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.

 

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.

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

Making Sense of Your Business

Making Sense of Your Business

So often business owners are deeply engaged in the now, they don’t have time to get on top of the business and key aspects needed. These are the parts and pieces which keep them from getting over the hump. That place where they know has been a peak performance in their business to reach and unable to overcome or to remain profitable- let alone, embrace the next level of business.

This is the place of realignment, where horsepower and brawn isn’t the main tool anymore.  Now its identifying and managing shared Vision’s, Goals, and Objectives with people and resources. Igniting the Synergy creating a passionate clear culture of winning Teams and People.

Identifying the Gears and Oil of your Business:

How is your business calibrated?

How will you “Nail it”?

What’s your perfect?

What are you doing to accomplish these key items?

Ten Key Golden Nuggets About Business Leadership

Ten Key Golden Nuggets About Business Leadership

Ten Key Points = Golden Nuggets To Embrace Regarding Business and Leadership

  1. Fear or Faith
  2. Cash is King (in business)
  3. Start With the End in Mind (what’s your perfect?)
  4. The greatest asset a company or team has is its people.  Keep them passionate and informed
  5. Have the right plan
  6. Constant communication and coaching of the plan (servants heart culture)
  7. What gets measured gets improved
  8. Identify and successfully manage the gauges
  9. Know the action step s = costs, schedules, and responsible party assigned
  10. Reward performance
Ten Reasons Why Maes and Associates

Ten Reasons Why Maes and Associates

Ten Reasons Why You Benefit From Maes and Associates Partnership Services and the Benefits of High Five Priority Business Mapping “foundations structure”

  1. Powerful instant support
  2. Clear and specific focuses with now results
  3. We cause you to identify what perfect looks like
  4. We turn that into achievable goals and objectives
  5. Create identify and document all action steps required to accomplish the goals
  6. Greater accountability
  7. Powerful and result driven brain storming meetings
  8. Personal development
  9. Experience relationships and resources available
  10. Increased, validation, clarity, profitability, accomplishments, controls, and measureables