When it comes to building your business, you can either work hard or work smart. Working smart isn’t always better than working hard. They both have their place.
The reality is you’ll need to hustle hard to attract your first few customers. However, over the long run, hard work is overrated and non-sustainable.
Working smart, on the other hand, is sustainable and offers you the opportunity to acquire passive income while creating work-life balance and enjoying your life. Working smart also gives you the ability to scale your small business into a global enterprise.
So, what is the “smart way” to build a business? The smart way is to create and utilize systems. In order to scale your business you need three main systems; a system to:
Get the right people’s attention
Sell your products or services
Here’s a deeper look at examples and the benefits of each:
Grab their ‘inbound’ attention.
Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than you going out to get their attention. Think of this system as any form of marketing that generates a positive return on investment and doesn’t require a continuous commitment of your time.
This can be different in every business, but here are some inbound strategies you can test out regardless of your industry: (a) Paid search via a Google Adwords ad campaign (b) Social media contests (c) Engaging blog posts and guest blogging and (d) online video content.
Capture customer data.
What good is getting the attention of prospective clients if you do nothing with it? Therefore, the next phase is to build a system that captures data. One of the most valuable pieces of information you can get from a prospective customer is their email address. Usually, people only exchange their personal information with you if they feel like they are getting something valuable in return.
So, here are some good strategies to capture prospective clients personal information: (a) a sign-up form for your newsletter (b) registration for an eBook (c) access to a research paper (d) a free trial or consultation or (e) a blog subscription.
Now that you have systems in place for generating attention and capturing information, it’s time to start monetizing that list of prospective clients. This is when you need a pitch and a platform. Your pitch is how you sell your product or service, and your platform is your way of communicating that pitch to your prospective clientele.
After you have created your pitch, the best way to improve it is to test it out. There is nothing like real-time feedback. The sales channel that you deliver your pitch to prospective clientele can determine how smoothly your business runs. Examples include (a) direct sales (b) resellers (c) distributors (d) Internet (e) retailers and (f) strategic alliances to name a few.
Make sure to use these three steps to create the foundation for optimal systems and a sound operational structure for your business. Then you will start to see your business grow at a faster rate and potentially make more money while you’re sipping mojitos on a white sand beach.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Dana Sellers is a business development consultant and the founder of Gray Capital Solutions, a full-service consulting firm that focuses on the growth and development of startups and small businesses.