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Musings from the coach

“The customer is always right” is perhaps the most-used and followed quote in any retail industry, especially in sales and marketing. It is believed that legendary retail magnate, Harry Gordon Selfridge, coined the phrase just to educate his team to empathize with the customers. Back then, there was no social media or website for customers to convey their complaints so they had to connect directly with the sales or support team to address any problem. 

In this digital age, this quote doesn’t fit the operational strategy of any business. Social media has made communication a two-way street. When a misinformed customer defames your brand publicly, they’re not right. Identifying the ideal client is more crucial than simply finding customers for your business.

Before exploring high-value customer acquisition, let’s briefly examine the importance of finding the right customers.

Customers or clients are the end users of the product or services you offer. They pay for it and expect a kind of satisfaction to justify that payment. It is because of customers that a business exists. To sell your products or services, you need customers or clients to buy them. To boost sales, rely on word-of-mouth promotion from customers who refer friends and family. Building brand value and credibility requires showcasing an impressive company track record. So finding high-value customers, or to be precise, finding the right customer, is crucial to the growth of any business.

How to find customers for a business?

The question that most companies or brands in the retail or service industry are trying to seek new answers to is probably how to find business clients, or how to find the right customers for their business. Here are a few tips to help you identify your target customer or business client.

Identify your strength

Your brand should address a market need or offer an improved solution compared to existing alternatives, for products or services. Find out where your product or service stands out. Consider factors like delivery timeframe, product quality, customer support, or innovative technology used in your product/service. This can help you stand out among your target customers.

Find the customer’s pain point

Study the pain point of customers or clients within your niche industry and market. Try to find out what they want in a product or service. If it is exactly what your product or service stands out for, then congratulations! You have discovered your target customer range.

Set expectations for customers

Create a brand message conveying that your product or service can fulfill customers’ expectations. The first thing any customer or client wants to know is what they are paying for. People who get a valid answer to this question from you are your customers.

Hire a team to convey your brand message

The final step in finding customers is making them aware of your presence in the market. Hire a talented team to get the word out through social media, emails, text messages, or even personal calls. The answer to where to find customers for your business will be “everywhere”. Customers can be worldwide; social media connects people globally, making borders irrelevant. So go and find your customer who will happily pay to consume your product or service.

How to identify the best customers for your business?

Knowing how to find customers for business, differentiate valuable ones from time-wasters. Recognize red and green flags to identify the ideal client for your business. 

How to find customers for business – red flags

As we mentioned earlier, the “customer is always right” mindset is not a feasible approach or principle in today’s market. Not everyone who can or is ready to pay for your products or services is eligible to be your client or customer. Here are a few ways to identify the red flags if you want your business to grow.

Study customer behavior

Customers may have unattainable expectations, which is normal. Unsatisfied customers may switch brands or stay to complain without adding value. The latter doesn’t help your business. For instance, a customer purchased a wardrobe from you but a week later, demanded 100 percent cash back because the furniture did not complement the décor or is not spacious enough to meet the need. 

Wasn’t this the customer’s responsibility to choose the right product? And what if the customer wants to keep the product for free since many sellers don’t request the return because the logistic expenses of the return might exceed the product price? Adopt a clear “no return” policy because complaints from these customers will never end.

Set perspectives for the team

Perspective is the culture, mission, and goal of your company that employees should never sacrifice to satisfy a customer. If your company has a certain policy or uses a particular technology to manufacture products, and the customer wants to change it or feels it is not worth the price, then it’s time to step back. Train your team to be polite with the customers but also teach them where to draw the line. In seeking how to find customers for a business, employees should not break company policy or business principles.

Accept that the customer is not right

The customer support team should learn to say ‘No’ to the customer making illogical demands, but in the process, they should not be offensive or rude. Some customers can be abusive to employees, which is why your management should support the team instead of the customer. If the team gets no support, they might move to better opportunities or worse, turn against the company because they have no one to support them.

Don’t try to retain bad customers

Customer dissatisfaction is real and a daily issue. Even companies like Apple and Google face this, yet they are globally renowned brands and tech giants that budding entrepreneurs look up to. Learn the reality that it is impossible to satisfy everyone paying for your products or services. In case the customer is misinformed about the product and has wrong expectations or is unable to optimally use the product, it is the responsibility of your team to explain the product in detail to the customer and guide them in the right direction. 

Loyal customers are likely to understand the situation and change their minds, but those looking at it as an opportunity to exploit you will always have a reason to be dissatisfied. Look for the signs and eliminate those customers or clients as soon as possible. These customers are more likely to publicly defame your brand in expectation of gifts or discounts on their next purchase, and the cycle continues.

Want 10 quick wins to turbocharge your growth today? Get Your FREE Business Cheatsheet!

How to find customers for business – Green flags

Now that you know what not to do to find an ideal client for business, here is a list of things that you must do to identify high-value customers and retain them.

Know your primary customer

Sometimes, your primary customer may not be the company purchasing your product but the end user. For example, if you are selling door fittings to a furniture company, then that company is not the customer you should be concerned about, it is people buying the door from that company that has your fittings on it.  In case the consumers complain that the fittings rust easily or lack the sheen and design they want, then the furniture company might switch to another vendor for door fittings. 

A contradiction to the above example can be a digital streaming platform or an OTT platform like Netflix. The platform will never consider the viewers as its primary client or customer because, at the end of the day, it is the content that drives subscriptions to the platform. So the focus will always be on collaborating with the best movie directors or musicians to get the best content on the platform to scale up viewership. 

Asses profit potential

Understand the values of the customers to determine the customer’s ability to deliver profits. There can be several others offering the same products as you. The price range of your competitors can be the same or even less, making it even more challenging to retain customers. If you can assess the value of your customers or their exact expectation that only your product meets a certain price range, then most likely that customer will stay to help your brand grow.

Develop resources to meet expectations

Understanding your customer can also help you improve your products or services to stay ahead of your competitors. Many corporate giants allocate resources to tailor the products per the geographical or social requirements of a region. Consider the example of cosmetics and personal care brands. They personalize products according to climate and skin type without compromising brand value. Find what your customer is looking for. Whether it is price, quantity, quality, or technology, hire a team that meets your needs, and you will never have to worry about how to find high-value customers again.

Flow with the trend

With time, technologies evolve, and with that, customer preferences will change. You cannot expect to sell the same product for decades and expect to beat competitors in the market. Instead of believing that your product is the best, always have room for innovation and experiments. Look for new technologies and developments in the market to evolve with the trends, and deliver outstanding products and services to clients. If you focus on offering better products every year, your customers will certainly value your product, and you will never ask how to determine the value of your customers.

Dedicated customer service

Today, business transactions are occurring digitally. From placing an order to tracking the shipment and even payment, everything is digital, so it is obvious that customer feedback will also reach you digitally. This is where you can get excellent organic word-of-mouth promotion for your brand if you can develop a great CRM system. The customer support team should address every problem and concern of the consumer or client while preserving the principles of the business and the brand’s vision. A CRM system is highly responsible for not just filtering out the right customers but also turning them into loyal customers who will add value to your brand. 

Final Thoughts

The question of how to find customers for business should now take a backseat as the growth mantra should be to “Find ideal clients for business”. The right customers can prove to be long-term assets to your company, so never lose them to a bad CRM system or lack of innovation in your production policy. Customers will have complaints and concerns about your products and services because when they are paying for something, they want the best for themselves. This is normal and should be taken positively as feedback to improve and grow. However, you must consistently identify the red flags here and allow bad customers to leave for good. Ignoring red flags not only affects your company policy but will adversely affect your brand’s market image in the long run.

Larry Vivola is a successful business coach who coaches entrepreneurs anywhere in the world via Zoom. If he’s not coaching he’s making meatballs and entertaining friends and family!

Free Advice Sucks! Invest in a one-time strategy session and pick Larry’s brain to help solve a pressing problem, discuss an idea, or brainstorm how to give your business performance a Turbo Boost!!! In the end your investment will yield you more money, time, and happiness! 

Sales growth is imperative to any business in any industry because it is the main source of revenue generation. Sales help build loyalty and trust among the brand and customers. This is probably why big brands and corporate giants have separate budgets to invest in sales. But what about small businesses? Small businesses often experience the dilemma of whether or not to hire a salesperson. As small businesses or start-ups are run by inexperienced entrepreneurs, they often make the mistake of hiring a salesperson too early or too late. Having a salesperson for a small business is crucial to its growth, but determining the correct hiring time is the real game-changer. 

If you own a small business and are often bothered by the question, “Are sales reps worth it?” Then this article is for you. Hiring a salesperson for a small business can be tricky as timing plays the main factor. This article will discuss several criteria that can be your go-to guide in hiring a salesperson for small businesses or at least help in making well-informed decisions. So let’s begin.

Are sales reps worth it?

Some entrepreneurs might think that having a dedicated person for sales isn’t necessary as the company already has a great product in high demand. This can be a big mistake that you will realize going forward. Apart from selling products and services, sales reps also represent your brand. They go the extra mile in establishing brand credibility and awareness in the market. 

A sales rep interacts directly with potential and existing customers through various communication channels like social media, emails, phone calls, etc. This way, they can collect valuable feedback from the end users. As a result, this helps enhance the quality of products and services. Sales reps not only negotiate with leads but convince them about the brand or the product they are selling. Through field activities and from the office, sales reps work to streamline a company’s entire CRM system. 

A salesperson or a sales team is one of the valuable revenue-driving channels for a company, especially start-ups. Hiring a salesperson at the right phase of growth can multiply revenue and also boost overall productivity, brand credibility, and customer relationships.

How to develop a model before hiring a salesperson for a small business?

Now, you already know the importance of hiring a salesperson in a small business. Next, you have to understand how to optimally utilize their skills for growth. Expecting a salesperson to take the entire responsibility of lead generation from the first day will be illogical. Even an experienced and skilled salesperson will need a sales model to understand the product and pitch it to the customer. As an entrepreneur, you have to design a sales model that will be the tool for sales reps.

Having a fool-proof sales model will not only scale up lead generation, but will also make the hiring worth it. Once you see profit multiplying, paying the sales rep well will not be an issue even with limited funds. To achieve this, you have to study your product and your customer. 

Figure out what the unique service or selling point of your product is. And then think about how it will benefit the customer. Once your concept is clear, try to make some sales. The moment you try this, you will face rejections from customers, which is normal. Even after an amazing sales pitch, the person might hear, “I agree this is a great product, but…”. If you can counter the “but”, you will have a tried and tested sales model for your business. 

There can be multiple reasons behind rejections from customers like pricing, quality, delivery, etc. Keep a positive approach to these rejections, and try to work on them. This will only improve your product and lessen the number of competitors in the market. According to experts, an entrepreneur must close at least 10 to 20 sales before hiring a salesperson. Some studies even suggest that founders of a business should continue selling their products or services for at least 2 months before recruiting a salesperson for a small business. This way, they can save on CTC. They will also have a working model to generate revenue immediately with no trial or error.

When not to hire a salesperson for a small business?

Before learning when to hire a salesperson for a small business, you should know when not to hire one. Knowing this will help you avoid costly mistakes. Most entrepreneurs look at sales reps as a shortcut to generating revenue funnels. This is a common and potentially costly mistake. If you own a start-up or if you have just launched a product with no idea how it will perform in the market, the wise decision will be not to immediately hire a salesperson. First, test the sales yourself, assess the market, remove the flaws in your products, and then hire a sales rep to follow in your footsteps. 

This way, you can ensure your sales rep will pitch your version of the product or service in a time-tested way. Hiring a salesperson in a small business will never scale the growth, instead incurring heavy losses. Start-ups often run on limited funds so they cannot afford to pay someone for an undecided trial and error period before they truly start selling. Businesses scale with the right planning, and hiring a salesperson or developing a sales team tops the list here. 

As an entrepreneur, only when you feel confident enough to train and guide a salesperson to create revenue funnels should you hire a sales rep. If you hire too early, you may end up firing staff who would have been invaluable for your company.

When should a small business hire a sales rep?

This can be confusing for entrepreneurs of growing businesses. Some start-ups scale quite easily while others need a lot of fueling. In such cases, entrepreneurs of already scaling businesses might not feel any urgency of hiring a salesperson. Delaying hiring a sales rep for too long can also result in missing out on new opportunities. You might also burden yourself with too many responsibilities. So when should a small business hire a sales rep? The answer is when the business needs it to grow with complete potential.

Even if you are closing a fair number of sales by yourself, you should never think of cutting down the cost by not hiring a sales rep. As the owner of a small business, you need to focus on several areas of the business and sales, which requires you to devote substantial time. This is where other areas of business like management, production, and even CRM might suffer. 

Another factor can be lead evaluation and sales opportunities. Evaluate the demand for your product in the market, and check if you can meet or boost customer engagement. If you cannot, a sales rep can be a helping hand. As your business scales, the revenue the sales rep generates will also scale, so affordability will not be an issue.

Want 10 quick wins to turbocharge your growth today? Get Your FREE Business Cheatsheet!

Is hiring two salespeople better than hiring one?

Market experts often suggest hiring two sales representatives instead of one. This will help entrepreneurs conduct a comparative study to figure out what works and what does not. If one of them excels and the other fails, you will know that there is nothing wrong with your product, the market, or your sales model. 

Hiring a salesperson in a small business puts you at a risk. Even if you have a proven sales model, the person might fail to blow it up, making you doubt your assessment. You might think of re-doing everything from scratch, which is not at all required. Hiring two sales reps provides the advantage to know if anything is truly wrong and how to immediately fix it.

How to know if my business is ready to hire a salesperson or a team?

There is no clear answer to when a small business should hire a sales rep. However, there are a few signs that your business is ready for a salesperson. Some consider affordability, and some assess the demand or the urgency to increase revenue. These might be determining factors for hiring a salesperson in small businesses but not the primary ones. This article will reveal all the signs that can be hiring calls for a sales rep in a small business.

Signs that your business is ready for a salesperson 

Slow response time to leads: The right customer engagement will bring a faster response, leading to higher conversion rates. if your leads are responding late or not at all, then they are not getting enough attention.

You are overburdened: You are finding it difficult to make sales and run the business at the same time. Hiring a salesperson means you will have more time to devote to other aspects of your business.  

Too many leads to handle: Leads can never go unattended. If your customer base is growing and you find it difficult to engage with all of them, this can be a sign to hire a sales rep.

Missing out deals: Business deals are coming and also walking out the door because you do not have time to attend to them. Hire a sales rep so you avoid missing new opportunities.  

Failing to keep up with the market trend: Market trends change and with that, customer behavior also changes. You might need to tap a new market or target a different customer base, but you are too occupied with other things. A salesperson can assist you in generating new revenue streams. 

Quality is becoming a concern: End-user feedback is crucial to judge the quality of your product. If your customer complaints are not immediately addressed, hire someone to guide the production team and enhance the quality of the product.

CRM system is suffering: It is necessary to figure out the pain point of the customers and engage with them to maintain an ever-growing customer base. If you cannot dedicate your time, get a salesperson on board. 

Existing team feels overworked: If you find your existing sales team is failing to cater to the rising number of leads or feel exhausted, it’s time to expand the team. Hire new salespeople to join the force and contribute to the company’s growth. 

Business is growing exponentially: Growing businesses will have growing needs, and sales are no exception. With the rise in lead generation, the CRM system has to improve, which is where the sales team plays a crucial role. 

Finding the right salesperson for a small business

Recruiting the right talent who perfectly aligns with the company’s values and fully understands the product can be challenging. Hiring experienced sales reps is a feasible option, but the cost can be higher. Training a new employee is a good option, but you must wait for a while to assess their performance. There are a few ways to find the right salesperson with the right experience and approach. Check the options below to pick the one that suits your requirement. 

Part-time hiring: small businesses can hire a part-time salesperson to generate revenue funnels without burdening the budget. Affiliate programs or incentive-based hiring programs are great options here. 

Staffing agencies: These agencies remove the headache of finding the right talent through an intensive screening process, but the services are expensive. If you can afford them, then look for staffing agencies that specialize in the sales niche. 

Job boards: Online platforms will get you a huge number of candidates to choose from, but the short-listing process can be tedious. If you want more options and experience is not a determining factor, try this. 

Referrals: This is a safe option to find a candidate. The negative is that if the candidate does not work out, it can affect your relationship with the referee.  

Final thoughts

Hiring a salesperson for a small business is always a good idea if you know the exact time to expand the team. The process should always start by making sales and developing a foolproof model before hiring a salesperson. To expand the sales team, you can consider several factors to ensure your business does not jump into losses while chasing revenue growth. 

If any part of this equation is not falling into place, review your plan and your product to understand where it is failing. Even the most experienced sales professionals will not understand your business the way you do. They can only blow up your idea and sales target to bring incredible growth. If you find anyone who can do this, ensure the salesperson has the right tool to utilize their skills to benefit your business.

Larry Vivola is a successful business coach who coaches entrepreneurs anywhere in the world via Zoom. If he’s not coaching he’s making meatballs and entertaining friends and family!

Free Advice Sucks! Invest in a one-time strategy session and pick Larry’s brain to help solve a pressing problem, discuss an idea, or brainstorm how to give your business performance a Turbo Boost!!! In the end your investment will yield you more money, time, and happiness! 

The road to success in business is a challenging one. The stress of competition, the pressure to perform, and deadlines can take their toll on the mental health of business owners. Entrepreneurs are constantly battling against themselves – thinking they could be doing more, working harder, and succeeding faster. It’s no wonder that a 2015 UC Berkeley study found 72% of entrepreneurs have mental health concerns.

Although mental health awareness has recently increased, our prevailing social narrative about entrepreneurship doesn’t make matters any easier. Business moguls will invariably tell you the same thing if you ask them how to make it as an entrepreneur: to be successful, you have to be willing to pay the price. Press them further, and they’ll tell you success sometimes demands overlooking your relationships, your health, and even your emotional well-being. The idea is that hard work will lead to freedom and ultimately help you build a new life.

In a past interview, Tesla CEO Elon Musk dropped this gem for aspiring entrepreneurs, “Just work like hell. You just gotta put in 80-100 hours per week, week after week.” Because of that, many business owners have come to see it as a badge of honor to work day and night. Sadly, the average entrepreneur has no idea how much pressure they are under until it becomes too much for them.

Entrepreneurship Burnout and Mental Health

If we followed Mr. Musk’s suggestion, working an 80-hour week would mean working 13 hours a day six days a week. A 100-week hour means 16 hours of work per day for six days. Working this hard is stressful. It also leaves little room for everyday things like socialization, exercise, or sleep. The culmination of these challenges can result in burnout, the first of many mental health concerns entrepreneurs face. A recent Hubspot survey of over 300 entrepreneurs found that 63% of business owners experienced burnout at some point in their journey. The World Health Organization defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. It is characterized by:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance from your job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to it
  • Reduced professional efficiency

Burnout occurs when people feel overextended or overwhelmed by their responsibilities or lack of control over these obligations. This can lead to long-term effects such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Low self-esteem
  • A sense of ineffectiveness or failure
  • Reduced productivity
  • Absenteeism
  • Suicide in extreme cases

This means that entrepreneurs who don’t know how to deal with work pressure can be more prone to multiple mental health issues, which will make them less likely to handle problems effectively in other areas of life.

Why Mental Health Is Important for Entrepreneurs

Mental health refers not only to an individual’s emotional well-being but also to their cognitive functioning, physical well-being, and social life. Achieving this balance is crucial for several reasons:

Mental health affects productivity

It is tough to focus on work and give your best effort when you’re not feeling your best mentally. This makes it harder to handle the demands of your business, resulting in decreased productivity. On the flip side, prioritizing your mental health empowers you to handle the demands of your business more effectively and become more productive overall.

Mental health affects decision-making

Mental health can also impact your ability to make sound decisions. When you’re struggling with your mental health, you may be more prone to impulsive or rash decision-making, which can negatively affect your business. Taking care of your mental health allows you to be in the best possible state of mind to make informed and strategic decisions that benefit your business in the long run.

Mental health affects relationships

Entrepreneurs rely on a network of colleagues, employees, and clients to succeed in their business. Poor mental health can negatively impact relationships and make it difficult for you to communicate effectively and collaborate with others. Staying on top of your mental health allows you to maintain positive and productive relationships and create a supportive work environment.

Mental health affects overall quality of life

Lastly, mental health is an essential factor in overall quality of life. As we discussed earlier, poor mental health can lead to feelings of sadness, loneliness, and a lack of fulfillment. These feelings may manifest in unhealthy habits such as overeating, substance abuse, or workaholism. Consequently, maintaining your mental health helps you improve your overall well-being and enjoyment of life.

6 Strategies to Promote Mental Health for Business Owners

For many business owners, poor mental health comes from an inability to strike a work-life balance. It’s easy to get caught up in the demands of running a business and neglect your well-being in the present as you work toward a “great” future. However, that will only be possible if you maintain good health. Without you, the business won’t survive, leave alone scale to the epic proportions you dream of.

While working hard in the early stages of your business is unavoidable, you don’t have to work yourself to death to succeed. Multiple studies prove that can actually be more counterproductive. With that in mind, here are 6 strategies you can use to help promote your mental health:

1. Learn How to Set Boundaries

If you’re like most people, you chose entrepreneurship because of the promise of flexibility and freedom in the future. That has been named as one of the top reasons for the mass exodus out of the workforce since the pandemic.

However, entrepreneurship can be challenging to hack, especially in the early days. Between adapting to tech trends and keeping up with the competition, you can feel overwhelmed and unable to live up to what you had in mind. While the occasional all-nighter and 16-hour day may be okay as you scale, beware not to make that your lifestyle.

To avoid that, ensure you set boundaries between your work and personal life. This can involve setting specific times for checking work emails, delegating tasks to others, and taking time off when needed.

You might feel guilty when something doesn’t get done but don’t push yourself too hard, or there’s a risk that your body and mind will break down. Instead, be realistic with what you have time for within a particular time frame and what you don’t. This way, you’ll have the energy to focus on crucial tasks, become more efficient, and increase your productivity.

2.Take Time to Practice Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is not a luxury; it is a necessity. Self-care in this context refers to any activity that helps an individual take care of their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This can include exercising, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and taking breaks to relax and recharge.

These activities are scientifically proven to boost mental wellness. For example, regular exercise releases endorphins that improve mood, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem. Eating a healthy diet can also help alleviate the symptoms of mental health issues like depression and anxiety, in addition to helping manage your weight.

Mental health problems can lead to poor sleep patterns. Poor sleep patterns can exacerbate your mental health struggles. Making sure you get enough sleep each night can help you relax and recharge, improving your mental and overall health. (Adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.)

3. Learn to Seek Support

41% of small business owners feel lonely in their entrepreneurial journey. But entrepreneurship need not be a lonely journey. Admittedly, you might be the only one that really sees what your business can become if you don’t give up on it. You’re also the only one that loves it as it should be loved, especially if it’s more than just a means to an end.

That said, seeking support from loved ones and professionals such as coaches can help boost productivity and reduce the mental burden on yourself. Joining a network and connecting with other small business owners can also empower and energize you. These groups often have more experienced business owners who can mentor and help you navigate the everyday problems many businesses face.

Also, learn to build systems, delegate, and outsource where necessary. Let these individuals handle non-core functions to allow you to focus on what really matters in the business. This way, you’ll have more free time for yourself and your loved ones and ultimately boost your mental health.

Want 10 quick wins to turbocharge your growth today? Get Your FREE Business Cheatsheet!

4. Stay Organized

Business success is not just the result of having an innate talent for making decisions and being lucky. Good time management and organization skills are crucial to sustainable success. It also plays an important role in how business owners can maintain their mental health. Granted, it may not always be possible to stick to your schedule. However, staying organized can help you stay on top of tasks and reduce stress.

Most successful people have a daily routine that helps them stay organized. This can include waking up at the same time every day, clocking off at a specific hour, scheduling specific events periodically, etc. When you are organized, you can prioritize your tasks and focus on what needs to be done, which can help you feel more in control of your workload and less overwhelmed. Additionally, staying organized can help you save time by reducing the need to search for lost items or redo tasks that need to be completed more efficiently.

Here are a few ways business owners can stay organized to promote mental health:

  • Create to-do lists: To-do lists can help you stay on top of your tasks and prioritize what needs to be done.
  • Use productivity tools: Calendars, project management software, and note-taking apps can help you stay organized and manage your time effectively.
  • Please stick to your priorities: Unless it’s an emergency, ensure you stick to the specific tasks on your to-do list. This will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and promote your attempts to build a system.

5. Take Periodic Breaks

Working all the time makes your brain foggy. Taking breaks allows you to relax and feel rejuvenated, reducing stress, and improving your overall well-being. Try booking a vacation in advance and disconnecting from work entirely during that period.

Make time for hobbies and interests outside of work. Doing activities that bring you joy and fulfillment can help you recharge and improve your overall well-being. They can also serve as networking events where you grow your support system, which is good for the business.

Disconnecting from work-related devices during non-work hours can also help. Consider turning off push notifications or setting your phone to “Do Not Disturb” mode. You get more mental clarity when you’re not working all the time. That helps you see opportunities clearly and decisively act on them. This also boosts your creativity,allowing you to come up with better ideas and execute them faster.

6. Invest in Financial Literacy

Money can be a major source of stress and anxiety for many people. It’s one of the leading causes of mental health struggles in the US today.

When you are struggling financially, you may feel overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. These negative emotions can impact your overall mental health and well-being. Investing in financial literacy can promote your mental health by helping you better manage your finances and reduce financial stress.

When you have a good understanding of financial concepts and strategies, you are better equipped to make informed financial decisions and plan for the future. This can help you feel more in control of your business’s present and future and reduce financial-related anxiety and stress.

What to Do When Struggling With Mental Health

If you’re already struggling with your mental health, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone and that it’s okay to seek help. Here are a few things you can do to manage the issue:

  1. Reach out for support: Talk to a trusted friend or family member about how you feel. Having someone listen and offer support can help you figure out the next steps in your journey.
  2. Find support from a peer group or mentor: Sometimes, connecting with others experiencing similar challenges can be helpful. Consider joining a support group or finding a mentor to offer guidance and support.
  3. Take time off: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider taking a step back and taking a break. This will give you time to rest and recharge and help you return to your business with a fresh perspective.
  4. Seek help from a mental health professional: A therapist or counselor can provide the support and guidance you need to manage your mental health. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Many resources are available to help entrepreneurs manage their mental health and find support.
  5. Seek help from your primary care doctor: In some cases, mental health issues may require medical intervention. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, such as thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please seek help from a medical professional as soon as possible. Your primary care doctor can refer you to a mental health professional and help you get the care you need.

Final Thoughts

Starting and running a business is a challenging but rewarding journey. By prioritizing your mental health as business owners, you can better handle the challenges that come your way and build a more sustainable and successful business. Don’t be afraid to seek help if you’re struggling, and remember to take care of yourself along the way. Your mental health is just as important as your business, and taking care of yourself can better serve your customers and your community.

Larry Vivola is a successful business coach who coaches entrepreneurs anywhere in the world via Zoom. If he’s not coaching he’s making meatballs and entertaining friends and family!

Free Advice Sucks! Invest in a one-time strategy session and pick Larry’s brain to help solve a pressing problem, discuss an idea, or brainstorm how to give your business performance a Turbo Boost!!! In the end your investment will yield you more money, time, and happiness! 

Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely, stressful, and demanding job. This is especially true for small business owners trying to build themselves up. For many, the hustle is never-ending. Working 7 days a week with little to no rest, can seem like the only way to success. However, the hustle comes with a price. And for entrepreneurs without work-life balance, that price could be steep.

We all know how it goes. You begin with a slow start, and then you’re working nonstop to meet deadlines. After a while, it feels like you’re putting so much of yourself into the business that there’s nothing left for anything else in your life – family, friends, or personal health.

If this sounds familiar, this article is for you! We will discuss ways to create a healthy work-life balance. that leaves you feeling fulfilled while still hitting major goals. Read on to discover how to create boundaries between work and life, build healthier habits, and achieve balance to ensure you reach your goals while taking care of your mind, body, and soul.

What’s Work-life Balance for Entrepreneurs?

Many people use the term “work-life balance” to describe a happy and fulfilling work experience. For entrepreneurs, that typically refers primarily to finding enough time in one day for both your professional and personal life.

There are many different types of entrepreneurs, and they each have their own idea of what work-life balance means to them. Some will consider it a necessity, while others may see it as an added luxury or even unnecessary. No matter the case, there is one thing that all entrepreneurs must do if they want to succeed: be realistic about time management and understanding their needs.

The key reasons work-life balance can be so hard on entrepreneurs include stress, ambition, dedication, perfectionism, among others. The lack of financial stability, support from family members, and an overwhelming amount of tasks can also make it hard to strike a balance between professional and personal life.

Importance of Work-Life Balance for Entrepreneurs

Work-life balance is an important issue that can affect not only a business’s bottom line but also physical, mental, and social aspects. Workplace stress is related to hypertension, high cholesterol levels, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as lower cognitive performance. Stress also affects sleep patterns, which can lead to depression or other mental health issues such as anxiety disorders.

Research conducted by Stanford University shows that “Productivity per hour declines sharply when a person works more than 50 hours a week. After 55 hours, productivity drops so much that putting in any more hours would be pointless. And, those who work up to 70 hours a week are only getting the same amount of work done as those who put in the 55 hours.” A WHO report supports that study stating that “exposure to long working hours (≥55 hours/week) causes largely attributable burdens of ischemic heart disease and stroke.”

How Entrepreneurs Can Achieve Work-Life Balance

There are several things you can do to strike a better balance between your professional and personal obligations:

1. Forget About Perfection

The idea of an equal 50/50 balance between your personal and business life every day is ideal. In reality, this kind of work-life balance might be impossible for entrepreneurs to achieve. The truth is that the average person’s life is not the same every day. There are some days when you’re focused on work. On other days when you need to take care of personal needs. And then there are those in-between times when it feels like there isn’t enough time for either.

Instead of obsessing about striking a perfect balance, aim for a sense of equilibrium. You can do this by focusing on what’s most important in each area at any given time. For example, say you feel like your personal life is being neglected. Focus on how best to address those needs within a given timeframe. Take care of your needs by spending time with family or friends when needed. After that, you can better prioritize business tasks at other times. That way, you won’t feel guilty about neglecting your friends or sacrificing your work hours.

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2. Be Clear on Your Values

To find work-life balance means being clear on your values. For most entrepreneurs, it is all too easy to neglect your personal goals and priorities. Making a lot of money could be every entrepreneur’s dream. But that isn’t all that will make you happier or more fulfilled. One could try to fill the void in their life with more success and wealth. However most people find their discontentment deepening by the day if they take this approach. This often stems from losing sight of your values and neglecting your goals in favor of more monetary success.

The key is to know what you value most so that you can define your priorities, and then find ways to make those things happen at work too. As in other areas of life, your business success hinges on you as a person. What really defines you? What do you want for yourself? How are you spending your time? Once you identify that, you’ll need a strategy that is both sustainable and fulfilling in the long term.

3. Lean on Your Support System

It’s easy to become protective of something you’ve built from the ground up, including a business. Many small business owners feel their businesses are their babies. This makes them feel the need to do everything themselves because they don’t want anyone messing up. They don’t trust anyone else with responsibilities in their wheelhouse, and some may even doubt anyone else’s capability to handle them.

This mindset may seem like it would be advantageous because it’s all about making sure everything gets done at 100%, but realistically, this will only lead to burnout and misery. No one person can be everywhere at any given time, and that means you might have to stretch yourself too thin sometimes. This leads to stress, anxiety, and an inability to focus on what matters most to your business.

Learn when to delegate tasks. Not every task needs your attention, so learn what’s important enough to handle personally and what someone else on your team can do. Let others do the tasks you don’t need to be hands-on so you have enough time to deal with mission-critical tasks. Identify your team’s strengths, and let them help you achieve things that they may be better at than you are.

Some small business owners choose to empower family and friends who want to help. Your spouse, kids, and even close friends can help you free up time for non-urgent activities and leave room for you to work on more urgent and essential tasks. You can also outsource tasks like accounting to an agency if you can’t afford to hire a full-time employee, and no one in your circle has the expertise.

4. Establish a Routine and Stick to It

There’s no one-size-fits-all schedule that works for all entrepreneurs. Everyone knows what works best for them. You know when you’re at your most productive, the time of day you perform the best, and generally how many hours a day you can devote to a task without becoming drained. Some people are night owls, others are early birds, and others fall somewhere between.

Whatever the case, setting aside specific times during your day to take care of business will leave you more energized and less stressed. Start by establishing a start and stop time routine where you take care of important tasks first before distractions set in and then create time for other non-urgent work. Remember, you only have limited time each day for various activities, so the goal should be getting more done in less time.

As experts point out, working more hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re more productive than people who work fewer hours. Even though it might be challenging to reduce the long work week immediately, sticking to your schedule can help you work more effectively and make you more productive.

5. Schedule Time for Yourself

It’s easy to set time for everything and everyone else and forget yourself. However, you must remember that your business won’t exist without you.

Start by taking care of yourself: make sure you are getting enough sleep and exercising regularly so that you’re able to focus on the task at hand. Find your own balance between what’s best for you as an individual and what needs to get done for the business every day. It will take time, patience, perseverance, and maybe even help from others, but it’s doable.

For example, you might have to block some time each week for date nights with your partner or lunch with your friend. While that may take out the fun and spontaneity from your relationships for a while, doing that consistently might create a whole world of difference for you and your loved ones.  

Family aside, create room to advance yourself in other areas too. Learn a new hobby. Take a new class. Listen to a podcast on entrepreneurship. Read a book. Whatever you decide, ensure you don’t save everyone else and forget to add value to yourself.

6. Go Easy on Yourself

The media and culture have glorified “having it all” with “no excuses” as some sort of status symbol to be envied by others. We see this message every day in our social media feeds, on television shows, and through conversations with friends or family. Trying to keep up with all that can be extremely exhausting.

As entrepreneurs, we need to stop perpetuating these false expectations or our own guilt about not living up to the “standards” set by people in different circumstances than ours. Just remember that every person on this planet has different values, priorities, and needs in their lives, and their businesses could be at different levels from yours.

Give yourself permission not to be perfect in all aspects of your business. It’s impossible anyway! Also, give yourself grace for real and perceived failures. Entrepreneurship is a tough gig, and you’ll likely make many mistakes before you achieve all your goals. The key is to learn from them and adjust your path accordingly.

7. Use Technology Wisely

The line between work and personal life has been blurred in recent years with the advent of technology. With email, social media, and mobile devices, it’s so easy to be constantly connected.

The downside of this is that we are also tempted to check emails or answer a phone call during dinner time, which can lead to a feeling of not getting away from work at all. It’s challenging to pay attention to other things if you’re constantly bombarded with messages, notifications, and other digital distractions.

An excellent way to maintain a balance is by setting clear boundaries with technology. Make sure you switch off your phone, tablet, or computer before leaving work for the day, don’t check emails at night or over the weekend, and use apps like “Do Not Disturb” on your phone to prevent notifications from popping up while you’re busy.


A healthy business owner equals a flourishing business. Despite everything going on in your professional life, you also need to take care of other aspects of your life. Some points to remember include allocating your time to maximize productivity while reducing stress, sticking to your schedule, and using technology wisely. Remember to go easy on yourself, and ask for help if you need it too. Finally, remember the goal is not having a perfect life but having a fuller, more fulfilling one!

We have created a free resource to help you optimize your business operations and become a more productive business owner. Download it today for more guidance on how to make your small business more efficient and profitable.

Larry Vivola is a successful business coach who coaches entrepreneurs anywhere in the world via Zoom. If he’s not coaching he’s making meatballs and entertaining friends and family!

Free Advice Sucks! Invest in a one-time strategy session and pick Larry’s brain to help solve a pressing problem, discuss an idea, or brainstorm how to give your business performance a Turbo Boost!!! In the end your investment will yield you more money, time, and happiness! 

In a market that’s continuously changing, small business owners have to make tough decisions to stay afloat, which includes the decision to raise business prices. The prospect of losing clients and disappointing them with a price hike is terrifying. Your first instinct may be to avoid it at all costs. After all, the last thing you want is to lose clients.

There are two schools of thought on raising prices: 1) You’re doing your job as a business owner if you keep raising prices because it’s part of the natural economic cycle, or 2) You’re greedy, price-gouging, and hurting people by charging more than they can afford to pay.

The truth is somewhere in between these two arguments. When you take a closer look at the market, it’s easy to see that raising prices is an essential part of running a successful business. As a small business owner, you need to understand that pricing strategies can only last for so long before you need to raise your prices or else lose revenue opportunities.

Why Do Businesses Need to Raise Their Prices?

In recent years, the cost of goods has been steadily increasing while wages have stagnated. This means consumers have less money in their pockets to spend on products or services. However, raising prices doesn’t just mean taking advantage of your clients. There are several reasons why this is important.

  1. The cost of doing business has gone up – it may be more expensive now to get supplies or labor. For example, gas and electricity costs have been steadily rising over the past few years, so you may be paying higher rates for those items as well. 
  2. A changing market – the demand and supply of goods and services in your industry is another reason you may need to raise business prices. More demand means prices automatically go up, especially if the competition offers similar rates.
  3. Inflation – this is the biggest culprit of volatility in most markets, forcing businesses to increase prices even if they’ve been selling at the same prices for years.
  4. Change in taxes or other regulatory fees that apply specifically to an industry. 

These are just some reasons why you might need to raise your prices. However, raising your prices might not be the cure-all for your business needs. In fact, it should be the last resort and part of a bigger business strategy that helps you cut costs and increase profitability.

If a price change is the only option, keep three things in mind:

  1. Raising your rates is actually good for your customers. The truth is that you can’t afford to continue offering great services and products if you can’t afford to keep your business open.
  2. Other business owners in your industry are likely charging what you need to charge because they have the same or similar overhead and budget.
  3. Customers need what you have to offer, and going out of business would deny them the opportunity to enjoy the product or service.

Understanding this will help you go to the next step in the process: approaching the price increase.

Raise business prices Inline Business Advisors

How to Implement the Price Increase

1. Calculate Your Cost of Goods Sold

Before you can determine how much you can charge for your services, you first need to do your math and identify the gaps. The cost of goods sold includes everything from the cost of your materials to the cost of your overhead. The company’s profit and loss statement can help you identify where the money goes.

A profit and loss statement, or P&L, is a summary of the revenue generated by your business and the expenses incurred to produce those revenues. It shows sales, costs of goods sold, gross profits, operating expenses, net income, or losses for a specific period. It also includes any other deductions like taxes and interest payments. If your expenses are greater than your revenue for an extended period, this could indicate that your business isn’t profitable enough, and it’s time to make some changes.

Note: You must understand what it’s costing you to understand what you’re charging.

2. Analyze the Numbers

Once you know your cost of goods sold per year, break it down to daily and hourly costs, and compare that with your products or services to figure out your price per hour. The goal here is to identify what you are actually making per product or service per unit of time. This process can help you identify areas you need to scale up or scale back to achieve your target profit.

Beyond the tax burden, health insurance needs, overhead costs, etc., consider upcoming expenses like computer replacement, time spent on marketing and promotion, and similar factors. This will provide a better picture to help you set a new price. It might even surprise you to learn that you don’t really need to significantly raise the price to turn a profit using the same model.

However, there’s still one more thing you need to do before setting the new price.

3. Reevaluate Your Target Market

Who is your target market? Are you already serving it? Do you need a new target market? These are some of the key questions you need to ask yourself before setting new prices.

If the people you serve can’t afford the actual price (what it costs you to create and distribute the product), they are not your actual target market. You need to find new ways to serve them or introduce a new product specifically for them.

If you’re confident about who you intend to serve, assess the actual damage your new prices will cause. How many of your customers will the new prices actually impact?

If you have been in the business for a while, your repeat customers should be a big consideration. Are you willing to lose them should prices be higher than they are willing to pay? Can you afford to lose them as you look for a new target market that can afford what you have to offer?

Ultimately, the question is simple: Are you willing to lose the wrong people to create the time and energy to find the right ones?

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How to Raise Business Prices Without Losing Clients

In an ideal world, your clients desperately need your services, and they wouldn’t want to lose them. They would accommodate your price changes with no fuss, and you wouldn’t even have to worry about telling them.

However, life is not perfect, and clients also have expenses to consider. There’s no magic number that will please all customers who need your products or services no matter how hard you try. For that reason, be prepared to LOSE some clients based on your new prices.

That said, retaining your existing customer base is cheaper than trying to attract new ones. There are several strategies you can use to minimize the damage.

1. Communicate Price Changes

Preparing your marketplace for the new pricing structure should be the first thing on your to-do list. How you announce a price increase in your business can make or break the entire process. Be proactive and let the customers know why prices are changing and, if possible, how you got to the new prices. If you don’t control the narrative, your competition will control the messaging, which will cost you.

Don’t wait until after taxes or other special promotions occur before informing customers through direct mail or email campaigns. (Note: if price increases affect orders already placed by customers, it should be done promptly; those changes should not retroactively affect existing customer agreements.) Don’t leave anything up in the air or offer specific pricing information beyond general estimates without letting subscribers choose between multiple options (“yes”, “no”, etc.).

No matter how hard that may be, customers want to have the correct information to make educated decisions. Just as you can’t run your business effectively without a budget, neither can they decide without good details. Most consumers are on buyer forums where users share information about different products and services, prices, and performance.

Ultimately, the right customer who understands the value of your process and the end product will not budge. That will win you more customers than you lose. To avoid the worst hits, start looking for new customers who will value your price point, experiences, and process best in the meantime.

2. Repackage Your Offers

Additional value often sweetens the pill. Ensure you level up the anticipated value or general client experience from start to finish. Consider ways to increase the customer’s perceived value in what you’re selling to make them feel they’re getting a whole new product or service. When you raise business prices, you can help your client feel they are getting more value for their money.

Pro tip: Create a one-time service you can repeatedly provide without additional time strain on yourself. Think e-books, videos, training resources, etc. Alternatively, repackage what you’ve already created into something new you can charge more for.

3. Consider the Timing

This might be the trickiest part when you raise prices in your business. On the one hand, you probably want to increase your profitability immediately, and raising the prices will fast-track that. On the other hand, you want to prepare your customers, especially the regulars.

Keep the old prices indefinitely for this group if you really love them and are willing to lose a bit of money when you’re providing services or products to them. If necessary, you can also grandfather them and keep them in the old pricing structure. However, this is only recommended for high-integrity clients who won’t try to hoodwink you by acquiring services or products at that rate for their friends.

For other clients, the holidays are a good time to raise business prices. Most retailers actually do that because people are often too busy doing holiday shopping to look at the pricing too closely. If the parties involved signed contracts, including the new prices at the beginning of the new contract. You can also introduce new prices at stipulated times, like the beginning of each year, quarter, etc., for some businesses.

4. Create Limited Time Offers

This is an effective way of preparing customers for a coming price change without losing them. Let the customers know you will be selling your service or product at a given price by a certain date, but before then, they can still get it at the old price. This creates a sense of urgency that encourages prospective customers who may have been on the fence to try the service or products. It also encourages regulars to renew their subscription or buy additional products before the scheduled date.

5. Empower Your Sales Teams

In most businesses, sales professionals are responsible for communicating price changes to consumers. As a small business owner, you should ensure this team can handle this responsibility and tackle all ensuing matters satisfactorily. Work with the marketing department to help craft appropriate pitches and responses, particularly from your biggest clients.

Negative feedback is a major factor to consider. Customers will invariably complain about the new prices and may even make unfair comparisons. Ensure your team can competently handle this while holding its own throughout the process.

6. Track Price Changes

The main goal of setting a new price is increasing your company’s profitability to avoid sinking. However, it’s a delicate dance you must execute with utmost caution since you don’t know how the market will receive it.

Track customer feedback to capture what the market feels about your new prices. That, combined with the total sales revenue and the volume generated within a given period, should tell you how well your new prices are doing and give you insights on what to improve. Also, if you can, perform periodic price testing to remain informed on sustainable and optimized prices in your industry.

Final Thoughts on Price Increases

Setting new prices is inevitable at some point in your business, but that requires wisdom to execute. However, that it’s challenging and nuanced shouldn’t be a reason to put it off if you want to survive the entrepreneurship rollercoaster.

There’s more to business profitability than a price increase. This resource has more tips to help you run and manage a successful small business. Download it today for free!

Larry Vivola is a successful business coach who coaches entrepreneurs anywhere in the world via Zoom. If he’s not coaching he’s making meatballs and entertaining friends and family!

Free Advice Sucks! Invest in a one-time strategy session and pick Larry’s brain to help solve a pressing problem, discuss an idea, or brainstorm how to give your business performance a Turbo Boost!!! In the end your investment will yield you more money, time, and happiness! 

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