There are so many ways to build a business and if you’ve just started, or are a few years into your business, you will have seen many people shouting about how they built their 6 or 7 figure business in 3 months (<– I call bullshit on most of those claims) and how you can do the same.
Let me tell you this… I’ve been at this business building caper for quite a few years now and my revenue and profits have increased nicely over the years but I’m not claiming my 6 figure fame just yet. It’s totally possible for some, but for the majority it takes a few years of work to be able to take a nice amount of money home.
I’m proud to say that after 2 years of working in my business full-time (I built my business part-time whilst still working a 9-5 before leaving that security two years ago) I have finally replaced and exceeded the income that I used to make from my 9-5. I’m super excited and proud about this and I think I’m the norm, not the exception. It takes work and time to build a sustainable business.
Here’s what has helped me in building and growing my business and what I think will help you too.
1) Build a reputation
Whilst building a reputation and doing brand building activities rarely result in immediate leads they are essential for any business wanting to build long-term value in their brand. Plus building a reputation as an industry expert is also important if you want to convert more of your leads to sales. Work proactively on your reputation by becoming a thought leader in your field, for example, write a blog or book, get featured on podcasts, become a guest expert on a program or speak at a conference. You could also ask your existing customers for written or video testimonials and case studies to publish on your website.
2) Craft a powerful message
Competition is ever increasing and if you don’t constantly review and revise the benefits for why your customers should choose working with you, you could be in danger of being left behind.
Think of the two or three things that you are great at and elevate these in your message and marketing material. Think of your USP (unique selling proposition) and include this in your message. Most of the times your USP will revolve around six attributes, namely your product or service is Faster, Cheaper, Superior, Easier, Scarcer or Greater (defined as bigger or more compact). Having clearly articulated USP’s wrapped up in a powerful marketing message helps you sell to more customers more often.
3) Create value
There are so many offers out there for people to choose from, so it’s really important to create value. Don’t simply fill the job description, but fulfil higher expectations. Be proactive about creating value for your clients. I’m not talking about giving away your time for free, I’m talking about delivering what your client needs and exceed their expectations. Delight them, surprise them.
4) Raise your prices
Increasing your price by ensuring you give more value to your customers can often be the quickest way to generate more revenue and accelerate your business success. If you’re worried about losing customers, you might be surprised that your customers are either not as sensitive to price as you think or would appreciate the added value you could give them for only a small increase in price. So, how could you add value and raise your price?
5) Remove what isn’t contributing to your goal
This might be the hardest task in this series, simply because people love to be distracted. Whether it’s procrastination or obligation, we do things far too often that we aren’t really excited about. There are so many things shouting for our attention, so many things we could be doing with our time but until we make an effort to say no to those things we aren’t 100% focused on what we actually set out to achieve.
Look at your goals and determine what you really want to achieve. Then look at how much of your schedule is taking up things that don’t really matter to you or are not helping you move toward fulfilling your goals and dreams? Remove those things (or sometimes people) immediately.
6) Get connected
You may have heard the saying that it’s about ‘who you know’ not ‘what you know’. Whilst I disagree with some part of this, because of course it’s important to have knowledge in the area that you’re working in, I completely stand behind getting connected. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter offer lots of opportunities to build your network and make connections. It’s important to build connections with value in mind, not focusing on sales. Ask yourself how you can add value or help my connections rather than how you can sell them something. You’ll be surprised by how quickly your help and effort will turn into referrals and Facebook tags. If electronic networking is not your thing then focus on building connections through networking at conferences and other events.
7) Own your own development
Having your own business is one of the biggest personal development exercises you can undertake. Most of the time you spend a lot of hours with just ‘your thoughts’ so it’s important to keep positive and focus on personal growth. Because it’s impossible to outsource your growth to someone else, so it’s up to you to focus on your own development.
There are many opportunities for personal and business growth and only you can decide what’s right for you. Whether it’s investing in a course because you feel the need to learn a new skill, or whether you decide to work 1:1 with a coach, or perhaps you’d prefer the strength of a group of people through a mastermind, it’s important to choose an option that’s right for you.
Recently I wrote about why I participate in a mastermind and why I think you should too, you might want to revisit this post to see if a mastermind is for you.