time-management-tools

4 Time Management Tools to help you work 10 fewer hours each week

Want to get some time back for yourself, but afraid that your business’ productivity or profits will suffer?
We hear this from so many business owners who don’t have the strategies or time management tools to confidently step away and enjoy some free time to recharge or think about their next business idea.

Ironically and unfortunately, most business owners are so busy making a living that they do not have time to really make a significant amount of money. But surely you didn’t leave your old job, take risks and devote your time to building a business only to earn yourself a monthly wage by working harder than you ever have before? So let’s find you some free time.

ActionCOACH is highly experienced in assisting business owners to work less and make more. Here are four time management tools anyone can use to make more money in less time.

Tool One: Fire Extraneous Customers

Customers who are a waste of time are like shoplifters who specialize in stealing our valuable time. We need to get rid of them or transform them into paying customers. You know who they are. The ones who don’t pay their invoices on time, never stop complaining or can’t be satisfied, those who tie up sales reps, customer service personnel, supervisors, and managers.

How do you get rid of them? You can either delete dead-end leads from the client database or send selected clients to a more appropriate business that matches their price demands.

Also consider whether you need to eliminate the magnets that are attracting those unwanted customers in the first place. Freebies for signing up might be a great plan for attracting new business, but might not be attracting your ideal customer. Remember, profit is the goal and the most important barometer of success.

Tool Two: Double the Conversion Rates of Transactions

The key to increasing profits is to convert unprofitable interactions into profitable ones. While most people crawl toward retirement on the same income, increasing profits in a business can be done in a matter of days or weeks. To prepare for a profit-boosting initiative, gather accounting data and metrics to get a clear picture of where profits come from, how many contacts are made with customers each month, and how many customers make actual purchases. Next, launch a marketing and advertising push in order to generate new customer leads, encourage existing customers to buy more, and to promote the most profitable products or services in the inventory. Let’s look at an example of this business tool in action: Assume that the business is open 40 hours per week, or approximately 160 hours per month.

To gain 10 hours per week (or take 10 hours off without losing money) it is necessary to reap 40 hours’ worth of extra profits per month (10 hours a week times 4 weeks = 40 hours). One week is 25 percent of a 4-week month. So to gain 10 hours per week it is therefore necessary to increase conversion rates – in other words, sales and profits – by a mere 25 percent. Do this by attracting more customers; by making an extra quarter of profit margin on each dollar in sales, or by lowering overhead by 25 percent.

Apply enough effort and energy to the task and it is possible to double profits in a single month. Then an entrepreneur can afford to take an entire week off every month.

Step Three: Run Businesses on Autopilot

Now the business owner has enviable options. One possibility is to close down the business for 10 hours each week, take time off, and settle for making the same amount of money per month that was generated before boosting profits by 25 percent. Another alternative, however, is for the clever entrepreneur to leverage that newfound success for progressive changes and forward momentum. They will maintain the same hours of operation, capture the extra 25 percent in profits, and then wisely reinvest those profits in greater time saving initiatives.

By working smarter, not harder, through organized systems, cutting-edge technology, innovative advertising, and dynamic employee training, the entrepreneur can prepare to put the business into the hands of capable others – which is the next step toward personal freedom. Bill Gates became the richest man in America not by making computer software, but by inventing a system for selling software around the world without having to be physically involved in each of the transactions.

Those who keep enhancing that approach and applying that kind of formula are soon retired from the business completely with a steady stream of monthly income to live on, invest in new ventures, spend on hobbies and vacations, and fulfil lifelong dreams.

Tool Four: Activate the Passive Mode of Making Money

Most people work an entire lifetime to accumulate enough assets and savings to let them enjoy passive income. Many work a lifetime and still don’t achieve it, so they are never truly free to retire or do whatever they please. Real success and wealth is only realized by those whose money works overtime for them to generate passive income. When investments and businesses are generating positive cash flow and net profits, they add to one’s bank account constantly and continually.

But you need free time (start with the extra 10 hours per week) to expand profit centres, open new businesses, sell them for a profit, and launch into other investments. The key to early retirement or rapid wealth is to build passive income throughout life, rather than trying to simply accumulate a portfolio of assets. If passive income is there, then the potential to acquire assets is made possible.

Putting it All Together: Time and Money with More of Both to Spare

Enjoying one’s ideal lifestyle becomes a fulltime occupation, thanks to the fact that it is possible to easily work 10 hours less each week without giving up productivity or income. Repeat the formula and reap 20 free hours a week. Double that and soon the nine-to-five schedule of most workers becomes transformed into 40 liberated hours of free time each week. Using the four tools outlined above will allow you to quickly reach full time retirement with plenty of money for a pleasurable and rewarding lifestyle spent with family and friends.

More information on time management tools can be found in our eBook called The Real Guide to Productive and Effective Time Management Skills here.

For advice unique to your business circumstances, call ActionCOACH today, on 02 9146 4439.

examples-of-synergy-in-business

5 examples of synergy in business that take your business from organic growth to exponential growth

Are you at a stage where your business is running like a well-oiled machine, and you now have the time to think about exponential growth and multiplying the size of your business? Yes? Excellent, read on for examples of synergy in business. No? Click here to learn how to set your business up so you have the time and money to be able to say yes to the above!

So now that you’ve put in the hard yards in the stages of business mastery, finding your market niche, leveraging your business services and products, and building a winning team, your business now has the systems and processes in place that allow it to operate and make money without you being there. Welcome to the stage called synergy: multiplying your business!

Previously, organic growth of your business would have been expressed as a percentage, however the synergy stage is where you really look at multiplying the size of your business. How?

How can I multiply the size of my business?

There are some tried and tested methods for multiplying your business. They all involve YOU evolving from the business manager you once were, to the new and exciting challenge of being a true business owner, investor or entrepreneur in your business (and other businesses). Your business is ready for this stage because of the work you have put in, so we’re here to tell you that you are ready too, as long as you can truly remain in the mind-set of genuine business owner, investor or entrepreneur, and not be tempted to slip backwards into doing things in the business on a daily level.

5 examples of synergy in business:

 

  • Mergers and acquisitions – buying or teaming up with a complementary business and joining forces to grow faster.
  • Adding substantial new products and/or service lines. These will usually complement the products and services you already have, but they can be a completely new range.
  • Geographical expansion – selling interstate or internationally and having offices located in these areas. Expansion allows you to reach a larger base of target customers and therefore increases your revenue.
  • Franchising – creating a business model that can be replicated and sold to franchisees. You retain control of the core business elements but do not need to be involved in the everyday running of the franchised stores.
  • Starting a new complementary or related business that fits in with what you currently do. You have an advantage of already knowing the market and what does and doesn’t work, and knowing the needs and wants of your customer base.

 

ActionCOACH can guide you through any or all of these example methods specific to your business to get synergy happening in your business and help you reach your ultimate business and lifestyle goals. Register for the 6 Steps to Building a Better Business Seminar here to find out more or contact us via +61 (0)2 9146 4439 to speak with a Business Coach.

great-company-culture

How to make your company culture tangible & make it drive your business success

Build the right company culture and business success will follow. This sounds far too simple, but in fact the area of ‘culture’ is where our clients have had greatest success, including winning awards like BRW’s Best Places to Work. We see more business turnarounds based on culture than ANY other area of business, so it’s clearly an important thing to get right if you’re striving for business success (who isn’t??!!)

Why is company culture so important?

The DNA of a Great Company consists of the following things:

  1. Leadership (Vision/Mission/Purpose/BHAG/Strategy/Innovation/Change/Communication)
  2. Great Culture (Values/Beliefs/Gold Standards/Rules of the Game)
  3. Great People/Great TEAMs (Talent/Culture Fit/Performance)
  4. Distinguishable USP/Brand Promise/Guarantee
  5. Lifetime Customer Management Process (From Suspect thru the Life of the Client)
  6. Delivering the WOW Experience (Consistently exceeding the customer expectations on a service level)

Yep – right up there at #2 is Great culture! Only once your culture is set up properly are you likely to attract the right people to your business, and keep them inspired and motivated to work there. And if your people are motivated to work, you are more likely to want to turn up each day too!

Tony Hsieh is CEO of Zappos, and an Advocate of Company Culture. He says “Our number one priority is company culture. Our whole belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff like delivering great customer service or building a long-term enduring brand will just happen naturally on its own.” At Zappos, they hire people who are the perfect cultural fit and fire even the most talented individuals if they don’t.

What are the best ways to create a successful company culture in your business?

Many companies conduct their business without defining exactly what the company’s culture is. Without defining your culture it’s easy for employees to feel lost and unsure about their role and the business in general, or for the wrong culture to develop, or to simply have a very inconsistent culture.

Company Culture consists of three elements: Values & Beliefs, Gold Standards and Rules of the Game.

Element 1. What are the core values, beliefs and behaviours that will allow your vision to be realised? Examples of company values are things like ‘deliver exceptional service’ or ‘be adventurous and open-minded’. Choose up to ten and make sure you and your team believe in them wholly.  They should be defined sufficiently clearly that everyone one in the team can understand what they mean and what it looks like to live up to them. Whilst creating the vision is really the responsibility of the leader, coming up with a set of values, or Culture Statement, is something best done with the involvement of the entire team.

Element 2. ‘Gold Standards’ are examples of your vision in real life terms. Things like ‘positive response to customers within 12 hours’ or ‘flexi-hour for staff each fortnight’. These standards, like your values, must be written down and made available for every person in your organisation to access, so they can buy into them and perpetuate your company culture.

Element 3. ‘Rules of the Game’ are essential, so your team knows how things work in the business on a daily level. Rules for how orders are taken, how complaints are handled or how staff are paid can all be included in Rules of the Game. Once your team have rules, it actually becomes easier for your team to exercise their own creativity and make decisions, based within the boundaries you have set. Remember to be clear on which rules are tight (must never deviate) and which are loose guides (to allow the team some flexibility and space to use their own initiative).

How do you implement company culture?

Once you have your values and rules of the game determined, it’s time to bring the company culture to life and make it real. As a leader or owner, you must embody the culture first. The people you hire will go on to hire the next bunch, so start with YOU.

Once you are actioning the culture, you need an action plan for everyone else, so that your Culture (Values, Beliefs, Gold Standards and Rules of the Game) is alive all day every day, even when you’re not there. Do staff have these ‘culture points’ top-of-mind when performing their role or making business decisions? Sharing your culture points is critical for keeping your team motivated, perpetuating a great culture within the business and of course, for business success!

Grab a pen and a few team members and scribble down any ideas that would help the above statement be true in your organisation. Some action ideas that have worked at companies with great culture include: talking about them every week, giving out some form of culture-based awards, birthday cards, side project grants, team fun-runs, think tanks and cash incentives for great customer service.

Remember that the best culture makes your ideal employees feel safe and welcome, never excluded or uncomfortable.

To see exceptional success in your business through improved company culture, contact the ActionCOACH team today or register for The 6 Steps to Building a Better Business here.

team-development

Team Development – Know the Rules of the Game for your business

You probably started your business so you DIDN’T have to follow the rules anymore… but when it comes to developing a winning team and culture within your business, there are some rules that are fundamental to business success. ActionCOACH defines ‘team development’ as the process of recruiting, teaching and motivating the right people and teams so that your business can operate with or WITHOUT you!

Three of the most important elements to consider when developing your team are Common Goal, Rules of the Game and Action Plan.

The first element is ‘Common Goal’. If you’ve defined and written down your business’ vision and goals – great work. But having GOALS and having COMMON GOALS are two very different things! Does everyone in your business know what the goals of the business are? Do they have the goals top-of-mind when performing their role or making business decisions? Do they personally fit in with your business goals? Sharing your business goals is critical for keeping your team motivated, perpetuating a great culture within the business and of course, for business success!

To create common goals, involve each team member (to some extent) when developing them, and then share these goals with EVERYONE. Here are a few ideas on how to share your goals: print them up in a staff area; make them accessible on the company network; make them the theme of training days and conferences; make them part of your team development and KPI’s.

When the team is working towards the same common goals, team development happens naturally and business success is much more likely.

The second element is ‘Rules of the Game’. Once you have developed your team, they need to know the rules of the game (just like a winning sports team). So, which ‘rules’ are important specifically for team development? Rules for business processes are extremely useful, so your team knows how things work in the business on a daily level. Rules for how orders are taken, how complaints are handled or how staff are paid can all be included in processes. Once your team have defined processes, it actually becomes easier for them to exercise their own creativity and make decisions, based within the boundaries you have set.

Once the rules for processes are defined, you will need rules that state who is responsible for each process. Remember to be clear on which rules are tight (must never deviate) and which are loose guides (to allow the team some flexibility and space to use their own initiative).

The third set of “rules” for your team is actually your culture.  Having a clearly defined set of values, that the entire team will adhere to, is a vital part of ensuring consistency in how your team behave, how they make decisions and how they deal with each other, with customers and suppliers and with all stakeholders in the business.

The final element to help with your team development is called ‘Action Plan’. You’ve recruited team members based on attitude and have started or will start training them for skill. They are working toward a common goal. They know the rules of the game. Now it’s time for action!

For most of our clients at ActionCOACH, the ultimate desire (and a great measure of business success) is having a business that can operate without them. In order to achieve this, every team member must know what they are supposed to do. As you can guess, if the team doesn’t know what to do, it’s likely that YOU will be doing every function of the business, unable to step away at all.

To develop an action plan, ensure that  each person has an appropriate title, a job description and an explanation of how others will support them in their role. You will need to track that all of the above is being fulfilled, by identifying a handful of KPI’s (4 – 6 things you can objectively monitor to know that a role is being done properly). To support this, a step-by-step plan that leads to the achievement of your goals is really a “must-have”.  Make your action plans available for individual and team reference, to act as a kind of ‘playbook’ for the team and to continue positive team development within your business.

ActionCOACH has helped thousands of Australian businesses with their team development. For advice or coaching in this area contact ActionCOACH on 02 9146 4439. You can also download your eBook called “The 6 Key Elements to a Winning Team” here.

developing-leadership-skills

Developing Leadership Skills to build a winning team

No doubt you have been keenly following our blogs on building a dream team to help you create a successful business; one that functions WITHOUT you. Great. So by now you will have started the processes of recruiting team members who share your business vision, know their role and responsibilities and are working towards a common goal.

The next step is developing leadership skills. Specifically YOUR leadership skills! Why do you need to be really good at leading teams? Because teams look to their leaders and business owners for guidance, growth, decision-making and development.

No matter what your natural leadership style, always strive to teach people to think and act for themselves, rather than how to merely execute the same function over and over. Being a teacher will enable you to be truly involved in your organisation and increase the capabilities of the people you have recruited based on the right attitude.

Strong leaders who have developed leadership skills love to seek out new ideas from everyone in their teams and championing them to fruition. Remember to hand out due praise for every new idea brought forward. Who knows? Maybe the next new idea will be the one that catapults your business success.

Movies and TV shows portray an image of a harsh dictatorship as a model of success, but calmness and caring for your teams, and even a simple hello each day will give you an opportunity to connect with your teams and learn about them. Similarly, listening is also a great leadership skill to develop and practice.

Teams will be inspired to come to work each day if they can see that you are having fun with the business. Perhaps remember back to why you started the business in the first place, and use that passion to bring fun to your leadership style.

When we talk about leadership in our programs we often talk about two elements. What is management and what is leadership?

While you are developing leadership skills, you need to make sure the fundamentals of management are in place.  Check out our eBook The 6 Key elements to creating a winning team for more information about having sound management practices set up.  Without the foundation set up correctly it doesn’t matter how good a leader you are, things will just not work as they should.

Now that you have your management processes set up, how can you practice and develop leadership skills?

  • TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE – Leaders think about the future and help others see the future. Involve all teams in discussing and shaping the future of your business.
  • TEACH SOMEONE SOMETHING – Leaders are involved in their organisations and committed to growing organisational capacity. Teaching someone something sends a strong signal of trust and ensures people are learning your processes correctly, therefore future proofing your business.
  • SEEK OUT A NEW IDEA – Actively looking for new ideas to help with your business and championing them shows a lot about your ability to accept change as a leader.
  • SAY “YES” – Leaders aren’t afraid to make a commitment, to make a choice, to move on. Find something where you can say “yes.” Nothing says you trust your organisation more than the power of agreement.
  • TELL SOMEONE THEY DID A GOOD JOB – Handing out praise when someone does a good job not only builds enthusiasm, it also develops trust in your management.
  • GET MAD, THEN GET OVER IT – Great leaders are able to roll with bad news or tough times and quickly move on.
  • MEET SOMEONE NEW – get out and meet the team, or the new team members. You will learn something new and it is visible proof that you care.
  • ACTIVELY LISTEN – Many of us talk about being good listeners, but few of us are really good at it. The next time you are asked to listen to someone, use clarifying and confirming skills, but don’t offer a point of view until the presenter says, “What do you think?”
  • DELEGATE – Before you delegate, ask yourself “What is the worst that could happen – and can I live with that?” Good leaders delegate because they value more personal time, they want to do more and achieve more and they trust the processes in place that help their teams operate the business with them. But beware; you can delegate but not abrogate….be sure to brief them clearly about what is required and to ensure they have the skills and resources to achieve that.
  • BE ENTHUSIASTIC & HAVE FUN – Strong leaders have enthusiasm and energy and they transfer that to the business. If you enjoy what you are doing then others will too. People want to follow people who are enthusiastic and enjoy life and what they do.

These are just a few tips for developing your leadership skills. If you need more help developing your leadership skills, ActionCOACH is highly experienced in coaching good leaders to be great leaders, and in turn helping to create success for their business.

Contact ActionCOACH today 02 9146 4439 to learn more about how we can help you become the best leader you can be. Or download your free eBook The 6 Keys to creating a Winning Team here.

business-processes-and-proceedures

How to Engage your Team in setting up Business Processes and Procedures

Who in your business team is accountable for doing what? Do you have one person assigned to each task that keeps your business functioning and makes your customers happy?

If you don’t, then perhaps it’s you, the business owner who ends up doing more than you should. We see this happen all the time, and it’s the key contributor to business owners not having time to work ON the business or not being able to take time off.

But before you throw your hands in the air in despair, we want to share a few steps that help set up your business processes and procedures so that each person on your team knows their job, does it right and lets you get on with your role (and your life!)

And you don’t have to create these business processes yourself. You’ll get a better response and take some of the load off if you engage your team to help set them up.

First up is the Organisation Chart. Many businesses don’t have one, but it’s the easiest way to see – at a glance – who does what in your business and the lines of reporting. Each ‘box’ should include the person’s name and their role. Org charts help when it’s time to make major decisions, resolve minor internal conflicts, recruiting and growing the business.

Make sure your Org chart is designed for the ideal future of the business; with some names appearing in multiple boxes in the first instance and with lots of blank boxes for future growth! Get your team on board by placing and moving post-it notes up on a wall until you get one that the whole team is happy to go with, instead of getting one person to draw it up alone. Keep it up to date and display it prominently.

Next up in business procedures is Position Commitments, which should articulate, in a single line, why that job exists. What overall outcome does that role need to achieve? List key activities, processes and outcomes that the role is accountable for. Again this is a business process that the team can brainstorm and have a hand in. After all, it’s their career you’re shaping!

Remember that every business activity should be listed in someone’s Position Commitment, because if no-one is accountable for it, chances are it won’t get done.

To make it easy to track that these Position Commitments are being fulfilled (and you are not doing a whole list of activities you shouldn’t be doing), identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each of them. KPIs are simply objective and measurable outcomes aligned with your company’s vision. There’s a business expression “what gets measured gets done”. If you set a goal around a certain outcome, the chances of that outcome occurring are much higher, simply because you have committed to managing and measuring the results.

What are the four or five things you can objectively monitor to know that a role is being done properly? Each role in your Org Chart will need its own set of KPIs.

For other tips on business processes and procedures that you can engage your team in, check out our eBook ‘Make your business work without you being there’.

business processes and systems

9 Steps to Building your Business Processes and Systems

Airline Captains put their aircraft in motion and then switch to autopilot. They are then free to take a nap or do a crossword puzzle while the plane flies safely all by itself. So, are you flying your business like a state-of-the-art dreamliner, or more like a monoplane from the early 1900’s?

 

ActionCOACH has developed 9 steps to take your business processes and systems from zero to hero, so you can make more money and have more time. And isn’t that why you started your business in the first place?

 

Step 1. Set your Vision. First, ask yourself: “Why do I get up and come to this place?” and “Why does my business exist?” Make your vision aspirational so your staff and team are eager to get on board with it. Download our eBook to read the vision we have for ActionCOACH.

 

Step 2. Set your Mission. Ask “What do we do, and for who?” and “What makes my business so special?” Aim for 3 or 4 lines so it has some level of detail, to give management direction for decision making.

 

Step 3. Develop a Culture Statement. The best businesses operate largely because of a strong and consistent culture. This ensures behaviours are consistent and clear, so that the team can live up to them. What systems or processes do you need to put in place to create a fantastic culture in your workplace?

 

Step 4. SMART Goals. Does the business have clear goals and does everyone in the business know what their goals are? Your goals must be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, a Result and Time-scaled. Getting clear on your goals and putting together a plan on how to accomplish them, multiplies your chance of success.

 

Step 5. Organisation Chart. Your Org Chart is a business system in itself. It should make reporting lines clear and provide clarity around each person’s role in the company and what they’re accountable for. If no-one is accountable for it, there’s every chance it won’t get done!

 

Step 6. Position Commitment. There should be a Position Commitment for every role in the business, and it should articulate why that job exists. A Position Commitment should also list key activities, processes and outcomes that that role is Accountable for. If your business is tiny, create an Org Chart with the full future of the business in mind, even if some boxes are blank right now!

 

Step 7. KPI’s. In order to track that the Position Commitments are being fulfilled, identify a handful of KPI’s for each of them. What are the four to six things you can track or monitor (objectively) to know that a role is being done properly? This business process will motivate your team even when you are on holidays or out of the office.

 

Step 8 – Procedures Manual

Having a procedures manual lets everyone know what needs to happen in each area of the business, so if one or more key people leave, the knowledge stays. They also give new employees a resource point while they are learning their role. Putting these procedures manuals in place usually has the effect not only of making the business operate reliably but also of improving the way it operates.

 

Step 9 – Management Systems

Now that you have all your business systems and processes in place and the business is working perfectly, you might be close to putting your feet up or jetting off to your favourite location. But before you do, create an overarching management system including these three parts:

  1. A dashboard, which typically includes a maximum of 10 objective facts that indicate the health of the business, usually including profit, marketing effectiveness, productivity and customer satisfaction.
  2. Rewards and consequences for the team, for achieving or adhering to the business systems and processes. Make sure staff are aware of rewards and consequences.
  3. Scheduled meetings that perform specific functions to be held regularly, such as work-in-progress, half yearly planning or even a daily huddle. These meetings need to be consistent and have a specific agenda.

 

In summary, the less about your business that is undefined, the less people will have to rely on you to answer their questions and help do their job every day.

 

Check out our “Plan for a Successful New Business Year” eBook here.

marketing-communication-strategy

Marketing Communications that actually generate a response

Marketing Communications. Sounds big. So do you need a dedicated marketing communications department with several marketing degrees between them to handle it? Nope. You just need YOU. That’s because YOU are actually the most qualified person to work on your business’ marketing communications.

Why? Because YOU know your business in greater detail than anyone else. Plus, if you have been integral in developing the business plan, marketing plan and know your niche market intimately, YOU can create winning communications that actually generate response and sales, even without a marketing team around you.

To get you started, remember that all forms of marketing communications (be it print advertising, Facebook ads, newsletters, editorials, radio ads, direct mail or any others) should utilise the following principles to gain response:

  1. AIDA – In this order, your marketing communications must grab ATTENTION, generate INTEREST, build DESIRE and then call someone to take ACTION. Test whether your next marketing communication / campaign does this. If it doesn’t, can you tweak it so that it does? You will get a better response if you do.
  2. PAIN-POINT – Speak to a known frustration of your audience, or speak in a way that relates to them. For example if your audience puts up with ‘wet shoes’ in the rain, when all they need to do is purchase your ‘shoe protectors’ to stay dry, your strategy for generating a great response might be to highlight what the problems are when you have wet shoes and need to get on with your day. Don’t shy away from what your audience will really relate and respond to.
  3. WIIFM – Address this important question from the perspective of the audience, “What’s in it for me?” Put yourself in their shoes, even if that means role-playing with other colleagues to determine the communication that gets the best response. If your audience knows how their life will be better as a result of dealing with you, there’s a high likelihood that they’ll contact you.

Once you have been through these steps, the media that your communications need will become self-evident. If you need to tell a certain story, make a point or demonstrate your product to generate a big response, then choose the channel (web, radio, print etc.) that does this best.

Once you’ve said bye-bye to your marketing strategy department, come say hello to a coach at ActionCOACH. Call us on 02 9146 4439.

target-marketing-strategy

Understanding Target Marketing & Customer Acquisition Costs

New customers don’t come along for free, nor do they turn up by accident. They become your customers only after you have invested in finding them, have engaged with them and can provide exactly the right product or service for them. Most people we speak to haven’t considered this when marketing their business, their product or their service.

Once our coaching clients understand that there are certain unavoidable ‘customer acquisition costs’ – their brand’s marketing activities can be confidently backed up with an appropriate marketing budget.

As we discussed in our blog about finding your niche, once you narrow down or ‘target’ – your ideal customers – you eliminate a large chunk of the market that you no longer need to spend energy competing against on price alone. Marketing specifically to your niche is way more cost effective and brings more ‘quality’ customers to your business than if you were to market your services blindly to everyone, without a target marketing strategy.

So, what exactly is a targeted marketing strategy? It’s a planning document that identifies your target, then stipulates how you will deliver the perfect message to someone who wants to hear it. For example someone in your niche market who has been searching for a product like yours online, receives a friendly offer from you in their social media feed and is happy to click on it to find out more. Or it might be someone who is interested in your type of service who opens your informative newsletter and gains some more knowledge about it, for free. We can’t emphasise enough how important it is at this stage to get your message right. Once you’ve had a go at writing a message, run it past your business coach or engage a copywriter to ensure the customer knows what you want them to do! It would be a huge loss if the customer was almost through the door then didn’t know how to engage your service or buy your product and walked away.

Targeted marketing strategies are much more likely to generate a response and a higher quality client – making it a good investment of your budget. ActionCOACH can help you build the most effective target marketing strategy to ensure a great return on your customer acquisition costs.

To find out more about Target Marketing Strategies, you can book into our free 6 Steps to Building a Better Business Workshop here.

 

business-marketing-plan

The Five Key Areas of Marketing and Sales

Writing a Business Marketing Plan. Woah… this sounds like a heavy topic that requires more than just a blog! But the good news is there are only FIVE key areas of Marketing and Sales that you need to focus on and improve on to build your business.

These five key areas are:

 

  1. Number of Leads – how many potential clients do you attract? Attracting lots of prospects happens when you effectively connect to people who want your products and services (your niche), communicate the benefits to them and demonstrate to them the value of your business over your competitors.

 

  1. Conversion Rate – what percentage of leads do you convert into Clients? A lot of business owners ‘wing’ the sales process and hope that their leads will make a purchase. However, planning and documenting your sales process then implementing proven selling tools will improve your conversion rate results and make them more reliable.

 

  1. Number of Transactions – how many times a year do your clients buy from you? Brainstorm ways to encourage clients to buy from you more often and include it in your Sales and Marketing Plan. Existing customers already like what you do, which makes it easier and cheaper to get them to buy again rather than acquiring new customers!

 

  1. Average Dollar Sale – how much do clients spend with you each time they buy? What could you do to increase the average purchase value of each customer? What should you increase it to? Upselling, increasing rates and changing your packages are just some of the ways ActionCOACH helps businesses increase the average value of their sales.

 

  1. Margins – what is the gross or net margin your business achieves? Improving your margin is a quick way of improving cash flow. What can you do to reduce your expenses as a way to increase net margin? Our clients are often surprised at how this, the easiest part of a Sales and Marketing Plan, can make the biggest immediate difference to their results.

 

Between the five areas, there are a total of some 350 different ways to grow your revenue and profit.  Just a 15% improvement in each of the five will be sufficient to double your profits.

This list will help you evaluate where your business is at in each of the five areas. We can also sit down with you and explain each step in detail. Benchmark where you are right now against the five keys, select strategies that have worked for thousands of other businesses, implement them into your business and start to enjoy the results!

We show you this and more in the 6 Steps to Building a Better Business Workshop which you can register for here.

Or download your free eBook called Working with your Niche so you don’t have to compete on price here.