Many years ago, I saw a musical titled “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Ralph Macchio was the lead performer, and the musical tells the story of how Macchio’s character goes from the mailroom to the boardroom by not really accomplishing anything in his career other than kissing up to the right people.
If you’ve ever had a corporate job, chances are you’ve encountered this manager somewhere along the line. However, brown-nosing won’t help you much as an entrepreneur. But, if you focus on the following 6 areas in your business, you can easily grow, scale, and make it to the top.
Retain And Maintain Customers
Businesses can’t grow and succeed if they can’t retain customers, employees, and vendors. They also won’t grow if they can’t maintain quality and great service. These really are the 2 fundamental areas of business. If I were sitting in your office right now, could you give me an accurate percentage of the total dollars you lose each month in customer churn? The vast majority of people reading this — 90% or more — would not be able to. This is a big issue and a major reason businesses don’t scale.
Most companies struggle to calculate employee churn. What is your overall number, and what does it cost you to hire, onboard, and train someone new? If you can’t answer this, then check out my book Stop Losing Customers. I have a section dedicated to calculating churn, why it matters for your business, and how it can make you a massive amount of money once you know the number and work to lower it.
Market To Convert Leads
You need to have marketing that generates quality leads and a sales process that converts those leads to customers for your business. This is much easier said than done, and I get that. The fundamental items your business needs are:
- Lead generation of quality prospects (not all leads or lead sources are created equal)
- A customer relationship management system that allows you to keep track of, nurture, and follow up with leads
- A sales process that includes long-term nurture and follow-up as well as the ability to close a deal
These are only the minimum requirements, and for the purposes of this article, you should make sure you have them all.
Create Systems And Processes
So many businesses don’t scale because they don’t have any systems and processes in place. Or worse, their system or process is to ask the entrepreneur. If you have to do it all, your business will max out very quickly. If you are not a systems and processes person, hire one. A competent person in this position will be your right hand and help you scale. I hired that person early on at Newsletter Pro and have had a great team member in that role ever since.
Keep Employees Happy
One of the smartest things you can do in business is realize that your employees are the ones who take care of your customers. If your employees are happy, they will do a better job serving your customers. And if your customers are happy because your employees are serving them well, then they will refer more, spend more, and stay with you longer. This, in turn, will make you happy because you will turn a larger profit. Also, taking great care of your employees is the right thing to do.
Here’s my final note on this: It costs a minimum of 3 times an employee’s total monthly compensation to hire, train, and replace someone who quits or is fired — and that’s assuming you make the correct hire the first time. Keeping employees happy may seem expensive, but employee churn is far more costly.
Play The Long Game
If you’re in business and aren’t playing the long game, then you may win the battle, but you’re guaranteed to lose the war. I am very future-focused. I will sacrifice today for a better tomorrow, and I do my best not to make emotional decisions in business and in my personal life. An example of playing the long game in your business is utilizing relationship and referral marketing. One tool for this type of marketing is a newsletter. If you publish a newsletter through us or do one yourself, you’re not going to produce an easily tracked direct ROI like a lead generation ad does.
For one, that’s not the purpose of a newsletter. Done correctly, a newsletter will decrease churn, increase upsells, turn more prospects into customers (assuming you’re sending to prospects, which you need to be doing), and generate more referrals. If you’re not willing to invest in a long-term relationship marketing and nurture campaign, then you’ll never see the benefits.
People who don’t understand the long game think and operate in this “small ball” fashion. The same is true for the content you put out. If you only use the newsletter to promote your new widget instead of to nurture and build relationships with your readers, then your campaign won’t be nearly as successful.
Be The CEO
Finally, if you want to win in business, then you have to think like, act like, and be the CEO. What I mean by this is that mindset matters. It’s important to understand that change is constant in your role. You may not be the CEO your company needs 12 months from now, but be willing to bust your butt to become that person.
You have to invest in yourself. Don’t chase the next shiny object. Instead, focus on the skills required to become the leader your business needs. You have to be willing to let go of the role you love because you think no one can do it as well as you can — that’s simply untrue.
Once you discover and become comfortable with the idea that these are the 6 fundamental areas you must master to scale and grow, then you will finally move your business and yourself in the right direction. Being great at the boring stuff wins business. This may not be a glamorous message, but I’m not here to tell you what you want to hear. I’m here to show you what you need in order to scale, grow, and live the life of your dreams. If that’s what you truly want, then implement the 6 steps above!