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April 2021

3 things we have implemented from Indigo Shires ‘Grow Your Business’ series

3 Things we have implemented from Indigo Shires ‘Grow Your Business’ series

One of the biggest challenges as a small business owner is finding time to attend business development events and implement the learnings. We all get busy, and the list only seems to get longer but placing a high value on business development is fundamental in avoiding business stagnation.

Over a course of 10 weeks while attending the Indigo Shires ‘Grow Your Business’ series we identified three areas for improvement that could enhance our business.

Employee Recruitment

If there is one thing I have learnt from operating a small business, there is no growth if we don’t step out of our comfort zone, and recruiting employees makes me uncomfortable. Having had a dedicated like-minded employee for the past eight years, the idea of recruiting additional staff terrifies me. Jayden and I are a great team; our working relationship is built on trust, flexibility, and open communication. We are problem solvers, respectful of each other’s strengths and constantly finding solutions to enhance ourselves, our business and how we serve our clients. How do we replicate this in a new hire?

Grow Your Business Session 9: How to find, build and retain a team was just what I was looking for, an in-depth process for recruitment. The resources provided along with Jamie’s book have enabled us to develop and implement our recruitment process.

We analysed our organisational chart, developed our ‘Playing Rules’, scripted our position contract and promoted the role. Although we are still yet to hire a person in this role, we are feeling confident that we will attract the right person. Taking time to develop our recruitment process has been invaluable in understanding why we work well together and what makes us a great team.

Client Acquisition

We can’t expect to innovate and develop new initiatives if we don’t analyse and learn from data collection. It is amazing what you can discover in a spreadsheet.

Ten years ago, I was challenged by a business coach to package our services. My belief at the time was that “we offer a bespoke service - everything we do is unique. You can’t package what we offer”. How wrong was I… Yes, every solution and design we implement is unique, but the process is not, it is the same every time.

Yet again my beliefs were challenged during the Grow Your Business Session 5: How to effectively market your business. Business longevity sometimes makes you complacent. As with many businesses, ours attracts clients in several ways, and I was sure that most of our projects were coming via referral. Well, our new Client Acquisition, Leads and Conversions Spreadsheet told me differently, our website is working harder than we thought and will now get more of our attention in the coming months.

Grow Your Business Session 4: Creating raving fans, build your business through referral also gave me an idea. When considering our ‘Strategic Alliances’ I remembered a client once said to me, “a piece of writing should have three uses”.

Our client case studies are used on our website and in our newsletter, and direct marketing kits; why not have them in reception areas. Many of our clients serve other business owners, so it makes sense to promote our services in their business. Upon contacting clients for whom we had written case studies they were delighted for us to develop a WWWART promotional display including their case study, our capabilities brochure, and our business cards. It may end up that very little of this material is actually picked up, but what it will do is create awareness of our brand and provide these valued clients with the tools to talk about our business and how we have supported them in growing their business.

Long-term Planning

What is long-term planning? OMG, what is the long-term plan…

Yes, I understand a good plan brings clarity, and execution brings results but have always struggled to visualise the long-term 10-year plan, both personally and professionally. Short-term planning has been invaluable for growth in our business; therefore, I understand having a long-term plan could be even more of a road map to success but what is the long-term plan?

Grow Your Business Session 7: Planning & execution was a good reminder that if I am to jump off this ‘Hamster Wheel’ in some shape or form in 10 years, there needs to be a long-term plan and the only way that is going to happen is if I/we take the time to make one.

For me making the time to attend workshops and listen to business development content has improved and grown our business. My belief is you always walk away with something, a small gem that challenges your thinking or inspires you to do something differently.

I highly recommend taking the time to listen to the recordings of the Indigo Shires 10-week ‘Grow Your Business’ series with Jamie Cunningham.

Develop yourself a ‘Parking Lot’ for your list of ‘Growth Model Strategies’ and implement clarity around your goals. At worst you will gain tools and suggestions for measuring what you already have in place along with a great reading or in my case listening (Audible) list.

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