Business owners and executives are always looking for ways to grow their revenues and maximize profitability, and no one likes to incur new costs to do so. We default to hiring new sales staff or cutting costs or raising prices.
Through my years of work with clients of all shapes and sizes, I've found four strategies that can be implemented immediately and require no new financial investment. As a business owner or executive, these strategies will force you to think differently about your organization.
1. Be King Midas. Everything you touch should turn to gold. Each time your product or service is "touched" by someone in your organization, that product or service should be improved and enhanced. I call this touchpoint leverage. It means you are not just assembling something. You are making it better. You are not just following steps in a process. You are leveraging what you have already done to improve. It is a mindset shift that organizations need to make. It means ridding yourself of words like waste and efficient and productive, and replacing them with words like growth and retention and delivering value.
2. Show Them the Light. If you have too many priorities, then you have no priorities. You need to focus on the one thing that is going to make your organization most successful (accelerating growth, increasing market share, raising profit margins, etc.) and then every strategy and tactic you employ aligns with that to help you achieve it. It makes decisions easier. If you are trying to determine whether or not to spend time and resources on a particular initiative, ask yourself one simple question, "Will this help us make progress on our one priority?" If yes, move forward. If no, stop immediately. This of course, implies that you have identified your one priority. If you haven't, that should be your immediate focus - what is your ideal future state?
3. Make the Intrinsic Extrinsic. I call this applied wisdom. Every organization has a fountain of useful information that never gets applied. That's because it is stuck in the heads of key people. Information that would help beat that competitor. Information that would help close that sale with a customer. Information that would help another division perform better. But it just sits there, like gold waiting to be mined. Only nobody knows where to find it. So you need to make it a part of your culture. Making the intrinsic extrinsic means taking the knowledge that your people have and making it available to others. It means identifying internal best practices and figuring out how to replicate them. It means turning individual pockets of data into collective wisdom. I recently worked with a client who soon realized that no individual had a good hold on information about a new potential customer, so they almost gave up on trying to acquire them. I helped show him that collectively, his team had all the information it needed to close a big sale with that customer. The individuals just needed to be given a forum to share what they knew.
4. Don't Pursue Good Opportunities. You should only pursue great opportunities. Those that align with your one priority and can have the biggest impact on your organization. One of my small business clients generated $1 million in new prospective sales in just 90 days by turning away customers. That's because they turned away the wrong customers. They focused on those customers and prospective customers that would most benefit from what they offered. They didn't take every piece of business that came along. They targeted their ideal prospective customers and implemented strategies to acquire them. They weren't satisfied with good opportunities. They wanted great ones. Can you distinguish a good opportunity from a great one?
If you want to think differently about how to accelerate revenue growth in your organization, think about these four questions:
• Are you enhancing your product or service at every employee or partner touch point?
• Do you know your one priority?
• Are you applying collective wisdom to improve results?
• Can you distinguish a good opportunity from a great one?
If you answered "No" to any of these questions, then you have an area of tremendous opportunity to pursue. Now get to it!
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