In a recent post on Facebook, I outlined my basic system for growing your business faster. Here it is:
1. Work on developing a really good marketing message that embodies how you help your clients. Make it clear and easy to understand and that makes them ask, “Tell me more about that.” Some people struggle with this for years. Make it a priority to nail it down as soon as possible and use it as a theme that permeates your marketing.
2. Put together a very good, well-written and professional-looking website. It may be one of the biggest investments in your business, but it will pay off many times over. It’s the doorway to your business.
3. Work on building your e-list. One way is to offer a valuable free report on the homepage of your website. It’s harder to grow your list than it used to be, but if you make it a top priority it will pay off.
4. Do some kind of systematic keep-in-touch marketing such as a regular email newsletter and blog. And strive to make yours the very best in your industry. The better it is, the more your list will grow due to referrals.
5. Meet as many people as you possibly can, especially in the early years of your business, through networking and speaking. This is also a good way to build your list. Collect a lot of cards, offer your report and ask if you can add them to your e-list.
6. Use appropriate, no-hype email promotions to send to people from your e-list to your website for your offerings. I’ve promoted my coaching services, marketing tutorials, group programs and other classes this way with great success.
7. Master the selling process. Selling is not about manipulation, but about sharing value, learning what someone needs and getting agreement. There is an art to selling but it’s something you can learn
8. Make your inner work as important as the outer work of building your business. For me, it’s been about transforming my relationship to my fearful, limiting thoughts and beliefs.
If you work at mastering all of these, you will build your business faster, often much faster. And yes, it takes a lot of work to learn to do all of these things, but it’s the very best use of your time.
A few other friends added to this post and I’ll list some of their comments here:
Michael Stratford: http://www.michaelstratford.com/
I want to mention a few ‘intangibles’ and then a couple tangibles I’ve found useful, not mandatory, but useful
First, I’d like to reference a mentor….Thomas Leonard – who said to me and others “If you want to grow your business grow yourself”
That’s a big one…doing the inner landscape work that cleans up any leftover garbage, and toxic waste spills goes a long way toward making better decisions and taking smarter actions so that you don’t have to use up time recovering from missteps…you can proceed easier without having constant spill cleanups.
Second is seemingly contradictory…I’ve often said to clients “Slower + smoother = faster”…taking the time to put things in place so you can run well, run long and run easily at the beginning allows you to pick up the pace fairly quickly.
Third, is simplicity. The simpler things are, the easier things flow, because there are fewer things to “go wrong” with them and if something does, it’s easier to adjust.
Fourth, is systems…the more stuff you don’t have to put your attention on the more personal R.A.M. you have to put on the places where ONLY you are required.. this means tech, support, whatever you might deem a system that operates fairly automatically without much attention…even having a boilerplate proposal works, and autoresponders are a tech example, an accountant is a personal example
Fifth, Outsourcing when possible, and Crowdsourcing when needed. Giving jobs away and getting others involved, builds your team. More is almost always accomplished quicker with a team than without.
While taking the time to get clarity from others about what they want and are willing to buy is really helpful and saves a lot of recalibration time…it’s easy to test stuff, it’s more costly to make a huge launch, then find out you have no market for it and then have to completely re-tool.
Sixth, play… lightness is a big factor in acceleration, it’s just flat-out more attractive…after all, who wants to be working with someone who is so serious you want to have a drink after the session?
Seventh, and last for me is trust yourself and your instincts…you may have an intuition that doesn’t necessarily make logical sense but feels right…often that’s your inner GPS telling you to take a detour that’s of great benefit.
Kathy Mallary – http://www.spiritspring.com/
I would add “Do not expect your new biz to pay your salary.” A start-up does not typically make money – let alone a profit – overnight. Make sure you have some means of paying your personal bills SEPARATE from your business for at least the first 1-2 years, so that any money generated by your business can be invested right back into the business. Having unrealistic expectations about this can really mess with your mindset and derail your growth.
When you depend on your new biz to pay your bills too soon, it actually slows you down. It’s not the right mindset; you end up saying yes to things you shouldn’t and no to things you really should say yes to.
For instance, I often hear new biz owners say they can’t afford to spend $10-20/mo for AWeber or MailChimp, although it’s probably less than what they’re spending at Starbucks in one WEEK. So they skimp along with the free email package for as long as possible, trying to build a mailing list while at the same time in the back of their mind, saying “I can’t afford to have too many subscribers…”
If your focus is on “how am I going to pay the rent” instead of “how can I serve” – your attention is not in the right place, and you’re probably not making the best decisions.
Great ideas, guys!
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