Do you remember those pesky pool problems?
If one tap is filling the pool at a speed of 5 litres per hour, and there is a hole that is emptying the pool at speed at half a litre per hour, how long would it take to fill the pool? Remember now?
When I was 8-9 years old, our family dinner times were always educational, and I must admit kind of fun. My father, a maths whiz, used to run the show. He would prepare 5 mathematics questions for us (me and my mother – just to put it out there my mother is an alien from another galactic constellation who never ever in her life got any grades below 90%).
During our dinner competitions, we were not allowed paper or pen, only mental calculations.
The aim? Simple: If you win you didn’t have to clean up the table. I tell you what, pretty quickly, I started to beat my mum at the mathematics problems I learned, but those pool problems were my Achilles’ tendon.
To date, it seems like they are still haunting me:
Who would have known that my father was right in trying to teach me about the fricking pool! It is all about the pool.
In the last 10 days I ran 4 planning sessions, 6 coaching sessions and 1 group planning session. In total about 20 women entrepreneurs reported something similar to the pool problems that we used to resolve when we were kids. “I have clients, but I want more of them, I sold tickets to my course, but it is not enough, I have a great course, but I have only one sign-up, I don’t know how to grow, it is too slow”
The common interesting pattern that I caught is pretty interesting: the minute entrepreneurs are faced with a sales or prospection problem, they tend to go back and try to perfect the product.
Let me ask you something: In the mathematical pool problems, when filling the pool with water, do we worry about the colour of the pool lining, or how new it looks, or shall we add more lights? NO…the only thing that matters in the pool problems are the taps and the hole. More water you bring in, quicker the pool is filled. Full stop!
Same goes for your business. Whether you are selling a course, a piece of jewellery, your hours, your services, packages, membership … The tap is the most important thing to focus on. The tap is the Promotion Power Hub of your business and promotion trumps over anything when growth is challenging.
So, my friend, you need to focus on one main thing: increasing the flow… How?
There are 3 main reasons why your growth might be slower:
1. Lack of clarity in one or more of these areas
- Audience: Who you are talking to as a brand.
- Position: it’s not about what you are selling (because chances are there are many others who are selling the same thing) it is about what are you standing for and why people shall choose you over your competitors
- Benefit: What’s in it for them? Why should they buy from you?
- Journey: How do they become your client? Is it quick and easy to access your offer or is it complicated?
- Message: Are you communicating in a simple, short and impactful way?
2. An unfit channel strategy
More often than not, entrepreneurs choose their communication channels with no strategy but just because “everyone else does it”. Let me tell you what, most of ‘everyone else’ is struggling too! 😉
Channel strategy is one of the most challenging things to nail as you have to test, track, measure and review every so often (ideally 3 months) and change your strategy if you see it is not working.
There criteria of choice when choosing channels are:
- The reach in terms of numbers and quality
- The cost and effort involved to action them in a consistent manner
For example, blogging is a great way to increase SEO and highlight your expertise and give you credibility. Nevertheless, it is a slow burner, it is not targeted and will not return on investment immediately. On the other hand, word of mouth marketing, when done strategically with systems in place can cost you very small effort and money and give you immediate results…
As a rule of thumb, when putting in place your channel strategy, the best practice is choosing a range of strategies to see which works for you, for instance:
- One large reach with a long-term ROI (social media organic growth, podcast).
- One targeted reach with a short-term ROI (word of mouth or referrals).
- One unheard of- an unexplored channel just to test (street marketing, flyering, sending letters…(yup, you read it right, it actually works a lot depending on your business).
AND, track, measure and review – if something is not working after 3 months, don’t be afraid of changing it.
3. Lack of consistency
Unless you have a substantial budget to test big quantities in short term, as a micro business owner, getting your marketing right is not a quick fix.
And as we mentioned earlier, when growth is a struggle, marketing trumps… SORRY!
It is a relentless, on-going effort until you really nail all the parameters above and increase your visibility. So consistency empowered with coherence is the only way forward.
A final thought…
Dear female business owners, whenever things are not picking up, or you feel like you should be doing better with your lead generations and numbers, please please please, STOP doubting yourself and your offer.
Nothing is wrong with your offer or who you are or how you sell. If you are in a slow growth, low value sector and you are not an innovative offer, you are in the game of resilience, persistence and motivation. As Madame Coco Chanel says just keep your head, heels and standards high!
And don’t forget, we are here to help with our monthly growth planning sessions. Get in touch now and we can organise a short zoom-coffee to meet.