Having a proper strategy to kick start the New Year can help set your business on the fast track to success.
You should invest some time to step back and review your successes and your failures. There's quite a lot that you can review but all this information may overwhelm you.
I've seen the data and details intimidate and paralyze many small businesses to the point they either ignore it or just scratch the surface.
What was designed to be an asset for business decisions may have transformed into a stumbling block for a company's success in the New Year.
In this blog post I'm going to provide you with 7 simple, yet powerful strategies for you to kick start your business's success.
I actually have 3 bonus strategies I'm providing if you'd like to opt-in to my email list. I provide a free training every month.
Simple Success Step #1
Let The Data Paint A Picture
If you're reading this closely you might be thinking "He just said that data and details overwhelm small business owners and then he starts off by saying look at your data!!!"
Data and details does overwhelm many business owners so that's why we are starting here. I'm about to show you the info that's most important for you to find, calculate, and make decisions from.
Note: I hate doing math so all of the calculations below are basic, simple and easy.
Calculate Your Average Revenue Per User
Calculating your ARPU enables you to see, with a broad brush stroke, how much revenue your company generates based on how large your user (or customer) base is. It allows you to see how profitable you can become based on simple math such as "what happens if we add 100 new customers?".
* I suggest you do this calculation for the last 12 months.
Here is how to calculate your Average Revenue Per User:
Total Gross Revenue ÷ Total Customers = ARPU
Now that we have our ARPU, we can move to the next equation.
Calculate Your Customer Retention Rate
If you are a service based business then it is important to know how long your business keeps its customers before they churn (stop buying from you).
Knowing this number will empower you to then create value added services, incentives and rethink your service delivery to try and drive that churn rate.
* I suggest you do this calculation for the last month or by quarter.
Here is how to calculate your Customer Retention Rate:
Non-New Customers ÷ Total Customers = Customer Retention Rate
Calculate Your Churn Rate
Knowing the average time someone will remain your customer is critical for understanding how many new customers you need to introduce into your business to remain at the same income level.
Furthermore, knowing your Churn Rate also indicates how many new customers you need to bring into grow your business.
Lastly, the Churn Rate can also be used as an indicator for when your product/service loses value. Fixing that value loss or adding a new value offer right before the average Churn Rate can prolong your churn which helps increase your RFM score.
* Match the Churn Rate with your Customer Retention Rate.
Here's how to calculate your Churn Rate:
1 - Retention Rate = Churn Rate
Calculate Your Revenue Retention Rate
Knowing your Revenue Retention Rate is helpful for understanding how much NEW revenue your company is bringing in. The Revenue Retention Rate is especially helpful if you run a membership site or subscription based service.
Introducing new revenue is critical to your business, especially once you know the average churn of your customers (churn is the term for when they stop being your customer).
* I suggest you do this calculation for the last 12 months or by quarter.
Here is how to calculate your Revenue Retention Rate:
Non-New Customer Revenue ÷ Total Revenue = Revenue Retention Rate
Calculate Your Customer Lifetime Value
In the most basic case, the Lifetime Value of a Customer provides you with the knowledge to understand how much you can spend to acquire a new customer before you lose money acquiring that customer.
This is incredibly useful when you are running paid advertising and have different types of offers served up those people.
The Customer Lifetime Value requires a few different equations to be added up. Follow them in this order:
- Average Order Value = Total Sales ÷ Order Cost
- Purchase Frequency = Total Orders ÷ Total Customers
- Retention Rate = Non-New Customers ÷ Total Customers
- Churn Rate = 1 - Retention Rate
- Average Customer Lifespan = Churn Rate - 1
- Customer Value = Average Order Value x Average Order Frequency
* I suggest you do these calculations for the last 12 months.
And now, after having the previous calculations complete, here is how to calculate your Customer Lifetime Value:
Customer Lifetime Value = Customer Value x Average Customer Lifespan
Apply The Pareto Principle
The Pareto Principle, put simply, is the golden 80/20 rule. 20% of your customers will bring you 80% of your revenues. Focus on the 20% and you'll ensure 80% of your revenues are being focused on.
The fastest way to grow your business is the Pareto Principle. Get your top 20% customers to spend more with you, more frequently.
Review Your Sales Data
Pull a report by month and by quarter to review your sales data.
- Check and see what your top selling products are. See if anything sticks out from the data that shows an unique trend.
- Are their products that you should retire or retool?
Check For Seasonal Trends
Pull a report by quarter to review your sales data.
- Check your quarterly sales data. Are you noticing seasonal trends? Anything unique happening with which products are top sellers? Do you have products placed throughout your Customer Ascension Path that are showing unique trends?
- Are their products that you should support with more resources during that quarter?
Review Your Ad Performance
Take stock of your ads and pull a report to see which ads produced the best results for you and which ones performed the worst. Make note of that for your Editorial Calendar so you don't make the same mistakes twice.
Identify Top Performing Channels
Just as you took stock of your Ad Performance above, do the same for the channels you are running paid ads in to see which channels are producing results and which ones are not.
Review your costs such as CPC (cost per click) and CPA (cost per acquisition) to understand which channels are producing you with the cheapest leads as well as cheapest new customers.
Identify The Winners And The Losers
Looking back at all the metrics we just covered, identify the campaigns, ads and funnels that are your winners and double down on them.
Identify the losers and either kill them completely or overhaul them. Don't keep spending against campaigns that aren't converting well.
Use the Pareto Principle for your own advertising campaigns and lead magnets.
Forecast Your New Year Revenues
You've got the data now. You've got the key numbers to look at and you know where your winners and losers are.
The next step is to start developing a forecast for your New Year based on last year's numbers. It's obviously best if you can review the last 3-5 years' numbers to track the Year Over Year (YoY) Growth Rate to track how fast you are growing. You'll probably need help in doing this, contact me if you'd like some professional assistance.
This will help you understand if you are underestimating what your company is capable of, or if you are over estimating what you can realistically achieve without a significant change in resources, customers or competitive landscape changes.
Simple Success Step #2
Re-Evaluate Your Relationship
It's important to review where you want your business headed and the products and/or services you plan on offering to evaluate if they still align with your Ideal Customer avatars.
If everything is still aligned and synergistic then you are fine and can move to Step 3.
If they don't align then you will want to review your current marketing and advertising to see where adjustments are necessary to align with your Ideal Customers.
A few key things you should look at are:
- Are the advertising channels you are using still aligned with your Ideal Customers?
- Are the price points and promotions well suited to your Ideal Customers?
- Are the messages, colors and images you are using align with your Ideal Customers?
- Does your value proposition resonate with your Ideal Customers?
- Are the events, tradeshows and other places you engage your Ideal Customers still the best places to meet them?
- Are the social channels you are using still the most effective social outlet for your Ideal Customers?
Simple Success Step #3
Design (and time) Your Story
Having a well-thought communications strategy is a key element to growing your business and ensuring you have quality content being produced.
They key to your communications strategy having success is making a commitment to using an editorial calendar. The editorial calendar takes you from trying to find your way out of the forest to skyrocketing you 30,000 feet in the air where you can not only see the forest but the entire landscape.
Stated another way, many business owners and marketing departments are trying to figure out what to say and how to market content to drive new leads and conversions. They play in a space of "today" and "tomorrow" but, rarely are playing in the space of 3-6 months ahead.
If you and your team aren't ahead of the curve actively working on "the future" and simply tending to "the present" then you are in a reactive state and not a proactive state.
The most effective way to deliver the importance of this advice is as simple as the definition:
Proaction: adj. Acting in advance to deal with an expected difficulty; anticipatory: proactive steps to prevent terrorism. pro·ac′tion n. pro·ac′tive·ly adv.
Let's now see what the opposite of proaction is, reaction...
Reaction: noun. an action performed or a feeling experienced in response to a situation or event. re·ac·tion n. rēˈakSH(ə)n/
A proactive marketing department or management team is acting in advance to deal with expected difficulty (sales growth, competition, consumer confidence, etc) and taking anticipatory, proactive steps to prevent negative forces from happening to their company and thus affecting sales, growth and loss of market share.
A reactive marketing department and management team is quite the opposite experience. The reactive team is performing actions in response to situations and events in the present. They are not looking to the future. They are not shaping the future. They are actually reacting to the past and thus their efforts are living in the past and not significantly impacting the future.
A ship's captain and his team that are bailing water from a sinking ship are not charting new courses, taking on new passengers and sailing into new ports of trade. They are trying to save the ship as the waves, weather and water comes at them.
The ship's captain and team that plotted their course well in advance, anticipated troubles, stocked and prepared themselves for the troubles ahead sailed through the storm and into new ports picking up many new passengers and trades.
Which boat do you want to be on?
Which boat are you and your team currently on?
Next, plan for what you are going to talk about for each month and season that will be of value and interest for your Ideal Customers.
If you have more than one Ideal Customer, fill in more than one topic. Make sure to review your seasonal sales cycles, holidays and other challenges your Ideal Customers may experience to reinforce the relevance of your content.
If you sell snow shovels then a topic you might want to discuss in January would be "the safe way to shovel snow without breaking your back".
In October, that topic would have little value for nearly everyone. Knowing when to speak to a topic is important. It'll add value and gain interest due to seasonal and other outlying factors supporting your content.
After you have topics for each month for your Ideal Customers is when the magic comes in (this is my favorite part).
You're going to support your content with ad spend.
That ad spend is going to be supported by a marketing strategy that has a strong conversion component built in.
Here's how this looks:
- Blog article with seasonally relevant topic.
- Ad for blog article driving clicks to blog article.
- Downloadable PDF inside blog article (lead magnet) adding more value and content relevant to article topic and contents.
- Inside downloadable PDF have exclusive special offer selling the product related to the article and downloadable PDF.
- Email marketing campaign launched automatically based on the downloadable PDF. Email campaign reinforcing the exclusive sale and adding more content around stated topic.
I don't know about you but it's this type of Perfect Storm that really gets me excited. Harnessing the power of your content supported by ad spend and well-designed marketing strategy all running on auto-pilot is bad ass.
If you don't have this in play now then you and I should talk. Whether you just need a powerhouse of a system like Infusionsoft or you need a pro to help you with the strategy (or all the above), I'm your guy. Click here and book a free consult and you'll be one step closer to rockin' n' rollin' into more leads, more customers and more money in your bank account.
Simple Success Step #4
Find Your Strangers
We're now going to get into some database digging because the contacts that are in your database are your low hanging fruit. These people already came into your world so there is already a sunk marketing cost for them being there with virtually no additional cost for them being there right now.
That being said, we need to find the people that did not give you their name.
Why does it matter if you have a contact's first name?
There's a few key reasons why I think it's important for you to address someone by their name. Here they are:
- People don't like to buy from faceless corporations and no one likes to be treated like an object that has no name and is just a number in some system.
- Millennials, among all other demographics, want customization, Technology is building custom experiences in every part of life. If your system is customizing experiences for your customers with something as simple as addressing them by their name then you are already miles ahead of an outdated user experience. (Unless you're shopping for antiques, no one likes outdated).
- Human behavior craves relationships. Those relationships need to have trust and value as key factors for a relationship to exist. A basic principle of a relationship is knowing someone's first name. You can only get so far trying to sell someone something without knowing who they are. That's one of the main reasons for a lead magnet in the first place!!!
Watch this video to learn how to do this using Infusionsoft.
Here's what we are going to do to fix this. We are going to do a search in your database for anyone that does not have a value for the first name field.
Once we pull up the results from that search we are going to launch a campaign at them asking for them to provide us with their first name.
Here's what my email looks like:
Simple, easy and a nice touch.
Simple Success Step #5
Engage The Unengaged
I like to call these people "Ghosts in The System". They haven't opted-out, they aren't buying, they aren't clicking, they are just ghosts in the system getting emails and doing nothing.
Here's how to find your unengaged inside Infusionsoft and create a dynamic report that we can trigger a campaign from.
Watch this video to learn how to do this using Infusionsoft.
We're going to do our best to do some exorcism here and bring these ghosts back to life and engaging with you.
We're going to do that by finding them and launching a campaign specific to them.
Here's the email I use to start a re-engagement with the unengaged:
Simple Success Step #6
Restock Your Arsenal
It's a war out there. Your assets can get beaten up over time taking hits from competitors creating similar copy and ads as well as the effectiveness of your assets decreasing over time (ad fatigue and asset fatigue).
Take some time to fine tune your assets so they are ready to get back out there and go to battle winning you leads and customers.
If you've already completed Steps 2 and 3 then you know who you want to go after and you know when you want to approach them. You should also have completed Step 1 reviewing your data so you know what's working and what isn't.
It's now time to dig in and sharpen the sword for your collateral, your copy and your offer.
Here's my advice on where to start and what to look at:
1. Talk to your team
You should know your conversion metrics for your collateral. You should also know what kind of people are opting-in, bouncing, buying and abandoning your cart. A quick review with yourself and your staff should also produce some insight into what kinds of questions, topics and sales you're getting from that ad/lead magnet/marketing funnel/campaign.
2. Address the "No"
Take that knowledge and fine tune it to remove the opposition you hear during the sale. Do this by strengthening your copy to address the "no" before they have a chance to act on or verbalize it.
3. Reinforce the message
Figure out where you see bounce rates increase (people drop off/leave) and reinforce your message. Maybe it's the order page and you are seeing the highest bounce rate there. This means, most likely, that you are lacking enough reassurance for them to physically finalize the purchase.
During the process up until the order form page, the entire experience was mental. On the order page, the experience transitions into physical action. We all need massive mental reinforcement before we take physical action.
Think about something you can relate to in your life. Maybe you have been meaning to lose some weight and you've been telling yourself for months now that you need to exercise more... but you haven't taken the action to do so.
Thoughts are great but until you have such a strong mental message in your mind, you will not take the physical action. Embrace this and go back to that order page with your copy revisions.
4. Look at your Lead Magnets
Can they look better? Maybe you can update the images, revise and update the copy. Possibly your lead magnets themselves don't have a strong enough call to action inside them. Revise them, update them and make sure your copyright date reflects your current year! Simple but important thing to do!
5. Look at your ads
Really step back from the ad itself and visualize the entire click thru experience. Does it make sense? Is it consistent? Does the copy, message, imagery and value arc stay intact?
- Are the images relevant or outdated?
- Do the colors speak to your Ideal Customers and your brand?
- Does the message in the copy offer value and entice action?
- Does your copy also repel the people you don't want?
6. Give your website some TLC
Websites seem to get the least amount of care and attention. Maybe this is the case for you too. You and your team might be so focused on ads, landing pages and offers that you haven't updated your website. It's time to give your site some TLC because (here comes another example):
It doesn't matter how beautiful the interior of your store is, if the exterior looks old and unkempt, most people will drive by with little interest of going inside.
Think about it, we all have that one store we've driven by for years and wondered "how in the world are they still in business?" The exterior never changes, it's not well kept and so you drive by it never stopping to venture inside.
The store owners could have the world's greatest products that no one knows about because they're too busy strategizing over what's inside and not the first impression which is the outside.
Spend some time and focus on your site. Update it. People notice these things and your site is your home. It speaks to who you are and what you represent.
7. Video is in your future
Video is gold. Here's why I love video and want you to love and embrace it moving forward. Video gives you the closest possible experience of having a real interaction with a person outside of having a real interaction with them.
50% of the population of the United States cannot read or comprehend higher than an 8th grade level.
15% of the US population reads at a 1st or 2nd grade level.
1 in 10 Americans have Dyslexia. Only 50% of those who have Dyslexia actually know they suffer from it.
Surprise you? So now knowing this, is that long form sales copy landing page you have as effective as you thought it was?
Video connects the senses, it engages at a deeper level, it provides easier comprehension and builds a level of trust that copy and still images cannot produce.
Put video everywhere you can for this year. Embed videos in Thank You Pages, in your Indoctrination Sequences, in your emails - put it everywhere. It's like you having a conversation with them every time they choose to connect with you.
I am confident that this will help transform your marketing and customer loyalty at a rate that no other form of connection (outside of live connections) can produce.
Simple Success Step #7
Get A Check-Up
We take our cars in to get the oil changed and then do a system check to make sure everything is running properly. We have our phones and computers updated to make sure everything is running fine and we go to the doctor to get a check-up to ensure we are healthy and take preventive care.
So why would you not have one of your most precious assets, your business, get a check up too? It just makes sense to do so.
Sure, you and I can take a look under the hood of our cars and do a check up but never to a level of insight and knowledge that a professional mechanic can do.
So, if you haven't done so, stop trying the DIY approach to one of your most precious assets.
Hire a professional consultant to review what you have, to do a check up and make sure everything is running at an optimal rate. It'll save you precious time and quite possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.
There are plenty of highly qualified consultants out there. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of ones who have no business consulting anyone's business so make sure to do your homework and vet anyone you might consider hiring.
You need a qualified expert with certifiable experience, with at least a decade of experience and quantifiable results with testimonials and work samples to prove it.
Do not accept anything less and make sure to check out their website. It should be representative of what your experience with them will look like.
If I am someone you find value from, I encourage you to connect with me. I offer a free 30-minute consultation so that you and I can determine if we are a good fit to work together.
Among the many blessings I have had in my career, I am an Infusionsoft Certified Partner, an Infusionsoft Accelerator Project Manager, an Infusionsoft User Group Trainer, a Digital Marketer Certified Partner, a PlusThis Certified Partner, a member of the International High IQ Society and a CEO to a boutique marketing and event agency that was founded in 1998 as well as having run a successful consulting practice since 2009. I love what I do and I truly love the clients I work with, otherwise, I won't work with them.
If this speaks to your values, let's talk. It's free and I'll make sure you gain value from the free call. Claim your free consultation below.
Simple Steps For Success #8-10
I've got 3 more simple and power packed tips for you to ensure you kick start the year with success but I don't want to give all this knowledge away for free to anyone.
If you are committed to growing your business then I am committing to giving you my consulting advice and tips at no cost. It's good karma and maybe we'll work together one day.
If you are committed to growing your business then I want you to be part of my mailing list where I provide monthly free resources and advice. You opt-in to my list, I give you the last 3 simple steps to kick start your business PLUS you'll continue to get free resources and tips every month.
It's a win-win situation and it costs you nothing.