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 in far fewer than three years – I would be fired instantly if it took me that long to double someone’s business – I thought I would give some advice on how to actually do this.
Warning: I have my rant on.
1. Are you trying and failing, or are you not trying?
If you tried to double your business – actually tried – you could probably do it without outside help.
If you said to yourself and your team if you have one, “What might be the most efficient and effective way to double our revenue and profit?”, you could probably do it.
If you gave it concerted focus and effort – and didn’t get distracted by How To Use Social Media webinars – you could probably succeed knowing only what you know now, and using only the resources you currently have.
Most people just aren’t even trying, and so they’re not succeeding.
2. Identify profit leaks.
If you hire an IttyBiz consultant for an hour, show them your financials, and let them look at your website for ten minutes in silence, they will spend the remaining 50 minutes giving you such a long list of places you’re losing money that you may well cry.
(This has happened. Remind me to tell you about the t-shirt guy from Long Island.)
You are LEAKING money.
You are BURNING it.
You are THROWING IT OUT THE GODDAMN WINDOW.
One easy way to double revenue and profits is to stop doing that.
If you do not want to hire an IttyBiz consultant, that is understandable. I, for one, tend to rant, which scares some people. Dave has an affinity for science fiction television program references. Consulting with us is, I grant you, not for everyone.
A DIY alternative is to ask yourself HONESTLY:
“How am I leaking money, burning money, and throwing money out the goddamn window?”
(This will probably 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, if you know you should upsell, if you know you should get someone to fix your sales page conversion‚ whatever you know you should be doing and you’re not doing, figure out why.
Here’s a hint:
I have never, ever, ever heard an answer that does not have its root in a psychological issue on the part of the business owner.
That’s nothing to be ashamed of – if you are the CEO, you bring your same human BS to the boardroom as you do to the bedroom and the bar. In a larger company, you might have a board of directors or team of executives stopping you from being quite such a screwed up ‘fraidy-cat. But if the only other C-level executive in your boardroom is currently eating Meow Mix, there’s nobody to mitigate your human weakness.
So figure out where your human weaknesses are, and 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 and tired and overwhelmed and afraid of getting my hopes up.”
“I’m not getting an assistant because I’m so mired in the weeds that I can’t make the time to hire and train one. Plus, I’m a perfectionist and I know I’m just going to micromanage them so badly they’ll quit before they get health benefits.”
“I’m not rolling out the new product line because I procrastinated my ass off on the last product line. 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.”
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 company, difficulty navigating overwhelm, and money issues.)
But you’re not going to grow if you don’t either deal with it, or learn to take appropriate actions in spite of it.
4. Sell something.
A good number of businesses could double their revenue and profit in far less than three years if they actually made a point of saying, “This is what we sell. Please buy it.”
This is a problem that doesn’t seem to affect small- to medium-sized businesses as often. If you have more than 100 but fewer than 10,000 employees, this doesn’t seem to be a issue.
But the one-person business doesn’t WANT to sell because, well, EWWWW. Icky! Scary! And the enterprise-sized business doesn’t feel it NEEDS to sell because it spent $4.5 million on an awareness campaign, and that should absolve them from the responsibility of training their customer service team on sales.
Find places you could be selling that you’re not.
Start selling stuff.
YAY! Double the money!
5. Have a f***ing system.
If you are like 98% of your contemporaries, your systems and processes could be about 100x better if somebody in your organization actually sat down and tried. Given the size of your organization, that somebody is probably going to have to be you.
What happens when 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 very best blog post, the one that showcases you to the best and highest of your ability, 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, and 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.
(Systems also mean you know what to do when the mega-brand business coach with the shiny teeth and hidden refund policy offers you a one-time-offer and you “don’t know what to do”.)
With a system, you ALWAYS know what to do. And you know, you know, you KNOW, deep in your bones, you KNOW… that 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 just go to your VP of Operations and say, “Go identify our profit leaks and make Marketing put a better upsell system in place.”
I get that.
If you need more details, be in my office tomorrow at 9 am.
We’ll sketch out a system that works.
(Note: please do not come to my actual office. I gave up meat, wheat and coffee this week. You don’t want to be in my office. Just stop by the blog. It’s my metaphorical office.)
EDIT: You can find part two right here: