"It may be true that you can’t buy friends, but it certainly cost something to make a new acquaintance" -- William Ballard
By William Ballard
Being an entrepreneur and growing a business or enterprise is no easy feat. It takes a lot of hard work, sweat, sleepless nights, and you may even shed a few tears every now and then.
The truth is, as a business owner, there are several options out there that can help increase your profits and, if we're all being honest with ourselves, its profits we all want – you can’t run a business without it.
Based off my years in business, and the knowledge I’ve gained from several years in Business school, here are 7 strategies that I’ve continued use to grow my business and can help grows yours as well.
1) Generate Leads By The Numbers
One of my mentors, John Maxwell, once said, "Your leadership is not measured by how many you have serving you, but rather how many you have to serve." To that end, you will never grow as a leader, and your business will never grow to the capacity that it can be, if you don't develop a process as to how you can increase the number of people you can serve.
The fact of the matter is: You can grow your business by increasing the number of qualified leads. For instance, if five out of 10 leads end up buying from you, and you can increase the number of people coming in to your store (or going through your lead generation funnel) from 10 to 15, you will increase profits by 50 percent. That is what I mean by "Generate Leads by The Numbers” – you got to do the math in order to stay above water.
Bonus Insight: One of the first things you must do in order to start growing your business is to define what growth means to you, and identify what it will look like to you.
For example, in the Church world, growth is identified by how many new souls are reached, and then by how many more are being discipled. Some churches also correlate church growth with starting daughter works or preaching points.
You see, by opening a new daughter work, they expand their reach to a new area of their city (or neighboring city) thus reaching more people and developing more discipleship opportunities.
2) Measure Everything
The next strategy -- or better yet, habit -- that you should develop in order to grow your business is to measure the number of leads you convert to buyers. This is how you measure the effectiveness of each of your sales efforts.
You see, it’s hard to get a clear picture of where you’re going if you’re unclear of where you’re currently at. If you can increase your conversion rate from one out of 10 to two out 10, you can double your sales and increase your profits.
For instance, consider personal trainers. Why do you think they take before and after pictures, and/or measure your BMI (Body Mass Index) before ever starting a workout session? They do assessments at the beginning to see where they are starting in order to keep track of progress and goals.
Improving your ability to, not only generate new leads, but to convert those leads into paying customers is one of the most important things you can do. Moreover, there is absolutely nothing that can replace ongoing sales training, both for you and every single person who speaks to your potential customers, either in person or on the phone.
(Bonus: Master Sales & Marketing to Grow Your Business Like a Pro – 10X Business Boot Camp)
3) Identify Key Challenge Areas and Work on Each One Daily
Going back to the personal trainer example, another thing they do during the beginning assessment (as well as throughout one’s program) is identify key challenge areas – such as one’s form during exercises or posture abnormalities. They do this so that they are aware of certain problem areas that could cause issues down the road if not managed or treated from the outset.
To that end, I suggest identifying key areas of your sales process that could use some improvement, and then decide on a plan has to how to make those improvements. In fact, the law of accumulation simply states: “A small thing accumulated over time can become a big thing.” In other words, a small improvement in each challenge area can lead to an enormous improvement in your overall sales results.
However, there is a negative side to the law of accumulation as well. If the positive side as to do with proper maintenance, management, or making small improvements, then the negative side would have to do with complete and total neglect.
You see, staying motivated to achieve your sales goals can be challenging in and of itself, but it’s essential to growing your business. Your ability to problem-solve in areas like these are vital to how much you can aid in, not only managing your business, but also growing it by leaps and bounds.
Related Article: How to Apply the ‘Law of Accumulation’ to Your Business and Your Life
4) Increase Profit Margins With Upsells
Another business mentor of mine, Grant Cardone, always told me that it is impossible to grow a thriving business with only one product (or service). With that said, I will piggyback on that wisdom by adding that it is impossible to master the art of up-selling with only one product (or service) as well.
One of the number one ways to grow your business is by increasing the number of sales you make to each individual customer you bring in. In fact, once you master this art-form you can guarantee that you will never be out of business.
For instance, just look at all the thriving businesses around you. When was last time you went to a store and was not asked, “Will this be all for you today?” This type of thing has been embedded into every major organization’s system and/or method of checking out customers. Sales clerks are trained in this art-from to the point where it becomes a habit to them.
What are some things that you could do to get your customers to buy more products from you at a given time? And more frequently, for that matter? By increasing the frequency of purchases made by an individual customer by 10 percent, you not only improve your sales efforts, but you also increase your profit margins by the same percentage.
In short, you should be continually looking for ways to up-sell each customer so that he or she buys more from you during each initial sale. In other words, don’t look at each customer as being only one item sold, but rather several items sold at a given time.
5) Understand Your Profit Margins
It’s important to understand what profit margins are if you want to really learn how to scale them out for immediate growth in your business. With that said, your profit margin is what is considered the gross profit you make from the sale of each individual product or service.
The way you increase profits for each sale is by continually seeking ways to raise the price for your product or service, or lowering the cost it takes to develop (or make) the product or service --without making any changes to the quality your provide.
In other words, if you raise the price of the product or service, while keeping the costs it takes to develop it consistent, every dollar you bring in from the sale flows straight to the bottom-line as profit. Likewise, every dollar you reduce in expenses (the cost to develop or make the product or service), if you keep sales and revenue consistent as well, it also goes straight to the bottom-line as net profit.
Related Article: What Sales Really IS (And What it is NOT!)
6) Spend Your Advertising Dollars Wisely
I’ll be honest with you, when I first got into business I always had the thought: you can’t buy friends. I guess in some respects that’s true, but when it comes to growing a business, it’s foolish thinking. You see, it’s impossible to make a new friend if they don’t know you exist. It may be true that you can’t buy friends, but it certainly cost something to make a new acquaintance.
In other words, it’s going to cost something to make that initial introduction, but it’s how you serve that new lead (that converts into a buyer) that determines whether or not they become a lifelong friend.
To that end, if you can lower the cost of acquiring a customer – this means improving/decreasing your advertising spend and continually seeking out creative and innovative ways to generate a new customers, this will increase profits for your business dramatically.
7) Don't EVER Overlook Your Current Customer Base
Word-of-moth marketing is still by-far the most powerful form of advertising, and it cost your nothing. Well … I take that back. It cost you in providing extraordinary quality service.
The reason why most small businesses fail before they reach their 5th year is because of this very point. They focus so tirelessly on generating new leads or potential prospects that they completely forget about the customer or clients they've already served. Don’t let this be you!
Seek out opportunities where you can provide extraordinary quality service, and then develop a system in which you allow your current customer base opportunities to recommend or refer your business or service to their circle of influence.
Developing one (or more) proven referral systems for your business can have an extreme impact on the increase of your sales/revenue, as well as the overall growth of your business.
In short, “word-of-mouth marketing” or an effective customer referral base system is an essential component to growing a business and should never be overlooked.
Now Over To You
When you practice continuous improvement in all of these areas of your business you increase revenue, scale out your profit margins, and grow your business by leaps and bounds, which contributes to your business’s future financial success.
Therefore, what are your goals to grow your business? Let me know in the comments below and I will be sure to follow up with you.
William Ballard, MBA is a highly sought after business strategist and content marketing expert. He is a highly respected content marketing strategist whose passion is to help struggling firms go from merely surviving operations to truly thriving organizations.
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