6 Tips to Kick Start Your Revenue Growth
Originally published: 04.01.09 by Kim Marcille
Efforts of the Barack Obama administration aside, what is your plan to grow your own wealth? Whether you're a business owner or professional, the prospect of financial success might seem remote or even impossible. If the current economic crisis seems as if it's gone on forever and has you trembling, you could be hesitant to take risks. You need to know that hesitation will impact your financial performance. So before too much time slips away, here are some ideas to take yourself and your revenue-generation plan in hand and get the results you want.
1. Choose to be confident. How confident you are about your ability to bring your business plan to life will affect your ability to do so in many ways. One of the most likely ways, and one with which you're probably familiar, is procrastination. Piers Steel, Ph.D., of the University of Calgary conducted an in-depth analysis on the causes of procrastination. The No. 1 cause? Lack of confidence.
Harshly judging yourself or your results will make you less confident, and low confidence causes procrastination. You keep putting things off, so nothing gets done. Nothing gets done, and you feel badly about yourself. Applying that judgment causes more procrastination. A vicious circle ensues in which you long for results but never get them, while all along having exactly the skill set you need to create success.
As Steel says, "The old saying is true: Whether you believe you can or believe you can't, you're probably right." The good news is that low confidence is fixable by changing the way you measure your own performance. That's Tip #2.
2. Measure for guidance. Instead of using measurement to judge you or your business as a success or failure, use measurement to provide guidance for what you should do next. If you catch yourself wasting two hours in your inbox rather than on a core project you must get done, don't beat yourself up about it. Instead, learn from it. Make the decision, for example, that for the rest of the week you'll work on the project first before looking at your e-mail.
If your sale results are not what they should be, look for the places where you've created sales success. What can be learned from that? Are you more successful in one industry versus another, or one category of product versus another? What could you change about your approach to take advantage of those successes?
3. Broaden your options. What's your Plan B? Well, maybe you don't need one. Here's an idea: There is no Plan B; there's only a flexible Plan A. You will achieve success no matter what you have to change about the plan in order to get there. Do you have a contingency version of your plan should it go awry? By spending some time designing some optional action steps in advance, you will relieve yourself of some stress and boost your confidence by having a safety net already in place. Also, knowing that you don't have to bloody yourself on the same frontline day after day will bring relief as well.
If what you're doing is not working, it's OK. Just change it up. For example, if your current revenue channels are drying up, what new channels can you invent? If your customer base is balking at your current pricing, can you create a lower-priced version of your product or service and sell it to more people or businesses? Could you reposition yourself to address a different target market? Could you pursue leads in another geographic area? Or partner with someone?
This is your opportunity to reinvent yourself and your business.
4. Focus on the plan. It's when you're focused on circumstances outside of your control that you undercut your confidence. Whether the economy is up or down, there's not much you personally can do about it. If you focus on the difficulties presented by the current economy, those difficulties will seem magnified and insurmountable. By focusing on what you want to create – the results of your plan – instead of what you don't want to create, you'll align your efforts and energy positively with your goals.
And that focus is very powerful, because it makes you aware of synergistic opportunities in your environment that you otherwise might be blinded to because your focus is in the wrong place. While sitting in a seminar, you might pick up the perfect idea for a new product launch that will get you closer to your goals. You might hear the elevator speech of a new business associate and realize the potential of a partnership. Just by focusing on your plan, your brain will begin to search for methods by which it can be accomplished. When you're in love, everything reminds you of your lover. When you're in love with your plan, you'll view everything as a possible way to make it come true.
5. Take a risk. You may feel that this is the time for risk avoidance, and maybe there are some risks you should avoid at this time. However, if money can't be made in the stock market right now, should you stop putting money in your 401(k)? Many people have, losing the value of dollar-cost averaging — buying low to offset the times when stocks were more expensive — they could be getting right now. Eventually the economy will revive, and those low cost stocks will appreciate. A lot.
Likewise, the business risks you take now will pay back big dividends by setting you apart from your competition, building your own confidence, and preparing you for the economic recovery to come.
6. Believe. Ultimately, your belief in your ability to achieve your goals will either hold you back or propel you toward success. Believing wholeheartedly in the inevitable achievement of your goals will cause you to see possibilities, make choices, and assume risks quite differently than if you are already of the belief that your goals could not possibly come true.
Articles by Kim Marcille
6 Tips to Kick Start Your Revenue Growth
Kim Marcille offers advice on how to temper the impact of the current economic crisis on your financial performance. This is your opportunity to reinvent yourself and your business.