5 Reasons Your Business Will Grow in 2017 (and How to Do It!)
1) You will create a content strategy with one bullet point
In the article, The real reasons why your content drives in business, I discuss and explain that repetition and familiarity are the keys to a successful content strategy that drives in business. However, before you can drive in those new leads, you need to develop a content strategy! Wait! Don’t freak out! Here is a basic content strategy you can use.
How to do it:
The one-bullet Content Strategy
- Every week I will write a 700-word blog and post to my website (something that helps educate and engage your target audience), and I will share the link on my LinkedIn and Twitter page (add other social sites if you have them)
Wait, is that it? It can’t be that simple! Why can’t it be? When most small business owners think about a ‘content strategy, their minds associate an unattainable path of vast articles, videos, podcasts, etc. It sounds so overwhelming that you quit before you start. Keep it simple! Try out the on-bullet content strategy. And if you may be so bold, add in another bullet after you build in a weekly habit to execute your first bullet point.
2) You will incorporate webinars
Nothing breeds more trust, builds more credibility, and immediately positions you as an industry thought leader, and expert, than in-person seminars and/or webinars. There is a certain connection and relationship created that spawns an affinity between the audience and the speaker.
How to do it:
Steps to putting together an onsite seminar:
- Think about a “how to” topic that you can speak to confidently and that your market would what to learn.
- Create a simple outline of your “how to” webinar. Incorporate these elements:
- Introduction (talk about the topic, and briefly about yourself and your company)
- Discus the agenda (basically, what is it they are going to learn)
- Get into the “how to” of your presentation
- After the main portion of your presentation, let your audience know about any upcoming events (including your next webinar). Also, let them know you will be sending them an email with the PowerPoint you used (or whatever supplemental documents you mentioned during your presentation).
- Send the email and build relationships!
You can use this same format, but introduce a web tool that allows you to deliver a webinar.
The relationships you build will have a great chance of turning into working partnerships.
3) You will tighten up your internal operations
There is life after marketing and sales. How you run your business can increase your revenue and grow your business as well.
How does improving your internal operations increase revenue and support the growth of your business?
Think of your internal operations, which are all the activities you perform after a sale is made, to a large industrial paper printing machine. This machine, if running flawlessly, can create 10,000 sheets of paper per hour which could service 100 clients. This machine is the lifeblood of your organization. However, your company hasn’t been keeping up with repairs, and regular inspections haven’t been made. It hasn’t been cleaned in 6 months. It’s been neglected, used and abused. And now, it only produces 5,000 sheets of paper per hour, and because of that, you max your customer base at 50. But, instead of doing something about it, you state that it’s the way things run around here and it does a good enough job.
From an outsider’s perspective, wouldn’t you be yelling at the top of a mountain to this owner to “get your machine inspected and improved to work at maximum capacity!”
I hate to break it to you, but that machine is your internal operations, and that person yelling is me!
What does a well maintained, inspected, and efficient internal operations look like:
- Very little waste in the process. Only those steps that are needed are taken to accomplish a task or achieve a needed outcome. Well-run processes allow for a sustainable model that allows for growth as your processes experience less failure, less process time, less work-arounds, less effort and overview from your employees.
- Little to no workarounds. There is no need for your employees to engage tirelessly in other ways to get a job done by working around the current, outdated process. This breeds higher employee satisfaction.
- More predictable outcomes. Employees don’t have to anticipate and wait for something to potentially break. Instead, they are carrying on the work in the proper flow and are confident in the process.
- Systems are maintained and inspected to ensure they are working properly.
- There is immediate support for anything that does break so there is less downtime.
- You have up-to-date contingency plans for failures in major processes. Customers shouldn’t have to wait because you didn’t plan well.
How to do it:
Hire a second pair of eyes (something evolvor.com can help with!). You can’t get internal hands to do this because 1) they don’t have the skills and competency and 2) they have biased blinders on that can’t be removed (in other words, they are so engrossed in your culture and environment that they can’t see the real issues). After a thorough analysis, recommendations to improve your operations will emerge!
4) You will create a small add-on service to up-sell
This helps when there is feedback from your customers, or you ask your front-line staff to provide you feedback on what the customer asks for that you don’t have. But, what little extra thing, service, etc. can you offer to produce more revenue for your business that your customers would like?
Don’t feel you are trying to squeeze a few more dollars from your customer, but think about this in terms of what additional value can you provide to your customer. If someone is willing to buy it, that means that need it, and you just fulfilling a need.
How to do it:
Here are some general ideas to help you brainstorm up-sell opportunities:
- Super-size it!
- Create a bigger, brighter, faster, longer, taller, etc. product or service and offer as a product / service tier option.
- Add an optional service options
- Support period for a product
- Additional oversight, guidance, once a service is complete
- With each sale, offer a discount on an upcoming paid webinar or seminar
Think creatively here and leverage your existing products / services to up-sell.
5) Give 100% commission (service business or subscription based products/services)
I must be crazy! Hold on, hold on… before you dismiss this, hear me out.
If your subscription product or your month-over-month general services are not awful, and your attrition rate isn’t astronomically high, consider 100% commission on first month sale revenue. If your offering is good, the golden goose here is the lifetime value of your customer. If your current customer base has been a loyal one and been with you for months, or even years, chances are you have a fabulous solution that doesn’t require sucking every penny possible from your sales team, but rather giving them a big incentive to build your client base.
The lifetime value of your customer should be what you are focusing on, and not strictly on the cost of acquiring the customer, especially with your sales team’s pay.
How to do it:
Change your incentive model from the current commission percentage to 100% commission and explain why you are doing it. Keep those communication channels open and honest!