And how to leverage these relations for even more significant growth
Summary: You’re tired of working alone, and you want to surround yourself with people that will help you grow your business.
Imagine having a team of people behind the scenes helping you run your business more efficiently, effectively, and profitably. They are there when you need them most, and they have your back every step of the way.
In today’s world, your business growth is dependent on the people surrounding you.
It is not always easy to know:
This post will introduce five crucial people behind the scenes of your business growth and how to leverage them in a positive way to drive future business growth and your business to the next level of success!
What is leverage in a service business?
Leverage is the process of getting a maximum result for an action. Effectively using leverage brings a certain level of ease into your business and is a strategy used to scale your business when all the signs say that now is the time.
For instance, by leveraging your business’s people, you tap into their expertise, experience, and efforts. You can shortcut the time it takes to accomplish a goal while maximizing the efforts. It’s a real-life example of many hands make light work.
Using people as a point of leverage in small businesses is scary for many business owners.
Your 2 Big Fears about Leveraging People For Your Business Growth
Your business is not just about you. You are the face of it, but behind every successful company and individual are people that work tirelessly to make your dreams come true.
Two fears delay the implementation of this growth strategy. They are
- The fear of being able to sustain the investment of hiring people
- The fear of being able to trust people to deliver
These are normal fears. Everyone has them.
The first fear is scary because it involves risking a precious resource, your cash flow. When you involve people in your business, you will need to invest in them before they demonstrate a result for you; it is just the name of the game.
For my clients, we use a predictive cash flow tool that puts all those fears to rest. The cash flow tool allows us to put the new investment into our plan and look at the implications in a month, six months, or even a year out. We also put the results into the plan and take a look at the overall picture. The result enables us to make strategic decisions about the investment. It also helps bolster confidence that this is the right decision to make right now.
The second fear is around trusting these people with your baby. The questions that generally pop up are:
- Can I trust my team to produce quality results?
- Can I trust my partners to hold up the end of the deal?
Every business owner has a story where their interactions with another person did not go well. Some stories are more dramatic than others. These incidents impact your ability to let new people into your world.
In my experience, your expectations around people turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you expect people to take advantage of you, they often do. If you expect people to show up and deliver, they often do.
As the owner, work on rebuilding your trust in others.
If this is one of your biggest fears, you can mitigate it as you expand your work.
Start by getting clarity around your expectations. What does success look like in this relationship?
Implement the appropriate contracts and written agreements. This protective move builds even greater clarity for both parties. It sets expectations.
Live the Golden Rule. Treats others as you would have them treat you.
Should you get red flags along the way, listen to them, end the relationship and move on.
If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village of people to help you grow your business. You must be able to trust people to make this happen.
Here are the 5 People Behind the Scenes of Your Business Growth:
Leveraging Your Clients in Your Business for Growth
If you are in business, it is a safe bet that you have clients. The question is, are you leveraging them in a way that fuels your business’s future?
There are 3 ways to leverage your client relationships for quicker growth:
- Revenue Impact
- Market Research
The first way that clients impact your business is a no-brainer; they impact your revenue. That is pretty obvious. When you are in growth mode, your attention is on getting clients in the door. When you are in a scalability mode, your attention is on maximizing each client’s profit-generating capacity.
The strategies that you would use to boost your average sale or encourage repeat purchases are some of the quickest ways to double an established business. That’s how we maximize the revenue impact of our clients.
The next way to leverage your clients is through referrals. A referral program is where you tap into your client’s network and experience of working with you to generate more clients.
If the money you spend to bring a new client into the door from sales and marketing is seen as ‘expensive,’ generating referrals is relatively the ‘cheapest’ growth strategy you can implement.
Here is why. A client who refers another client just doubled their lifetime value to the business while driving the acquisition cost (what you spent in marketing and sales to get the client) in half—a point of leverage that you can use every single day.
I’ve seen million-dollar businesses built on this one strategy. The strategy is also used by nearly every SaaS product on the market because it is cheap and highly scalable.
Let’s talk about your untapped goldmine.
Your clients are an unbelievable source of information. Are you using that to your ultimate advantage?
Implementing a feedback loop mechanism with your clients fuels your marketing, service development, and future ideation.
Consider this, one of the things I say all the time is – I help you figure out what to do now, what to do tomorrow and what never to do again.
It’s a catchy soundbite.
I didn’t come up with it. My clients did.
We were working on updating our marketing message, and I went reading through my client success stories and a theme was appearing.
This point of leverage is often missed. Not only should you be asking for testimonials, but what if you also asked these questions to identify other opportunities for your business.
Here are 9 questions that you can ask your clients to leverage for future growth:
- How are we doing?
- What is the problem we solved for you?
- What was your biggest hesitation in working with us? How did we overcome that?
- What is the most significant value in working with us?
- What would you tell someone else who needs us?
- What is it that we are not doing for you?
- What do you see us needing to do to be number one in the market?
- What is the next thing you are worried about?
- What is demanding your attention today?
Leveraging Your Vendors, Suppliers, and Distribution Partners in Your Business for Growth
If your clients are at the end of your service life cycle, let’s take a look at the people behind the scenes at the front of your service life cycle – your vendors, suppliers, and distribution partners.
Even if your business doesn’t directly need materials, you have systems, platforms, and technology you pay for every month. This can be a rich area to gain leverage in your business.
Did you know that there’s an estimation that we typically only use 50% of the capacity of our technology? When we implement new technology, we often learn just enough to get us up and running.
When we have a new problem, our first action is to look for a new solution – not even thinking about going back to our current solutions to see if we can leverage what we already have. (Hint: Your clients likely are doing the same with your services.)
So pick up the phone, send an email, or chat and ask your vendors how they can help you. Before bringing in a new expense, leverage their knowledge or investing hours of your own time trying to figure it out.
If you have a personal relationship with your vendors, you can also leverage their networks to identify partners and solve other problems.
This conversation is equally important when managing cash flow and your expenses. As the nation closed due to the pandemic, many vendors were willing to work with my clients to reduce or defer their standard monthly charges.
The point is to have the conversation to find new solutions and opportunities.
Only 12% of businesses have what it takes to scale their business profitably and sustainably.
Do You Have What it Takes?
Leveraging Partners and Strategic Alliances in Your Business for Growth
As a fan of futurist Kevin Kelly, I love his viewpoint that you’re only one click, step, and one person away from achieving your desired results and goals.
How do we do that? By leveraging other’s networks.
There are three ways this can happen with your partners and alliances.
- Circle of Influence
- Borrowing Other’s Audiences
- Co-Marketing of Services
The Circle of Influence is used in the early stages to get to your first clients, but as your business matures, this is a strategy to get introductions to key people who can boost your business’s growth.
In this area, we look for collaborative partners, share your views and values on business, and compliment what you do; but do not compete
Increase your capacity to serve without increasing the your efforts.
The relationships that are a win for you, your partner, and your clients are the ones that will have the greatest longevity in the business.
As you grow and scale your business, you will look for ways to amplify your reach to new audiences. While you can and should work on building your audience or tribe, look to leverage your partners’ audience.
If you can deliver value to their clients and make your partner look good in the process, this is a fabulous (and cheap) way to get the amplification of your message.
Leveraging Mentors, Advisors, and Consultants in Your Business for Growth
Entrepreneurship is one of the few fields where, while you can get a degree in its theory, proficiency comes from on-the-job training.
Every day is a day where you confront new problems and new opportunities.
You are capable of going out and learning what you need. When you are first starting, there’s a lot of logic behind gaining that knowledge. You are more willing to invest your time because you have it and conserve your money.
As you move from a growth mode to scaling mode in your business, you tend to have little to no time to invest in learning as your day-to-day is full and your energy is waning.
That’s when you look to invest in a strategy that leverages the experience of people who have walked the road you are on and have success in guiding others to the results they desire.
Like our other people leverage points, you want to ensure that you align with the mentor and you have clarity on what you are trying to achieve by working with them.
The best mentors and advisors will help you gain clarity, confidence, and results.
If we can help with our private services or group mentoring, just let us know
Investments in this area often save you the time of figuring it out, getting results quicker, and saving you money by helping you avoid the pitfalls.
Leveraging Team in Your Business for Growth
A fundamental transformation for every business owner to make on their scaling journey is this. You must move from the role of doing all the work to ensuring the work gets done. It’s a strategic move that takes you from technician to manager.
Building a team is how that happens.
The first goal in this strategy is to understand that you need to focus on doing the work that only you can and should do for the business to continue to grow and scale.
The wonderful thing is that your team can include:
Success with the strategy requires homework in developing and defining your culture, hierarchy growth plans, job descriptions, and 90-day onboarding plans.
This is the critical groundwork that builds trust and clarity – and a scalable, sustainable system.
You also notice that you may start to enjoy your work because you can step into a more visionary and mentor role in and out of your business.
There are no gold stars for doing things by yourself, and things are certainly better when we do it together. Implement just one of these leverage points in your business to see things transform into a business that grows and scales easily, profitably, and sustainably over the year.
Think you have what it takes to scale your business? Take the Scaling Rich Quiz today to find out your scaling rich personality.
Leslie Hassler is a popular author and speaker who spends much of her time coaching business owners on how to run their growing businesses by their rules. Delivering high-touch, personalized service, Leslie works with her clients as a partner, not just a consultant (who would pop in, tell you what to do, then leave).
Leslie teaches her clients a structured way to decide what to do first, second, next — and never – in their businesses, so that they can learn to do it for themselves.
Leslie lives in Dallas with her husband and two kids, so she knows it’s not just about growing the business – it’s about getting the business ship shape so it grows and you can be home in time for dinner.
Leslie speaks on topics such as business leadership, prioritizing the business owner’s To Do list, and how to create and implement a strategic plan for growth.
If you’d like to have Leslie come speak to your group or organization, or present at your event, inquire here.