These Two Actions Stopped Me From Having to Close My Business
For the first two years, my business (frontline customer service training) was inconsistent.
There were peaks of high income and lows of little or no income, and I was constantly wondering; should I create new products, market old ones better, employee a salesperson, network more, stop this or start that?
I found myself jumping between ‘working on’ the business and ‘working in’ the business, and I was tired, always tired.
I wanted my business to be a full-time relationship but at best, it was a casual affair.
I was drowning, and the finish line was in sight. But still, even with the Bank account drained and my anxiety high, something running deep within me was telling me (yelling at me) to keep going.
Here are 2 of the actions that have taken my business from stress to success.
1. I found a group of people who were just like me
I Googled ‘business owners in my location struggling to grow’. I found loads of groups, and I attended many free and low-cost events until I found my tribe, during the break of a large event.
Each of us had attended the event alone, and after quick intro’s, we found out we ran completely different types of businesses, and this meant we had different strengths, knowledge, networks, skills and experience. What we had in common was a passion to succeed, so after more chatting and post-event phone calls we got to work.
We scheduled phone meetings once a week and together we helped each other to move away from the finish line. We each had something to give and we gave freely through bartering ie: I’ll write a blog for you if you teach me how to use Facebook, I’ll provide feedback on your ideas if you explain GST to me, I’ll introduce you to ‘them’ if you will introduce ‘these people’ to me.
Finding my tribe meant I was now surrounded by a team of people who wanted to help me, and I wanted to help them. We all gave away our strengths and we all got stronger.
2. I rang my happy customers.
Customers who already love what you do are your greatest asset, and you need to look after your greatest assets all year, not just when they are buying.
Here are the steps I used to contact my happy customers:
- Consider the best time to call (not email), i.e., don’t ring during busy times of day/year
- Confirm up front it a courtesy call to thank them for their support of your business
- Ask how their business/year is going and what they are working on at the moment.
- Listen. Don’t sell unless they ask for your product/services
- Finish the call by thanking them for their time and asking if they know anyone else you may be able to help.
The last step used to scare me. I thought it was cheeky or would sound desperate to ask for a referral but who better to ask than customers who already love what you provide? I gained 3 introductions simply through asking the question and I gained 100% thanks for making the effort to simply to call and wish them well.
5 years later and I still have my tribe and I implement Courtesy Calls every quarter.
Ironically, the fear of the finish line drove me to act, and my acts of giving to others helped to turn my business around. So please, if your passion is alive, but you fear the business finish line is looming, and you haven’t completed the above two steps – act now; you have much to gain and nothing to lose from giving.
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