Chris – how do you decide the next right steps when processing through growing a business? Is there a particular order that you recommend?
- Revenue: It’s all about revenue in the beginning phases. Where there is no margin, there is no business. If you’re not actually making revenue, guess what, you don’t have a business! Utilize guerilla marketing and social media to build your platform as inexpensively as possible. Once you’re making a profit and the business is humming, move to the next step.
- Hires: Who do you hire first? Based on the first step, I’m always going to start with a sales person. Why? I need to bring revenue in and a sales person cost justifies. If they don’t sell, they don’t get paid. Now, if you are the one selling and doing an incredible job, you’d be best served to hire an admin person to take tasks off your plate that keep you from selling. Admin people are a fixed expense. If you don’t have the revenue, be careful on the budget balance.
- Marketing: Think tactically not expensively. What can you do with your website? Is it functional and aesthetic? What can you do with SEO like keywords, adwords, content creation, etc. How can you continue to bolster your platform by spending a little bit of money? Sneak peak – we’re going to be launching marketing coaching soon.
- Strategic: Up until this point, you should be focused on the here and now. Once you get to this step, you should start thinking 6 months to a year out. What can you do as far as future initiatives? Are you launching new products or services? What about marketing strategies? What is the most important thing to grow the company in the next 6 months. Don’t just drop ideas into place and hope they work out. You need a system that outlines the most important thing to do going forward. After our Strategic Planning events, businesses usually leave with 4 to 6 initiatives and they leave knowing nothing is more important that those items. If you focus on those things, you grow.
Those are the steps I’d go through if I was a small business starting out or growing. On the next episode, we’re going to be answering any question you have about the process of strategic planning or our event. Comment on this post and be sure to listen for the answer on The Chris LoCurto Show next week!