Feel like you’re doing lots of marketing and promotional activity in your business but not really making much progress in terms of measurable outcomes? Find yourself working on different opportunities week by week to grow your business; however you haven’t quite reached the levels that other service-based businesses have accomplished? Are you constantly looking for new ways to promote your business, and find yourself implementing yet another strategy in the hope that this one will finally be what you need to take your business to the next level?
Unfortunately, the above scenario of continuously trying numerous ways to grow their business occurs for many highly talented entrepreneurs who are operating service-based businesses. What they don’t realise is it’s not the activities and actions they’re implementing that aren’t effective – it’s often because there are five fundamental elements of their business that they haven’t yet put into place.
To ensure you don’t block your business’s growth, make sure you address the 5 most common barriers, as they are often the cause of service-based businesses struggling to reach their full potential.
Barrier 1: Being unclear about your unique and authentic brand
Many service-based businesses operate in highly competitive industries which means their marketing material is going to be one of dozens of other messages from other service providers all of whom are vying for the attention of prospective clients.
To see whether you have a strong, unique and authentic brand – ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the information you communicate about you and your business immediately connect with your target audience, so much so that they continually return to hear and learn more about you and the service you offer?
- Is your brand message authentic and unique enabling you to cut through all the other marketing messages so that your target audience is compelled to contact you?
- Do you find it easy to put together your marketing messages, your social media communications and other materials about you and your business because you’re so clear on what makes you unique; how you can support your clients; and the benefits they can achieve through working with you?
Many service-based entrepreneurs and business owners believe that having a broad target market will offer them far greater opportunities. While this may seem logical, it is often the exact opposite. When your market is too broad, your marketing message fails to speak to anyone, particularly not your target audience, as the information in your marketing materials is too general, doesn’t highlight the specific issues and problems they may be experiencing (and that you can support them with) and therefore fails to capture their attention or response.
To confirm whether you have a clearly defined target market, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- Are you able to clearly define your target market, including their needs?
- Do you know where to find these people? And, how are you going to connect with them in a way that will catch their attention?
- Are you positioning your services in a benefit-driven way so that they can see the value you offer?
Barrier 3: Being unclear about your ‘entrepreneurial code’
Each and every one of us has a specific way we behave, communicate and approach our work. As business owners we also have a unique entrepreneurial code, which includes our strengths, talents, skills and motivated work style to name a few, which if we’re unclear on, can sometimes block us from driving our business forward.
As an entrepreneur / business owner we often find ourselves taking on too many tasks – or more importantly the ‘wrong’ tasks. The tasks that we pursue don’t necessarily align with our true strengths and therefore take our attention, energy and focus away from the core elements in our business that we should be focusing on.
- Are you currently struggling in areas of your business which you should really be directing to your VA, so that you can concentrate on areas of the business which require your specific skills and expertise?
- Do you know what drains you of your energy so that you can avoid it?
- Are you aware of what activities inspire you and will help you in driving your business forward?
Barrier 4: Being unclear about your business goals
If you were taking a holiday at a location you have never been to before, I’m sure you’d take the time to research and plan the best route to get you to your destination in the safest, quickest and most cost effective manner – yes?
Have you taken the same approach to planning and defining your business goals, both for the immediate and the long-term period? If you don’t have a clear picture of where you want your business to head you may find yourself becoming distracted and unfocused and chasing opportunities that are not really serving you and your business’s best interests.
To ensure you’re clear on your business goals you should be able to answer the following questions:
- Do you have a specific goal that you are working towards in the next 90 days in your business, which fits in perfectly with your long-term business plans?
- Do you have specific action steps planned (including the resources that you have available to you and the resources you need to seek out) that will enable you to reach my 90-day goal?
- Do you schedule time in your diary to allow yourself time to work on these action steps?
Barrier 5: Being unclear about how to drive your business forward
When looking at top-performing athletes or highly-respected and successful business people – what’s one thing that they all have in common? Coaches and business advisors who are able to stretch their knowledge, skills and abilities, while keeping focused and accountable so that every decision and action they take continues to drive them forward.
Recently, I decided to invest in a high-end business and marketing coach as I knew that I was going to generate far better results knowing that I was being mentored and supported by someone who was a specialist in their field; who had my best interests at heart; and who was not only going to support me, but keep me accountable for the actions I said I would be taking to grow my business.
To ensure that you are clear about how to drive your business forward, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- Do you have a business mentor, coach or advisor who is skilled in the areas that you need additional support and advice on; and do you speak to this person regularly?
- Do you have clearly-defined action steps which you are currently working on?
- Do you know how to ask for additional help if you need it; and do you know where to go in order to get this additional support?
Hopefully, you have been able to answer all of the above questions to help you overcome those 5 common barriers. If not, what action will you take today in order to help you move your business forward?
Confused and stuck? Feel you could benefit from having a private, one-on-one laser-coaching FREE half-hour Business Breakthrough Strategy Session? Find out more here: http://bit.ly/breakthroughsession