In business, everyone has their own meaning for “success”. I wonder what it means for YOU?
I guess it will include some financial element – we all need to make a profit, and a business without enough financial control won’t be around for very long.
YOUR definition of success may be MORE than just financial, though, right?
It’s likely influenced by the NATURE of what you do. For example, we wouldn’t be surprised if a freelance software developer had a different measure of success from a landscape gardener.
It’ll also be influenced by the structure and life-cycle stage of your business – that same freelance developer may not WANT the same goals as a company with a ten-strong team of developers, coders and designers.
Naturally, it’s all relative. It’s very personal.
I find a common trigger for people wanting my help is “hitting the wall”. They WANT higher income, and yet, despite trying different approaches, they find they’re stuck with the same results, often for years.
When you are at point A … and you want to be at point B … the path can seem obvious. However, when you’ve hit the wall, and you’re stuck at point A, chances are the problems you’re trying to solve are the wrong problems.
When you’ve been operating for a while it’s almost predictable you’ll recognise this situation.
In fact, this was the exact situation; the EXACT trigger that led one of my clients to get in touch with me …
They’re a husband and wife team running a marketing agency – talented, experienced writers and marketers producing written marketing content for large blue-chip companies.
They’d been operating for five years. They’re great at what they do. They have happy clients. When they got in touch they had two staff members, and were generating £200,000 revenue annually …
And they’d hit a wall.
Apparently, no matter how hard they worked they’d stay at the £200k level. They couldn’t break through the wall to higher revenue. They’d win new clients, and yet (mysteriously?) they’d STILL end up with around £200k in revenue.
“We’re already at capacity, we can’t afford to take on more work!”
“But without more work, we can’t afford to hire more staff.”
“And we’re too small to attract the big boy clients, where we might be able to increase our margins.”
They had flatlined with their two staff and £200,000 revenue. And they couldn’t see where to go.
That’s where we started.
The gap between “where we are” and “where we want to be” always holds some form of conflict. In their case they diagnosed the conflict being a combination of time, money, and their size.
Luckily, as is so often the case, this diagnosis was a little “off”. These were, in fact, the symptoms rather than the cause of the conundrum.
That said, it was evident that carrying on doing exactly what they were doing meant they couldn’t grow. “Win more work, produce more output with an already maxed-out team” was clearly an approach that couldn’t succeed.
Yet there is ALWAYS a solution to these conflicts, and helping my clients find those solutions is my “magic”.
So with my guidance, we found a way for them to navigate past these hurdles.
We studied their services, we analysed their clients’ different needs, and we identified the areas in which there was the greatest potential for growth. Where their clients typically had the greatest budget available, and where they could tailor their offering and stand out in the market.
We identified the change they could make, which would open up the path to their point B …
Originally offering writing services to blue-chip companies for all their marketing needs, they redefined their offering to one specific area: companies going through change.
They honed their offer to this one specific market. They redefined their message. They created a specific, tailored service, and they positioned themselves as THE agency that companies in change shouldn’t be without.
They targeted a market that not only needed their service, but one that also typically has the budget to support it.
And they saw the results immediately.
The following 12 months saw a £300k revenue – a 50% growth, and an extra £100,000 in revenue.
Their next 12 months surprised even me – through a combination of strong messages, more focused activity and some lucky timing they hit £700,000.
They now have seven employees, and they continue to grow. They’re known for their specialism, and are building new and repeat client contracts. Their reputation is growing – which means we’re nowhere near the next “wall”.
They reached their next point B, and now have a new and exciting point B further out, because they’ve experienced what’s possible.
Whatever your business, whatever your stage, whatever your version of success, if you’re currently at point A, looking longingly at point B, I assure you there will be a way …
And I’d love to help you find that path …