You may have noticed that some business owners are full of anger, resentment, fear, and unrest right now. I do feel empathy and compassion for them, but the truth is that they are not preparing for survival of the fittest. They are not preparing for a great year of business.
They are not getting ready to make more profit in the last two quarters of 2020 than they’ve ever made before. But you can. And that means you can not only survive but also more easily gain market share as those less “fit” businesses (unfortunately) have to close or scale back.
There are three main things to focus on now if you want to be the fittest, and the most successful.
1. Survival of the Fittest: Know Your Numbers
Project your sales and expense goals, track the actual numbers carefully, and analyze them every day. Yes, I said every day, or as often as possible. Normally we do this monthly, but every day I want you to watch how sales are going, what you’re spending, and what your profit margins are. Many business owners I’ve talked with lately have been able to have their most profitable months ever.
Once things start to flow again, you can go back to tracking weekly or monthly, but make no mistake—what you will learn from tracking daily will serve you very well in the future. For example, once you see how far you can trim your overhead expenses, you will be reluctant to let them get out of control again!
Watch your gross profit margins too.
What is your gross profit margin? What is your gross profit margin on each type of product or service? Is it time to increase prices, or change some of your offerings?
Oftentimes unprofitable businesses are spending too much time promoting their least profitable services or products because they haven’t measured their margins recently. Don’t make this mistake. Know your actual margins. It’s not enough to say, “I build the margin in when I set the price.”
You have to periodically check that you’re actually achieving that margin by subtracting your COGS (Cost Of Goods Sold: any materials, labour, or other expenses you must incur to sell your product/service) from what you charge. Divide the gross profit by the amount you charge to get your margin (a percentage.) Do this for each type of product or service to find out which are making you the most money (the highest margins).
Promote the ones that make you the highest margins. Oftentimes the thing you most like to sell is the thing that differentiates you, and the thing your ideal clients are after! Win-win-win! Take the time to figure this out—your bank account and your future self will thank you.
Create new products or services to serve clients in the way that they need. Your current offerings may not be the best thing you could sell or serve right now. Find out what IS your best option by doing research.
Survey your ideal clients to make sure that you’re selling and promoting the best things for you and your clients. Use the data you collect from your research to make data-driven-decisions—use your numbers.
*Do not make the mistake of selling something that is not a win-win. It is NEVER the right thing to sell if it only benefits you. It must truly benefit and serve your clients as well (i.e. don’t be that guy who tried to sell 10 disinfectant wipes on amazon for $100).
2. Survival of the Fittest: Create Clear Expectations and Systems
Job descriptions, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), procedures, and systems (put in calendars) are a business’s best friends. Create or improve these now, so that when things are back in full force clients, staff, and everyone involved in your business will know exactly what to expect, and what to do, to create the most profitable and systemized business ever.
The main cause of this is the lack of explanation of expectations—you need to tell your clients what to expect, along with your employees! Otherwise, they tend to have their own expectations and they usually do not match up with yours. This causes customer attrition at least, and bad online reviews and further loss of business at worst.
Once you have job descriptions, KPIs, procedures, and systems in place, make sure they’re in the calendar so that you actually execute on them. Make sure to use those tools you created in coaching your staff. Make sure to communicate the expectations you worked on to your clients. Make sure you EXECUTE.
*Fact: most customers do not return to a business because of unmet expectations.
3. Survival Of The Fittest: Effective Sales and Marketing
Social media has gotten a bad rap lately, but there is a way to make it more effective. My friend Lane is teaching a great social media course soon—you can check it out here.
In fact, there is a way to make ALL of your marketing more effective—create a marketing plan with clear goals and a plan to get you there. You can download our free marketing plan template here.
Sales, although they may seem more difficult right now, can actually be easier, because more people are answering their phones, emails, texts and social media messages right now than ever before, and people MISS spending money.
Keep these three key pillars in mind as you prepare to not only survive, but THRIVE for the second half of 2020.
If you want to take advantage of one of only five free strategy sessions we have available, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can make a plan for your business to thrive this year.
Here’s to you, the fittest.
If you need more help on figuring out how to prepare for a great second half of the year, contact TMH Business Coaching and Consulting today for a confidential, free, no-obligation consultation to propel you forward. Also, please feel free to add yourself to our weekly coaching tips email!