Amid the current COVID recession, we are all hoping the economy does more of “V Curve” rather than a “Nike Swoosh.” The V-Curve would be a quick bounce-back of the economy at previous levels. The “Nike Swoosh” is more of a slow incline that takes longer to recover. We certainly cannot control the economy in total, but we can manage our own business. As I meet with clients, we discuss ways to pivot and grow even amid economic headwinds.
I have thought of nine ways to V-curve your business. We will discuss three of them here.
1. Revisit Your Vision
I know there have been times over the last few months that I felt almost burnt out. It seemed like the pipeline was drying up, and my current clients were in a continual mode of forecasting the revenue and profit downward. Recently Michael Hyatt came out with a book, The Vision Driven Leader. This book discusses the concept of creating a Vision Script written in the future of the way you want things to be. Now, I don’t believe everything we write down in our vision will happen exactly this way, but it helps with focus on where your organization needs to go. The book discusses a specific vision for the Team, Products, Sales & Marketing, and Impact.
There is a “Vision Scripter” exercise that leads you through a list of questions that helps you write your vision script. I went through this exercise, and it did start to rekindle some excitement. I also realized that I was spending too much time in areas that were not essential to my vision right now. Have you written a vision script? If not, check out this book and write one. If you have one, it won’t hurt to revisit this with your team and make adjustments. There is nothing wrong with making adjustments. I would say most likely due to the tsunami of changes in this world over the last few months, you may have to tweak some of the vision. At least you may answer some of the questions in the Vision Scripter differently.
2. Lead Generation Strategy
With all my clients, we discuss lead generation strategy. I strongly believe in a consistent method for generating leads. Many businesses had their sales and marketing strategy turned upside down. What are you going to do now? Have you tried new tactics such as webinars, Zoom pitches, or online marketing, and it has not worked? What do you do? I am certainly not a marketing guru, but I do know that you have to pivot and reinvest to generate new leads continually. There should be a funnel of contacts. Here are some thoughts.
- Make sure you have a proper Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for capturing all contacts and leads. I have recently switched to HubSpot, which is a powerful option. Salesforce and Zoho are also good.
- Have a website that is clear what prospects need to do, such as a good call to action. Provide quality information that will bring them back. Try to capture their information so you can reach out.
- Have a content marketing strategy that adds value to your prospects and leads them to your website. I am a fan of content marketing, as I have been sending out newsletters for years. Many ideas can bring people to your site and add to your contact list. Develop an assessment, a white paper, free course, or even templates or checklists that people will desire in exchange for an email.
- Invest in marketing on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or wherever people might be online. Of course, there are more traditional methods such as direct mail, radio, and TV that still work for some companies.
I am sure there is much more that I could write about lead generation. Once again, I am a financial person, so I am not a guru in lead generation. If you need help in this area, I certainly have contacts that are more specialized in this area. Just don’t stop spending and investing time and energy in this strategy. People right now want to hear a message of Trust, Security, and Helpfulness. For example, I want to help businesses and nonprofits survive and thrive in the economic challenges today by providing financial strategies to help navigate this storm.
3. Financial Rigor
Now, we are entering my specialty. So many small businesses do not have the financial rigor they need to get through this time successfully. What do a mean by financial rigor?
Do you have accurate financials updated each month?
Are you reviewing your Balance Sheet and Income Statement each month?
Do you have a forecast of how the rest of the year or at least how you think the next few months will go?
Have you gone through your expenses and pruned what you could?
Have you looked into the PPP or EIDL Loan opportunities the Small Business Administration has for you right now?
I would recommend that you get the help you need to understand your financials. Many businesses put financial rigor on the backburner, but this should not be the case. I firmly believe that the reason that only 4% of businesses last over five years is that they do not consistently look at the reports mentioned above. You can truly navigate the storm much better with these types of reports that give you an understanding of where you are today financially and an understanding of where you are headed. I recently started working with a client that did not look at these reports last year, and they acknowledge to overspending in many areas that significantly affected the profit, cash, and valuation of their company.
More to Come
As I mentioned above, I have only discussed the first three of the nine ways to V-curve your business. Maybe your business has not seen a drop, but these still work. You could propel yourself to growth not seen before. To get started, look to revisit your vision, pivot your lead generation strategy, and develop an attitude of financial rigor.