For most small business owners and entrepreneurs, sustaining business growth in today’s economy can feel like you’re treading water — which is unnecessarily exhausting when you’re doing those 52 weeks a year.
A well thought out marketing plan to attract new customers is important factor to generate business growth. But, all too often entrepreneurs and small business owners overlook two other strategic initiatives that can also impact your business growth in a powerful way. That would be increasing customer loyalty and motivating employee productivity.
We all know it’s much easier to focus on getting repeat business from customers who have already purchased from you than it is to woo and convert a brand new potential buyer to trying you out. Instead of constantly focusing on where I can find new customers, it’s so much more productive to ask the question, “Who are our best customers now? (You know the ones who already know, like, trust and LOVE us). And, how can we better serve their specific needs?”
The second powerful strategy to impact your business growth is in the area of motivating employee productivity. As a business growth coach, what I often find inside these small and mid-size companies I help, is that not enough people are having the time to fully execute the marketing plan that they do have because everyone in the company (including the president) is too busy putting out fires and reacting to the series of hiccups throughout the work day.
So, by increasing employee productivity, your business can now create and devote the necessary time and energy to execute the marketing plan that will lead to new business growth.
So, what can you do to build devotion and loyalty from your customers and even from your employees?
How can you motivate your employees to do more with less?
The answer to all three of these questions lies in leading a purpose driven company. Companies that are purpose driven essentially yield higher profits than those that are not. Those that adhere to a mission, or clearly defined goals, innovation or values, and for that matter, to a purpose are much less likely to falter even during harsh economic times. Many companies thus have initiated towards the idea of a purpose driven organization.
Here are 4 key questions that will guide you towards leading a purpose-driven company:
1) Why do we exist?
Who are you and what is your business all about? What is it that you do for your clients? If you’re 3M your core purpose isn’t really riding on selling millions of post-it stickers, nor is it about selling all things sticky. 3M’s core purpose was all about innovation.
One of the by-products of their core purpose was of course, the hot selling post-it sticker which luckily translated into millions of dollars in profits. But, what if you’re not a giant like 3M? What if you’re a small business? You can still have a powerful purpose statement even if you’re a solopreneur.
For example, my own mission is to encourage, equip and empower Entrepreneurs like you, so you can accelerate explosive business growth. The purpose that drives me is to change lives. For me, that’s what it’s truly about. If I can help Entrepreneurs unlock and open up new doors for business growth I know that everyone that I have helped will then in turn be able to impact thousands and millions more.
So, what about your business? What’s it all for?
2) What do we want to accomplish?
In the long term scheme of things what is it that you want to be known for? If you were inducted to the “Hall of Fame”, what is the key accomplishment you most want to be remembered for?
3) What will our success look like?
What will your business be like once you have achieved your goals? What is the end result – the target – that you are striving for? The clearer your end goals are the easier it will be for you to make hundreds of daily decisions. You can ask yourself – “will doing X get me closer to my goal or will it distract me away from my goal?”
4) What are our values?
What are your business’s core and unwavering principles that guide (or, at least, should guide) all business practices and decisions? Let’s take families. Out of all the families that you know, how many of them could you articulate and match their intended values statement solely by the way you know how they live and behave? — Sadly, it’s probably only a small few. Likewise, would your own clients know you and your business by the way you live out your own business values?
PLUS, here’s 1 more tip to steer you in the right direction:
Recruit the right people.
You can train an employee to use a new skill, but you can’t train an employee to share your business’s values. Recruit employees whose values are in line with those of your business and will help your business to preserve its values while achieving its goals.
While your business model does need to turn a profit to stay solvent, focusing on profits alone is not enough to weather tough economic storms or those pesky competitors waging price wars.
If you’re in the business to create a company built to last, then you need to build loyal fans (customers) and devoted employees. Yes, of course, customers will always enjoy getting the great deal and employees will always like getting fat bonuses. But, the glue that really makes them stick is not the discount shopping or the pay scale. The glue is them knowing what you stand for and believing in what you stand for. It’s what sheds meaning and purpose behind what you do. Even in a recession, and especially in a recession, it is a purpose driven company (which stems from you) that propels productivity and passion in your people.
Here’s to your success!
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Go ahead! As long as you give full author attribution as follows:Business Growth Expert Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of CEOs, entrepreneurs & small business owners achieve dramatic results in sales, productivity and profits. Over the past 20 years, Yoon has started 4 other companies and sold 3 of them. She is the author of numerous articles published in major print media and magazines. She is also a popular keynote speaker. Get Yoon’s free video “How to Find Your WOW Factor” at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com. Call Yoon direct at (215) 292-4947.
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