How to run a business challenge
Kate Henwood invites you to build your own challenge and reap the rewards.
As the year draws to an end, it’s traditionally a time in business when we review the past 12 months, analyse the results and plan ahead for the next year. We also take some time to look at the challenges that we’ve encountered and, for most of us, 2020 has been a challenge in its own right!
No one could have predicted that the pandemic would happen and so dramatically alter the plans that we made back the previous year. “2020 is going to be MY year” I declared, back in December 2019; and it has been, but not in the way that I had carefully planned…
The year that no-one could predict has forced us all to think differently, to push ourselves and try new things. Challenges can make us stronger.
Challenge: a call to someone to participate in a competitive situation or fight to decide who is superior in terms of ability or strength
By their definition, challenges invite us to up our game, take it to the next level, or progress in what we’re already doing. By setting a task for us within a finite amount of time, they set a goal for us to complete, kind of like a to-do list.
What’s the difference between a ‘to do’ list and a challenge?
Fundamentally, there’s no difference. Except that when you take part in someone else’s challenge, you have accountability. Someone else knows that you’ve committed to doing the task set, and they can call you out on it…especially if you don’t do it. The thing is, they probably won’t, but they might. And if you’re anything like me, the thought of being found out or not completing it is too much. The result is that I grab the task and give it everything I have to achieve my goal.
The beauty with running a challenge in your business is that it gives customers and potential customers the opportunity to work with you without making a long-term commitment – a kind of ‘try before you buy’ scenario.
We know that people buy from people they know, like and trust. A short challenge of 3 to 5 days allows potential customers to get to know you and your services, (hopefully) like what they see and start to build up trust. If existing customers take up the challenge too, you know that they like working with you and trust you – otherwise they wouldn’t be coming back.
How to run a good challenge
The key to running a good challenge is being very clear about what’s involved and what the end result will be. I have 5 key elements that I communicate when advertising a challenge:
1. What’s in it for me?
What will your participants get from committing to a challenge and taking part? Is it worth their time and money?
Also by having a specific goal, or by participants setting themselves a specific goal, it is much easier to see if they have achieved it.
2. How much time will I be expected to commit to this challenge?
Most challenges will have a huge variation in how long you actually spend doing them – think back to school homework. Did you write the bare minimum, or did you write pages and pages? It depends on how important the outcome is and whether you want and need to go into great detail. But if you can give people a rough idea “each session will last 30 minutes” “this task should take no more than an hour”, then they know whether this is something they can afford to dedicate to the challenge.
3. What will it cost?
The initial cost may be the total price of the course; it may need you to buy a book or something specific; it may be free – with the option to buy a product or service afterwards. A note of caution – be careful offering ‘free’ – people are less committed when they haven’t had to pay…even a very small payment will increase commitment levels.
4. How will the challenge be delivered?
Think about whether it will be delivered on your page, in a dedicated group, via Zoom etc? Will people be able to access the task at any time or is it time-specific? This can often be a deciding factor for participants – you can’t always plan your day to catch a ‘Live’ or be on a Zoom call, especially if it’s a 3 or 5-day challenge and you need to show up at the same time every day. Life gets in the way of the best-laid plans, so make sure you let people know that sessions will be recorded (get permissions from participants in advance if there are other people involved) so they can catch up later. Also, let them know when sessions will be and when tasks will be posted – it helps people plan. It’s also useful to tell people if you will need to print stuff out, as not everyone has a printer.
5. Is this challenge for me?
When you set a challenge, you have your ideal candidate in your head. This is great but you need to tell the world and your readers who your ideal participant is – “I’m looking for 10 people who want to achieve (your task objective) within 3/5/14/28 days. Is this you?” This will remove those who are not really on board before you start. Personally, I’d rather work with a small, dedicated group than a big group who really aren’t buying in.
Try a challenge and learn more about them
I love running challenges and seeing people grow and develop. Sometimes it’s not about the end result, but more about the progress and the momentum and the increasing confidence that you see when people realise that they can do this.
I’ll be running my next 28 Day Challenge over at Kate – The Friendly Business Buddy, starting on 11th January. It’s £35 and it’s your opportunity to work on one thing that you want to add, change or remove from your business, within 28 days. You may work on more than one thing but you need to choose one as your goal…
The challenge runs from a dedicated private Facebook Group, where you can chat to other participants and previous challengers and is a safe space to try stuff out – it’s great for practicing Facebook Lives!
We have a weekly recorded Zoom call on a Monday at 12 noon for no more than an hour and there are tasks and prompts posted daily in the group.
If you think that this sounds like the right way to kick off 2021, I’d love to work with you – CLICK HERE for the event link.
Will I see YOU on my next challenge? I hope so…
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