I'm always amazed when I speak with small business owners -- it seems that many of you want to make your life so complicated!! Now, I'm not saying that growing a profitable business is easy (I'm well aware of that!!). However, it is a step-by-step process! Just remember it's like eating an elephant -- one little piece at a time! Good luck.
1. Create your vision for your 'award-winning' business.
Each time I create an event, like Prosper or Grow, I paint a picture in my mind of how I want the event to unfold. It's like a movie in my mind -- my intentions. You should have a vision for your business too -- in 3 years, what will it look like? It's your version of 'Successville'! What will it look like??? Start journalling -- outline all the details including customers, team members, sales, programs, delivery, customer service, even your office. For myself, this VISION is what gives me focus -- every decision I make, I can ask myself ... will it get me closer to my VISION?
2. Work on your money mindset
Let's face it -- most of us have money issues!!! Either we spend too much, we avoid it; or we tend to focus on saving it; and others might feel they just don't deserve money (more on this at Prosper). Just when we think we've conquered our money issues, it seems that another gremlin raises it's head! That's okay -- just be aware that each level of business brings a new devil.
3. Create a Profit Plan
Every successful business has a plan on how to achieve 'profit' (notice I didn't say sales). Profit is the money you take home at the end of the day. This step is all about your M-O-N-E-Y and what you need to measure! You need to know:
- numbers (sales, expense, profit) - monthly, quarterly and annually
- number & type of programs you need to sell to reach your desired results
- development of your programs & pricing
- cash flow
- customer lifetime value
4. Choose Your Money-Making Marketing Methods
This is probably the one of the most confusing step for solo-entrepreneurs because there are so many options -- it's like a marketing buffet! There are several important considerations BEFORE actually choosing your marketing method:
- Not every marketing method is suitable for every phase of your business journey! That's right! In general, for service-based businesses, there are 3 phases of business development (sort of like -- infancy, teenage, adult) and at each phases there are some marketing methods which are more appropriate than others! (this is a topic for a whole other discussion).
- Have a clearly written (yes - detailed & written) Dream Client avatar AND a clear marketing message (I call this your "OMG - I want to work with you" message and it can take several forms -- learn more during this upcoming workshop).
- In order for your marketing methods to be effective -- you need to be consistent with your efforts (rather like nurturing a plant -- keep watering & fertilizing and eventually it will bare fruit).
- Your marketing efforts should be 'stacked' - or integrated. What that means is that you use several marketing methods all of them saying the same message. Why? you ask -- because not every marketing method appeals to every individual. Some people hate email; others love getting something in the post; others love a phone call; some don't have time for social media but text messages work well!
5. Have Sizzling Sales Conversations
Essentially, you have to have sales conversations in order to have a 'business' (as opposed to a hobby). Getting comfortable having sales conversations takes practise ... practise and practise! With a little help, you'll start increasing your sales conversion rates (and clients enrolling in your programs)! Become familiar with the number of 'asks', conversations, clients, and renewals.
6. Review and Revise Your Profit Plan
Plans are not tattoos! They are meant to be living, dynamic forecasts of what you dreamt in your vision. Every 90 days, your plan needs to be reviewed and if necessary revised. If your marketing efforts are working well, then simply 'rinse & repeat'. If you aren't getting the results you want -- adjust and revise.
Six simple steps to building a profitable business. So let me ask you ....
- Are you getting side-tracked?
- Taking the wrong path?
- Feel stuck or overwhelmed on one of these steps?
- Lacking a particular skill?
- Having difficulty following your profit plan?
The Entrepreneur's GPS is here to help you drive to Successville with as few detours and road blocks as possible! Book a Business Breakthrough Session here and let's see if we can't get you back on track! (Or if you are in the Ottawa area, please come to #PROSPEROttawa!)