Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Week 49 – Learn to Accept Change, Even Enjoy It

The most intriguing thing to me about a business owner who fails to gain control and grow is that often they have the tools and information available to them, they just do not put them to use! I think one of the main reasons people fail to act is the fear of change, or the fear of things just becoming different to what they are now. So things really suck right now, but if I try all of these crazy things life MIGHT get even worse. If you are to make progress, create new income streams, grow your business; some things just have to change. There is no way around this.

Everyday the world around us changes, life changes, and business changes. Change is caused by many things, sometimes it’s because people invent better ways to handle everyday problems. Other times it is inspired by a business that is striving to be more efficient. Your competitors may have found a way to remove some steps from a generations old process and if you supply product or services that those steps rely on, you may find your business disappears.

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." -- Charles Darwin

As new competitors enter your market they can set new standards of service or cleanliness or value. You have to pay attention to what the public start to demand. This can be so gradual that you don’t even notice especially if you are tied up with trivial problems and employee issues. If you accept that things WILL change, no MIGHT change then you can schedule time each month to evaluate what the new standards in your line of business might be. It should be clear to you that there is nowhere to hide. Nothing is more certain than the world continuing to change. You need to adapt to this change, keep fresh and constantly review the results of your business and process innovations. Change with the times but more importantly, put in place systems to make the changes stick.

Let’s have one last look at how you are going to increase your business by 15% in multiple key areas:
  1. Number of Leads – The number of phone calls or visits generated each year by your marketing. For a specific review, read Week 7.
  2. Conversion Rate, Average Value of Sale and your Margins – the rate at which you convert prospects into actual customers as well as the average amount those customers spend with you each year. Margins are the gross profit you make on each sale. Once you have the leads, people who walk into or call your business are silently begging to be led. You need to take control and lead them to the best solution to their problem. Take risk out of these transactions and you will close far more sales. Finally, existing customers are your best source of business. You need to remain in contact and have them coming back to buy more often. For a specific review, read Week 23 and Week 25.
  3. Number of Visits per Customer – the average number of times per year your customer purchases your product or service. You need to create new income streams to reduce the risk to your business. You need to set-up referral programs and ensure they are a lasting success. Finally you need to give your customers the tools to easily send you new business and never, ever give up when people say no! For a specific review, start reading at Week 27.

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