Here, Gary King, managing director of business strategy firm Tendo, leverages his mentoring experience to explain how readers could generate an extra £5,000 for their business each month.
Statistics show that one in five business owners miss pay day to survive and over 70 per cent often rely on their personal savings to fund their business. I too made these mistakes in the early days and it makes me feel a little sick looking back on it now.
I would be doing admin and expenses way past midnight and would regularly sacrifice family life, such as missing my son’s football matches in order to try to keep on top of my workload. I would be working all hours I could and receiving very little financial reward to keep the business going. What was that all about?
Around two-and-a-half years ago, I had the lightbulb moment, and realised what I needed to do – my business needed to change to give me more freedom, to stop me being so tied to it, and to make it more profitable. The core element came down to making more money each month in order to gain the freedom to choose.
You may think it sounds simple, but it was indeed my life-changing epiphany – a real light bulb moment. I now run Tendo, alongside being a director of two other businesses, all while working a four-day week. This is because I’ve enabled more cash into my businesses which has enabled myself to have the freedom to choose how to run my business and decide how and when I work.
“My initial problem was that I was building the wrong business.”
If your business plan isn’t delivering you the business you dream of, suitable financial rewards, or the lifestyle that you demand then it’s the wrong plan. You are building the wrong business.
Ask yourself – is your business really a business, or is it a job you’ve created? Building the right business takes time. It is crucially important that business leaders have the time they need to reflect and consider their business strategy. To be able to generate more cash from your business you need more than just you.
Your time as the billable assets isn’t enough so start to consider how you can evolve your business and develop the right model to make it earn more, in a way that is not dependent on you doing all the work.
Strategic business planning is key to reaching your goals and crucial to you earning more money – it’s time to think and understand where extra cash is or where it could come from.
When I am working 1-2-1 with a client, I often start by asking where is your low-hanging fruit?
During harvest the low hanging fruit requires the least effort. It’s the same with business. In most my small business mentoring we have always found a way to get more money out of existing clients.
You need to ensure that your current clients are aware of all your wider services as this market would be happy to be upsold to if they knew how else you could help them.
Identify pain points
This starts with identifying your clients “pain points” – It is crucial that you keep a log of your current clients and document what you have done with them and what the outcome was. You need to identify how you have cured a pain point already, listen to their next and offer a follow-up service. This works well for people who don’t like selling, as you are not selling as such, you are finding solutions.
This approach helps you to become an invaluable solution-focused member of their team. As a contributing factor to their success and growth they will use your services over and over again because you are delivering transformation and value. Happy and satisfied customers are great for generating more business for you.
Often, a happy customer becomes an ambassador. Incentive schemes can work well depending on your business, but happy customers don’t ask or need a specific reward. So, it’s important you are proactive.
Ask your customers who they know in business that could have a similar pain point and could use your help. Listen to their stories about “Oh my friend…” as they may be your next customer.
Spreading the word
Call upon your business network to help spread the word. Make sure you educate your networks on your services and successes – this can be via social media but also face to face catch ups and coffees.
Work with your networks to see if you could maybe generate a ‘mini team’ of complementary businesses targeting the same audience and create a plan for cross referring work.
It is important for us to understand the different types of business models available, where, when and how you use them to support your growth.
For example; licensing and franchising are powerful ways that you can make money to complement your income but some of these do take initial up-front investment and lots of time. They do hold legal costs but as part of a long-term plan are fantastic routes to growing a business without physically rolling out more offices, offering income not reliant on you.
But, if you’re looking for quick wins, maybe explore creating alliances and combining services – a partnership approach.
For example; a joint workshop or programme that you can co-deliver or hook into. Something where you are paid for your time but the clients are brought to you via someone else’s network.
“You will never be able to generate more money if you do everything yourself.”
Consider what tasks you can hand over and find a trusted team. Remember these don’t have to be full-time or permanent staff. You could use sub-contractors, interns or virtual PAs for example.
I also recommend investing in an experienced business mentor or coach, as they can give you a valuable third party view to then see what areas of focus you need to invest in. At whatever stage you are in, you always need to have time and head space to reflect, grow and develop. Using experts where they can add value is key to growth.
Whether it’s to pay yourself more, to invest back or to employ someone, I haven’t met a small business owner yet who couldn’t do with a few grand extra in the bank each month. Through a few small changes in how you run your business you will start to see the financial rewards come in and working through your opportunities to increase your bottom line will provide you with all sorts of insights.
The programme we work on with clients is to help them generate an extra £5,000 a month – with this figure you really do start to have the freedom to choose. It transforms the approach for most small businesses.
I have seen first-hand how to the perfect mix of business mentoring, networks, smart strategy building, strong purpose and passion can help you create the business you deserve and the rewards you desire.
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