3 Biz Takeaways for 2019
How was your 2019 business year?
et me tell you about mine.
Today I’m sharing the top 3 turning points for my business in 2019, and maybe my takeaways will spark something for you and your business in 2020.
Take the Chance
Last year, I took so many chances. I knew I wouldn’t find out if certain things worked for my business unless I tried them, so I figured, “Why not?” Here are the big ones.
Chance #1: My Flatlay Method Ecourse was included in a bundle with 30 other courses, including one from Jenna Kutcher.
What happened: I had almost 5,000 course enrollees, and the number is still growing a little bit as some latecomers are still enrolling. And even though I was “the teacher,” the experience taught ME so much. I learned about focusing my marketing. I found out how to create something and then let it go so people could enjoy it. I also got tons of feedback. And you know what? 90% of it was perfect, and my course has a 5-star review rating. The other 10%? I got some critiques and requests for me to extend some of the knowledge areas in the course.
Chance #2: I partnered with another business owner to create something.
What happened: I’d admired Kayla’s business, Ivory Mix Stock Photography, online, and I had the chance to meet Kayla in person. We got along really well and found that we’re both passionate about educating creatives who are trying to grow their businesses in the first 1-3 years. So we decided to make something to help those budding business owners, and that’s how the Creative Boss Method was born.
Takeway: If you feel like you’re stuck, your business is stale, or you’re not sure where to start to create growth, it’s time to take some chances. If you don’t, you’ll never know what will propel your business into the next stage.
Collaborate with the Many to Find the Few
I wanted to find the right people I would work with really well, so I dove into a lot of collaborations in 2019 to seek them out. I found Kayla through the course bundle I was a part of. I also found Franzine through another project, and she and I ended up doing some workshops together. They’re now some of my people.
And through working with different people in various kinds of collaborations, I also discovered what I actually like to offer. Now I know that I love doing live webinars. I think it’s awesome to sit at my computer and be able to talk to people all over the US, and I’m planning to do more webinars in 2020.
Takeaway: Collaborations can open business doors, teach you a lot about yourself, and help you hone in on the right kind of people who will work best with you.
Always Listen to the Needs
Your clients and customers will always tell you what they need. If you stop, listen, and reflect on what they’re saying, it will help you and your business.
First, let’s talk about feedback. I know negative feedback can feel hurtful. I’ve seen it that way myself for most of my time in business. But in 2019, I started to process it differently. For example, when someone said that they wished I’d talked more about studio lighting and less about natural lighting in my course, I decided to see it as an opportunity to offer more education instead of as an upsetting criticism. I thought about whether I could do a blog, video tutorial, or another course about the topic and whether I knew of resources to which I could direct her. She got something out of my course, but there was something else she still needed. And I got to reflect on whether there was something I could do to fix that.
Surveys are also a great way to explore your clients’ and customers’ needs. A few weeks ago I reached out to the people on my email list about what they need, what their feedback is, and how often they’re doing photoshoots. I found that while some subscribers are taking photos very often, there are a lot that aren’t doing it nearly enough. Some people are interested in other marketing and branding services or help with illustrations. All of this led me to create the Business Resources page here on my website so I could share solutions that I and some of my business friends have for them.
Takeaway: Listen to what your clients and customers tell you, process it positively, and see if you can give them a solution. The solution doesn’t necessarily have to cause more work for you, and you offering it to them can help them see you as a continuing resource for their businesses.
So those were my 2019 takeaways, and I hope you take the opportunity to reflect on your year, too. I know that some years can be tough with a lot of hurdles. But at the same time, we have so many great things that can happen to us as well.
As for 2020, I’m going into it with good wishes and good focus. I’m not setting any words or phrases for the year because I want to be flexible, look at things, see what I can take away from them, and keep moving forward. But if you have any words, phrases, or intentions for the year, please share them in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
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