What’s the one thing every entrepreneur is after?
But business development is the single most challenging obstacle your company will face. And unfortunately, this challenge is persistent—and it only gets worse the longer you’ve been in business. According to Forbes, after the first-year mark, only 45.4% to 51% of businesses eclipse the 5-year mark.
Past that, only one and three companies are lucky enough to last a decade in their respective industries. You yourself probably know a fellow entrepreneur that has tried and failed.
So what separates the companies that have failed from the companies that are consistently thriving? Is it marketing? Branding? Superb systems and processes?
There is a common denominator that puts these companies above the rest. There are certain things you can implement in your business to ensure that it has every opportunity to be successful, certain pieces of a foundation you need so your business can grow into a healthy brand and generate a consistent profit.
The best of the best companies have four elements, and you can bet that the hundreds of thousands of companies that have failed are missing these pillars for a strong business foundation.
What are these elements, and how can you apply them to your business? Keep reading to learn the four essential pillars every small business should have to ignite their business growth.
1. Clear Messaging
This is number one on the list because it is the most basic level of what your business should execute. How is a customer going to buy your product or service when they don’t understand what it is?
If you can’t clearly communicate what your company does through your website, marketing, advertisements, and sales conversations, then you are going to have a difficult time generating sales. It’s that simple.
We hear about the importance of clear communication repeatedly. It’s a simple concept, but many businesses miss the mark. Have you ever seen a commercial for a product and, by the end of it, still had no idea what the product actually does? Chances are you didn’t buy it.
If you cannot clearly communicate the perfect solution to the problem that potential buyers came to you for, then you have lost out on that customer. Thousands of businesses are vouching for that buyer’s attention. Having the right clear message connects with the customer, and that’s how the outlier companies separate themselves in saturated markets.
The clear message helps them see that you understand their pain points exactly, and you have the right solution for them. That’s what customers are looking for when they come to you.
A clear message is a fundamental necessity for your business, and why we utilize Donald Miller’s StoryBrand Methodology in all of our QuickStarts. The beauty of StoryBrand is in its 7 point framework that creates a concise message that resonates with customers.
In fact, several of our clients have directly benefited from implementing StoryBrand. (Check out our StoryBrand Case Study and see for yourself how much of a difference it can make.)
One of the most difficult things to do is to get your companies messaging right. Just remember, you can have the best product or service, but if you fail to explain how it is the best solution to their problem, potential customers won’t care.
2. Marketing Automation Technology
The second piece your business needs to have is a centralized, automated system for both sales and marketing (we’ll touch on the sales portion later).
Customers have an expectation that your business will run as smoothly as big brands do. But, as a small business, you are probably faced with finite resources.
Maybe finances won’t allow you to hire new employees. Maybe you’re a one man show and don’t have time for marketing and producing content on a regular basis. Maybe your staff is too overwhelmed to take on more work.
So how are you going to generate leads and give off the impression of being bigger than you really are?
You take advantage of marketing automation technology. This technology works as a force multiplier. While you have less, it does more for you, so you can attack your most important business issues.
Once the system is set, the automation takes over and grabs leads for you, helping to eliminate the worry of constantly trying to do marketing while there you have a million other things on your plate. You don’t even have to lift a finger. It’s like hiring a sales team to generate dozens of qualified leads; except this sales team works 24/7.
HubSpot is one of the best marketing automation technology platforms in the world (and not just because we use it). It is a robust marketing automation platform that includes a content management system, sales enablement technology, and comprehensive analytic software. You can also stack other pieces of technology that fit your needs to it as well.
There are other marketing automation tools you can use. You don’t have to have HubSpot to enjoy the perks of non-stop lead generation. As long as you have a system in place, you’ll be able to clarify your processes and grow your business.
3. Think In Terms of Strategic Marketing Campaigns
Marketing campaigns are important.
If you don’t think they are, scroll through your social media or turn on your TV. Everywhere you look, you’ll see all the big players running their variations of marketing campaigns.
The end goal of a marketing campaign is to nurture leads into customers. But first, you must offer something of value to your potential buyers. You can do this in several ways, but the most effective include:
- Providing valuable free content
- Building relationships through ongoing conversations
- Addressing specific pain points to nurture leads into customers
Just because you have a product or service on the market does not mean people will buy it. But, by providing a continuous stream of valuable content, you build relationships and gain trust. And in exchange for that valuable content, you collect the potential buyers contact information—the gold of your marketing efforts.
When a potential buyer gives you their information, they are telling you that they trust you enough to continue to build a relationship with them. From there, you can nurture that lead into a customer, and that’s where your hard work really pays off.
4. Sales Enablement
We’ve talked about marketing automation. Now, it’s time to dig into the next crucial piece of a growth-driven business: sales enablement.
Sales enablement technology will automatically sort leads, assign tasks, and send targeted sales email sequences to give customers that last push they need to purchase your product or service. It’s the most forgotten piece of a successful marketing strategy, often because marketing and sales are mistakenly viewed as independent entities.
This mindset isn’t just wrong. It’s deadly. Let me explain…
If you just have a strong marketing campaign, you’ll end up with a pool of leads. But you won’t have any way to convert those leads into customers. They’ll just sit there, gathering dust, and you’ll blame the marketing for not showing results.
If you just have a strong sales strategy, you’ll be able to close deals. But you won’t have enough leads to keep the business afloat. You might squeeze by for a few years. Eventually, though, competitors with stronger marketing campaigns will steal your customers, and you’ll have to close your doors.
Sales enablement helps support your marketing campaigns, utilizing various automated sales tools to nurture leads into customers after they have been identified as a sales qualified lead. It does this via the CRM.
The CRM connects your sales and marketing efforts and hosts all of your information. It stores leads, organizes team and customer communication, manages deals, provides detailed reporting, and even includes forecasting. All of which is vital for your business to operate with daily efficiency.
We have personally seen great success with HubSpot’s CRM and strongly recommend it to any small businesses who want to see real results from their marketing. There are many other CRM tools out there, however. Try them out and find the one that works best for your business.
Launch Your Business To New Heights With These 4 Strategies
As a business owner, you want your company to thrive. You want to sell more, move to a bigger building, and maybe even open up more offices someday. But you can’t do any of that without a strong foundation built upon these four pillars.
When you have a clear and concise message that connects with customers, they’re more likely to buy from you. Exploit marketing and sales enablement technology, and tie them to a system with a CRM. Keep all of your communication marketing and sales efforts in a centralized place, and back up your targeted marketing campaigns with sales sequences.
This system may seem overwhelming at first. You’ll need to create a strategy to ensure you execute each step properly. But the good news is these foundational pieces of successful marketing allow your business to scale. Once you add new talent, you can quickly teach them how to use the system. Your deals will be more targeted and easier to close. And you’ll have the resources in place to automatically nurture leads, so even if you’re too busy to create a new campaign, your system will still bring you results.
Every business needs a foundation. Make sure you are setting your business up on one that will flourish for years to come.
Need help building your business growth machine? Schedule a strategy session! We’ll review your current operations and provide you with actionable next steps so you can take your business to the next level. Even if you decide ROI Online isn’t a good fit for you, you’ll still receive value from the call.