So you’re tired of the stagnant revenue numbers, flat line of growth, and that title of small business and now you’re looking for ideas to accelerate business growth.
I am guessing that when you started, your dream was to become the future business tycoon and not stay a small business owner forever!
If it’s just been a couple of months then, it’s ok! Shit happens in business! It’s probably a phase!
But most people who start a business get stuck in this phase for so long that they end up running a ‘small business’ their entire life instead of achieving that super-fast growth that they had always imagined and planned!
If you are acquiring clients, closing a few deals, getting some revenue (just enough to pay salaries and EMIs), then you are stuck in a cycle there’s something seriously wrong.
If you are stuck in this cycle then you are not running a business, you are just another employee living from paycheck to paycheck! Because if it’s done right then the business is supposed to grow and scale! It is supposed to make profits, generate much higher income and give you that freedom which you’ve worked so hard for!
And waking up every day hoping to find a breakthrough isn’t going to help you!
But… before looking at the solution let’s take a step back and understand the root cause… where the problem started!
#1 Getting out of the majdoor mindset
This is the biggest mistake that is stopping the growth of your business! And here is a quick way to evaluate if you are making this mistake –
Are your team members doing their work on their own?
Or are you constantly chasing them, reminding them to get the work done, showing them how to do it.
What’s even worse is you take over and do their work for them because they do it wrong and they just don’t understand.
Usually, most people who do it have a lame justification “if they fuck this up, and the result goes in front of the customer then the reputation of the brand will be ruined.”
This type of thinking is extremely short-sighted.
Do you think Shivkisan Agrawal, grew Haldiram’s to its current size by preparing the snacks, packaging, and bringing them to your house by himself?
He did all that when he was just starting out.
But he grew Haldiram’s into a multi-billion dollar enterprise by building systems and training people instead of doing everything himself!
Today, Haldiram is a fast-growing business that is spreading like wildfire all across India!
And very little of the current Haldiram’s growth was actually physically executed by Shivkisan Agrawal himself!
All the employees of Haldiram’s have created this growth while Mr Agarwal just sits and attends board meetings and decides where to put his next big bet!
This brings us to our second big idea for business growth!
#2 Strategy khud banana, par kaam employees se karwana
Most business owners want to delegate and reduce their work. Some even try. But almost all of them fail to effectively delegate and get the job done. Simply because they don’t know how!
This is how most people think about delegation –
I will hire somebody. Then I’ll tell him what to do and he will do it for me!
That’s how I will start making money for the work that he completes.
There is one fatal flaw in that plan
Just telling people what to do is not enough.
Because if you use that strategy, on asking them, they will tell you that yes they can do it, and then they will fuck it up.”
It’s not their fault…
They are not in the correct mindset and have not received the necessary training to do that job well.
And as a business owner, it’s your job to make sure that your team is capable of doing their job well.
So you need to teach them, train them, and make sure that they are capable, ready, and motivated to do the job!
It’s not very difficult!
You just need to get three simple things in your workflow and business model right and the rest of it will automatically fall into place:
#2a Have a profitable core business model
If your margins are very thin then even if your team is working very well your business will still end up only paying the bills at the end of every month despite everyone doing their jobs really well!
Most business owners keep very thin margins because they are afraid to ask for high profits.
Their justification is
‘if we keep my margin then competitors will offer it for a lower price and steal our customers!‘
If you think like that then I have just one question for you
Let’s say you have an iPhone X – Will you buy an iPhone11 next year if there are no major updates? Or will you switch to Samsung just because it’s cheaper?
People don’t just buy because of lower prices. Your customers stick with you, not for a lower price but because they trust you. And they will happily pay a premium price if you offer value for their money. This brings me to the next question
How do you think Apple creates innovative updates in their new smartphone models?
It’s from the massive profits generated from the sales of previous models!
Hence in order to build a scalable business that can actually grow fast, first and foremost you need to have a profitable business model with high margins!
#2b Set clear goals for team members
I know what you are thinking! but ‘get at least a hundred sales by end of the month‘ is not a clear goal. Because they can try their best but closing a sale is not entirely under their control.
Here are 3 simple steps to set up clear goals that your team will be excited about
- Set functional goals so as to keep a check that your marketer doesn’t start selling and your sales rep doesn’t put in 24 hours taking support calls.
- Set Individual goals so that a handful of people don’t end up working while the rest of the team becomes your expense!
- Set execution goals instead of target goals so that your team can focus on executing the things that they can do instead of trying to control the things that are not in their hand
#2c Create standard operating procedures (SOPs)
As a business owner, the biggest problem with training your team is – you will have to do it all over again every time a new member joins the team.
You can’t just say – “Abhi se pooch lo usko bataya tha maine.”
Because ‘Abhi’ might be busy or he may not remember the instructions and training correctly.
A simple solution is – to create SOPs.
So that every time there is a new joining, he can simply refer to the original instruction document created by you, try to execute those instructions, and only reach out to you if he gets stuck!
Here are three simple steps to creating great SOPs that new team members can follow and start working like experts
- Set up clear guidelines with step-by-step instructions.
You’re not turning them into machines you’re just giving them the necessary initial guidance to help them in getting started with their work. Smart team members will always start with following the SOPs but eventually, they will use your original guidelines and develop their own
- Always iterate and update your SOPs
It’s important to remember that the goal is not to give them a document and then forget it. Instead, you have to see
- How the new joiners are using the document?
- Is it really helping them out?
- Is it sufficient? If not, then what are the questions that are missing from the SOP?
- And then you have to use all this information to regularly update your SOPs. It might seem like a lot of work in the beginning but essentially you have created your own replicas that can train your team members without actually needing you in office all the time.
- Train your people to develop their own SOPs
Once they learned from the documents, start executing, and become better at their job… You have to train them to document their own working process so that they can now start training the people who join under them. This is how you create an organization based on the core idea of SOPs.
#3 Following the 80/20 rule
Are you doing any of the following
- Trying to close ALL your leads?
- Handling accounting, finance, HR, and everything in between yourself?
- Not able to find leisure, family, or personal time?
If your answer is yes then you need to understand the 80/20 rule
Doing everything yourself is futile, you will be exhausted and won’t actually achieve anything!
And as we have seen in the previous point training your team is difficult.
How can you make it easier?
How can you create a successful business without working yourself to death?
You have to find and focus on things that take the minimum effort and yet give you the maximum returns!
This is a massive topic.
Entire blogs and books have been written on it!
But here are the core ideas you can use to reduce your working hour by half AND get 2x-3x productivity without spending weeks researching about the 80/20 rule.
- Focus on the core issue, not peripherals.
Your goal is to hire competent people, not take interviews.
- If it can be delegated, delegate. If it can’t be delegated, try to delegate anyway.
Because your goal is to create a system that does your work instead of doing all the work yourself.
- Sena ko choro, Senapati ko maaro
Most micro problems that business owners are always stuck with, are actually not the root cause, if you address the root cause then most of the surface level problems will themselves vanish.
Ex- if you don’t have a sales strategy then hiring a sales manager won’t solve your problem. Instead, you can just develop a core sales strategy and quickly test it with your existing team and maybe you won’t even need that additional sales manager!
#4 Presenting yourself as an expert
Will you go to a neurosurgeon and ask him your surgery for Rs. 3000 just because the doctor in the next clinic says he can do the same surgery for Rs. 3200?
The reason customers bargain with most business owners is because these business owners don’t establish themselves as experts in their field who can actually solve the customer’s problem…
The solution is counterintuitive but it’s actually rather simple.
Instead of trying so hard to sell and negotiate, put that effort into establishing yourself as an expert.
Here are some core techniques you can use to start getting positive replies today itself before researching further about this technique and making part of your core strategy.
- Filter your leads
A neurosurgeon does not the stand on the footpath and shout ‘surgery le lo!’ Instead in order to meet him you need to have a valid problem that needs his expertise and proven budget show that you are capable to pay him to solve the problem for you.
Otherwise his team will filter you out of the process and you won’t even get to meet him!
You need to do that with your leads….
- Don’t try to sell to everyone
Find out who your right target audience is!!
And try to sell only to those people because they are the ones who are most likely to buy from you and then be satisfied with their purchase.
The others will haggle, suck up all your time taking support and then ask for a refund.
It’s not because of problems in your product but because they don’t need it badly enough to ignore some minor issues!
And you will be far better off if you just focus on the people who desperately need what you are offering. As they are much more likely to be your happy customers who will refer their friends and advocate for your brand!
- Understand their problem (better than all your competitors):
According to Steve Jobs, one of the core principles of Apple is – Empathy
“We will truly understand their needs better than any other company.“
This is really really important!
Without this understanding, you are just another vendor in the market trying to sell them something.
- Show them that you are the best person to solve their problem:
Once they know that you really understand the problem they already start seeing you as an expert. Now you only have to show examples, case studies, and testimonials from how you have solved the same problem for similar people in the past. That’s when they start thinking
“If he has solved the same problem for others just like me, he will be able to solve my problem as well”
Pro Tip: Extra marks if you can show the difference that it made in the lives of your other customers who got the problem solved through you!
#5 Stop what’s not working
All sales executives know that are trying to close every lead doesn’t really work! Still, most of them continue doing the same thing…Because they don’t know what to do instead. Or how to do it…And they’re afraid that if they try something new they may not actually find the solution and end up failing!
But the thing is – What can they lose?
They are already miserable! Getting rejected by almost every lead!
In such a situation trying new things is difficult but only at first.
In fact, trying new approaches can actually help solve most of your problems!
Here’s a simple five-step process to help you get started
- Define exactly what you want to achieve (2X sales).
- Figure out exactly what is stopping you (too much time spent with each lead).
- Create a plan based on what you think could work (automatically filtering relevant leads for salespeople).
- Try it out, measure, and test the results (pearly time reduced by half but the conversion rate is still low).
- Iterate again (next problem is increasing the conversion rate to 2X).
#6 Hacking Insights from RnD (Research & Development)
In the previous point, we discussed how you must stop doing what is not working and start doing things that will actually work.
But how will you find what will work?
The answer is research and development.
Most business owners will say that they are too busy for random RnD.
They’re not busy! No business owner is too busy for massive profits or business growth!
They just don’t see a point in spending valuable time in RnD.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon spends two days every year in customer support.
Here are 3 ways to hack revenue and Business growth using RnD
- Add more value to and create additional business from existing customers
👉 Do you know which customers are your happiest customers?
👉 Who are the ones who are dissatisfied with your product or service?
👉 Which customers are likely to or even want to refer their friends to you?
Knowing the answers to these questions can help improve your customer satisfaction, turn your happy customers into advocates for your brand, and even generate more business without any effort whatsoever in business development through conversion of referrals.
- Find and create additional business opportunities
Initially we never thought that TeleCRM could be used by solopreneurs and individual business owners just for managing their contacts!
For us it was always a CRM for big tele-calling teams.
But Abhi from the support team came back with use case after a detailed discussion with an existing user who found our product through Google!
This simple example shows how many new business opportunities are hidden from you in plain sight.
All you have to do is talk to your existing customers and they will tell you about the new features and offerings that you can create to attract a new and much bigger audience.
- Continuously ask for feedback and improve your sales process
You can start with simple things like:
👉 Asking customers for feedback
👉 Asking for and listening to improvement suggestions from your team members
👉 Randomly listen to your team members’ sales and support calls and suggest ways for them to improve
The idea is once you start developing this mindset you’ll start seeing massive returns from RnD. Once that happens you will start coming up with a better way to do this yourself!
Hence as a business owner you can either ignore R&D or use it effectively to reduce your sales budget while doubling your sales results!
Choice is yours!
#7 Team se majdoori nahi, kaam karwao
Do you have employees or team members?
Is their job – ‘to remain busy because they take a salary from you’
Or is it to do execute the plans that will help the business scale and grow faster.
If it’s option 2 – then ‘doing robotic work’ is not their job.
There are a lot of ways to automate workflows and other departments. But here are three things that you can immediately automate for your sales team and save their time from robot work so that they can focus on doing things that will make you rich.
- Lead collection and distribution
Your business might be receiving leads from five different places but if you have a manual process, it means a manager has to spend hours and hours every day collecting leads from all these places and distributing it to the sales executive. Instead of using all the time to improve the overall process, build SOPs, train people etc. As we have already seen these are the things that actually created massive positive results for the business in the long run and not the manual process of collecting and distributing leads.
Implementing this is super simple, just configure your lead capture and distribution from TeleCRM once and that’s it. It will automatically capture all your leads from different platforms and distributed them to your team members according to the logic you define.
- Dialing numbers and remembering follow-ups.
When it comes to sales executives who get paid, manually typing numbers is the biggest wastage of time. They could be using that additional time to improve their page and that was more deals instead. All you have to do is simply switch to an auto dialer-based system. You can check out TeleCRM’s auto dialer functionality and see if it is the right fit for your business.
Generating reports of teamwork.
There are two ways to generate reports of what your team members are doing
- The manager spends four hours every day manually crunching 15 excel sheets to find the data and insights that you need in order to make the right decisions!
- You use a system that generates similar all-round reports in real-time without any manual intervention needed!
- Some business owners are like, “he is getting paid anyway so I would rather have him do this manually and get accurate results instead of generating that report from a Software with him sitting idle”.
- If you’re free of his time from the manual work he might actually get to focus on more important things.
- Plus what if he gets an offer from some other company where he doesn’t have to do that manual work?
#8 Review performance and give feedback
You can track all the recordings of every call that your team members are making, you can monitor each and every activity that they do and you can log every interaction that they have with each and every lead but if you don’t use all the data to help your team to improve, then collecting all the data is absolutely useless.
Here are four simple ways to collect the right data and give relevant feedback to help your team members become better at sales
- Track the call volumes, see the lowest performers and help them get unstuck.
- Track missed follow-ups and help them figure out ways to better understand and answer prospects’ objections.
You can easily set up follow-up reminders but some team members still won’t take the follow-ups on time. The people who ask for a follow-up are the ones who are most likely to convert but the reason these team members don’t take the follow-ups is that they don’t have answers to critical objections that prospects have.
Setting up follow-up reminders and monitoring the people who miss scheduled follow-ups helps you understand the key objections that your prospects have with your team members are not able to answer to. Improve that and you can easily see your sales numbers going through the roof!
- Track your pipeline to monitor the people who are not able to close hot leads.
This usually happens because some sales executives are not very good at asking the user to take action. They will do a wonderful job at conveying your value proposition and convincing the prospects but they get stuck when it comes to asking them to pay!
- Track call durations and train the people who have the longest calls
If somebody’s call duration is way above the average then it probably means that they talk too much. They are able to build conversations and make the prospect comfortable. Train them to listen instead of just talking and you can unlock a huge percentage of sales that you were previously missing out on.
This is not an exclusive list and there are many more ways to grow your business rapidly. But this list can act as a good starting point. Most other business owners would not reach this far in this article because they are looking for quick hacks and techniques.
So now you have two choices continue from here and go look for hacks or use this article as a starting point and actually solve your problems at the root level.
Plus if you have any doubts or questions just ask them in the comments below and somebody from our team will answer them ASAP as there is nothing we like better than helping serious business owners succeed.