5 Easy Steps To Business Growth This Quarter
I'm writing this at the start of 2015 Q3 and half the year has gone already. Did you hit your Q2 targets? Did you have Q2 targets for that matter?! How's Q3 shaping up? Are you on track to hit your business growth targets? Do you have a growing marketing budget or is it still do it yourself? And my final killer question - does your business support your lifestyle and personal income goals?
Every day business owners ask me for advice on a problem they need to fix. I run a free Facebook group, Plan For Profit, so that small business owners are able to get easy access to expert business advice. I love being able to help and support my community, but often times we’re only scratching at the surface of their problem. Yes, I can help people with a quick and easy suggestion to ‘fix’ their problem. But the truth of the matter is that few business owners have a robust, thought out strategy for achieving business growth.
Which brings me back to your results for Q2. Did you have a clear set of goals for Q2 that you tracked to ensure you achieved your business growth plan? Did you have a solid business strategy that you adjusted and tweaked as the weeks went past? Do you have a written business plan?
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." ~ Albert Einstein
If your answer to one or more of these questions is ‘no,’ why would you expect your results in Q3 to be any different?
Here are 7 questions to ask yourself:
- What’s your business strategy and do you have an implementation plan for achieving your business growth goals?
- Have you prepared a budget and a financial forecast?
- Do you have a marketing plan that’s aligned with your sales targets?
- What are your KPIs or key performance indicators? Do you have a system for tracking whether you’re on target to achieve these?
- Have you dedicated resources to your marketing budget? Are these sufficient to achieve your business goals? Do you have a content strategy plan for managing the online marketing component?
- Have you leaned the basic skills needed to become a successful small business owner?
- Have you dedicated ‘protected time’ to ‘work on your business’ or do you fit this into the nooks and crannies of your day because you’re too busy ‘working in your business?’
At this point, some of you may be saying that you don’t need a business strategy because you’re not a large corporation, you prefer to work organically, it’s not important ...
The simple truth is that you do.
Here are 5 actions you can take now to get growth in your business this quarter:
1. Set Goals
The starting point for setting goals is to project forwards into the future and then to think backwards. This is what’s called “Back From The Future” thinking. Project forward to the end of the year and ask yourself, “If I deliver on my goals, what will my business and my life look like?” Then track back and work out what you need to do in this coming quarter to lay the foundations for these results. For further help on goal setting, read my article ‘Goal Setting To Finish 2015 Strong.’
Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." ~ Albert Einstein
2. Set Out Your Strategy For Business Growth
Now that you have a set of business goals, what’s your strategy to achieve these? Is the best business strategy for driving growth to create a sales team? To bring in a telesales expert who can contact potential prospects and arrange meetings so that you, or one of your team, can pitch your service or products? Would a better business strategy be for you to go to business events, build up your contacts and nurture these relationships? Or perhaps organising a series of events – either live or in person – would give you better exposure to your target market whilst allowing you to showcase your expertise?
Whatever you decide, be realistic about what is achievable right now. Yes, you want to drive business growth. But not at the expense of driving yourself into the ground.
Without goals and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination." ~ Fitzhugh Dodson
3. Decide On Your KPIs
Work out your sales targets for the next 12 months, using my system of setting ‘good, better and best’ financial goals. Then work out your sales conversion rate and how many prospects you need in your sales pipeline to bring on each new customer.
Now review the metrics from your previous marketing activities and work out what targets you’ll need to hit to achieve your sales targets. If you don’t have any metrics to go by, make your best guesstimate. Yes this is crystal ball gazing, but you can always adjust your KPIs as you go along.
4. Allocate Time To Work ‘On’ Your Business
Set aside ‘protected time’ in your diary when you can work – uninterrupted – on your business. Marketing Mondays and Finance Fridays if this helps you to create a new habit.
The reality is that you will not achieve business growth until you dedicate regular time each week to work on how you’re going to achieve your goals and to track your results.
5. Plan And Implement One Well Executed Marketing Campaign
Decide on one marketing campaign, which if well run, will increase the number of prospects and customers from one of your target markets. If you’re a heating engineer, you could run a September campaign to encourage new customers to book a boiler service. If you’re a coach, you could launch a free e-book, follow this up with a low priced option e.g. a £5 tutorial and upsell customers into an event or higher priced coaching programme.
What’s important here is that you allocate sufficient resources to run an effective campaign. This means creating professional, consistent branding to be used across all of your promotional materials and social media sites. This means starting early and using the right channels to promote your campaign. It about having a follow up system in place to deal with enquiries and new prospects.
Questions: What are your goals for Q3? What are you going to do differently this quarter to attain them? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share in the comments box below.
If you’d like to be part of an awesome group of entrepreneurs and receive daily tips, advice and guidance, I’d love for you to join my ‘Plan For Profit’ business community over on Facebook.
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