Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Successful Business Growth in 3 Easy Steps

Successful Business Growth in 3 Easy Steps
One of the many issues business owners face is 'bright shiny object' syndrome, which leads to overwhelm, and then frustration because their business isn't growing in the way that they hoped it would. A typical scenario I come across (in fact I've had several conversations with business owners about this) is that they are juggling getting their newsletter up and running; posting to their blog; creating products to sell via their website; and launch a membership program - all in addition to getting more clients. Do you see how it all becomes too much?
The solution to these problems is to know exactly where you are in your business - i.e. at which stage in the business growth process are you. Because, depending on which business growth stage you're at, will determine where you need to focus your time. You'll know exactly what to do first, what to do second, what to do third etc. No more following that bright shiny object!
Having been running my own online solo service business since November 2001, and working with many clients over the years (from start-up businesses to multiple six and seven-figure businesses), I have discovered that there is a very specific 3-step process to running a successful, long-term business.
I refer to these three steps at the 3 "Ms" to Online Business Management Success; and let me share that process with you here today:
Step 1: Manage
This is the foundational piece of your business growth and covers your core office organization systems: 
·         Filing Management
·         Contact Management
·         Financial Management
Once you have all these key systems in place you're then ready for the next step in your business growth.
Step 2: Market
This is where you create visibility so that clients are drawn to you. You need to let your target market know about your business through creating a customized and automated online marketing system - and you'll also want to include some offline marketing activities in this stage too.
Once your business has got to the stage where you are drawing potential clients into your business daily, and you've reached the bursting point in working one-on-one with your clients, then you're ready to move into increasing profits and leveraging your time.
Step 3: Multiple Streams
The third, and final stage, in your business growth is where you repackage your expertise into various products and programs to leverage your time and increase profits. You're not ready for this stage until you have the first two steps all in place. It's no good creating information products if you don't have anyone to market those products to. So before you rush out and create products ensure that you have a database of potential clients and customer who are ready and willing to buy your products.
To create a successful (read: profitable) long-term business you need to follow a plan. Follow the three steps I've shared with you here and you will not be tempted to go after the next 'big idea'; instead you'll know exactly what to focus on, when to focus on it, and what to do next.
(c) 2011 Tracey Lawton
Online Business Development Strategist, Tracey Lawton, teaches online solo service professionals how to create the essential online marketing and office organization systems needed so that they can create a more streamlined, systemized, and automated online business. Check out http://www.officeorganizationsuccess.com for fr.ee how-to articles, resources, tips, and tools, and sign up for your fr.ee "Office Organization Success Toolkit".