Starting a business is easy.
Building a successful business is HARD!
Well, once you start your business, you’ll find that there just simply isn’t enough time in the day to do everything you want to get done.
And usually not enough resources either.
It can be very easy to lose sight of why you started your business in the first place. Sometimes being your own boss isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be!
So how can your business be one of the 40% to survive the first 3 years of business?
How can you build a successful business that lasts?
According to this study, companies with less than 200 employees have a lower survival rate than firms that employ more than 200 people.
If you want to become more successful, you have to strive to grow. Small does not always mean safer or better!
As Pat Riley once said:
“If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse”.
So if you want to get out of the trap of exchanging your TIME for MONEY, there’s a key change you must make…
If you don’t commit to work ON your business rather than just IN it, you are destined to remain small.
If you want to grow your business in size, revenue, and profitability, you must commit to growth.
But fortunately, I’ve come up with a list of 8 surefire ways to supercharge your business growth based on my own experiences.
In fact, I followed this exact process over the last 6 months, which has resulted in our business DOUBLING in size.
Sound good? Then read on…
1. Set BIG Goals
Set a goal to become the #1 company in your industry – and watch what happens.
Big goals are motivating.
Throw those “SMART” goals out the window. After all, who are you to say what is a “realistic” goal? It’s better to fall just short of a goal that is 10 times bigger than to reach your “realistic” one.
I was doing this myself… I was more than happy going along steadily, “business as usual”, with a comfortable pay cheque and a decent amount of sales.
But it wasn’t motivating.
I didn’t feel as though I was helping enough people, or living up to my potential.
So I sat down and worked out what I really wanted out of my life, and my business.
So I wrote down my goal for the company.
“We are the #1 Marketing Agency in the world.”
By making a commitment to go outrageously big, all of our business decisions are now made with a different frame of reference.
Because we’re focused on growth (so we can help more people grow their businesses), we now make our decisions based on whether the outcome of the decision helps us to achieve this goal.
Action Tip: Write down your 5 HUGE business goals (bigger is better).
2. Buy (or Use) Your Own Products and Services
Do you genuinely believe in your products and services? Do you demand that everyone around them uses what you are selling?
If you don’t believe in what you are selling 100%, then how are you going to sell it to someone else?
If you don’t BUY your own products or services, then why should your customers?
If you sell insurance services, then you better have a comprehensive level of insurance cover.
If you sell Instagram marketing services, your Instagram feed better be straight FIRE!
If you are a marketing company, you better producing some epic content, videos, and ads for your own business.
If you’re not 100% sold on your own products and services…how can you expect anyone else to be?
Since we’ve made the commitment to ‘practice what we preach’ and begin marketing our own business in the same way we do for our clients, we’ve seen huge gains in both the quantity and quality of enquiries (and revenue).
Action Tip: Actually use your own product or service so you can put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
3. Create and Document Your Processes and Procedures
“Your business is a machine…primary systems composed of sub-systems.” – Work The System.
If you boil down what your business does to a purely mechanical sense, you’ll find something extraordinary. Your products and services are actually created from a series of orderly steps taken in sequence to achieve a consistent outcome.
If you want to grow your business, you MUST develop and then document your key processes.
Without the right processes in place, it is very difficult to consistently deliver the same outcomes for all your customers.
How can you scale up, hire new employees and then train them to do exactly what you want, without the aid of written procedures?
As we have begun the long task of documenting our procedures for repeating tasks, we have started to notice significant gains in productivity AND consistency of results.
It also makes training our new employees much easier, and gives them a lot more guidance during their learning period.
Action Tip: Read these 2 books – it will change the way you view your business.
4. Invest In The Right People
Finding, hiring and keeping great employees is extremely tough.
But as every single business since the beginning of time has discovered, that in order to scale up, you must have the right employees who are committed to achieving the same goals as you.
The key to finding great employees is to create a hiring process that filters out the top prospects BEFORE you actually meet anyone.
You must AUDITION them to see how they behave, rather than listen to what they say about themselves.
Here’s How To Quickly Identify Quality and Capable Employees
Step 1: Post a job ad with a simple task included
Within the job ad, include an immediate disqualification task.
For example, you could add instructions like:
All applications must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “I’m the employee you have been searching for’
If the applicant does not follow the instructions EXACTLY, then delete their response.
This seems harsh, but if they can’t follow even the most basic of instructions when applying for a job, then how are they going to show the necessary attention to detail when working with you?
This step should automatically filter out 50% of the initial applicants who did not take the time to have the ‘attention to detail’ that you require in your business.
This saves you a large amount of time. Then you can filter out the remaining applications by the normal methods of checking communication skills and previous work (if applicable).
Step 2: Have Applicants Call You at a Set Time
Tell the remaining applicants who might be suitable to call you at 11:32am or some other odd time.
If they call at 11:35am or 11:28, then eliminate them.
It automatically shows they can’t follow instructions and clearly don’t have the attention to detail you are looking for (if this is important to your business).
During the call ask them a few more questions (to see if they sound like a good fit your business), and then offer them to do a trial task.
Step 3: The Trial Task (paid)
You should have narrowed your candidate list down substantially to a handful of people who have already demonstrated that they have:
- Attention to detail
- Can follow instructions
- Seem like a good fit for your business
Now it’s time to see whether they actually do the job that you’ll be paying them to do! You should pay them for this trial task.
If you’re looking for a sales person, send each applicant a list of old prospects who did not purchase previously, and ask them to close them for you (and offer commission on the sales they make).
If you’re hiring a web designer, ask them to make a series of changes to a website to demonstrate they have the skills to do the job.
By now, you will have discovered whether your applicants can ACTUALLY DO THE JOB!
It’s impossible to fake the trial task – the person can either do the job, or they cannot.
Your initial list of applicants has been filtered down to 1-2 clear winners (one or both of which you can now hire!).
Action Tip: When hiring an employee, have them do trial tasks to demonstrate they can actually do the job.
5. Invest in the Right Marketing Channels (Know Your Numbers)
Knowing where your customers come from is not only important, it is VITAL.
As a business owner, you MUST discover exactly which marketing channels are most effective for you.
But which one?
The old marketing days are over – literally, everything can be measured online using today’s tools.
Which marketing channel generates the best results for my business?
Which is marketing channel the most PROFITABLE for me?
- Google Adwords
- Instagram (ads, posts or influencer posts)
- Facebook (ads or posts)
- Youtube / video
Once you discover which channels drive the most traffic and customers through your website, you must invest time into making them even more effective.
If you don’t know which marketing channel is your best performing, then you MUST find out immediately.
This can be done by installing Google Analytics (or log in) and make sure you understand the high level ‘channel metrics’.
Once you know your numbers, it’s time to split test everything!
- Ad copy
- Ad images
- Landing pages layouts
- Call to action
- Video vs photo content
Discover which combinations perform the best with each other.
Test. Test. Test.
Your sales funnel will typically look like this:
Audience → Ad → Landing page → enquiry → follow up → sale
Action Tip: Log into your Google Analytics (or Install it) and view the ‘channels’ report. It will illustrate where the majority of your traffic and enquiries come from.
6. Generate More Traffic (and Attention)
In order to grow your business, you have to get more customers (or higher paying customers).
But how do you get more customers?
You gotta get traffic.
But here’s the problem…
Most of your potential clients have probably NEVER HEARD OF YOU OR YOUR BUSINESS!
If they don’t know you, how can they buy from you?
You need to become known in your industry. You must become a major player in your market and generate more attention.
This can be done by creating useful and relevant content aimed at your customers.
Solve their problems with helpful videos, guides and tips on your website, or on your social media accounts.
This will get your name out there into the market, and show that you are an expert in your niche.
This will lead to more website traffic…
And once you bring in traffic, and generate more attention for your business, then you can start worrying about CONVERTING this traffic into an enquiry, and then a sale.
Action Tip: Start blogging or creating short videos that solve your customers’ most pressing problems and publish them on your website.
7. Invest In Your Business
For once, The Notorious BIG was wrong…
“Mo money, mo problems” does not apply in business.
More like ‘NO money mo problems’.
If you don’t have cash to invest back in the business, you are going to find it extremely difficult to grow.
Rather than spending money on toys, re-invest it into the business. Use this extra cash to invest in a person who will free up more of your time to focus on the MOST important tasks in your business.
As a business owner, your most valuable tasks are generally doing things like:
- Negotiating deals
- Selling to high value customers
- Creating new and better offers
- Working on the business’ positioning
- Building the sales funnel
- Establishing culture
Running errands, cleaning the office, washing the car and doing other ‘busy work’ can be outsourced to someone else for a nominal hourly rate.
Remember, there are a lot of people out there who are looking for work, and would love the chance to earn some income.
The key is to free up your TIME!
However, it doesn’t always need to be your cash that is invested.
You can always invest more of your own time and energy (they’re free after all!).
If you get to work 1 hour earlier, stay 1 hour later, and work 1 day on the weekend, you’ll add an extra 15-20 hours of solid UNINTERRUPTED work to your week.
I’ve been doing this myself for the last 6 months and it’s incredible how much more you can get done on a weekend, or early in the morning before the phone calls and emails have started coming through.
Action Tip: Outsource low-value tasks to an assistant, and work 1 day on the weekend!
8. Take a Risk!
Lastly, take a gamble. Take a punt.
Or as they say in basketball, “Shoot Your Shot”.
At some point, you have to take a calculated risk to grow. Protecting what you already have will not take your business to that next level.
You have to TAKE YOUR SHOT!
If you truly believe that your products and services can help other people, then you should be trying to get as many people as possible to use them!
Remember, if you’re not expanding, you’re contracting.
And as “The Great One” Wayne Gretzy said:
“You Miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.
Action Tip: Shoot Your Shot!