Are you getting in the way of your own scalable growth? It’s a question that many business owners and leaders ask themselves, but few are willing to face up to. And yet, the answer is one we all know: yes, of course we are.
We do it every day—sometimes with good intentions (but bad outcomes); sometimes because we don’t know any better; sometimes because we don’t want to change what has worked so well for us in the past.
However, when we stand in the way of what is possible and limit our success, it’s not just us that suffers—it also prevents our small business or organization from thriving.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. There are many ways in which we can help ourselves—and your organizations—to achieve greater success than ever before.
Here are some ways in which you may be impeding your own success:
1. You're not listening to your customers
You've probably heard that you have to listen to your customers. But what does that mean, exactly?
It means listening to what your customers want. It also means being open to hearing things that you may have not considered before—and considering those things, too. If a customer says that they don’t like something about your business or organization, they might just be pointing out an opportunity for improvement that you can take advantage of.
2. You’re not using the right words online.
Your ideal customers are looking for something specific when they Google your business, or browse through a search engine results page (SERP). They’re searching for how to solve their problem and what will help them do it. You need to use the right words and phrases to attract your ideal customers, get the attention of your ideal customers, convert them into paying customers, and ultimately make more money.
3. Your website is from 1990.
Your website is the first impression many people have of your brand, so it should reflect a clear message that makes sense to both customers and search engines alike. If you don’t have a clear message for website visitors, then they will leave without getting what they came for—and that means fewer sales.
Your website is an asset, not a liability.
It’s one of the best ways to build your brand and drive sales. But if it doesn’t work for you—if it doesn’t help you achieve your business goals or attract new customers—then you need to fix it.
When people land on your website, they should immediately understand what problem you solve and why they should care about solving that problem with your product or service.
The first thing people will see when they visit your website is the home page. Your home page should be a welcoming space that speaks to your customers, not you. Imagine if you were going to visit a friend’s house for the first time and all their walls were covered in photos of themselves? Would it feel like a place where you could relax and hang out? Or would it feel more like an awkward exercise in narcissism?
The homepage should be designed to convert visitors into paying customers, not just about announcing how awesome your business is. And if there are any testimonials, awards or other accolades on this page - make sure they're displayed tastefully!
4. You’re copying your competition.
First things first: don't copy your competition. The easiest way to stand out from the crowd is not by copying another brand, product or service (even if they're doing something similar), but by creating something completely different that breaks away from the norm and shocks people into noticing you.
You could even go so far as to create something so unusual that people can't help but talk about it—and think more of you as an authority in your field.
5. You don’t know who your ideal customer is.
Remember, you are not your ideal customer. If your branding and messaging speaks to you, then you're doing it wrong. Or if it speaks to everyone-not good. If you don’t know who your customer is, how will you ever be able to convince them that they need your product or service? You can’t sell to everyone.
6. You're putting your energy into the wrong places.
Focus on what matters most.
That may sound like a no-brainer, but it's surprising how many people work on things that don't matter at all in the long run—and even worse is when they sacrifice doing things that do matter because they think those other tasks are more important.
We see this all the time in our marketing services practice where clients will spend hours on social media for their business because “everyone says it's important” without realizing that spending time on building relationships with people who can help them grow their business will yield better results over time.
7. You're relying on free marketing tactics, but you need paid solutions to see real growth in scale and revenue.
The best marketing is paid marketing. You may have seen this advice before, but it bears repeating: if you're serious about growing your business and scaling your revenue, you need to invest in paid marketing strategies.
While some have been trained to think that “free” is always better than “paid,” this just isn't true in the context of growing your business. If you want to see real growth in scale and revenue, then you need to seek and secure marketing services.
8. Your heart isn't in it.
In order to brand your business with success, you need to be passionate about it. You won't be able to maintain the energy and enthusiasm required to develop an effective brand if you are not convinced that what you are doing is important and worth doing.
If you don't believe in your business, why should anyone else?
9. You are not all-in, 100-percent committed, with no Going-Out-of-Business clause.
You need to be all in, 100 percent committed and fully engaged with your business! It's that simple.
This means that you're not just doing what needs to be done right now but thinking about how you can improve things tomorrow. It means having a vision of where the company can go in a few years where you are at the helm or have full control over its direction. It means being bold and taking risks because only by doing so will you truly know if something is working or not working for your business.
10. Poor Customer Service.
Customers don’t care about your brand as much as they care about what you can do for them and how you treat them.
If your customer service is bad, no one will care how great the rest of your business looks and feels. Customer Service is Not a department! It should be a seamless part of your corporate culture.
Treating customer service as an afterthought isn't going to do anything good for your business. This means every person in your company should be aware of what it takes to deliver stellar customer experiences.
An example of great customer service is when a company offers to help you find what you need, even if it means going above and beyond the scope of their product. An example of bad customer service is when a company tries to sell you something instead of offering options or alternatives.
When your employees consistently provide great service, customers will be more likely to forgive minor errors and mistakes that occur along the way.
Taking an honest and deep look at some of these issues may prove beneficial.
If you don't know where to start, providing a great product or service with amazing customer service is bigger than any marketing strategy out there!
As always, if you have any questions or need help getting started, please feel free to contact us! Click the photo below for more information how we can amp up your small business, skilled trade, or nonprofit.