If you are in business, the first million pounds is one of the hardest goals to achieve when you are starting out. Statistically speaking, only 4.1% of start-ups reach a £1m turnover in the first 3 years of trading. The statistics get a bit hazy beyond a company’s 3 year period, but what is clear is that the survival of a company is built on the high-risk early days. To clear this goal, you must fight hard.
So, let’s say, hypothetically, that you have passed the £100k turnover barrier, cruised past £400k turnover and now have your sights set on £1 million. Before we can talk about some of the key elements of getting to the big seven figures, let’s just clear up a few things…
Your Turnover Isn’t Everything
Profit and cash flow are more important than your turnover. If you haven’t got the money to survive or make a decent profit, you need to stop focusing on what you want to make or what others are making in your industry. Having said that, if you have a budget and your profit margins planned, having an idea of your ideal turnover is great. Having a sales or revenue goal really matters in the long run.
Growing Too Fast Can Be Dangerous
If you don’t have a plan and grow too fast, you will buckle under the weight of success just as easily as you would if you’re losing money from a lack of clients.
Intention Is The Cornerstone Of Your Business
If you build your business without knowing why you started it, your business will turn into a source of frustration and resentment. You need to build your business intentionally.
No plan = No Results
If you don’t plan for how you will build your turnover, it will never happen. If it is not on your daily agenda, it won’t feature monthly or annually. You need to think strategically about how you will accomplish your money goal.
Make Little Steps Instead of Big Strides
A series of little steps are better than a giant stride. Too much weight is put on big things and not enough on the small details when you are developing your business. We are not saying you should be a perfectionist when you set your goals, but you should strategically develop your business bit by bit and in a consistent manner.
So, let’s get down to it, what are the key things you can do to push beyond the £1 million turnover?
1) Knowing Your USP
Let’s get one thing straight. Price is never a unique selling point. Your unique qualities that you offer to your prospective customer must be more than price. Too often, we meet people who say their USP is their customer service quality or speed, but let’s be honest, everyone says this. You need something that resonates with prospective customers and is bigger than price, customer service or speed.
How does your product or service make life simpler for your clients?
How can you save your clients time?
How can you help your clients achieve their aspirations or needs?
What problem can you solve in a way which is better than your competitors?
2) Discover Your Message
There are lots of ways of presenting your message to the world. What you say and how you present it is key. For most of us, we are bombarded with advertising and messages which try to get us to buy or do something. We’ve become desensitised. How will your message, marketing and sales messages break through this barrier?
If you look at some of the recent political campaigns for example, you will see marketers really pushing to get us to know straplines and key messages. Business is no different because we have to land messages which our prospects will recall and remember.
Do you remember ‘Make America Great Again’?
You may not like it, but Mr Trump managed to land his message with the right people, who turned out and voted him into office.
You need a message which connects with your prospects and makes you the supplier or provider of choice. The right message will improve your consideration and conversion process.
3)You Don’t Need Everyone
On most social platforms, it only takes a small number of people to make content go viral. It’s probably less than 100 people. For your business to hit its sales goals, it needs to reach the right people with the right message. It isn’t about blasting your message across the globe, it is about hitting the right people with the right message.
We call this creating an ecosystem. What is crucial to your business is:
Creating a clearly defined list of people you want to work with
Developing a strategy to connect with new business
For you to reach your £1 million target, it may only take 20 clients. Too often, people spend tens of thousands on reaching thousands, but if they focused the same amount of money on reaching £100 they would be far more effective.
So, who is the right customer for your business? In the B2B world, 80% of revenue comes from 20% of the client base If you want to reach your £1 million target, you need to spend time winning more of the right clients.
4) Developing Consistency
Consistency is a huge problem for SMEs. Sales and marketing require work day-in-day-out. Short bursts of activity are like fireworks, which make a big bang and a flash but with no real impact.
Often, we meet people who have spent tens of thousands on the next big marketing campaign and they are disappointed with their results. If the same budget had been spent on the simple stuff, and consistently carried out, it will deliver massive rewards.
5) Don’t Strive for Perfection
We have all spent hours with people debating shades of blue, minute details and procrastinating on actions. The truth is: you’ll never have a perfect business and you’ll never have a perfect growth plan. We are not saying you should ignore the details, but they shouldn’t be your focus.
Often we over-analyse details which are irrelevant to the majority. A solid presentation completed and delivered is worth two nearly done or shelved presentations. You’ll have to accept that everything won’t be perfect.
Iteration is your new best friend.
6) Know Your Numbers
If you don’t know your numbers, you won’t know what success looks like or what your energy and activity look like. What is your sales cycle from a prospect to a sale? What is your prospect to sale success rate? All these numbers give you key metrics to know how to climb the £1 million mountain.
Do you know today how many enquiries you need to receive to reach your goal?
So where are you at?
Have you set a plan and then let it gather dust?
We work with business owners who want to reach this target. They want to get this done, get enquiries through the door and leads through their inbox.