7 Ways to Uplevel Your Business
Mar 20, 2020
Usually when we go into business for ourselves, our goal is to succeed. Sure, we have other motives when it comes to what we do and provide, but the overriding goal and assumption is that we will succeed.
And with that, I am here to suggest we aim too low.
No one puts time and effort into any project thinking that they will fail from the start. Yet, time and again, small businesses fail – and fail spectacularly – because they don’t keep to some basic principles. While there is a host of reasons that this happens, the truth is too many set their sights at merely succeeding.
But to really make an impact, you can’t just succeed. You’ve got to aim to excel.
My time as a Pro Golfer taught me that those who aim to merely succeed don’t. That was affirmed again when I started Wearable Imaging and started working with clients to create tailor-made promotional products campaigns to provide the best promotional products for a business' objective. And it is something I have encountered in everything I have done – from supporting Alzheimer’s Orange County to sponsoring events to providing Concierge Service to clients.
To make in each of those, you must follow not just success principles … but principles that take you to a whole new level. Following these basic principles will help you stay focused and, most importantly, build a thriving business.
- Understand The Unique Value That You Provide. In a highly competitive environment, you need to be able to differentiate yourself from the crowd. What do you offer to your customers that no one else provides? Once you understand this, you need to be able to communicate it clearly and succinctly, in terms that will get potential customers saying “I want to work with them!” Then … look at where you can kick it up by at least 10%.
- Define Your Niche. Many small business owners are worried that if they define their audience too narrowly their business will not be as successful as it could be. In fact, the opposite is true. Your message can’t be laser-focused if you are working with “everyone”. You need to be able to understand your audience’s specific challenges and how you solve them. And don’t worry … people are very intelligent and can extrapolate to fit their needs. So, if you are concentrating on women who are concerned about anti-aging and you start talking about dry skin and how you can help, people with eczema will be listening in and making the connection. Then dive into your niche and uncover where you can carve out a sort of monopoly. Maybe you’ll have the best customer service in the industry, be known as the most innovative, or perhaps bring products from concept to production faster than anyone else. Whatever area you can excel, own it like it’s yours alone.
- Monitor Your Finances. One interesting statistic is that a good majority of small businesses fail because they run out of money. Part of this is because they don’t understand their finances – what it costs to produce their products or provide their service and how that compares to what they are charging their customers for that product or service. Make it a point to understand where your money is coming from and going to and plan accordingly. After doing that, understand which of the products or services are your big revenue drivers and which are the ones bringing everyone in. They may not be the same. Knowing this is a game changer.
- Grow Strategically. As you gain momentum in your business, the instinct to start expanding is grows exponentially. Maybe it’s adding staff members or buying new equipment or making other investments in your business. Far too many entrepreneurs make the mistake of growing too quickly too soon. Take the time to evaluate your business and plan out how you will make those investments. Use growth strategies that bring a measurable return on investment and place your business in front of your ideal clients. When you can anticipate growth, you can bring on new team before it becomes a crisis. This allows you to ‘train just in time.’ Having staff ready to deliver the moment you need it … and not a minute too early or too late … requires a level of intention and awareness that those who settle for success (rather than rising to excel) rarely experience.
- Take Advantage of Opportunities. As you evaluate your business, you may see patterns emerge that you never expected. If you find your customers repeatedly asking for a service that you hadn’t considered to be core to your business, maybe it’s time to offer that to more customers. Or if you have found that an add-on product or service you provide has been of tremendous help to a certain group of customers, make it part of your messaging. And especially in these times, offer more ways to provide tailored services. Always be on the look-out for new opportunities to better serve your customers … especially for areas that align with what you do and are the step before or after your clients come to you.
- Put Your Customers First. Relationships are key to business success. When you are small, you may devote more focus to building those relationships. As you grow, don’t lose that connection to your customers. Not only will they notice the change in your relationship – they will tell others as well. Look for ways you can offer bundles or packages that save your customer time or money. Understand the struggles they experience that lead them to your solution and speak to those concerns not just in your marketing, but in the way you deliver (that’s one of the reasons why we offer a promotional products concierge service – because we know a lot of our clients don’t have the time or insight on what the best product would be … so we offer a service that cures this). Build real relationships so your customers know they are not just a number. Send small gifts - including flowers, food, desktop gifts, and items that speak directly to them (most don't know that a promotional products campaign tailor-made to accomplish this gets great response and success) - so they know you are thinking of them ... and not just when you are looking for a sale.
- Stay Top of Mind. Growing a business is challenging. One of the biggest challenges is to be the one they call when they have an immediate need for your product or service. Whether they are previous customers or contacts that were not quite ready to buy, staying top of mind for that next sale is of paramount importance. One great way to do that is through promotional products. Whether it’s a pen with your logo and contact information, or something a little more expensive that you used as a thank you gift, don’t underestimate the value of these items in your marketing arsenal. When you bring a part of your business into your client’s everyday experience, it is far easier to stay top of mind.
These are just a few ideas to help you succeed in your business endeavors. I know what it takes to grow a business – I started Wearable Imaging 28 years ago, and we are still growing. We continue to keep our aim at ways to excel and I want to help you do that too. Give me a call at 949.888.7837 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your complimentary strategy session. Let me share with you some ideas on how to set your business up for success.
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