Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of emotions and challenges.
A recent article posted by Forbes stated that 80% of small businesses fail within the first 18 months.That’s a lot!
There were plenty of times when I was starting out that I was probably very close to making that 80% myself.
Thankfully I came out on top. I have started several businesses in different industries in Ireland, UK and America. These businesses ranged from a fitness studio to corporate events business, travel agent and a software company.
Each and every business had its own challenges and daily frustrations. Validating your business idea, cashflow, acquiring new customers, sales, hiring employees. The list is endless…
By the time you read to the end of this article you will have solid ideas on how to grow your company to its next level. These are some of my biggest ahha moments I’ve had from taking several companies from 0 to 100K+ per month.
Lets jump in..
Focus on Sales & Marketing!
Sale’s is the lifeblood of every single company. If you can’t sell, your screwed. You could have the best product or service in the world but without a focus on sales, you’re doomed for failure.
Although sales and marketing are the most important part of business, 80% of business owners never really focus on. Hence the high failure rates for businesses. Seems crazy right…
Peter Drucker, the world’s most famous marketing and management consultant has a famous quote.
“A Business Has Only 2 Functions, Marketing & Innovation”
The day you started your business is the day you innovated! There is no need to try come up with some new innovation to grow your business until you have the cash flow to do so.
You are no longer an accountant, a beautician or a fitness instructor. You are now a marketer of your product or service, that should be your main focus.
This is a big mindset shift for most business owners that they fail to see. The reason, you think having a fantastic product or service is enough. You worked in a day job where clients were landed on your lap everyday..but you don’t understand how that client got there.
Make sure you spend at least 2-3 hr on sales and marketing every single day!
Get your Numbers dialed in..
You cannot successfully grow your business unless you know your numbers.This is key! You cannot just give your company a goal of 500k of revenue and not have all your numbers mapped out in order to achieve it.
If you were going on holidays you would map out everything that needed to happen to reach your destination. What time you would leave your house to arrive at the airport. What time and where you would catch the bus / train in order to hit your destination by a certain time. Business is no different.
So let’s say you want your company to make 500k this year. What would need to happen to achieve that. We would use the following table to figure this out.
|Average Sale Value||800|
|Average Conversion Rate||20%|
|Leads Required Per Week||60|
We now know exactly what needs to happen in order to achieve the growth you want in your company.
You then communicate this back to your employees. The best solution is to have a big whiteboard in your office where you have a daily 15 minute standing meeting around your numbers.
Each employee should have their targets aligned with your revenue goals. When speaking to each employee/ sales person/ marketing executive etc..you ask the following two questions.
1. Where are you against where you need to be?
2. What needs to change to get you there?
By constantly asking these questions and always having your eye on the end goal, you will achieve it.
1. Use the above table, figure out exactly what needs to happen in order to hit your desired revenue as a business.
2. Communicate this to your staff on a daily basis and track on a whiteboard
3.Keep each staff member aligned with your goal on a daily basis.
Who are they..Where are they and what can you give them…
Now that we know how much money you want to achieve as a business, now we want to figure out the following.
1. Who do you want to serve?
2. Where are they hanging out?
3. What can you give them?
Who do you want to serve?
Some of your customers will be a pain to deal with, that’s the reality. Others won’t. You will make twice as much money off a certain customer type over another.
You need to get very clear on exactly who you want to serve as your customer. What do they look like, how much do they make, what are their current challenges and frustrations. This is your customer avatar profile.
So many businesses never take the time to work this out. Believe me, it only makes business harder, more stressful and a lot less profitable.
Where are they hanging out?
Where do your customers hang out online. Where can you get their attention in order for them to hear about your product or service. Here is a common list where you can reach most customers online.
1. Google (Search engine optimisation, adwords and Google display network)
2. Facebook ( Facebook business page (organic leads), paid advertising)
Give them what they want…
Once you have figured out exactly who your customer is and where they are hanging out online, you now need to transition to a bait. What I mean by bait is what can you put in front of your potential customer that might solve a problem for them.
This could be in the form of a short report or a checklist.
Example: If you are a builder and you are looking to pick up some new clients, you could write a checklist on “The 10 things you must check before hiring your next builder”
The only people who will optin for this report are people who are potentially looking for a builder.
The above example can be used in almost any industry.
1. Figure out who do you want to serve?
2. Find where they are hanging out?
3. What can you give them?
I honestly believe that if you focused on the above strategy every single day for the first 2/3hrs you will have a steady flow of customers.
Keep things as simple as possible when you are starting out. Focus, focus, focus on one single marketing channel until you are starting to generate consistent leads on a daily basis that are turning into sales.
Starting and growing a business is one of the most challenging things you will ever do. The only thing that will stop you from being massively successful is consistently focusing on the things that will make your sales.
Your Implementation checklist…
- Make sure you spend at least 2-3 hours on sales and marketing every single day!
- Using the above table, figure out exactly what needs to happen in order to hit your desired revenue as a business.
- Who do you want to serve?
- Where are they hanging out?
- What can you give them?
Dean Gammell, Voted Irelands No.1 Entrepreneur in 2014 is a 29 year old businessman from Westmeath. He employs 35 staff across a broad range of businesses. He started his first business when he was 22 and has since received numerous awards for entrepreneurship and Innovation. Dean speaks nationally on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. You can ad Dean on Facebook here.. (Feel Free to message me on Facebook