What makes a business successful? This is something that I get asked all the time.
This is the 2nd blog post in a series about business growth strategies for small business owners with big visions. In this blog post we’re sharing the top 4 business growth strategies for small business owners in 2016, but let’s quickly recap the biggest concerns and challenges SBOs face, because good business growth consulting addresses the biggest risks and often those come out as concerns.
What are your top business growth challenges right now?
In the 1st post of this series we talked about…
The 4 Biggest Challenges Facing Small Businesses in 2016
1) Small businesses have a hard time developing a consistent traffic source, or source of leads.
2) Small businesses have a hard time getting enough repeat business.
3) Small business owners and their teams spend too much time on things that are un-important (and not enough time on what is meaningful to them, puts them in flow, gives them pleasure and building positive relationships while they make money.)
4) Small businesses have a hard time transitioning to a scaleable business model.
Here are the results of one of the many studies I’ve reviewed that backs up these ideas sourced from “Professional Rewards of Small Business Owners” a survey and article by Constant Contact Small Business Week 2015.
Now let’s look at solutions that can help solve top business growth strategies of small business owners today.
1) Develop a marketing system to get consistent traffic and leads
There are many studies that show business owners have “attracting new clients” at the top of their list of concerns.
This is an insidious problem for business owners because it’s TOO EASY TO PUT OFF and here’s why…
Why Many Business Owners Put Off Marketing Until It’s Too Late
As a business owner you are probably wearing too many hats and have far too much to do each day. Many of the priority items become obvious if they don’t get taken care of.
You know you have to pre-emptively take care of accounting and legal otherwise the government could shut you down. In many industries there are operational regulations that you have to worry about that are the same way. Keep your restaurant in good clean order, keep your continuing education credits up-to-date, whatever it is there are obvious operational aspects you must make happen. You also have to answer to your customers, clients, investors, team members directly and consistently, so there’s no escaping taking care of them. And you need sales coming in the door or you can’t keep the doors open so-to-speak. So you have to have some sales system in place.
However, a marketing system that gets you consistent traffic and then continues adding value to keep your clients coming back is something that many people don’t realize they need until it’s too late.
Business growth consulting services are often the last professionals on business owners lists to find, so they never do the search. Then they run into sub-par offerings to do tactical approaches which are often like shooting in the dark. When the 1 (out of 374 possible tactics they could have tried) doesn’t work out the business owner will throw up their hands and put off looking for someone even longer.
The worst part is that when they are finally ready to scale and they really need the help getting leads and keeping clients coming back they are in a bind, because good business consulting in Los Angeles is not easy to find, so I know it’s got to be really hard in smaller towns. Or maybe it’s easier? I’d love to hear your opinion on this in the comment section below!
The Heart of the Matter
If you are like most business owners, you want to scale up your income while working less hours – at least at some point. If you want to keep your income high and decrease your working hours, then your business growth strategies will have to contain a consistent traffic generation system. And you have to be able to continue innovating the traffic generation, much like the rest of your business. There are always going to be factors that you can’t control swooping in on your business and causing uncomfortable change. However with solid business growth fundamentals and execution, when the challenges come you, your business, and employees will be able to hold fast.
For many of you, finding a business growth consulting company is going to be your best bet, so we’ve got a great article about that coming out soon! And obviously we are here for you to call and ask questions. I, Ami Mariscal, would love to find out more about your business and help you with your marketing system. So call me anytime and leave a message 310-497-6116. You can also email me via our contact page.
But for those of you who are not quite there yet, we’ve got you covered too! We’ve got an excellent Marketing Guide to help you nail down all the big parts of your system (your hi-level goals) in less than 30 minutes. Click here to download “The Ultimate Marketing Guide for Small Business Owners with Big Visions”.
What makes a business successful?
The number one predictor of success is grit. We know that from Angela Duckworth’s wealth of research and studies. But…
What should business owners be gritty doing?
Should you act based on logic or intuition? Should you act based on heart, smarts, guts or luck? The hardest part of creating a business growth strategy and executing it is that it’s an art and a science. So basically the answer to how should you act is “all of the above”; logic, intuition, heart, smarts, guts and luck. But since that’s nearly impossible for the leaders of the company to do all the time…
Most business owners achieve success faster with a systems thinking approach coupled with iterative development. So businesses that develop systems for their priority pieces of their business strategy and execution.
What we mean by “iterative” is that you come up with ideas you think are going to work, then run experiments to test the ideas. Finally, you’ll analyze the data and then improve on your projects based on what you learned in the experiments. And then start the cycle over again. In other words…
Grit + Strategy + Systems Thinking + Iterative Development = Success
This concept is like the Lean Startup development model which works just as well for developing new products or parts of systems inside an older company as it does to start new businesses. And it’s a lot easier, more efficient and more rewarding for your team this way ?
Developing a Business Growth Strategy System
Lead Generation and Sales Conversions are two types of systems strategic business owners address in their business growth strategies. Here is a list of areas covered in these two systems which are interlinked:
- Getting prospects aware of your company and products
- Earning prospect’s interest in your company and products
- Earning prospect’s trust in your company and products
- Convert prospects into clients by selling to them.
- Taking clients from the hopeful stage to the thankful stage by getting them to consume your products and with the value in your products.
- Continuously build the relationship with your clients so that they become passionate and tell the world about you.
- Repeat so that you are constantly adding value to the lives of prospects and past clients while sharing new products.
Here’s how to develop a marketing system to get consistent leads
Now we’re going to break it down further for you. We are going to move into a more detailed look at your system to generate leads.
Since you are probably using the iterative process I recommended above, a step-by-step process doesn’t work that well. Instead I recommend adhering to certain principles and making sure certain aspects are being taken care of. Here is an image of a few of the aspects, I like to call them the puzzle pieces of your profit growth system…
Best Practices and Principles for Developing a Lead Generation System for Your Small Business
Identify your purpose & core message.
Identify your scaleable model and share it with your team.
Make sure you have a sustainable business model. Identify your current risky assumptions / SWOT analysis.
Identify your top 20% audience.
Who can you connect with that will bring in the most revenue to your business?
Solidify your financial goals and priorities.
Know the big picture that the marketing system is fitting into.
Set goals and measure key metrics.
What gets measured gets improved. Are you measuring how many leads you get?
Learn to recognize the biggest black holes sucking your profit into oblivion.
Learn to recognize the resistance in yourself and in your team. Learn to look for the risky assumptions and then create experiments that turn risks into opportunities.
Determine your marketing principles.
Lucky! All you have to do is write down the ones you want to commit to from this list!
Determine which traffic sources to focus on next.
Identify the best marketing muscles for your team’s skills, your resources and your audience.
Plan a campaign to get more top 20% leads.
Start collecting email addresses and phone numbers in a systematic way. This involves several steps. Before people buy they generally need to know, like and trust you. Then they need to be aware of your business and interested in the value you are offering.
Run an experimental campaign, measure the data, analyze the data. Based on the data and your intuition, improve the strategies and tactics for the next campaign and keep moving through this cycle. I love the affirmation “always be growing” for both your personal life and your business.
We believe every business owner in the world should have access to these business growth strategies which is why we give away our best knowledge on the topics in free blog posts. We also acknowledge that it’s hard to do this stuff on your own – especially when you are already wearing too many hats. So if you are looking for a business growth consulting company in Los Angeles, or wherever since we can work via the phone and video conferencing, leave Ami Mariscal a call or text at 310-497-6116 or email Ami via this contact page.
In the next blog post – part 3 of this series – we will cover the 2nd best growth strategy for business owners:
Develop a sales system to get repeat business.
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