Last week I came across a fascinating report called State of the Business Owner 2013 that was presented by emyth.com and pixilspoke.com. It's an exclusive report detailing the factors of success for small & mid-sized businesses around the world. Over 1700 business were polled ranging from solopreneurs to businesses with hundreds of employees. Wow…there were some great nuggets of gold to admire in this report, but one in particular stood out like a 50 ft, flashing, neon sign SO many of you need to be looking at.
You: What?! So I don’t make my #1 focus marketing, booking more services and selling more retail? You’re telling me to NOT grow my business first, are you?
Me: Truth. If you’re just starting out, or your business is in a serious funk…DO NOT focus on revenue growth first.
You: But I need the cash. I’m starting to panic. I really think I should be putting my energy marketing more.
Me: Hold off for a bit. This won’t take long. Set up a few key systems before you start marketing so you can handle the REAL growth you want.
When salon, spa & wellness owners open their businesses, they think the first thing they should do is start marketing. Hey…I get it. It seems logical, right? You’ve spend scads of money investing in your new venture…time to make some moola. Your credit card looks like crap.
But my question to you is this: What happens when your business really picks up steam? You’re consistently booked, your sales are through the roof, you’ve hired staff, and you’re thinking you should expand your facility to accommodate the growth.
Have you set up your initial business to handle the volume?
There is a great exercise I’d like you to play with. It’s called “X10”. The premise of the game is to imagine what your business would be like if it grew 10 times…by tomorrow. Yup, that’s right. No time to develop new strategies, no time to ask anyone what you should do. Your business exploded in revenues by 10 times tomorrow.
What would your work day look like if that happened? Are clients waiting for call backs? Are you jumping frenetically between leadership, management & hands on services and managing none of it well. Are clients feeling they are getting the same quality of service they had when they started with you? Do you still have a personal life outside of work? Or are you trying to catch up from the past week on your days off?
You may be thinking “It might be a bit of a mess, but I’d feel more in control of my business because the pressure of money would be off.”
Hmmm…sorry to break this to you my friend but even though you THINK you’d feel better with bursting revenues, the reality is the stress on you plus the poor optics from your clients perspective would be just as bad as lack of revenues. You may make great revenues initially…but you wouldn’t be able to maintain them. You'd probably look a lot like 'On-the-Fly Farrah' here. In fact, most of the existing business owners who seek out my services are in this exact position.
Look at it this way. A business is simply a promise to your client. You promised they would get the best treatment in town, you promised to call back in a timely manner, your promised to keep accurate client files, you promised them your undivided attention. If you grew 10 times tomorrow, could you keep all of your promises?
This issue is rampant in our industry because there has not been a healthy model to learn from. So lets mine this gold out of the State of the Business Owner 2013 report. 1700 business world-wide has proven a strong point that you can learn from:
The data overwhelmingly shows that companies fail to grow if the owners feel out of control. If you’re unhappy or out of control, it’s the wrong approach to focus on revenues. - www.stateoftheowner.com
Building a successful business takes TIME. Lots of time...and be sure to put in deep thought and testing, while you're at it. I know it’s tempting to put all of your energy into getting into the nitty-gritty of revenue growth, but you are essentially setting yourself up to suffer down the road if you skip over creating your systems.
So what kind of systems would give you the control you need for X10 revenue growth? Here are a only a few examples of what types of systems you should be designing for a strong, sustainable business:
- A solid vision of your promise (your business)
- Clearly defined ideal client profiles
- Digital booking and point-of-sale systems
- Well thought out and documented policy & procedures
- Client retention systems
- Customer service scripts for consistant service
So be patient, think critically and pick a system to get working on. From the few examples above, which ones do you need? If you don't have any systems at all? My advice is to start with Your Promise first, then work on your Ideal Client Profile.
Plan for knock-your-socks-off revenue growth that you can actually handle by creating the systems that can deal with it.
To learn more about how to create the systems you need to prepare for wicked revenue growth, contact me for a free consultation.