Now, in that blog I talked about how to get through the initial short sharp shock of your business entering a recession or the pandemic, and that advice still stands if you’re feeling the pinch in your business from the shifting marketplace. So, today we’re going to look at what else you can do to kick start your business growth after Covid-nineteen and more importantly, your income!
I’m Lor Bradley, author of Grow Your Tribe. And I’m a business strategist and I’ll be sharing smart ways to grow your business by working smarter, and not harder.
So, you want to start boosting your business income, but we all know the economy is pretty unstable right now and you want to be sure you’re making the right forward plans and taking solid decisions, but where do you get started?
Even without a pandemic or a shifting marketplace on your hands there’s already quite a few moving pieces involved in growing your business, so it can feel like an overwhelming task when you get started. And I’ve always found that getting organised and building a manageable plan of action has always been super helpful to overcome any feelings of overwhelm or confusion.
Ok, so let’s get started on areas to turn you should be turning your attentions to when you start to grow your business. And the first one is pretty obvious, but I’m always surprised on how often its actually overlooked so we’ll start there.
And that means keeping hold of the customers you have in your pocket right now. To grow your business in a pandemic it’s not going enough to just offer great customer service, you need to get smart and work towards building strong, long-lasting relationships and if you’re a B-2-B business you’ll need to start building strong collaborative relationships with your business owner customers as well.
Remember, if you’re a b-2-b business you’re stronger when you’re standing together, and this is something you’ll also see me actively doing in the coming months.
Ok, let’s dive into some ways you can retain your customers and build know like and trust with those who haven’t yet taken the leap to invest in you.
I’ve covered this in another blog how to grow your business by segmenting your market, so I’ll keep this brief here.
What you want to do is seek out the most engaged people in your audience, your ideal paying customers or the ones who have significant influence in your marketplace. And then, reach out to them. Build a strong collaborative connection with influencers and they'll help you nurture your relationship with others. Create a special offer for your ideal paying customers and those who are actively engaged.
Creating challenges for your audience is a great way to keep them connected and build know like and trust with you. Give your audience a structured challenge and see what they come up with. I find that in my own audience of women that personal visibility is something they really struggle with (and that includes me at times), so I created a thirty-day visibility challenge. I asked them a question each day, set some structure around how to be more visible and build know, like and trust and then asked them to go live each day and answer the question.
It brought my community together, it was great. You can offer incentives to encourage participation or create a system of awards. You could increase engagement by asking other members to help you decide who is the winner.
Other great ways of connecting with your audiences are through holding webinars, hangouts and stepping up in your outreach to your subscriber list. Your email subscriber list is your greatest asset so don’t forget this!
Number 2: Tap into Your Strengths
I’ve already covered how to tap into your strengths in my other blog but if you want to grow your business then you need to understand where it’s strong and then double down your focus on further building those strengths. Now, I know we can be the last to see where our strengths are so talk to your friends, your existing customers and your past customers and ask them for feedback on why they like you, why they like your business over your competitors.
My other blog on how to grow your business in a crowded market will be really helpful here.
There's a good chance that those around you are going to have insights on things about your business that you might not see. And your assumptions about your strengths might even be totally wrong. This could be an eye-opening process and it always is for me when I do this. I’m always finding new strengths.
And this is going to help you retain them, and their investment in you. When you take on the mindset of authentically serving those who are investing in you then you can easily boost your business growth. If you focus on how you serve; you'll retain your customers, you’ll naturally get referrals for your business from them, and they’ll be happy, and that’s the most important thing right?!
I’ve got a great blog on how you can go the extra mile for your customers that you might want to check out.
And this one’s really important during times when your marketplace is shifting or during a recession. If you’re hoping to kick start your business, then you'll need to make sure your offerings are spot on for your audience. And your existing paying customers, who already know your business well, are a great place to start in helping you come up with improved ideas for offers they'd like to see. And this is something I like to do with my own customers on a regular basis. I make it part of my routine every quarter to check-in either with individuals or as part of a group feedback session.
And once you have some ideas, take them back to your team and discuss what you can or can't do, and what would lead to increased profits or further business growth. If you’re like many solo entrepreneurs, you may not have a team to talk these things over with, so I always suggest tapping into the hive mind of the communities, or peer groups that you’re a part of. My own community is a really supportive place to get feedback and ask questions so if you’re not already a part of it then you’re most welcome.
Referrals are one the of the quickest ways I’ve grown in business because when someone raves to their friends how much they love you, and your offerings, you’re pretty much guaranteed new customers. And there’s two great ways you can include referrals in your business model so I’m going to talk about how I manage mine.
If you don’t have a strategy for managing referrals then you’re basically leaving it to your customers to go and tell others about you, but it's far more effective to have an approach in place that’s going to increase the certainty of receiving these referrals and one way to do this is to create a customer referral program. And you can invite your customers to sign up for your program right after they make a purchase.
When they sign up to my referral program, as a thank you for their referral they will receive up to 40% of any income I receive from that referral. Now it’s important to talk about authenticity here as THAT is at the heart of the success of my own referral program. I approach that financial incentive as a genuine thank you and my referral program is positioned from a place of genuine gratitude rather than giving hollow rewards.
The second way I manage referrals is by way of collaboration with other experts. During my time in business, I’ve built know, like and trust with other business owners that compliment my own business. For example, in the work I do consulting with others I’m not an expert in every business topic so, I will refer customers to work with my other trusted experts. I have a small group of experts around me that I will refer to every time because I know them, I know their way of working, they complement my personal values and I trust in their expertise. And they will cross refer clients in my direction also.
So, there you have it, the 5 easy things that you can start actively doing right now to kick-start your business and your income as we leave lockdown, and better navigate this shifting marketplace and start to (hopefully) get back to some normality.
Until next time!
I'm Lor Bradley 🏳️⚧🏳️🌈
No 'je ne sais quois' to be found here! I'm a qualified business strategist, author and I show entrepreneurs exactly what they need to DO to be brilliant in business.
I'm an 8-figure online business mentor & consultant, not a business coach, so unlike most coaches I have the practical experience and geek-ery to show you how to grow your business to 7-figures and beyond.
I'm a trans non-binary entrepreneur and I’m on a mission to uplevel entrepreneurs from 'spread too thin' and into the CEO of a biz they won't want to take a holiday from!
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