In the virtual world, it is challenging to know what it means to be “open” for business!
Too many virtual business owners get caught up in the busywork of setting up their space, organizing all of their folders/files and making a list of target clients but what they actually miss is that they are not “working” their business.
If you owned a brick and mortar business instead of a virtual business you would go in every day and flip on the “open” sign and grind. You would clean, restock, advertise, chat up the customers, and hopefully make a sale or two. But, are you doing that with your virtual business?
So, how do you grind with your virtual business so you are really “open for business” you may ask?
Well, I am not suggesting that you need to work long hours or that you have to subscribe to a 9-5 schedule. What I am suggesting is that you are purposeful and productive with your time so that when you are “open” you are really working your business. Here are some of my suggestions:
- Write down what your goals are for having your business. Do you want to have enough money to pay for your child’s college? Or maybe to get ahead instead of just getting by? Write down what you want your business revenue to do for you. Seeing that and affirming it helps solidify why you are working so hard!
- Create a plan for your day, week, month and year. A plan will give you direction and focus and will hold you accountable for what you need to do and should be doing.
- Schedule prospecting time. You should try to set aside at least 2-3 hours per week to reach out and contact potential clients. This could entail attending networking events, going to a local community event, making phone calls or sending follow up emails to people that you have met at various events or functions. Oh, and something that is super important here… Don’t procrastinate and wait to do this at the end of the day…. do this first thing! There are two reasons for this… 1) you are tackling the task that could be revenue-generating first and 2) your prospects are fresh and unencumbered with the stress of their day.
- If you use social media to promote your business then schedule a time to do that as part of your daily business activities. Post to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram on a set schedule. This means don’t go down the rabbit hole of starting to post and end up spending 4 hours on social media. If you have to, set a day of the week to post to each platform and set a timer for how long you will spend on that format so that you don’t get sucked in. And on the flip side of this, if you don’t use social media as a way of promoting your business, stay off of it when you are working. It becomes a slippery slope both for you as the business owner and to others who see you on social media who might wonder “are they even working?”
So, if you really, really want to be OPEN for business, don’t just sit behind your laptop or desktop or iPad occupying your time with busywork. Be proactive! Be assertive! Be driven like your life depends on it!!
Treat it like it’s your “Plan A” and that ‘Plan B” isn’t an option…
When you do that then you will be open for business!