Focus on Business Essentials
By Gail Doby, ASID
CVO and Co-Founder of Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
All businesses have their ups and down, good times and not-so-good times. When business is lean, like now, two things will help you pull through. One, keep in mind that the present situation is only temporary. The good times will return. Two, use the time you have now to focus on the essentials, so when business starts to come back yours will be an even better firm and in a better position to get your share.
Challenging times can help us to focus on what’s most important. When it comes right down to it, you need two things to make your business run—clients and revenue. How can you improve on those two things?
Why do clients hire you? What do they appreciate most that you do for them? When you strip away the incidentals and outliers, you’ll discover which are your core strengths. There’s your value proposition. That’s the soul of your business, your unique identity.
You want to concentrate your efforts around promoting and delivering on that value proposition. All your marketing and collateral materials, your PR and outreach efforts should express and elaborate on that proposition. It’s not about the services you offer but the difference you make in your clients’ lives. You are providing them with the transformative power of your talent, experience and expertise. Tell them and show them what that looks like. Appeal to the heart more than the head.
Bringing in more clients, better clients and bigger projects are all ways to generate more revenue. To do that, you need to identify those prospects who are most likely to be receptive to your value proposition. Another way is to offer them a wider or more varied menu of services, without straying too far from your core strengths. Consider bundling services into packages or curating an array of quality products that reflect your industry knowledge and taste.
Just as important is keeping more of the revenue that you are earning as profit. Review your current operations to see where you can improve efficiencies and reduce expenses. Look for ways you can free up time in order to increase the number of hours you and your team members are billing clients each week. Delegating administrative tasks, having fewer and shorter meetings, and scheduling your day to ensure you are dealing with the most essential tasks first are good first steps.
Get your business fit and trim now, and you’ll be in great shape to compete when business returns. Which could be sooner than you think.