If I could tell business owners (no matter the size) one thing, for their business, it would be to identify their systems as it will make their business easier. Systems involve the process(es) you use from identifying potential clients, to starting a conversation with them, to having a strategy call, to signing them on as a client.
Systems make your business easier as you won’t have to think of what you will do when you meet a potential client – the system is what you will follow each time. That makes business easier and you won’t be all over the place each time. It’s the old ‘rinse and repeat’ process.
I see many business owners who struggle with this; they have a potential client who wants to work with them but then they aren’t sure what to with them; they feel they have to recreate a new way each time. This not only leads to massive frustration (on both sides) but it is a costly mistake in that the potential client drops out and finds someone who does have a system.
Clients want solutions to their problems – and quickly. Many of your potential clients have struggled for quite some time; they have lost some sleepless nights and have developed self-defeating behaviors that prevent them from moving forward in their business. Making the decision to get help is very challenging for a lot of business owners.
So, when they finally reach, out they don’t want to wait on getting the solutions they need. With a system, you can help them faster and you will have a thought-out method that leads them to that solution. Not only that, you will have a way to gauge your return on investment (ROI) as they move from one step to the other. Results will be more visible to both them and you.
So, what is involved in a system? This will vary with each business and their offerings but, basically, they include:
- Identifying and finding your target market – knowing who you serve is the key to then finding and helping them with what keeps them up at night. When you know your target, then you can have a system for finding where they hang out.
- The method you take them through from intake to goal accomplishment – these are the specific steps from the time you have that first conversation with them to them reaching whatever goal(s) they set in the beginning. Knowing these will not only lead to client success, but it can also be the foundation for products to create, such as a book or eBook, a how to manual, checklists, etc.(and can add multiple streams of income while helping more people).
- Your marketing methods, including follow-up – this is where you plan all activities for attracting your ideal client, and letting the world know about you; this can include: your website, business card, log, social media, networking events, speaking events, writing (blog, articles), and the like. Having a calendar each month will keep these action steps in view so you know what to do each day Following up with clients – potentials, current, past – will keep you on their mind and lead to them hiring you, whether the first time or again and again.
Following these steps will help you to have a proven method that you can repeat over and over again. This will not only help your clients achieve the level they desire, but it will take the stress off of you so you can focus on helping more clients and having fun in your business.
ROI – or return on investment – is a critical component of any business; it is what helps to know if the business is on the right track to both meet its goals, as well as for the services/products offered. Typically, we think of ROI from a consumer standpoint, meaning to help those customers know if they are getting value, or results, from the money spent which can be in the form of a service offered (i.e. coaching, consulting, etc.) or a physical product.
But business owners need to be looking at ROI from their own standpoint: is the time and money I’m spending on activities getting me the results I’m looking for. Two areas to track are time and money:
- Time: this is where you track the amount of time you are spending on business activities, which should include both time spent with clients or to get them. Areas to consider should include: identifying clients, referral partners, coming up with ideas to solve client problems, creating programs, posting on social media sites, speaking engagements, networking events, writing blogs or articles, making phone calls, doing research (on client needs, competitors, etc.), actual work with clients. All of these activities are very important to business growth
- Money – this is where you set and track the amount of money you want, or need, to make daily/weekly/monthly/yearly; this equates to how much volume do you need to do to make your desired amount of money in one of those categories. It also means pricing your services or goods appropriately to ensure you’re bringing in the amount of money you need. Add in to this our expenses, which can include: office rent, phone, office supplies, internet services/hosting, buying domain name, printing expenses (business cards, handouts, and the like), webinar/teleseminar services, gifts/ donations, gas and other car expenses, lunches and networking meetings, membership to professional associations, going to conferences. It’s important to know your output.
These are the two main areas I see for tracking ROI, which applies not just to business; personally, we need to track these two areas as well. The bottom line to uncover is our investment into whatever activity we are pursuing and then are we getting the results from that investment. For someone who wants to lose weight, looking at calories expended or days at the gym; for those looking for a new job, how many resumes are being sent out which results in interviews; for those wanting to pay off a credit card, how much money do you need to pay extra and in how many months will it take, and where do you need to cut back on other expenses – I think you get the picture!
Return on investment definitely is important to track so you feel more in control of your schedule, time and money. Reaching profitably, and lessening frustration, while reaching set goals can only occur if you’re meeting them, which can only come if you monitor all that goes on within your business dealings. If you haven’t, it’s not too late to develop an ROI plan to keep you in growth mode, which then allows you to move to expanding the business.
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