I read a book over the weekend and I hated it.
OK, that’s not true.
I didn’t hate it.
It just didn’t do anything remotely like what it said it did.
It was called Double Double: How To Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years Or Less.
Since I am in the business of doubling revenue and profit, I thought I would weigh in.
Warning: I have my rant on.
1. Are you trying and failing, or are you not trying?
If you TRIED to double your business, you could do it without outside help. (Want to know what trying looks like? Read this next.)
Ask yourself. “What might be the most efficient, effective way to double my revenue and profit?”
You already know most of the answer. If you just did what you knew you should do, you could double. Don’t get distracted, and do what you know will work. Stop reading articles about potassium and productivity. Stop learning what time Jeff Bezos gets up in the morning. Stop clicking on Everything Steve Jobs Ever Said About Innovation.
Give it thought. Then give it focus. Then give it effort. You’ll succeed knowing only what you know already, using only resources you already have.
Most people just aren’t even trying, and so they’re not succeeding.
2. Identify profit leaks.
There’s a great scene in the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Captain Jack Sparrow and our heroine are sitting on the deck of the ship. Elizabeth says, “There will come a moment when you have the chance to do the right thing.”
Johnny replies, “I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by.”
This is what we do with opportunities for revenue. There comes a moment when we have a chance for revenue, and what do we do? We wave at it as it passes by.
You are LEAKING revenue.
You are BURNING it.
You are THROWING IT OUT THE WINDOW.
One easy way to double revenue and profits is to stop doing that.
Imagine Lee Iacocca sat down at your kitchen table. Imagine he took a long, hard look at your business. Imagine he took a short, easy look at your business for that matter. Think he could find some opportunities for revenue and profit?
If you don’t have access to Lee Iacocca, try a DIY alternative. Ask yourself:
“How am I leaking revenue, burning revenue, and throwing revenue out the window?”
(This should more than double revenue and profits, by the way. The fixes tend to stack.)
3. Identify psychological issues stopping you from doubling.
If you know you “have to” hire an assistant and you have not done so, figure out why.
If you know you need to make more time to set up that new product line and you have not done so, figure out why.
If you know you should advertise and you’re not advertising, figure out why. If you know you should upsell and you’re not upselling, figure out why. If you know you should fix your sales page and you’re not fixing it, figure out why.
Whatever you know you should be doing but you’re not doing, figure out why.
Here’s a hint:
It’s in your head.
That’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all do it. CEOs bring the same human BS to the boardroom as they do to the bedroom and the bar. The difference is that in a larger company, there’s backup. There’s a team of executives stopping you from being a screwed up ‘fraidy-cat. When there’s only one of you, not so much.
The only other C-level executive in your boardroom is currently eating Meow Mix. You don’t have anybody to mitigate your human weakness.
You have to figure out where your human weaknesses are stopping your growth. Then you either do something about them, or do what you’re supposed to be doing in spite of them.
- “I’m not buying ads because I’m stressed. I’m tired. I’m overwhelmed. I’m afraid of getting my hopes up.” Fair.
- “I’m not getting an assistant because I’m so mired in the weeds. I can’t make the time to hire and train one. Plus, I’m a perfectionist. I know I’m just going to micromanage them. They’ll quit before they get health benefits.” Understandable.
- “I’m not rolling out the new product line because I procrastinated my ass off on the last one. If I think about this one, I’ll think about my pathetic sales pages. And my total lack of a sales funnel. If I do that, I’ll look down, and fall to my death like Wyle E. Coyote.” Happens to all of us.
You have drama. I have drama. It’s fine.
(Most common dramas? Fear or avoidance of stepping into your power as the owner of a REAL business. Difficulty navigating overwhelm. Money issues.)
But you want to grow. You need to deal with your stuff, or learn to take appropriate actions in spite of it.
4. Sell something.
For many businesses, the solution is disarmingly simple. Consider saying, “This is what I sell. Now please buy it.”
There are two parts to that. First, you have to make people aware of what you sell. Then you have to make a case for buying it. You have to do both parts.
Most people only do the first part. They blast what they’re selling all over the internet. They never make a case for buying it.
Find places you could be selling that you’re not.
Start selling stuff.
YAY! Double the money!
5. Have a ****ing system.
Your systems and processes could be about 100x better. Somebody in your organization just has to sit down and try. Given the size of your organization, that somebody is probably going to have to be you.
What do your systems look like?
What happens after someone gets on your mailing list? Is that optimized?
OK, what happens after that? Is THAT optimized?
What happens when somebody buys something in your store? After that? After THAT?
What happens when somebody arrives at your site via an ad click? Clicking over from a guest post?
If I read your best blog post, what do I do after that? (Hint: that’s not MY choice, it’s YOURS. If you’re not planning my next action, I’m planning my next action. THAT is the worst thing to happen to you since Facebook.)
Systems mean that you never have to wonder what to do.
Systems mean that you never have to wonder if you’re doing it right.
Systems mean you can’t screw it up when you’re tired and scared and overwhelmed.
With a system, you ALWAYS know what to do. And you know you’re giving your ittybiz the best treatment you possibly can.
(You also make a lot more money, which is nice.)
OK. Now that we’ve got THAT out of the way.
I recognize that for many of you, this may still feel too conceptual. You can’t say to your VP of Operations, “Go identify our profit leaks!” Make Marketing put a better upsell system in place.”
I get that.
If you need more details, check out part two, here.
(There is a “system” that works.)