Have you mastered your business?
Tom was overwhelmed as he sat his desk looking over the plethora of things to be done. His website is a mess, his social media isn’t helping his business, he has four sales appointments but doesn’t know with who, and on top that the guys in the work room are behind on projects. Forget about the myriad of paperwork issues the IRS and the state are asking of him.
Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed by the demands of running a business? Perhaps it isn’t the glory that you thought it might be?
The truth of the matter is this; Tom does not own his business, his business owns him! Unfortunately, It’s not uncommon in the small business world.
I don’t know about you, but that’s not why I started a business. There was a time I thought to myself that owning a business would be satisfying, fulfilling, and offer me choices so that I could do what I want, when I want, with whoever I want, whenever I want. For many years that was not the case.
I had to figure a lot of things out and made a lot of mistakes, screwed up big a few times, and made small problems bigger problems than they had to be.
Is your business going as smoothly as you would like it to? For most businesses it’s probably not. New business owners have to work a lot, I get that and it’s understandable. However, are you working efficiently and in the right areas or are just working where it’s comfortable in what you know?
If you’ve been in business longer than thirty six months and still haven’t walked away for one consecutive week for at least a small vacation, you may have a very serious problem?
Maybe your business is doing really well, but there are a few areas that could use some buttoning up so that your life as a business owner could be made a lot easier?
Five Areas of Your Business You Must Master
I want to share with you five areas of business that every business has to address for it to be successful. If any one of these are missing or struggling, you may be in real trouble.
In our upcoming webinars, I will be addressing these five areas of your business and the particulars of each as they apply to a business.
Marketing is the life blood of your business. Without it, sales are not possible. As a business owner of any size company, you must become a master in this area. No one will ever represent your company like you will, for as long as you will.
When done right, marketing ought to set up your sales and make selling easier.
Because good marketing ought to solve a problem for a specific person who needs your product or service in order to get a solution to their problems met.
Marketing does not come natural. It is a learned trait, and there is a lot to learn. All of the main questions come into play:
- Who? – Is your target audience?
- What? – Products or services solve your audiences problems?
- When? – Are you reaching them at the moment they need you?
- Why? – Should they buy from you instead of someone else?
- Where? –Do they find you? Online? Offline?
We will get into more specifics in the webinar. But realize that marketing is where most business fall apart because they fail to reach enough of the right people who are willing and ready to buy their products and services. You will know when this is a problem because it will show up your sales and cash flow.
You have to generate and be able to multiply yourself over and over again. Yesterday, I was reading on Ana Hoffman’s blog about this very subject (click here to read the article) and she asked a very compelling questions:
“What is the one core activity your business model won’t survive without? If you were to stop doing this one thing, your business would come to a halt? Even if you diligently stay “busy” working on all the other “busy” things on your to-do list?”
You can guess she is referring to marketing for sure!
If you’re a business owner, you’re probably not one bit afraid of sales. That’s a good thing. However, you’re also probably not trained for it and you’re losing prospects unintentionally.
Many businesses area usually either too aggressive or too passive when it comes to sales. There has to be a balance.
As I said before, if you do marketing right, sales ought to come very easy. The marketing if done well will lead them to the sale as you’ve already solved their problem or helped them with a need. Now, they just need to make a transaction and they want to do it with you.
Don’t blow it and talk them out of it by continuing to market to them in the sales cycle. You don’t have to market anymore.
Don’t confuse marketing with sales.
When you hear that someone is being pushy or over selling, it usually means they are still marketing.
When I’m in sales mode, I’m spending the majority of my time with the prospect:
- and offering ideas and solutions as they come up.
When I hear; “What’s the next step Don?” or something like it. I know I’m done.
Stop, pull out the contract, or the product, and close the deal.
Don’t keep going. You’ll only trigger in their subconscious that you’re pushing or maybe even desperate. Give them what they want and there will be another day to sell them again if you’re good at customer service (we’ll cover shortly)
Every company has production no matter your industry. Your goal is to make the process and experience feel easy, seamless, transparent and AWESOME for your customers.
Retail – Production process for store set-up, displays, employee interactions, and transactions. I was at KMart recently and just buying something was a headache as I waited for what felt like hours as they printed an entire tree for me. LOL…
Manufacturing – Creating something from nothing that people need or want
Service – Delivering the service when it’s needed, based on the type of business. Some like web design and social media have actual production that is seen and experienced. Other companies like insurance are only experienced when something happens and it’s needed.
If things go wrong in production or if in sales you over promised but in production you under deliver; you will have major problems.
The goal here is to produce in such a way that whatever it is you do people want more of it. You don’t have a customer until you have at least a second transaction in my opinion. All you have is something someone bought from you. Your job is not done!
Next to marketing, this is the second most generally over looked area of most businesses.
How well do you follow-up? Do you make sure each customer is delighted and are you giving them reason to be a raving fan of your business and your work?
How do you want them to think of you? If you did well in the first three areas of marketing, sales and production don’t drop the ball here.
This is where they become repeat customers. I understand that some businesses have longer buying cycles. Still, over time if one comes back, and another, and another… look what you’ve created? A business that is making profits and hopefully even obscene profits!!!!
In his book, “Buying Customers“, Bradley Sugars introduces the concept of “Lifetime Value.” We all know it’s easier to keep a customer than to acquire a new one. He states:
“Lifetime Value is one of the most important, yet most overlooked and least understood metric in business. But it’s also one of the simplest to understand. One way to profit more quickly is to lower your cost of buying customers while generating repeat business.”
After production it is a great time to collect testimonials. Don’t wait!!! Get them immediately and if you can do it on video that is the absolute best way to go. People can see, hear, and feel your customers passion for you. It comes across much differently than text. You can also transcribe it and use the text wherever you like.
In addition, be sure to create a calendar for follow-ups with each customer. Depending on whom it is you may do it monthly but at a bare minimum follow-up with them quarterly.
This is the most boring part of business, right?
Most people see admin as payroll, taxes, record keeping, etc., and it is. However, it’s also much more.
Are you taking time for:
Strategy, goals and objectives and implementation?
Sales reviews and tracking?
As you can see, admin is a lot more than just paperwork. It’s everything you should be doing that doesn’t fit inside marketing, sales, production and customer service.
Where Should I Spend My Time?
Great question, there are a lot of variables and knowing that is dependent on knowing yourself and your business.
We will spend some time in the webinar discussing what the averages look like for the majority of businesses.
If you figure out how to master and organize your business, you have a very strong chance of success. If you don’t, I promise you will struggle to break through because something will always be holding you back.
You don’t’ have to be like Tom. You can sleep well at night knowing that your business is starting to work for you instead of you for your business. Wouldn’t that be nice?
You can also join me for a free upcoming webinar. We will be hosting them monthly so be sure to check out our webinar’s page for an upcoming one.
If you have a question, comment, or thought; please let me know in the comments section below. I would love to engage with you!