“If you don’t know where you stand, it’s hard to know what to do next.”
Originally, I developed these 5 steps as a framework to accelerate business growth, and over the years they’ve done just that – and so, so much more.
Several years ago, I decided to test their application on other areas of my life: health, fitness, happiness etc. As a result, they have shaped my life and my business.
249% Business Growth in Just 3 Months…So you want to say the same the same about your business? Then read on my friend, read on.
Step 1: Audit Time – Even business growth needs a starting point.
Take stock of where you stand now, where does your business stand? Grab something to capture your audit on – Your phone, tablet, laptop…or some paper, if you like to kick it old school – and start to write.
Here’s some questions to get you started – This is far from an exhaustive list, so keep on going once you get to the bottom.
- How are your sales?
- How are your costs?
- How are your profits?
- How is your company culture?
- How is your customer service and what would you customers say?
- How’s the quality of my product?
- How does your shop front/website look? Does it look professional and trustworthy?
Step 2: Choose A Metric: What is “Business Growth” for your business.
That should be straight forward right? Not necessarily. What metric are you using to define growth? Revenue, profit, customers, sales, website visits…the list goes on.
Which metric is the best? Well, that’s not the right question. The question is which are you going to focus on first? The answer will vary from business to business and you’ll ultimately need to decide that for yourself. However, I don’t want to leave you all alone to figure it out.
If you already know which metric you’re going to use, jump right to Step 3. If not, read the following scenarios and see which one you identify with most.
Keep in mind that these are just examples and do NOT need to be adhered to. However, if you are having a hard time choosing, let them be your guide.
Scenario 1: Newer Business
You’re starting, or started a a brand new business and your sales are almost a big fat ZERO. Currently, your customers consist of your mother and your uncle Joe – (Now, go thank your mother for always believing in you).
If this is you, we’re going to assume that you business’s main issue is awareness; that is, no one else knows your business even exists. In this case, I’d recommend that you focus on one of the more “top-line” metrics, such as website visits, number of sales, number of customers.
You’ll have plenty of time later to work out how to make a healthy profit from these “customers”.
Scenario 2: Older Business
You’ve been in business for a while and you’ve got a healthy number of customers, sales, website visits. Well then, I’d say it’s time to make that cash register ring baby.
Okay, I got a bit carried away there, but the sentiment is still true. If you’re in this position I’d recommend that you start with on one of the more financially-focused metrics, such as revenue, cost or profit.
As these metrics interact with each other, focusing on one often helps the others too.
Step 3: Define Your Business Growth Goal – Clearly
Okay you’ve chosen the metric against which you’ll measure your business success. Now it’s time to clearly define your goal. Do so by writing down, the answers to the below questions.
- In what timeframe do I plan to achieve my business growth goal?
- To grow my [business growth metric], I’ll need [number] more/less of what?
Write down a clearly defined goal and exact numbers to measure your goal against. (e.g. 100 New Customers Per Month for 6 months )
Step 4: Your Path to Business Growth: Audit + Business Growth Goal
You’ve completed your audit, you’ve crafted an exact business growth goal, now it’s time to put the two together to map out your path to success. To do this you need to review your audit once more, but this time with your business growth goal in mind.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What aspect of my audit is standing between me and my business growth metric? Sometimes one aspect of your business can completely out weigh the other great aspects of your business. For example: If you own coffee shop and your coffee sucks, it doesn’t matter how nice your cafe looks, how friendly your baristas are, if your product sucks so will your business. Be honest with yourself here…If you’ve not, you’re wasting your time.
- How do I fix this issues? Once you’ve identified what’s standing between you and business growth, work out how to fix it – if you don’t know, talk so to someone who does, and that might just be your customers.
Step 5: Take Action Today – Action, not good intentions = business growth
Now that you’ve mapped out your plan for business growth, it’s time to do something about it. To get your started I leave you with two final questions:
- What can I do today that will get me one step closer to my business growth goal?
- Who am I going to ask to keep me accountable to this goal?
There you have it, the 5 steps to accelerate business growth.
Without fail, these steps have helped my clients; both entrepreneurs and businesses, to overcome hurdles and to achieve impressive business growth – my hope is that that they can do the same for you.
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