Forget the One You Love
This month is full of wide-eyed optimism for a highly profitable year for every entrepreneur. And why not? It’s so early and yet amidst all of this unbridled enthusiasm from the thousands of entrepreneurs I meet every year, it’s common to hear a lot of the same hopes and dreams for a record-breaking year of growth and prosperity.
The only sad part is that in all of these proclamations of success, I rarely hear reliable plans that will transform hopes and dreams into actual goals. And since I specialize in working with bright entrepreneurs who want to grow even more successful through generosity, it’s always my focus to help business leaders, like you, grow past mere good intentions and wishful thinking into bona fide tangible success.
When it comes real growth, sadly there’s no magic silver bullet that’s going to miraculously do it for you. But, thankfully, there are really only two ways to reliably double your profits in any given year as a small business owner; increase your total volume of sales and/or increase your margins everywhere.
Most folks will take the challenge to get a whole bunch of new customers this year since that’s the most obvious way to grow. But to double your profits, the smartest and fastest way possible (and in the spirit that comes with February) is one of my favorite sayings from the pantheon of love-related wisdom out there,
“If you can’t be with the one you love; love the one you’re with.”
You see, most businesses wildly chase “the one you love” - or the brand-new customer. Again, this is not a bad idea by any means.
However, if you want to grow your business quicker, focus on loving “the one you’re with” - which is your pre-existing customers and strategic partners (i.e.m your sales, marketing and referral partners).
It’s easy to forget, but it takes a lot less time and resources to maintain a strong relationship with your current customers than it is to win completely new ones (most experts say that it costs about six times more to get a new customer compared to the one you already have). If you’ve been doing a great job of “loving the ones you’re with,” then you can easily parlay your customers’ loyalty into repeat and referral business. Same goes for your strategic partners. Doing this increases your profit margins and your sales volume!
So instead of focusing solely on efforts to get new customers, spend an equal, if not more, amount of time and energy reaching out to those who already appreciate your business. Remind them of what they love about you and give them relevant and easy ways to buy from you again and send you more referral business right now.
This can be in the form of contests, surveys, bundles, memberships, warranties or rewards. Just make sure that they know that you love them for being the “ones you’re with.”
Joon S. Han
Strategist Joon S. Han is author and TED speaker of “Get Ahead by Giving Back” and catalytic agitator for bright social entrepreneurs. He enjoys the magicianship of Penn and Teller™ and his pet peeves are when people say, “could care less” instead of “couldn’t” and when someone speaks on leadership when they’ve never led anything in their life. He most recently co-founded AwesomeGuests so check it out.