Is your business growing or dying?
In this post, I talk about an argument I had with a woman who was facing a dilemma. She wanted to grow her business, but she struggled with making any business decision that threatened to roust her our of her comfort zone.
I’ll get into what happened after we had our little confrontation in a minute. Long story short, I suggested she attempt to measure the health and vitality of her business so she could make her marketing decisions based on the big picture. Because reality is a powerful navigational beacon; it can lead us where we want to go if we come to grips with it.
What she did next surprised me. I’ll tell you what happened in a minute, but first, as promised, the Business Vitality Scale.
BUSINESS VITALITY SCALE
Your number is your score.
10 – Not only do we have more customers than we can handle, we can pick and choose the most ideal customers, and refer the rest to a strategic partner.
9 – We have more customers than we can handle, and we can turn our lead generation campaigns on and off at will, guaranteeing our ability to get new customers on demand.
8 – We are generally growing and we sometimes get new leads from our marketing efforts, but it’s not as dependable as we’d like.
7 – Or annual growth has been trending upwards, but it’s not alway consistent.
6 – Very small annual growth but barely keeps up with the consumer price index and inflation. Our marketing efforts are not always showing a clear ROI.
5 – Growth is flat to non-existent. Our marketing efforts are barely keeping us afloat, and we don’t know what’s working and what’s not.
4 – Business is steadily declining. Our marketing efforts are definitely wasting money.
3 – Not only is business declining, but the outlook is getting bleaker month to month. Our marketing is a disaster.
2 – We are taking emergency steps to “stop the bleeding” of declining business, and we have begun to shut down all spending and investment beyond fixed costs.
1 – The business is dying or dead. We are likely going out of business in the next year.
How does your business measure on the Business Vitality Scale above?
Is your company growing or dying?
So, this is our vitality scale here.
If your company scores #10 on the vitality scale, then not only does your company have more customers than you can handle, you can pick and choose the most ideal customers, and refer the rest to a strategic partner.
Now the way we see it at Growth Shop is you’re either moving up the scale, or down the scale.
So we have a look at #6 there: Very small annual growth but barely keeps up with the consumer price index and inflation. Your marketing efforts are not always showing a clear ROI.
Now, every company finds it’s self somewhere on that scale.
Your job as a company is to have a look at your marketing efforts and the results you’re getting and whether you’re growing or failing to grow or declining. The goal is to consistently grow in a dependable, sustainable way, continuing to growing over time.
So that’s the first thing I want you to do: Objectively place your company on the scale. Just take 2 minutes and seriously consider the impact on your business due to the growth from your marketing that you’re either able to depend on or not depend on.
What is your number?
And then ask yourself, where will your company be in 2 years time? And what’s your number now? Is it lower or higher? Be honest.
Now ask yourself, where will your company be in 5 years time?
What I’m asking you to do here is tell me, or tell yourself, is your company gradually moving up the scale, or gradually moving down the scale?
And what are you doing to move your company up the scale? You know there is no such thing as staying put, you are either moving up the scale or down the scale.
And quite often it falls into the responsibility of the company owners to create an ethos of moving either up or down the scale.
Businesses are a collection of processes. There is either a process or a system of procedures designed to growth the business, or that is left up to chance or luck or at the very least “winging it”. This often manifests itself in the form of the very common mistake of “spray and pray” marketing campaigns you’ll see many businesses doing blindly when they get desperate to do something after seeing their growth numbers decline.
Likewise some business have effective marketing processes in place, can control when and how they get new customers, and have influence over the types of customers (good or bad) that come into the business.
So you should be able to see whether your business offers a valuable service or product and you have an effective system to deliver it to your customers, and the market needs or wants your product or service, then all that’s left is whether your marketing can effectively engage with the market in a way that more and more customers will exchange their hard-earned money for your service or product.
All that remains is marketing. The variable that effects your growth is your marketing. So as it stand now, ask yourself: is your marketing system dependable? Are you moving up or down the scale as marketing changes with inevitable technology and internet and social media changes?
So I guess all that’s left to ask is, would you like some help to move your business further up the scale?
I’m not saying hitting a 10, I’m just saying, if you landed at #5 or #6, would you like to have a conversation about what we can do together to move you up to an 8 or a 9.
If this is something that you’re interested in, then send me an email at seth [@] growthshop.co for a free impartial conversation about how we can get your business moving up the scale.
So what ended up happening to the woman I mentioned earlier? What happened when I was sitting across from this woman at a conference table, asking her hard questions about her business reality?
Well, I would love to tell you she did a clean 180 and immediately started taking decisive action to implement a marketing system in her business.
But the truth is, she froze up. She avoided making any decisions.
And this is all too common in business. As business owners, we often let “busy-ness” drive us, rather than using goals based on accurate measurements of our business to drive us.
Which camp do you fall in? Do you let busy-ness drive you? Or do you take accurate stock of your business reality, set ambitious goals, and implement a plan and a system to get there?