When you aren’t meeting your business’ revenue targets, where do you turn?
Do you turn outward and look at your business’ marketing?
Do you point your finger at a poorly-designed website?
Do you look for better technology to support your business?
Well, I’ve got some bad news for ya: 99% of small business revenue problems have nothing to do with design, marketing, branding, or technology.
The Good News
The good news is that solving your revenue problems is totally within your control!
And it’s not even a product problem in most cases!
The problem is that you haven’t exercised your mindset of innovation.
How To Solve Revenue Problems
Here’s a quick primer on how to solve your revenue problems.
- Challenge all your business assumptions. Always.
Why are you selling your product? Who has purchased from you in the past? Why haven’t they bought it again? Ask them why they haven’t bought from you a second or third or fourth time. Are your products built for re-sale? Why not?
- Find your “why?” [here’s my why]
Why do you own your own business? Is there a way you can get that without owning a business? Why not do it the other way? How much money do you need? Why do you need that money? What will you spend that money on? Is your pricing set up to get your that amount of money easily? Are you messing up your own business by charging too little? What’s stopping you from charging more? Why do you want more in the first place?
- Create a bucket list. I know it’s cheesy, but this is the first step to finding your “Why?” (above).
Envision that all your dreams come true in 5 years. What will you be doing when that happens? Where will you physically be? How old will your kids be at that time? How old will you be at that time? What will your kids be doing in 5 years? What will your spouse be doing in 5 years? How old will your spouse be in 5 years? How will you feel when all your dreams come true? Can you achieve some of the things on your bucket list today? Why wait?
FWIW, I created a bucket list a few years back, and I have already achieved or made significant inroads on a number of items, most of which will seem trivial to you but mean the world to me! Until I wrote down my bucket list, I had no idea that I wanted these things! Now I’m achieving things I’ve only dreamed about! (and, again, these aren’t crazy expensive things – they are often free things that matter to me and that bring me great joy: building deep & reliable friendships, write a musical)
- Hack it and get effective+efficient! Efficiency on purposeless work is just a waste. Get effective first, then get efficient!
Get out of your own way by either stopping or hacking the things that suck your time and bring marginal rewards.
Do you really need to go to that user group meeting tonight? Or is there a better group to network?
Do you hate meeting the Chamber of Commerce people? Find a different crowd of business owners to network with.
Are you up-selling former/existing customers enough? Why not?
Are you great at cold-calling? Train someone else to make the calls for you! (Read Built To Sell for a primer on outsourcing sales, specifically). Or even simpler: buy better cold-call lists!
- Re-use and Recycle via Products. Your time is not recyclable, but products are! Create products, not RFP responses and custom proposals (RFPs suck). Or if you must write a custom proposal, follow these simple rules for responding to RFPs.
- Get vulnerable, because it helps you listen to customers better, which helps you relate to customers better, which helps you create better products, which helps customers give you more $$$! (Maybe even tell your freaking customers you are vulnerable like this.)
- Make your customers pay for your overhead.
You Already Have the Solution
I’m probably not telling you anything new.
That’s because you already have the solution within you!
Sometimes we need a fresh perspective to challenge us and bring out our best selves. That’s where therapy and business coaching come in.
(Disclaimer: I sell business conversations and business coaching.)
For the record, the reason I sell business coaching services today is because:
- Business Coaching is inline with my values.
- My own business coaches have helped me to drastically-change and improve my WordPress design business over the years.
FWIW, for me, business coaching was drastically-enhanced by my personal therapy work.
p.s. For an example of effective use of technology to solve a business problem, check out why I use the Jetpack WordPress plugin.