How Do I Save My Business From Failing?
Have you ever been in a rut with your business? Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I save my business?” This is something that you shouldn’t be ashamed of. Most businesses will go through rough patches. Nothing is perfect 24/7 when you own a business. There will be downfalls, and you just have to know how to deal with them.
There are various reasons as to why a business fails and they all revolve around what you are or are not doing. You need to step back and review just how you approach your business from the value proposition to how you market your products or services.
One thing is for sure – whatever you are doing is not bringing you the results you expected – so there is going to be change required to deliver different results. Change is hard but a necessary prerequisite to improving your business outcomes.
Your business may be:
- Getting enough leads and referrals but not converting many to sales.
- Getting enough leads/referrals and converting them to sales, but not making enough revenue and profit from these sales.
- Not getting enough leads.
The following are some of the major areas for you to investigate when resolving these issues.
- Value Proposition/conversion
- Business Model
Put aside your pride and ego for a second and view your business from the perspective of your customer. If you have difficulty with this concept, then there is an issue right there! To be successful in business you have to get inside the mind of your potential customer – your target market, and map out a persona, avatar, call it what you will.
You need to know what frustrates them, scares them or brings them pleasure. Your service offering has to address these issues for them and deliver gains for your customers to really be attracted to your marketing message.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- What problem does your product or service solve for your target market?
- How is your service/product different or better than your competitor’s offerings?
- Does your product have a guarantee/warranty/performance promise that exceeds your competitors?
- What benefits does your service deliver? Does it save time, make money, eliminate frustration?
If you have great value proposition then you need to also have a defined marketing message that conveys all these benefits across all your marketing channels and materials.
Conversion occurs only when a potential customer trusts you enough to do business. Trust comes from knowing and liking you and what you stand for.
Your job is to remove any doubt or risk in the mind of your potential customer. Testimonials, FAQs that address common objections, guarantees and other social proof are great for improving conversion rates.
Put simply; can you deliver your service/product at a price level that satisfies your customer whilst providing you with a reasonable profit after your overheads are covered? Some businesses fail because they don’t have a robust profit model to ensure the owner receives a commercial level of income – as well as a profit for the business.
You need to work out (if you are a service provider) an hourly rate for your services to cover your overheads and return a reasonable income. Your offerings should include more than one associated product or service that can provide even more value to your core service – this allows for a higher “packaged” sale amount.
Recurring income product offerings should also feature in your model. Having these types of services improves cash flow and smooths out roller coaster revenues.
No marketing equals little to no leads. Even if you have a great value proposition and business model, it means nothing if there are no potential customers to apply them to.
If you are just not getting enough leads or referrals into your sales funnel, then you need to review your marketing activities. Typically small business owners do not focus enough on this area of their business and it is the most critical aspect of a real business.
Identify three or four low cost marketing strategies to employ in generating leads into your business. If you are shy and don’t want to network or ring people, hire someone to do it for you so you can work on converting potential customers during presentations etc.
Get comfortable with marketing your business as it is an effective way to save it!