Most markets are flooded. Competition is expanding by the day. There are three areas we must focus on in our small service-focused businesses. Social Media Funneling: determining what social media platforms, if any, you should engage with. Which ones are going to bring you an ROI (Return on your investment). Cash Flow Stabilizer: developing a monthly recurring revenue model for your business. Perpetual Referrals: Creating an actual referral system.
There are three key aspects that position you as "THE EXPERT" in your marketplace.
A necessary evil. We must engage with Social Media, but we must also get a return on our investment (ROI). It's a requirement! Pick your platforms, engage with customers and prospects.
Find, discover, and create a recurring revenue model for your business. It is my belief that there is a recurring revenue model sitting right under the owner's nose in every service-focused Small Biz.
The Ultimate Strategy. We all know referrals are the lifeblood of our business, but what are you actually doing to keep that life blood flowing? It's no longer enough to hope for referrals.
Below, you will find articles I will be publishing to help you determine the social media channels you should be using, how to develop a recurring revenue system in your business, and how to design and implement a referral system.
Secret No. 1: Social Media must produce an ROI for your business. Do not spend time building any channels which are not producing an ROI (return on investment) for your business.
Secret No. 2: You must choose the social media channels that are a good fit for your business and which you can find and target your best audience in order to attract the right followers. Who are the right followers? Buyers, plain and simple.
Secret No. 3: Engage, Educate, and Entertain your audience of perfect prospects once you find them. Consistency, consistency, consistency is key. This is the difficult piece, one in which I have also failed time and again. We get so busy wearing so many hats as owners of our businesses that we forget something as simple as being consistent in our communications. If you have the means, place a team member in charge of this, because consistency is the key. It's better to be consistent than to post with perfection.
At Perpetual Customer Growth, we developed what we call the I.R.G.
Secret No. 4: Establish a recurring revenue program in your business so that a big wad of cash automatically drops into your bank account on day No. 1 of each month. Imagine the feeling of having a whole bunch of money systematically appear in your account to take care of all those pesky little nuance bills and overhead. Imagine the comfort you would feel knowing a big portion of your bills was already taken care of on day No. 1 of each month. Imagine the reduction in stress instead of the addition of stress on day 1 or each month.
Secret No. 5: Every service based business has the ability to design a recurring revenue program. You may have to think outside the box a little. It's time to brainstorm. What services do you offer that your customers purchase repeatedly? That's your biggest clue to the recurring revenue program you should set up.
Example: You wouldn't think a wine shop could develop a recurring revenue program, but in fact most do have one, and you have probably heard of it. Most wine shops have a wine of the month club (prepay program). You can buy a bottle, several bottles, a case, or even multiple cases. You simply prepay
Secret No. 6: A recurring revenue program, although not typically taught, is the very lifeblood of your business. It's one of the top ways to increase the lifetime value of your customers and clients. Take a day to create. Brainstorm. Then implement a recurring revenue program. It doesn't have to be perfect on the first release. Design a good enough program, then improve it based on real feedback from your customers and clients.
Secret No. 7: Providing great service, then hoping for referrals is no longer a strategy that works well in 2020. I didn't say it doesn't work, you CAN get occasional business from it. However, the effectiveness, in this current year of 2020, has been greatly diminished. With so many options, so much competition, and so much information available at our fingertips on our phones, behind our laptops, in front of our desktops, we no longer simply go with referrals suggested by our friends and family.
In former days, our friends and family would give us referrals and we wouldn't even question it. Today, we jump on Google and FB to see what others are saying about the referral we just received. To make things more complicated, we have numerous people we trust in our lives and every single one of them may refer someone completely different to us, forcing us to take further action and narrow down our choices until we choose the best of the best.
Secret No. 8: What do we do? We establish a referral system in our business. We proactively hunt for referrals within our current and former (happy) customer/client base. We educate our customers and clients about how referrals sustain us and keep us in business, so that we can continue to take good care of them and their own needs.
Secret No. 9: Incentivize customers and clients for referrals. Set up a rewards system. Be creative, GO BIG! Enough with the $25 cash, or discounted service already. That's boring and overdone. Nobody cares anymore. Be creative, be memorable. Be so memorable and exciting that your customers and clients go tell all their friends and family members what you did for them. Make your referral program go viral, creating even more referrals.
Examples: Send a Man Crate. Give Amazon gift cards. Send a giant stuffed teddy bear (if the numbers allow for that). Send Chocolate covered strawberries. Send them to a dinner at a nice restaurant. Send them to a Bed n Breakfast for an overnight stay. Send them a gift card to a unique coffee shop, or a brand new restaurant that just opened up. Go have dinner with them. Make dinner for them. Buy them something practical like an oil change.
Here's an idea...go to all the local businesses in your community as ask them to contribute a coupon, gift card, etc to give to your customers/clients as a gift (you are helping them generate leads and potential new customers for their business...it's a win-win). These are some quick, off the top-of-mind examples to get you thinking and brainstorming even better ideas. Being creative is good here.
Have you thought these things out previously, or is this new territory for you? The Perpetual Customer Growth I.R.G.
The last three steps in the system are dedicated to sustaining your Service-Focused Small Business over a period of many years (I classify a Small Business as anything under $5 Mil in annual revenues).
Here is the Ultimate Magic Formula for Service-Focused Small Business Owners:
Social Media Funneling + Cash Flow Stabilizer + Perpetual Referrals =
Perpetual Customer Growth
Are you ready to discover the I.R.G.
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