After suffering through the pressures of the pandemic for so long, it’s no wonder so many small business owners are feeling fatigued, with little energy left for building a strong connection with their customers. But there are five simple things you can do to start being more present and engaged with your business and your customer base, writes Stella Stead, founder of Above and Beyond Early Childhood Consulting.
Every business owner is fatigued after the last few years. Operating a business within a pandemic should call for some special award or recognition.
It can make it incredibly difficult to feel connected to your business, when what you’re really feeling is just this overwhelming urge to tap out for a while.
I went from being an educator to becoming a business mentor, and this changeover forced me to learn how to be present and engaged in my business. Because if I don’t show up with positivity, enthusiasm and high energy levels, I would never keep my audiences engaged and my business would fail.
I have fine-tuned the many ways in which I achieve this into five simple guidelines to be more present and engaged in your business.
How to re-engage with your business and customers
1. Know your ‘why’ and your purpose
Money shouldn’t be your primary motivator. Your reason – or your ‘why’ – should be your primary motivator.
As a mentor in the education space, for me, my ‘why’ is to empower educators in early childhood to be the best they can be.
I noticed a shortage of support for the professionals in this field and I want to meet that need that exists. I want to be the rock that these people stand on, so that they can continue to evolve their skill sets to become more confident and competent in their roles.
2. Be available to your clients, but have boundaries
Amid the coffee, the ever-ringing phones and the fast-paced lifestyle, it’s difficult to know when to stop. It’s also difficult to lean into your tiredness and allow it to envelop you in rest, rather than fight it with another latte and another meeting.
Avoid that burnout culture by having boundaries in place with your clients.
One of the hardest lessons I learned as a new entrepreneur was that I really can’t be there for my clients 24/7. Don’t get to the point where you find yourself checking your phone at 2am on your way to the bathroom and replying to emails. You’ll find it difficult to go back to sleep and then struggle to perform well at your desk the next day.
3. Know how to deliver your message – even online
How you show up matters tremendously.
In my business, I have grown my Facebook page organically because I know how to really engage with my audience. I get in front of a camera and talk about what I have done and what I am doing next. I aim to connect, and video is essential for this.
Video content sells you in a way that photos don’t. If you’re nervous, write down what you want to say and forget about perfection – be yourself. Make mistakes, laugh online, be natural.
4. You have to believe in yourself more than anyone else does
Show up every day, even when you have doubts.
When I first started my journey as an entrepreneur, my loved ones kept asking me if I’m sure about this, if this can really support me. I decided to believe in myself because I had done the work. I had identified a need within the profession I served, and I knew I had the skills to meet that need. Until I had a good track record of success to show, I had to believe in myself and keep doing the work.
When you believe in yourself and what you have to offer, it makes it possible to engage in your business and find new ways of meeting the needs of your clients.
5. Connect with your clients’ needs
As much as you need to engage with your audience and your clients, you also need to engage with their needs – your purpose lies in meeting those needs.
When you focus on your clients’ needs, the rest of the world doesn’t dictate how your day goes. Whether it’s your average Monday morning or you find yourself in the throes of a worldwide pandemic, what you do doesn’t change much because you are still focused on meeting those needs.
Your day only changes when those needs change.
Engagement in your business equals joy in your work
It’s okay to have a bad day, but make sure that you don’t reach out to people on those days. Instead, take the time to meet your own needs so that you can be your best self.
Always show up positive, energetic, and inspiring.
Source: Flying Solo March 2022
This article by Stella Stead is reproduced with the permission of Flying Solo – Australia’s micro business community. Find out more and join over 100K others https://www.flyingsolo.com.au/join.
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