As a business owner, I can assume you want to grow your business.
Whether this means to increase revenue, add employees, or just see a higher sales volume than what you have done in the past, you would like to do better than what you have done in the past. This is part of being an entrepreneur - we aren’t satisfied with not growing.
But what if you could only work on three things for the entire year to help grow your business? What would those things be?
Would you paint your exterior or remodel a bathroom? Possibly. These activities may be nice, but they probably won’t have a huge impact on actually growing a business.
Determining What is Most Important
So let's back into this question by asking ourselves what are the most important components to growing. Since we are talking about growing a business, we can assume that you have an established business with a decent product - your value proposition - which is being purchased by customers.
If you have this vehicle, then the only thing you need is a GPS to tell you where to go and guide your decisions.
Making Decisions that Align With the Vision
I like to think of a GPS as the roadmap for a business. This is how we get to our end goal of growing and expanding our businesses.
When we have a good GPS in place, it helps us to make decisions that get us closer to our final destination.
For example, I travel quite a bit for my day job and I rely extensively on my GPS. One of the challenges of traveling is that I have to stop to eat on the way. Since I don’t enjoy fast food every day, I look for good restaurants that are on my path and not out of the way too far. In fact, my TomTom even tells me how far off of my route I will have to stray in order to stop at a certain restaurant on my route.
For our businesses, we should be making all of our decisions in this same manner - will this decision take us closer to our end destination or will it take us on a route that actually back-tracks where we are currently?
The GPS Model For Business Growth
Once we have a vision established for our business - our end destination - we can use this to guide all of our decisions. One approach I advocate is the GPS model for business growth. GPS stands for:
Let’s take a look at each of these briefly.
One of the most important aspects to growing a business is to set clear and effective goals. General goals, such as growing a business, are rarely ever fully met as they are not measurable. Therefore, goals must be extremely clear as to what is going to be accomplished. For example, instead of stating that a goal is to “grow a business,” the goal should answer questions such as the following:
How much growth would like to be attained?
Is the growth based on the number of new customers, total sales, or overall revenue?
Which products or departments will generate this growth?
When will this growth be accomplished?
Is this goal actually attainable?
Another key component to growing a business is to focus on people. When evaluating the people of a business, we can narrow this down to four different groups:
Partners & Affiliates
The truth is that every business is, at the end of the day, all about people. It’s about giving people jobs. It’s about saving people money. It’s about helping others grow their own businesses. It’s about putting the right product - your value proposition - into the hands of the right buyer.
Yes, money is important as money is a tool that we can use to help people, but at the end of the day, business is all about people.
While your business is all about people, you don’t have a business without sales. Selling is the tool that connects people with a product.
But selling is more than just connecting people with a product, it’s about building trust.
While many businesses focus on the technical aspects of selling, I advocate for building a sales process that essentially sells itself. A good sales process will walk a prospect down a clear and defined path of becoming an ideal customer. This means that a business is not trying to get married on the first date - a sales process is about building trust while walking down a clearly defined path.
I would like to challenge you that, if you don’t do anything else this year for your business, focus on these three areas:
- Set clear goals that can are attainable and can be measured.
- Focus on the people of your business. Your employees, customers, and partners.
- Develop a sales process that essentially sells itself by walking customers down a trust-building path.
A Question For You
How much time would it really take to start working on these three things?