How to make your business grow

In News by Charlotte Noble0 Comments

In this Blog, you’ll find the answer to the question “How to make my business grow…?”

Whether you’re a Start Up or Established there is a simple rule that applies to achieving growth;

It is called the Principle of Dynamic Equilibrium, and once your business achieves it, growth will stop; so our challenge is how to avoid it

Simply put, when your business loses customers at the same rate as it gains new ones, you are in Dynamic Equilibrium.

Put it another way, the bucket is leaking as fast as you can fill it…!

So, the first step in getting your business back into growth is to figure out where the opportunity for improvement lies.

Do we need to fix the leak, or do we need a bigger hose…?

Fixing the Leak…

This is the cheapest and easiest place to start, in fact, way too many businesses waste huge amounts of time and money on Marketing and Sales, simple because they don’t fix the leak first.

What to measure depends on your business, here are some examples…

Martial Arts Business – how many students are you losing each month, in other words, what is your attrition rate. If it is over 5% then it’s worth spending time on strategies to improve here first.

Retail Business – how long is it between visits from your customers. The dwell or frequency of visit is a key driver of success here. First, measure what the numbers are and then look for ways to increase the pace of activity with all customers.

Consulting Business – how long do clients stay with you for…? In business Coaching for example, if your clients are leaving you after 3 months, then there is a huge opportunity for improvement.

What is your innovation program; are you offering obsolete services and products.

When was the last time you surveyed your customers to find out what they think you could improve…?

How good is your Customer Service…?

Try asking your customers “The Ultimate Question” from the excellent book of the same name by Fred Riechheld, and set a target for your future scores as a Key Performance Indicator of your business.

This approach has the added benefit of keeping your customers coming back, and encouraging them to refer new ones to you; a great way of destroying Dynamic Equilibrium…

Getting a Bigger Hose…

If your Attrition, Retention and Dwell are all under control, then another way (apart from going down the acquisition route…) to grow your business is to attract more customers.

Beware, Marketing and Sales is very inefficient; what I mean is that not all that you do will work, in fact, most of what you do may not generate any direct response at all and remember, it’s a process, not an event…

First, let us be clear on what Marketing and Sales actually are…

Marketing – gets the ‘phone to ring, or an enquiry to be made. It may get people in the room with you or to attend a meeting. It is simply designed to get Leads…

There are two types of marketing; Above the Line and Below the Line. Basically, ABL is general non-targeted activity, whilst BTL is targeted and directed at a specific niche or sector.

You will need to do both, but the more BTL strategies you have, the better. Remember in the SME sector we do not have a Brand to promote. We simply have a message and a reputation that we need to get to our target audience, such that they feel compelled to make contact…

Sales – is the process of converting the leads generated from your marketing activity into paying customers. This is the “funnel” or “pinch point” through which all your prospects must pass, and is where, in my experience, there are huge improvements to be made in lots of businesses.

There are plenty of people who are great at what they do. They get Leads from their Marketing team via SEO, Telemarketing or Seminar Invites, but when it comes to converting them to customers it all falls apart…

The conversion rate defines the success of your Marketing and Sales activity.

Leads x Conversion % = # Customers

Being a great Accountant, Martial Artist, Web Designer or Recruiter is simply not enough, the process of conversion has to be based on Value and Benefits, not Price and Attributes.

Getting good at Sales is one of the most effective ways there is to grow your business and maximise the growth potential you have…

Finally, they key to answering the question “how do I grow my business…?” is to understand the factors that are affecting it; don’t simply throw money at Marketing if your problem is Customer Service. Don’t offer discounts if the problem is Sales and conversion ability.

In fact – don’t offer discounts ever…

The trick is to identify what is actually preventing your business from achieving growth, and acting accordingly…

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