In my last article, I introduced you to the three steps within Level One of the Entrepreneurs Circle’s 9-Step Masterplan to building a mighty business – the foundation level. My aim was to help you answer these four questions to enable you to establish a plan for growth:

  1. What do want from your business?
  2. What level of profit do you need to be able to achieve your wants?
  3. How many customers do you need to generate that profit?
  4. What’s the best strategy to find and retain those customers?

Level two now builds on that foundation and tackles the execution of that plan – the high pay-off activities and the people involved to establish traction for growth.

But before we go too deep into each step on the Execution Level, does this sound like you..?

  • Busy with activity, but lacks direction
  • Busy working IN the business, not ON the business
  • Undertakes marketing, but sporadically, when new leads are needed
  • Can be distracted by ‘the new shiny thing’.

Level Two aims to turn you into a ‘professional business person’, who has a system to follow that allows you to acquire customers rhythmically and profitably, with a team that works in harmony to deliver services in a consistent, predictable, profitable, and routine way.

Level Two – Execution

As with Level One, the Foundation Level, there are 3 steps within Level Two. The next three steps are:

Step 4: Your team – creating an environment so your team is on the same path as you.

  1. Define your mission, Vision, Values and Purpose
  2. Allocate or fill roles from the Business Model Canvas
  3. Roll out the mission whilst demonstrating your Vision, Values and Purpose

Step 5: Customer acquisition – Get the team to rhythmically acquire customers in a consistent, predictable, profitable, and routine way.

  1. Review and define your Customer Avatars
  2. Design the Customer Value Journey
  3. Set the scorecard (more about this later)

Step 6: Delivering excellence – Deliver your services to your customers in a consistent, predictable, profitable, and routine way.

  1. Map your Customer Journey
  2. Test the journey on your last five customers
  3. Sign-off the Customer Journey

Step 4: Your team

Going back to the T.E.R.M.S number we worked out in Level One (How much Time, Effort & Energy, Resources, Money and Sanity you can put into your plan for the ideal business), most business owners will need someone else to help them achieve it.

That might be an employee, contractor or outsourced resource, but the important thing to remember is that to be successful in reaching your T.E.R.M.S goal, your team needs to be aligned with it too, supporting your efforts to get there.

So, Step Four is about HOW we get that team aligned with your own mission, so you can work less and gain more, and that comes in creating the right environment. That environment needs to include clear communication of your ‘pillars’:

  • Your mission
  • Your vision
  • Your values
  • Your purpose

When these messages are clear everyone is singing from the same song sheet, and as long as your team is trusted and given the space to be creative, take ownership and authority within the framework of those pillars, they will thrive.

Step 5: Rhythmic acquisition of customers

‘Rhythmic acquisition of customers is ALWAYS preceded by rhythmic activity’ Entrepreneurs Circle

This step boils down to marketing, and being rhythmic, or consistent with your marketing activities. So, bear in mind this key formula: Marketing = Creativity + Maths. Now let’s consider HOW you can get rhythmic…

First answer these three maths questions:

  1. What’s your desired rhythm? Work out the value of each customer per year, and then how many more customers you need to create the profit you desire. From here you can work out how many customers per week/month you need and for how long – that’s your rhythm.
  2. How much should you be spending to acquire a new customer? This is not intended to be a hard and fast formula, but a good starting point: Average order value, minus Cost of goods sold in £s, minus £1. This gives you the MAXIMUM spend, allowing for only £1 profit, you get the idea…
  3. Are you spending the right marketing budget? Unfortunately, when it comes to marketing and acquiring customers, nothing good comes free. You can use a mix of PPC, social ads, lead funnels and so on, and make sure each tactic satisfies your Cost per Sale.

Now, armed with all these important answers, in order to put the best marketing plan possible together you’ll need to review what’s currently happening with your marketing.

  • Are you currently getting a consistent rhythmic flow at some level and if so, what?
  • What’s your current cost per sale for the customers you’re currently getting?
  • Are the customers you’re currently attracting the best ones for you?

You may not need to make many, if any changes to your marketing activity, so it’s important to review regularly to ensure you’re still on track. I also have a great ‘Marketing Spend Calculator’ which I can share with you if you’d like to get in touch

Now, about the Scorecard mentioned above… This is a method of tracking activity vs results on a weekly basis, and if done properly acts as a plan as well as retrospective analysis.

Step 6: Delivering excellence

Now you have the right team in place, and the high pay-off marketing activities to generate new leads, you need to ensure you’re delivering on your promise to customers. The reason we use the term ‘excellence’ is because perfection doesn’t exist in reality and if it did, how could you possibly improve on it? Excellence can always be scaled…

Let’s move above and beyond the basics of service delivery and start adding customer centric experiences along their journey from awareness to adoption and advocacy. Question time:

  • Do you have a clear understanding of the needs of your customers and prospects (insights)?
  • Do you have a clear focus on the resulting business value (impact)?
  • Do you know what’s getting in the way, or could be improved, to meet these needs of your customers (issues/opportunities)?
  • Have you, or can you, design solutions that deliver both customer and organisational value (innovate)?

Mapping out the touchpoints on your customers’ journey shows you at which point you can interact with excellence, for example; order acknowledgment, dispatch notification, packaging, notice of when you’re working, meeting requests, invoicing, purchase or acquisition anniversaries, even out of office notifications…

If you can create a visual illustration of the customer journey, everyone will see the process, needs and perceptions as they interact with the customer at each touchpoint – that could be invaluable for improving delivery…

I do understand there’s a lot of information and advice packed into this one article. That’s why I offer a free business mentoring session for new connections, so you can ask any questions this or any other articles on the Entrepreneurs Circle Masterplan brings up.

So, feel free to get in touch, I look forward to chatting with you – Mike.

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