Why Entrepreneurs Should Stop Trying to Get New Customers

Why Entrepreneurs Should Stop Trying to Get New Customers

New business. New customers. New clients.

New. New. New.

That’s what most business owners say they want, right?

Well let me talk for a minute about why they’re WRONG.

OK, obviously, when you’re just starting out, new customers are key. And new customers will always be important.

But at a certain point, it’s more profitable to focus on retaining existing customers so they keep coming back over and over.

Here’s some impressive data from ‘Convince & Convert:

According to numbers procured by Invesp, 44 percent of companies admit they focus more on acquisition than retention, and only 18 percent claim to focus more on retention.

However, the same research points to the idea that customer retention is far more financially sound.

The research demonstrated that:

  • Acquiring a new customer is five times more expensive than retaining an existing one.
  • Increasing customer retention rates by five percent increases profits by 25 to 95 percent.
  • The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60 to 70 percent, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is five to 20 percent.
  • Customer retention is crucial for forecasting consistent growth in financial planning. If you can count on committed customers returning for the next financial quarter, anticipatory budgetary decisions are easier to make.

So what exactly does it mean to shift your focus from customer retention (instead of acquisition?)

Well, these 2 things go a LONG way:

Cultivate a Culture of Under-Promising and Over-Delivering

You may have heard this business truism before, but it bears repeating here.

We want to ingratiate ourselves with clients, so we often over-promise and then underwhelm a client with deliverables.

Even if we deliver exactly what was promised, it is a lost opportunity.

Setting customer expectations too high has no value, whereas surprising clients with over-performance creates a moment of attachment to your brand that has value.

Cultivating a moment of personal connection that goes beyond expectations gives a client the understanding that you are giving them individualized care and attention.

Some ways to underpromise include:

  • Timing: While it’s important to attend to client needs as fast as possible, always significantly overestimate the amount of time it will take. If the task will take ten minutes, offer an hour; if it might take an hour, say you will get it done by the next day. By delivering much faster than offered, it gives the client reason to feel your investment in them specifically.
  • Amounts: Underestimate returns on investment if possible, then deliver higher returns than expected.
  • Resources: Deliver more time and people to accomplish a project than you promised, and clients will be impressed with your devotion to them.

Create a Moment of Joy

A huge motivating factor in client retention is giving them a surprisingly positive experience based on their individual needs.

Clients want to be listened to, and showing you’ve paid attention can pay huge dividends.

Martin Lindstrom, branding expert and highly regarded author, tells an anecdote about how, when staying at a hotel, the concierge purchased him CDs of his favorite artists.

It cost the hotel less than $25, but he’s told that story thousands of times in front of crowds of businesses, basically giving them large-scale free advertising.

They got this free marketing because of one small gesture that demonstrated that they were listening.

Even clients with negative experiences can become your best customers if you listen carefully to their feedback and implement changes based on their advice.

97 percent of customers are more likely to be loyal if they feel their voice was heard and real change was accomplished.

Ways to foster joy include:

  • Pay attention to customer service: Giving great customer service is the best way to give clients joyful experiences. According to research, over 85 percent of companies say that efforts to improve customer experiences have positive business impact.
  • People love the sound of their own name: Make sure that customer service representatives ask for and use the names of the people they speak with.
  • Share common values: 64 percent of clients say “shared values” are a major reason for loyalty.
  • Offer targeted incentives: As in Mr. Lindstrom’s story, proof that your company is listening can also be in the form of small offers that you know cater to specific clients.

You can read more about creating an amazing customer experience at Convince & Convert.

I know, I know.

You’re thinking: that’s easier said than done.

Well, that’s why I’m here.

So if you’re not sure where to start…

Click here to download ’17 Business Secrets That Can Transform an Organization.’

Or, if you’d like some 1-on-1 help,

Go here and I’ll send you my business evaluation to get the ball rolling.

 

My Incredible Experience Mentoring Teens in This Business Plan Competition at Concordia University Irvine

My Incredible Experience Mentoring Teens in This Business Plan Competition at Concordia University Irvine

We can accomplish anything.

You may have heard me say that before. My friends, family, clients and business partners sure have.

And I truly believe it.

That’s why I was so honored to be invited to be a mentor for the Teen Entrepreneur Academy at Concordia University Irvine.

This is really important to me.

It’s is a core part of my calling: to serve others and share my gifts and talents.

So to be able to mentor our future leaders and help them with their business plan was both a huge honor and a blessing for me personally.

The Big Night

I was feeling anxious. The room was buzzing.

When I walked in, I saw my team gathered together waiting for the final competition to begin.

They were nervous. And understandably so.

But I reminded them that they were thoroughly prepared, and they have greatness within them.

We refocused and went over the plan again. Then they called everyone to their seats.

It was time.

I watched each team pitch their business plans to the judges.

The competition was stiff, and every single team did an incredible job.

I felt so proud and humbled to watch the next generation of business leaders present their plans, as well as confident in the direction they will take us.

But at the end when the judges announced the winners, my heart soared.

The young entrepreneurs on MY TEAM won 1st place!!

Seeing the smiles on their faces is something I’ll never forget.

Knowing the impact I made on their minds and lives, is priceless.

This is what I live for.

It’s not just about making money – yes, of course, that’s important.

But what’s MORE important is the impact you make on this world.

I feel so blessed by the gifts God has given me, and my mission is to share them.

So if you need a little inspiration or wisdom…

Click here to download 17 Business Secrets That Can Transform an Organization.

2 Common Business Mistakes That Make Growth Nearly Impossible

2 Common Business Mistakes That Make Growth Nearly Impossible

Every business owner wants growth.

They want to help more people, make a bigger impact on the world, and make more money for doing so.

Sound familiar?

In all my years in business, I’ve seen business owners struggle with a number of challenges.

And every situation is different.

But after digging in, a lot of these unique challenges can be traced back to a few sources.

“I need more clients/customers.”

“My marketing is not working.”

“I’m having cash flow issues.”

These are the symptoms. It’s what the business owner feels and experiences.

But they are merely symptoms of deeper, underlying challenges (that can easily be solved).

1. Not knowing who your ideal customer is.

Moreira had a keen grasp on the type of artists he wanted to attract from the beginning, explaining, “Understanding [our clients] is what has enabled us to attract great talent early on, and it’s what was responsible for our long-term deal with Sony Music.

 

If you don’t fully understand your ideal customer, there is no way you can provide the kind of value that’s going to attract them to your business and keep them satisfied.

 

You have to understand their needs and wants, and offer a solution that is a perfect fit. Doing this will help you quickly establish your business as a viable solution.”

 

This applies to every business — if you don’t know who your ideal customer is, you will be casting a wide net and are more than likely not attracting the right consumers.

 

When you find your ideal customer, you can improve your targeting, advertising, marketing and brand message.

2. Not understanding your key performance indicators.

To grow, you need to know what is working and what isn’t.

 

Every business is going to have key performance indicators, and if you don’t track, measure and optimize these numbers, you have no idea what to scale to achieve that desirable growth.

You can read more business mistakes over at Entrepreneur.

If you’re struggling with either of these problems – GREAT! (It’s all about your mindset / perspective).

Because once the challenge is identified, you can work towards finding a solution.

Not sure where to start?

I’ve compiled some of my insights and wisdom from all my years in business:

Click here to download ’17 Business Secrets That Can Transform an Organization.’

Or, if you’re ready for some 1-on-1 help…

Go here and I’ll send you my business evaluation to get the ball rolling.

This is How Entrepreneurs Can Hold Themselves Back From Reaching Their Full Potential

This is How Entrepreneurs Can Hold Themselves Back From Reaching Their Full Potential

We can accomplish anything.

My clients, friends and family hear me say it all the time.

And I firmly believe it to be true.

But if it is in fact true, why are so many people and businesses struggling?

Well, that’s a complicated question. And every person and business is different, for sure.

Every single person has unlimited potential. But part of the problem is…

They don’t truly believe it.

People want to believe it.

But we all have beliefs that are so ingrained…

So hard-wired into our brains that we end up doing things that can really hold us back.

We listen to self-limiting beliefs.

 

There are things each of us tells our self that holds us back.

 

We deal with feelings and thoughts from past experiences that keep us from even getting to the place of wanting to make changes and accomplish our goals.

 

We tell our self we’re not smart enough, lucky enough, strong enough, good-looking enough, or that we don’t have what it takes to accept success in our life.

 

I call B.S.

 

You are a special and unique entrepreneur. You are the only one of you in this world.

 

You may not be like another entrepreneur that you admire, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do everything you want to do in your business.

 

You deserve success. You deserve to live the life you want to live.

The fear of failure and public reaction.

 

We’re afraid to fail, but more than that, we’re afraid to look bad.

 

We’re terrified of others thinking of us as failures more than actually failing.

 

Failure is a part of a business and sometimes we need to failure.

 

Failure shouldn’t be an ending event. It should be an opportunity to learn and grow.

 

In the end, who cares what people think?

 

Their opinion is not important in the grand scheme of things and won’t put any more money in your pocket.

You can read more reasons people don’t accomplish their business goals over at Entrepreneur.

The reality is that going at it alone in business is hard. It makes business harder than it has to be.

Over and over I see that one of the biggest things I help my clients with (besides fixing major issues within their organization) is their mindset.

Sometimes all it takes is simply being reassured that you’re on the right path.

So I compiled some of my insights and wisdom from all my years in business for you:

Click here to download ’17 Business Secrets That Can Transform an Organization.’

Studies Shows Businesses Grow 30% Faster By Doing This One Critical Thing

Studies Shows Businesses Grow 30% Faster By Doing This One Critical Thing

Business growth is something I hear about all the time from business owners.

Sometimes they’re a new business just starting out.

Other times they’ve been in business for 20 years, and they’ve kind of “stalled.”

Either way, everybody wants to GROW. And there are many ways to make that happen.

But most people don’t take the time to actually plan out what they want to accomplish and how they’re going to do it.

My clients, friends and family have heard me say a million times, “we can accomplish anything.”

But it’s critical to have a plan in place to reach those goals.

That can be overwhelming for some entrepreneurs.

And that’s OK. Everybody has different skill sets.

And I’m great at helping business owners set and accomplish the right goals that lead them to new levels of success.

I found this great article over at Bplans.com that highlights different studies that prove the power and importance of having the right business plan in place:

1. Planning can help companies grow 30% faster

 

One study1, published in 2010, aggregated research on the business growth of 11,046 companies and found that planning improved business performance.

 

Interestingly, this same study found that planning benefited existing companies even more than it benefited startups.

 

For an existing business, planning involves fewer guesses or assumptions that need to be proven, so the strategies they develop are based on more information.

 

Another study2 found that companies that plan grow 30% faster than those that don’t plan. This study found that plenty of businesses can find success without planning, but that businesses with a plan grew faster and were more successful than those that didn’t plan.

 

To reinforce the connection between planning and fast growth, yet another study3 found that fast-growing companies—companies that had over 92% growth in sales from one year to the next—usually have business plans.

 

In fact, 71% of fast-growing companies have plans.

 

They create budgets, set sales goals, and document their marketing and sales strategies.

2. Being prepared matters when you’re seeking funding

 

A study at the University of Oregon6 found that businesses with a plan were far more likely to get funding than those that didn’t have a plan.

3. When you start planning is important—the earlier the better

 

Research shows7 that entrepreneurs who started the business planning process early were better at what the scientists call “establishing legitimacy.”

 

That’s a fancy way of saying that these entrepreneurs used business planning to start the process of talking with potential customers, working with business partners, starting to look for funding, and gathering other information they needed to start their business.

4. You’re less likely to fail if you have a plan

 

Nothing can absolutely prevent your company from failing, but it turns out that having a plan can help reduce your risks.

 

Starting the planning process before starting marketing efforts and before talking to customers reduces the likelihood that a business will fail.8

You can find the rest of the article over at Bplans.com.

But listen…

If you’re an established business without a business plan – it’s OK.

It’s never too late to start, and I can help.

Click here, enter your email on the next page,

I’ll send you my business evaluation that will help you discover the strengths and weaknesses of your business so you can create a strategy for success.

 

References cited by original source:

1Brinckmann, J., Grichnik, D., & Kapsa, D. (2010). Should entrepreneurs plan or just storm the castle? A meta-analysis on contextual factors impacting the business planning–performance relationship in small firms. Journal of Business Venturing,25(1), 24-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2008.10.007

2Burke, A., Fraser, S., & Greene, F. J. (2010). The multiple effects of business planning on new venture performance. Journal of Management Studies, 47(3), 391-415.

3Upton, N., Teal, E. J., & Felan, J. T. (2001). Strategic and business planning practices of fast growth family firms. Journal of Small Business Management, 39(1), 60-72.

6Ding, E., & Hursey, T. (2010). Evaluation of the effectiveness of business planning using Palo Alto’s Business Plan Pro. Department of Economics. University of Oregon.

7Delmar, F., & Shane, S. (2004). Legitimating first: Organizing activities and the survival of new ventures. Journal of Business Venturing, 19(3), 385-410. doi: 10.1016/s0883-9026(03)00037-5

8Shane, S., & Delmar, F. (2004). Planning for the market: Business planning before marketing and the continuation of organizing efforts. Journal of Business Venturing, 19(6), 767-785. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2003.11.001

Failed Before? So What. Be Like These 3 Losers Who Bounced Back and Soared to Success

Failed Before? So What. Be Like These 3 Losers Who Bounced Back and Soared to Success

Life can feel like a whirlwind.

We all have periods of struggles, and periods of success.

And a string of failures can quickly become a losing streak that feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But no matter how many times we fall flat on our face, it doesn’t matter.

Success is always within reach.

Check out these three ‘losers.’ These successful entrepreneurs were once in the exact same position as some people.

Maybe even you.

But even though they struggled, they always believed they would figure it out.

And they did:

1. Scott Oldford

 

Founder of Infinitus, Leadcraft and Bots for Business

 

In 2013, Oldford racked up $726,000 in debt. At the ripe age of 22, he faced a bleak future. It’s a mountain of debt many people wouldn’t escape from.

 

Yet, in less than three years, Oldford not only recovered, but built a multi-million-dollar company by overcoming his own toxic ego, and replacing it with a deep focus on relationships, mentorship and personal growth.

 

From big loser to bigger success, Oldford today demonstrates a zest for life that has led to successful launches, new ventures and an ever-growing level of authority.

2. Noah Kagan

 

Founder of Sumo

 

Noah Kagan was employee No. 30 at Facebook, which, had he stayed, would have made him over $100 million.

 

However, Facebook fired him after eight months, which sent him into a spiral of depression.

 

Kagan overcome this (and the title of “the guy who got fired by Facebook and lost $100-plus million”), and has since built numerous successful businesses.

3. Arianna Huffington

 

Founder of The Huffington Post and Thrive Global

 

Back in 2007, Arianna Huffington sat at home on the phone, when all of a sudden she collapsed.

 

When she woke up, she lay in a pool of her own blood, and had what she would later discover, a broken cheekbone.

 

It wasn’t cancer. It wasn’t a disease.

 

Huffington was, of course, exhausted.

 

However, she later described this terrifying period as the “wake up call that changed my life.”

 

Not only did this lead her to create Thrive Global, but also author bestselling books like Thrive and The Sleep Revolution.

 

Though Huffington had already achieved great acclaim with her eponymous news site, it was this setback that pushed her to follow her passion and also achieve success in her personal life.

You can find four more examples of losers who found massive success at Entrepreneur.

Is your business struggling? Or just getting by?

If your business isn’t soaring, I truly want to help.

Discover the strengths and weaknesses of your business so you can create a strategy for success.

Click here to take the business evaluation.