In our quest to get better in everything that we do, it is so valuable to share our knowledge. As a business mentor, I am always keen to encourage us to learn from one another.
So, following my recent “Learn, Discuss…Apply” business webinars, here are a few of the questions business owners asked me regarding the challenges they are currently facing, and my suggestions:
Always start with thoroughly defining your customer/target market. Most businesses think they have done this, but from my experience as a business mentor, in reality, the definition is often vague or outdated. How much have you considered the changing consumer and business values following this pandemic; and how have you adapted your offer and marketing to reflect this?
I actually encourage my clients to “draw” and name their customer (I have many such examples!) to help really visualise the target. And in most cases there is more than one customer type/target market, so we must segment our market, because each segment may need a different message, route-to-market, offer a different ROI and so on. Everything starts with an accurate and detailed customer definition. For new AND existing businesses!
The future is definitely uncertain, and when I suggest a “forecast” most business owners look at me with horror and say “what’s the point, it’s just a guess?” But would you get in a car and drive to a new destination without planning how to get there? Of course, there may be diversions along the way, but wouldn’t you start with a plan (a map,) and react to diversions accordingly? Exactly because the future is so uncertain, it is more important than ever to have a plan. The key word here is giving the business owner VISIBILITY – and then try out some “what/if” scenarios as to what may happen in the future.
This might sound like a nice situation to be in, but of course, it usually means an increase in costs that need to be covered, and can rapidly develop into the business controlling the owner, rather than the owner controlling the business. What we need to do is grow/scale our businesses in a SUSTAINABLE way. So, again the key word here – despite future uncertainty – is VISIBILITY. Yes, business owners, that means a forward forecast, a plan! As a Business Mentor, I am frequently coaching clients about how to put the proposed additional resource into a financial context and therefore understand the implications of their actions. What does the business need to do in terms of revenue/new customers to cover the proposed increase in costs?
I am sure all business owners would love to be able to rely on a core of regular customers, that will always be there and remove the need for constantly attracting new customers? In reality, there is always likely to be a need to add new customers, but we can certainly do a great deal to get more out of our existing customers. And this is always one of the first places I start when engaged by a client as a business mentor and reviewing their business – “how do we get more from what we already have?” This covers a variety of subjects, including pricing and price models, detailed analysis of current product/service offer and how this could be developed, and retention strategy. But whatever actions are taken, maximising revenue from we already have is almost always a more cost-effective place to start than generating new business.
The critical part in learning – and yet is so often overlooked – is how to APPLY that learning to the benefit of your own particular business or situation.
So if you would like to discuss your business, your challenges, frustrations and vision, please contact me for a Complimentary 1:1 Mentoring Session. We can do it over Zoom, it will take 60-90 minutes and my objective is to leave you in a better place at the end of the session than when we started!
💪 LET’S HELP EACH OTHER TO BECOME STRONG.