I want to focus in this article about how to build a lasting sustainable business – a legacy if you like. I know it’s very easy to fall into the ‘get rich quick’ mode, only focusing on the bottom line perhaps only looking for the easy options. The problem with this is you leave yourself open to building potentially an unsustainable business or even worse falling victim to scams. Business is a marathon not a sprint!
At BUKB (Build a UK Business) we help everyday existing businesses develop and grow their businesses as well as helping brand new businesses get started and thrive. I have briefly outlined below five of the key strategies we work on with our clients to achieve, what I can only describe as tremendous successes. Research has identified that one of the main reasons businesses fail is because they don’t use mentors and advisors, at BUKB we help our clients to create the dream and maximise its potential.
1/ Adopt a winning mindset:
This is one of the key areas we focus on at BUKB simply because as the author John Maxwell said “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential” what you focus on is crucial remember – we always get what we focus on, good or bad! We help people focus on the right elements that will lead them to the desired successful outcome. Identifying and eliminating your limiting beliefs are also vital, quite often entrepreneurs sabotage their own success unknowingly with their ‘unconsciously’ installed limiting beliefs. As business mentors/advisors we can help our clients spot those beliefs that will limit the full potential they are capable of because Its Not who you ARE that holds you back IT’S who you THINK you’re NOT!
2/ Develop a win win Customer base:
Life as well as business is all about relationships the quality of your business relationship is down to firstly making sure you know who they are – not everyone can be your customer unfortunately – research here is key, you need to clearly and specifically know and understand who will benefit from your service or product. In his great book 7 habits of highly effective people Stephen Covey identifies the habits successful people tend to adopt that are quite different to those who don’t enjoy the same levels of success. One of the crucial habits identified was that of developing win win relationships – this isn’t about just being nice or constantly over delivering, its about making sure you have that consistent dialogue with your customer having empathy, listening to what’s important to them. Meeting their needs and requirements fully whilst still ensuring it fits your business model.
3/ Develop powerful strategic Partnerships:
No matter how large or small a business is, sole trader or limited Company please do not underestimate the power of strategic partnerships. As with customers it’s the win win outcome that needs to be sought and developed – it is important the partnerships you develop are with businesses using like minded approaches and values adopt similar ethics and have goals that are congruent with the outcomes you seek. It is also important to have open and frank communications so that each partner knows what the other is looking for and expected of them, this shared vision is extremely powerful. This on-going communication needs to be consistent all through the relationship, reviewing regularly progress against the agreed goals. The best partnerships are those that add true value to your own offer and increase the potential of both parties. To confirm in writing the agreements you have between you gives both sides the required protection and comfort.
4/ Use 21st century marketing techniques:
The last 10 years have seen some incredible changes within marketing – the basis of any strategy however remains unchanged, firstly all actions need to be tested and measured as Einstein famously said his definition of Insanity Is continually doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!! Problem is very few businesses actually take the time to ‘test & measure’. In marketing now there is so much choice including social media, advertising, websites, PR etc. It is very easy to spend a fortune and get absolutely no return. That is why at BUKB we determine precisely and specifically what our clients are hoping to achieve, often these results are obtainable with little or even NO expenditure at all. Successful marketing is being in tune with your customer and their/your market. If you fully appreciate who your customer is, where they go, what they need you will better appreciate how to reach them more effectively. Make sure your product or service fulfils a growing need within the targeted customer base and that this message is clearly spelt out in all your marketing – come at it from the customers perspective.
5/ Use 21st century Sales techniques:
Like marketing the changes in sales has been astronomical, it’s a fact that no one wants to be sold to although everyone likes to BUY. If someone feels they are been sold to they switch off and start the ‘getting rid of you’ process. With the Internet and Youtube it’s so easy to see what sales techniques are and then be able to identify when they are being used on you! Sales can also often be a confrontational experience that not only isn’t enjoyed by customers/prospects, believe it or not it’s not enjoyed by sales people either. Quite often business people will approach us and say I’m ok with all aspects of business except the ‘selling’. We help them by taking the fear out of selling and talk to them about the fact you don’t need to sell and its all about persuasion & influencing and as a result getting the buyers to buy from you, a subtle but powerful change. To make this important change you have to adapt to each buyer gain rapport and ask effective questions making sure you ‘actively listen’ to the responses so you can with complete empathy fully appreciate what the customers challenges are and offer them then a solution to the problem you have helped them identify.
Written by Nigel Heald MABNLP ABH – Build a UK Business