💡 It’s a fact of life that some people may hold us back, while others will propel us forward. Learning how to deal with this is more important than wishing our reality was different. We therefore cannot hang out with negative people and expect to have a positive life and be thriving in business.
More importantly, if we do all the right things, but don’t get around people who hold us to a higher standard, we may not thrive further than our current limits (and why so often we may struggle in any ventures, be it business or life).
The lesson here❓
✅ Actively constructing our social environment is important, BOTH for our life and business.
➡️ Don’t let it depend on proximity or chance or on how the past has always been. Rather consciously plan which opinions, attitudes and life philosophies are allowed and NOT allowed in our life.
✅ Putting ourselves in environments where we can maximize #growth is the best tool (learning) for success.
➡️ Do not hesitate being in such environments for the fear of looking stupid. This only limits the opportunity for growth.
✅ Investing in a business coach or mentor who not only holds you accountable but is able to help us steer our ship in the right direction is a recipe for success (versus one that is trial and error).
➡️ Being the smartest in the room is a sign that a new horizon is required. And remember, success leaves clues, so surrounding ourselves with success is key!
Food For Thought: Are you using bandaid solutions❓
💡 Have you ever felt that life (or even business) is on continuous life support, with this major rush to continue patching up bleeding wounds with band-aids (or plasters as we say in South Africa)…
The society and culture we thrive around often brings busyness in all aspects of our lives (and business), and consequently, we may use “band-aid” solutions as quick remedies to get through these stages.
However, such solutions are not long term❗️ Rather consider the following:
✅ Commit the time and effort to slow down, be grounded and re-shift focus towards sustainable long term impactful behaviour.
✅ When faced with problems, understand the root cause before rushing to any solution and just treating the symptom(s). If missed, the real problem spreads and often can result in a deadly infection.
✅ Lastly, find leaders who have gone through similar problems who may be outside of your business sphere and connect with them for conversations. Look for thought leaders who solved similar problems in real life practice.
A reliable sales process helps create successful and consistent sales in any business.
What makes a great salesperson? Is it a suave voice? An ability to read people? A deep understanding and passion for a product? All or none of the above? Implementing a reliable sales process helps create successful and consistent sales in any business.
The salespeople are vital to the overall endeavor, of course, but as you move forward and build a salesforce, you will likely see that most successful salespeople use a system that works for them.
So, instead of having salespeople come and go, rather consider creating a successful sales process.
Here are eleven steps you can take to build a successful sales process:
Decide on your sales funnel. The first step is to determine how you will get your prospects and understand your team’s step-by-step actions to guide a prospect to an eventual close.
Determine your CRM. CRMs are good to manage how one documents prospects, their contact information, where they are in the sales process, questions etc.
Set up follow-up systems. Once a prospect comes through, key to success in sales is how do we stay in touch? Do you give them a call, shoot them an email, add them to the newsletter list, follow up after they’ve used a free resource?
Establish a connection with the prospect. Part of the follow-up system should include establishing a connection with the prospect. That includes getting in one-on-one time and having real conversations with them.
Qualify the prospect. It is vital that you understand if your prospect qualifies for the services or products you provide. Perhaps they can only afford a loss leader but plan to afford your entire package one day. Maybe they need your product or service immediately to take the next step on their journey. Determine how you will find out this information.
Discover what the prospect needs. This step is part of the qualifying process, but it is more than “can they afford the product/service?” In this step, you dive deep into the prospect’s needs and if they are something you can provide in your business. If you cannot give them what they need and want – can you provide a quality referral? That may turn them into a referrer themselves.
Find out if the prospect can or should close right away – or if they will need some time. During the qualifying process, it’s vital to understand if the prospect can or should close immediately – or if they need more time in the sales funnel. It’s essential to have options for both contingencies, including a system for how you will stay in touch with those who need more time – and connect when they are ready.
Once the sale is closed, ensure there is a process for passing the client to the correct person in the right department. Once a sale is closed, there must be a process for passing the client to another person and helping them to build rapport with that person. This is an area where some salespeople drop the ball and end up becoming that client’s go-to resource for everything from customer service complaints to questions about the product or service. Keeping the client happy and in touch with both the salesperson and the new team member can help with future up sales, but the salesperson should not be the only individual at the company who has taken the time to build rapport with the client.
As an early-stage entrepreneur, your eyes are always on the horizon, seeking out growth opportunities wherever they come. You have launched and got your business off the ground, BUT now it’s time to figure out how to grow it.
Growth is good, but growth isn’t always sustainable. That’s why we’re talking about scaling—growth that is deliberate, long term, and fully in your control.
To scale sustainably means going in with a plan and being prepared to handle any challenge that’s thrown your way. It’s the difference between getting a sudden spike in sales and every process falling apart, and getting a sudden spike in sales and handling every order smoothly with great customer service to boot.
It takes planning, expertise, and sometimes funding to get it done. We’ll walk you through how to craft an iron-clad plan for your future.
You should only take your business to the next step if you’re truly ready! Scaling up means your company is going to take more time, resources, and expertise. Scaling up is an exciting time, but you’ll need a level head to get it done in a way that’s sustainable for your business.
Are you ready to take on more strategic challenges? That could mean expanding your product lines or selling globally.
Will you be able to dedicate more time to your business without other parts of your life suffering?
Do you have the financial resources available that you’ll need?
Do you need outside help? You may be at a point where having someone else handle marketing or customer service would make your day easier.
Do you need more employees to get the work done? Struggling to make your business work with your current team—which might be a mighty team of one!—is a great sign that it’s time to scale up.
Are you having trouble keeping up with orders? Having a higher volume than your business is prepared to handle means falling behind on packaging and deliveries, customer service gaps, and a whole lot of stress for you.
Are you falling behind on inventory? If you’re constantly finding yourself sold out, with customers clamoring for restocks, it’s definitely time to scale up.
Lastly, some businesses are meant to be small businesses. It’s OK if you want your side hustle to remain a side hustle. It all comes down to your personal priorities, lifestyle, and financial situation.
There’s no one formula for scaling a business, because every business—and founder—has unique strengths and challenges. Scaling up a clothing business, for example, is going to look different from scaling up a skin care empire. But there are some common threads to consider:
1. Make a plan for your future
If your company started as a hobby, you may have just been going with the flow up until this point.
However, to scale sustainably, you need a business plan. It will not only help you understand your business, but it will be something you’ll need to show if you ever seek out outside investment.
There are different ways to format a business plan, but a basic one should include:
Management and organization
Products and services
Logistics and operations plan
In particular, you’ll be creating a strategic marketing plan, with a forecast for the future outlining your plans for growth. What’s a realistic revenue goal for a year from now? What about five years from now? What’s your plan for increasing your marketing capacity?
Nail down where your business is right now, as well as where you want your business to go. Use the resources below to get started and consider the next steps in scaling as you create your plan.
2. Evaluate your supply chain
Scaling up means a higher volume of sales and your supply chain needs to be equipped to handle that. What works right now might not work as well at scale.
3. Hire strategically
Scaling up means you may no longer be able to do everything yourself, or with whoever you’ve recruited so far to make your business work.
If hiring is part of your scaling strategy, you should hire where an extra person would be most effective. Employees are a major financial commitment, so they should be focus on an area that will bring in the most return.
4. Outsource for efficiency
If it doesn’t make sense to hire your own employee, there are ways to outsource tasks to streamline your business as you scale.
Whether hiring an agency or an employee, you should consider where you most need help. If you’re struggling with marketing a small business, it’s only going to get more challenging as you scale up. Decide what aspects of your business would benefit from expertise you don’t have and look into third-party services that can help you out.
5. Automate where you can
Getting things done faster or more efficiently at scale can be made easier with tools designed to automate your workflow.
Another example for streamlining customer service is using Shopify Inbox for communicating with customers. This tool allows you to utilize live chat—which we know is a fantastic way to increase conversions—in a way that keeps all your conversations in one place, allows for saved responses, and gives you metrics so you can track impact.
Food For Thought: There’s no magic pill for success…
💡 The path of entrepreneurship is built differently for every individual, but for all aspiring entrepreneurs, it is important to state from the outset that there is no magic bullet that transforms one into an overnight success.
However, for those prepared to work hard to succeed with passion and purpose and NOT merely just wealth, there is an almost formulaic blend of entrepreneurial skills that can help set the benchmark for success:
✅ Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer
➡️ No matter how many knock-backs and refusals successful entrepreneurs receive, always be prepared to dust down the rejection and find an alternative route to the summit.
✅ Learn from the best
➡️ Even the very best entrepreneurs of our time worked with other experts in their industry before going it alone. Finding a suitable business coach and mentor is a great way to do increase the rate of success
✅ Deliver with purpose, value and a strong WHY
➡️ Running a successful business is not an ego trip. Successful entrepreneurs have the desire to grow and provide a better product or service in light of creating value to their clients