Every entrepreneur wants to grow their business and they drink from the deep well of marketing and sales advice to help them. But let’s get one thing clear: All of those marketing- and sales-related tips and ideas and techniques and tricks can contribute to business growth, but there are really only 3 ways that your business can actually grow.
Here they are, in no particular order:
- Replicate your sales funnel: This can be achieved by (1) hiring employees and managing them, (2) franchising your business, or (3) creating an affiliate program. Financial and real estate businesses may find that the first choice (hiring people to help support your practice) is the easiest and clearest option. The other two choices aren’t unheard of in financial and real estate businesses but can be a little more complicated in these highly regulated industries.
- Create passive income: This is achieved by creating products (instead of services) that people can buy and receive without any ongoing effort from you. (An ebook is a classic example of this business model). For some ways to help figure out how to turn your active, time-intensive business into a passive one, check out How to be a lazy serial entrepreneur (part 1) and How to be a lazy serial entrepreneur (part 2).
- Increase some aspect of the purchase: This can be achieved by increasing (1) the number of customers who buy from you at any given time, (2) how much volume you sell per customer, or (3) how much money you earn from each customer. These options are pretty straightforward to implement but their true success can be limited by some factors (such as the amount of time you have in a day to spend with each customer). For ideas on achieving all three methods of increasing some aspect of the purchase, check out this blog post on how to find the best customers in your sales funnel and earn more profit from them.
So, which should you choose? There’s no reason why you can’t select all three options and continually work at implementing them all, over time. But it also depends on who you are and how you like to operate. Each of these options requires something different from you. The first option — replicating your sales funnel — requires some administrative and management skill. The second option — passive income — can be quite profitable but requires a (sometimes considerable) up-front investment of time and money. The third option — increasing some aspect of the purchase — is probably the easiest and fastest to implement but its effects can be dampened by the time you have and whatever the market can bear.
Start by working on whichever option is easiest for you to implement based on who you are and what strengths you have. Then build off of those wins and select another option to grow some more.
Over the next few days, I’ll blog about some additional ideas and tips to help you work through each of these three options.