Three crucial activities to grow a business
I fully accept I’m being overly simplistic in saying there are three crucial activities to grow a business. Of course, there are myriad ways to grow and grow profitably. But there are three that stand out and more importantly, the chances are you only do one of them properly.
The first is lead generation – we all want a steady stream of qualified leads, from multiple sources as cost effectively as we can. That’s why lead generation and marketing should be a constant activity, to avoid feast and famine. It is all too easy in a small business to stop prospecting and marketing when you are busy, but that’s a big mistake. Most of us know this and will have some regular prospecting – it’s not easy of course, and can be expensive measured in both time and money. Without somebody to sell to, we won’t have much of a business, never mind grow a business.
The second crucial activity is much rarer to find in my experience. Namely having some form of sales process, so that every enquiry is treated in the same way. Different prospects require handling in the most effective way possible – it shouldn’t be dependent on who answers the phone, or gets the email or meets the prospect first. As small business owners, we must maximise every opportunity that presents itself, even if we are busy, which we invariably are.
The only way to do this is to have a sales process that everybody follows. A process that predetermines what should happen at every stage of the sales process. One that moves prospects logically to the next step, with the right amount of information in a non-pushy manner of course. The fact remains that most people want to be guided and sold to, not aggressively, but helping them to make an informed decision.
Frequently small businesses have almost no sales processes, certainly not effective ones. It depends on who has the initial contact as to what response the prospect receives. And if we’re busy, they probably get a poor response. We can all relate to trying to contact a business which doesn’t answer the phone or one that clearly isn’t that interested in my enquiry. The very same businesses that are advertising and generating leads!
The only way to crack this issue is to get a sales process – one that is clearly understood by everybody in the business. It must outline every step and best practice. Crucial to grow a business.
The third crucial activity to grow successfully is to look after your existing customers. Once a customer is acquired, why aren’t they treated as crucial assets of the business, adding not only revenue but future value too? All too often they are ignored, or even worse, treated as second class citizens with all the best deals reserved for new prospects! Far too many big businesses behave in this disgraceful manner – think of mobile phone companies, or insurers and financial services.
It is a fact that it is easier to sell to an existing customer than a new one – after all, they know what you are like, the quality of your product or service, whether you deliver on your promises, the list goes on.
When considering the value of a business, very few have any tangible assets that amount to much. The real value comes from future income streams and what’s the relationship like with it’s existing customers. If you can demonstrate that they are loyal, stay and buy from you frequently, and at higher volumes too – then they are a real asset and super valuable too.
So there you have it – three crucial activities to grow a business, and yet most will only focus on one, lead generation. The most expensive and probably least effective one too!
This is such an important topic that we devote specific modules to the concept, outlining what you need to know and do. Why not enrol in the Business Growth Club system, it’s free and tailor-made for small business owners looking to grow. BGC System