There are no silver bullets
Beware of the easy fix. I work with a number of business owners that stumble across a new product or service and believe it is the solution to their poor sales numbers. The fact is, growing your business is a lot of work and there are very few short cuts.
One of my client’s found a company that provides a two year “surrogate sales” solution. During the contract period my client would work with this firm on a monthly fixed fee program to expand sales into a new area of business and transform their business into a more solutions based company. At the end of the two year program this company moves on and my client is left with running a transformed business.
In concept this program sounds very attractive, until you start to understand the dynamics of having to pick up the ball and run with it at the end of the engagement. This client does not have any sales staff, so the business owner would be the one that would need to work closely with this firm and continue the selling. That is not my client.
Another client needed a specific web tool to help their company in a transformation effort. This tool would provide them the ability to generate sales over the internet along with providing an expanded set of solutions. During initial review of the solution my client felt that it would not be difficult to drive incremental revenue… they just needed the tool. But in reality, they have found it to be much more difficult to drive the new revenue and generate activity to the new tool. THERE ARE NO SILVER BULLETS.
Growing your business takes a lot of hard work, determination, focus on results and understanding of your ideal customer. It takes an organization that is customer focused, marketing to drives activity, and a sales organization that can convert leads to sales. Take these steps to get started”
1.) Understand your target market – Take the time to profile your ideal customer. Some of the questions you need to ask include: What industry are they in, how long have they been in business, what are their problems, how do they perceive your company, and how do you reach them?
2.) Understand yourself – Objectively analyze how you serve your ideal customer. Does your product/service meet their needs, how is your customer service, do your billing and terms align with your ideal customer’s expectations, are you a partner or just a vendor, and are there ways you can better align with your target market?
3.) Adjust your reality – After evaluating your target market and your own company, carefully review those areas that need to be realigned in your firm. It may be your communication, product/service offering, pricing and terms, or distribution model.
4.) Develop an actionable plan – Develop a plan that allows your organization to have action items as key measurements of on-going success. By defining actions for your organization it provides you with metrics to track progress on a daily and weekly basis. Tracking actions allows you to understand how your organization is operating before the month is over. Reviewing metrics daily and weekly helps you to identify areas of weakness in your firm and address them before it is too late.
By starting with your mission, reviewing the above areas, and developing a dashboard of your key metrics you can stay on top of your organization to drive results. A dashboard may be a simple as a spreadsheet with charts, or it could be one of the many dashboard programs available on the market. Measure what you expect and two things happen: 1.) The organization responds with improved results, and 2.) It provides management the tools they need to identify those areas that need to be addressed before it is too late.
There are no silver bullets, but there are strategies and tactics to grow your business. Take proactive steps today, develop forward looking metrics, measure results and see your business transform.
Order your copy of “Mapping Your Recovery: Grow sales in difficult times” today. Available on Amazon and information at www.RoundhouseAdvisors.com/growsalesbook
Larry Turner is CEO of Roundhouse Advisors, Inc. and has over 25 years experience growing, starting up, repositioning, and revitalizing organizations. Roundhouse Advisors is a consulting practice focused on helping businesses increase enterprise value by managing pain, growth and owner exits. Larry is a consultant, public speaker, and the author of two books “Owner Exit Planning: Leave On Your Own Terms” and “Mapping Your Recovery: Growing sales in difficult times”. For additional information visit www.RoundhouseAdvisors.com