, if your current workload means that you’re working every waking hour (plus a few hours that you should be sleeping), then it’s time to start outsourcing some of your work.

    Not only will hiring a VA allow you to take some time off but it will also free up some time for you to focus on the really important, money-making parts of your business. If you’re not spending time on admin tasks or social media, or whatever you decide to ask your VA to help you with, you can spend more time on the parts of your business that really matter – the parts that bring in the $.

    For example, by outsourcing my Pinterest accounts to someone else, I now have 10 hours additional time to dedicate to client work. It also means that, because I’m not *so* exhausted, I’m much more focused and able to deliver a higher quality of work.

    2. You’re Turning Work Away

    If you’re having to say “no” to new clients and new job opportunities because you don’t have time to complete the work, it may be time to outsource some of your work.

    You know that you could be helping more people and making more money if only you had a few more hours each day. But instead of working with more clients and transforming more lives, you’re stuck doing the small administrative tasks within your business.

    If this sounds familiar, you’re definitely ready to outsource some of those admin tasks and free up more of your time to focus on serving your people. Not only are you effectively losing money by turning those prospective clients away, but you’re also turning away new relationships and learning opportunities.

    Note: Being too busy with other tasks to take on more work is very different to not taking on more work because you don’t want to! Remember, you are a business owner and your own boss. You only have to take on as much work as you want to (or need to in order to pay your bills!!)

    Why You Should Outsource

    Having a VA to assist you with your day-to-day business tasks will give you time, space and energy to take on more clients and continue to grow your business (and income).

    It also means that you can focus your attention on serving your clients without being distracted by all of those other tasks you were previously dealing with. With fewer distractions, you will be able to provide those clients with an even higher level of service. By providing your clients with an exceptional level of service, they are much more likely to become loyal clients who keep coming back to you time and time again, as well as recommending you to people they know.

    3. You’re Focusing On Day-To-Day Tasks Instead Of Long-Term Strategy

    This is easily done.

    You have a to-do list a mile long. And, as soon as you get about halfway through the list, it doubles in size again.

    Whilst you’re working your way through these day-to-day tasks, you’re ignoring the bigger picture. You’re treading water just to stay afloat but you’re not actually making it any closer to shore.

    By focusing on the day-to-day tasks you’ll keep your business running but without focusing on your long-term strategy you won’t be able to grow and scale your business.

    I’ve been there. I’ve set long-term business goals at the beginning of the year and, by the end of the year, all I’ve done is enough to get by. And I’ve not actually made any progress in terms of growing my business. It sucks!

    But this is another sign that you’re ready to outsource work. You’re ready to get someone to help you with those day-to-day tasks so that you can focus on the bigger strategy stuff. Remember, you are the CEO and that bigger strategy and growth stuff is your responsibility now.

    Why You Should Outsource

    By outsourcing the boring admin and day-to-day tasks, you will not only start enjoying your days more, but you’ll free up more time to focus on the long-term strategy.

    That passive income stream you wanted to create? Well, now you suddenly have time to work on writing that course content and building those sales funnels. Those new WordPress themes you wanted to develop? Yep, you’ve got time to code those too! That coaching program you wanted to offer?…you’ve guessed it!

    4. Your Website And Blog Are Outdated

    I am actually really guilty of this (although, it’s one of my goals for this year to keep on top of them!)

    When you’re busy focusing on your main income streams, whether that’s creating products or providing services to your clients, your own website can fall by the wayside.

    You can become so focused on the aspects of your business that make more directly, that you actually run out of time to do anything else. There are pages on your website that are full of broken links and the last time you published a new blog post, Harry Potter was still at Hogwarts.

    In a similar vein, you probably haven’t posted on social media recently either. When you’re running an online business, your social media accounts are like your online business card and are essential to building your brand and promoting yourself.

    Why You Should Outsource

    Keeping your website and/or blog updated is the best way to showcase your work and professionalism online.

    You want your website and blog to not only demonstrate your skills but also show your audience and potential clients/customers that your business is still active and relevant.

    Your website is an essential part of your marketing regardless of what type of business you are running. If you sell physical products, it’s a place to show your products to customers. If you’re a copywriter, it’s a place to show off your writing skills and to house your portfolio so that potential clients can see examples of your past work.

    Having a blog on your website is also a great way to drive traffic to your site and attract new clients and customers.

    So, why not hand this over to someone else and have one less thing on your plate?

    5. You’re Not Seeing Much Growth

    This is really an amalgamation of all of the above points.

    You’re trying to do #allofthethings. You’re doing day-to-day tasks and not focusing on your long-term strategy. Your own blog and website have fallen into disrepair. You haven’t posted on social media in forever. And you’re having to turn clients away even though you want to help and need the money.

    You’re basically stuck where you are and you’re not seeing much (if any) growth.

    And the only way that you’re going to start seeing growth in your business is to have more time. I’m sorry to break it to you but there simply isn’t ever going to be more time unless you outsource work!

    Why You Should Outsource

    Okay, so this isn’t “a task” that you can outsource as such but there are a number of tasks you can outsource to help with the growth of your business.

    This can be done in one of two ways.

    You can outsource the day-to-day, more mundane/admin-y type tasks to give you more time to focus on growing your business. OR you can outsource work such as social media and marketing which will help you grow your business in a more direct way by driving more traffic to your site.

    Whichever way you decide to approach this one, the key here is that an extra pair of hands – regardless of where you choose to focus them – can help you grow your business faster than you could do alone.

    If you think you’re ready to outsource some of your business tasks, get in touch with me here to see how we could work together to not only free up more of your time but also grow and scale your business!

    READ MORE

  • 5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Blog

    Every business needs a blog. It's a great way to drive traffic to your website and establish yourself as an expert in your niche. 5 reasons why your business needs a blog #bloggingtips #businesstips #smallbusinesstips

    This blog post includes affiliate links for tools and products that I use and love. If you purchase using any of these links, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) to help fund my caffeine addiction. More coffee for me = more great content for you, so it’s a win-win situation really!


    Okay, I’ll just come out and say this – your business needs a blog.

    You’re probably sitting there reading this, thinking “no thanks, I don’t need another thing to work on. I have too much to do as it is.”

    You’re probably also thinking “That’s rich coming from you Dani, this website is 6 months old and you’ve only just shared your first blog post.”

    I know. But trust me, I know the importance of having a blog for my business and I should have done it sooner.

    If you run a business, you’re probably wondering why your business needs a blog and if it’s actually worth the effort of starting one.

    The short answer is “Yes, it is definitely worth the effort”. For a slightly longer, more detailed explanation of why your business needs a blog, read on!

    5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Blog

    1. It’s a great way to drive traffic to your website

    And that’s traffic you can convert into sales!

    One of the biggest difficulties small business come across is getting people onto their website in the first place.

    Maybe you craft handmade, bespoke wedding invites. Or you offer freelance writing services. Or you make furniture from reclaimed wood. Whatever you’re selling, you’ve probably (hopefully!!) already created a website to showcase your work and talents.

    You’ve spent hour after hour curating your business website (or a bit of money on getting someone else to do it), pouring your heart and soul into it. Afterall, this business is your passion and you want your potential customers and clients to know that.

    You hit publish and wait. Refreshing your stats page but nothing happens.

    Crickets.

    So, how exactly do you get eyes onto your website without bombarding your social media accounts with sales-y content? With blog posts, that’s how.

    And that’s why I’ve listed this as the #1 reason why your business needs a blog. You’ll have great content to share with your target audience that will get them clicking through onto your website (where they’ll fall madly in love with your products and services).

    2. Your blog forms part of your brand (and showcases your personality)

    Your website is a place that your clients and customers can get to you know – to learn who you are, what you do and, most importantly, how you can help them.

    The voice you use in your blog posts is just another element of your business brand. If you’re selling services, it’s really important that your potential clients get a feel for your personality. After all, they want to know that you are going to work well together. And, whilst you can portray some of your personality via social media, having a blog with add another layer to that.

    On the other hand, if you’re selling products, it can be difficult to showcase your personality. Especially if the majority of posts you share on social media are images and descriptions of products and not much else. In this instance, you could use your blog as a gateway for your customers to get to know the person (or people) behind the business.

    3. You have complete control of your blog

    Social media platforms are great for sharing your products and services with your target audience. But what happens when Facebook suspends your account for no reason? Or the algorithm on Instagram changes again and suddenly no one is seeing your content.

    Your followers can literally disappear overnight.

    If your website is self-hosted (confused about the differences between hosted and self-hosted? Check out this post), you have complete control over it. No one is going to delete it without warning.

    You can also post pretty much whatever you want on there. I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs in Facebook Groups complaining that their product posts have been deleted by Facebook for being “inappropriate”. Images like women breastfeeding as a product image for nursing tops and merchandise with “offensive” text on (obviously, swear words etc. are a different ballgame). Anyway, my point is that no one is moderating what you post on your own website and blog.

    4. It puts you one step ahead of your competition

    Ever thought about booking a service online and visited heaps of websites that all offer the same thing? It’s hard to differentiate between them, let alone make a decision on which one to use.

    Make your business stand out from the competition by starting a blog section on your website.

    Your blog can also help you to establish your expertise in your niche or market. Let’s say, for example, you’re looking for someone to rebrand your business and you find two websites. The quality of their portfolios is identical. One doesn’t have a blog. The other is full of blog posts explaining everything about branding from the psychology of your brand’s colours to a step-by-step guide for defining your target audience. Which one do you sign a contract with?

    I know personally, I’d go with the one who had a blog because their expertise is clearly visible. You can see the passion they have for branding (why else would they spend hours writing blog posts about the topic if they didn’t love it?!) You can see that they have a great deal of knowledge about branding too. That’s not to say that the other person isn’t passionate or doesn’t have a great deal of knowledge but how would I know that if they don’t show me?

    5. You can use your blog to help improve your customer/client experience

    Whilst a blog is a great way to attract new people to your website and potentially convert them into paying clients and customers, it’s also a fantastic tool for looking after your current clients and customers.

    Use your blog to share useful information that will actually help customers old and new. A great example of this, is the blog over at Bluchic (which is where I get my themes, landing page templates AND social media templates from, by the way!) Their blog is full of useful posts about why having a great website theme matters and how to make the most of their landing page templates to achieve great conversion rates. Not only do posts like these act as sales tools for their products but they also offer support and guidance to those who have already made purchases from them.

    You can also use your blog as a kind of “FAQ” library. Rather than simply having a huge FAQ section to your website, take some common questions and turn the answers into blog posts.

    Not sure what I mean?

    Take this blog post for example. I often get asked why a business needs a blog. So, I used that question as the purpose of this post. And now you know exactly why your business needs a blog! See what I did there?


    Know that you need a blog but simply don’t have the time to write posts? Check out our blog post writing packages here.


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