If you’re anything like me, you’re really, really not ready to think about the fact that August is over and we’re edging towards the end of 2022.
So instead of thinking about that, let’s focus on something positive: what you are going to do for your business during the fall. Because a new season is a fantastic time to re-energize your business, and what better season than the crisp, fresh autumn?
From networking to sales to your online presence, fall is a great time for fresh starts, new tactics, and a new outlook on the adventure that is owning your own small business.
1. Order Some Snazzy Looking Business Cards
It’s easy to forget about the real world and just focus on advertising and promoting your business online. But there are dozen of opportunities every week to talk up your business and find new customers. Get some good-looking business cards (I like Moo because they have student discounts and use recycled paper!) then have them ready to hand out whenever someone asks, “What do you do?”
2. Start Using A Real Accounting Software For Invoices
You’ll look ten times as professional, and your taxes will be ten times as easy to do. I used to use Wave, since it was free and pretty good, but I’ve since switched to FreshBooks, and it is absolutely worth the monthly fee!
3. Get Your Files Organized And Backed Up
Whether your use multiple computers or not, it’s a good idea to have all your files backed up and easy to access. That way, you never have to worry about losing a contract or SEO spreadsheet ever again. I use a mix of Dropbox and Google Drive to keep my files organized; it also makes it easy to share work with clients.
4. Redesign Your Website
I recently redesigned my website (and by recently, I mean I’m still working with my designer to iron out all the kinks). Yes, it can take a while. Yes, it can be expensive. But if you want to brand your business successfully and look professional, you need to be updating your website every couple of years. I’m in love with the way mine looks now!
5. Reach Out To Old Clients Or Customers
That could mean sending out an email blast with new products in your store or sending clients individual emails letting them know you have space in your schedule if they need anything in the coming month. Whatever method you prefer, remind people that your business is there!
6. Send Out A Newsletter
Pot, meet kettle. I’ve been slack about keeping in touch with my subscribers this summer. It’s on my to-do list for the fall, and it should be on yours.
7. Rewrite Your About Page
Like the overall design, the content of your website needs to be consistently updated as well. Here’s what should go on your about page. And if you’re not sure where to start with rewrites, I can help you out with a website audit.
8. Create A Social Media Plan
How many social media accounts do you have? How many do you actually use? How many actually work? Identify where you should put your efforts and focus on those places, rather than spreading yourself too thin. And be sure not to make any of these common sense mistakes.
9. Join A Networking Group
Online groups are a great way to connect with other like-minded small business owners and entrepreneurs. But don’t forget about the real world — sites like Meetup.com can help you find in-person groups to join.
10. Talk To A Business Coach
This is one of those things I wish I had started doing a year ago. Yes, you can find answers to almost any question on Google. But you have no way of knowing if those are good answers — and they’re also not directed at you or your business. A business coach can give you real advice and encouragement to help you grow.
11. Ask For Testimonials And Reviews
Social proof is huge! Customers will be far more likely to trust your products and services if they see that other people recommend them. If you have a store, include a way for satisfied customers to write reviews. If you work with clients, as them for testimonials once the work is done. Use them on your site, on LinkedIn, or as part of your email signature.
12. Share Someone Else’S Content
Sharing is caring in the online world. If you found something useful, share it on your social media or with your email list — then let the author know you did! You’ll find yourself with new connections, a bigger audience, and lots of good small business karma. (For example, you can share this!)
13. Package Your Services
Clients like knowing what they’re going to get and how much it will cost. You like knowing what’s expected of you and having standard systems in place to get it done. That means packages are everyone’s friend. Put together some of your most popular offerings as packages, and you won’t have to spend nearly as much time crafting custom pitches and contracts every month.
14. Talk With Your Clients
Yes, email is great for everyday communication. And plenty of people are phone-shy these days. But if you really want to make an impression and create a strong connection, schedule time to actually talk to your clients and customers. Ask them how they are feeling, what their goals are, and what else you can do to help them. You’ll develop a stronger relationship and more brand loyalty when they identify you with a voice and a personality, not just a website.
15. Hold A “Back To School” Sale
Even if you’re not going back to school, even if your products have nothing to do with school. People look for deals in the fall, so it’s a great time to bundle your products and hold a sale. Even with lower sale prices, you’ll get rid of some extra stock and make money that you otherwise wouldn’t have.
16. Find 3 Places To Guest Post
Guest posting is not just for writers. It’s a great way to develop a reputation as an expert, no matter what your field is. Google “your industry + write for us” to find places that accept guests posts. (And if you don’t have time to research, write, and edit them, you can always hire someone to do part of the process for you.)
17. Create A New Freebie
Are people signing up for your email list? The best way to collect subscribers is by offering a good incentive. You can give them a discount code, a coupon for free shipping, or an ebook that shares some of your expertise. I’m in the middle of working on an awesome new ebook about the best way to find clients and customers online, and my email subscribers are going to get their hands on it (for free!) before anyone else does!