As a business owner, it can be all-too-easy to become so heavily focused on the day-to-day running of your business that you begin to lose sight of your long-term goals and the reason you got into business in the first place.
So today, I want to offer some perspective about why any of us are in business: ultimately, to achieve our goals and deliver us our dreams. I also want to explore how what we do each and every day affects our opportunity to achieve all of our goals.
To begin, it's important to recognise that your sales and marketing structure is what starts the miracle that will end up with you achieving your dreams.
Sounds unlikely? Take a look at the diagram below...
This will lead to exponential growth. What are the necessary activities, steps and tasks that must be executed that will drive you closer and closer to something you can touch and feel?
The only way you can turn your vision into reality is by moving forward with passion and the ethos of let’s make this work. It takes determination and persistence, especially in the early da
We’re all in business for ourselves because we want to achieve our dreams. Ultimately there is no other reason. Your dreams are at the end of a long process that starts with how many leads you generate for your business.
Let’s work backwards to understand this process.
What do you need to make your dreams come true? Steady, predictable profitflows over the long term.
What do you need to generate profitflows over the long term? Steady, predictable cashflow.
Where does cashflow come from? A steady flow of business that’s delivered on time and on budget by a team that’s focused on structure and predictability.
And a steady flow of leads – combined with a good sales structure – is needed to generate work. If you don’t have leads on potential clients in your target market you’ll just sit around all day surfing the internet because you have nobody to sell to. So, a good leadflow leads to a continuous stream of work in the business and ultimately to your dreams.
Profitflow only occurs when there’s a consistency to cashflow. Having a great month or a great quarter is just not good enough. It won’t get you to your dreams.
Many businesses that think they have a cashflow problem really don’t. They actually have a leadflow problem. If you don’t have enough potential clients in the desired target market moving accordingly in the pipeline you have no hope of achieving the cashflow you need. And if you don’t get consistent profitflow you won’t reach the holy grail of dreamflow.
There is one other way to reach your dreams, and that is to go into debt. But this is only a short-term option and won’t deliver you a dreamflow. You might be able to go on that one trip or buy that nice car, but that will be it. Far from achieving all your goals, you’ll achieve the first one and then be stuck paying it off for the next 20 years. I don’t think that’s what most people dream of.
So don’t get ahead of yourself and get into enormous debt. That’s a short-term plan with a huge downside. Wait until your business is consistently producing the profits you need to fulfil all of your dreams. It’s far better to wait an extra few years and do it properly than to get greedy and want everything now. So many bad decisions are made when the focus is short term rather than long term. Think about where you could be now if you’d made better long-term decisions five years ago.
The quality of your decision-making is pivotal. There’s no such thing as a bad business, only bad decisions. It all started with a great idea. You know that. You wouldn’t have put in the time and money and effort if you thought it was a bad idea, so that means your business is struggling because you’ve made some bad decisions. And that’s okay, because that means you can do something about it.
It starts with leadflow, having a continuous 24/7 approach to attracting and engaging A-grade clients, and ultimately making it easier for them to buy from you. This will in turn build up your work in progress. (Workflow is work in progress flow.) Continual growth and delivery of work in progress leads to continual cashflow, which leads to continuous profitflow, which leads to continuous dreamflow.
Flow - and the Six Pillars to Exceptional Growth
Right now you’re probably thinking, that’s all well and good, but how do I do that? What steps do I take in my business to make this all happen? This all relates to the Six Pillars to Exceptional Growth, because each of those pillars relates to the flows of your business.
The initial pillars of operations and finance influence the processes and scoreboard of your business. You need to have designed your business and how you intend for it to function predictably for profits. You also need to ensure that the business has relevant scoreboards for your reflection and your understanding of its strategic progress. To maximise businessflow you need to constantly review your systems and results, and be familiar with your business plan every 90 days.
Tips for creating a strong businessflow for predictable profits:
- undertake five income-generating activities (IGAs) every day
- achieve a fair return for your daily exertion
- have a financial plan in place, and stick to it
- have a formula to double – and then triple – your profits
- test and measure everything
- use a default diary
- constantly reflect and improve on your performance.
The pillars of marketing and sales influence the work in progress of your business. As I have said, it’s all about attracting future A-grade clients and making it easy for them to buy from you. It’s about finding the right people and having systems in place that ensure they buy from you. You must understand the profile of your desired target market, understand how much each lead costs you, and have a successful sales funnel in place.
Tips for creating a strong leadflow for attracting A-grade customers and making it easy for them to buy from you:
- have referral systems in place
- set your website up to capture leads
- develop strategic relationships that refer clients to your business
- reactivate past clients
- have extreme follow-up systems
- measure and understand your conversion rates
- have a well-planned marketing budget that you are committed to.
The pillars of customer loyalty and team influence the cash- flow of your business. There is immense cash-pulling power in a repeat-based and referral-based business run by a champion team.
Tips for creating a strong cashflow for repeat business referrals and keeping customers for life:
- create a customer delight culture
- be in constant communication with your customers
- know the lifetime value of your customers as a dollar amount and treat them accordingly
- have staff who understand their roles and are well trained for them
- have team meetings every week that are effective and action-oriented
- build a team-culture based around tenacity and an attitude of ‘whatever it takes’.
As business owners, especially those who have been in the game a long time, it's important that we often take time away from the daily grind of running our business to get better perspective about the basics of our business and remember why we got into business in the first place.This helps ensure that the tasks and activities we do each and every day will ultimately deliver us our dreams.
Power to you!
Founder, CEO - Business Benchmark Group
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Stefan Kazakis on 5 May 2018
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