by Kim Clausen
There are so many areas to focus on to grow your business, how do you know which to choose?
There is no doubt that with all the compelling products and programs on the market for growing your business, it’s difficult to decide what is best for you.
If you can learn to analyze the offers and make the best investment decisions, it will benefit you in several ways:
– minimizing your unnecessary expenses
– minimizing financial losses
– reducing your perceived feelings of ‘failure’ or ‘this isn’t for me’, because of programs purchased and not completed,
– and the best of all, maximizing your business growth and profits.
But if you are anything like me, you have invested in programs that you have never used. Perhaps several, costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars. This isn’t your fault. The hype, bombardment, and marketing language often make them just too good to resist.
If you have done this, don’t beat yourself up – we ALL fall into this trap on occasion. The key going forward is to keep a level head and make the best decisions for your business, based on several key factors. And if you are clear on these factors, you can know when to invest and when to walk away, and you can feel confident about your decision.
As I shared last week, when we make investments in programs that we do not use, it is usually for these three reasons:
– Where you are in your business development. I liken business building to the alphabet. If you are at F, you don’t want to be investing in programs that are M, or P, or T.
– What strategies you enjoy and are good at. Don’t take a program to write a book if you struggle to write, or have no desire to publish a book, even if someone tells you it’s important.
– What is relevant to your market. There are strategies that simply won’t resonate with your market. For instance, if your market is not computer savvy or into social media, using these strategies will be costly, time-consuming, and ineffective.
So the key is to make business investments that SUPPORT these three factors above.
I’d like to spend time today talking about point #1, where you are in your business.
Below I outline 9 foundational pillars you need to focus on, usually in this order, to grow your business. There can definitely be some items you work on simultaneously, but there are definitely many that you can’t and shouldn’t work on until you have your foundation in place.
It’s like building a house – the foundation has to go in before the framing, which goes in before the walls and the roof. And the plumbing and electrical have to go in before the interior finishes, etc.
Below are the pillars upon which to build your business, and also HOW you decide what programs to invest in to help you grow.
As you review this list, make a note of how you rank with having these items satisfactorily in place. Rate them from 1 to 5 (1 low, 5 high).
1. A success mindset – This is often overlooked, and is THE most important factor for success. It’s THE CORE FOUNDATIONAL element. It’s all about what’s between your two ears. Check your thoughts and mindset, and STRONGLY INSIST on having a ‘can do’ attitude.
How is your thinkin’? Is it stinkin’ or soarin’? (1 to 5.)
2. Crystalize what you want for your business – You don’t want to build a business that doesn’t support your business goals. I made this mistake in the beginning because I was unsure of what I wanted my business to look like. I tried strategies I did not like and spent my time in ways that were not productive or fulfilling. But over time I was able to modify in a way that suited my business, financial, and lifestyle goals. It’s o.k. if you are sorting this out while building your foundation, but stay aware of what works for you, and adjust your business in a way that suits you best.
How clear are you on what you want for your business, finances, and lifestyle? (1 to 5.)
3. Have an identifiable and accessible target market – You must know who you are marketing to, how to access them, and what their greatest needs are. These three aspects are essential and non-negotiable. This will be the premise upon which you build your business. If you do not have these in place, you cannot be successful.
Do you have a market that meets the 3 criteria? (1 to 5.)
4. Creating your brand – What uniquely do you want to portray to the market that resonates with them and attracts them to you? With the internet and social media overwhelm, today this becomes more important than ever. Just last week I heard a statistic that once you create something new, it only takes 6 months before you will have competition. So the question becomes, ‘how can you brand yourself in a unique way to attract your ideal market to you?’
How’s your brand? Is it unique? Compelling? Relevant? Magnetic? (1 to 5.)
5. Build your infrastructure – This refers to your business operations – website, email system, system for managing financial transactions, social media networks, calendaring system, webinar platform, and anything else you need to support your business. DO NOT OVERLOOK this. Yes, you need a website (it doesn’t have to be big and elaborate), yes you need to be able to professionally take money, you need a free gift (or several) to grow your list, etc.
Do you have all your essentials identified and in place? Are they current? Professional? (1 to 5.)
6. Generate awareness – Get known in your market and grow your list.
I’ve been in marketing for more than 35 years, so I know a thing or two about building businesses. I often find myself saying “this is the most important” about a multitude of things related to business building. And awareness is one of these things. Your market MUST know you exist. Think about that for a second – how can we ever expect to serve, grow, and prosper if our market doesn’t know we exist? Identify 5-10 places you can access your market and then get in front of them speaking about things that matter to them most.
Are you consistently and persistently gaining awareness in the market and growing your list? (1 to 5.)
7. Create your products and services – This one is obvious, so I ask the question…do you have a variety of compelling products, programs, and services at different price points that address your markets’ needs, interests, and wants? Not too many so that you feel unclear, unfocused, or never complete something to offer. Start with something solid (usually a good coaching program), and then build from there. Rank yourself accordingly.
Do you have a solid product, program, and/or service offerings? Do you know what you offer/what you help people with? If someone hired you, do you know what benefit you would bring to them, and how? (1 to 5.)
8. Create and implement your communication and marketing/sales plan – Oh…the plan. This is where you schedule out 3 things: how to grow your list, how to nurture your list, and how to promote your products & services to enroll more clients. Do you have these written down and scheduled? What is the content, the format, the location, the frequency, and the goal? Want predictable income? This is how to get it.
Do you know who, what, when, where, why, and how you will be reaching your market and enrolling new clients? (1 to 5.)
9. Take action. All of the previous 8 are worthless without action. Despite all fears, you must develop a habit of action to achieve success. At the end of the day, this is the cycle of success. Your mindset starts the cycle, and your action completes it.
How effective are you at regularly taking action toward your goals? (1 to 5.)
I hope you found this information helpful, and that the ranking showed you areas where you are strong, and areas to focus your efforts.
Here’s what to do next:
– Anything that is a 1 or 2 requires your most immediate attention.
– Evaluate your 3’s to determine what, if any, action needs to be taken in those areas.
– 4’s and 5’s are probably good-to-go for now. But keep your eye on them and do not neglect them.
Go to our website: www.ncmalliance.com