Running a business of any kind can be tough. A speaking career is no different. Many entrepreneurs who left their office jobs to become professional speakers say they’ve gone from 9–5 to 24/7. It takes everyday effort to make sure your business keeps growing.
Whether you’re a solopreneur or part of a team, there are all sorts of things you need to figure out. This is why you should listen to the advice of those who’ve been there and done that. It’s always better (and way cheaper) to learn from someone else’s mistakes, rather than your own.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of good business advice out there. Let’s take a look at some of the best tips for running your business as smoothly as possible.
1. Separate Your Business and Personal Finances
When you’re an entrepreneur, your business and personal life become one. But the same shouldn’t be true of your money. From day one, you need to make sure to keep your business and personal finances separate. Otherwise you might run into all sorts of trouble.
First, you might mix up your finances and end up with no idea where your money comes from or goes to. On a more serious note, you might run into issues with the ATO and other legal bodies.
This is why you need to have a separate business account. Never accept or deposit any business-related payments to your personal accounts. This can only create confusion and make financial reporting a nightmare.
2. Let Your Accountant Take Care of Taxes
If there’s an institution that you don’t want to mess with, it’s the ATO. A small slip-up or honest mistake may be fraudulent in the eyes of the law. You don’t need this kind of trouble.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to leave this part of the business to an expert. Doing your personal and business taxes may be completely different, depending on how you’re set up. To be on the safe side, don’t assume you can handle both sets of taxes and bookkeeping on your own.
An experienced accountant can save you a lot of headaches. They’ll keep everything neat and lawful. In addition, the good ones stay up-to-date with all the latest regulatory changes. You won’t have to bother with all that. Wouldn’t you rather have more time to focus on growing your business?
3. Invest In Your Education
How well do you know your industry? How about your market and niche? What’s your marketing strategy?
This is just the beginning of all the questions you’ll have to answer. No matter where you are in life, you should always keep learning. Your competition certainly will. You risk falling behind and getting swallowed up by the market if you don’t.
For this reason, you need to set aside time and money to educate yourself. Think about the one thing you’d like to learn now. Write it down, figure out how much it costs and how much time it will take to master it. Then go ahead and do it.
This doesn’t mean you need to spend money on any and all courses, seminars, and so on. It’s often enough to pick up a good book, particularly if the author is reputable. Of course, it all depends on your skill level and what you’d like to learn.
Just make sure you never stop educating yourself. As soon as you think you know it all, stagnation is not far away.
4. Stay in Your Lane
What’s your strongest suit? Speaking? Good, then focus on that.
If you have a team, make sure it can handle everything else. If not, you can always outsource some tasks.
If you try to do it all on your own, you won’t get very far. How can you focus on getting booked if you’re up to your neck in day-to-day tasks? As a speaker, your main job is to focus on perfecting your stories, finding the right audience, and delivering.
Of course, if other things come naturally to you, you can tackle them yourself – if you have the time. But never sacrifice the revenue generator because you want to be everything in your business.
The best thing is that you don’t even need people for every single thing. There are a variety of tech solutions you can turn to. For example, you can automate booking so you never miss a chance to book gigs. You can also use a CRM tool to stay in touch with your audience. Whatever it is, there’s a person or program that can do it. So, focus on your strongest suit and leave everything else to others.
5. Advertise Wherever You Go
Unless you already have a massive following, you’ll have to work hard at getting your name out there. The number of speakers increases by the day, and there are only so many spots in the market.
Regardless of your niche, you’re probably not the only one in it. How can you prove that you’re better than the rest?
By taking every chance you get to market your services. There are a plethora of opportunities out there, and you should take advantage of all of them.
Obviously, social media is a must. If you’re not socialising online, it gets much harder to find people who will want to listen to you. You need to get out there and showcase your skills and expertise.
However, social media is only one piece of the puzzle. Others include social gatherings, conferences, and more events that involve speakers and the people who might want to listen to or hire them. You never know when you might stumble upon a potential fan. And you can never have enough of them. What’s more, you might make connections that can give your career a leg-up.
Wherever you go, always be ready to advertise. Practice an elevator pitch that summarises everything you do. And when an opportunity presents itself, grab it with both hands.
6. Ask for Help
Nobody has it all figured out. Even the biggest influencers in the world still have a lot to learn. Not to mention that many of them started from nothing, so they know how it feels. Because of this, there are many people who can offer invaluable help. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. This is the best way to speed up your learning process and have a breakthrough.
Follow what successful people do, but don’t copy them. Every speaker has a unique set of skills and stories, which means you need to stick to yours. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn various techniques that will enhance your ability to share your stories.
One of the best things about running a business today is all information at your fingertips. You just need to find the right source. Look up the most reputable people in your industry and see what you can learn from them.
7. Have a Contingency Plan
Everybody wants to know what to do when things get tough. But what if things are going great? It’s all too easy to get too comfortable and forget your early struggles. You may become complacent and lose your edge.
You might have gigs lined up for months right now. But what happens if you hit a dry spell? Don’t make the mistake of thinking this won’t ever happen to you. It’s way better to face it prepared than unprepared.
This is why you should always have a plan for the rainy days. Put some money aside, enough to make sure you can ride out a temporary setback. While you’re at it, see what you can do to improve yourself in the event that gigs are few and far in between. With a good plan, you shouldn’t have any problems bouncing back.
Take Your Time
The speaking business can be very exciting. You might feel the need to go out there and share your stories as soon as you can. But this may not be a good idea. It can cost you a lot in the long run.
This is why you need to take it slow and build the right foundations. By using the above tips, you should be able to start off on the right foot. Of course, you’ll learn many other things along the way. Consider this a starting point.
But remember… The sooner you start, the quicker you’ll get to the good part. Furthermore, slow and steady wins the race. Enjoy the process and the reward will come.
If you think you could use a guiding hand, you’ll find a steady and resourceful guide in Speakers Institute. We suggest you start with the following: