Is your business growing, or steadily declining?
Marketing is the engine that drives every business. In any given week, the number of newly verified leads should meet or exceed the number of discarded leads and closed deals if you want to grow your business. This means that you’ve got to be in constant marketing mode. You can’t take your foot off the gas. You have to plan ahead.
Working Hard, and Smart
The best way to be in 24/7 marketing mode is to create the right systems and hire the right people. Attracting, hiring and motivating your team on an ongoing basis is key to working with leads and getting sales.
Planning your marketing activities will allow you to increase your income, prepare you to bring on additional staff, build your expert status within your industry, reduce stress and eliminate the frustrations of slumps in business referrals and lead generation.
Small business owners typically wear many hats, making it difficult to plan strategic, long-term marketing campaigns. When I started my company, Therapy Newsletter, in 2007, I was handling customer support, billing and product improvement all at the same time. Since I didn’t know my numbers, I was working hard, not smart.
Today, we know our exact cost of client acquisition and how much a new client is worth to us. Small business owners may find themselves involved in first tier marketing, inventory, direct sales, contract negotiations and more, which makes it easy to lose sight of the big picture: the reason why you are in business.
Is Your Business Growing or in Decline?
If you take a step back and look at the forest for the trees, you’ll realize something profound. A majority of the income generated by your primary sales source in most small businesses is spent in rent, utilities and salaries.
Let me prove it with a simple numbers test that will tell you if your business is growing (or declining). You’ll need four pieces of information, what I like to call fundamental business metrics. They include:
How many sales you close each week
Your average income per sale
Your average expenses each week (e.g., rent, utilities, staff and miscellaneous expenses)
Your income goal as a business owner
This data is the pulse of your business and reveals vital clues about where you are and where you should be going. Based on your income goals, you can reverse engineer your success. I’ll use a couple of scenarios to explain this in detail.
Scenario #1: One Sales Rep and a $300,000 Income Goal
Let’s say a business has one primary sales representative, and all the revenue in the business is generated by that person. This primary representative is also the owner, and he has an income goal of $300,000 a year.
Let’s say the primary representative:
Closes 60 sales a week
Gains $80 per sale
Pays $2,000 weekly in misc. expenses
Brings in $4,800 in weekly revenue
This scenario operates under a couple of assumptions:
The business has marketing mechanisms in place to bring in 20-25 leads a week
Each lead converts to an average of three unit sales a week.
As you can see, we have identified all four of the key metrics here. In this situation, the weekly expenses (including rent, utilities and payroll of staff including the miscellaneous staff salary) are $2,000. The net profit of the business (total income minus total expenses) is about $2,800.
It’s possible to dig into this, but let’s remain at a very high level for the purpose of this article. Even though the net profit is $2,800, the owner’s income goal ($6,000 a week) has not been met. Not only that, an income of $6,000 a week is equal to $310,000 a year (52 weeks in a year multiplied by weekly income $6,000 helps estimate annual income).
Now, let’s say one additional representative is added to the business.
Scenario #2: Two Sales Reps and a $300,000 Income Goal
Keep in mind, scenario one (i.e. a net profit of $2,800) continues and the business starts to grow. This creates the need to hire an additional representative. If an additional representative who has the same productivity is hired, then that second person also:
Closed 60 sales a week
Brings in $80 per sale
Brings in $4,800 in weekly revenue
This scenario operates under a few assumptions:
Through effective marketing and planning, you are able to fill the schedule of the new rep.
She has similar efficiency and similar revenue generation potential as you, the owner.
Standard expenses in Scenario #1 do not increase since systems and software are in place to automate and streamline business functions.
Now, let’s assume that the salary of this full-time representative is $40 an hour including benefits. You are looking at $1,600 a week in expenses. The rest of your expenses don’t increase; they stay the same.
The net profit for the business from this secondary representative (total income minus new expenses which include the salary of this person) is about $3,200. The combined income from the primary ($2,800) and the secondary ($3,200) is now $6,000 a week. This is $310,000 a year in net revenue for the business.
In this scenario, an owner can achieve financial independence by adding just one more salesperson to the business.
As you add more sales representatives, a significant portion of the revenue generated by each one goes straight to the bottom line of the business. With the first representative, on the other hand, a large portion of the income is used to cover costs like rent, utilities, payroll and miscellaneous costs. Therefore, in general, hiring more staff can result in higher profitability for a business.
The only way you can know where you are, and where you need to be is by identifying and tracking your own fundamental business metrics. It could be the difference between a business that’s struggling and one that’s ready to grow and become highly profitable.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT, CSCS is a licensed physical therapist in NJ, NY and a published author of “Physical Therapy Marketing For The New Economy” and the CEO of In Touch EMR electronic medical records and documentation system for healthcare professionals. Nitin has served on the editorial board of Perspectives Magazine and Impact Magazine, published by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Connect with @nitinchhoda on Twitter.
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