More often than not, our business is stagnant. Year after year, we make the same amount of money; have the same customers; maintain the same supplies; deal in the same products; use the same system and it can be overwhelming. If you made 1.8 million last year, at least make 2 million this year. That’s how you know you are going to the next level. Maybe it’s time to hire employees. Maybe it’s time to go global. Maybe it’s time to franchise. There is always a next level. Never get comfortable. Unless you are retired and we are sure you are not. That is why you are reading this. Here are some basics steps to turn around your business.
- Create a story about demand.
Everybody loves a story. Who doesn’t? You should realize that we do not buy iPhones or iPads or MacBooks. Instead, we buy the story of Steve Jobs. That is why adverts have revolutionized marketing in a way that is so powerful yet so human. Everything in your house either solved a problem, made you feel an emotion or had a story. The thing about a story is we all have one. Every individual. Every company. Every organization. The story is key. People focus so much on the product and service, they forget to win the hearts of customers. Even people who sell basic products like a sanitary towel will have this comforting story and that is how women will choose their brand. It’s time to tell your story!
- It’s not about who you know.
The world is changing and we can only adapt in order to survive. It is no longer about know-who but know-how. These days, skills are the name of the game. It does not matter if you know a political leader or a CEO; at the end of the day, skills will always be rewarded. Every successful person you know had to develop a lot of skills to get where they are. Those who were favored did not last long because they needed a lot of skill. Learn and stop claiming that you know people. The world does not care unfortunately.
Push into another zone that is uncomfortable for you.
Everyone loves comfort. Who doesn’t? You want the best couch in your house and the best car you can afford. Everyone loses their mind when someone or something pushes them into any form of discomfort. The sad thing success is like heaven in the Bible where it is said that the road is very narrow with tough terrain. If you want to grow your business, you have to step out of your comfort zone. Be ready to sacrifice. It could be the time you spend on Social Media. Try switching off your phone for one hour and you discover how much more time you have. Try waking up early in the morning even if you are a night owl. Try listening more to other people Try going out less and go home early. Try saving more money and staying with the same pairs of shoes for six months. Whatever you so, it will work like magic.
- Create a lot of buzz.
The funny thing about entrepreneurs is that they are not sales people. The thing about sales people is like they are always creating buzz about their products and service. A good example is wix.com Everybody who uses YouTube can barely not come across their very direct adverts. They have gotten so many ads even in the applications of our phones. They will create so much hype that almost everyone nowadays uses their service. It is hard for you to forget them because of top-off-the-mind-awareness. There are brands in our lives that we cannot forget. People will go to a supermarket and call Prestige Margarine Blue Band. That is because Blue Band created so much hype that it became a household name. Tell everyone what you do. In your church. Tell your chief. Go to your salon and tell them. Tell your parents. Tell your neighbors. Tell everyone you know. Trend if you can and your business will rise to the top.
- If you don’t know the right person, make sure the right person knows you.
If your competitors don’t know you, you are just not growing. This is how it goes. When you start your business, you target clients or conversion of prospects into paying customers. You know your competitor but they do not know you. Not yet. This means you will need a significant amount of branding, sales and market force to be noticed. This depends on who is in your network. Your network is your networth. It is not about knowing them but influencing them to be on your side. You might not know the Governor of your county but if a CEO of a top NGO does, you will be referred for that government contract. This is what we call business dynamics. You have to create the right environment to even target the right investors and partners in your business. You have to position yourself for success.
- Support the people that are buying your product.
Many people ignore what we call After Sales Services. Why do you think petrol stations offer some services for free? Why do you think eateries and supermarkets are now delivering? Why do you think leading brands have a proactive Customer Care? Why do you think multinationals ask for feedback online? Why do you think companies go out of their way to support a few customers? Because gradual business is more important than new customers. Business should be a ripple effect. If you want your customers to take care of you, you better support them. Be there for them. Be their companion. Be their friend. That way, you will not need to worry about numbers. They will multiply themselves. That is the reason airlines will lose billions fixing reputation damage because they never support their customers. They will further lose more money doing advertising campaigns since they know they have lost customers.
- Work with your customers to market your brand.
If the entertainment industry and sports have proved anything; it is that the marketing lies on consumers. Look at football as an example. It is worth 1.69 billion US dollars. Well, in fairness, all men talk about is football half the time. You can imagine how many sites men visit to find information about players or the time for games or which team is buying who. That is the only time some men use the internet. That is the only reason they pay for DSTV or go to night clubs with the guys. Football is such a commodity you have to pay a price for it. A heavy one! Why? Because the customers over market it. It is not only one of the most popular sports but international footballers are some of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the world. That’s why teams have a manager. It is business and not just a game. So, what will you start doing so that your consumers can’t stop marketing you?
There you go. Seven ways that will help you take your business to the next level. We know you can pick one, roll with it for three months then measure the effectiveness. If it works, you go to the next one. If it doesn’t, you find out why and you start again. Never be afraid of failure. You can imagine how many times Bill Gates failed as he was creating Microsoft. He tried again and again and again. Enjoy the process!