So, you’ve taken the plunge. Congrats! You’re living the life of an entrepreneur – enjoying the highs, riding out the lows. But overall, you’re in the flow.
Here is the million-dollar question I get asked A LOT: How do I take my business from here to there? (Sounds like a Dr. Seuss book right?) How do I take the quantum leap forward? How do I take my business to the next level?
Let’s get right to it. Here are some tactics and strategies to go from good to great. On getting from here to there:
- If you’re looking to invest in anyone or anything, invest in SALESPEOPLE.
Duh, this sounds like a no-brainer. But so many of us entrepreneurs get bogged down on the financials, or we hire marketing people, even social media people thinking they’ll help us get greater exposure. But to get from good to great, you’ll need to increase your revenues. To increase your revenues, invest in rock star salespeople. One of your best investments is an employee who can sell, uncover new business opportunities, bring in NEW sales, and service those customers in the best way possible. Without sales, you may as well close your doors. Invest in great SALESPEOPLE.
Diversify, diversify, diversify! Diversifying your product lines helps you diversify your revenue stream. Can you start selling a related product to your existing line? For example, my husband is a manufacturer of food service equipment, aka commercial stainless steel kitchens, for hotel and restaurant chains. A few years back, he started making fridges for morgues in hospitals and funeral homes. Now this example isn’t to make my post sound somber, it’s to illustrate my point – use your product line to diversify your sales.
- Take GREAT care of your people.
This is another point that seems completely obvious. But here’s why you REALLY need happy employees: happy employees are productive employees. When employees are disgruntled and pissed off, they won’t delight your customer. And when customers aren’t delighted, chances are they won’t come back. If you are on a tight budget with the inability to compensate employees at higher salaries, organizing events like company bowling, go-carting, or even having the whole company chip in for weekly lotto tickets creates an air of fun. Compensate good employees properly. It’s quite simple: if you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of your customers.
- Your USP is your cash cow. Craft it wisely.
If you’re selling something that everyone has, and you don’t have ANYTHING unique to offer, well, that’s no good, right? I used to lie awake at night consumed with trying to come up with new, unique, and different products and services to sell. Even if you only find a unique and different way to sell your existing product, that’s fine too. Your unique selling proposition is very important to figure out if you haven’t already.
Another important advantage to unleashing your unique offering is capitalizing on something different that no one else has, cornering the market, and setting your price at whatever number you want. This is called a monopoly, my friends! It’s rare, but it’s golden. If you’re lucky enough to have a monopoly in the marketplace, you’re in the driver’s seat.
- Never stop learning AND teaching.
As the leader of your company, you should not only stay on top of the latest trends, technology, and resources available in your field, you should also be ahead of the trends. Understand that no matter how much success you’ve achieved, there is always more to learn. Can you bring in a speaker every quarter to teach your employees new tools and strategies during a “lunch and learn”? Can you enroll your team in a new course (whether online or at night) to broaden their knowledge and expand their skills? Can you offer mentoring? Doing these exercises to learn new skills sets your company up to thrive and make the jump.
There are so many more tactics like learning how to become an excellent delegator, brushing up on leadership skills, proper budgeting and forecasting, not leaving money on the table whenever possible, and more. But I wanted to highlight the big ones that you can start implementing today.
And I’d love to know: what do YOU think it takes to make the leap from good to great? Share with our YouInc community. You can also reach out to me on Twitter @EricaDiamond