Think You’re Ready to Scale Your Business in 2019? Not until you've asked yourself these 3 essential questions.
Hello, my Busy Bees!
Things have been crazy ‘round these parts with the end of the year and holidays in full swing. BUT…Christmas is over, the New Year is right around the corner, and I KNOW that you’ve got major business goals for 2019 that we need to talk about. But, first… let’s take a second to celebrate all that you’ve accomplished in 2018.
Whew… that felt good! Now that that’s out of the way, let’s chat about something that could seriously make or break your business’s reputation in 2019. I know, I know. This got serious fast, but I promise it’s one of the MOST important topics we can talk about before you start racing into January. The New Year is always an exciting time for hopeful entrepreneurs and small business owners because we all looooove to assess our previous year in business and then crank up our goals to make them even BIGGER than they were before. We all want to scale, don’t we? As a marketing and small business consultant, I’ve heard my clients say things like:
“I want to TRIPLE my sales in 2019!”
“My goal is to add over $20M to my pipeline and help at least one hundred additional people buy homes this year.”
“I can’t wait to open my second AND third location before next summer!”
Before you stop me and say, “Megan, what the heck is wrong with dreaming big and shooting for massive growth?”, let me say this…
There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with aiming for the stars. Dreaming big is a must when you’re starting or growing your business. It keeps us trudging forward when circumstances leave us wanting to pack up, go home, and cry our faces off. We need those big juicy aspirations, or all we’ll ever accomplish is mediocrity. And mediocrity is not for you, my friend!
Yes, I want you to set giant goals and then crush them like they’re a brand new pair of designer sunglasses. (I can’t be the only one that does this every…single…time I buy a pair.) But before you dive face-first into 2019, stop and take a second to ask yourself a few questions. Your company’s reputation depends on it.
Can my current operating systems handle a huge increase in sales?
This is the most important of the three questions you need to ask yourself. Here’s why:
I have a biz & marketing consulting client (let’s call her “Cheryl”) that has been in business for about a decade and is brilliant at what she does. Because Cheryl delivers an excellent service to her clients, it’s no surprise that year over year, she has experienced a steady increase in her business. When this client brought me in to help with marketing and explained her plan for explosive expansion into new cities starting in 2019, my immediate reaction was, “Oh, no!”. While Cheryl definitely has a service worth sharing with the masses, it was easy for me to spot that her operating systems were not ready for this type of growth. Her team was already feeling overwhelmed, working late into the evenings on tasks that could be automated, keeping track of clients on ever-growing spreadsheets that failed to capture all of their information and account updates in one convenient place, and begging for work-from-home days. Even worse, Cheryl was having to field calls and text messages from every potential client that wanted a quote for her service and updates for existing clients all day, every day. And as if it could get any more stressful, she was chasing down unpaid invoices every week. How frustrating and unsustainable!
If Cheryl were to try to expand as quickly as she originally planned without addressing the squeaky wheels in her systems, her customers would likely notice a drop in customer service and quality of service, and then *POOF*, there goes Cheryl’s stellar business reputation that she worked for a decade to build.
So, I did a little research and found a comprehensive CRM that matched this company’s organizational needs to the “T", as well as provided a portal for clients and affiliates to view their account updates and communicate through a private messenger with their designated team member. The CRM goes above and beyond that by automatically performing some of the tasks that the employees would have otherwise had to continue doing by hand. This has majorly shifted her business’s processes, and they are now all enjoying a more streamlined, efficient way of handling their clients’ accounts and communications.
Additionally, I suggested they implement three service package options to simplify the quotes and payment schedules. She is no longer chasing down unpaid invoices or spending countless hours a day creating individual quotes for each new client. Potential clients can look at the packages and decide which one suits their needs and know exactly how much it will cost. Now that Cheryl has updated her operating systems, as well as adding several simple-to-understand service plans, she is ready for the big jump in sales that she has been dreaming of.
Are my team and I on the same page? Do they feel excited about the upcoming year and our goals?
I just started working with another successful client who also has BIG goals for this next year. He wants to add $20M in production to his current average of $50M. AWESOME! Here’s the problem with my client’s goal: his team is already feeling the pressure of their existing business. They are as streamlined as possible in their operations, and the workload is just truly too much for their skeleton crew to handle. What’s the solution? If he wants to hit those big numbers in 2019 without causing his whole team to protest and possibly walk out on him, he’s going to have to hire more help. If he doesn’t, his team will not feel excited about growing the pipeline because it will mean more overwhelm for them.
Ask your team for their input. Get them pumped about growth. Don’t just tell them what’s in it for YOU as the business owner. Tell them what’s in it for them (and there should definitely be something in it for them, especially if their work load is about to increase). I know I’d be much more willing to work harder as someone’s employee if my paycheck was going to reflect that added effort. So, let your team know that their opinions, lives, and dreams matter to you. Get on the same page, and tackle this year together!
Do I have a strategic plan for how this will all unfold, or am I just winging it and hoping for a big shift in my business?
I hear often from small business owners about dreams of scaling, but rarely do they come to me with a plan of action ready to be implemented. I know you know this already, but it’s worth saying loudly for the people in the back.
YOU CAN’T WISH YOUR WAY TO MORE SALES.
You must create a plan of action that captures past clients, new clients, and clients that may not want your services right now but will hit you up in the future because they want that thing you offer and remember your company’s brand above anyone else’s in the same industry. If creating a marketing plan isn’t your forte, that’s ok. You’re a rockstar at what YOU do within your business. Solicit the help from someone who specializes in marketing, and get to work! Those big dreams aren’t going to chase themselves.
There you go! Ask yourself those three essential questions, and you’ll be well on your way to successfully scaling your business and crushing your HUUUUUUGE 2019 goals. Me and the rest of the team at Hype Honey are rooting for you and can’t wait to see what you can accomplish over the next 365 days.
HAPPY NEW YEAR from our team to yours!
Wishing Your Business Lots of Buzz,
Megan Coleman, CEO of Hype Honey