Not three Kings, but three ideas…
With Christmas just around the corner, I don’t have three Kings for you, but instead three ideas… What for? Watch this to find out!
Hi and welcome to another episode of BaranovTV, designed to demystify the world of accounts and tax, and to help your business grow.
As you may have gathered from the background we’re just a week away from Christmas as I’m recording this, to go out to you guys just a few days before the festivities really start.
I thought it was a really good opportunity to give you some ideas of things that you might want to think about and implement over the Christmas period.
It’s an extended period for many of us because our businesses just go really quiet. So it gives you that headspace to either take the time out to spend with family and friends and just regain strength and catch up with the people around us who tend to get a little bit forgotten when we’re really busy.
Alternatively it gives you an opportunity to think about particular projects, take some time to do stuff you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to do when the business is busy and you’re caught up in the day-to-day as well as obviously trying to run the business.
So I’ve got a few ideas for you.
First off is a book.
Many of you may have seen this before, but it’s ‘They Ask You Answer’, by Marcus Sheridan. It’s known as THE book of last year, but it’s still really useful. We’ve been working through it and trying to make sure that we’re actually implementing quite a lot of the pointers within it.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, Marcus Sheridan is writing about his own experiences of running a swimming pool company. He was at rock bottom and was really struggling to gain sales. What he did over a protracted period was go through his website in particular, thinking about content marketing and went through building blog posts, articles, etc that really addressed the questions that his potential customers were trying to answer, before they actually came and had a conversation. We all know that we spend a lot of time googling and looking online for the different things that we’re interested in buying.
We’re drawn towards those people that give us the answers in advance.
The whole idea of ‘They Ask You Answer’ is to go through and brainstorm initially all of the questions that you get asked and then make sure that anyone looking through your website can find those answers easily, and that they’re entirely honest. So if you have an issue around part of one of your products, say for example Marcus Sheridan talks about the different types of pools that he would offer. He had articles that talked about the pros and cons of the different types, because those are the things that people want to know. It’s really looking at what your customers are asking, and being able to answer those questions.
So that would be a really good way to spend some time if you’ve got some over the Christmas period; have a read of that one if you have the opportunity. It’s available on Amazon obviously.
Secondly, is an App for you that might be useful.
For those of you who use social media, it’s one I’ve been looking at, and is one I’m going to take some time to implement over the Christmas period. It’s called ‘Hiplay‘ and it’s a social media scheduling tool.
Essentially what you can do, is categorize all of your posts. So for us we would have one for our Business Bites that go out on Twitter every weekday at 9am. I’ve got hundreds of those now, so my plan is to actually put those into Hiplay, and have them so that it automatically churns through them, so that there is a regular post going out onto Twitter at 9am every weekday, without me having to manually type them in and put them in individually.
So there’s lots of different categories that you can set up and it will just work through them. It gives you the ability to take a chunk of time, get all those regular messages and categories set up and know when you want them to go out. Then when you pop into social media during the days, you can concentrate on engagement which obviously is where you’re going to get the benefits from. So Hiplay is a good one to have a look at and play with and maybe get set up over your Christmas period.
Thirdly, this one requires a little bit of thought, but it also requires some conversations with those around you and this is the ideal time.
Hopefully when some of the pressure’s off you can start to have a conversation that can actually run throughout the period and come out at the end of it with a definite idea.
The thing to look for is what you actually want to get out of your business personally for the next 12 months.
It’s things around how many hours do you want to work? But most importantly is what you actually want to take out by way of drawings, or money you want into your bank after tax, out of your business.
So you need to actually take a step back before you can get to that figure and work out what you want to do next year.
It could be that you want to have a big holiday, you want to do some work on the house, you want to buy some new furniture, a new kitchen or the kids want to do a trip with school that’s going to be quite expensive. You need to work through all of those things and come out with a figure at the end of it of what that is all going to cost you, and then add to what you’re taking potentially, assuming it’s extras, add that to what you’ve been taking this year.
That tells you what the business needs to be generating for you to withdraw, after tax, during the next 12 months. You can actually then start to say, “Right okay if I need this extra £10,000 pounds, how am I going to generate that through the business? What’s that got to look like? How am I going to work through that?”
That gives you ‘The Gap‘, and it’s that gap that you then need to work on and that gives you the tangible target to work towards.
Because you’ve had the conversation with those around you, you know what you’re aiming towards. You know your ‘why’, and you should be perfectly motivated to actually crack on and get those done. Obviously if you need a hand or any advice do get in touch, but start to work through that while you’ve got people around you and everyone’s a little bit more relaxed and happy to chat things through.
So there’re three really good ideas for you as to what you could do if you’ve got a little bit more headspace, and are a little bit more relaxed over the Christmas and New Year period.
All that remains is for me to wish you all a very, very Happy Christmas, and to say that I’ll see you all in the New Year.