Two Simple Keys to Opening Your Sales Funnel

Whether you’re a small business owner or a solopreneur, you’ve likely had some success in generating business–otherwise you wouldn’t be around!  But so many of the clients who come to us for help say they feel over-extended and exhausted.  They wanted to work for themselves so they could have more freedom, and instead they feel chained to their small business.  They have to get the client (sell) perform the service (operations), complete and invoice for the project, then go out and search for the next client, over and over again.  Instead of developing and implementing a brand marketing plan, they were in a rut of constantly rethinking their priorities and wondering if they are doing the right thing.

Sure, from the outside looking in, you, the busy business owner, certainly seem successful.  After all, you’ve got enough business to keep you on the go.  Usually, you can hold onto this business pace for at least two years, sometimes into three… if you have a lot of energy.  At some point, fatigue sets in, along with the realization that you have not taken a vacation in three years.  This so-called success is having a negative impact on both the business and the owner…

In the short-term, the fact that you have to wait and hope that work comes in—or go out and shake the bushes whenever your pipeline runs try is merely annoying and stressful.  When you lack peace of mind, you start to think you may have just traded a job you can actually leave for one that you can never leave. But longer term, staying in this “rut” will impact your business by preventing growth.  How do you get out of this never-ending cycle?

Two simple keys:

1. Get help.   This is a scary concept for most small business owners and solopreneurs, but I urge you to embrace the idea of delegation.  Ease your anxiety by starting small.  Hire a reliable part time assistant – either in-house or virtual – and start with 10 hours per week.  Take tasks such as managing your calendar and organizing emails off of your plate and give them to an assistant.  Continue to delegate more and more tasks to your assistant as both your budget  (and your assistant’s skill set) allows.

Even if you aren’t necessarily concerned about growing… maybe you’re making enough to get by.  A client of mine recently told me that when he was doing everything himself, his goal was not really to grow, but he DID want to take a vacation every once in a while!  Don’t you?  If you’re diligent when hiring, your assistant can make an enormous impact quickly—so you can focus on putting your valuable time toward actions that bring in more business…which brings me to the next key.

2. Develop a brand marketing plan. Your brand marketing plan, if created wisely and executed consistently, attracts potential clients to you—instead of you having to figure out how to get your next client when your current work runs dry.  Why do I say brand marketing plan?  Because a “branded” marketing plan is the single most important step towards gaining the maximum return of your marketing activities.  Many, many businesses fall into the trap of putting an advertisement here, a web promotion there, a direct mail campaign today, an email broadcast tomorrow, all developed for varying targets with little or no reference to a developing a consistent, compelling brand.  The results are disappointing at best.

If  you don’t have a brand marketing plan yet—or you’re flailing about trying to succinctly describe your offering—go to my website and download my video series  Six Ways to Increase Your Credibility: Secrets to Building a Trusted Brand that Attracts Profitable Customers.

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