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As a reminder, the 3 Stages of Business are:
- Foundation and Get Clients: Your focus is to generate revenue and get clients while you’re building the visibility and credibility foundation of your business.
- Add Leverage: Now that you have several clients, it’s time to build in some leverage so you’re not doing everything all the time.
- Increase Profits: You have a pipeline of clients, you’ve incorporated some leverage into your business and now your focus is on increasing profits and truly making your business hum.
Today, I want to focus on whether or not you’re ready to add leverage (move on to Stage 2).
First, the answer is “yes”… you’re always ready to incorporate SOME types of leverage in your business. The challenge is that many small business owners start with the wrong types for where they are.
Let me explain:
Many business owners, particularly those with an online-based or focused business, want to have membership or continuity programs – usually when they’re still in Stage 1 (Foundation and Get Clients) before they’re ready to move to Stage 2 (Add Leverage).
If you’re a business owner with a contact list/database of, say, 1,000 people and 25% of those (sorry for the math) open your emails, your list is actually only 250 (1000 x 25%).
If you regularly convert 2% of your readers to a paid program, that means roughly 5 people (250 readers x 2%) will sign up for your membership program. And the saddest thing is a membership program with few members.
Instead of trying to add leverage where you may not be ready, focus on adding leverage in the places which will get you to Stage 2 the quickest:
- Leverage your marketing by repurposing everything you do
- Leverage your clients by providing Extreme Client Care™ and a great experience so they stay with you longer and give great testimonials and referrals
- Leverage your time by being productive, not just busy, while in your office
- Leverage yourself, and your team, by incorporating systems and procedures from Day 1
Doing the above will ensure that you move to the second stage as quickly as possible.
My Request to You:
One of the biggest questions I receive is “How do I know I’ve reached the 2nd stage of my business?”
You know you’re ready to add leverage through bigger group programs, membership/continuity programs and events:
- when you’re not struggling to get clients
- when clients are coming to you rather than you feeling you have to chase them
- when you realize you can’t possibly take on another private client
- when your programs are filling and clients are asking “what’s next”
You’ll know when your business is ready for the next stage.© Copyright 2013 Sandra P. Martini