No one ever said being a business owner would be easy. It’s a path of high risk for high rewards. You can give it all you’ve got and still not have the success you desire. Working long hours with lackluster results can lead to business envy and burn out.
Have you recently asked yourself this question: “Why is her business growing more than mine?” Have faith; your hard work will eventually pay off. Wilma Mankiller once said “The secret of our success is that we never, never give up.”
I know you might feel the year is almost done, but there’s still time to turn your business around and reach that next milestone. Here are five ways that every business owner can grow her business in the next few months, starting now:
Talk to Your Customers: Customers are the lifeline of your business. You need to have an open line of communication with your ideal buyers and past customers. It’s a simple thing that every business can do, yet most don’t do it.
Develop a survey using Survey Monkey. Send out a link and ask, “What is the most pressing challenge you’re facing?” I also like the idea of holding a focus group to get direct feedback and watch customers try your products. This critical information will help solidify your relationship and provide the inside scoop on how you can help.
If you don’t have any customers yet, survey a group of prospects that match your target audience demographics and send an email to your network to let them know that you’re open for business and ask for referrals.
Get to Know the Numbers: Many businesses are suffering because no one is actively managing cash flow. Your financial statements are the report card of your business. As an owner, you need to know the numbers.
On these statements you should be looking for a few things: first, are you losing money by not collecting on receivables? Are you bringing in enough cash to cover expenses and build retained earnings? Lastly, are you spending too much for cost of goods sold resulting in really small margins?
Freshbooks is one of the best tools out there for business owners to track and manage their money. If numbers scare you, hire a bookkeeper that help but never completely hand over the management of your money to anyone.
Develop a Special Offer: Business owners can literally print money. Here’s what I mean: if you have an idea or pain point that you recognize in the market, you can develop a solution for it, put it on the market and get paid for your idea.
Use your survey data to understand what customers are looking for and craft a related offer. You may be able to pull an old product or service off the shelf. Developing an offer doesn’t always mean creating something new. It’s all about solving the customer’s most urgent problem.
Form a Partnership: Every business needs a partner to champion their success. If you struggle finding new customers, a relationship with the right business can rapidly expand your company. For example, if you own a café, try partnering with a group of meeting planners to be the go-to source for fresh baked goods and coffee for meetings that they’re coordinating. Perhaps you offer a bulk discount for a certain number of referrals per month or you can provide a referral commission fee.
Every owner should find a relevant partner that can provide leverage and access to new business. Remember that the relationship has to be win-win, so consider how your business can also benefit your partner.
Join a Mastermind: You can’t figure it all out on your own. Businesses that experience the fastest growth usually have a culture of learning. That may include participating in a peer mastermind group or personal growth program like Soul Circle.
In his book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill reveals the power of the Mastermind: “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose. No individual may have great power without availing himself of the Mastermind.”
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people that “get you” provides a safe place to ask questions and be mentored. You’ll learn to focus on what matters most and grow from others successes and mistakes streamlining the path to achieve your desired goals.
Now that you have some proven strategies that you can use, I want to hear from you. What’s one thing you will do to grow your business before the year is out?
I’m excited to announce that we have been cooking up a special program based on the feedback that we heard from the community. Starting later this month and registration is open now. It’s a personal growth program for high-achievers that want a balance between work and life while building their business. If your ready to grow your business click here and learn more.