Finding Your Rhythm as a Small Business Owner

This is a guest post from Jori Hamilton (see her bio at the end) – thanks Jori…

You’ve launched your business, and things are moving in the right direction, but you’re not quite there. Things are a bit out of synch? Feel familiar?

You aren’t alone. Many small business owners struggle to find their rhythm after launching their companies. It’s challenging to find where you and your business belong in this world, let alone maintain that belonging if you find it.

Small business owners also fall victim to burnout because they have to wear a lot of hats. So, not only are you required to navigate business challenges, you are also working through personal battles to gain real momentum with your company.

No worries, though. You can strengthen your small business and your energy with a few tangible steps. Starting with focusing on your brand identity.

Focus on Your Brand Identity

Your brand identity is essentially how you present yourself to the public. It’s all of the following elements of your business put together in a way that speaks to who you are:

  • Voice
  • Tone
  • Messaging
  • Tag line
  • Visuals
  • Logo
  • Products/services
  • Core values
  • Mission
  • Personality

Your brand identity helps customers differentiate your company from your competition. It’s what comes to mind for people when someone mentions your business. What comes to mind should be positive and memorable. Continually improving your brand identity will ensure this happens.

Better your brand identity by:

  • Polishing your visual branding elements
  • Focusing on the entire customer experience 
  • Staying up to date with branding-related trends
  • Keeping up with your customer base’s evolving needs
  • Ensuring your business goals align with your brand mission and vision
  • Keeping your brand’s visual elements, tone, and messaging consistent
  • Designing a solid online presence that includes a professional website and social media

Your brand identity can also get a boost from a brand refresh or complete rebrand. You just have to know when to make either move.

Know When You Need to Do a Refresh or a Complete Rebrand

Finding your rhythm as a business owner may mean doing a complete business rebrand. Alternatively, a simple refresh of certain aspects of your brand might be all you need to keep things moving down the right path.

Either move could result in deeper customer connections, more promising brand recognition, and a solid name for yourself in your industry. However, these results depend on you making the right decision between a complete rebrand or a refresh.

Are your products and services completely different than when you started? Consider a complete rebrand. Mission changed? A complete rebrand might be the best option, too.

If all of your core business elements are still intact and progressing, but your visual elements and tagline are a bit dated, refreshing these things is suitable.

Be sure that you have a business reason for your rebrand or refresh also. It’s never a good idea to move forward with either just because you want to. Instead, your target audience and business goals should be at the forefront of your decision-making.

Furthermore, keep your customers informed about your plans to rebrand or refresh. Don’t spring it on them one day and confuse the heck out of them. Make them a part of the process.

Connect With Customers Regularly

Connect regularly with your customers about your rebrand and everything else about your business. Everything about your customers changes as time moves on. So, it’s critical to keep up with how they’re thinking, being, and living transforms. And how they transition into new needs, wants, and desires.

Your products, services, customer service, sales, and marketing approaches also have to elevate and evolve with your customers if you want your business to keep getting better. The way to do that? You guessed it, keep growing your customer relationships so they can guide your business evolution.

A robust online presence will help you stay in contact with your customers. Lean into social media and email marketing if you don’t have much money to throw at digital marketing. Also, spend some time on content creation. Be original and look outside of everything everyone else is doing.

With all this focus on taking care of your customers when finding your rhythm as an owner, be sure you’re taking care of yourself as well.

Fight Burnout With Everything You’ve Got

The opportunity to create is one of the most significant benefits of becoming a small business owner. You get to bring your vision to life. You get to help people in the way you always wanted to. At the same time, all that creative freedom and responsibility means you’ll be wearing many hats.

You can count on long hours, loads of work, and an always-on mind, especially initially. If you aren’t careful, you’ll burn out. Who will keep your mission going then? 

So, you must maintain a healthy work-life balance. This starts with recognizing the signs of creative burnout. These signs include mental and physical exhaustion, over-the-top irritability, dreading work, procrastinating because of that dread, and increased self-doubt.

Combat creative burnout by taking preventative measures like:

  • Pursuing personal passions
  • Switching things up in your daily routine
  • Unplugging at the same time each day
  • Taking frequent breaks throughout the day
  • Spending meaningful time with family and friends
  • Soaking up inspiration from various types of media

If you cannot prevent burnout and it happens, it’s best to find a way to take a break. A couple of days off could suffice, or an extended vacation may be necessary. If you can’t step away from your business to recharge, find a way to make things more manageable. How about building a team?

Build a Team

If you’ve managed to get your small business off the ground on your own and maintain that solopreneurship now, we applaud you. However, you can’t keep doing everything yourself for too much longer.

For one, you’ll burn out if you haven’t already. And two, you aren’t the best at everything in your business (no one is…).

It seems like you are right now because you’re the only one there. But there are people out there much better than you at marketing, creating content, doing finances, coming up with innovative solutions, and other business functions.

Imagine if you could get them on your team. How much would your business grow? How much faster could you find your rhythm in the business world? How much more motivated would you be to prosper?

You may not be able to hire permanent staff right now, and that’s okay. Look into assembling a team of freelancers, contract workers, interns, volunteers, and gig workers to give each department in your business a boost.

Take your time sifting through potential candidates. Look over their skillsets and experiences. Factor in if they’re a culture fit, too. Reach out to your favorites. Then, see if you can agree on a working arrangement that works for both of you.

Conclusion

Finding your rhythm as a small business owner is possible if you’re committed to the process. Focus on improving your brand identity first. Then, keep connecting with customers and learning their needs. Fight burnout like your life depends on it. And finally, build a team that can help you achieve your business’s next level.

Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of subjects but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity, marketing strategies, and HR solutions. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach

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