Well, the festive season is definitely in full swing! Social plans, parties, gift wrapping, food shopping, and an array of other activities, will have increased a lot; especially, if you’re a super busy mum. If, like many mums, you started a side hustle during that strange time during lockdown, congratulations; you’re a total superhero! And, you’re likely to be even busier with everything during this time of year. A small business can be an excellent way to boost your income, so you made a financially savvy move. However, if you have work commitments already, along with family life, and everything else previously mentioned; you could be feeling quite overwhelmed.
Perhaps it’s time to think about elevating your side hustle so that it can become your main focus regarding your income. Nobody is saying you need to get to work right now (there’s way too much going on). However, there’s a new year approaching, and January can often be a quieter time, with room for reflection, implementing new ideas, and pushing things forward if needed. Therefore, if you do get a spare half an hour in between wrapping stocking fillers this Christmas; it could be the ideal chance to list the things you can begin doing to elevate your side hustle, to an independent business, when 2023 rolls around (which is pretty soon!). The following are some tips, ideas, and inspiration for busy mums who want to invest more into their business in the new year so that it can really begin to thrive.
Give Yourself A Space To Create
A busy household with the kids running around can be so much fun, but it doesn’t always create the most productive environment for you and your side hustle. Therefore, it could be time to think about setting aside an area of the home, or a whole room if you have the space, that will give you some peace, and a place to dedicate to your fledgling business. If you’re thinking of downstairs somewhere, as there are no spare bedrooms; pick the least used room in the house. An alcove or space next to a chimney breast is ideal. You can add a table or desk, and pop up some shelving above, for an affordable at-home office. Save more money by creating a surface and shelves from some wood in the shed, or offcuts from another DIY project. You could spend some of January painting it all in your chosen colour, and ensuring that it fits perfectly with your home decor.
Keep an eye out for some great deals on desks and shelving in the January sales, or; head to online auction sites, charity shops, and reclamation yards, as many will be having a clearout in the new year and you could grab yourself an absolute bargain. Don’t forget about lighting either; make sure the space is well-lit, and a joy to work in. Stock up on storage, stationery, and anything you need for your business; if it’s a service, or something online, it’s worth investing in the space you’ll need to be creative and think clearly.
Artwork, photos, inspiration boards filled with cutouts and postcards, along with some foliage from plants, will ensure that you have the ideal environment to be your most productive. Perhaps it’s even time to invest in a new computer, laptop, or phone; again, what better time than the approaching sales to get yourself a great deal (or, it’s not too late to ask Santa for something you really want and need!). Be mindful and set yourself a budget as it can be easy to overspend, and you’ll need all the spare money to invest in the business. Grab the comfiest seat you can find, and there’ll be no stopping you during the coming months, and hopefully, years ahead!
Invest In Your Customer Experience
If your side hustle has been going on for a while; you must be doing something right to give your clients or customers what they want. So, well done! However, it’s time to elevate their experience even more so that they become your very own brand ambassadors and spread good vibes about your business to everyone they speak to. If you feel like your customer care and what you sell or provide cannot be improved (well done); there are still ways to ensure your patrons are beaming every time they experience your business as a whole.
Therefore, it’s worth looking through your customer’s journey with you, in detail, from start to finish. Make sure that clicking through to your website or products, from your social media platforms or emails, is super simple and straightforward. Perhaps it’s the clarity of branding and marketing that could use an update or even a complete overhaul. It might be time to invest in expert help with these things; approach an agency with your budget, and they may just give you some advice on where they think things could be improved so that your business is consistent and working well to target your ideal audience. Look online to see what makes a great brand, and how to ensure people are clicking through to your site often and regularly.
Build a website and shopping experience that’s future-proof; again, you may need to invest in some help here. However, a well-built and functioning website is the best way to retain customers through a smooth experience. You could look into the best UK website chat app list so that you can ensure your website visitors feel taken care of when they visit your business online. Little courtesy messages or emails to enquiries, if you’re unavailable, go a long way in making customer service a caring experience for people. Make sure people understand that you’re a small, independent business, and be clear about your hours of availability. Often people respond well and will be mindful of your situation; however, the key is communication, so focus on this to give your brand a boost.
Ensure You Have A Strong Online Presence
Okay, so you’ve got somewhere that’s perfect to do your work, and you know your customers are going to have the best experience with you and your business (so they keep returning); now it’s time to ensure that plenty of them are flocking your way in the new year. It’s a digital age, and every business needs to have strength in its online presence; you’ll probably already have some followers on your social media, but you need to keep it growing so that your side hustle can do the same!
Therefore, it’s time to ensure that your fresh, or updated branding is across everything you’ve put online so that people can automatically link your products, content and pots to you. Make sure you stick to your brand identity and voice at all times; your customers will be investing in you and what you create so it’s important that they feel like they have a familiarity with what you’re posting each day. Speaking of posting each day; make sure that you plan your content at least a month in advance. You don’t want to bombard your audience with too many posts, and then run out of things or have to repeat them. Therefore, plan and create so that you can post regularly.
Elevate your social media posts by ensuring many have a call-to-action; you want people to engage regularly so that they look forward to what they see in their feed from you and feel part of your growing community. You could think about doing some competitions and giveaways; these are great for both engagement and growing followers, which will hopefully turn into customers! Encourage those who read your email marketing (which should also be regular), to leave feedback and testimonials that you can share online. Good and great reviews of a business are excellent marketing tools. You can enter those that leave feedback into a competition, to get more people to do so. Be creative with your giveaways and ensure they bring in traffic and sales.
Be Open To Change
At the risk of sounding cliched; the only certainty is uncertainty. This doesn’t have to be as gloomy as it sounds, so don’t worry. However, in such a fast-paced digital world; embracing change is the best way to survive and thrive as a small business. Even if the latest social media platform, or website tech, isn’t really your thing; it’s always worth keeping up to date on what’s growing in popularity. Being among the first to join or utilise something online, will ensure you remain relevant and you can do more of what you love within your business.
Therefore, take every new opportunity there is to share your small business online, as it could elevate it beyond what you ever expected. Look at TikTok; not many had heard of the app until 2020, and small businesses that went viral on there have gone from strength to strength. By no means is anyone telling you to pour everything you have into a video for a social media app; however, being open to change and new things will allow your business to grow naturally and for fresh eyes to see what you do. Now, go and enjoy Christmas; you’ve got a busy new year coming!