Before you can successfully marketing in the success growth stage, you must decide what you are trying to accomplish next with your business. Read my previous post titled Is Indecision Keeping You and Your Business from Success? to better understand the decision.
Once you’ve decided what you plan to do with your business your marketing objectives become very clear. So does your marketing.
If your marketing objectives in the survival stage were successfully accomplished you should be in good shape. Two things should be working for your marketing at this point:
- a marketing plan that consistently delivers the leads needed to support sales
- metrics that allow you to monitor shifts in the market
If these two things are on autopilot and do not require much of your attention you can get through the self-sustainability stage you quickly if you choose rapid growth. Or, if you choose just to sustain your current success you can begin to disengage from your business.
A Solid Marketing Plan
This is a given. You won’t have success if you don’t have a solid marketing plan. Consistent profit comes from a consistent flow of business and that starts with marketing!
The key here is do others participate and manage that marketing plan or not? If it’s all you, then you are still stuck in the survival stage. You need to begin to delegate more of this at this point or you never get into the self-sustainability stage.
Many small businesses will outsource their marketing by hiring a marketing firm. This is a good approach, but make sure that you hire a firm that can help you execute an integrate marketing strategy.
Monitoring Your Marketing
Again, this is a given. Metrics help you see what’s going on. What’s working and what’s not. Use this to hone your marketing plan and get the right mix that maximizes your revenue for the least investment.
Another thing that good monitoring will tell you is when something is going on in the economy or your market. As you see you marketing ratios begin to change ask the question – why. Companies that see increases or decreases in business coming can adjust to meet the challenge; the one that don’t struggle or die.
If you’re monitoring and see a shift you know it will effect sales. So, make the proper adjustment. Cut or add where it makes sense to get the result that you want. It sounds easy because it is! The problem is most small businesses are tracking the right things to have this kind of visibility into their business. Tuning Your Revenue Engine gives you this kind of visibility!
Achieving the Self-Sustainability Stage
So you have these 2 objectives met, now what? Well, if you decided to stop at the self-sustainability stage, your business should be able to run itself at this point. If it can’t then you’re not in the self-sustainability stage. You are stuck in nowhere land! I recommend downloading the eBook “How to Get Out From Under Your Business” to help you understand how to begin getting yourself “unstuck.”
If you plan to enter the rapid growth stage, you need these 2 things to help you get started. The metrics will tell you cause and effect. If you turn up the plan by X how many additional sales can you expect to complete. Now you can plan appropriately as you begin to turn up the flow. There will be other things to address in rapid growth, but we’ll get into that next week.
So, there you have it. Two things you need to have completed with your marketing if you want to achieve the self-sustainability stage of the growth cycle. What do you have left to accomplish to get there? For those that have successfully navigated the stage, what did you do that worked and what did you try that did not? This can be helpful to those that find themselves on the doorway of the self-sustainability stage!