Here is a little “self exam” for 2013. I developed this while evaluating my own local marketing business for the new year. Here is what we discussed and discovered:
Feel free to use this and evaluate your success criteria for 2013. Here are some questions to ask yourself while planning your path to prosperity and success:
Question #1 – What is the number one obstacle keeping you from reaching your financial goals?
My Answer: Time – We spent too much time in 2012 creating custom proposals, face-to-face meetings and too little automation.
The Solution: NASCAR – Well… not actually the cars but the idea they represent. In order for a car to “go fast” they remove everything that is unnecessary and it is “tuned” for the specific race track. No radio, leather seats or air conditioning.
This means we need our operations (the car) to match the track (our offerings). We can’t do 150 Mph with four people carrying the car and when your doing 5 different things every day (SEO, PPC, Social, Mobile, Etc etc) you are constantly stopping and restarting. You can think of each service, like SEO or Social Media, as a new race track. You need a tuned vehicle for each track…. that includes the pit crew and the driver. Think about it.
Question #2 – Do you have a healthy source for recurring revenue?
My Answer: Thankfully Yes – But this is a subjective question (purposefully) and we decided it wasn’t
Solution: Healthy means what? Well that is going to be different for every business but our review determined that our lower paying customers (particularly recurring) were using more of our time. The more they paid, the less they complained … AND… the more we WANTED to go above and beyond to help them. The result of this discussion was an agreement to raise our monthly minimums and either fire or “upsell” current clients.
Question #3 – On the path to your goals, what are the biggest growth obstacles you can foresee?
My Answer: Sales – While facing an endless number of opportunities and referrals, we struggle to scale our sales model. Our sales limitations reside in the “too many choices” conundrum.
Solution: A streamlined service offering with easy to explain solutions. With a particular emphasis on “done for you” solutions (hint: strategy that keeps clients paying longer). Additionally, simplified offers make it easier for a “salesman” (even if it is you) to understand, explain and sell. This makes selling a scalable solution that is easier to “systematize”.
Question #4 – When delivering your services, what is your biggest challenge?
My Answer: Management – Once we scaled beyond a hand full of clients… our operational challenges became intolerable. We needed a project manager to help oversee and ensure that we delivered on our promises, on time.
Solution: Hiring a project manager becomes a necessity quickly. To scale any business you need managers to watch over the daily operations and deal with issues. AND… in order to improve scalability it is necessary to create repeatable processes. In some cases it is as simple as having your project manager oversee outsourced services.
Question #5 – Who do you lean on for support and guidance?
My Answer: Mastermind or Board of Directors- Sometimes we encounter challenges we have never faced before. To get support we joined several mastermind groups and created a board of directors. The mastermind groups help us with industry challenges and sales ideas. The board of directors help with business stuff like taxes and legal concerns.
Solution: Find mastermind groups with solid entrepreneurs and business owners. Build a board of directors by contacting friends, family and business associates. Try to include an accountant, a lawyer and a veteran business person. These people will help you find and fix the flaws in your business.[bigbox]
Temporarily open: street fighter coaching program for 2013. This program is based upon my popular training released in 2009 (internet street fighter)… a program designed to help new local marketers get their very first client. If your looking to go beyond the basics and break the $10k a month mark then the monthly mastermind group might be a better option.[button link=”http://istreetfighter.com” size=”large” window=”yes”]Learn More[/button] [/bigbox]