The 4 Things You Need To Grow A Business
Last Sunday I had lunch with the Director of the British Metals Recycling Association.
We met through the NCT parenting classes. Our kids are born a few days apart and they love playing together.
It wasn't a work lunch and I wasn't surprised when the conversation turned to challenges at work.
Turns out there's a big problem getting rid of parts of a car that you can't recycle. Plastic, leather, foam. Those sorts of things.
The standard method for 'recycling' household goods is to burn them. Waste burns at a consistent temperature and is used to generate electricity.
The waste from cars (leather, foam and plastics) burns at a much higher temperature. The higher temperature isn't the problem. It's the fact that the temperature fluctuates. The fluctuating temperature breaks the power plant turbines.
So you can't burn car waste to generate electricity. This is a costly problem for the recycling industry.
As an outsider looking in, I saw a big problem and thought there must be a lucrative solution. It must be possible to purpose build a factory to burn car waste to generate electricity. A factory like that would solve a problem for every recycling business in the UK.
As it turns out, there was a company that thought along the same lines as I did. It took them 5 years to get planning permission to build a factory. They invested £30 million. What happened next?
I'll tell you that in a minute...
That chance conversation over lunch. Made me see that there are 4 things that you need to start or grow a business. Any business. From a factory, to a retail store, to a training company to a consulting business.
The 4 Things You Need To Grow A Business
To build a factory you need 4 things:
These are the same 4 things you need to start and grow a business in the infromation age. Let me show you why.
If you want to build a business. Any business. You need a Vision of what you want to achieve.
#1. What problem you want to solve
#3. How you are going to make money
These are the same 3 things that you need to start any business. It doesn't matter if you want to create a product or a service. You need to know how you are going to make money.
Yes, money is the result of delivering a great product or service. A product or service that solves a problem for a specific audience.
If you're going to risk your life savings to start a business... if you're going to risk investors money to start a business... you need a vision of how you are going to make money. So you can pay back yourself or your investors.
Why do I call this a vision?
Because at this stage your idea is completely untested. You've seen a need in the market for a solution. But until you try and sell your solution you don't know if it will make money.
You need money to start a business. Let's not kid ourselves into thinking you don't.
Some businesses need more money to start than others.
If you want to build a factory then you need £30 million. If you're going to start a consulting business you might need £1,000. The point is you need some money to get the ball rolling. And you need some money to ride out the hard times.
How much time do you need to start a business?
As much time as you have!
I'm sure most businesses start as a side hustle. You're working evenings and weekends to get started with the safety-net of a full-time job.
The bottom line will all business is the more time you put in, the more money you will make. The more you can move the needle to achieve your goals.
The more realistic you are about the time you need to invest... and the time to achieve your goals... the more you will love your business.
I love what I do. I feel privileged to make a living from writing.
When I don't have enough time to deliver my best work. Then it's a stressful white-knuckle ride to the finish.
It took 5 years just to get planning permission to build a recycling factory.
If they thought it would take 5 months then they wouldn't have stayed the course to build the factory.
If you've got a Vision of what you want to achieve. You've got the money to build it. And you're realistic about how long it's going to take.
If you're building a factory then you need architects drawings. You need a team of builders. You need a project manager to make sure that work is happening on time and on budget.
What do you need in every other business?
#1. A plan to make your product or service
#2. A plan to sell your product or service
#3. A plan to count the money
Build An Information Age Factory
In the Information Age the factory that every business must build is a Platform.
A Platform is a community of people that know
#2. How you can help them
#3. Why they should trust you
#4. Why they should do business with you over anyone else
I use the word Platform because you can have Platforms in many places. In fact, you can build a platform in every area where your customers look for information.
Your Podcast is a Platform because you have a community of listeners.
Your Blog is a Platform because you have a community of readers.
Your Facebook Group is a Platform because you have a community that share and solve problems.
Other social media groups is a Platform because of the trust you create through the content you share.
Your Email Database is a Platform because of the value you give.
Your Email Database is the most valuable Platform. Because you have complete control over the length and frequency of messages you send. You also have complete control of the technology. Something you don't have with a Facebook Group.
Why Every Business Needs A Customer Database
Every business needs a way to communicate with their customers and potential customers.
You need a way to turn strangers into customers. And customers into loyal fans.
To do that, you need a database. Email is a fast and cheap way to communicate with your customers.
You may prefer to send a newsletter in the post once a month.
If you communicate via post or email or text then you need the customers contact information. To build a database takes: visions, money and time.
It takes vision to see that better communication builds trust. Trust is the foundation of sales. So to make more sales you need to build more trust. To build more trust you need ongoing communication with your database.
It takes time to build a database. If you're a consultant you may only need a database of 200 potential customers. It takes time to select the customers that you want to work with. And then get their permission to follow up with them. Or to just start sending them a print newsletter every month.
I wouldn't add someone to your email database without permission. We all get a ton of email and we don't want any more unless we register for them.
If you're trying to gain the trust of a client that you would love to work with. The last thing you want to do is burn their trust by emailing them every week.
So as a consultant you need a list of 200 potential customers to build a bulletproof business. Select those customers. Send them a letter first to say that you want to work with them. If you get no joy. Then you can add them to your print newsletter database.
I hope you can see that process takes time and commitment. That's all. And you can build a bulletproof consulting business.
If you want to build an email database that is 10,000 or 20,000 or 50,000 then you're going to need time and money.
Yes you can build a list for free. But it takes your time. And it's a slow process. To build an email database fast. You need to spend money on advertising. Google ads. Facebook ads. Magazine ads. Sponsored email broadcasts.
Building an email database with paid advertising needs an investment. Both time and money. Time to create the ads and manage the campaign. Money to pay for the campaign.
What will an email database give you?
Success beyond your wildest imagination!
The simple reality is that to increase your impact and your income, you must grow your email database.
This is true for a consultant. This is true for a trainer or mentor. This is true for product businesses. This is true for a restaurant or pub. This is true for a retail store.
The more people that know who you are, how you can help them, and what makes you different. The more money you will make. The more consistent your income. The more you will love your business.
Now that you know the importance of building an email database. You might be wondering...
What's The First Step To Build A Customer Database?
The first step to build an Customer Database is the same as building a factory.
You need to know what problem you want to solve, who you want to help and how you will make money.
If you're already in business then you should know the answers to these questions.
If you're going to build a database as a consultant then you can do this manually. Start by making a list of all the companies that you want to work with. Then start writing them. Those companies that don't want to work with you today, you can add to your monthly print newsletter. Your customers will read your print newsletter. It will build trust over time. That will give you a bulletproof consulting business.
If you want to build an email database then you need people to opt-in to receive your emails. The process to do that is more involved. I've recorded a 20 minute video explaining how to do this. To watch it now. Click the link below.
Is Success Guaranteed?
If you're reading this post and nodding in agreement. I'm sure there is one unanswered question...
To answer that question let's return to the recycling factory story that we started with.
It took the business 5 years to get planning permission to build a waste power plant. It cost £30 million to build. Then...
The burn temperature of car waste was too volatile to generate electricity. When temperatures spiked they would break the turbines that generate electricity.
So the specialist power plant build to solve a huge problem for the waste industry... only burns household waste.
So there are no guarantees with an industrial process.
When you build an email database. You don't need to invest £30 million before you make your first sale. You can make an offer to your email database every time you add another 1,000 or 2,000 people to your list. This gives you real-world feedback that you are solving a problem that people want. It means that you can make money as you grow your Platform. It means you can build a profitable business without risking your life savings.
That's the beauty of building a database. It guarantees your success. It guarantees the growth of your business.
Now It's Your Turn
You now know why the success of your business depends on a customer database.
You now know how to build a customer database.
You now know the 4 things you need to get started. (#1. Vision. #2. Money. #3. Time. #4 Plan.)
The only thing left is to make a commitment to do it. Once you commit to invest one day a week in growing your customer database. Then you have taken the first step to building your dream business. A business that gives you the income and lifestyle you want.
If you've found this useful. Then please leave a comment below.
If you know a business owner that struggles to get their name out there. Then please share this with them.
P.S. If there's one thing that I've learned from the bankruptcy of my first business... and starting a 7-year journey to learn how to turn 'strangers' into customers on demand. It's that without a proven system to turn 'strangers' into customers. Every business will suffer through inconsistent income.
It took me 7 years to learn how to turn 'strangers' into customers on demand.
A journey that ended when I made £30,105 in 9 days.
I took that amazing result and transformed it into a simple 3-step system. A system that I call Consistent Profits Pyramid.
I've used Consistent Profits Pyramid to sell products and services. Ranging in price from £5 to £12,000.
Would you like to use Consistent Profits Pyramid in your business?
Unfortunately, I can't show you how to use Consistent Profits Pyramid now. The post would run too long.
That’s why I’ve written the book Consistent Profits Pyramid. The book shows you how to use my simple 3-step system in your business. So you can turn strangers into customers… on demand.
I’d like to give you a FREE copy.
To download your FREE copy now. Click the link below.
What you have in this book is 7 years of learnings, struggles and successes. You have one powerful resource that shows you how to turn 'strangers' into customers... on demand. A system that you can use to build your dream business. A business that gives you the income and lifestyle you want.