“Running a business is easy”, said no business owner, ever!

Do you have days where it all seems a bit too overwhelming and just plain hard work?

None of us knowingly launch our business with the expectation that all the hard work is done before we launch. We don’t truly believe that old saying, “build it and they will come”.

We know we will have to work on marketing in order to attract customers and sell stuff. Right?

But that doesn’t make it any easier to bear when the orders don’t start flowing in. Or when our marketing efforts aren’t working. Or when we spend more on advertising than we make back in sales.

The longer this situation goes on, the more anxious we are to see it change. We can get a bit desperate in our marketing efforts. Running deep discount sales. Posting like crazy all over social media. Joining Instagram ‘loops’. Boosting Facebook posts. And consuming as much free advice from all the marketing gurus we can find.

All in the hope that we can turn this bus around and reroute to profits-ville.

But in the process, we lose sight of why we started the business in the first place.

It all begins to feel ‘too hard’ and the temptation to chuck it in can creep up on us…

Here’s what to do when it all feels too hard BUT you’re not ready to quit!

When the going gets tough, here's how to get to the other side

What’s working and what’s not

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of feeling like we “must do all the marketing things” in order to be successful.

We must post 5x a day on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest. (What did I miss?)

We must create beautiful flatlays and have the perfect hashtag strategy.

We must be creating videos. Videos are, like, totally hot right now, right?

We must do markets. Collaborate with other business owners. Find 10 brand reps. Run a competition. Write more blogs. Advertise on Facebook. Email our list each week. Find new retail stockists. Blah Blah Blah.

It’s endless isn’t it?

Don’t. Just stop.

First, take a big deep breath.

Then, it’s time to work out what ACTUALLY works. For you.

Step 1: Remind yourself of your ‘why’.

Why did you start your business in the first place? Write that down.

Then think, has that vision somehow gotten lost along the way? Take a good look at your business, your website, your content, your marketing, and your products.

Does it all support your vision? Can your customers see that? Or has it morphed into a desperate sales and marketing attempt to sell stuff?

Step 2: Get the facts

Head to your website analytics (platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce have fantastic in-built analytics), or look at your Google Analytics.

Find the answers to these questions:

  • Where is the majority of your website traffic coming from? Google? Email? Social media?
  • What are they buying?
  • How much are they spending per transaction?
  • Where are they leaving your website (Home page? Add to cart page? Checkout?)

When you have your answers, take a good look at the marketing efforts you’ve been doing. Does spending all that time creating the perfect flat-lay for Instagram actually result in sales? If not, ditch the activity.

You need to hone in on what’s working and lose the rest. Life’s too short.

Then, work out where the holes are in your website. If you’re losing people at the checkout, make sure you get an abandoned cart email in place. And so on and so forth.

Be brave and be ruthless here!

Chunk it down and focus

Recently, I started training with a personal trainer, learning how to lift weights for the first time in my life.

I haven’t exercised consistently for a few years. (If I’m honest – nearly 8 years since before my last pregnancy!) Between running a busy business and parenting, I just never really made the time.

But with a major birthday looming, and getting sick and tired of not having the energy to keep up with my kids, I finally decided enough is enough. Time to get fit.

It is bloody hard and it hurts. A lot.

Frankly, there are so many other places I’d rather be than sweating it up in the gym.

There are many times when lifting another weight or doing another push-up has just seemed too hard.

Not to mention, when I look in the mirror I don’t look any different. This getting fit business takes forEVER!

But you know what? With the help of my trainer, I was able to keep my eye on my goal and chunk the tasks down to what I had to do right there and then.

What am I doing right now? What is my next step?

Without worrying about what I had to do later or trying to muster the energy to ‘do it all at once’.

And then I focused all my attention on effort on doing just that.

And it’s exactly the same in business.

You don’t need to try and do it all. You just need to work out ‘what’s next’.

What is the immediate next step I need to take to move my business forwards?

Then, what are the series of ‘next steps’ you need to take to reach your end goal and realise your vision?

Get some expert eyes on your biz

Just like I need my personal trainer right now to show me what to do to get fit and strong, to correct my technique and to encourage me to keep going, you may very well need that person too. For your business.

Getting the eyes of someone who has experience and qualifications relevant to your endeavour can accelerate your path to success. Take advantage of their experience across many different businesses.

If you are searching for that someone to push you through the tough spots, to guide and course-correct you and correct your technique along the way to ensure you are doing the best you can, it may be time to get a coach.

This is a great time to check out my private coaching program for Productpreneurs. I’ve created this so I can push you along, guide you, correct your technique and help you to just keep going.

I personally know what it is like to hit a tough spot in your business and how hard it can seem to move forward. But know it is a whole lot easier with someone in your corner pushing you to keep going.

Click here to book a free strategy session with Catherine

4 Comments on When the going gets tough, here’s how to get to the other side

  1. Sounds heaven sent!! Just wondering what the fees are after the initial talk?
    Also, I’ve signed up for the Magnetic Website Formula and am still trying to get that right! I’m not technical at all, and real life keeps interrupting.
    Love you and your information and know at some point I’d love to work with you if I could swing it.

    • Hi Deb, so lovely to hear from you again!
      Fees to work with me vary depending on what you need 🙂
      I’m here for you whenever you need/want!
      Catherine x

  2. Hi Catherine,

    I must admit I used to skim read your emails up until a few weeks ago I now head to the blogs and get the low down on the goods lol.

    My background …

    I’ve just gone 41, married to a extremely supportive man, we have three daughters 7, 5, & 3!

    I’m working from home with my business “Melz Morselz” – Cakes & Confectionery. Been in the business since 1992 but havent really pushed it till 2006 had a few breaks with babies but really want this to work as I know how successful it can be. Social Media is taking over, nothing like it used to be with mail drops and adverts or should I go back to that? lol

    I’m trying to get peoples heads around this is a serious business and not a hobby by any means. We’ve (family members/cousins)done the cafes and gift shops but we’ve all taken a step back for many reasons and so I’ve branched off on my own and from home. Its hard! I’m disciplined enough to do the work and organised – but its getting that work in. (We are looking at setting up a coffee and chocolate boutique just need the venue)

    Just re-launched with new branding, packaging etc etc and it was such a boost now I’m at that lull, and its winter! End of wedding season but need to book up for next season.

    Used MYOB for my website – what a joke! Just started a new one on WIX – what a difference already.

    Anyway I’m not exactly sure why I’m emailing you, its very lonely working from home lol … but I’m going to spend some time re-reading over your pages and come up with a plan and start being strategic as to how I can make this work!

    Thanks for the time and the chat, next time I’ll bring coffee!

    Find Melz Morselz on FB IG Pin

    • Mel I totally sympathise with how hard it can be to get people to take a home-based business seriously, when often they are much more profitable than you could ever make as an employee, particularly after you deduct all the childcare and after school care fees you’d have to pay!
      I wish you every success with your re-launch and your upcoming plans. And if you feel like you need some help generating more leads and sales then please sing out – that is my specialty 🙂
      Catherine x

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