Running a business takes a lot of work and it can feel like you are juggling a million things all at once. With so much to do, how can you grow your business?
Here are 5 business-growing tips you can do in the next 5 minutes to see almost immediate results.
1. Identify the bottom ten percent of your customer base (by profitability) and get rid of them. Either contact them and tell them that you can’t take on their work anymore, or, fulfill your contract but do not renew them as a customer. This is a pretty aggressive move but you’ll find that you’ll have more time to spend building your business and serving your more profitable customers. (And most people find that the time they gain from these work-intensive customers far outweighs the revenue loss they experience).
2. Write a quick 1-page outline of something you do in your business that you can delegate to someone else. One of the biggest obstacles to business growth is an owner who insists on doing tasks themselves. Pick something you do and spend a few minutes right now drafting up some instructions. Just give your employee the high level step-by-step and commit to walking them through the process later. Often, delegation is resisted because the project seems like more work to delegate than to just do yourself, but this quick first step will help to solve that problem.
3. Chart out your sales funnel. Your sales funnel is the most important part of your business and your ability to know and optimize your sales funnel gives you direct control over future success of your company. Charting your sales funnel doesn’t take long but you do need to start somewhere. So start now, in the next 5 minutes, and draw out your sales funnel step by step – from the point of someone who has never heard of your company before all the way through to the point where they have bought from you and want to buy again. You might need to fill in the blanks later but this is a good first step. (To help you download my Sales Funnel Quick Reference Guide and my Sales Funnel Worksheet).
4. Put down your work. Most business owners and entrepreneurs are overworked, overburdened, and overtired. This reduces your effectiveness and your ability to make decisions. Take a break, even if it’s just 5 minutes. Do something else – something fun and creative and unusual and scary. The rest, and the zany experience, will give you a new perspective and even some fresh ideas! You’ll be way more productive when you’re back at your desk.
5. Contact your customers and invite them out for lunch. Your best customer (presumably the one who is most profitable and whose work is most enjoyable for you to do) is exactly the kind of customer that you want to serve more (plus they are exactly the kind of customer that you want more of). So get to know them very well. Take them to lunch, pick their brain, don’t try to sell them anything. Instead, find out what makes them tick, why they chose you to serve them, and what problems they have… and if they know other people like themselves who they can refer to you.
Businesses take a lot of work to run but they also need to evolve or else they will become stagnant and die. You can start to make fast, positive changes immediately in your business – even within the next 5 minutes – by doing these 5 simple things right now.