One of the things I love most about my business is helping service-based business owners elevate their business and learn how to scale in a way that makes sense for their specific goals. I recognize not everyone wants to build a million-dollar business, but to be successful at any stage of your growth, you have to keep the lights on! And that means creating consistent income in your business. 60% of coaches in the US never make it to their fourth year in business. Why? Because they didn’t have a vision of where they wanted to be in a year, 3 years, or 5 years. We all need to have a clear vision of where we are and where we want to be in a certain amount of time. Only then can we define objectives and action steps to get us there. One of my annual practices is to reflect at the end of each year and look at what’s working and what needs tweaking. I am then able to update my business plan and chart a course for success. If this is a new idea for you, I’d like to invite you to answer these five questions honestly, they will help you determine what is working and what actions you need to take to get your business back on track.
What is your mission?
This should be a short, easy to remember phrase. It could be used as a tagline on your branded materials. A strong mission statement will help potential clients see what you’re about at a glance. Sample mission statements could look like this:
To help service-based businesses connect with their ideal client – Audientum
To help a girl reach her highest potential – Girl Scouts
To build the Web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution – PayPal
To help bring creative projects to life – Kickstarter
To save people money so they can live better – Walmart
Who is your avatar?
If you’re not customer-driven, your programs won’t be either. Knowing whom you’re serving on a deeper level is crucial to your business’s success. The more intimately you know your tribe the better you will be able to serve them. Peter Drucker is a believer in understanding both your primary and secondary client avatars. Your primary client is someone whose life would dramatically change by working with you directly. Your secondary market can also provide an additional income stream if you understand how to serve them. It is imperative to understand how your business would change if they did. In 2021, I changed my target market to focus on women who were impacted by COVID and needed to start a business that would produce income quickly. The economic climate had changed and I had to find a way to be relevant to the changes going on around me.
What does your ideal client value?
Goals are driven by values. When you deeply understand what your clients value, you will position yourself to satisfy their needs more effectively. You can gain this understanding by asking open-ended questions to increase engagement, conducting polls for quick data gathering, or hosting marketing research calls to dig deeper into the pain points and problems you think you are solving. When you rid yourself of assumptions, you position yourself as the expert who is uniquely qualified to help them get from point A to point B.
What results do you provide?
When communicating with your potential client, how can you quantify the results you can help them achieve? It’s important to show short and long-term results. On many sales pages, I see a focus on inclusions and delivery methods. People don’t care about what’s included as much as they care about getting a resolution to a problem they are facing. When you focus on results, you set yourself up as an expert who is desirable to work with.
What is your business plan?
All good business plans should include your mission statement, vision, goals, objections, actions steps, budgets, and results you provide. It should also take the current economic climate so you can lay out a specific action plan to achieve your annual goals. Remember, goals are tied to your values, so make sure you are in alignment. That’s one reason why it’s a good idea to update your business plan annually. The more clear you are about where you’re going, the easier it will be to stay on track with your action plan. As a rule of thumb, keep your goals limited to five areas of growth otherwise you will spread yourself too thin.
I am a huge fan of SMART goals for my business. When I can qualify my goals and set benchmarks to measure my progress I am more successful in getting to the finish line. When I leave things to chance and just keep the goal as the desired result without clearly defined objectives, I tend to procrastinate and don’t take action.
As you forge your path in the new year, plan and act with intention. One of my favorite books is the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John C. Maxwell. It is a book I reread every year. If you’re searching for ways to be more international in your life and business, this resource is a great place to start!