Keep it Simple, Sweetie!

One of the things I see with entrepreneurs in the second and third years of their business is a tendency to overcomplicate things.

If you have made it through your first year or two then something is working. Congratulations! Really! Something like 20% of small businesses fail in the first year, and 50% within the first five years. Your products or services are resonating with your target audience often enough that they are keeping you in the black. And that’s when we tend to get cocky.

Before you fall into the rabbit hole of: “If THIS is working, how about this, and that, and more of that?” take a breath and think strategically. Different is not always better. If you want to grow your business, consider the following first:

Where is your revenue coming from? Do more of exactly that, but to a bigger audience. Increase your reach with affiliates, joint venture partners, collaborations of all kinds., online ads, or an increased marketing budget. Spend some energy exploring greater reach rather than something new.

Take a look at client retention. Are you losing more people than you’d like? Are credit card failures killing your profits? Are people signing up for a 3-month program and ditching early (and not paying in full)?

Are you building long-term loyalty? Are you returning to the people who have purchased your least expensive offer and invited them to your higher priced one with a specific value-add, or discount only for them? Focus on making your community feel more like a tribe and less like a number to gain repeat business.

If it’s working, just add on a bit. Add a new level of whatever you are already doing – create an advanced course, develop group coaching or design a Mastermind These offerings should be along the very same lines as your core service with value added for returning clientele.

If you are a local business or service provider – Is it possible to expand your geographic reach? Can you train others to do what you do and bring them under your umbrella? For example, if you have a dog walking service, can you bring established local independent contractor dog walkers into your biz, offering them the benefit of your marketing reach as you expand your terrain?

Value-add – VIP days add another level of service that is related to your current offer. Can you condense the best of what you are offering in a one-day format? These can be offered in person or virtually to also expand your reach geographically.

Add ONE new channel to increase reach. Start a podcast, write a book, create a membership site. Start with one. Get it humming and earning a steady stream of revenue before you branch out again.

Before you expand in any way, take a good hard look and assess whether your main revenue source is going to stand up to growth. Can you scale it? You may need to improve (or add) a dedicated customer service function, or a better onboarding process for new clients, or a stronger collections process. Put your energy here first before branching out.

Different and more is not the answer to growth. If something you are doing in your business is a top revenue stream, think more about how you can do more of THAT, rather than wasting energy creating new things.

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