In my role as a mentor, I have met with a number of businesses through the QLD Governments Mentor4Growth program over the last year. Through this program I have the privilege of speaking with business owners – old and new, young and old – about why they do what they do, their goals and the challenges they are facing. The question most asked in the sessions I attend is how do I grow the business? What I have come to know this means is – how do I get more clients/revenue/profit – quickly!?
For someone like me who loves working with businesses, I have a love-hate relationship with this question. While business is about revenue and earnings, to me, it is about value. Giving lots of value, and in exchange people give you their time, loyalty, and in the long run, their money.
Now, I understand that some will say it depends on whether the business is selling a product or service. And in some ways that is true; but in the long run (and we should all be playing the long game) it is about the value we offer. The way marketers (and coaches) often spin this is, ‘what is the problem you are solving?’
There are some quick answers I could give to “how do I get more clients/revenue/profit – quickly!? Most of which involve paying someone a lot of money to create and buy ad space, engage influencers to place your product (and it’s important to note providing a service is a product) where your customers are, in the hope they will see it and buy. And depending on who you are and what you are selling, this can be successful. However, it may only be the short term gain.
The other way, which is often less interesting or appealling, is to #dothework and create the foundations for long term success and growth. Before promoting what you sell online and offline, creating so much value that people cannot ignore you (Oprah, Gary V and others), want to work with you, buy your products and be seen with you, you need to build a business and framework that is in it for the long haul.
There is a process to business, and each part of the process supports the next. Whether it is knowing why you are business? What your goals are? Being clear on your message or having the structures and systems in place to help manage operations as you grow – each piece provides a foundation for the next. These are the foundations which allow you to have a business that gets clients, generates revenue and ultimately profit.