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Web Professionals: Five Areas of the Business to Focus On

Sales

If you can’t make money doing something, you aren’t going to be doing it very long. Figuring out your sales problem is priority numero uno.
If, when talking to a prospect, you can’t navigate from A to Z in order to structure a deal, then this is a big problem.

Marketing

A lot of people think that they have a sales problem, when in reality, they aren’t having enough conversations with enough people.
Getting in front of more prospects is a critical part of growing your business.

Operations

What happens once you have business will decide whether you get future business. If you want to expand through word-of-mouth marketing, then making sure your projects flow through a stress-free process is critical. Your clients (and your sanity) will appreciate refined processes.

People

If you ever plan to grow past a single freelance operation, then you must learn how to hire, fire, and contract. The people conversation goes beyond those basics, into things like culture, learning, growth, and career path, but just delegating that first task to someone besides yourself is a huge leap for most.

Money

This is one topic I rarely see early stage web professionals spend any time on. Getting an understanding of your basic cash flow situation is imperative.
Then, if you want to grow, you need to line up some capital. Either by socking away your profits, establishing a line of credit, or getting some investment. Rarely have I seen businesses able to grow without being able to first spend money.


A Process for Business Growth

It’s hard to sit down and spend a week sorting out your business in terms of sales, marketing, operations, people, and money, but if you spread these activities out, you’ll find sustained long-term results.
I suggest you try what I did:
  1. Spend a quarter of the year (3 months) focused on one of the areas above (sales, marketing, operations, people or money).
  2. Dedicate 1 day every 3 months to tackle that aspect of your business. In your early days, this process might be something as simple as reading a book on the subject and taking notes on how these new ideas could affect your business.
  3. Each month, spend about half a day refining what you implemented from your daylong session.
  4. Every quarter (3 months), rotate to another area of your business.

A Healthy Business Forthcoming

When I consult with web professionals, we almost never talk about the technical issues with building sites. It’s always about the big picture.
I find that most of us aren’t spending enough time on the big picture. So that is why I’m a strong advocate for all of the above. I want to help web professionals build a great business.
Just like working on your personal health and fitness, the improvements in your business will take time. You’ll need to stick to this regimen for years to come. But, just like eating healthy, you’ll notice benefits right away, like having more energy.
Getting out of the business — to focus on the business — is important.
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