Every owner remembers when their business was new. The creative juices that were constantly flowing. The details that went into creating a business plan. The excitement of sitting down to work on the latest project. A new business can be one of the most thrilling things in the world.
For some of you, though, those days are long gone. Whether you struggle along through the weeks or are sitting back as the well-oiled machine manages itself, now may be the best time to reevaluate what’s working for your business, what’s not, and how you can keep up with your customers.
Back in the 1990s, my grandparents had a successful craft business, in which they would paint gourds (yes, the plants) and then sell them at craft shows across the country. They created these magical-looking creatures, sometimes based on seasons or holidays. They brought nature to life through scenery and birdhouses. They were both very talented and made a great living off it. Plus, they were able to travel the country.
The craft shows allowed them regular access to plenty of customers (particularly their target audience) but then something happened … the internet. As the internet became more and more popular, customers started asking if they could order online. My grandparents didn’t know much about doing business online at the time but they decided that they needed to figure it out. So, while they continued doing the craft shows, they put up a website to allow people to place orders, make payments, and know which shows my grandparents would be attending.
Make sure that you do a check in. In general, quarterly check ins are a great idea, paired with an annual analysis on a more detailed level. Maybe you need to update your website. Maybe your target audience has shifted and you need to adjust your marketing strategy. And maybe, for now, things are going as planned. Evaluating your business every so often is crucial to making sure that you are serving your customers in the best ways possible.