As entrepreneurs, we start out intending to build a successful business; however, behind any successful business is a leader who has had at least one failed venture in their past. Although the goal is to succeed, the most valuable lessons come from the ideas that don’t. In fact, there’s a lot to be learned from the shared experiences of people who’ve made a few mistakes and learned from it.
Common mistakes include not taking into account the financial costs involved, not cultivating relationships with customers and forcing a business to grow too rapidly. The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make, by far, is focusing too little on sales and marketing, or abdicating it completely to someone else.
Additionally, they feel they can go it alone and achieve success on their own. The reality is, the most successful people in any industry are able to achieve their goals with the help of a coach.
Business Is a Three-Legged Stool
To build a successful business, it helps to think of your business as a three-legged stool. The three legs are sales and marketing, customer service and financial management.
- Sales and marketing includes promotion, advertising and lead generation.
- Customer service includes creation, production and the fulfillment of the promises you make to your customers.
- Financial management includes your income, expenses and profits.
While all three legs are vital, they are not all equally weighted. For example, sales and marketing is five times more important than the other two legs; however, most people tend to focus their resources on customer service. They may not see themselves as salespeople and don’t want to appear pushy. Customer service may be your job, but sales and marketing is your business. After all, if you’re not generating leads, your business won’t have customers to serve or the cash flow to exist.
The good news is, even if you’re not a natural at sales, there are a few things you can do to generate leads. If you want to make your business big, you have to make your focus small. If you’re not sure where to start, talk to your coach, who can provide direction.
- Spend at least two hours a day on your sales and marketing to generate the leads you need to keep your pipeline full. Pick up the phone and call your top clients to check in with them. Touch base, listen for a need to fill and remind them you’re never too busy for referrals. Although each call may only last a few minutes, it will create countless opportunities to serve your clients and plant the seed for future business.
- Write a handful of personal notes. A handwritten note may not seem like much; however, the gesture is rare, especially in the age of texting. It’ll set you apart from your competition and make the recipient feel appreciated.
- Be consistent. Your coach will provide the accountability you need to provide consistent communication to the clients in your database. They’ll work with you to create communication and lead generation goals and they’ll help you stay on track to achieve them.
Although seemingly insignificant tasks such as personal notes and phone calls may not seem like much, they pay off in the long run. Not only will you build stronger relationships with the people in your database, you’ll also generate leads in the form of referrals. Small tasks, done consistently, have a big payoff. If you have trouble staying on track, lean into your coach, who will not only provide accountability, but also help you stay focused on your goals and offer guidance and encouragement when you need it the most.
Building a lasting, successful business takes time. Keep sales and marketing at the forefront of your business and loyal clients will follow. A coach can work with you to create a budget to ensure your coffers are as full as your pipeline. Focus on the three “legs,” and, with the help of a coach, you can build a strong, successful business.
For more information, please visit www.buffiniandcompany.com.
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