There are four elements to running a sustainable and profitable business:
- Guide The Business
- Attract The Business
- Run The Business
- Do The Business
Most business owners (and yes, if you are a professional photographer or creative then you are a business owner, even if it is just you) tend to focus on attracting the business and doing the business at the expense of the other two.
This can be a costly mistake and lead to the business becoming your boss, instead of a business that you love and enjoy, a business that serves you.
Guide The Business
This is an underestimated part of running a business, however, it is key.
Don’t overcomplicate this.
I show my clients how to use a simple one-page document called the Business GPS that they can glance at and review on a regular basis.
It’s an effective guidance system to keep your business on track and stop you from getting distracted from achieving your goals and dreams.
Attract the Business
All things marketing and sales.
When it comes to attracting the business many creatives skip the foundational aspects of deeply understanding their clients and target market.
When you fathom out what drives and motivates your clients to buy your products and services on a deeper intrinsic level (rather than the surface level I want photographs of my dog) then you can create effective messaging, positioning and marketing.
Run The Business
Another often neglected part of business. This is all about your data/numbers, finances and team (even if you think of yourself as a team of 1).
However, if you use any suppliers or tools from other companies then you have a team… Without knowing your data you can’t make good decisions.
Without measuring your Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) decision making becomes at best a guess.
There is no need to overcomplicate this.
Keep it simple and track the essentials.
In my business Accelerator program, clients track 5 key numbers each month:
- new leads
- profit %
- number of days in their area of genius - the thing that you are gifted at, that you could do forever and never get bored, as opposed to all the busy work in your business
- free days - a free day is a 24-hour period from midnight to midnight where you do not do any work, think about work or dream about work. No checking email, no checking your messages or business social media channels. For most people, this is very low!
Do The Business
This is delivering the business, doing the work of your business.
The more that you can systemise this and create processes, the more consistent your client experience will be, and the easier your life will be.
This is often misconstrued as creating some kind of production line and taking away from creating a unique and individual experience for your clients.
However, the reality is that it frees up a great deal of mental energy, enabling you up to create a greater experience for your clients and more efficient and healthier business.
Which of these areas do you focus on in your business and which do you neglect?
P.S. One of the key aspects of marketing is creating content to grow your audience, increase engagement and attract clients. It's an area that a lot of people struggle with.
Therefore, due to popular demand in a couple of the Facebook communities that I run I'm creating a huge content prompt ideas bundle. It will be available for pre-order soon, and included with the pre-order will be my updated Organic Social Media Content Strategy course which gets rave reviews from clients.
Keep an eye in your inbox if you are interested...