There are lots of ways of how to take your business to the next level, but having been working as a business coach for more than 15 years, there’s no doubt that the general theme to most business growth strategies and tactics is ‘how to have more’.
This is why I changed tact in my own business about six years ago. So much of my focus was around marketing and product development; teaching how to build email lists, create one to many programmes and plan out marketing campaigns. Over time, I began to realise that, although what I was teaching was good and was getting results for my clients, there was a lot of effort and energy in having to ‘feed the machine’.
As soon as one marketing campaign was over, it was time to start the next one. Then the next one. And then the next one.
When you are young (and yes, I mean in your 20s and 30s!), you have the energy for this. Your body forgives a week of back-to-back late nights with extra cups of strong coffee. You thrive off the busy weeks and love the thrill of creating the next new thing that you want to sell.
But in your 40s and 50s … well, I don’t know about you but the midlife shifts and extra family responsibilities (children and/or eldercare) mean that your mind, body and soul wants to slow down. No matter how exciting or fun your work is, it’s harder to keep up and too much adrenaline and cortisol starts to show up as fatigue, brain fog or one of the many other peri-menopausal symptoms many women can experience, especially when living a full and busy life.
This was me. And I realised that many of my clients were experiencing this too.
What I was teaching and coaching my clients wasn’t sustainable.
Flip to today, and I now run a business coaching and training company that focuses on sustainable growth strategies. Yes, we still work with our clients on marketing strategies and how to get clients, but the emphasis is on playing the long game and planning, and then deciding on which growth strategies apply to get them the best results.
And no matter what those strategies are, there are three simple rules that I now always apply; are they trackable, repeatable, delegatable.
Let me go through each one in turn.
Is it trackable?
When you first start out, you have no idea really what is going to work. But over the months and the years, you get data on what does work. A huge problem though is very few business owners track this data; they keep it all in their heads (or worse, they only focus on social numbers such as social reach and engagement) which means the decisions they make are based on emotion (or in the case of social numbers, ego).
Some examples of basic data you want to track are:
- Number of leads you get each week/month
- Number of conversations you have each month
- Number of sales you make each week/month
- Number of new customers each week/month
- Average spend in first 90 days
- Average lifetime spend
Knowing this kind of data means that you can begin to make decisions commercially, as well as emotively (we need both … data only gives one part of the picture, yes?). So in everything you do, in particular with regards to your marketing, ask yourself ‘Is this trackable?’
Is it repeatable?
Once a business is up and running, the things that you do each week are often on repeat. The way you reply to emails, write and send proposals, market and run events, deliver your programmes or work on client projects. Again, the problem is that the business owner is often too busy to take the time out to see this, and then be able to do something about it.
How many times have you searched your outbox for an email you sent to a prospect that you wanted to use to send to someone else?
How many hours have you spent formatting a proposal or client acceptance letter from scratch, and found yourself typing the same words over and over?
It’s the same with marketing campaigns; why create something new when you can use what you did last time and adapt it to your new offer?
The energy used to start everything from scratch is exhausting (or worse, searching folders for a document you know you’ve saved somewhere!) so there has to be a time in your business when you start to switch your thinking. If you ask yourself ‘is this repeatable?’, you’ve got the beginnings of a process that needs writing out and seeing what templates, checklists or repeat actions can be created.
When you follow a process, you can then use that precious brain power for working on the bigger vision for what you want.
Is it delegatable?
Which takes me nicely into the third rule; delegatable. If you are busy delivering work for your clients, there’s often not much time left in your week to be thinking and creating these repeatable processes. Which is why setting the delegate rule is instrumental to your success long term.
To begin with, you may not have anyone you can delegate these repeatable tasks and processes to. If this is the case, start by making a list of what comes up over the course of a week, and you will have written the first draft of your job brief. You can’t grow a business without help, so it’s critical that this rule comes into play if you don’t want to burn out in the process.
These three rules are simple questions to start asking yourself from today. Why not write them on a post-it note and stick it on your computer screen; this can help remind yourself to ask these questions as you go about your day.
Of course, this isn’t a quick-fix, especially if you are working flat out, but these three simple rules and questions will begin to change your thinking as a business owner, and ultimately engage your CEO Mindset, and start to steer you along a path of sustainable growth.
If you want to discuss how you can put these rules into your business and begin growing sustainably, then let’s talk. Book a call with one of our Grow Strong business coaches. There’s never any charge for our first call together. Click here to check out times available.
Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.