This weekend I shared a presentation at WordCamp Atlanta on running your service business, using WordPress as the backend. Whether you want to sell services, run a membership site, want to sell ebooks, or offer code or other digital products for sale, WordPress can help you.
Have a Process
If you build and maintain websites like me, you’ll need to have some sort of process to keep organized. For instance, I use the Genesis Framework from StudioPress. I have a set of code that I can reuse and understand deeply, which allows me to solve problems more efficiently. As a bonus, I’ve created a base child theme that I use to start new sites, and I’ve put it on Github, so you can download it for free.
I also have a base of reliable plugins that I can use and know inside and out. All sites need some form of backup, some security, and since I manage multiple sites, a remote management tool. The iThemes suite fits my needs for most of these tools. I also regularly use some plugins like Yoast SEO and Gravity Forms, which allows me to have a repeatable process when setting them up. That saves time and gets things done for my clients faster!
Manage your Projects Successfully
I try to make it easy on my clients to send support tickets. They can submit from a form on my site (my preferred method, as it can give me more details), send me an email, or use Trello. I use Trello internally, but give clients the option to sign in if they so choose. This allows them to track progress and add comments. I use forms on my sites to gather information, manage invoices and estimates, and scope out work for clients.
Were I to try to manage this on my own, something would inevitably fall through the cracks. Having automated systems and reminders built in allows me to focus more on the problem solving of fixing website errors, not the problem of printing, signing, and faxing contracts.
Use Your Site to Market Your Business
Your WordPress site is a great way to build your brand and market your business. Start with some blog posts about what you do. Add a newsletter signup form so you can let subscribers know when you have sales. Create landing pages for those sales, and track engagement on them. Most themes have ways to do all of these things easily, and if not there’s always a plugin or ten.
There are a lot of ways that you can increase and improve business with your website. You can easily become overwhelmed, as I’ve been, in trying to do everything that someone suggests to you at once. Instead, choose one task that you can implement today and try it. If you can improve one thing every day, a year from now you’ll have a totally transformed business.