When you first went into business no doubt you started with this harmonious vision of a constant stream of new clients, doing only the work you love and providing A* service to all your customers.
Then Boom! Reality check.
You are also responsible for all the marketing, sales, admin, finance, I.T and everything else! And all this stuff pulls you away from that harmonious vision. But you need to make sure that your time is not being absorbed by doing all these things. Instead revenue-generating activities should be your main daily focus.
Making sales is what makes you money and without that, you don’t have a business. It is important that you think about how to make time for business growth, but more importantly the actions you need to take to grow and develop your business.
Are you spending enough time on revenue-generating activities?
Take a look at your current to-do list. In one colour highlight all the activities that generate income and in another colour all those activities that do not. Non-generating activities include mindless scrolling and randomly posting on social media (without a plan), designing brochures or other documents, uploading blog posts to social media. Revenue-generating activities are the things that actually bring you income.
What colour is more prominent?
You need to make sure you set aside time to prioritise your business and dedicate your resources to growing it.
How to reduce time spent on non-revenue-generating activities
There are many ways you can reduce the time spent on admin and other business tasks. For example, by using automation, developing workflows and systems and outsourcing tasks – all will give you back more time.
There are methods you can utilise to enhance your productivity such as batch-tasking, using the Pomodoro method and being realistic with how long it takes to complete a task by time blocking and setting buffers.
Say no to opportunities or tasks that do not lead to more money in the bank or fit with your priority.
Don’t be afraid to lose clients who you don’t work well with or pay you enough!
Next time you’re being busy, ask yourself is this making me money? If this answer is often no, here are some activities for you to try to boost your business sales and leads.
Email marketing is hugely powerful. It’s a great way to build relationships with potential new customers and existing ones.
Use a lead magnet, aka an opt-in a freebie to encourage people to sign up to your mailing list. The freebie could be a worksheet, checklist or a PDF with tips. Something that provides fantastic value and leaves someone thinking, wow, if this was the freebie, how good will the paid option be!
Make sure you email your audience regularly but not always with a hard sell. Tell them when you have an offer or a new service or product.
Building prospects & leads (& not dropping any)
Effectively you need to work your “sales funnel” to create a steady stream of leads. Basically, you need a method that will guide people on a journey from being a looker into a buyer.
Email marketing is one great way to do that. Social media can be used to build prospects but you need to be very clear and consistent about when, where and what you are posting. If not your efforts are fruitless.
Hold workshops or webinars to offer value and build leads.
Attend networking events. Networking is a great way to develop a business community but also a potential for referrals, recommendations and business with fellow networkers.
It is also important to monitor and nurture your leads. For example, someone regularly leaves comments on your Instagram posts. You need to make sure you engage with them often, suggest they join your mailing list or ask them if they would like to receive information about your offers. Be sure to track your leads and regularly follow up with them.
Selling & offers
If you are not selling then you are not making money! I am pretty sure this is something that a lot of small business owners struggle with. First, know your worth. Second, don’t think of it as selling, think of it as helping. Tell people how you can help them. Tell them about your offers and show them the transformation they will receive by buying from you. Selling is something you need to practice.
You can call or email potential customers or send a sales email to your mailing list. Do a FB live or post on IGTV telling people exactly what you are selling and what the benefits are for them.
Send out proposals to interested clients and follow up with them at least once.
Set up demos or webinars to highlight your service.
Research suggests that potential customers need seven points of contact before they are ready to purchase. So, for example, make sure you follow up with all new lead enquiries or when you have sent a proposal.
Always ask for feedback and for referrals from previous clients. Then be sure to follow up with those referrals. Make sure you take care of your current clients as this will ensure great testimonials and eagerness to refer you when the time comes for them to move on.
If you are getting great results from one revenue stream such as a digital course download or a membership club, brainstorm and start planning alternatives. And once you have developed a fantastic new product or service be sure to tell all your previous customers about it.
Make revenue-generating activities a daily to-do
Revenue-generating activities don’t have to take up your whole day, but non-revenue generating work most definitely should not. Pick a few tasks that will help you make new sales and incorporate them into your daily to-dos. The things that actually bring in income should be right at the top of the to-do list. Make doing them intentional and consistent. You always want potential sales and new leads in your pipeline.