“Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?”
“You’re in a hot air balloon hovering thirty feet above this field,” comes the reply.
“You must work in Information Technology,” says the balloonist.
“I do,” says the man, “How did you know?”
“Well,” says the balloonist, “Everything you told me is technically correct, but it’s no use to anyone.”
“You must be in business,” says the man.
“I am,” says the balloonist, “How did you know?”
“Well,” says the man, “You don’t know where you are, you don’t know where you’re going, but you expect me to be able to help. You’re in the same position you were before we met, but now it’s my fault.”
Growth Without Direction is Frustration
The moral of the story above illustrates that there’s hardly any entrepreneur who doesn’t know that they need to grow their business. But very few know how to actually do this. Often times, they are lost because they ventured into business without a clear goal in mind.
When you start out in business without first defining your endpoint, the most obvious challenge you will face in terms of growing your business is NOT knowing where to begin.
In this unusual article, I will be sharing with you 5 practical steps to upgrade your business. But first things first; what does it mean to upgrade your business?
Upgrading Your Business Means….
- Coming up with better ways of solving the problems of your customers [business process innovation]
- Coming up with better solutions to the problems of your customers [product/service innovation]
- Coming up with better markets to serve [business expansion]
- Coming up with better stories to tell [effective marketing]
The next question is how do you upgrade your business?
5 Practical Steps to Upgrade Your Business
Growth in business as well as in life rarely happens overnight, as a matter of fact, it’s not the giant steps that count as much as the little consistent efforts focused on continuous improvement in some key areas of your business.
Below are 5 practical steps you can take to upgrade your business and guarantee sustainable growth.
Upgrade Your Mind
The very first step to upgrading your business begins with an upgrade of your mind. Your mind is the greatest tool you have as an entrepreneur. I know this will sound like a cliché, but it’s so true; whatever the mind can conceive it can achieve.
Every product or service was first conceived in the mind before the physical form. Every innovation or invention first began as an idea or a thought. The mind is mankind’s tool for creativity; it’s where ideas and thoughts are formed before being carried out physically.
How do you upgrade your mind?
Information. Education. Learning.
Show me a stagnant business and I will show you an entrepreneur who is not learning!
My business is helping people, businesses and lives grow and over time I have observed that the greatest enemy of growth is refusing to learn.
There’s hardly any future for those who constantly refuse to learn. And worse of are those who learn and don’t apply!
The secret to upgrading your mind is the continuous acquisition of information. Knowledge is what expands your mind, the more of it you acquire, the more empowered your mind becomes. The mind functions based on the quality of information it gets; garbage in, garbage out. Your mind is like a muscle, the more information you feed it, the more powerful it becomes.
So to upgrade your business, commit to continuous learning. Consciously seek out relevant information that can provide you with specific knowledge about specific areas of your business that require improvements.
Upgrade Your Skills
Your mind deals with what you know, but knowledge alone will not get you the results you want. After knowing comes doing and this is when you need skills. Knowledge expands your mind, skills expands your abilities.
I know you have talent, but your talent needs to be converted into skills through training. To consistently create services or products that people would love to pay for, you need to be at the top of your game and this requires skills, not just talent or knowledge.
Upgrade Your Tools
Whether it’s a product you sell or a service you provide, you need tools to work with. Tools make you more efficient in running your business. One vital area where tools are most needed in business is managing how you work [business process]. The quality of your tools can improve your productivity, creativity and efficiency.
Upgrade Your Network
Besides what you know, when it comes to upgrading your business, equally important is who you know. There are some business transactions that you will never come across until you associate with some caliber of people.
Upgrading your network helps you come in contact and develop relationships with people who can take your business further whether as a result of their connections, experience, position, or goodwill.
Upgrade Your Message
To upgrade your business, one key aspect you can’t afford to ignore is your marketing. If you get all other things right and miss this one, your business will still remain where it was.
Your message; that is the story you want to tell your target audience about your business is the most crucial part of your marketing. Marketing is much more than selling products, it’s creating the perceptions that make products sell. Your message is how you create this perception that helps to sell your products/services.
I have seen a lot of businesses focus so much on what channels or medium to advertise or what marketing tactics to use. All these are important, but they should come second not first. Your message is the first marketing task you need to sort out before considering the tactic or medium to use to get that message out.
There are too many competing businesses out there, the marketing noise is continuously getting louder, so unless your message is compelling and connects with your target audience, there’s no way you will be heard!
Over to you
Registration is ongoing for this month’s Business Strategy Sessions, 2 seats have been taken, 8 more to go. This is the perfect opportunity for you to put to use the steps outlined above;
- you will have access to information that will upgrade your mind
- you will discover the weak areas that you need to upgrade your skills
- you will meet other serious minded entrepreneurs to upgrade your network
- you will be exposed to better ways of doing things by upgrading your tools
- you will learn how to sideline your competitors by upgrading your message
The seats are closing fast, don’t be left out, click here to register!