Is your business growing every year? Not just in sales revenue, but more importantly is your business ahead right now than you were this time last year in net profits?
Whether your goal is to increase your total net profits by $10,000 or by $10 million, you need to isolate individual values that collectively contribute to that end goal. Remember that performance measured is performance gained.
My own business has grown both revenues and net profits every year for 7 years in a row. There are the seven key places I measure in my business that gives me laser direction for what I need to do to continue to help more entrepreneurs while at the same time, boost profits.
Whether you are a small business owner or a solopreneur you can start measuring these same 7 areas in your own business to help you boost profits:
#1. Measure your time.
How you spend your time makes a significant impact on how much you can boost your profits. Instead of asking at the end of each year, “where did all the profits go?” start a habit of asking at the end of each day, “where did all my time go?” We all know the old adage time is money. Time is the first place I ask clients to measure and evaluate. I often help my clients design what their PDR forms should look like (personal daily report) based on their specific duties and function. On the PDR form, or even on just a notepad, jot what you accomplished and how long it took you to complete each task. Once you accumulate a 2- to 3-week snapshot you can then begin to identify not only your efficiency and productivity, but also your effectiveness.
Your effectiveness is what = the VALUE of your time. So, what is your time worth?
While efficiency is important, you can be efficient at all the wrong things. You won’t really be aware if you are not measuring and getting an audit of your time. Remember that performance measured is performance gained.
#2. Measure your marketing results.
Another way to boost profits is to look for ways to stop bleeding profits. If you are not measuring your marketing results you may not realize how much you’re wasting in profits from marketing that is not getting great results.
First, do you log in every prospective call?
how did they hear about your company?
what product or service they were interested in?
what grabbed their attention and interest in calling you as opposed to calling your competitors?
what is their contact info?
if they found you online, what keyword phrase did they search?
While this may sound like basic business practice it is one of the most common areas I see being skipped even be many established businesses. You can’t determine what would be a more effective approach to your marketing if you aren’t measuring how your current and past approaches have worked. Marketing mistakes bleed resources, and the biggest mistake is when it’s done arbitrarily. Remember that performance measured is performance gained.
#3. Measure your conversion efficiency.
If we want to boost profits, naturally, we need to boost sales. While sometimes sales might happen from a one step process, the average sale goes through a 7 step process. You want to the end result — to boost profits. You will boost more profits if you boost conversion in the 7 steps in your sales cycle.
Are you measuring how well each step in your process in converting?
For the catering industry they need to convert inquiry calls to an appointment to sample their food.
The health club industry needs to convert the first call into a compelling reason to come visit now.
Service industries whose calls are mainly from price collectors can still create a compelling incentive to get the prospective customer to sample their company whether it is in the form of a valuable newsletter or educational video.
The sample stage is an important phase in your sales cycle. You don’t want to simply react to the year end profit number without examining how each phase in your sales process is actually performing. Remember that performance measured is performance gained.
QUESTION: What is the one biggest block that keeps you from measuring in your business? Please share your comments and questions below.
Save Time with the Networking Tips to Generate Leads!
Networking is one of the most important marketing avenues a small business owner can take to generate leads. According to a 2013 survey conducted by Consulting Success, 36 percent of consultants spend more time on networking than any other marketing method, and 34 percent reported that networking earned them more money than any other promotional tactic. If networking doesn’t play a big role in your bottom line, maybe it should. Here are some key networking tips to prepare you for your next event and help you generate leads.
Networking Tip #1. Set Achievable Goals
Set achievable goals for a networking event. You could aim to talk to almost everyone in attendance for three to five minutes, or you could attempt to meet at least seven new people. The key to generate leads from networking is to make your goals measurable: Do you plan to meet new prospects? Set a number defining how many prospects you want to meet. Do you plan on getting your business card out? Decide how many you plan to distribute, and make sure you come equipped with enough of them.
Networking Tip #2. Know Your Audience
If you want to generate leads from networking events it begin by picking networking events where you can connect with your target audience. A good networking environment is defined by the quantity of connections you can make and their ability to extend your influence and help you generate leads.
To generate leads you need to know your audience from a marketing perspective. What business problems do they face? What solutions have they already tried? How can you offer them something new? Go with some idea of the answers to these questions and you’ll be better able to target those who can help you generate more leads.
Networking Tip #3. Rehearse Your Elevator Pitch
Before you go, prepare and rehearse a one-minute “elevator pitch,” which is a short description of who you are and what you do. A good elevator pitch should describe who you help and what you do for them. To generate leads just be sure to focus less on you and more on what you can do for prospects.
Networking Tip #4. Capture Contact Information
Most networking tips revolve around exchanging contact information, making it vital to plan your activities to achieve this goal. Forbes writer Andy Ellwood emphasizes the importance of collecting contact information instead of just giving it out. To prioritize this, he uses the tactic of deliberately giving out his last business card so he has an excuse to ask other attendees for their contact information instead.
Networking Tip #5. Follow Up
Any actions you take at a networking event will only bear fruit if you follow up afterward. Take notes on people you meet (the back of their business card is perfect for this) and when you get back home or to the office, enter this information into your database or contact management system so you can generate leads from the cards you collected. You can then take action to keep in touch with them.
QUESTION: What do you find is the most challenging part of networking to generate leads for you? Plus, share you best networking tips in the comment box below.
Lead generation is crucial to any business – but that doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive, or difficult. Blogging to generate leads is one of the most powerful, easy and effective ways to generate leads; and these 3 methods will have you inundated with new leads in no time.
Blogging to generate leads through SEO
Search engines represent the most direct route for generating leads. Prospective customers search for businesses and products through the likes of Google and Yahoo!, and click the most relevant links – with 33% of all search traffic going to the business ranked #1 in the search engine results page. Blogging allows you to climb these rankings by filling your webpage with relevant keywords and links.
The more times you include a particular keyword in a page, the more likely that page is to appear high-up in the search engine rankings. Blogging allows you to regularly create keyword-rich pages, boosting your websites search engine visibility and directly generating leads.
Great blog content is also regularly shared; and the more people share it, the more links your website receives from other sites. This is great for lead generation for two reasons:
1. The more links your site has, the higher it will appear in search engine results. This generates leads because of your increased visibility.
2. If other websites share your blog content, your post becomes visible to a whole new target audience – generating traffic and leads as a result.
Blogging to generate leads through Social Media
Social networks, like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn , allow your business to engage with thousands of potential leads. Each social network is home to industry-relevant communities – from health and fitness through to digital marketing – and every single community member represents a potential customer.
Your business can attract these leads by blogging. Social networks are built on sharing, and by making your blog a resource of problem-solving, industry relevant content, you encourage people to engage with and share your posts. If your business is blogging to generate leads in the health and fitness industry, create content that answers the common questions in that niche:
* How can I lose weight?
* How can I gain muscle?
* What’s a protein shake?
Sharing this content across social media attracts visitors that are looking to answer their questions; and by the answers, you achieve two things:
You bring your visitor one step closer to purchasing a product or service.
You create gratitude for your business, for providing your visitor with beneficial information.
In other words, blogging to generate leads not only creates the lead; it also sales-qualifies them.
Blogging to generate leads through email marketing
Great content is half of the puzzle; and to generate as many leads as possible with your blog marketing, you need to publish consistently and regularly. By tackling the latest industry issues, and periodically releasing new and beneficial information, you create an incentive for your visitors to regularly return to your business website. This allows you to create a blog subscription call-to-action, and build an opt-in email mailing list.
Opt-in email is a tried-and-tested lead generation technique. It allows you to communicate and engage directly with your blog readers; building trust and appreciation of your business, and encouraging visitors to become leads, and eventually customers. By sending out a monthly blog summary, you ensure that your lead is regularly benefiting from your great blog content, and as a result, they’re more likely to respond to your promotions and special offers. Best of all, you can keep track of your leads through email open rates, and continue the process of lead-nurturing with further, targeted emails.
QUESTION: Do you regularly use keywords, social media and mailing lists alongside your blog? Have you used blogging to generate leads for your business? Let me know in the comments!
Thousands of businesses use LinkedIn to connect with new clients every single day – but for some reason, you can’t seem to imitate their success. Let’s say LinkedIn has never worked for your business, and you think that it never will. Worst of all, you can’t figure out why.
I have the answer: the biggest barrier to LinkedIn success is your own attitude.
Adjusting your LinkedIn Mindset
Finding new clients requires a positive attitude about LinkedIn — a belief that it can work for your business, and a willingness to find out how. To help you embrace the potential of LinkedIn, we’re going to look at some of the most common misconceptions – the limiting beliefs that are hindering your ability to find new clients. This is more than just opinion – we’re going to let statistics do the talking, and prove why you need to develop a positive LinkedIn mindset for finding new clients!
LinkedIn Misconception #1. ‘LinkedIn only works for businesses in the United States’
Most people don’t realize just how global the LinkedIn network is. LinkedIn has over 260 million users, in over 200 hundred countries – and less than a third of those users are based in the US. LinkedIn is huge in countries as diverse as China and the Netherlands, making it a viable source of clients for countries the world over. If you’re a local business, finding new clients through local groups and businesses is easy. And, if you’re international, you can target clients from virtually anywhere in the world.
LinkedIn Misconception #2. ‘Twitter and Facebook are better for generating leads’
LinkedIn alone accounts for over two thirds of all visits to corporatewebsites from social media channels. Facebook generates just 17% of these visits, and Twitter even less, at 14%. As a result, LinkedIn generates more leads for businesses than any other social network. If you aren’t active on LinkedIn, your business is missing out traffic, leads and clients.
LinkedIn Misconception #3. ‘LinkedIn has never generated any clients for me – why should it now?’
LinkedIn is a rapidly growing network, with a year-on-year increase in users of almost 40%. In other words, the odds of finding new clients increase by almost a half every single year. If you haven’t been able to generate new clients, you simply need to try a new approach – and abandoning LinkedIn altogether will cost your business more every year.
LinkedIn Misconception #4. ‘LinkedIn isn’t relevant to my industry’
Regardless of your business niche, you’ll be able to find special interest community groups on LinkedIn full of industry leaders and relevant discussions. All types of business people are active on LinkedIn – from post-graduates looking for experience and knowledge, through to CEOs of multinational companies to athletic coaches from high schools and universities and even facility directors who deal with building maintenance – so regardless of your target audience, finding new clients in your industry has never been easier.
LinkedIn Misconception #5. ’I don’t believe that you can generate leads by posting comments’
Commenting on LinkedIn discussions allows you to show your expertise, and develop relationships with potential clients. If you’re able to solve someone’s problem, they’re going to be grateful to you. They’ll view you and your business as helpful, authoritative and trust-worthy which increases their interest in working with you. Commenting is more than showing off – it’s helping people with your knowledge and thought leadership and nothing is more powerful for finding new clients.
In closing, the statistics don’t lie – LinkedIn is a powerful tool for finding new clients, and if you and your business are struggling to capitalize on that, you might need to adjust your mindset.
QUESTIONS: Have any of these misconceptions stopped you from finding new clients? What other factors are still limiting your LinkedIn success? Let me know in the comments below!