15 (more) Actions You Can Take in 10 Minutes or Less to Move Your Business Forward


In a previous guest post, Michelle Shaeffer shared 10 proven strategies to help you improve your business. The response from readers was overwhelming. In this guest post, Michelle shares 15 more tips.

Guest post by Michelle Shaeffer

1. Write a testimonial.
Think of a product or service you’ve recently received that was fantastic. Now write a testimonial for it and send it to the business along with name, business, URL, and city/state. Include a statement of your permission to reprint it on their site, in their newsletter, etc. If you don’t feel like writing, record it as an mp3 and send. Most (all?!) businesses love to get testimonials or positive reviews and will happily use them on their websites and include your business name and sometimes even a live link to your site.

2. Record a quick how to video and upload to YouTube.
YouTube is a huge source of traffic for many websites.  Using Jing (there’s a free version) or similar program you can quickly and easily create a short how to video with a tip or step by step use of a product or service you offer.

3. Record and share an AudioBoo or CinchCast.
You can record and share AudioBoo or CinchCast audio recordings on your blog, your website, your Facebook page, etc.  Like a podcast or audio blog post.  It’s super quick and easy way to share your thoughts.

4. Submit an article to Ezine Articles.
Notice I didn’t say *write* an article, but *submit* one.  I bet if you take a few minutes and look at your blog, website or ezine archives there’s something you’ve written that’s just waiting to be slightly edited so it’ll work as an article.  Edit and submit!

5. Brainstorm a reason to write a press release & a title.
It can feel like it’ll take a lot of time to write a press release but if you start by just thinking of a reason (new product, new improvement, new service, holiday sale, contest, giveaway, new resource on your site, recent award, etc) and brainstorming the title, then writing that on a note and pinning it up on your bulletin board, you’ll have a great start and then you can write the actual release later when you’ve got a half hour or so.  It’ll be easier to start if you’ve got your reason and title planned.

6. Shout out support to a fellow small business owner or solopreneur.
Pick a small business owner or solopreneur who you feel comfortable referring business to, and who you’ve worked with or learned from, and post a comment on their blog, or write a review for them on Facebook.  Do something public to show your support.  They’ll appreciate it, you’ll get some publicity, and they may just remember you next time they know someone who needs the product/service you provide.  Karma!

7. Order a decal or magnet for your car from VistaPrint.
How fast can you pick one and check out?  Here are the car door magnets and here are the window decals.  Choose one, order it, then slap it on your vehicle and every time you drive around town you’ll be promoting your business!  (So don’t drive like a maniac.  This one may help you avoid traffic tickets, too!)

8. Email a Letter to the Editor.
This one can be a challenge to do in 10 minutes, but it can be done.  Many news sites offer online ways to share your thoughts.  Choose a topic that’s relevant to your business and that will allow you to share your knowledge and present yourself as an expert by offering your two cents in agreement or disagreement with an article they’ve published.  To keep it quick choose one article and one point.  Be succinct.  Include all your contact info.  You may or may not see it published online or in the print paper but you can leverage this by also sharing what you wrote to the editor on your blog/website and turning it into an article or ezine feature later.

9. Check-in with a favorite contact and send a quick gift.
Who’s been referring business to you?  Get in touch with them to say thank you and let them know you appreciate their support.  Send a small gift.  Making yourself “present” in someone’s office it’s great way to stay on my mind.  Many online stores allow you to send an e-gift certificate and it can be done in just a few minutes.

10. Create or update your email signature then send out a fun email.
Is your email signature up to date?  If it’s not rockin’ then try WiseStamp.  Once it’s up to date find something funny like a joke, YouTube, etc (try looking at www.stufftotweet.com) and send it out to friends and family who don’t mind that type of email.  Your goal is to send something they’ll forward to their friends and family and so on, because your email signature will be on every one of those emails.

11. Connect with a colleague and ask how you can promote or support them.
No strings attached, just reach out and see what you can help someone else with.  Focus on building the relationship without asking and watch what happens in the future.

12. Make someone’s day better.
Have you noticed someone dealing with a tough customer, difficult feedback, technical issues or other crisis?  Stop and send some positivity their way.  If it’s someone you’ve worked with, you can share why you value their service/product.  If it’s someone you haven’t worked with then just offer an encouraging word to let them know you care.  People will remember this.

13. Pick up your phone.
Make a call to a client you haven’t been in touch with in a while.  Just check in and see how they’re doing.  Or call a past joint venture or promotional partner.  Make that voice connection with someone.

14. Do a video book review.
Remember, we’re going for fast action.  Grab one of your favorite business books.  Quickly come up with just 2 or 3 things that you learned from it.  Turn on your video camera and share that, along with the title, author and where viewers can grab their own copy.  Keep your video down to 2 or 3 minutes, tops.  Upload to YouTube and embed on your blog or website.

15. Delegate something.
Take 5 minutes to look over your ever-expanding “to do” list an choose one item that you don’t have to do yourself.  Then spend 5 minutes identifying who you already know that can take care of it for you, or who you can ask for a referral to someone reliable, and get in touch to get the ball rolling.  Your small time investment will pay off in getting the busy work off your plate so you have more time to focus on what only you can do best in your business!

Michelle Shaeffer’s Twitter profile describes her as: “Caffeine powered, Libertarian gal enjoying life with my kids and husband. Empowering entrepreneurs.” That sums it up nicely. You can find her helping to simplify online business at MichelleShaeffer or serving up ideas for bloggers at DailyBloggingIdeas.com.

Comments

  1. It’s quite tough to say which of these to-dos I like most. I definitely like the idea of making someone’s day better, writing a testimonial, making the phone call, submitting that article to ezine… Little as these things may seem, it’ll make a lot of difference.
    Thanks Michelle for sharing.

  2. All great things to get up going, especially make someones day better. Thanks for the info.

  3. Hi Michelle thank you for sharing all these great actions they definitely will help in moving your business forward, every action whether big or small, makes a difference 🙂

  4. I need to do all of these so it’s hard to say but one of my favorites (besides what others are saying about making someone’s day) is shout out or support a fellow solopreneur (from the first list). Look forward to more of these quick things to do. Seems like all the time I have these days. THANK YOU!!

  5. Thank you this is great information. All great ideas I think I’ll start with no.11 right now.:-)

  6. I really liked the one about “connect with a colleague and ask how you can promote or support them”. What a great idea. If you help others it will always come back to benefit you in some way. Thanks for the advise.

    • It does. We all get “pitched” so much with people who want us to sell or promote their newest products/programs/services that those “how can I support YOU?” emails really stand out.

  7. Thanks Michelle, you just filled up my calendar for the next 2 weeks for the marketing aspect of my business!!!

    *swoosh*

    • Hey Rhonda – I’m glad these ideas were helpful for you. I use them on my calendar too — I feel like I’m accomplishing something every day that way, even if it’s just one or two small actions. Keep the forward momentum going.

  8. These tips are great and i can’t wait to start using them.

  9. Great tips and some I have never come across. I have never thought about consciously doing No.1. I cna think of many businesses who would benefit with a testimonial.

  10. Thanks Michelle!!!

    Your ideas are great and applicable in my Country (Mexico).
    Most of the time, the ideas I received in other sites are not applicable because we don’t have Conference Calling services, etc. But these are S U P E R B!!
    Thank you!!!
    ~Juracy

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