Are you confused about the next steps to growth in your business? Barriers and challenges are always in front of us, and it’s important to prioritize those next steps to progress. Join us to learn how to avoid shiny object syndrome and be your most productive instead of just busy.
In order to find new clients, you need to boost your voice. In other words, you have to locate opportunities to amplify your message and reach prospective leads. These opportunities won’t come to you! In order to grow your business, you will need to be proactive in tracking them down.
Here are three strategies for boosting your voice:
1) Networking events
Whether you’re new to networking or a seasoned professional, these events are a great way to connect with potential clients. One way to gain access is to join a networking group. Another is to join your local chamber of commerce.
One of the benefits of networking events is that they can be less intimidating than other venues. If you took a sneak peek at other items on this list and felt a shiver of fear run down your spine, then networking events could be the perfect place for you to get started and practice your skills!
Most of us find one-on-one conversations a lot less stressful than speaking to large groups. You have the opportunity to establish a personal connection with the person you are talking with. Plus, since everyone is there for the same reason, you already have something important in common! You can use that shared goal to your advantage when telling people about your business.
As a result, the interactions at a networking event can feel lower-stakes, which reduces the pressure and allows you to focus on delivering your pitch.
Speaking of which, the key to successful networking is having an effective 30-second elevator pitch. I cover that topic here.
Of course, the goal here is to develop a relationship. Do not focus on selling to the people who are there. If leveraged successfully, the members of these networking groups will become your salesforce. Once they get to know, like, and trust you, they will send you prospects who you can convert into clients.
2) Social media
These days, social media connects us all. Using online communities can grow your business exponentially.
Creating a community on Facebook or LinkedIn will take your networking to the next level. Every user on these sites is a potential referral partner or client. Starting a Twitter or Instagram account will give a huge boost to your marketing message. Maintaining an active presence on these sites will allow you to develop a personality around your brand which will attract new clients.
I also suggest looking into a new app called Clubhouse. This audio-sharing community has been used by Elon Musk and Bill Gates—why not you?
Using social media effectively will establish your business as modern, relevant, and accessible. Every social media account you set up is a fresh opportunity to locate leads and convert them into profit.
3) Public speaking
Many people are terrified of public speaking, but it is one of the most effective strategies for reaching potential clients. You can reach dozens or even hundreds of people simultaneously, amplifying your message far beyond what is possible in a one-on-one conversation.
In order to be an effective public speaker, you will first need to develop a compelling message. This is one of the topics I address in my e-book, Mind Your Profits.
Once you’ve developed your message, your next step will be to locate speaking opportunities.
One easy way to boost your voice through public speaking is to appear on podcasts, either as a guest or by starting your own. This is the perfect option if the idea of getting up on stage and talking to a bunch of strangers makes you feel faint! Since podcasts are just like having a one-on-one conversation, they are a lot less scary—but can be just as effective if you are able to reach the right audience.
If you aren’t intimidated by getting in front of a group of people, speaking from a stage can be a great way to get your message out. One way to find such opportunities is to reach out to professional groups in your area. You should also stay abreast of any upcoming conferences and workshops that potential clients might attend. And don’t forget to work those strategic partnerships!
If you want to integrate public speaking into your business practice but struggle with stage fright, contact me to set up a coaching session.
Finally, don’t be afraid to think outside the box! A speaker at a conference I attended told us about a strategy he’d developed that proved as effective as it is unusual. While driving down the freeway, he would jot down the phone numbers on billboards. Then he’d leave a message introducing himself and saying that he couldn’t help but notice an “error” on their billboard.
When he got a call back—and he always got a call back!—he would explain how the billboard’s messaging could be more effective in landing new clients. This would lead to a conversation about how to craft an effective marketing message, which would then lead to a meeting to discuss how he could help this business.
These are just a few strategies for boosting your voice and growing your business. As you become a more confident and effective networker, the number of potential networks you can tap into will grow as well.
Which strategy do you like? Feel free to comment below.
If you’d like help in implementing any or all of these, please reach out.
There are so many ways to generate leads. Listen to the video to hear just a few methods people use to obtain more clients. All vary in style and one of them is quite unique. I can easily help you utilize one of these or any other technique in your client search. Yet, the methods that I use are actually proven to work. Are you ready to learn because I am ready to teach these methods to you. We can grow your business together.
Watch this short informative video and schedule a time to chat at your convenience.
Smarter decisions, more profits.
As a business coach, how do you generate leads? Well, I will provide more information for you today. This is only the 2nd in a series of videos I am providing to help you. Our 5 step process will help you exponentially grow your business. How will you land clients, you ask? I am here to teach you how. They are the same methods I use.
Today is all about referral partners. The key to referral partners is they service the same type of client you do offering a complementary service. Help your referral source solve a problem they have with your mutual client. Watch the video for an example of this.
- Getting more leads.
- Converting them into clients.
- Maximizing the value of each client.
- Using the right pricing structure.
- Making more profit.
Do you have it all figured out as a business coach? I thought I did but I was wrong. I found a system of coaching that completely changed my perspective. Now I can get in front of a small group of business owners or single entrepreneurs and confidently show them how to uncover $30,000 – $50,000 in revenue in under 45 minutes. With this technique, I have become so busy that I need more coaches. Would you like to learn how to not only help those clients get the revenue they deserve but also increase your coaching business to over 6 figures in 90 days?
Networking can be a nerve-wracking experience. It’s easy to put pressure on ourselves to say exactly the right thing at exactly the right time to exactly the right people.
Should I be funny? Should I try to talk to everyone? Should I be serious? Should I talk longer with fewer people? Should I join that conversation? Should I wait for people to approach me?
Networking events can feel like our eighth-grade dance all over again.
But knowing some of what you’re going to say ahead of time can take a lot of that in-the-moment pressure off, making it easier to mingle and be yourself.
This is just part of why many networkers recommend crafting a 30-second “elevator pitch.”
Not only can you enter a conversation confident in how you’ll introduce yourself, but you also know you’ll be consistent throughout the networking event. When you don’t have to divide your attention between listening to the conversation and deciding what you want to say, you can focus more authentically on building connections—which is what networking is all about.
But making things less intimidating is just one of the reasons your elevator pitch is your most important networking asset:
When you clearly explain who you are, what you do, and who you help, a successful elevator pitch doesn’t just attract the people who hear it directly—it also empowers anyone you’re networking with to reach into their network and send you prospects.
This makes every networking event more effective. Every contact you make has the potential to foster even more connections, allowing your pitch to reach a larger network of potential clients and customers.
Here are the three essential components of every effective elevator pitch:
1. Who You Are
The first step is to introduce yourself, including both your name and your job title. If you’re speaking on behalf of your company, you’ll also want to include your company name.
For me, this is as simple as, “Hi, I’m Dr. Steven Kirch, coach and trainer of business coaches with Profit Minds, LLC.”
2. What Problem You Solve
Next, briefly explain what you do in a way that is easy for people to understand, even if they’re not in your niche. Most importantly, make sure that it’s crystal clear what problem you solve for your clients or customers.
There are two important components to this: the people you serve and the problem they face.
When you describe who you serve, you might use a basic descriptor, like “corporate executives” or “small business owners,” or you can be even more specific, like “small medical practices” or “business owners in the trades.”
When you describe the problem your potential clients or customers face – and this is perhaps more important – you should include something that reveals the emotional state of your ideal client. For example, in my case, I indicate that my ideal prospect is somehow dissatisfied with their current life situation and looking for a change.
In my elevator pitch, I say, “I work with corporate executives or small business owners who are tired of their hamster wheel and are looking for a new opportunity where they can truly help others – and at the same time build income for themselves to support the freedom they have always dreamed of.”
3. How do you do that?
In a networking mixer, I stop right there. You want to entice the listener into a conversation, so don’t give them too much information, but enough to beg the question: “How do you do that?”
Once you’ve made it clear what problem you solve, this next step is to get more specific about your strategies and what makes you unique.
When people ask me the “how” question, for example, I respond by sharing, “I teach coaches our system to attract and retain high-paying clients. I set them up in their own business and teach them techniques that enable them to say ‘I can find 30-$50,000 in untapped revenue for ANY small business in under 45 mins.’
All I require is empathy, an entrepreneurial spirit, and the ability to learn and follow our system.
Within 6-8 weeks, they will be on their way to earning six figures in their own coaching business.”
BONUS: What to Listen For
Not everyone who hears your elevator pitch will be the right fit to work with you. In fact, you never want to try and sell directly to the person you are speaking with – even if they are actually a perfect prospect. But when implemented correctly, an effective elevator pitch can invite the listener to send you prospects and share what you do more broadly, even if it’s not applicable to themselves.
This is why it’s especially important to make sure the people on the receiving end of your elevator pitch know how they can recognize others who might benefit from working with you. If they are a prospect, they will recognize themselves in your description.
In your pitch, particularly at a regular networking meeting where you are a member, be sure to include what to listen for, with phrases stated in the first person.
For example, I might say, “If you hear a client or friend or family member say something like, ‘I’d love to retire, but I’m not sure I’m ready (or can afford it) (or what I’d do to fill my days)…’ or ‘I’m really tired of doing the same thing day after day and am looking for a new opportunity…’ or ‘I would love to find something to do where I can really help others…’ those would be great introductions for me.”
Nailing Your Pitch
Developing an effective elevator pitch can take time. There will likely be a period of trial and error as you figure out the best ways to describe what you do and who you serve. And the more you practice sharing your pitch, the more comfortable you’ll get and the more effective your delivery will become.
But the time and effort are absolutely worth it.
Once you have an effective elevator pitch, you can use it not only in your networking interactions, but also in your social media, on your sales pages, in your email communications, and on your website.
If you’d like help crafting your elevator pitch, set up a call with us here.
As a business owner, generating leads is one of the most important tasks for growing your business, but it can also be the most daunting.
How do you generate leads? And how do you do it in a way that doesn’t feel slimy, shady, or overly “sales-y”?
Here are five effective strategies for generating strong leads for your business—that won’t make you feel like a used-car salesman.
1. Join a networking group
Joining a networking group is a great way to attract more leads in a personal, genuine way. Some of these groups meet monthly, some meet weekly, and others meet every other week or every other month. If you’re not sure where to begin, consider joining your local chamber of commerce. They will certainly have networking events that you can attend.
I’m a member of several different networking groups, and I find them an incredibly valuable resource for generating leads—not just in terms of networking with potential clients directly, but in terms of meeting other business owners who can refer people to me from their own network.
When you clearly explain what you do, who you help, and what problem you solve for your clients, the people you meet while networking can send you prospects. Once they get to know, like, and trust you, they essentially turn into your salesforce.
2. Develop your “elevator pitch”
The most important thing about networking is having an effective 30-second elevator pitch. This must include not only who you are and what you do, but most importantly, it should also include what problem you solve for your customers.
In my elevator pitch, I explain that Profit Minds helps our clients create unique strategies to grow their business and create the life of their dreams, and that we can find 30 to $50,000 or more in untapped revenue for any small business in under 45 minutes. This often sparks a conversation about how we do this, which allows me to get more specific about the strategies that I use.
At a regular networking meeting, your elevator pitch should also include what to listen for, with phrases stated in the first person. For example, I might say, “If you hear a client or friend or family member say something like, ‘I need new sources of revenue for my company,’ or ‘I can’t afford this year to be just like the last,’ those would be great referrals for me.” This way, the people I meet know exactly who they can send in my direction.
3. Cultivate relationships with “power partners”
While offering potential partners a referral fee is straightforward and can work, I’ve found there’s a better way to incentivize referrals. To do this, seek out partnerships with businesses that serve the same type of client that you do but offer a complimentary product or service. I call these “power partners.” Then, when you present the referral opportunity, seek to solve a problem your referral source has with your mutual client.
At Profit Minds, we use this strategy to partner with—and solve problems for—CPAs, business brokers, and digital marketing agents, among others.
When I look to partner with a CPA, for example, I explain that if they send me one of their small-business owner clients, I will make sure the client sees them at least four times a year. I do this because the information I get from a CPA is a measurable and reliable way to make sure my methods are working.
This solves the CPA’s problem of only seeing their clients once a year around tax time. When they refer clients to me, they not only get more income from our mutual clients, but they also get to provide financial guidance throughout the year. This is a win all around: the CPA wins, Profit Minds wins, and most importantly, the (mutual) client wins.
4. Take advantage of speaking opportunities
Becoming a public speaker is a great way to build your reputation, establish your authority as an expert, and reach a broad, interested audience. This also helps build your relationship with your prospects as they get to know you and your story in an authentic way.
You can find speaking opportunities through local professional groups, as well as through strategic partnerships. Look for events and conferences in your area, and reach out to your network to learn of other speaking opportunities. If you joined a networking group, you might even find opportunities to speak at their networking meetings. Or check with your local chamber of commerce about setting up your own event where you can be featured.
Keep in mind that speaking opportunities don’t just happen in person. In the wake of COVID, many events are happening online or in other virtual spaces. Clubhouse is one such app, which features an audio-only sharing community.
5. Be a guest on podcasts
If you find the prospect of speaking to a large audience intimidating, appearing on podcasts is a great alternative.
You could of course start your own podcast, but you can also join in as a guest speaker on someone else’s podcast. Since appearing on a podcast is just like having a one-on-one conversation, it’s not nearly as scary as other public speaking opportunities—but if you’re a guest on the right podcasts, it can be just as effective.
With that in mind, don’t restrict your search to only podcasts about your exact same topic, but try to seek out podcasts that might share your audience. What podcasts might your ideal client be listening to? You can even start by asking this question of your current clients!
Strategies for everyone
There are strategies for every taste and ability, whether you enjoy addressing a large audience, prefer focusing on personal relationships, or anything in between.
If you find a strategy that appeals to you, don’t hesitate to reach out—I’d be happy to talk about how you can develop that strategy as you grow your business.
If you cannot watch, you can read it below…
As one of the people whom I regularly consult about business, I’m so excited to bring you on here to give some new information in addition to the work that we’ve featured you before. I’m always excited to come to you as a resource. Before we get into productivity and profit, let me ask you about your dream interview. Who would be your dream interview if you could share the stage with someone who’s no longer with us? If so, what would you ask them?
There are an awful lot of people that I admire throughout history, but I think perhaps more than ever, I would look to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The work that he did in non-violent protest, in the non-violent calling of our attention as a country to the systemic racism that still exists. I am an old white guy, and I benefit from this. I’m working hard to become an ally of those who are oppressed by the current system. I’ve benefited tremendously throughout my life. I would ask him a couple of things. One, what is it that I could do better to help those who were not born into the privilege that I have? The other is how did he find the strength, the personal conviction to continue to beat his head against that proverbial wall consistently without becoming frustrated? I’m sure he could be getting frustrated, but without becoming violent or becoming overwhelmed with the size of the problem. At least his public persona was like that. How did he find that within himself? That to me is the measure of a man or a woman.
I have often thought about the things he said that inspired people. Often it was enough. He was done and it was time not to take it anymore. I was hearing one time somebody talking about a turning point in life isn’t necessarily the turning point. That is a huge cataclysm. Sometimes a turning point is the moment where you’ve said, “Enough,” as Rosa Parks said, “My feet hurt. I’m not going to get up and move to the back of the bus. I’m going to stay here.” The courage it took there but also being tired.
Sometimes it is that proverbial straw. It’s one more thing that pushes you over the edge and you say, “I can’t do this. I can’t be this. I can’t react this way anymore. I have to do something different.”
This actually brings me to another thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot is awareness. Becoming aware of where things are not right. We’ve been through a year of a pandemic. Society and life are changing completely and a year of social upheaval and a year of pushback where people said, “Enough. I can’t do anything more.” It also comes from being aware when you are being put down or as an ally where you are putting someone else down without realizing it, being aware of the unconscious assumptions. I look at Martin Luther King Jr., the Reverend Doctor, and think about the courage it must’ve taken to speak out in the first place, the courage to keep talking, and the courage to keep moving forward. America has an African-American senator from Georgia who was a pastor in Martin Luther King’s Church. There is progress.
It’s slow but it’s been 400 years in the making. There isn’t any reason to expect that overnight we’re going to be able to change the system. I was reading the book How to Be an Antiracist. The system adapts and the system morphs because the system is all about power and who has it. The system doesn’t want to give up its power. Those of us who have privilege recognize that in order to raise all boats, we have to not be concerned about whether or not we might lose a little bit of what we might otherwise gain.
That’s where fear comes in. Fear and greed are old friends, our old enemies. Fear and greed are motivating factors. I also am reminded of a meme that was going around during the beginning of the lockdown in April 2020 or maybe over the summer, I think too. People were saying that the pandemic aren’t real if they’re not happening to you. That’s not the exact quote. I have to look up that quote. You have to be reminded to pay attention if it’s not happening directly to you.
The fact that I don’t have to think about the color of my skin and yet a person of color, every time they look in the mirror, is reminded that they are a person of color, that disparity in opportunity.
It is not the same as racism, but I do remember as a woman, I am careful walking down dark alleys because as the old saying goes, “Boys are trained to take charge, try stuff, go ahead. If you fall, it’s no big deal. Girls are conditioned by society to be careful.” I remember back in my early 30s, sitting around with a group of friends who I was working on a show. One of the singers who was a big, burly guy with a big loud bass voice asked the women at the table why they would be nervous walking home alone in the city if they went out to get pizza because it would never occur to him to be nervous.
The disparity in treatment. That’s why I’m so proud of my girls that have set off on their own. One is an Adjunct Professor of Writing at Columbia. The other is finishing her Master’s in Mathematics at Boston University and looking to land a job shortly working in artificial intelligence and natural language processing, which is a big thing these days.
It would not have been available to a woman years ago.
It was much more challenging. My wife has a Master’s in Mathematics but when she went through her master’s program years ago, she was one of a handful of women in the program. When my daughter was at St. Olaf as a physics and math major, I think close to half the class was female.
It is possible to change.
We’re making progress.
We have to keep trying.
Particularly in this day and age, I sit on a lot of Zoom meetings, as everybody does. It’s much easier to hide in a Zoom meeting. I’m trying to be aware of people who perhaps their voice hasn’t been heard and they’re sitting silently in a meeting. I know that’s one of the things that you help your clients with is how to speak out.
How to speak out and do it in a way that the people who need to hear you can actually take in the information instead of shouting in their faces, which makes people automatically say no or put up resistance. How do you do that? Which actually takes me back to Martin Luther King and how the non-violent protest was a way of making the point without instantly provoking armed resistance.
It’s funny. It occurred to me that some of what you do parallels some of what I do in the marketing because what we try to do with our marketing programs, with our strategic marketing to help our clients, is to enter into the conversation that’s going on in the head of your prospect. You want to interrupt what they’re thinking about. They have a problem that they don’t want and a result that they do want. If you can use your product or service to connect those things and interrupt that conversation that’s going on in their head, then you can get their attention. I would guess that there’s some similarity between that approach and what you talk to your clients about with respect to how you do approach someone in a way that is constructive but not antagonistic.
That’s one of the reasons why I love working with you, Steve. I have to be transparent. Steve is my business coach. Thanks to Steve in the six months I worked with him in 2020, my revenue doubled. I have to say it. The stuff he promises can happen because it happened to me. One of the things that you were talking about in terms of marketing is I come from a presentation and marketing background. You may think that the performing arts are not marketing, but of course, they are, because what you’re doing is selling an experience. You’re trying to move people to think the way you want to think or to experience something. Of course, in training performers, you’re trying to market yourself as the product. The difference is that you yourself are the product, rather than perhaps in your widget or your service. You and I both work a great deal with service-based organizations and people who are their product. It’s the same thing.
Steve, this is really fun because I haven’t even gotten to all the questions I had for you. I have a lot of questions for you. Although I work a great deal with women in the corporate field, it’s still a matter of selling an idea, if you will, or enrolling people into the idea that you are the person to be listened to, the person to be followed, the person to be hired or promoted. It’s still sales and marketing. It’s the same thing that you do, Steve. I wanted to ask you though a couple of specific things. You were a productivity coach for many years, right?
What got you to move from productivity to profitability to focusing on how to make a profit?
That’s interesting because in fact, I still work with people on their productivity but it’s with the aim of getting them more profits. The problem that I had was that I would sit down with a small business owner and I would explain to him or her how I would improve their productivity and they get very excited about it. The fundamental fact of it is that most small business owners haven’t a clue what their time is worth. If I tell you, “I’m going to get you an hour of your time every day for the rest of your life in terms of productivity,” “That’s great.” “What would you do?” “I can do this.”
The chasing of shiny objects is always a problem for the small business owner but to sit down and say, “What is that worth to you?” Often, I get a blank stare. “I don’t know.” If they couldn’t understand what the value that I was bringing them was, what was the value of that hour I was giving them, how would they know whether or not it was worth engaging as a coach? When I came across this system and it’s a systematic approach of improving leads, how many prospects do you have coming into your pipeline? How efficient are you at converting those, what methods do you use to convert those prospects into clients, how do you maximize the value of each client, how do you properly set your pricing so that each line of business is profitable? How do you most efficiently drop those revenues into your pocket, into the bottom line, how do you take the top line, growth, and make that into a bottom-line profit, which is of course what the small business owner really wants?
By going through this systematic approach and coming up with a number, I say to these small business owners, “If you give me 45 minutes, I can find $30,000 to $50,000 or even more in untapped revenue without you having to spend any additional money in marketing.” It’s fun to do this. There’s a quantification of the value that I’m bringing. If I’m going to bring you a $100,000 or $150,000, to spend a fraction of that on me as a coach to get you there, it’s a no-brainer. That was what caused me. This system is so powerful. It was clear to me that it fit naturally with what I already do. I use that productivity expertise to help implement these strategies.
That’s actually one of the things that I like about working with you is implementation has always been a challenge for me. Getting it done and how do you use these strategies has helped immensely. As I’m on a similar line, I’ve heard you say a wonderful thing about businesses don’t fail because they run out of clients. They fail because they run out of cash. Can you talk a little bit about what you mean by that?
What’s really interesting is when you sit down with a business owner and you ask them how they do manage their business, often the reality is that they manage their business by looking at their bank account. If they have money in the bank, then they feel good. If they don’t have money in the bank, they feel bad. They don’t look at what the cash flow is. I like to partner with CPAs or bookkeepers and make sure that there’s a strong relationship between the small business owner and either the CPA or the bookkeeper so that they understand their cashflow. You get to the middle of the month and you’ve got thousands of dollars coming in cash but you can’t pay a creditor today because you have nothing in the bank. That’s a problem and that’s where you wind up. If you run too fast, get too far out over your skis, as they say, in terms of managing your cash flow, that’s when the business goes out when you go out of business. If you can’t sustain it because I made this great investment that’s going to pay off a year from now but you run out of cash before you get any of that return, it doesn’t matter.
There are so many companies where income or sales fluctuate, you may have a great month and then you may have a month where nobody picks up the phone calls or they say, “Yes, but not now.” Planning for the cash flow is a big challenge.
You should always have some amount of cash in reserve so that you can get through those lean months. A big corporation can write a bond. They can borrow some money from a bank to have a line of credit. Some small businesses have a line of credit as well. The best way to do that, if you are a small business, is to put a little piece of it into a separate account that you don’t touch. I’m a big fan of Profit First methodology by Michael Michalowicz. It’s one of the things that he recommends. You take a piece of your profits. By the way, you should always have a profit in your business. You should take the profits first before you pay yourself and pay your bills.
Maybe it’s a small amount. Maybe it’s 1%, 2%, 3%, or 5%. You always have a profit. You’d take a piece of that and you put it off into an account, which is he calls it The Vault. You set that aside until you’ve built up enough to have 3, 6 months of expenses set aside so that if you hit a lean patch, like a pandemic, that’s what costs a lot of businesses to go under. They didn’t have enough backstop. Fortunately, the government stepped in here, at least in the U.S., but then that money ran out and businesses started failing.
I spent a lot of time in Austria in a resort area and when the tourists aren’t allowed to come, life is hard. In Austria, they pay 51% to 55% tax. Their taxes are high and therefore, when things get thin, they have a cushion because they’re getting money from the government. That’s why they pay those high taxes. They have a safety net, which America is not so great at, has not done that so well.
Although we had some emergency legislation in 2020 and it looks like we’ll have some more emergency legislation coming through here that will hopefully prop up some of those in the greatest need.
Let me ask you again because this also works for families. If you have a salary but if you’re spending your whole paycheck or more, it’s the same principle. You were talking a little bit about finding more untapped revenue. Some of it is, “I have to get more clients,” but it’s not that. It’s not that simple. What are other ways we could find untapped revenue?
I think there are a number of things. If we start at the back end with the P&L, the profit and loss statement, the easiest way to wind up with more money in your pocket is to cut expenses. I ask the readers, “How long has it been since you’ve looked at your credit card statement to look at every line? How many of those line items are absolutely required to generate business? Are there things in there with cheaper alternatives? Finally, what are those things that are completely unnecessary?
What’s that system that you signed up for six months ago that you actually haven’t touched but you’re still paying $30, $50 or $100 a month for?” I worked with one small business owner who was paying $400 a month for a 401(k) system for her two employees. Nobody was using it. Unfortunately, there was a huge disentanglement charge but that was only 3 or 4 months of the cost. It was still worth it to pull out of that. Looking at those things and every penny that you save off of your expenses dropped straight to the bottom line.
Reminds me of a friend of mine who opened up an office. She was so excited and she had ordered this big fancy sign for office but her business was online only. Customers never came to her office. Almost everything she did was online. She didn’t need it. She said, “This is so cool.” She knew someone else who did have customers walking in the door. She thought what they had done was cool and so she invested all this money in an office that she didn’t need. This was even pre-COVID. This was pre-pandemic and then realized, “I could have saved that money.” Of course, you don’t realize it until after you spent it. Is this part of what you mean by being business growth strategies?
There’s the strategy to grow and it’s growing your pipeline. It is growing your leads. We have a number of methodologies to improve the incoming number of folks into your pipeline. We look at the conversion rate. Are you attracting the right kinds of prospects? Are they people that you have a chance? If you get 100 leads and only convert 1% or 2% of them, you’d be much better off with a system that gets you 10 leads but you convert 5 of them. Are you getting the right kinds of leads?
Are you advertising the places that your clients are instead of where you think where they’re not basically?
Are you attracting the right kind of people with your marketing message? Are you entering into the conversation that’s going on in the head of your prospects? Are you interrupting that conversation? Are you sending them useful materials when they’re actually ready to buy? Statistics show us that 1% of people that go to a website, they go to a landing page. They are ready to buy right now. The other 99%, you want to capture their information and then provide them with education that as they move from future buyer to now buyer. When they’re ready to make that vendor selection, when they’re saying, “I’m ready to buy now. I’m ready to buy this solution,” that naturally, you’re top of mind. They do a drip campaign, a client nurture campaign. There’s a variety of ways of making sure that you stay top of mind with your prospects, the people that are along the buyer’s journey.
Of all the various things that you talk about, that you help people with, where could somebody start? Is there a most important thing?
Yes. The most important thing is to make sure that you understand what makes your business unique and how is it that you service your clients. What makes an ideal client for you and how do you service them in a way that’s different from your competition? We’re working with a carpet cleaner. That’s a difficult business to differentiate but there are a couple of things that he does that differentiate him from his competition. He likes to stress the fact that he’s a second-generation carpet cleaner. His dad was in the business. He knows a lot about how to clean carpets and what’s the right way to attack the different kinds of material. That’s very important but a lot of people can say it.
What he does is he takes such care of the home that he goes into. He takes care of it as if it was his own. He put some little corner strips to make sure that his equipment never bangs the corner and chips it. He’s very careful. He has a methodology too. He uses less water. Particularly if you have kids, you don’t want to have to say, “Kids, you can’t go on the carpet for 24 hours.” It dries in a couple of hours. There are things that are a little bit different and helping. He’s got a UV light that he uses to find urine spots from pets. That’s a big problem. Often he says, “I find it in places that the homeowners didn’t think that there was any problem.” “The pet never goes in. How did that happen?” The key thing here is you don’t want to come up with one or two things. I always work with my clients to find three things that make them unique because you may share one or maybe even two with somebody, but you’re never going to share all three.
Steve Kirch, it’s wonderful. I will say, as someone who works with Steve, that going through the process of finding out where you’re doing okay and where, “I haven’t even thought of that,” is very interesting and exciting. With me, he came up with a potential $133,000 in extra revenue. That means me implementing everything, which is where I then lean on Steve as a productivity coach. It’s a fascinating thing. As a coach, I truly think of myself as a small business, which I don’t know if I did before. That’s also exciting. If you are a founder running a small business or curious of how even your home as a business and your personal expenses could get better, then I highly recommend reaching out to Dr. Steven Kirch. Steve, what’s the first thing that people should do to find you?
I think the easiest thing to do is to go to the website, ProfitMinds.net and download the free book. There’s an eBook that outlined some of the strategies that we use. I would start there. You can also reach out to me from there and make an appointment.
Thank you so much, Steven Kirch. Before we go, don’t forget that if you’re interested in how your presentation skills are helping you, then you could go to my free four-minute quiz, SpeakForResultsQuiz.com. It only takes about four minutes. That’s where you can see where your presentation skills are doing well and where a little support might be able to get you the recognition and the results that you want. Thank you so much for joining me. Thank you, Steven Kirch, for being my guest. I will see you on the next one.
- Steve Kirch
- How to Be an Antiracist
As your business grows, eventually you’ll want to start building a team. Having people in your corner means you don’t have to be the expert at everything, and you can spend more energy on the tasks and projects that truly require you to do them.
But there’s often a fuzzy gray area between recognizing that you could use extra help and actually having the resources to hire that help. Additionally, even established businesses can benefit from reducing their costs—and hiring a team can quickly become a major expense.
This is where I like to consider using an “internship” strategy.
Instead of hiring new personnel as you grow, consider offering an internship. Go to your local junior college, college, or university and offer an internship for the semester—or the year—to those seeking degrees or experience in a similar field or area of expertise as needed for your business.
But how do you know if offering an internship is the right approach?
Here are my top five reasons hiring an intern is a great move for the growing small business.
1. Internships can help cut down on labor costs
Labor costs make up a huge expense for any small business. Salary, benefits, social security taxes, unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, and other costs really add up.
And yet, what can you do? You must have the labor you need to operate your business, especially as your business grows.
Hiring an intern can help cut down on labor costs in a couple of ways. First, student interns are more likely to work part-time, since they usually have classes to attend in addition to the internship.
Second, their lack of experience means they can start at a lower salary than other prospective employees, and they don’t need a huge benefits package to make the job appealing. This is in part because most of the benefit for interns comes from the experience, which brings us to reason number two:
2. You are helping students gain real-world experience which makes them more competitive in the job market
Schools love it when a business offers internships because internships act as a value-add to their educational offerings by providing their students with real-world experience. Some schools even offer course credit for internships as an extra incentive. Many schools have a job placement office that will be happy to help you find the right candidate.
And the students love them, too!
Not only does an internship put some money in their pocket, but it also gives them practical, hands-on experience in their field.
This experience looks great on their resume. It gives them a jumpstart on their peers when they graduate, especially if the company providing the internship hires them upon graduation.
And given the state of the economy and the sparseness of the current job market, any competitive edge is a big deal.
3. Administrative help allows you to focus on the important things
Every business could use additional administrative help.
Offering an internship to a student majoring in business administration not only helps the student gain hands-on work experience, but this can also be a low-cost way to take some of the administrative tasks off your plate.
What could you get done in your business if you could pass off your admin tasks to someone who is actually interested in business administration?
Spending less time fretting over administrative details and more time working in your zone of genius can have major ripple effects that spread through your entire business.
4. Student interns are dedicated and enthusiastic
Just because interns work part-time, have less experience, or accept a lower starting pay doesn’t mean their work will be subpar.
Far from it: Interns are enthusiastic and eager to learn, and they’re highly motivated to produce quality work.
This is especially true if there is a possibility of being hired full-time after graduation, but even the promise of adding your glowing recommendation to their job materials can be an excellent motivator.
And since interns’ goals are often centered on learning how to work in a particular field, they tend to be especially open to critique and have a genuine desire to improve. Sometimes they even possess skills or a perspective that older, more experienced workers may not—consider their skill with social media or reaching that younger demographic.
5. Interns can fill the gaps as you grow
If you’re a micro-business or solopreneur, you probably don’t need a full-time employee. But as your business continues to grow, you may find having extra help to be a huge asset.
In this way, hiring an intern part-time can be a gap fill until your business grows enough that you need full-time help.
And by the time you’re ready for a full-time employee, then perhaps this intern will have graduated and will be ready for a full-time job—and they’ll already be trained and familiar with your processes. It’s a win-win!
Is offering an internship right for you?
Internships could potentially save small-business owners thousands of dollars each year, but as we’ve seen, that’s not the only reason to hire an intern.
Internships can provide enthusiastic help for the tasks you don’t need to do yourself, and can be an excellent stepping stone as your business continues to grow.
To decide if an internship approach is right for you, take a look at the administrative tasks you wish you didn’t have to do.
- What would you pay a full-time professional or contract worker to do them?
- Could an intern handle these tasks, or do they require professional expertise?
- What would you pay an intern? How much would that save you?
- What would it cost (in additional time or money) to train the intern as compared to a more seasoned worker in the areas where they lack experience? Would your hiring savings outweigh these costs?
- Could the intern bring some additional skills or perspective that you don’t need to train (and maybe can’t)?
And perhaps even more importantly:
- What would you focus on if you didn’t have to do those tasks?
- How would the time you spend on your business look different?
- What could you accomplish in a year by focusing on the aspects of your business that sit firmly in your zone of genius?
If you’d like to dig deeper on this and other strategies for increasing your profits, grab your free copy of my e-book, Mind Your Profits, at www.profitminds.net.