Hey, Business Owner, are you feeling stuck in your business? Are you wondering why when you are working so hard, nothing is happening in terms of your business growth?
While businesses may have unique challenges specific to their industry, more often then not there are some consistent behaviors/habits that business owners have that keep them stuck. If you want to see some real growth in your business, it is time to look under the cover, with special glasses (since you are looking at yourself) and find out what obstacles are blocking your success. This post should give you a thorough start.
Mistake #1 – Not Growing Email List
The first mistake business owners make is they limit their audience of potential clients by not growing their email list. When you look at businesses that grow consistently, they are consistently growing their email list.
You have probably heard that the “money is in the list,” right? But, have you also heard that, “email is dead?” So, how can the money be in the list if email is dead?
Why should you always be growing your email list? How does that help you in the long-term? There are so many other ways to connect with people: social media, referrals, networking, etc.
But, here is the thing, you can’t control the information that gets to your specific audience through those methods. Not to mention, you can’t control who gets your message through those other methods.
He/She Who Has the List Wins
You can, however, control both who gets your message and what the message is that they get with an email list. Better yet, you can control how often they get your message. Controlling the frequency of the message is is of particular importance for several reasons:
- At a networking event in 2007, I remember learning that it takes 7 – 11 touches to make a sale. That seems like a lifetime ago; no one was really talking about Facebook (at least not for business), very few about LinkedIn or Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest didn’t even exist then (they both started in 2010). No one even says how many touches it takes anymore, but it is definitely a lot more then 11. It doesn’t mean every single sale will require 12 or more touches, but it does mean that the more ways you connect and the more often (though in general more then once a day seems excessive) you connect, the more likely you are to get business from prospective clients on your list.
Today, there are so many things vying for our attention, how can someone stay top of mind for when your buyer is ready to buy? By consistently reaching out to your list, you are connecting with them and engaging them (hopefully more often then not). This is what keeps you out in front, when it is time to buy.
- Another reason frequency is an important component in your sales process is you never know when that potential customer is going to buy. How many times have you needed something and at that exact moment, you had seen an ad or gotten an email or something in the mail.
Unless you had someone that you regularly purchase this item/service from, who are you likely to call first? Recency can be the difference in a sale or no sale. If you are connecting regularly there are two ways that recency can help you. Either, the prospective customer just heard from you or they are used to hearing from you, so you are who they think of when they think of your product or service.
The Facts are In
And, if that is not enough of a reason, recent studies have shown that almost 70% of the purchase decision has been made before the buyer reaches out to talk to a human. And, based on the study of customer engagement by Gallup, customers who are actively engaged with a company represent a 23% premium in purchasing behaviors (profitability, revenue and relationship growth) over the average customer. In specific industries, the numbers were even higher.
The facts are in and staying connected to your prospective client and existing clients is key to your business growth.
Mistake #2 – Getting Really Specific
The second mistake business owners make that affects their bottom line is they don’t get specific enough in terms of who they serve best. Often, business owners fear that by being specific they will lose opportunities, when in fact the opposite is true.
When you know who serve best as a client, selling is effortless. The more you know your ideal client, the easier it is to know exactly how you can help them and why they want to buy from you. It seems so easy because it is.
A Very Clear Picture
When you think about your ideal client, can you immediately identify their challenges and how your product or service helps them solve this challenge? And, while you are conjuring up this client, think about the language they use to talk about these challenges. Or, the context in which the problem exists.
It is like melting butter on a warm roll, it is so simple. You know them, and you know their pain and how it affects their lives and what fixing it would do for their lives. What this does to give you an advantage is know exactly how to market and sell to them.
Customers want to feel like who they buy from “gets” them. It creates a comfort and trust from the outset. Have you ever hired someone for a service you need and kept them long after you knew they weren’t doing a good job for you? Why, because they knew you and you knew them and trusted them and it was easier to keep someone who isn’t doing a great job then to go find someone who doesn’t know you and you whom you don’t know.
Mistake #3 – Consistency is Key
The third mistake is really one that needs no explanation. We all know that when you do anything consistently, situations improve (assuming you are doing something that is positive). And, the same holds true for marketing and sales activities.
If you want consistent sales, consistently market and sell to your ideal audience. The more you stay in front of these individuals, the more likely they are to know and trust you. And, when you are consistent, they know they can count on you and therefore, they know you are a professional.
As a business owner, you are likely overwhelmed with your “to do” list and areas of responsibility. Many business owners don’t like the marketing and sales part of their job. Yet, the most important thing you can do as a business owner is sell and typically, no one else does it as well as you do. No one, else knows as much as you about your product/service. No one else knows as much about your customers as you do. And, most importantly, no one else cares as much about the business, the bottom line and the customer as you do. The more you do marketing and sales, the more comfortable it becomes. When you don’t do it regularly, it is harder to stay fluid in the process.
Mistake #4 – It is all You
The fourth mistake may seem insurmountable, but it doesn’t have to be. When you are a business owner you may believe you are all alone. You generally are very busy and there are probably not a lot of people who understand your experience. And, well meaning friends or relatives may believe they know what you need to do or hear, when typically, unless they too are a business owner, don’t know the best way to support you.
When you are alone in your business, you usually can’t see outside of the way you have always looked at things. It is human nature to take the path of least resistance and more often then not, that means doing what you have always done.
In addition to doing things the same way you always have whether it is working or not, you might feel exhausted by the responsibility you carry. When you are tired, are you making decisions with a clear mind and taking full advantage of the information you have available to you?
That Voice of Reason
Having someone outside your business gives you a fresh perspective and new ideas about how to solve your business challenges. And, there is comfort in knowing you are not alone.
Have ever been stuck in a quandary about some aspect of your business? Maybe, you thought there were a limited number of options and none of them seem particularly viable. In those situations, it can be such a relief to have someone to talk to, if for no other reason, then to just get out of your head. And, who knows, maybe, they will have an idea that you hadn’t thought of or considered as a viable choice. It doesn’t mean you don’t have the solution, just that you were unable to access it because you felt stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Mistake #5 – The Best for Last
The fifth mistake business owners make that keeps them stuck (and probably creates the most challenges) is that they have difficulty prioritizing their activities and time. If you worked in the corporate world before starting your business, you may have the belief that it is your rules and you will do what you want, when you want. You will not be tied to a schedule; that is for employees.
What you find is that if you don’t create a structure of some kind for your time and activity, you are always in crisis or chaos. You have so much hanging over your head that you just want to close your eyes and make it go away.
But, it doesn’t go away and then, you feel like you can’t get anything done, because there is too much to do. When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.
Turn Chaos into Order
Getting control of the chaos will make everything work better, including you. You may think there is no impact to you carrying all of the many priorities in your life, but it does. How are you sleeping at night?
If you want to sleep well, business owner, learn what it takes to truly prioritize and get control of your day and life. You will be amazed by how much more time you have, how much happier you feel and how much better your business runs.
When you look at your business, how many of these mistakes are you making? Do you think they are having an impact on your business’ growth? If you want your business to move forward, start eliminating the blocks to your success. Tackle them one at a time and discover how much you enjoy your business and life.