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I love chatting with other women in business. I always have lots of questions about their business. Out of curiosity, sure, but mostly so that I can truly understand how their business works.
Most can tell me about their product or service and who it helps. They know their bestsellers and a general idea of how their ideal clients have heard about them. But there are always a few key areas that turn out to be grey areas for them. And, unfortunately, they are some very important ones.
They are areas that, if you’ve not given them a lot of thorough thought, can make or break your business.
When it comes to business growth, some things are crucial to success. Here are the top five areas I see get missed all the time:
#1) Value Ladders: Your value ladder is your catalogue of offerings arranged by price and, usually, in the order your clients will need them. Knowing what you want your client to do next has an importance that can’t be understated. When you know the path you’ve laid out for your clients like the back of your hand, you can make sure all of your efforts are working them along that path. In short, it means repeat business for you.
#2) Your sales process: Whether you acknowledged it when you went out on your own or not, you are now a salesperson. And your sales abilities are going to factor into the success or failure of your business. One way to build successful sales habits is to have a well thought out sales process. A process that includes giving your client all of the information they need to make a purchasing decision. One that makes time for sales conversations with each of them. And, of course, tracks it all in a way that works for you and your work habits. Bonus points if you’ve included planting the seeds now for the next product in your value ladder.
#3) Your numbers: Bookkeeping is not something that should only be completed for tax purposes. It’s so much more than tracking debits and credits. It’s the only way to know the true health of your business. Having reports built into your bookkeeping practices that evaluate things like your pricing (and this should include a rate for your time) and profit margins will ensure that you know when a cold is coming in your business before it hits so you can self-correct back to a healthy state.
#4) Customer Journey: Your customer has chosen to work with you because they are going through a transformation and think you can help them. When they embark on this journey, you’ve got to be sure that you understand who they are when they start working with you vs. who they will be when they are done. With it, you can create offerings that help them get to that person and guide them to each level of offerings through your customer service efforts.
#5) Business Development: Low hanging fruit can only take you so far. That’s why it’s important to set time aside for planting seeds that can be harvested later. By this, I mean making time to identify new opportunities for business growth in new markets or through new partnerships (to name a few examples), mapping out how to take advantage of those opportunities, and then getting to work. This is a project to ensure you are taking on regularly to keep your sales pipeline nice and full.
Business ownership is about more than ideas, marketing and networking.
While those are big pieces of your business’ foundation, they often overshadow these five equally important areas. Your success will actually come from these less sexy efforts. It will come from creating the right offerings that will help your clients through their transformation. You’ll find it by solidifying habits that have you walking your clients through each of your offerings. It will come from making time to source out opportunities to meet and talk to new clients. By bringing together these last pieces of your business’ foundation, you’ll know exactly how your business works to answer my questions the next time we meet.
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Samantha King is a business strategist and mentor helping busy boss moms like herself get on track in their business, identify and map out opportunities to level up and work with them to implement the systems and processes within their businesses that they need to make that growth happen.
Samantha is also a self-professed TV fanatic, a natural storyteller, an Adult Colourer, Photography Enthusiast, a Book Junkie, Meditator in training, possible runner, and (her guilty pleasure) a certified people watcher.