BUILD. NOT BILLED.
BUI LDING BLOCKS
GROW YOUR BU S I NE S S
In the Best Way Possible
L ike just about I operate with an eye on growth. In working toward this continuing every other small- business owner,
to deliver stellar results? Most likely, not at all. When businesses attempt to provide services that are outside their scope of expertise, the results speak for themselves. The client walks away with a service they did not quite expect, and not for the better. They’re frustrated and are probably going to tell others about their poor experience. If you do want to say yes to more people who walk through your door, a great strategy is to expand your wheelhouse — but expand it before you commit to a client. Add services that complement what you already do. A business that installs fences may begin offering temporary barriers to construction sites. People who do lawn maintenance also do tree trimming. The company I use to help take care of my in-ground sprinkler system is a great example of this. Pacific Lawn Sprinklers, a phenomenal company (and Steven is the absolute best!), offers sprinkler services in the warmer months, and in the winter, they take care of my outdoor Christmas decor. They put everything up and take everything down. Their services complement one another. When it comes to growth, however, you never want to forget about your existing client base. They can be your biggest advocates and your biggest source of new clients. It’s all about referrals and retention. Far too many businesses try to go after new clients and skip right past their existing clients. It’s another unsustainable approach to growth. It’s expensive and immensely time consuming. Pursuing referrals and retaining existing clients is far more cost-effective This is when you turn to the relationships you’ve established with existing clients. You want to know the secret to building a strong relationship with the people who do business with you? It can be as simple as staying in touch with them. I keep in touch with my clients with a regular email message, as well as this monthly newsletter, for example.
goal, one of the most important things I’ve come to realize
is that not all growth is good growth.
Think of it this way. When you plant a garden in spring, you plant all your favorite fruits and vegetables. You water and care for them, but you inevitably have some weeds. So, you take steps to eliminate them. You install garden liners or you pull them up as they appear — all so intended plants can grow and thrive. The thing is, it’s easy to grow quickly. Any business can price themselves accordingly and get clients left and right. But when you price yourself “accordingly,” what are you really doing? You’re undercutting your competition in a race to the bottom. If you underprice your services to get a market share, chances are you will get that market share, but at a great cost to you and the long-term success of your business. Or worse, someone can just as easily come along and undercut you. It’s impossible to stay the lowest-price leader and maintain margins. It’s simply unsustainable. Another mistake entrepreneurs make when they’re desperate to grow is developing a habit of saying yes to anyone who walks through their door. A potential client walks in or calls and asks for a service that isn’t quite in your wheelhouse, and you say “Sure!” hoping it will work out in the end.
The problem is this is a poor growth strategy and it can damage your reputation. You may be able to deliver for the client, but will you be able
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