— February 5, 2018
The two biggest complaints most businesses owners have are lack of time and/or lack of money. It’s difficult to find enough time to balance the demands of running a business and trying to manage your home life.
And of course, many people don’t feel like they have sufficient funds to invest in their business the way they want to. , it’s so important to set the right goals. Strategic thinking is important if you hope to scale your brand and increase revenue.
As we settle into this new year, you’re probably already focused on your plans going into 2018. Here are five ways you can begin thinking about scaling your small business this year:
Take Stock of Where You Are
What if you woke up tomorrow to find out that your sales had magically tripled overnight? Every business owner’s dream, right?
Now be honest — does your business have the people and systems in place to handle all of that new work? For many people, the answer would be “no.”
That’s why you need to start by evaluating where your business is at today. By doing an honest evaluation of where your business is today, you’ll be able to see if you are ready for that kind of growth. If you aren’t, you can develop a plan for how to get there.
Outsource Everything You Can
Business owners are used to wearing many hats, especially in the early stages of growing a business. You are a business owner, customer service representative, graphic designer, writer, and more!
In the beginning, that may be necessary, but it doesn’t work if you are hoping to scale. At some point, you need to start outsourcing much of that work. Everything can’t fall on your shoulders. If it does, then you will never be able to do the work necessary to scale your business.
Fortunately, outsourcing doesn’t have to be incredibly expensive. Platforms like Upwork or Fiverr can help you find qualified and affordable freelancers. And at some point, you are going to need to hire permanent team members.
The point is, no one can do it all by themselves. You need to learn how to hire the right people to help you achieve your business goals.
Automate, Automate, Automate!
A lack of systems is a huge reason many entrepreneurs fall short in meeting their goals. It’s easy to fall into the trap of spending all of your time working in your business and not on your business.
A system is a way of solving a recurring business issue in a simple, effortless way. That way you aren’t constantly having to come up with new ways to address the same problem.
Some of the best areas to create systems for are:
- Employee onboarding
- Customer onboarding
- Email management
- Bill pay
- Content marketing
- Social media
Take some time to find tools that will help you set these processes on autopilot. For example, some of my favorite automation tools for marketing are MeetEdgar and Missinglettr. In the email marketing arena, many business owners swear by Drip or Infusionsoft. You can set them up and let them run with little maintenance from you.
Systems take time to figure out and put in place, which is why many people don’t do them. It requires that you take the time to identify the problem and plan out a well-defined process. Sit down with your team and decide what systems you can delegate or automate today.
I promise you it will save you tons of time in the long run.
Focus Heavily on Customer Retention
If you have been in business for any length of time, then you have probably heard of the Pareto Principle. When applied to sales, it states that 80 percent of your future profits will come from 20 percent of your current customers.
Customer retention is so important, and this principle is not a new one. After all, it’s less expensive and it’s easier to sell to a current customer than it is to acquire a new one. It’s exciting to sign up a new customer but if you want to scale, you should spend more time figuring out how to hang onto the customers you have.
Several years ago, we implemented a Client Service Team for this specific task at my agency. They provide non-stop policy support for all our clients, and this department has turned into one of our best marketing tools as well. Our prospects love hearing that once they are on board with us, we’ve got a whole team of people whose job it is to make sure they stay happy.
What could you provide to your customers that will set you apart? Sit down and brainstorm three new ways that you can let your clients know they are important to you this year.
Don’t Make It About You
Most importantly, if you want to scale your brand then you have to realize that your business is not all about you. At some point, you’ll want to take a vacation. And when you do, your business should continue to function just fine without you.
Which people and systems can you put in place this year that lets your business run on autopilot?
This may sound amazing but for many entrepreneurs, it can be difficult to realize that the business can go on without you. Fortunately, once this happens, that’s when you know you’re truly ready to scale.
What are your best ideas for scaling your brand this year?