Are you already stagnant in 2020?
We are mid way through February and I hear the same shit from so many people! I don’t have enough time, too little customers, recruitment is difficult and so forth. Please stop whinging and start taking action! The answers are in your negativity and fixed mindset.
Today I want to share with you six ways to help your business grow in 2020 and get you on a positive course.
Business owners must be constantly thinking about how to reinvent a process, a system, their team and a product. Customer acquisition shouldn’t be a practice when you don’t have enough customers, it needs to be a constant along with many other variables.
The problem is everyone gets busy and most of the time it’s because of growth or failure. People whinge about limited resources and poor cash flow all the time but hear me, everyone starts with nothing. Even if you were born with a silver spoon or you won the lotto before opening your business, you still started with no experience or knowledge of how to run a business. Now for those that like to play semantics, I am referring to the very first business you started not the 32nd venture, although perhaps you did start this one with nothing!
Too many business owners forget where they started so the first lesson for today is…
Check Yourself and become self-aware. Know where you came from, who you are, what you stand for and why you are here! This is about purpose and self-reflection.
Becoming self-aware is one of the single most important traits of responsible leadership. I bet you are thinking, “I have no time where I am going to find the time to reflect?” If this is you, you’re screwed! But not dead, so you still have the chance to change your mindset.
Pause for ten minutes and focus on why you have no time, write down the exhaustive list that is holding you back from control, freedom and balance. This process alone should help you realise that you have more time than you thought. In fact, on average my new clients discover about 6 hours of extra time just by undertaking this exercise with me.
Once you find the extra time focus 100% on becoming clear about your purpose, the why you are in business, then for who and then look at what you do.
In 2020 human connections will matter more than ever because we live in a fast-paced digital age. Everyone is so busy and we ignore what makes us human, which is other humans.
People are becoming so disconnected with reality and are being fed more bullshit than ever. Just look at all the news channels, the propaganda and the fake news. It’s all over your device, yes that bloody thing called a smartphone is causing irreversible damage to your mindset! People influence people so be careful who’s content you are consuming. In the same token, you become like the top 5 people you hang around with. Now I am not entirely sure who said that but it’s true. Therefore, choose your human connections wisely and flourish. By having a tight-knit circle of trust, who have the same ambitions and values it will help you connect to your purpose and help you grow as an individual and your business.
Business owners must get back to basics and reconnect with your customers on a human level, pick up the phone and say hi! Don’t try and sell them something instead engage in a meaningful conversation – Why? Because your customers are your fuel and most humans feel isolated, unloved, lonely and alienated because the world is increasingly driven by technology. This will help you to get to know your customers better and it will help you evolve your products and your service offering which should lead to business growth through a better understanding of your customer needs and wants.
If you are following me, you will realise that when I write these articles there is always an underlying process for you to use. Therefore, in the self-reflection piece above you should have articulated your values, so use them to develop your output and give your business the edge. If you didn’t realise this, stop reading and go back and start taking action.
Customers are value-driven so building your future content on your values will help you on your quest for your customers to connect with you. Now if you have been growing your business for years and have lost direction, clarity or control, then it’s likely that your messaging is no longer valid and nor is your method of communication. It’s therefore critical to review your message and your assets and test them against your values and your brand proposition.
Note: engaging with your customers will give you some great insights into future messaging.
Focus does matter! When I say this to new customers, they are shocked, they look at me with disbelief and surprise. I mean how dare I assume they are not focused?? Let’s be perfectly honest with ourselves, if we were truly focused on the things that mattered and shut out all the bullshit around you, you would be far more productive and efficient. I know this because I have been there, and I have built powerful tools, process and systems to ensure I maintain the focus required to achieve my desired outcomes.
But let’s take focus a step further. Is your business all things to everyone? If your message is confused and not relatable then how is anyone going to buy from you. We all experience this from time to time. As an entrepreneur, I have experienced this when running many companies simultaneously. Despite all my efforts and all my people, my focus was stretched, and each brands focus was messed up! So, my point is, go back and review your product suite and make sure your product is aligned to your values, your message and is focused on your customer. This will make it easier for them to buy from you and this means more revenue!
This is about clarity so you can cut through the noise of the market and get your prospects attention! Remember you need to define your niche and your customer first if you have not already done so.
Building value is a real challenge for most business owners and organisations because they focus their entire process on the pain point and desire of their customers. In 2020 go beyond simply addressing these two areas for your customer and make a difference. What can you do to build a real connection with them and more importantly build value beyond their basic requirement?
When I work with new clients, I always ask them a series of exploration questions to better understand them and their business. I always start with a really simple one, what would happen if your business was forced to close tomorrow without notice? Would anyone miss it? If so who and why? Would the world be the same without your business? Generally, this simple series of questions raises eyebrows and often the answer is no one will miss it and yes, the world would be just the same. If this is you then you need to devote more time to uncover their purpose, their DNA, their values and what truly matters to them so you can find an intersection with your purpose and values.
This approach is different and requires critical thought and analysis. It’s about a growth mindset rather than a purely results-driven approach. This is about considering the long-term relationship with your stakeholders not just your customer. Start to consider people, the planet and profit to create lasting value.
I am a massive fan of developing your brands Physical and Mental Availability, if you are not familiar with this approach then I encourage you to look it up. In other words: are customers thinking of your brand and are they able to access it when they’re thinking of it? When your brand is strong in both of these domains then more people can easily buy your products. So, what are they?
Mental availability refers to the probability of a consumer noticing, recognizing, and thinking of your brand in a buying situation. This is different from brand awareness which is simply a link to your brand and product category and generally depends on a specific cue. Mental availability is how well defined the quality of a customer’s mental structures are and how many of them exist.
To help you get started, here are five actionable measures you can take to increase your brand’s mental availability;
1. Create distinctive assets
2. Get noticed
3. Continuously reach potential buyers
4. Refresh brand-linked memories
5. Be consistent
Physical availability refers to the breadth and depth of your distribution in time and space, how much product you’re supplying in different areas at different times. It’s rather straight forward however for most brands it becomes a supply chain problem. You need to be asking yourself how can you get your products and services to your customers wherever they are, right when they want it? This is one of the biggest challenges for most brands and great brands spend a lot of time thinking about how to solve this problem. The reason why this impacts everyone is that every company has a supply chain of some sort — be it internal or external, a physical product or not — making the challenge a universal one.
Here are three measures that can help your brand move towards solving this problem;
1. Supply all desired pack types and sizes
2. Keep stock levels high
3. Expand into new geographical locations
To level up on both mental and physical availability brands need to understand whether your customer is an optimiser or satisfier. Both types of consumer preferencing will result in different requirements but when you nail it you will scale!
Considering mental and physical availability in your business and today’s fast-paced and always content consuming environment as it’s critical to choose your platforms wisely and dedicate most of your time and resources to one! This doesn’t mean avoid the rest, it simply means share across as many platforms as possible but focuses your lead generation on one so you can master it and dominate. Once you have mastered it move onto to the next.
As you build your platform, keep asking yourself how you can adjust to a changing world. How can you stay relevant and grow while being true to you? This mindset will make you very referable and help your business thrive, no matter what headlines are in store for you in 2020.
1. Check yourself and become self-aware
2. Human Connection
4. Focus does matter
5. Building Value
6. Mental and Physical Availability
Until next time, live with purpose.
PS. If you haven’t already done so, head to Amazon.com.au and purchase a copy of my Amazon Best Seller, An Introduction to a Business Growth Mindset.
In the book I draw on the lessons that I have learned, presenting a straight-talking, no-nonsense guide to creating the business growth mindset that will give you the confidence and skills to take your business and team to new heights.
The book made the Amazon Best Seller list in all books peaking in position #93 across all books.
It has been featured by Amazon as the #1 Hottest New Release in Entrepreneurship and ranked as high as #14 In Entrepreneurship books.
It’s available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback.