In the past 3 weeks, I’ve had the privilege of being invited to a few different events for 7,8 & 9 figure entrepreneurs. As with any event, I always go into these things with an open mind and no real expectations, bc I shit you not, sometimes my biggest, life transformational takeaways aren’t even biz related.
These recent events did not fail. I picked up so many gems, some I’ve shared with you if you’re a member of my VIP, and I will continue in the upcoming weeks. But in this blog, I wanted to bring you the surprising revelation that came up multiple times in all of the convos I had with these biz owners.
With the big revenue marks these leaders are pulling in, you’d think there’d be lots of discussion about revenue-generating activities, marketing, sales conversion, increasing the bottom line etc. While all of this is definitely important in business, refreshingly enough, these biz owners were talking about the more fundamental and in my opinion, more important elements of running a business.
Ali Brown’s fall event for her networking group for 7 & 8-figure businesswomen.
Going ‘back to the basics’ in your biz is a game-changer and it’s a crucial step that separates struggling businesses from businesses that excel and withstand the test of time. Can’t believe I’m saying this after gagging every time higher-level management mentioned this to me when I worked mid-level management in the corporate world, yet here I am preaching its importance!!
Think about how your business looked when you first started: you were probably over-delivering quality products/services to your clients, asking for your client’s feedback, reviews & referrals, marketing your new biz at networking events(or anywhere for that matter), giving back where you could so you could grow. Right? Well, what happened?
Sometimes we get so caught up in the latest trends (ahem IG Reels or Tik Tok) or the latest biz strategies that we start chasing the shiny red ball and forget to continue carrying out the tried-and-true techniques that have consistently worked.
Yeah, I get it…getting back to the basics ain’t exactly the sexiest of convos. But laying down a solid foundation allows you to serve more clients, increase your revenue, hire help, give back bigger than ever & streamline your biz so you can relax a bit and enjoy the fruits of your labor. And that sure looks appealing to me, how bout you?
So as we rev up into the 4th quarter, can we all schedule some time to look at the foundational aspects of our business and see if there are any gaps or areas for improvement?!
Here are 4 questions to ask yourself when you carry out your 4th quarter business assessment:
#1 Are you prioritizing your clients?
Take care of your clients, and they’ll take care of you. It really is this simple, I’m not sure why so many business owners complicate this. If you focus on your clients’ experience when using your product or service, all the other things like sales, reviews, referrals, etc. will organically fall into place.
In my practices, our Client Service’s department is the department I talk to most frequently. I always want to know what the clients are saying. We have a system where we tag client’s who have expressed even the slightest dissatisfaction with any of our processes. I personally look these over with my Client Service Manager weekly and I’ll share with you in the next section what we look over.
If you’re a solopreneur, handling all of your customer service work yourself, then maybe it’s a good idea to review your workload, is it manageable or do you feel overwhelmed or rushed? And if it’s the latter, then are you really providing your client with exceptional service if you’re stressed out?
This questioning helps you determine whether it’s time to hire help in this area. When it comes to hiring, it’s always better to hire before the need for it arises, because, by the time you’re in dire need, you’re probably inundated with running the biz that it’s too hard to take the time to properly source the right candidate and then train them.
If you’re a biz owner with a team running your Client Service department when was the last time you checked in with them? And looked at your client feedback yourself? I know we get caught up in the big biz areas like Sales & Marketing, but what would your business be without your clients?
Client Services isn’t a department where you can hire the right ppl and then forget about them. The ‘set it and forget it’ mantra doesn’t apply here. You’ve gotta have talks with this dept frequently so you can make sure your clients are getting the results they require when they choose you over your competitor.
#2 Quality Check: Are you delivering stellar products and services to your client?
No, this isn’t a personal attack!! However, I do want to pose this important question that I see far too many biz owners not asking themselves. I see products and services out there daily that are complete shit. Let’s be real.
Yet the biz owner is upset wondering why they aren’t making money when they have a million followers on the gram and the prettiest little website you ever did see. But somehow, they’ve completely missed all their online negative reviews and the complaints filling up the comment sections of their beautiful posts. Yes, I’m exaggerating a bit, but you know there are companies like this. Companies that are focused on social media marketing over-delivering quality products/services.
The day for that has ended (well it never should have been the norm). Your consumers deserve better, and I know if you’re reading this, you want better for them as well.
Here are some ways to avoid being that company:
- Look at your product and service and ask yourself: ‘Would I buy this?’ ‘Are there any ways I could improve my product/service?’
- If it’s too hard for you to evaluate this objectively, then ask someone else.
- If you’ve got customers already, send out a customer survey and get feedback directly from them.
PRO-TIP: Offer them an incentive like a $25 Amazon gift card for the feedback and allow them to give the feedback anonymously so that they’re honest and don’t hold back. You can do a raffle for the gift card if it’s too pricey to give every surveyor a GC.
- If you don’t have clients yet, give some of your offers away for free or for a deep discount. Gasp!!! I know, I know, every online coach is preaching about knowing your worth and never discounting yourself. Newsflash: Your worth has nothing to do with how much you charge or how much you discount when you are first starting your biz!!!
I can’t stand when people advise against offering discounts to new biz owners. When we first started our Air Conditioning business, we were practically giving away units. We were only covering our cost plus a bit of overhead. But that’s what it took in order for us to bring in some clientele, WOW them with exceptional service, and then use their testimonials and reviews to attract more clients. Then with each new client, we boosted our rates up to the point where we were selling our offerings for the price we wanted. The discounts were well worth it and brought back a huge return.
#3 Do you have a consistent, automated system for asking for Reviews, Referrals & Testimonials?
You know what’s better than you bragging about how great your company is? Your former clients or customers doing the bragging on your behalf!
I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that customers would rather read reviews or ask their friends for recommendations for companies to work with before they trust a random ad they see on social media or Google.
Once you’ve mastered delivering a quality product and providing exceptional customer service, then this next part is a breeze. Like I mentioned before, take care of your clients and they are happy to do the same for you. But the big step biz owners miss here: you have to ask!!
According to a Nielsen Study, 83% of clients are willing to refer a business they’ve had a good experience with, but only 29% actually do. This is a huge gap and one that the smartest entrepreneurs capitalize on. I believe the biggest reason for this gap is that many biz owners haven’t established a consistent and automated way to ask for reviews and referrals.
‘The Ask’ needs to be built into your sales cycle, at the most opportune time for you. Need help asking? Grab my free guide ‘10 Easy Ways to Get Referrals and Make Your Revenue Soar’. In this free tip sheet, I’ll go over some fast and easy ways for you to ask for referrals, all ways that helped me bring in over $1M worth of referral clients without running any ads.
The great thing about referrals is that once a client refers business to you, that referred client is 30% more likely to buy from you, they spend 16% more over their lifetime working with you and they are 4 times more likely to refer others to you. This is a huge snowball effect and one of the best marketing techniques a biz owner can invest time and effort into. Why do you think every successful big business has a ‘refer a friend’ program and they advertise it on every email and all over their site and ads. This works, try it for yourself and see.
#4 Are you giving back to your community and charities?
As our businesses grow in revenue, it’s important that we pour some of that back into our communities, charities, and other philanthropic endeavors. This is the true magic of entrepreneurship.
Too often when I ask upcoming biz owners what their Giveback Program looks like, they often tell me that they aren’t making enough money in their biz to give back. My challenge for anyone who believes in this logic is to ask yourself if you believe you can’t give back when you’re making hundreds of dollars, what makes you think this will change when you make thousands or beyond?
You see, just like bankers or financiers who help people save money tell them that they should be saving some amount of money regardless of how much income they’re bringing in, businesses can adapt that same mentality when it comes to their giveback program.
Even if you’ve only made $100 in your business, you can give back a small portion of that or take a certain amount out of that and set it aside in a fund so that when that fund grows, you can contribute it to a charitable cause. A few dollars out of each sale will not hurt you in the large scheme of things and I will even argue that it will actually help you grow even bigger.
In all of my companies, our Giveback program was already established before we even made $1. We went into business with the intention of supporting our communities and favorite charitable causes.
From a spiritual perspective, why would the Universe bless you with more revenue if you’re not making the most of the money you’re currently making, it doesn’t work like that. So in this Q4 assessment, I encourage all business owners to look at ways to give back at whatever level you’re currently in.
Business strategist to multiple 7-figure biz owners Kelly Roach with billionaire entrepreneur & investor Damon John.
I hope you’ve found this Q4 business assessment helpful and as always I’d love to connect with you and hear the feedback you have, you can usually find me on IG.
With so much love and blessings,
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