Top 3 Things You Can Do to Grow Your Small Business Right Now

Here are the top three things I feel most small businesses can do immediately
to grow profitably, based on experience as a business consultant and online business advisor. The logical flow behind these three priorities is to first
make your message as persuasive as possible, followed by building and
managing a powerful direct funnel and then by efficiently scaling via
OPS (other people’s selling). I’ve taken a quick look at your website
and feel that these suggestions are relevant to your business, even
though it has a strong foundation:

1) HAVE A ONE SENTENCE VALUE PROPOSITION BACKED BY DIFFERENTIATING
‘OUTCOME’ & ‘HOW’ PROOF POINTS: Your potential buyer is looking
to make a business case, either for themselves or others. That’s why
it’s surprising how much sales and marketing messaging today comes down
to vague promises of intangible benefits. You may not contractually
guarantee particular outcomes, but your prospective buyer expects a
range of expected results that they can ‘sell’ internally, comparing
them to required investment in order to form an anticipated ROI. Think
about it from their perspective if you don’t even have a confident
expectation. I don’t buy-in to the very common argument that the best
way to not deal with expectation misunderstandings is to not set any
around results. Back up all promised benefits with tangible proof
points. Proof points can include many things such as a range of ROI
results, customer logos, customer quotes, satisfaction survey results,
superior features, company measures against industry benchmarks etc.
We’re regularly and reminded to communicate benefits, but many companies
stop there, leaving prospective buyers with generic sounding results.
Try to back-up your benefit statement with both an outcome/results proof
point and a feature/how proof point. Putting in this effort adds a
clarity that makes buying from you easier. BE MORE DIRECT AGAINST
COMPETITORS. Too many companies today are shy about pitting themselves.l
side-by-side against competitors, thinking they are taking the high
road. But doing so isn’t helping your potential buyer. They do need to
do a side-by-side comparison, and your assistance at this key stage
makes their life easier and their business case more powerful. When a
company does this right they stand out miles ahead of others.

2) MANAGE YOUR FULL FUNNEL: This one takes leadership in aligning sales
and marketing activities, but it’s the right place to focus sustained
effort. This single strategy in itself drives brand awareness, thought
leadership, lead generation and referral. Discipline invested here let’s
you track and measure funnel dynamics, improving your sales forecasting.
Create great content for various stages in the buying cycle. This unites
content marketing a day value-based selling concepts. BUILD A STRONGER
PIPELINE BY GIVING AWAY MORE CONTENT FOR FREE. Today, prospective
customers do significant homework before engaging with your sales team.
By providing rich content from the earliest stages of the sales cycle,
your brand earns trust and credibility that sticks with the buyer
throughout their journey. I feel that almost all good marketing today is
content marketing. You’ll want to keep content at the top of the cycle
to ‘thought leadership’ rather than ‘salesy’, such as articles, polls
and infographs. At the later stages you’ll want to shift to things like
case studies and ROI calculators. In addition to the value that content
delivers to potential buyers, it allows you to track those that consume
it as leads, from even very early on in the process. Below (and
attached) is a great mapping of content to various stages of the sales
cycle:

3) SCALE VIA OPS (OTHER PEOPLE’S SELLING EFFORT): While the previous
two steps set the foundation for growth, scale is the critical step to
generating significant profits. Scale comes through leveraging the
selling efforts of others. Most entrepreneurs immediately understand
that partnerships are fundamental to achieving this, but many do not
appreciate how to forge partnerships that work. Too many expect
one-sided returns, when ironically, the best way to earn effort is to
give and then expect. It takes 10 partnerships to produce 1-2 that are
truly productive. Many of your competitors will give up after a few
failed one-sided partnership attempts yield no results. Persisting to
put 10 in place is where you can jump ahead. The challenge for many
entrepreneurs is finding time to invest in this effort, which is
particularly challenging because significant effort can result in
minimal results in the short term, until the productive alliances fall
into place. How many alliance pitches have you made recently?

These are generalized guidelines. If they feel on the right track to
you, let me know and I could provide further direction relative to your small business at www.mysmeadvisoryboard.com.

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