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Have you heard the saying “there is more than one way to skin a cat”? Coined by American humorist, Seba Smith, in The Money Diggers in 1840, it means there is more than one way of achieving an aim. How perfect for entrepreneurs and their aim to grow their business.

Traditional business defines growth in terms of revenue/sales or profit growth. However, growing revenue may not motivate or inspire you to action.  Following the wisdom of Seba Smith, there is more than one-way to grow your business.

1.  Grow revenue/sales

2.  Boost profits

3.  Improve cash flow

4.  Increase number of clients/accounts

5.  Strengthen average revenue per client

6.  Reduce number of billable hours needed to achieve revenue goals

7.  Enhance actualization rate

8.  Further brand awareness and visibility

9.  Achieve annual goal(s) in 10 months vs 12 months

10. Upgrade client base

11. Polish your entrepreneurial skills

12. Develop efficient/effective operational systems

13. Reduce unnecessary expenses

14. Eliminate profit holes

15. Say “yes” frequently

16. Expand your professional network

17. Improve your closing average

18. Generate more leads

19. Boost your confidence

20. Illuminate your vision

21. Feel, act, and be more successful

22. Spend 80% of your day doing work you love

23. Achieve ‘expert’ status

24. Gain better control of your day/time

25. Rediscover and grow your business around your purpose

26. Create order out of chaos

27. Establish and achieve value-based goals

28. Achieve 5 stars on all customer reviews.

29. Grow your business on your terms rather than on those established by others

30. Disrupt your industry

It’s your turn. I want to hear how you ‘skin your cat’ (aka grow your business)?

There’s a cost each entrepreneur pays for doing business in today’s marketplace. There is an emotional, physical, financial, and spiritually price paid for the success you achieve. To maximize the return on your valuable resource investment of time, money, and energy, shift from building to growing your business with these ten strategies.

 1.      Clear your calendar of all projects or commitments that pull you off track.
We live and work in an information-rich environment. In fact, did you know the equivalent amount of information housed by the Library of Congress is duplicated every 15 minutes? This hyper -informational environment causes loss of focus, especially in the absence of a plan.

2.      Eliminate all sources of delay.
We work in an ‘instant society’. Clients want what they want when they want it. Plus, if you’re not out ahead of the crowd, you can soon be trampled by the competition. Any sources of delay – including your suppliers – are necessary to get rid of.

 3.      Stop doing what’s not working.
You’ve heard the definition of insanity, right? It’s doing the same thing and expecting different results. Although we’ve familiar with this well-known saying, it doesn’t seem to stop entrepreneurs from continuing to execute on strategies that STILL aren’t working.

 4.      Put yourself and your needs first.
The airlines have the right idea when they request you put on your oxygen mask first. As entrepreneurs, you’re no different. Although you may think you’re doing the right thing by putting your client needs before your own, ultimately the client deliverables suffer.

5.      Find the exact type of work and market that makes you feel good emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. The most exciting aspect of today’s business environment is the ability to customize your business to fit your talents, values and strengths. Your performance spikes when you’re doing work you love.

6.      Be specific about what you want to accomplish.
“Make more money” or “grow my business” are both nice goals to have although both are too general. You never really know when you’ve achieved goals that lack precision.

7.      Create a concise plan for achieving your goals.
Without a crisp, clear map to direct your efforts, you’ll be like a cork on water floating where the wind takes you instead of where you want to go.

8.      Create a network of 1000 people who respect what you do.
Your business can’t grow in a vacuum. The more people know about you and respect your work, the easier it is to create the critical mass needed to fast forward your business growth.

9.      Serve your customers in new and innovative ways.
You need to be daring and be different in order to stand out in the world of business today. It’s work the perceived risk and your customers will ‘thank you’ for it.

10.    Hire a business coach.
Although this sounds a little self-serving, even a good business coach has a good business coach. Business is too complex today to grow it alone.

Related Blog Posts:

Say “Heck Yeah” to Growing Your Business

Getting Past Your Fears and Growing a Successful Business

How to Overcome Overwhelm to Grow Your Business

4 Strategies to Fast Forward Your Business Growth

30 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Grow Their Business

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Like peanut butter and jelly, the future of small business growth lies in developing meaningful partnerships.  And, with the right type of planning, “teaming up” can prove to be a match made in heaven.

As with any good relationship, victory begins with the quest for self-discovery and awareness. It’s essential to ask yourself:

  • What is our intended purpose for developing an alliance?
  • What do we expect to gain from the association?
  • What assets do we bring to the partnership?
  • How does an alliance fit into our business plan?

Once you’ve determined that an alliance would fit into your overall strategy, the next step is to identify the companies that would be a potential match.  Conducting extensive research to find the perfect “mate” will be crucial to your success.  Inquiries to make include:

  • What companies reach the market that we currently serve?
  • What businesses make products or provide services that relate to our business?
  • What ventures have a vision and values that are similar to ours?
  • What companies have expressed an interest in collaborating with us?
  • What enterprises have similar standards, work ethic, and commitment to excellence that we have?

Once you completed your homework, you’re ready to begin building a partnership that creates a win-win for all parties involved (owners and employees, alike).  The path to successful alliances does not have to be littered with misunderstandings and disagreements.  Honest and open communications, up front, can clear away any potential barriers to performance.  Areas to discuss include:

  • Purpose and vision – why are we doing what we’re doing?
  • Performance targets – what objectives and goals reflect what both parties expect to gain from the alliance?  Are they realistic based on the amount of resources both parties are willing to put forth? What needs to be achieved by when?
  • Working agreements ­ what responsibilities is each business willing to take on?  What are the norms of acceptable behavior?  How can we best work together to achieve our goals?
  • Problem solving ­ how will we utilize the talent of both companies to solve problems?
  • Decision-making – what process will be used to make decisions?  In the event of an inability to arrive at a mutually beneficial decision, who will be the final influence?
  • Meeting effectiveness – How will we use meetings to enhance the power of the alliance?  How frequently will we meet?  What information will be shared?
  • Managing differences – What is our plan for resolving conflict?

There are no right or wrong answers.  You must create the path that fits your new entity best.  Whatever your alliance strategy, treat your new enterprise with care.  It takes a lot less effort to kill a new effort than it does to nourish it.  Nurture it all you can.

Only 8% of people trust what companies say about themselves. That’s right. You read it correctly. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, when companies talk about themselves, they are believed by only 8% of those listening.  That means 92% of those listening to you, don’t believe a word you say!

Wow! That’s pretty incredible. Makes me feel a bit like Charlie Brown’s teacher (wack – wack – wack).

What matters most for reputation? The Barometer discovered that the following have the greatest impact on reputation*:

  • high quality products or services – 69%
  • transparent and honest business practices – 65%
  • company I can trust – 65%
  • treats employees well – 63%

Fair prices, admired leadership, frequent communication and innovation are less important when it comes to reputation.

* Responses on 1-9 scale; 9=highest; Informed publics ages 25 – 64

That’s not all.  The Edelman Trust Barometer says that if you heard information about a company from one of these people, it would be much more credible – an academic or expert, technical expert within the company, financial or industry analyst, or CEO. Does that ring true for you? I certainly take notice when Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet speaks.

Where do people generally go for news about a company?  Your natural inclination may be to go to the company website yet only 11% of those polled head to the website for news about a company.  (This must fall into that “92% who don’t believe what you say about your own company” category.)  The first place most people go for company information is online search engines, followed by online news resources.

How many times do you need to hear something about a specific company to believe the information is true?  59% of those polled said they would need to hear something 3-5 times before believing its true. And, apparently, they need to hear it from those listed above.

What can you do if Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet aren’t available as your company’s spokesperson? Here are four growth strategies to improve your company’s believability:

1. Act, dress, and speak like a CEO (or whatever title you choose to give yourself).  What’s good for your reputation, is good for your brand.

2. Be visible online. With the introduction of social media, it’s much easier for small entrepreneurial firms to achieve greater visibility online.  Through social media sites, articles optimized and submitted to article directories, or sharing your expertise with others on Linkedin, Focus or other online forums, information related to your company can be found more readily with search. You have to think outside of your company website.

3. Be seen offline.  Oh, this one is tough for us home office folk who can easily work all day in our Pj’s! Get involved in your business community to keep yourself in front of your potential clients. It makes your and your business more credible when you’re seen in public….preferably without your Pj’s.

4. Build trust. The Edelman Trust Barometer says trust is an essential line of business. Did you know there are nine steps to building trust? We’ve all experience someone who moved too quickly from the “Hi, my name is” to “Hey, take a look at my product”. Take your time to nurture someone through all the trust-building stages.  You’ll make them a client for life.

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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