15 Terrific Tips for Your 2015 Breakthrough Business Growth
- Business Development and
All you need do is to apply them to your business and see the results! Some will give you results within only a day or so and some may take a little longer to implement.
Remember, “To know and not to do, is not to know” so consider each point carefully to check if you really do it in your business. Then make a plan to implement those you don’t…
#1 Grow your team
One way to grow your business is to leverage through people. What ambition could you achieve if you could delegate that stuff that you’re not really that great at anyway?
As the saying goes, “many hands make light work” and when you build a bigger team with diverse strengths and talents then you also get to benefit from different perspectives.
This is especially useful for creatives who often look to innovate their way out of problems, when maybe it’s not even an innovation problem in the first place!
Having people who can point to marketing, customer service and/or systems and processes where appropriate can prevent this tunnel vision and stop too many new ideas taking the business off track.
High trust means workflow speeds up. Low trust means poor or little delegation and extra unnecessary steps in workflow that slows or stops your desired results.
Some trust issues might be personal, others could derive from your team or suppliers being out of Flow. If you don’t have the right people doing the right thing at the right time, performance and productivity suffers. So make sure that people are working to their natural strengths and talents.
A lack of trust can also hinder collaborations and joint ventures which could prevent you from achieving the next level in your business.
#3 Don’t be a business bottleneck
Improve your delegation skills. Effective delegation is not about blind trust. It’s about assessing each situation, building trust and competency in your team(s) and making sure it’s clear who owns the next step.
Often creatives build a successful business only to get stuck running it all themselves while their team is frustrated at not being able to help more.
#4 Cheerlead Collaboration.
If your business has multiple teams then ensure they are helping and not hindering each other.
If they’re working at cross purposes than you could end up leveraging negatively (hear that money pouring out of your business?) and reducing profitability.
The best staff always want an attractive working environment. I don’t necessarily mean fancy offices ( though they won’t hurt with other visually oriented creatives!) but more that they will want to be managed well.
Research has proven that over 70% of job hunters are really leaving their manager, not their job….
“70% of job hunters are really leaving their manager,
not their job.”
Understanding what is important to Creatives and other types of team members and treating them how they want to be treated will go a long way to this.
For instance often Creatives think so fast they can easily leave their team members behind. Give those who don’t think like you context and enough detail for them to achieve your objectives.
Remember to slow down a bit when communicating with them and that for some, harmony in working relations is essential for them to be able to function properly.
Also it is important that you and your behaviour are congruent with your company’s brand and philosophies. Your team will notice more than you think, even though they probably won’t say anything.
#6 Build relationships with your ideal audience
Communicate consistently and more often than you think you need to. Keep going until people are telling you they ‘know already’ then maintain that level of communication. You’ll probably be surprised by how much you can communicate before people tell you it’s too much – as long as all your communications are adding value.
If you don’t build these relationships your marketing becomes like a leaky bucket, leaking your leads instead of turning them into customers.
#7 Create a story arc for your projects
Don’t lurch from one project to another, instead have a running theme that you build upon… This is the only way for clients to know what you stand for. Building this into every aspect of your business will help you keep on track, make decision making easier and your marketing strategy clearer.
“Success is often more about what you say no to, than what you say yes to.”
#8 Get marketing done…
…one way or another. If you’re no good at or hate marketing it’s time to get real. It has to be done and done well.
Producing great creative work is no longer enough – it needs to get in front of your ideal audience. So if you don’t want to do it get somebody else to do it – done right it will more than pay for itself over time.
Remember that delegation is not abdication, even though another person or team might be doing the marketing activities you as the business owner are responsible for your business growth.
#9 Have one promotion per quarter, minimum
A promotion is a profitable project that promotes one of your products or services. Work it so that you get to make money as part of the promotion while still offering enormous value to your ideal audience.
By measuring each step of your promotion you get to learn more about what works and doesn’t work and you can take that forward each time improving your promotions so that they become more and more profitable.
“A promotion is a profitable project.”
#10 Be creative
Consider alternative ways to get your product or service to market.
- You could have a free course on sites such as Udemy to build your audience, e.g. “How to Select The Best Corporate Video Provider”
- Use crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo to assess what your audience wants, while simultaneously building your audience. Think of it as people paying in advance for what you want to create.
- Use Patreon.com to build a paying audience for each of your next creations. They can get different reward levels (which you set) for either a monthly or per creation subscription.
- What product or service could you structure for the many deal sites such as Groupon?
#11 Add more value
Think of value in terms of “something that people are prepared to pay for” and it turns from something fluffy into something very specific.
How clear is it in your business what exactly you offer? Do you talk about so many things that you could do, that people just get confused – and as you may well know,
“confused people don’t buy”.
What might happen if you were to focus your marketing and sales conversations around your customers’ main ‘point of entry’ and leave all the other stuff until after they’ve become a satisfied client and it’s clear where they need to go next?
Sometimes adding more value means offering less things. This will give you the clarity to consider how to make your key offering even more valuable to your prospective clients. Others that have done this have achieved significant leaps in revenues.
How much more simple and productive would this make your marketing and sales? It will allow you to do less and do it more consistently, which will reap the rewards quickly and over time.
#12 Get focused
What are the key projects and processes that will help you to achieve your ambitions? Are these the things that you’re actually working on or are you getting distracted?
Structure your time to make progress on at least one of these each and every day.
#13 Leverage through systems
Get somebody who is analytical and systems focused to create (or improve) simple systems and processes in your business so that you stop reinventing the wheel every time.
Creatives often argue that this hampers their creativity and freedom. But your creativity is better spent on client work and your business strategies, than frittered away on mundane activities in an effort to make them more interesting. (See points 1-3 above!)
Some of the top creative people around the world used simple habits so they didn’t waste their brainpower on things like deciding what to wear each day.
#14 Use tools and apps…
…such as Buffer to plan and schedule your social media status updates once or twice a week. Then only spend 15-20 mins a day engaging in real conversations with your followers and by searching relevant hashtags.
#15 Time block your tasks…
…into groups that take up the same kind of energy. Make sure to block out time with no interruptions for pure creativity.
Otherwise every time you switch from one energy to another it’s like going from boiling water to ice and back to boiling water again.
- Creatives work best when they can fully immerse themselves in an activity. You might need to do this in quiet solitude, or not. As an extrovert, I work best in a cafe or somewhere with lots of stimulus. (In fact I often will use the Coffitivity app to simulate that environment in my home office!)
- Schedule networking and potential client/supporter meetings on the same day(s).
- Group administration together on the same time/day at the start of each week to get it over with and make sure it gets done. (That’s after delegating everything possible of course!)
- Then use a timer to get more done every day and reduce distractions. Check out this short video all about how to do this.
#16 A Bonus Tip!
Work with a Business Development Coach that understands creatives and knows how to help you run your business your way, more profitably, while giving you more fun, time freedom and creative flow. OK a shameless plug but I’m a great believer in “don’t ask, don’t get”!
Right now I’ve a promotion running which means that you can get a “Get Focused Strategy Session” for half price – normally £97, now only £47 for a limited time.
I really wanted to make it a ‘no brainer’ for you to take the opportunity to give your business a New Year health check and make sure you’re not overlooking the obvious.
It’s a one-hour individual online session based on a 10-point business quiz after which you:
- Have energy and inspiration for the future of your business because you’ll have the clarity you need on the way forward.
- Feel confident about making necessary changes because you’ll have an action plan.
- Be less stressed because you have uncovered the hidden challenges slowing your business growth and development – now you know what they are, you can finally tackle them.
Simply click the button below to book your time in my diary now.
Remember there’s a limited number of sessions so book now while the special offer is still available.
About the Author
Una is a Business Coach & Strategist for Creative Services Providers (Design, Animation, Marketing/Digital Agencies, etc.). She helps them to stand out from the crowd confidently & profitably so they can attract high-level, 'Ready to Invest' clients, doing creative work that fills their hearts with pride - WITHOUT selling their soul or adding extra workload.