Is your business made out of gadgets, doo dads and wiz bangs? It’s common you know. You try and “fix” your business with a shiny new patch or a bolt on gadget. And some of them work… for a while anyhow. Then everyone starts using the same gimmicky gadget or doo dad and suddenly your gadget doesn’t seem to work as well. Sound familiar?
Now it might sound like I’m against these fad items but I’m really not. There’s really nothing wrong with bouncing from one profitable fad to the next as long as it keeps a positive cash flow coming in and as long as this fits your intended business model.
Specialty retailers thrive off of finding the next fad and then exploiting it for massive profits before the rest of the retailers discover the product and turn it into a commodity.
This can be a great business model as long as it’s really your business model.
The danger starts circling the raft when it’s not really your business model. When you really have a more traditional business model that you’re trying to improve, or fix, by adding these gadgets and doo dads.
And instead of working on a solid foundation and systems for your business, you’re suddenly watching your business whipsaw from one fad to the next in a desperate effort to find growth and stop the bleeding.
This isn’t just a small business affliction, or limited to the inexperienced; you see it with oldest big name conglomerates as well. They just happen to have much bigger gadgets and doo dads… commonly referred to as “mergers and acquisitions”.
First they buy a bunch of companies to “fix” their growth problem and then they “divest” these same companies to “focus on their core competencies” after they discover that the new gadgets didn’t really give them the benefit they had hoped for in the first place.
Of course, this is really just another way of saying they shouldn’t have wasted all that time and money on gadgets and they should have focused on the foundation of their business and the systems that make their company truly better than their competitors.
Small businesses make the same mistakes but they tend to do it with things more resembling gadgets.
For example, instead of focusing on their existing website, and split testing different pages and various offers, they’ll run out and buy the latest landing page generator that just launched. After all, the landing page founders swear it’ll improve their conversion rates by 28% or more and have even come up with some really creative new terms to brand their process.
Naturally a newly termed “lead magnet” product is going to work better than an old fashioned “low priced lead in offer” – right?
Or instead of simply adding and testing an upsell in their current sales flow, they try to hire a new “consulting” company to create an entirely new sales funnel. These companies usually spend far more money than they’re willing to spend to simply test an alternate of what they already have.
But guess what?
The only way that new sales funnel is actually going to improve your business is by going through the same split testing, measuring, modifying, and improving process that could have, and should have, been performed on the original sales funnel.
Now what I’m going to recommend is definitely not going to sound as fun or exciting as attending a webinar or hiring an outside team of “experts” and then reinventing your entire sales process. I know this… but I’ll do it anyhow.
Here is my 5 step process for improving your existing business:
- Start with fresh eyes – You need to get an unbiased third party to look at what you’re doing and have them tell you what they like and what they don’t like. I recommend hiring someone for this process versus counting on your mom, Uncle Bill, roommate, or friend. There are too many cheap sources for finding a person to do this for you so there’s no excuse not to do it (hint: Fiverr, Upwork, etc.)
- Test the process yourself – Go through your entire sales flow as a customer to see what you like and don’t like.
- Compare notes – Often, you already know what’s wrong but see if your ideas match up with the ideas from your 3rd party. If they do, then you’ve likely identified a major source of trouble.
- Ignore what both of you think – In the end, it’s still just an opinion. It’s probably a good starting point but trusting your opinion, or someone else’s opinion, is a good way to fail.
- Test and improve it – Then test it again, improve it again, and just keep going until you cannot seem to get any additional improvement.
Like I said, it’s not sexy, but it works.
If you really want to improve your business and systems, then you need to keep it simple, test it, ignore the fads, and build a strong foundation with systems that you own and processes that work for your business.
About The Author
To say I’m passionate about growing sales is a little like saying salmon like to swim up stream. Contact me if your business sales need a triple shot injection of extra strength 5-hour energy straight to the jugular.