When I was first asked to participate on this panel, I thought, “WOW things really have come full circle!” You see, I started my business back in 1991 on a shoestring. I had no marketing experience having just got out of the Air Force. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a seminar on the same topic where I met my first business mentor, Richard Gerson.
A great family and friends, beautiful home, nice cars, regular vacations, all the material things you could ever want. Your life is a dream. Sound familiar or like what you want for your life?
I meet small business owners all the time that live this lifestyle. The problem frequently is they don’t realize how close their supposed dream is to a tragic nightmare because what they believe is business success is really only business survival!
In order to achieve success in any small business you must pass through several stages along the way. You cannot skip a step. Frequently business get stuck for just that reason. The entrepreneur isn’t aware of these stages therefore he/she is focused on the wrong objectives for their stage of growth. Focus on the right things and success becomes much easier!
Ok, over the past 4 weeks I have laid the foundation for successfully growing your small business and becoming an entrepreneur. So what’s next? Well, you might think understanding each stage of the growth cycle would make sense. On the surface this is a good place to start, but I find most small business owners are mired in the survival stage, or what I call “no man’s land,” so I want to start there.
If you’ve been following along on our blog then you are already familiar with the small business growth cycle. You also understand that each phase has a specific goal on which you must focus.
This week we want to begin looking functionally at what you should do within the survival stage. Because revenue is one of the most critical measures of growth let’s start by looking at sales.
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.