Dear Rosie, I started a business – but I don’t actually know what I am doing, can you help?
By: Rosie Luik
Don’t you worry, I know exactly where you are right now. It is not the nicest feeling in the world, but you should be glad that you took the risk and started something for yourself. So many great ideas never come to anything and there is no shame in having a go at something without a perfect result. In saying that, you’re reading this article for a reason, so I will share some tips that will help you fast track your learnings on your business.
I have written an article about the lead up to launching a business so I want to assume your knowledge base is there already – if you are a first time reader, head back and check out that article if you are ready to take the plunge into running your own show! Once a business gets underway, it is imperative you check the vital signs regularly. These signs are Cash flow (Incoming Sales vs Outgoing Expenditure), Lead Generation (your ability to generate prospects for sales or new service based clients depending on the nature of your business) and also your Retention figures (ability to keep customers in your little world, repeat product sales or not leaving your service). If these things are healthy, then in most cases your business should be going along nicely. If some or all of these parts are missing, it is important you get yourself involved and work towards fixing them.
This is the heartbeat of your venture. No bills, wages or suppliers are getting paid without it. Almost all issues in your business can be fixed with cash, but without it – it can be a crippling blow. Knowing your cash flow position and monitoring it closely is imperative to your survival. Being able to forecast ahead to know what is coming verse what is going out also helps avoid sticky situations that may be lurking ahead. Funnily enough rapidly growing businesses with successful trajectories struggle with this the most. You would assume a business on the rise is thriving with cash flow, but usually it is quite the opposite, they outgrow offices, need more staff, need more inventory. Watch this lesson closely if you ever see an episode of Shark Thank these three things above are the primary reasons they are asking for the investment.
Monitoring your leads is the best way to assess your future growth. If lead volumes are strong this should positively impact sales, if they aren’t then you can assess why your closing rates are not good enough. If lead volumes are low, you need to look across your marketing plans and review how you can get a spike and then hold the incoming amounts of leads to the levels you need them to be. You should always be trying to find ways to increase the size of your funnel of leads whilst at the same time making sure the trends are analysed with the leads that are not converting. In some cases you will find that a particular type of lead is not worth the investment in trying to close and you are better off following the more proven areas of converting to sales with a higher budget allocation.
Personally speaking, this is one of the most valued mechanisms in my business. Sticky customers that love my platforms and come back to buy more products. Through my website, I am able to track who has come back for a second or even third book purchase and nothing makes me happier than that. It is such a good indicator to see if people truly like what you are doing and a great motivator to maintain high standards. Retention is not always easy to track (especially for our retail friends out there), which is why you will always see ‘loyalty programs’ and brands asking for your phone number at point of sale when you make your purchase to try and secure more data. The data itself is the valuable asset, the modern brand wants to learn how to serve you better, what you are buying, what price you like to spend and how often you shop are the fascination points for the brands you find in your local shopping centre.
So, to start your journey into understanding business I want you to closely monitor the above points. You would also be well served in seeking out a mentor, I personally have one and seek clarity on points all the time. Having a ‘been there, done that’ type in your corner could be really important to your success ,so go on the hunt for someone you can trust to give you the right information.
I wish you continued growth and development in your future, I also wish only success for you and your business.
Love, Rosie xx
Rosie Luik is a Mum of four, a successful Model, a published Author, a sought-after Public Speaker and an accomplished Business Woman. Her brand Mum Network is a dynamic Talent Agency which represents Mums with a social presence, and she partners them with the brands she works with to increase awareness of their products or services.
To find out more about Rosie head to: http://rosieluik.com/