Growing your business seems simple, doesn’t it? You “just” need to get new clients or sell more products to more customers. But as you probably know by now, nothing in business is quite that simple.
Business growth relies on several factors — and selling more is actually the least of these. Essentially, before you can effectively sell more, you need to make sure your business is ready for that kind of fulfillment.
You need the right people on board, the right software and tech to support your offers, and a clear process that helps your team (or systems) deliver on what you’ve promised. If you’re focused on growing your business this quarter or next, keep reading.
I’m digging into the three things you need to address before you focus on sales as your sole business growth strategy.
Condense your tech stack
Before you can sell more, you have to know how you’re marketing, selling, delivering, etc. That comes down to your tech, tools, and software.
So let me ask you this: What does your tech stack look like?
There are so many amazing tools and programs out there, but you don’t need all of them. It’s far better to have a few tools that work really well (and work well together).
New tools can be so tempting — they have cool features and a fresh look. But over time, most of us tend to collect a long list of tools that we only use occasionally. It ends up being inefficient and expensive, especially if you’re paying monthly subscription fees.
Take an honest look at the tools and programs you’re paying for. Do you really need all of them? Or can you condense it down to a few essentials? Can you swap to a tool that does all of those things in one?
Choose the tools that you use all the time, and drop those programs that you only open occasionally.
Here’s a perfect example from one of my clients, Christina Scalera. She was looking for a simpler way to sell and deliver her online programs. Originally, she was using Teachable to host her courses and Zapier to manage the connections from her various payment processors.
Recently, she switched to ThriveLearn, which hosts the courses and handles the shopping cart and checkout system. This new setup gives her clients a seamless experience and eliminates the technical errors that were happening when she used multiple systems. By proactively finding ways to optimize and streamline her tech stack, she made things easier for herself and her clients.
Optimize your operations
Having clear and documented business processes is essential for current and future success. Good business processes facilitate daily operations and ensure business continuity. They also set the stage for growth.
But they’re often the most overlooked element of business growth because, to be honest, they’re not very sexy. To optimize operations, you need to create SOPs (standard operating procedures). You need to create resource hubs. You have to think about your work on a high level — instead of just doing the work.
It can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it. With streamlined operations and processes, it’s easier to hire, fire, and start new projects. Instead of reinventing the wheel (or skipping the wheel entirely), you’ll have the steps you need to grow your business clearly laid out.
So, do you have a complete set of well-designed processes? Are your SOPs documented clearly? Does your team understand them and know how to get clarification if necessary?
No business has perfect processes, so don’t feel bad if there’s room for improvement. Once you identify the places that need better processes, focus on those areas. Efficient, delegate-able systems will help you scale faster than almost anything else I’ve experienced as a COO.
And when I say “systems,” that doesn’t mean these things should just be all in your head or in a random Notes app somewhere. Make sure to document your SOPs clearly and in a central location. It’s easier to bring on new team members quickly when you can provide them with comprehensive resources on daily operations.
Review your capacity & resources
Business growth requires initiatives, campaigns, and so on. You need something to drive interest in your offers.
Whether it’s a big marketing push, a new offer launch, a sale, or another strategy entirely, you need to ask yourself: Can you and your current team handle the level of work those strategies entail (aka do they have the capacity)? Do you have the budget to pay for ads, new tech, new hires, etc. to reach those goals?
You should also ask: Do you have the time both personally and professionally to lead those projects? Do you have the energy?
Before you assume you’ve got enough bandwidth for new growth projects because you have the staff and/or availability in your calendar, really dig deep. I also like to ask my clients:
- Do you have the right people in the best positions for their skills?
- Do you have enough leeway on your team in terms of time and capacity?
- Do you have enough time for the work on your own plate?
- Can you afford to hire more people if necessary?
- Are your team members on board with your growth plans?
Trying to scale without a solid team (and a manageable schedule for yourself) will help you grow faster and with less stress and frustration. So my advice? Don’t skip this step.
Evaluate your product ascension model
Once you’ve got your optimized your tech stack, streamlined some operations, and reviewed your capacity, that’s when you can look for ways to increase revenue. Of course, before you can sell, you need to make sure you know where your audience is — and what they’re primed to buy. In short: You need to have a product ascension model in place.
We recently chatted about this on a recent Your Best Business Mastermind call: You need to know where the bulk of your customers are “on their journey” with your brand, so you can either add something new to your ascension model or get your audience primed and ready to buy or book the next offer they need.
Before you try to sell more of just one offer, ask yourself: Do you have an offer that fits what current clients or customers need next? If not, you might need to create a new offer or rework your product ladder to bridge the gap between levels.
You can think about this right now as you plan for Black Friday. Consider where most of your customers are, and start educating them on the next stage in your ascension ladder. That way, they’ll be ready to buy when Black Friday comes.
Remember, you don’t want to launch something new on Black Friday or make your offer too complicated. Choose a bestseller, and start preparing your audience now. Even a single email a month can help ensure your customers are ready to buy when it’s sale time.
Plan ahead for business growth
Building your customer base and increasing revenue are critical aspects of business growth — but they don’t happen in a vacuum. You need to build a solid business foundation before initiating a growth strategy.
Before trying for external growth, take a look at the internal functions of your business: tech, resources, and operations. Address inefficiencies, streamline your processes, and verify your and your team’s capacity before bringing on a wave of new clients or customers.
Still struggling to plan for business growth? Unsure which areas need the most attention or improvement? That’s where a strategic partner can offer crucial support. I can help you understand exactly what’s going on in your business and develop a strategy to reach your goals (without working 24/7).