How to get ready to expand your business.
This is not the beginning. You should have already done the work to lay the foundation of your business.
You should have your mission, vision, sob story and ideal customer profile in your back pocket ready to be incorporated into your pans at any moment. You should also be a fantastic storyteller at this point.
Don’t just have it in your head.
Have it on paper – on in your Google Drive. You need to have it to hand before you build anything or change anything.
Remember, to be a successful business owner, you have to break the habit of instinctual thinking. You have to get into the habit of data and information driven decisions. This is the first step to making that happen.
Rock with me here. This is going to be great. By the end of this you’ll have everything you need to create a worthwhile expansion audit and plan that will keep you on track to create the business impact you want.
Your business is already solid and successful, but you’re not sure if you’re ready to add a new avenue. Take the next 6 weeks to audit your business and determine whether or not you’re ready to move forward.
There are 4 areas of the expansion that you have to get working well.
ONE: Your Concept – This is the idea itself PLUS your revenue model.
You probably already have an idea for the product or service you want to add to your business, but take a couple of days to have a look at your mission and vision, and see if you can come up with something even better.
Your expansion idea should directly solve the problem, tie closely into your mission and be a legitimate stepping stone to achieving the vision. A mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make is that they want to create a business like amazon that seems to do everything all at once, but it took years and a lot of investment to get the concept to where Amazon’s is today.
Figure out your starting point.
Based on your skills, connections, awareness and personality is the expansion idea you have the best thing for you to do today that would legitimately contribute to the achievement of the vision you set?
Does the expansion idea you have legitimately fit in with what your ideal customer would want from you and your business?
What type of service, or product would your ideal customer want you to present? When you look at your competitors in this field you want to expand into, what are they doing? Can you incorporate their model into your concept so that it suits your ideal customer?
You MUST remember THIS IS A BUSINESS. What’s your revenue model? Base this entirely on what makes sense financially, but also makes sense for your ideal customer. Just don’t create a cash grab. Based on the service or product you’re putting out there, what is a logical revenue model. Once you’ve got that, consider your pricing.
Based on the monthly income of your ideal customer and the amount of times they are going to need to buy your product every month, how much should you be charging?
All of that together, your idea, revenue model and price, is your concept.
When you’ve got this down, start planning a community boosting event for the key people in your community. 50 people that have shown themselves to be ride or die for your business. People that have bought your product, given your great referrals, post your praises on social media often. Etc. People that are genuinely invested in the future of your business.
You’re going to host the event at the end of the 6 week period you’re giving yourself to pilot this expansion plan out.
We’ve got a framework you can use to do that right here.
TWO: Logistics – you may not need DHL but you need logistics.
Logistics isn’t just about packaging and postage, it is those things, but it’s also about your admin and your team.
It doesn’t matter if you’re running a product or a service, you need to know how much time and resources it takes to deliver your product or service at a standard that makes sense for you and matches the expectations of your ideal customer.
For example, we run a bunch of one-on-one coaching sessions for our Premium clients, and for the Grow Everyday Accelerator. We needed to know how exactly much time it takes to handle those one-on-one coaching sessions and all the related admin so that we can logically get to grips with how many business coaches we need per 100 clients. That’s what I mean when I’m talking about your logistics.
How much time and money is it going to cost you to do the things you need to do? What is the admin process you need to put in place to keep things copacetic?
When you’ve got something, work around it until you get the cheapest, least time consuming way to do it possible.
It literally took less than 15 minutes to come up with the plan of what we wanted The GEA to be (because we’ve got our foundation LOCKED). It literally took 3 days to figure out the logistics. When we got one way that worked, we kept tweaking it to get it cheaper and easier to roll out. That’s what you need to do.
Write down every aspect of your expansion idea – the easiest possible entry method to the expansion you’re trying to achieve.
Figure out what your ideal customer will want from you as you run it; podcast? Blog? Newsletters? Hand-written notes in the packaging? Whatever it is, write it down, then figure out the easiest way to do it superfast.
THREE: Branding – you’re going to need a clear vibe.
Since at this point you already know who your ideal customer is, and hopefully you already have a brand identity that works for your ideal customer, extending that vibe and branding this expansion idea to suit them, should be really easy for you.
Think about your ideal customer’s favourite film, music video, ideal weekend activity and favourite song. Really play those over and over again until you can create a vibe that incorporates all of those things (not necessarily in equal measure).
What you’re trying to do is get your ideal customer to recognise things in your vibe as a reflection of themselves.
Come up with a list of words and some sample graphics that you’ve seen around social media.
On GRAPHICS: The best way to organise yourself is via Instagram. Start a secret account based on your ideal customer. Follow all the brands that they love, all the celebrities etc. Your Instagram feed will essentially become a continuous mood board for you to get inspiration from whenever you’re about to start creating graphics.
ON WORDS: Depending on who your ideal customer is, you could use sports metaphors all day every day or you could constantly bring in Black Lives Matter or celebrity culture. Metaphors are a great way to tie in pop culture and link in to the real life interests of your ideal customer.
ON VIBE: Listen to your ideal customer’s favourite song and try to emulate that vibe in the way you write, and in the way you present your business at all times. The more you do it, the more in sync you’re going to be become and the easier its going to be for you to jumpstart a connection to and conversation with your ideal customers in real life.
If the expansion you have planned is directly linked to the products or service you currently provide like selling shoes and expanding into laces, this should be a no-brainer for the most part, but if your going from shoes to hair wax, you’re going to need to work extra hard to explain to your ideal customer why your brand sees hair wax as its logical next step.
FOUR: Customer service – this is the kicker.
Don’t mess up on this. No matter how great you are at everything else, when you have bad customer service, nothing else matters. Its like being a genius that only speaks in Klingon at an African Investment Summit.
Key points with customer service. BE RESPONSIVE and BE ON BRAND.
Logistics comes into play as well. If you’re creating hardware or some kind of innovative disruption that people have never seen before, then you’re going to need a lot of customer service time built in to your staff hours.
People are going to have questions and they’re going to get frustrated if they’ve paid and you aren’t helping within the hour.
When you’ve set all this up and you know where you’re going, go ahead and set up a one-year plan for your expansion.
You’ll set clear goals for your expansion that will help you solidify these 4 areas of your business and by the end of it, you may find that you’re ready to start attracting investors.
That’s all folks.
PS. You can join me daily on Anchor where talk about the strategies I’m working on every day.