If your business isn’t growing the way you’d like, I have good news and bad news.
The bad news is: there’s not a quick fix that’s going to change that. A simple tweak, a new tool, social media, etc., are not going to immediately transform the business.
The good news is: Once you get your strategy aligned, you can apply specific tactics and get 2x, 5x or even 10x your output!
The problem most businesses have is they focus on the tactics and keep getting distracted with new ideas. “Let’s try this.” “Now, let’s try this.” And they never commit and follow through and therefore don’t get results. It happens over and over and over again. Companies go too far without a committed and focused plan that they’re so far behind that it creates a sense of desperation for short-term results.
The “tough love” side of me says, “well, chalk it up to an investment, put it behind you and reset your mind by removing the feeling of desperation for short-term results so that you can stick to a plan.
The key is to develop a strategy, build a plan and follow through and execute that plan with enough time to see it through.
At Kahuna, we have a proven S-U-R-F Strategy for working on any situation.
S – Survey
U – Understand
R – Respond
F – Focus
This S-U-R-F process can be used to evaluate anything and the point is to get crystal clear on where you are now, and where you’re trying to go.
Here’s the key point:
Most of the times in order for our business to grow, we need to get out of our own head and out of our own way!
In this guide, we’ll go through five strategies that we’ve used at Kahuna Accelerator to think more strategically. When you can clearly focus on these, the tactics become easy.
Let’s do it!
1. Know Your Ideal Client
Many times when we’re having a hard time getting traction it’s because we’re only thinking about ourselves!
In order to grow a business, you need to get crystal clear on who you serve and why they care about you. You need to be communicating directly to the pain of your potential clients and how you can help solve the pain.
Do a quick review of your website and marketing material. Who is it speaking to and about? Is it all about you? If so, you may be off track.
Additionally, when you are unclear on who you are speaking to, your message will not connect and will miss the mark.
S-U-R-F Action Step:
Fill out this Avatar Worksheet to make sure you are clear on who you are serving
2. Know What Victory Looks Like for that Client
“Customer Success” is becoming a buzzwordy phrase in the business world, but that doesn’t diminish its value.
The goal in a business is not just to get sales and business, it’s to serve others and provide them with an amazing experience.
If the business is not delivering value, it won’t last long.
Because of this, our overarching mission statement at Kahuna Business Group is:
“We achieve our victories through the victories of those we serve!”
Too often when we drown in tactics, we are forgetting the client experience and how to make sure they get exactly what they need, when they need it.
The best resource in this department is Lincoln Murphy. Here is a link to an interview our own Micky Deming did with him last year.
If you have time, the interview is great. But if not, the summary of what Lincoln teaches is that all marketing is driven by the success of the customer. Our job as entrepreneurs is to architect the perfect experience for our potential clients.
All the way from the first time they interact with us through the point where they’re a raving fan.
S-U-R-F Action Step:
Once you’re clear on who your ideal client avatar is: Write down on paper exactly what experience you want them to have. What can you provide for them better than anyone else?
3. Metrics and Numbers
Ok, full disclosure we’ve spent the last three years building an accounting business so maybe we have learned to have a bias toward numbers.
That said, we’ve worked with 250+ businesses in growing Kahuna Accounting, and it’s amazing how many entrepreneurs are out of touch with their numbers.
In this guide, I won’t get into accounting, but actually the marketing metrics to hit your goal.
Knowing your numbers is a key to being strategic because it allows you to see your business from a 10,000 foot view. If you have goals, you can break those goals down into a specific measurable number of steps to know what you need to do to hit the goals.
Here is a real world example of what we have done at Kahuna Accounting.
At Kahuna Accounting we provide financial services and charge a monthly flat rate for those services.
So let’s say we have a goal to end the next 90 days with $40,000 in new monthly recurring revenue (MRR).
Here are the numbers we know:
Typical average client = $750/month
Average close rate after initial appointment = 33%
So if our goal is to add $40,000 in MRR at an average of $750/month, then we need to add 53 clients in the next 90 days to hit our goal. (53 x $750 = $40,000)
And if we’re closing 33% of our appointments, then we know if we can get 160 appointments in the next 90 days, then we should hit our goal. (160 x 33% = 53)
So now, we’ve very much clarified our vision. Instead of drowning in all of these ideas, we know that our #1 mission right now is to find a way to generate 160 appointments.
That’s it! Everything we do is aligned toward that one simple goal.
Then, you take it one step further, and calculate a Cost Per Acquisition. This is different for every business and completely depends on cash flow and the business model. But let’s say at Kahuna Accounting, we have a cost per acquisition of $500 per new client (This cost will be covered in their setup fee). Then we can budget $500 CAC x 53 clients = $26,500 for marketing/advertising costs.
We could use that budget to go to trade shows, work with a sponsor or spend it all on Facebook ads. Whatever we choose, we know the goal is to drive appointments, and if we’re executing our plan properly, that $26,500 will turn into about $53,000 up front from setup fees and $40,000 in monthly recurring revenue, which is $480,000 over a year!
See, numbers can be kind of cool!
S-U-R-F Action Step:
Outline the sales funnel in your business
What’s the conversion rate to get to an appointment
What’s the close rate (either on sales pages or calls)
What’s your average size of sale
Align your goals to real numbers to get results.
4. 90-Day Execution Plans
Another way entrepreneurs struggle strategically is by operating on a never ending calendar that just keeps moving. Or on the flip side, we will have whole new goals every week and spring toward those goals, only to start over again the next week.
At Kahuna, we recommend breaking your time into 90-day plans.
Every 90 days you should take a full day to get offsite and clarify your vision and goals. Identify your top three goals for the next 90 days, and set out a plan to get there.
Then as you move forward in the day-to-day you’ll know what to prioritize because you’ve already taken the time to set your vision.
This is not only good for following through on plans, but also provides a natural rhythm that helps you as the entrepreneur to make time to see the forest for the trees.
That’s why we recommend going off site, so you get a pattern-interrupt and a change from your normal routine.
These resets can align your focus and you’ll be ready to dominate over the next 90 days.
S-U-R-F Action Plan:
Implement a 90-day Execution Plan immediately. Plan on getting off site to clarify your vision and goals and set a course for the next 90 days.
5. Take Action
Thinking strategically is not in opposition to taking bold, massive action. In fact, being strategic and going through a S-U-R-F strategy process should give you the path to move forward aggressively.
Action is the best way to develop strategy. When you have a plan, it’s not going to work the way you expect. But when you take action, you get feedback. Then you Survey, Understand, Respond, Focus and continue moving forward.
When you have no strategy and are drowning in tactics, you stifle your action because you are thinking too much.
It seems kind of backwards, but zooming out and getting a 10,000 foot strategic view of your business, actually will help you take more aggressive action because you’ll know where you are going.
S-U-R-F Action Step: Go through steps 1-4 and with your 90 day action plan, get to work. Make things happen. Learn. Adjust. Repeat.
Stop waiting. Set your plan, and let’s go!