When you hear business owners talk about growing their business, they are usually referring to increasing revenue and profits. The conversation immediately goes to growing their sales force, adding new clients, increasing their market share, and so on. More often than not, it is about doing more and more of what got the business owner where they are, which in one way is fine. On the other hand, it likely does not take into account those characteristics that will lead to maximum return when it is time to sell or transition out of the business. More often than not, the business remains highly dependent on its owner or certain key people, has co-mingled business and personal finances, the “processes” of the business are more accurately described as “habits” than systems, and there is no clear “strategy” for growth beyond the capabilities of “doing more of what we’ve always done.”
Business Owner Newsletter - Page 23
We began the conversation last week with the merging of E-Myth Benchmark and Henderson Business Group. The relationship between our two organizations began several years ago, as two companies serving similar clients in similar marketplaces, with completely different but complimentary services. We held joint seminars in several cities in the Midwest, and it was during these seminars, and successful transitions of clients designing and growing their businesses through one organization, then selling it through the other, that a real synergy began to develop. E-Myth Benchmark has always believed and coached to the principals of Michael Gerber's E-Myth Revisited, including the core belief that your business should be a vehicle to give you more life, not take the life out of you. More “life” is the simple expression of more satisfaction, more money, more time, more freedom. It is the dream that business owners start out with, but struggle to realize.
As a fellow business owner, you know what it's like to watch your business grow from a kernel of an idea into a living and breathing reality. Like us, you've experienced the ups and downs of owning a business, but also know how rewarding it is to watch your vision in action. Our newsletters typically focus on challenging the way you think about your business and providing you with easy to implement ideas and best practices. This month we're planning to get a bit more personal as we talk about our personal journey in re-imagining our business.
Enjoy this quick video introducing our newly imagined company, then read more to understand our journey.
This month we've challenged you to work on creating a three month rolling prospect plan for your business. We've looked at the elements needed to create a prospecting plan and the resources you need to pull together for your team. This week we've got a few more tips to implementing your prospecting plan, but the most important step is to get started. Here are a few tips to get your business started:
Quote: Take more chances than you dare. You'll make more sales than you expect. That's the formula. - Jeffrey Gitomer
Question: What chances are you taking in your prospecting?
Last week we discussed the importance of having a rolling three month prospecting plan. You might be tempted to jump right in and start your plan, but we've found it's helpful to first take a look at your resources. Having your resources in place will allow your prospecting plan to come together with ease and ensure that it is implemented and consistent.
Prospecting has a huge impact on any business. The problem in many businesses is that prospecting is not done consistently and is often done as a last moment reaction to a problem. A business realizes it needs more cash flow or sales to meet its goals and suddenly there is a mad dash to prospect. Unfortunately, most businesses prospecting activities don't go from Zero to Sixty easily. It's a process of building trust, feeding information, and slowly building a relationship that takes time.
This month we've been discussing the importance of knowing your customers. We've looked at how to identify frustrations and how to be proactive in dealing with frustrations. Last week we touched on an important piece of your customer service, which is that your customers want to know that they are valued.
This week we want to challenge you to define what that looks and feels like. If you don't have one already, consider creating a customer promise or a value statement that outlines what your customers should experience as part of your business. If you already have these documents, pull them out and see if they are still relevant or need to be refreshed.
In the last few weeks, we've discussed the importance of knowing your customers and being able to listen for when your customers are frustrated. The next step in providing excellent customer service is to understand what areas of your business are likely to frustrate your customers and be able to quickly react to them. As you work through understanding your customer's frustrations there will be a set of frustrations that you can solve through systems and processes, but there will also be frustrations that your business will never be able to completely eliminate.