Episode 32: Why Your Business Isn’t Growing

Has this ever happened to you?

You’re looking at your business numbers and talk to yourself – “Why does it seem like nothing is growing even though I’ve been crazy busy trying to get my business out there?”

Or even worse, you avoid looking at any numbers related to your business until it’s time to compile all the information you need to send in your taxes to your CPA, and as a result you’re really not even sure what’s happening in your business.

Sure there are more ways to measure your success than simply the bottom line, but the numbers don’t lie. They can tell you the truth about what’s really going on in your business.

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Most business owners want to see consistent growth year after year. We want to increase our revenue by reaching and serving more people. We want to increase our income so we can live a great lifestyle.

But it’s totally normal to hit a plateau where nothing you seem to do seems to drive your business forward.

What We Mean By Growth

Growth can feel like a bit of a slippery topic, like if all were concerned about is growing our business that were somehow greedy or just care about the money. But it’s one that comes up all the time with my community and my students.

When we start our new business, growth comes pretty quickly simply because we’re filling our client docket. It’s pretty easy to double your business if you’re just going from 5 clients to 10 clients!

But as we transition out of the start-up stage of our business, growth becomes a bit trickier. It’s not as easy to double your business if your calendar is completely booked out and you’re at the top end of your price range. We start to hit these breakpoints where we really have to reevaluate what we need to do to continue to grow your business.

The truth is, what got you here may not get you there. And if you’re ready to move to the next level in your business, especially if you’re ready to start scaling with new revenue streams, then you really have to understand what you need to focus on to see that growth.

So today I want to share the three things you need to focus on if you’re ready to break through and start growing your biz.

Strategy #1: Know Your Numbers

There’s a great saying, “What Gets Measured Gets Managed”. But too often, entrepreneurs don’t have a clear picture of what’s really happening in their business until it’s too late to change the plan.

That’s why it’s crucial to know your numbers!

When you know your numbers, you not only have a clear measure of your growth, but you can more accurately predict your growth.

Revenue is a clear measurement of growth. We can quickly tell if we are on or off track with our revenue goals by simply measuring them each day, week, and month. But revenue is a LAGGING metric. That means that once the revenue has come through the door, there really isn’t anything we can do to change it any more.

What we want to measure are the LEADING metrics. These are metrics that occur prior to the sale of your product, program, or service. The leading metric can help you to PREDICT the results of the LAGGING metric. For example, when I was offering free strategy sessions, I knew that 1 out of 2 sessions would result in a new coaching client. So if I wanted to book 5 new clients, I needed to have 10 free strategy sessions on my calendar that month.

This gave me 2 leading metrics to track: First, the number of free sessions booked each week and Second, the conversion rate from free sessions into paid clients.

By tracking those two leading metrics, I could more accurately change course to hit my revenue goals for the month. If I started seeing only 1 in 4 sessions convert to a new client, then I knew that I needed to increase the number of sessions on my calendar to make up the difference or I needed to review my free session system to determine why I wasn’t getting the right people on the call or how I could improve my skills during this call.

Another example of an important leading metric is the size of your community, prospect database, or email list.

Often, one of the reasons businesses stop growing is they are simply pitching the same thing to the same people, hoping for a different result. If your community isn’t growing, with new people seeing what you have to offer, then you’ll burn out your list – they will stop responding to your offers, stop opening your emails, and start unsubscribing or leaving your community.

Attrition is a natural part of any business. But you’ve got to have a proactive plan to not only counteract this attrition, but to continue growth.

That’s where you’re ATTRACT marketing strategies come in. Now – most entrepreneurs don’t know the difference between ATTRACT marketing and NURTURE marketing. We’ll talk more about nurture marketing in a moment, but attract marketing is where you’re getting your name and your business in front of new audiences.

Attract marketing is the opposite of just posting on your blog, emailing your newsletter, or updating social media. Those are all nurture marketing activities – these activities build relationships with people who already know you.

If you only depend on nurture marketing activities to grow your business, then growth will be painfully slow. This is the trap of the, “if you build it, they will come,” myth.

Attract marketing is when YOU go out and get your message in front of new audiences. This could be writing for another well known blog, getting interviewed on a local television show or podcast, or even running FB ads.

Attract marketing drives new traffic to your website (or through the doors of your business). Now, there are dozens of ways you can attract new potential clients to your business, so I highly recommend just focusing on 1 or 2 strategies at a time, tracking the results, and then deciding if you should change strategies or double down.

In my business, I know that getting interviewed is one of my best ATTRACT strategies to build my email list. So each month, I track how many times I pitched myself for interviews, how many interviews I completed, and how many interviews went live.

Then I can also track new email subscribers after an interview goes live. Recently, I did an interview with Female Entrepreneur Association that sent over 300 new subscribers to my email list. This gives me great insight into what audiences are a great fit for me to continue spending my time and energy.

It’s really important that you keep this simple so you can get the most traction. One quarter, I may focus my attract energy on interviews. Another quarter, I may focus on running Facebook Ads. You can do multiple strategies at once, but I find it’s much easier to determine what really works for you if you can put everything behind it for a dedicated time frame.

Strategy #2: Get Consistent

When I’m working with a client who is not seeing the growth that the hoped, one of the first things I do is review the last several months of their marketing and sales in their business. It instantly tells me if this is a problem.

They might have started out with a weekly newsletter and blog post, but as they got busier in their business, it became more challenging for them to continue creating this regular communication for their community.

So then put it on the back burner, figuring that it would be okay if a week or two went by and their community didn’t hear from them. But suddenly a week turns into a month turned into several months, and your current clients are about to wrap up, and you need to fill your client docket again.

When you’re inconsistent with your marketing and you only show up in someones inbox when you’re asking for a sale, you reduce the quality of the relationships that you have with your community. It actually makes it harder for you to enroll those people into your product programs or services.

It’s kind of like if you went on a date with someone you really liked. And you were looking forward to getting to know them even more, but you didn’t hear from them for weeks and then months. Suddenly you get a text one night asking if you want to hang out. You’re looking at the screen thinking, “who is this person I don’t really want anything to do with them”. The moment has passed, your not interested anymore.

That’s what happens when you don’t consistently nurture your community. They took the first step, they made the first move. They signed up for your email list, they got your great free offer, and they’re waiting to continue hearing from you so they can get to know more about who you are and if you can help them. But if you haven’t been nurturing this relationship, it dramatically reduces the likelihood that they’ll actually want to take the next step.

So why does this happen? Why do we have such a hard time being consistent with our nurture marketing? Often It’s because were unrealistic about what we’re ready to take on. When there are so many ways to market your business, it’s really easy to overcome it early on when you don’t have a busy client calendar. Maybe you commit to doing a weekly newsletter and a twice weekly blog post and doing social media every single day and everything else. But without a real system in place this becomes unsustainable as you start filling your calendar with happily paying clients. You just run out of hours and it becomes something you push off until you’ve got more time.

It’s really important that you create a strategy you can stick with. The more consistent you can be with your nurture marketing, the communication you’re sending out on a regular basis to people in your community, the better results you’ll have when it’s time to enroll people into your products program for services.

Strategy #3: Stop Starting Over

Another big reason entrepreneurs stop growing, is they are constantly starting over. I’m willing to bet that you’ll identify with this one. You start something and then it doesn’t go as you expected. You don’t see the results you had hoped for. So you decide it’s not working.

I often see this when entrepreneurs are ready to launch a new product program or service. They spend all this time creating a new offering, they spend weeks or even months ramping up the promotion to feel said offering, but when they don’t have a five or six figure launch, they feel like it was a complete failure.

And because they feel like it didn’t live up to their expectations, they throw it all away and start all over again with a completely new offering.

You’ve probably seen entrepreneurs who struggle with this – every other month it seems like they’re launching something new. In fact, you start to wonder what is it that they really do in their business because every time you turn around the focus is on something completely different.

When you’re constantly starting over, you’re doing yourself a disservice. The truth is the first time you go after a new strategy or a new offering, you’re faced with a huge learning curve. There’s so much you’re learning about this process. And this is the worse it will probably ever be!

But once you go through the process once, you have an advantage. You understand the process. You’ll be able to do it better and faster than before. You’ll have more feedback and insight into what it is that your audience responds to. This is huge.

Think about the most successful entrepreneurs in your niche. Chances are they do not constantly reinvent the wheel. They likely have the same offering the same products programs and services that they are known for. And the reason they’re known for that is because they are consistently offering these products programs and services.

But if you were to look back on the first time they ever launched that offering, chances are it wasn’t the big success you are hearing about today. They took their time to get it right. They learn how to iterate. They took the feedback from their clients and community, and made it better over time.

I’d be willing to bet that nearly every six or seven figure launch you’re watching started as a humble four or five figure launch.

As you sit down to do your strategic planning to grow your business, it’s really important that you review all of the offerings you promoted in the past year. Which offerings had the best results. Which offerings generated the most revenue. And what could you do, this year, grow the results of that offering?

Take Inspired Action:

Make a CEO date to get to know your numbers. Ask yourself: What are your leading + lagging metrics? What is your consistent attract + nurture marketing activity? And what offerings can you double down on for the best results?