A little while ago, I asked this same question in my business and lifestyle Facebook group, Sell At Home Moms. I’ve also asked a few moms I know that have their own small businesses.
“Passion”, “My knowledge”, “My skills”, “My products”
These are all excellent answers. But, the truth is, while these are all important, as far as assets go, there is something your business has (or should have) that is even more important for financial stability and success.
Let me explain…
Passion is absolutely super important to have as an entrepreneur. It’s what pushes us to work on our business harder than we would work anywhere else. But, there are also successful entrepreneurs that don’t have a passion for what they do, or that have maybe lost the passion over the years, and they are successful anyway.
Knowledge and skills are super important in business as well…but the knowledge and skills a business provides don’t necessarily need to come directly from the business owner themselves for the business to be successful. There are many successful business owners that manage the overall operations of their business, but have Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to carry out the actual work. If they themselves don’t have the necessary knowledge or skills, they can hire those who do.
Products (or services) are definitely super important of course…every business needs something to sell! But, I would argue that these can (and often do) change over time throughout the course of a business’s lifespan. So a specific product or service that might be a business’s important offering today, might not even be offered by that business anymore 6 months from now, as the business evolves.
But there is one thing that has been proven to increase business revenue time and time again…something that you have already been witness to firsthand from other businesses…
And that is an e-mail list!
You probably get asked for your e-mail several times a day, from pretty much any website that you visit, amIright?
There’s a reason for that!
E-mail marketing is *the* best- and most cost-effective- way to market your business…to people who already know you and are interested in you and your business and what you have to say.
Every business should have an e-mail list, whether an online business, or brick-and-mortar business, and no matter the industry. An e-mail list is a list of followers (and potential customers!) interested in your business, or at least your industry, that you can send offers to for your products and services.
Providing value to people (not just customers, potential customers too!) is a great way to build your authority on a subject, earn trust, and really help people. And as long as you provide value to your list, they will remain engaged with your brand, and be much more likely to purchase from you when you do send them offers.
Now, there are people who might argue that they already have a huge following on Facebook, or YouTube, or whatever popular social media channel. And while this is *awesome*, having a huge e-mail list is still waaay better.
In marketing, this concept is called “traffic you own”. You own your e-mail list…it is an actual business asset that you can use to communicate with your audience at any time. Any time you have a promotion, or sale, or new product, etc…you can send out an e-mail your list. And guess what?
A certain percentage of the people on your list will always buy what you’re selling.
This is called E-mail Subscriber Value, and there is actually a LOT that goes into this calculation, but at a general, very high level, it goes something like this- if you know what you’re doing (reasonably well), you can potentially make around $1 per month per e-mail subscriber on your list.
And the more robust your e-mail marketing strategies are, the higher this number will be.
So, as an example, if you have an e-mail list of 5,000 subscribers, and you provide value to them, nurture and engage them on a regular basis, and mix in offers along the way...you could potentially be making an extra $5k per month in sales for your business! (WHAAAAAT??)
Traffic on social media, however, is traffic you do not own…you’re technically borrowing it. Meaning, if Facebook decides one day to change their algorithms (which has already happened several times now over the past few years, and will continue to happen), you have zero control over who sees your posts and your offers.
For example, last year Facebook made a huge change to who sees posts from your business Page. They decided they wanted to push Facebook Groups and Stories more than Pages, so they limited organic Page views in favour of Facebook Stories and Group posts.
So business owners and digital marketers everywhere had to scramble to change their strategies, in order to still be seen. And those who had a business Page instead of a Group, kinda had to start from scratch…unless they were willing to pay for boosted posts or ads.
Also, if Facebook crashes tomorrow (extreme example, but you get my point I hope!), then all the work you put into building your following on that platform (that you don’t own) is gone.
There is a marketing expert I follow that had this happen to her profile…she had 5000 followers, and Facebook saw she had a second account, and just deleted her entire profile without warning. Everything she had grown using that profile over the past few years was gone overnight…her following, her posts and content, and also her Business Manager and all her ads under that account. Talk about a business owner's nightmare!
These are just *some* examples of the many advantages of an e-mail list over social media. But I hope you can now see the importance of having an e-mail list for your business!
So, I’d love to know…do you have an e-mail list for your business?
If so, what has been your experience with it?
If not, why not…what’s stopping you from leveraging this incredible marketing strategy for your business?
Today I’m continuing this blog series based on Marie Kondo and her hit Netflix show ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’. As a professional organizer and tidying expert, her KonMari Method has inspired millions of people to ditch the clutter and embrace organization in their homes, in order to inspire a life of minimalism and joy.
This same series has inspired me to create a blog series on how to embrace the popular #KonMari methods, in order to better organize your business. In this blog series, I will cover: Reducing Clutter, Organization, Productivity, How to #KonMari Your Inbox, Documentation, and Automation.
So far, I’ve talked about Reducing Clutter in your business. So here is part two in this blog series, and it’s all about Organization.
Keep your business organized to save time and money, with project management and collaboration tools. There are many FREE or almost free tools available in the market these days that can help with organizing not only your business, but also projects within your business, and client projects as well. There are a ton of these tools on the market, but here are just a few that I’ve personally researched and found to be some of the best in their league:
Trello (PM tool)- Trello has received a lot of rave reviews from small business owners in various industries. It’s popular because of its simplicity, because it has a FREE version, because you can add and also because it’s a more visual project management tool.
I personally use this tool in my own business for my social media management, as well as (more recently) product launches. There is also a (FREE) Google plug-in for Trello called Elegantt, which is a more robust project management tool that allows you to create Gantt charts within Trello, to keep even more organized when managing more complex projects. I’ve just started using Trello fairly recently, but so far, I like it!
Get started with Trello for FREE here.
Asana (PM tool)- Another very popular (FREE) PM tool. While it has many of the features of Trello, it is less of a “visual” tool, and seems to have less flexibility in its features.
Zoho Projects (PM tool)- This is another PM tool, made popular by the branded Zoho suite of business products. While I haven’t used this specific Zoho product, I have used a few others, and I would have to agree with many of the reviews that say it is not as easy to use as some other PM tools…there is a bit of a learning curve with Zoho products. That said, for those who are already using and loving Zoho products, Zoho Projects provides a PM tool that can seamlessly integrate with the other Zoho products your business might currently be using.
MeisterTask- Also a less “visual” PM tool, but has many similar features to the other PM tools I’ve mentioned.
Some other (FREE) Project Management tools you might like to check out:
Other critical activities to stay on top of to keep your business organized, are your leads management, as well as your customer/client interactions and any services provided. There are many CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools on the market these days that can help you keep track of all your customer interactions and purchases (so you can ditch those crazy spreadsheets!).
To help you with your leads management activities and customer/client communications, here are just a few of the most popular CRM tools available today:
HubSpot (FREE)- This CRM is simple to use, yet with plenty of functionality to improve small business processes and organization, at no cost. It also has a lot of great training resources in its online library for small business owners, including learning guides, invoice template generators, email signature generators, and marketing plan template generators.
SalesForce (Small Business Edition)- An already popular CRM tool for large enterprises, SalesForce’s Small Business Edition lets entrepreneurs and small business owner’s enjoy many of SalesForce’s robust set of CRM tools and resources at a more affordable price.
SalesForce’s platform is pretty easy to use, and offers features like lead generation, contact and opportunity management, workflow automation, sales forecasting, and much more.
Zoho CRM- A simple CRM solution, that integrates easily with a plethora of other Zoho small business products.
What are some ways that you keep organized in your own biz?
I'm a mom, wife, MBA student, and student of life...serial entrepreneur, dreamer, and goal-setter. My mission is to empower moms to start their own businesses from home.