5 Steps to Making 2011 Your Best Year Yet

If you’ve been struggling to move your business forward, the start of a new year is the perfect time to wipe the slate clean, make the changes needed to skyrocket past the hurdles, and begin making steady progress in your business. Before reading any further, please take a moment to ponder this crucial question: Do you want to be where you are now next year at this time? If you’re happen with your current state of business, the answer might be yes. If, however, you aren’t satisfied with how things are going, the following 5 steps can help you put the pieces in place for a profitable business.

Step #1 to Making 2011 Your Best Year Ever: Determine your goals for the year

You need to be really specific here. How much money do you want to make each month, or by the end of the year? How many clients do you want to serve? How many hours do you want to put in? For example, if you want to earn $5,000 per month, you might aim to attract 10 clients at a monthly rate of $500 each. Goal-setting of this sort does two things: 1) it gives you something specific to shoot for, so you’re no longer stumbling blindly in the dark, and 2) you can quickly check on your progress at any time to see how far you’ve come.

Step #2 to Making 2011 Your Best Year Ever:  Set up a simple product/service line

It’s important for service-based entrepreneurs to lead customers along a natural progression through their products/services. You might start them off with a free gift to let them test the waters, if you will, but then you must be able to let interested prospects step into a deeper role of working with you should they so choose. But you can’t expect them to leap from a free giveaway to a hefty financial commitment without offering them a stepping stone of some sort to help ease the transition.

Step #3 to Making 2011 Your Best Year Ever: Get your website in tip-top shape

If your website isn’t set up to fully communicate the solutions you offer and move people into the products or services that are right for them, it’s not doing its job. Period, end of story. It’s pretty easy to determine if your website is working or not; start by determining the average number of visitors you get on a daily basis and then calculate how many of those people are taking action, by purchasing your solutions or joining your newsletter list. Divide the number of action-takers by the number of visitors to find your conversion rate (ie. 5 action-takers divided by 100 visitors = a 5% conversion rate). A low conversion rate is a sure sign of an ineffective website.

Step #4 to Making 2011 Your Best Year Ever: Gather permission to follow-up with prospective customers

Marketing guru and bestselling author Seth Godin has a process he calls Permission Marketing, which is all about getting prospective customers to step forward, raise their hand, and say, “Yes! I’m interested in what you have to offer and WANT to hear about your solutions.” It’s not about tricking people into signing up for your newsletters or even about getting the as many people as you can on your list; it’s about attracting high-quality prospects who actually look forward to hearing about your products and services. After all, it’s better to be able to communicate with 500 genuinely interested prospects, the majority of which are actually opening and responding to your emails in some way, than to have a cumbersome list of 5,000 people who don’t know who you are, don’t care what you have to say, and are either ignoring or deleting your emails. Wouldn’t you agree?

Step #5 to Making 2011 Your Best Year Ever: Provide education, expertise, and value

Last but not least, it’s important to provide your prospects with education, expertise, and value, both immediately and on an ongoing basis. You can quickly and easily provide all 3 to your prospects by producing high-content articles or reports in your area of expertise. Give one to prospects as a special gift when they join your newsletter list and continue to send them quality information on a regular basis through your email newsletters.

Essential next steps

If put into place, these five steps will help you grow your business this year; the amount of business growth, however, will depend on how quickly and thoroughly you can implement these key components into your business. If you’re fed up with struggling along and ready to really move your business forward, I invite you to answer a few simple questions and in return, I’ll provide you with a written business assessment to help you propel your business forward by leaps and bounds this year. Visit http://writeassociate.com/business-success-assessment/ to claim your complimentary assessment today!

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