Most business owners want to scale their company.
It’s just a matter of knowing where to begin.
While there are many approaches you can take to encourage growth, here’s the starting point you need to begin at.
The SWOT analysis.
This is an honest look at all aspects of your company; the process of assessing and understanding your
Once you’ve identified what you’re doing right, and what you need to work on, you’ll be able to fill and fix the gaps.
In turn, this will allow you to grow your company to the next level…and scale beyond that!
How to Scale Your Business
Bonus: At the end of this article we’ll show you how we added $110,000 in monthly revenue for a client by optimizing just one of his marketing channels
The Four Stages of Business Building
All companies follow four logical stages when it comes to business building and growth:
Stage 1: Startup
This is the most obvious stage. Startups vary in size and growth capacity, but they all go through a similar first stage.
Keep a close eye on expenditures and give your company time to stabilize itself and grow past this critical stage.
Stage 2: Bolt-Ons
Once you’ve established yourself, it’s time to start thinking about bolt-ons.
What are they?
Bolt-ons are business processes you put in place to help you move to the growth stage.
These are the three areas where all local service companies need bolt-ons:
- Financial Management
Stage 3: Growth Through Value Building
Your company messaging is key at this stage.
When value propositions are attractive and enticing, they help your company mature in value building.
New challenges and issues will come up as new opportunities rise. It’s important to remember that you’ll need to further optimize your business plan, hiring practices, and management techniques.
In order to successfully reach the growth stage you must implement the following systems and process:
- Predictable Growth Systems
- Predictable Hiring Systems
- Predictable Service Systems
Stage 4: The Exit
Like everything in life, the business building cycle has an end.
There are three options at this stage.
You can either:
- Sell 100% of your business
- Build a system that allows it to run on its own
- Sell a percentage less than 100% of your business and function in a different role
However, business lifespans vary immensely, so the exit stage can be postponed through strategic management.
This means that you’ll need to constantly plan, monitor, analyze, and assess your business needs in order to to keep moving forward.
How Important are Bolt-Ons?
Bolt-ons should be a major focus point for all local service companies.
Why? Because it sets the tone for the growth stage.
Take note: companies that reach the growth stage without the right bolt-on building blocks tend to be unpredictable and stressful to manage.
Bolt-ons work as predictable growth systems that allow you to identify future issues and opportunities; giving you the chance to make the right changes to achieve your goals.
1. Financial Management
Implementing financial bolt-ons allow you to price your products and services based on the value you provide, rather than copying what competitors are doing.
A strong financial management process also helps you figure out if you are a volume or niche service provider.
In addition, you will have a clear idea of how to manage collections through routine billing and transparent, easy-to-understand bookkeeping.
Your sales team (and your revenue) will benefit immensely from sales bolt-ons.
Because they will have laser-focused value propositions & you’ll love the results.
Business coming from leads and referrals will increase, closing ratios will improve, and job satisfaction will go up.
Lastly, marketing bolt-ons will work as the oil that keeps your business running smooth and growing.
Good marketing combined with a strong value proposition will help:
- Improve your margins
- Bring in healthier leads
- Increase good reviews
- Create quality referral opportunities
- Maintain higher conversion ratios
- Improve healthy growth predictability
A poor value proposition has catastrophic effects on your business.
It can lead to bad reviews, low-quality leads, negative margins, and a lack of referral opportunities.
However, don’t throw in the towel and stop marketing if you don’t have all the right elements in place.
Come up with a good plan to take care of the gaps in your business and give it a chance to flourish. Take a look at The Killer Marketing Plan Checklist for a free download on creating a marketing plan.
And have someone help you with this.
You’ll gain the benefit of a fresh perspective and their expertise.
The Impact of Marketing Bolt-Ons on Your Business
Applying the marketing bolt-on to your business has measurable benefits.
There are four major areas that are affected by marketing bolt-ons:
1. Lead Quality
Leads are the basis for all successful businesses, and the right marketing bolt-ons will attract quality rather than quantity.
Acquiring quality leads that are further into the sales funnel allows your sales team to invest their time more efficiently and yield better results.
2. Increased Lead Volume
Once you have addressed the quality issue, effective marketing bolt-ons also yield more leads.
The ratio of prospects that turn into leads will increase, giving your sales team the chance to close more deals and bring in more business.
3. Improved Closing Ratios
Once you have a high quantity of quality leads, your closing ratios should steadily improve, bringing in more customers.
The more deals your sales team closes, the more referral opportunities you will have, creating a self-sustaining sales cycle.
4. Changing Software Systems
Software systems used at the startup stage are not usually suitable across all stages of business growth.
Anticipate when your software systems will need upgrading and make sure what you put into place will adequately adapt to and satisfy your needs as you scale your business.
An Overview of Digital Marketing
2008 was the “it” year for digital marketing as there was a huge shift in online search habits.
Mobile searches now make up more than half of Google’s total search volume in the U.S. alone.
Which means more than half of your leads will be looking for you through their phones.
Also, thanks to improvements to platforms like Google Local and Yelp allowing leads to call from directories:
About 30-50% of Your Leads Will See Your Online Directories and Reviews…Without Ever Making it to Your Website.
Making Local SEO an even more powerful tool in your growth strategy.
1. Your Website
Your website is the most important digital salesperson, so make sure it’s optimized to help you achieve your goals.
Local service businesses should focus on having a simple, yet informative, a site with forms and contact details available every step of the way.
Your website should be user-friendly and easy to navigate. A good example of this is displayed with On the Go Moving & Storage case study.
Well organized website design and copywriting provides better user experience and will encourage visitors to contact your company about purchasing your services and products.
2. Online Directories
Your directories are second in importance as your digital salesperson, and reviews are vital to your business.
Not having them in online directories to show off your skills will cut your lead volume and closing ratios across your marketing channels.
Depending on the type of local service business you have the following are the top online directories.
- Angie’s List
- Home Advisor
3. Paid Search
We’ve found that a lot of local service business owners are skeptical about paid search advertising.
If handled correctly and managed closely, paid search can constitute up to half of your lead volume.
Usually, doubts about paid search come about from poor management or mismanagement of your campaigns.
Without proper management, paid search can lead to higher costs without results.
A well-managed campaign takes about 2 months to optimize and results in a better cost per lead and cost per sale.
4. SEO & Content
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of strategies that help improve search results for two areas.
Not just one.
- Your Local Business Directories
- Your Website
- These strategies include optimizing your website’s design, layout, and, of course, content.
Good SEO isn’t about just ranking keywords.
It’s about attracting quality leads and converting them to clients.
Since SEO does not involve paying for ads, it’s regarded as the most effective lead generation channel with the lowest cost per lead and cost per sale.
And this is true, most of the time.
The longer you focus on SEO, the more business you will get out of it.
So, it’s very similar to your referral channel in that sense.
We find that business owners usually overlook the power of one or two of these marketing components.
Usually, this is because of a negative impression of them or because they haven’t worked for them in the past.
This means you’ll be missing out on a large part of your market.
The $110,000 Story
One of our clients thought spending money on Yelp wasn’t worth it.
Their spend was only giving them about 8,000 impressions per month which translated into roughly 50 leads every month.
After a thorough analysis we found that the Yelp representative wasn’t seeing or communicating the opportunity adequately to them.
We analyzed the Yelp channel and changed the campaign by targeting different areas. This allowed them to decrease their budget and, at the same time, exponentially increase their views to a healthy 96,000 impressions every month.
This caused the lead volume from this channel to skyrocket.
Yelp went from producing 50 leads per month to producing 600.
This change to how Yelp was advertising generated an extra $110,000 in revenue each month.
This is just one of many cases where we have found that mismanagement of a paid marketing channel like Yelp has been the culprit for poor performance.
It’s also an example of a common marketing channel optimization problem we work through with clients.
Channel representatives mean well, but you have to deep dive into the data to find gold.
Are you ready to add an additional 2-7 Million in revenue to your business?
We’ll help you uncover it.
It all starts with an Opportunity Assessment, valued at over $2000, at no cost.
In this assessment you will learn (along with us):
- What revenue opportunities you may be missing in your digital marketing strategy
- What numbers are real or need to be fine-tuned in order to understand your true cost per lead, cost per sale, and other KPI’s
- What you’ll need to put in place to hit your growth goals over the next 12 months
- What software you should have in place to best hold your marketing spend accountable to sales
Reserve your assessment by clicking the link on the right > Opportunity Assessment