Sunday, March 1, 2009

Taking Control and Making It Work!

In spite of his industry averaging a 20% decline in sales because of the recession, one of my clients is actually setting out this year to achieve a 25% increase over last years gross revenue numbers. Is he crazy thinking such a thing could happen? Some think so.

I don't! He would only be crazy if he did the same things, took the same actions that he did last year, and thought he would still reach his goals.

But he's NOT! He's taking control and making it work.

In fact, he is taking such big steps to make his goals come true, there is a chance that he could do 50% better (or even more) than last year - that is if he keeps his focus and continues to push himself out of his comfort zone.

However, in spite of the "lofty" goals, what he's doing isn't magical. And it will probably sound simple to many of you - but the key is what he's doing, but instead that he is doing it. He's not waiting for the market to turn or for someone else to come in and save his business. Hes taking control and making it work, because you can't count on either of those two things happening anytime soon.

His strategy is simple - develop a consistent product that generates repeat clients, while leveraging inexpensive measurable marketing methodologies to attract new customers into the fold. To make this happen, he's broken down his strategy into three definable action areas:

- Go aggressively after B2B (Business to Business) clients - Realizing the stability of B2B revenue, my client is focusing considerable effort on this phase of his business. It was part of his business that had been very lucrative for his him in the past. However, because of a lack of well defined systems, management of this effort was insane - often causing him sleepless nights countless headaches. But now, he has committed to putting together both operational systems to keep his services consistent and sales systems to gather more of reliable clients and begin gathering market share (while others are retracting).

It's a bold plan, but he is beginning to see the benefits of his efforts -getting more and more B2B clients signing up for his services. Meanwhile, with his new operational sytems in place, the management of the service is becoming easier and easier.

- Do everything he can to keep his existing clients happy and returning for more business - Again, focused on leveraging the stability of income from keeping his existing customers happy, my client has stepped up his commitment to seek out and understand their needs and concerns. He's now going well beyond just providing a service, but also providing VALUE beyond their expectations. And again, it's paying off, as repeat B2C sales are up as well as referrals and the numbers of unsolicited testimonials.

- Attempting to get new B2C (Business to Customer) clients while leveraging less costly marketing methodologies that have very measurable results. Recognizing the cost and unreliability of his past marketing methods, my client is beginning to get smarter about attracting new clients to his business. Simply stated, he's taking more control into his own hands and making it work.

In the past, he would handed it off his marketing to other agencies and trust that they had his best interests in mind. That was costly and very unreliable. But now, he is learning how to do much of the work himself. In addition, when either time is limited or real expertise is needed, he is being more proactive with the teams he contracts out to. He is aggressively holding those that are supporting him accountable to produce what they say they will produce.

All three of these methods may seem common sense to some of you. But I ask you, how are YOU taking different actions this year to achieve your goals? How are YOU taking control of your business's destiny instead of "hoping" things will get better?

What is your strategy for improving your bottom line in the coming year.

How are YOU taking control and making it work?

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