Over the past ten years, I’ve created many businesses. Some lost a lot of money; others made a lot of money; and a few have made TONS of money. Do you know the number one reason why some of my businesses did well while others didn’t? It wasn’t luck. It was experience.
If you looked at my entrepreneurial life on a timeline, you would see that my first few businesses did really poorly; however, as the years went on, I slowly made more money. The reason is because I’ve learned what mistakes to avoid and how to supercharge my business so that I can make money faster.
Here are the 6 tactics that will supercharge your business and take it to the next level.
Tactic #1: Hold weekly team meetings
Do you hate how unproductive team meetings are? Don’t worry, I’ve figured out how to make them productive. Every Monday morning, I have a meeting with my team to figure out one thing we could do to increase our revenue. Then we agree that within 24 hours it has to be implemented. Every Friday, we have another meeting to discuss the results.
Here is what you should be doing during your Monday meeting:
- Identify a problem that is preventing you from increasing your revenue or profit.
- Come up with all the possible solutions that can be implemented within a day or two.
- Pick the most popular solution and one that the team is most confident about.
- Assign team members to implement the solution so that it gets implemented within a day.
Here is what you should discuss during your Friday meeting:
- Did your solution produce the outcome that the team was expecting?
- If it did, start thinking about what you want to discuss during the Monday meeting.
- If it didn’t, go through the reasons why the results weren’t favorable and speak about the lessons learnt.
The goal of your weekly meetings is to get your team on board to make the business more money in a way that allows everyone to see results.
Tactic #2: Make everyone accountable
You shouldn’t be a fan of micromanaging. You should be hiring people who are smarter than you are. This way, you don’t have to track silly things like when team members arrive and leave the office.
But the one thing everyone should track is progress. In my company, we have a system called “KISSfocus” where everyone lists what they currently are working on. This way, everyone is familiar with what others are working on, including their boss.
If someone isn’t working, the other team members can easily track inefficiency. This works out really well because it prompts everyone to be more efficient, especially the executives.
Tactic #3: Connect with your customers
One of the best ways to make your customers loyal is to create a bond with them. Whether it’s being transparent, telling your story, or just simply caring for your customers, you need to connect with them.
Here are a few ways I have connected with you:
- On Quick Sprout, I told you my life story, and I respond to every comment you leave.
- On Twitter, I respond to almost every question someone asks me.
- On KISSmetrics, we go above and beyond to make each potential customer happy by doing things like helping our customers implement our software for free when we typically charge a setup fee.
- On Crazy Egg, we always do what’s best for you even if it doesn’t make sense. For example, we have given people refunds for six months worth of services when they weren’t happy even though they benefited from it.
There are a lot of ways in which you can connect with your current or potential customers. The key to this is to care not just about your business, but, more importantly, to care about the people using your products or services. This is the number one reason why I am able to go back to the same companies I worked with ten years ago and pitch them services offered by my new company.
Tactic #4: Don’t chase your customers, let them come to you
I’ve never been a fan of cold calling or using other similar tactics to increase sales. I am a big believer that if someone wants my product or service, they’ll come to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect to make millions of dollars by just having a good product or service. However, I believe that if I educate the market, people will buy my products.
The best way to educate the market is through blogging. Every company blog that I have created has been able to hit at least 100,000 visitors a month within a few months after inception.
Here is how I get customers to come to me:
- Set up a company blog – first, the blog needs to have a simple design. Second, it can’t just promote your products or services. The design should focus on making the content easily accessible and readable.
- Write great content – you probably don’t have time to blog, but if you post an ad on the Problogger Job Board, you should be able to find a few bloggers who will write great content for you for only $30 a blog post. The key to creating good blog posts is to have your writers write about topics that will benefit your potential customers. Again, don’t just blog about your company and the products or services you offer.
- Leverage social media – build up your Twitter and Facebook accounts. These are the two easiest social media channels you can use to promote your blog. In addition to this, your writers should be promoting the content they are writing. And if you are looking to get even more social media traffic, you can always pay a marketing firm to generate traffic.
- Respond to comments – no one likes being ignored, so make sure you talk to every potential customer. Whether it is a comment on your blog or tweet to you, make sure you are responding. It’s a great way to get people to come back and want to check out what your company has to offer without you telling them to do so.
It shouldn’t take more than three to six months to create a somewhat popular blog if you do it right. The best benefit of doing it is that you will have thousands of extra people coming to your website each month who will check out your products and services. Plus, in the long run, it’s much cheaper to do this than it is to pay an army of cold callers.
Tactic #5: Turn your weaknesses into strengths
Every business has weaknesses. I don’t care if you are Apple, Google, Microsoft or a much smaller company like mine. Instead of worrying about your weaknesses and trying to hide them, focus on turning them into strengths.
For example, my first successful company provided Internet marketing services to small and large companies. We ran into a couple of problems. At the time, we didn’t have a long track record like most of other firms did because we were new and small. So, big companies were afraid that we didn’t have the bandwidth to take them on.
Instead of trying to hide these weaknesses, I turned them into strengths. When companies said we were too small, I said we were actually the perfect size – small enough that we didn’t have large overhead like bigger firms so we could offer the same services for much less.
And when they asked why they should choose us instead of the larger Internet marketing companies with a great track record, the first thing I did was go to Monster.com and Craigslist.org to show them the job openings these big companies listed. When they saw that a recent college graduate, who was getting paid very little a year, was going to manage their multimillion dollar campaign instead of an experienced marketer like me, they shied away from the big companies.
It will take you some time to figure out how to turn your weaknesses into strengths, but it’s possible. You just have to be creative. And every time you find that you aren’t able to convince a customer to go with you, ask them what you could have done to win their business.
Tactic #6: Keep it simple, stupid
My current company is named “KISSmetrics” for a reason. I quickly learned that simple companies with easy products and services tend to win. Hulu beat Joost because it created a much better user experience. People don’t want to upgrade to the latest Skype client because the old one is just easier to use.
You have to keep things simple. Life is already complicated, so why make it more difficult? Don’t try to make your company look cool by using the geekiest terminology out there. Dumb things down and make sure a five-year-old can understand what you are doing.
The best way to figure out how to make things simpler for your customers is to survey them and run A/B tests on your website.
And like I said earlier, the key to this is to dumb things down. People don’t need all the bells and whistles. They need simple products or services that solve problems.
Just because you are not an experienced entrepreneur doesn’t mean you can’t create a big business. With the six tactics I mentioned above, you should be able to supercharge your business.
Try them out and let me know what you think. Even as an experienced entrepreneur, I myself am learning new things every day and can still learn from others like you.
If you have any ideas on how to supercharge business, feel free to leave a comment.