3 Steps to Consistent Profitability in the Self-Sustainability Stage
A previous post I shared was on what your marketing in the foundation stage needs to strategically focus on. With breakeven systematically achieved, it’s time to focus on profitability which is the goal of the self-sustainability stage of the growth cycle.
Marketing’s primary objective here will be to generate leads. Often this is a struggle for small business owners, but it doesn’t have to be. These are the 3 things you need to do to strategically align you marketing with achieving consistent profitability:
- Calculate and monitor your marketing efficiency and effectiveness
- Scale your current marketing plan based your marketing key performance indicators (KPI)
- Add marketing campaigns to your marketing mix to meet any shortfalls
Calculating Your Marketing Efficiency and Effectiveness
These to KPI’s are not foreign to you if you are Tuning Your Revenue Engine. They are 2 of the critical marketing calculations. If you are unsure how to do these calculations check out our training program Calculating Your Revenue Engine’s Horsepower.
Marketing efficiency tells you how well your marketing resources are working for you. You want this number to be low. The lower the better as it tells you it is costing you very little to generate leads for your product or service.
Marketing effectiveness on the other hand tells you how well your message is targeted. That is, are you saying the right things to the right people to generate leads. If you find your marketing effectiveness is too low then our Developing Your Brand Position will help you hone your target market and message to that market.
Managing these two indicators correctly can help you improve profitability. They also provide you with the information you need for the next step in the process.
Scale Your Current Marketing Plan
Often small business owners skip this step. As a result they lose out on a lot of extra leads, and end up spending way more than is necessary on their marketing.
Based on your KPI’s you should be able to determine how much you need to turn up the spigot to hit your lead goal. Look at the reality of this and your budget to determine if this is realistic or not.
I am not advocating only doing what you have been doing, but maximize your return on investment (ROI) here before you begin testing new ideas. If the goal is to be profitable you want to minimize expenses. So, do what you can using what you know works, then move on to trying the new stuff!
Add to Your Marketing Mix
Sales is the name of the game when it comes to business growth. You can’t sell if you’re not generating leads.
At some point you will exhaust what your current marketing efforts can generate. As you will add additional campaigns make sure that they are part of an integrated marketing plan that brings in the additional leads you need. But, wait to begin this process until you’ve completed the first two steps.
As you add new campaigns you will test and monitor as necessary. More often than not your marketing efficiency and effectiveness will be worse than your other efforts. This is why I recommend waiting to move into this realm, and do so slowly and cautiously.
I frequently find small business owners move into new marketing efforts and slide back into the foundation stage as a result. They can’t figure out why. But, when we check their marketing KPI’s it is clear that they are generating leads less efficiently as they were. This means it’s costing more to get the business. More expense means less profit. So, move carefully into this aspect of the self-sustainability stage and make sure you can measure it as you do.
For those of you that find yourselves at this stage does this clarify your struggles and help you get focused on what you need to do? If you have gotten beyond this stage share what worked for you as it may help others to get beyond the obstacle that stands between them and success.