Remember the musical, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”? Ralph Macchio goes from the mailroom to the boardroom by not accomplishing anything in his career other than kissing up to the right people. But, for entrepreneurs, kissing up to the boss won’t help much! If you want to succeed without really trying when you’re running the show, you need to focus on these six things instead:
1. Retain and maintain customers.
How much money do you lose each month in customer churn? What about employee churn? This is a big issue and a major reason businesses don’t scale. Check out the book “Stop Losing Customers’’ by Shaun Buck. A section dedicated to calculating churn discusses why it matters for your business and how you can save a massive amount of money once you know the number and work to lower it.
2. Market to convert leads.
You need marketing that generates quality leads and a sales process that converts those leads to customers for your business. This is much easier said than done, and I get that. The fundamental items your business needs are:
- Lead generation of quality prospects
- A customer-relationship-management system that allows you to keep track of, nurture, and follow up with leads
- A sales process that includes long-term nurture and follow-up as well as the ability to close a deal
These are only the minimum requirements, so make sure you have them all.
3. Create systems and processes.
Businesses don’t scale when they don’t have any systems in place. “Ask the entrepreneur” is not a system, and if you have to do it all, your business will max out very quickly. If you are not a systems and processes person, hire one. A competent person in this position will be your right hand and help you scale.
4. Keep employees happy.
If your employees are happy, they will do a better job serving your customers. If your customers are happy because your employees are serving them well, then they will refer more, spend more, and stay with you longer. This will make you happy because you will turn a larger profit.
By contrast, it costs three times an employee’s monthly compensation to hire, onboard, and train their replacement — minimum. Few things hurt more than high turnover.
5. Play the long game.
Win wars, not battles. Sacrifice today for tomorrow. Don’t make emotional decisions in business. Build systems, track everything, and nurture relationships.
6. Be the CEO.
Invest in the skills required to become the leader you need today and, especially, tomorrow. Learn to delegate and let go of any role that “nobody can do as well as me,” because that’s how you become what’s holding your company back.
Once you become comfortable with these six fundamental areas, you’ll move your business and yourself in the right direction. Being great at the boring stuff wins business, and that’s how you can afford the life of your dreams.