There’s a little-known secret in the business world.
When you take it to heart, you’re well on your way to being a smashing success.
A no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners, make-your-classmates-jealous-at-your-reunion kind of success.
Are you ready for it?
I hope so because I’m going to share it with you in just a little bit. But first, we’re going to dive headfirst into a series of business strategies that will put you on the path to awesomeness as an entrepreneur.
The First Fabulous – A Solid Financial Strategy
I know this sounds a little bit like putting the cart before the horse, but trust me – it’s actually a smart way to begin.
Before you can establish a successful business, you need to know how much you want to make in a year. It’s true – the amount of money you’re angling for has an immense impact on the business plan you’re creating. If you’re looking to add some extra spending money to your pocket, and you’ll be happy with $10,000 in profit, your financial strategy will be vastly different from the one put together by someone who wants to make $500,000 next year. You need to make sure that the number you’re looking to make is realistic. If you’re aiming for $100,000, and you made $15,000 last year, it’s going to be a long, hard trek to your promised land.
(Not that you can’t do it…there’s a lot to be said for determination.)However, if you’re just starting out and are planning on banking $15,000 in profits this year while working 40 hours each week in your business, you’re probably undervaluing yourself and your business. Will you be able to support your dreams and aspirations on $15,000? Most people would say “no”. Once you know what you want to earn, you need to look closely at your expenses.
To make money, you typically need to spend money. Add together the price tags of everything you need to make your business work and subtract this number from your revenue (your total sales for the year).Is your profit (the difference between the two) close to the number you planned to bank this year? If not, you’ll need to adjust either how much comes in (sales) or how much goes out (expenses). Plan on drumming up more business or cutting back on your spending. That’s the only two ways to make more profit.
One of the smartest things you can do to balance this equation is to outsource tasks that don’t generate revenue. Guard your time/money ratio closely. If you spend quite a bit of time on tasks that don’t deliver income, it’s time to delegate them…or maybe even stop doing them altogether.
The Second Fabulous – Pricing Strategies
To set an effective pricing strategy, you must be 100% clear on what it is that you’re selling. Sounds simple, right? You’d be surprised how many women don’t have clear offerings and products. Even more so, women tend to have too many different offerings and services that it’s completely confusing. I’ve done a few VIP Business Strategy Days where our goal was to take a look at everything available to sell and pair it down to 2 to 3 things. Simple sells. Keep your pricing simple, too.
Define your services or identify your products. If you aren’t absolutely sure of what you have to offer your customers, they won’t be sure what you can do for them. Once you’ve identified your offerings, set a definite, regulated price for each component. Don’t bargain, don’t discount, and don’t stray from the course. Consistency is critical. I like to call this “rinse and repeat”. If you’ve ever read the back of a shampoo bottle, you know what I mean. For the system to work properly, you have to do the same thing, exactly the same way, time after time.
Your pricing strategy ties in with your financial strategy. If you know how much you’re charging for a unit (an item, an hour of time, etc.) you can better judge how many of them you’ll have to sell to meet your financial goal.
However, don’t be afraid to change your prices to reflect on your success. If demand goes up, you’re on to something big. You can ask more for it. Or if you’re finding you need more time to complete tasks properly to satisfy your customers, you can raise your prices to leverage your time.
The Third Fabulous – Sales Strategy
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to sell and how much you’re going to sell it for, move on to how you’re going to move your products and/or services.Take the time to establish a set process that works for you when a lead comes in.
Write down a step-by-step flow chart that will guide you through each transaction. The format is up to you, but you need to break it down into a linear progression.For example, when you get a new lead, your first step may be to reach out with a telephone call or an email. Ask for a meeting. When the meeting is arranged, open with some general conversation, then move on to an active discussion of the product or service that would be perfect for your prospect.
Keep in mind that sales are actually serving – not every prospect you meet will be a fit for your business. This is okay. I repeat…this is okay. You are looking for the perfect fit customers as much as they are looking for the right fit with you. Also, notice the word “discussion”, not “presentation”. This should be an interactive time.code>
Finish with a quick summary that points out the benefits of what you have to offer.Just like pricing, sales has a “rinse and repeat” personality. Sales is strictly a numbers game.
The more approaches you have, the more sales you’re likely to land.And a final thought on sales…remember that if you’ve gone beyond the introduction stage, people will want to work with you. Be very clear about how you can make this happen, and you’re likely to land the new customer.
The Fourth Fabulous – Marketing Strategy
Marketing is the set of activities that fills your sales funnel. It generates your leads. To be more effective, use a mix of in-person, social media and online marketing.
The first step is to know where you can find your ideal prospects. If busy moms are your target audience, advertise on great mom websites or offer to speak to a working moms group. Put yourself where your client is and stand out from the crowd.
Remember that you can kick-start your marketing efforts with more in-person encounters. People like to work with other people, not always with websites or social media apps. These cool tools can uncover leads, but you’re the main ingredient in the soup.
You’re what makes your company special. People buy YOU! And once again…consistency – times three! Do you see a trend here? Marketing shares the “rinse and repeat” mantra code
Most of the time, numerous touchpoints are required to win the business. Up to eight exposures are the norm. If something is successful, do it over and over.Most of all, stay true to you. If something is uncomfortable, stressful, or negative, find a way to accomplish your goals in a different manner. There’s more than one way to eat ice cream.And now….DRUMROLL PLEASE!!!
The Fifth Fabulous – The Secret to Success in Business
THE GIVE-BACK STRATEGYThis is my magic bullet when it comes to getting you to follow the business strategy plan I’ve outlined above. This is how you can make what your business does more important, more exciting, and more beneficial to the world.
This is how you can build your legacy.Pick a cause that is near and dear to your heart. It can be related to your business, or not. It just needs to be important to you.Use your business to make a difference to this cause. This can be with contributions of time, talent, or financial support, which I like to call “treasures”.
Whichever route you choose, choose to get involved. Whether you want to sign a hefty check, volunteer to host a fundraising event, or offer to collect books for your favorite charity, your participation matters.
And the more money you make, the more you can contribute to your favorite cause.
It’s that simple.By using your passion for your cause as leverage, you can ramp up your business. By tying your contributions to your financial strategy, you have a reason to strive for more. Say you want to make $100,000 this year, so you can gift 10% to your favorite charity.
This is a total win-win for everyone.And don’t forget that your passion is also a great way to market your company. By being more involved with your cause, you become more visible to the community. Check out the advisory board of your selected cause. More than likely, you’ll find a lot of people just like you. Talking about your passion together is a subtle, exciting form of networking.So there you have it, in a nutshell.
When you break down your business strategies into these five easy pieces, you can see how you will move forward and put together a plan that will serve you well for years to come.As always, if you have any questions or want to share great success stories, reach out to me using your favorite form of communication.
The cause that’s near and dear to my heart is helping people just like you. It’s my way…it’s why I do what I do every day. I love what I do, and you’re the person I do it for.Until next time…