Category: Education

Are you ready for the next phase of your business?

My business was running me.

If you’re anything like I was, your business is running you. The everyday struggles of a bakery employing 15 people and non-stop production almost killed me. I was beyond exhausted and wasn’t sure where to turn.

When I went searching for support, I was overwhelmed by the amount of tactical “solutions” recommended to get my business to the next phase. It seemed like everything was surface-level. I didn’t want the latest marketing trend, a social media calendar, or prompts for content, or dead-end financial management support.

I say this often, “You don’t know what you don’t know until you know what you didn’t know.” I know now that I needed someone outside my business to help me see beyond the day-to-day. A person with the financial know-how to examine and question current systems — someone that could get us beyond what I already knew. 

Does this resonate with you? Maybe you feel stuck and aren’t sure how to get to the next level. Or your business is growing but relies on you 24/7, and you don’t know how much longer you can take it.

Download my Profit Jolt book and we’ll also share a link to an email training series on how to build a profitable business. We’ll get you off the “hamster wheel” so your passion can fuel the world.

Let’s take care of you and your business.

Hiring – shift from filling a job to growing with a person

Like many, my first jobs were in the restaurant industry. Over time, I went from fast food worker to hostess, then to server and bartender. I rarely held a job longer than one year until I was 23 years old. 

This being my background — at my core — I know why employee development is not a top priority for owners or managers in high-turnover, entry-level jobs.

In 2012, when I launched my bakery  I was determined to have a food business that centered around people’s growth. I knew my employees wouldn’t be with me forever, but while they were, I wanted them to feel valued and heard, to have a sense of purpose. My bakery was just one step in their life-long adventure. I sincerely wanted my employees to grow up and out of my business and into higher-paying jobs.

My rationale was that if I created an ecosystem that values people, they would help my business both in the short and long term. Let me provide a few examples of how:

  • valued employees give better customer service thus they affect your conversion rate and number of transactions
  • positive morale increases productivity
  • turnover negatively affects your profitability
  • post-employment you have a loyal customer
  • post-employment you have a trusted referral source

At the base of growing this people-forward work environment was CliftonStrengths (previously StrengthsFinder). A friend of mine introduced me to CliftonStrengths and since then, I’ve spent more time working on what I love and more time hiring people to work in areas I don’t love. 

I grew my team from one employee to 15 and the fundamental reason why I implemented this in my business was to have a common language for us all.  Here’s a sample of what I gained from implementing CliftonStrengths in a bakery setting:

  • A common language to talk about strengths/blind spots (weaknesses).
  • A deep understanding of my own talents and how to leverage the talents of my team to minimize my blind spots.
  • A focus on coaching the employee on how their talents fit into their job and how to leverage the talents of the team to support their blind spots.
  • Knowing how to thoughtfully reward an individual for their work.
  • Developing a growth-focused relationship with employees.
  • Lower turnover rate even in a high-turnover industry.

And believe it or not, there’s much more!

From there, we can create a process around employee onboarding and check-ins that support employee development professionally and personally. All these systems save you money, increase your business’s capacity for growth, and will set-up your company as the desired place to work in your industry.

This all starts with you. Let’s dig in!

Educate your customers

You may be thinking to yourself, “Educate them about what?”

Entrepreneur and documentary filmmaker, Jia Wertz, says it better than I ever could in the opening sentence of her Forbes article, “Majority of customers visit your website or your brick-and-mortar only one time. Think about that.”

She goes on to explain that we’re spending all that money to get people in and we get one shot. Consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but I encourage you to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. I know it feels like a no-brainer but so few businesses create a system to bring back people who already know you and have bought from you.

Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality, and branding position.

Here are key elements to use to retain your current customers:

  • Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in-person, and by carrier pigeon if you have must (lol)!
  • Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. They need to feel supported for what they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a ‘Thank You’ note with your contact or customer service information can go a long way in retaining a great customer.
  • Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  • Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity, and honesty go a long way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling with substandard product out there, and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you. That makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:

  1. Quality product/service
  2. Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
  3. Offer content your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.

Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside.

Legendary business strategist, Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every way possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

Remember, you can access free support by signing up for our training videos. The videos can help you harness techniques to educate your customers and watch their lifetime value go up and your revenues pay off many-fold.