You wear a remarkable number of hats as a small business owner, so many that it’s hard to keep track of what needs to get done on a regular basis in all areas of your business.
You understand that you must have measurable goals
to see progress but what happens after you set these goals?
What are the monthly activities that are necessary to ensure your business’ success?
To help you, we’ve compiled the list of key monthly activities your small business needs to be successful.
Let’s dive in…
Key activity 1: Look at the analytics of what's working and what's not
The best way to track what’s working in your business and what’s not working is by using analytics.
Metrics like how many interactions on social media did you have this month? How many leads? How many customers? Repeat customers?
List out what are the deciding factors in conversions for your business - these are the top things you’ll want to track.
Key activity 2: Budget Review
Have you ever heard this phrase before?
“Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, but cash is king.”—unknown
In other words, it’s saying that if you don’t know your numbers and how much cash flow you have, you may be risking your business’ success.
Part of knowing your numbers is doing a monthly budget review. Not only will your future self thank you when you sit down to do your yearly taxes, but currently you can feel confident in your work and efforts.
Even more, your budget can help guide what goals you should be striving for, the tactics you utilize to achieve that goal (maybe hiring someone to help), and if you can try out some new campaigns to achieve it.
Key activity 3: Review goals and progress
What were you looking to accomplish this past month? What about this quarter? Year? Where are you in achieving that goal?
If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau in your business or that you are doing the same thing day in and day out, then it’s time to look at your goals and set new ones
Key activity 4: Strategic planning
Once you have goals, then you need a strategy to reach those goals, especially if you want to reach them quickly. This is where strategic planning comes in…
For every goal you set, you need tactics to reach that goal. It’s one thing for me to say “I want to make $5,000 in profits this month” and declare it into the world, versus set that goal and list out what it will take for me to reach it.
I recommend setting a minimum of 3 tactics for every goal you set and include why you are utilizing this tactic.
This can look like this:
- Post 2-3 times every day on TikTok (and also post as Reels on Instagram) for 30 days
- Improve my reach and brand visibility where I know my audience is
- Push people to opt-in and download my free guide to build my email list
- Send a newsletter sharing the benefits of various products and how I recommend using them weekly
- Keep top of mind with my email list, while showcasing why they want to utilize my products
- Add pop-ups throughout my website and on my Quick Links page, to incentivize people to purchase, showcasing my free shipping offer and 10% off if they opt-in to my email list
- I can immediately follow up with those who opted into my email list for the 10% off promo code, reminding them to purchase
- This adds additional pushes on the website to my ultimate action to purchase
Strategic planning isn’t having everything entirely planned out - that can be really hard as a business owner, especially when you are managing it by yourself with a small team. But it does allow you to really hone in your goals and actions so you don’t waste your time and resources.
When you do strategic planning monthly, you are checking in on your goals in regards to the analytics and budget you have available.
Using a Content Calendar is a great tool for consistency and organization. Wavoto's free Content Calendar Template
is designed to help you stay on track with all of your content/marketing strategies.
Key activity 5: Potential new campaigns
Once you set a strategy that is aligned with your goals, it’s time to consider creating new campaigns to help you reach your goals.
This can be a campaign around a new, evergreen lead magnet
or utilizing something new and fresh to capitalize on a traffic source or social update.
For example, Instagram is promoting accounts that regularly share Reels and utilize specific sounds. You could create a campaign to capitalize on this algorithm update by regularly sharing Reels.
Or you might want to jump on the latest trend everyone is raving about rapidly growing their business. Give yourself the opportunity to review if you have the capacity to take on a new campaign and the freedom to explore that idea.
Be sure you’re spending your time wisely by vetting any new trends following our 6 step process
Key activity 6: Content Planning
To be like the big players, you must post content. Posting content is an organic way to grow your business. So instead of just flying by the seat of your pants and posting content on a whim, not knowing if it will help you meet business goals or not, you can understand the impact your content will have.
Also, without planning, you’re more likely to skip posting content altogether!
Plan out your content to make sure it’s aligned with your strategy, targets your audience, and conveys the message you want to share.
Everyone wants to go viral. While you can’t guarantee your content will go viral, if you’re not planning it out and targeting your audience, you are hindering your content's ability to go viral and benefit your business.
This content ranges from social media to your blog or podcast and even includes your regular newsletter - it’s all the content you want to share over the next month.
Social media content calendar
Even if you’re small you can make a big impact on social media. There are plenty of stories on Instagram, TikTok, or Pinterest of small businesses owners taking off after regularly posting content.
The key to making an impact on social media is to stay consistent. And to stay consistent on social media, it is in your best interest to have a pre-planned content calendar.
(Can you tell I’m big on the “planning”?)
You can do this monthly, or - this is what I prefer - weekly batching content to schedule and post on social media.
Another way to grow and expand your reach is by prioritizing blog and podcast content.
You don’t even have to be posting or producing this content yourself, you can be a guest on other people’s blogs and podcasts or you can run your own.
But if you want to get featured on other blogs or podcasts, take a look at joining HARO (Help A Reporter Out)
. This is where established blogs, reporters, and podcasters go to find sources. You can sign-up for a daily email that sends out a number of requests across topics where you can be featured as a guest or with an expert opinion.
Newsletters are a great way to keep your audience informed and engaged with your business.
And sending out a regular newsletter is important because everyone is different. Here’s what I mean…
Some people may not be on social media, some may not listen to podcasts so by diversifying your content, you can stay top of mind for your audience.
And as much as people say “email is dead” - they are wrong.
It makes sense why they say this, though. Email inboxes are flooded every single day, emails don't appear to be opened as frequently, and read as quickly, but the facts say differently. In 2014 (when I first started tracking statistics around email marketing), email marketing had a return on investment of $44 for every $1 spent. This dropped over the next few years to $39 for every $1 spent and in 2020 was brought back up to $42 for every $1 spent.
Okay, a lot of numbers, here's what it means:
The money spent on building an email list and creating a relationship with those on your email list results in more sales for your business. It's true, in 2014 people got more sales from their email list than in 2018 (or even 2020), but the general monetary value you can have from your email list is unmatched by any other digital platform.
We suggest you start by committing to one newsletter a month if you’re not currently sending one out at all.
Key activity 7: Industry Updates
To stay on track, each month it’s a good idea to review any industry updates.
Has something changed in the industry? Is there a new product or business you need to be aware of? Is there a new up-and-coming competitor?
Take some time to look through industry news and keep yourself abreast.
One thing I like to do is set a Google alert for specific words, so when they show up in news articles, I get a notification right in my email and I don’t have to do any work searching it out.
Key activity 8: Make sure your business information is accurate
Have you looked at your Google Business Profile
to update any information? What about Facebook? Or even your website footer?
Are your business hours accurate? Is your email up-to-date? Did you recently update your Instagram handle and need to change your email signature?
These minute but important details can be keeping people from visiting your store. I have too many stories of trying to visit a business but not being able to because time and time again their business hours were not up-to-date or their website wasn’t able to load.
Key activity 9: Check your website links
Running a business is hard work, so to make sure all your time and effort is not going to waste make sure all your links are working on your website and in your funnel.
First, when your links are broken, it creates a bad experience for your users. Second, it impacts your search engine optimization, which makes your business harder to find online.
Key activity 10: Quick website audit
Similar to checking your business information and website links is performing a quick website audit.
Nothing too in-depth, but skimming your website pages to make sure everything is still looking how you want it, double-checking your buttons link where they need to, and checking your forms are still set for the right tag, as well as triggering your autoresponders.
Recently, I launched a campaign, double-checked everything, and then two months later noticed something funky happening with my autoresponder.
Well, I had set one email to the wrong date and it threw the whole thing off!
If I had performed a website audit where I briefly looked at everything I had running it would have caught this issue before it became a problem.
All you need is 15-30 minutes (depending on your website size) to keep you looking professional and put together.
One More Thing to Keep In Mind…
A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true. - Greg Reid
These monthly activities guarantee that your dream can come true.
They aren’t meant to give you busy work or distract you from your daily to-dos but help you see the big picture you’re working towards and your progress in getting there.
We’re making this easy for you - fill out the form below to get a copy of the 10 Monthly Activities Checklist to get reminders for the next year to check in with your dreams.
It’s hard to set new habits, let us help you by sharing this free checklist you can print off or keep on your computer as well as get a simple reminder in your email (or even on your phone via text).
Fill out the form below to get the Monthly Activities Checklist in your inbox right….now!