In this article, we’ll show you 7 crucial steps that any business owner can take to will set your business up for success this year.
One problem that most businesses face at some point is that running their business prevents them from growing the business. They can be so busy dealing with the ‘day-to-day’ that they never really get round to putting anything in place to make sure their business grows. Is this something you can relate to?
A common belief among business owners (particularly startups and those who have had some success with it) is that providing good service will eventually snowball into enough word-of-mouth referrals to sustain the business. Although this can happen, it’s rare (even more so for service-based businesses) and most definitely NOT something you should rely on to grow your business.
Here's what can YOU Can Do to make your business succeed
1 - What do you want your business to achieve most in the next 12 months?
Try to avoid thinking “I want xx number of sales this year”. Consider your sales as a byproduct of your success. Look a bit deeper and figure a what it is that will elevate your business to the next level and actually make those sales.
Want an example? We’re placing a bigger focus on SEO this year as I want to help our clients make at least 30% more sales by making driving them more targeted traffic from search engines and improving their website conversions.
2 - Be realistic with your goals
What goals can you realistically achieve in the year? It’s fine to challenge yourself and your staff, but setting unrealistic goals will only demotivate yourself and your team. What goals can you set that will align with what you hope to achieve?
My Example: Provide in-depth content that shows clients proof of what they can expect to achieve with our services. This will increase client confidence and help set realistic expectations.
3 - Do you have a clear path towards your goals
How will you achieve these goals? Do you know precisely what you need to do to achieve the goals above? Is it simply a list of prioritised tasks (with clear instruction on each) or do you need something more comprehensive?
My example: Create a series of case studies with real data that shows just what can be achieved. We could then share this content with current (and potential clients) and make it part of a new lead generation system.
4 - Trimming the fat
What’s draining your money? Could you spend it on something more effective like advertising or web design? Are you paying for services that aren’t providing an ROI?
We all have to spend money to make money but do you allocate time each year (or more frequently) to look at your outgoings and check that they’re either really necessary or that they’re providing a return on investment.
My example: One of the most common problems I see with SEO services is that they’ll optimise a page from a keyword perspective but do little to actually optimise the customer journey and actually improve conversions on site.
What this means is that even when a campaign is successful in bringing new traffic to the site, it fails to convert that traffic into sales (or at least converts far less than it could). What this means is that business owners are frequently wasting money on getting new website visitors that won’t buy because they don’t have a system in place for turning those visitors into sales.
I would strongly advise any business to invest in their customer journey before paying for any kind of traffic. It could be the difference between a successful or failed campaign.
5 - Do you have a clear brand mission?
Do your ideal customers understand what your brand wants to achieve?
Knowing what you want to achieve, setting realistic goals and having a clear path will provide you with a solid base with which to grow your business. But where you’ll really see things reach the next level is when you’re able to clearly share your vision with your clients. If you can do this and have them resonate with your vision they’ll be that much closer to being an ideal client.
6 - Where are the weak links in your customers' journey?
When was the last time you visited your website as a customer?
Pretend you know nothing about your business or how to navigate your website. How is the experience for you? Could you find the information you wanted easily? Did anything frustrate you? What was the sales page like? How about the checkout (if you sell online). Is it easy to purchase/subscribe/get in touch?
This simple exercise could highlight things you didn’t even realise might be putting off potential clients. Removing any barriers to sales can only be a good thing.
7 - Checklist To Make Sure Your Business Succeeds
- Check your analytics. Where are your visitors coming from, how are they finding you, which traffic sources are providing the best leads, how long do visitors spend on important pages?
- Write down what you want to achieve this year in business and put it somewhere you’ll see it on a daily basis.
- Write down some S.M.A.R.T goals you want to achieve and how you plan to make it happen. Don’t forget to be realistic. Think about your time/budget/staffing levels.
- Take a careful look at your expenses. Do you need to allocate your budget differently to allow you to achieve the goals you’ve set?
- What’s your brand mission? Work out how you’re going to align and share your vision with visitors and clients.
- Spend some time on your website. Journey through it as a new visitor. If possible, others to do the same. What does the client journey look like? Note down any problems you find and get them fixed.
Extra Help To Make Sure Your Business Succeeds This year
If you have the time check out these 2 articles (If not, why not bookmark them for later).
How to create your ideal client Avatar – A clear guide to help you to identify not just whom you’re talking with, but to actually understand them on a deeper level. When you can do this, you’ll be able to address them directly in all of your content and marketing materials.
3 Steps to turn your website into a lead generation machine – If you follow these 3 steps, you’ll be able to consistently bring new leads into your business that are automatically qualified for your service. Once implemented, you’ll have an automated lead generation system that works for you while you sleep.