Almost all business owners want their businesses to grow. They want to see more sales and profits. They want to offer their employees the opportunity to learn and achieve. But, how do business owners actually achieve the growth they want? Well, it takes much more than merely wanting growth, that’s for sure.
When you go on a trip, you likely use a map to show you where you want to go. You also need to plan for money to pay for the trip, gas to fuel your car and food to fill your belly. It’s the same for businesses that set out on a journey to grow. They need to map out where they want to go, how they will get there and how they will pay for it. Here’s how you can get your business started down the path of success.
1. Make a written plan.
Just how much do you want to grow? By 10 percent? 50 percent? 100 percent? Write it down. Decide on an exact number and then figure out how many new clients/sales would be required to reach your goal. From that point, decide what marketing activities are necessary to produce the leads that will become those new clients/sales. And when you get those new clients and sales, figure out how you will support them, e.g. customer service staff, production capacity, inventory.
2. Share your plan with others.
It’s going to take more than your hard work to make growth happen. You can be on your way to getting the help you need by communicating your plan to others. Your staff needs to be in tune with your goals for the company so they can help work toward them. In addition, one of the most powerful tools to help you reach your goals is an advisory board, a group of peers and advisors who can support you and your goals. They can hold you accountable, introduce you to resources, and tell you what worked for them.
3. Measure the key indicators of your plan’s success.
When we were kids, we played a game called Warmer/Colder. One of us would hide an item in a room and the others would try to find it. The one who hid the item would announce that we were “warmer” as we got close to the item and “colder” as we moved away from it. Your goals need to have a similar feedback system. Track and measure indicators that show you if you are reaching your goals. If you want to see sales grow, track how many sales leads you have received and how many closed. See if you can increase the closing ratio or lower your cost per lead. The longer your sales cycle, the more interim checkpoints you need to track to give you an indication of where your sales process is working or where it is breaking down. Do this for each of your goals.
4. Regularly review your plan and make necessary changes.
The weekly sales meeting seems to have fallen into disrepair in some companies. But without a regular time to review our results, we don’t know if we are making progress. Pick a time and look at your indicators of success. Are you seeing the results you predicted? Why or why not? What minor changes can you make to see if the results will improve? Make sure these meetings are frank and your commitments have teeth. I talked to one client who told me they had weekly sales meetings, so I sat in on one. The two partners (who did most of the business development) got together and one said, “Did you make your follow-up calls?” The other replied, “No, did you?” Satisfied that they were both underachieving equally, the meeting adjourned. This won’t work. Find someone who will embarrass you if you don’t achieve your goals; someone whom you respect and don’t want to disappoint.
The start of a new year is a perfect time to stop and reflect on what you want for your business, both in the short-term and long-term. Make it your New Year’s Resolution to not only want your company to grow, but to make it grow.
If any of these items are things you’ve been thinking about but youneed some help getting over the hump, that’s what we do at Anchor Advisors. Give us a call today and we’ll get right to work assisting you in measuring and achieving your goals!
Photo credit: by Gangplank HQ