How To Create A Winning Model For Business Success
Although my coaching practice and methodology primarily focuses on helping millennials create business success with online brands, I often times end up speaking to and coaching non-millennials on how navigate this new world of work and business. Thanks to the internet we have businesses that would not have been possible just a few short decades ago.
Consequently, I’ve been able to see the different perspectives on how business has changed thanks to the rise of technology.
I’ve also seen how this has led to a major problem: people are only focusing on one way of doing business instead of blending everything that is available to them.
For example, millennial business owners often come to me in a frenzy because they’re not making any money. They understand the online world. They use social media daily, have free content available online and take advantage of using services like online calendars. However, they have no idea how to sell.
I understand this on a very personal level. I spent years building an online brand and had an international base of readers, media mentions and credibility—but I had no real business success because I didn’t know what a sales funnel was.
As for non-millennials, they have the opposite problem. They’ve had success making revenue in traditional ways but have no idea how to implement technology and the internet in order to make more money. In fact, many of them are bound by their location because they have not yet realized that the internet allows them to have clients and customers all over the world. With each of these models operating on their own, business success was an elusive target.
By blending traditional and non-traditional ways of doing business we open the doors to more revenue and more impact. One method isn’t inherently better than the other, but we are living in a time when technology can make things easier. Below you’ll find some of the ways to combine old-school and new-school practices to achieve the business success you’ve been searching for.
When millennial businesses owners come to grips about how their blog or podcast isn’t making them any money, I proceed to ask, “What are you offering in exchange for money?” They proceed to take a long pause because they hadn’t even thought about it.
Since online business has been romanticized, people forget that a blog or podcast in and of itself isn’t going to make them money. They are marketing tools that aid in the process of making money by actually selling or promoting offerings.
That being said, more traditional business owners have offerings but are still relying on brochures and mailings to get new business. In neglecting online marketing they are missing out on leads and new business because the majority of consumers are going online to find what they need. In reality, you need to combine the newer practices of online marketing with actually having a product or service in order to make it work.
Sales and follow-ups
I don’t care how many inbound leads and blog subscribers you have, your revenue is still somewhat dependent on having clear offerings, a sales funnel and follow-ups. In other words, to reach business success you still need to have human interaction with people in order for them to buy from you.
For instance, earlier this month someone tweeted me because they’d heard me on a podcast and wanted to tell me how they look forward to reading my book. At that moment I responded by letting them know that if they bought my book directly from me they would save $2.00. They purchased from me and I had a new customer thanks to Twitter.
Had I not responded and let them know about the offering, I might have lost the sale. This is also a prime example of how to combine newer practices (Twitter) which allowed me to communicate with someone in another state, with the more traditional practices of having human interactions.
I will give it to millennials, they’ve got the online services thing down pat. They have online calendars, know how to use PayPal and use email marketing services like they were born knowing how to do it.
These services make it a whole lot easier to find business success, regardless of whether you have an online business or a traditional brick and mortar business. Unfortunately, I see so many non-millennials failing to implement these services into their businesses. Below are just some of the ways online services can actually save you time and help you make more money.
1. Online Schedulers – Online schedulers like TimeTrade or Acuity allow you to email someone a link so they can schedule an appointment according to your availability. This is so much easier and less time consuming than emailing back and forth and setting up appointments over the phone. It’s also more effective because it’s quick and easy. Even brick-and-mortar businesses like yoga studios and hair salons use online booking platforms that allow customers to purchase services and schedule their appointments.
2. Processing Payments – I’ve had a couple of non-millennial clients who insisted on getting paid with checks. I quickly had to have them rectify that. If you are not accepting credit cards you’re losing money because you’re making it more difficult for people to pay you. While there may be fees involved, it’s far less painful to lose some money to fees than lose an entire sale because your client didn’t get around to writing that check. There are several accounting and invoicing services that allow you to take online payments including PayPal, Harvest, Freshbooks, Stripe and Quickbooks.
3. Email Marketing – I’ve also seen some businesses using personal emails to mass email people in their email list. First, this is totally cumbersome. Second, it’s unprofessional. By using an email marketing service like MailChimp or AWeber you can send your email marketing easily and have it look professional.
4. Client Relationship Manager – There’s no reason anyone should still be using a spreadsheet to track leads. There are several services available online that serve as a client relationship manager so you can keep track of leads, prospects and sales.
One thing to note here: while online services make things easier, that doesn’t take away the fact that there still needs to be some human interaction. For instance, you can’t add people to your email list unless they signed up themselves or you asked for permission.
Final thoughts on business success
These days, following the path to business success means you must leverage the tools and advantages of technology while still using traditional techniques like sales and follow-ups. By combining both you expand your leads, make things easy and convenient for customers and have more peace of mind.