Letters From Lisa – January 2022

In business it is easy to get bogged down and to try to work on tons of things. But complexity is potentially the enemy in all that we do.

Now often at the start of a year, we resolve to “fix” things. Luckily a literal and figurative clear-out like that can often help us focus on fewer things more effectively rather than trying to focus on too much at once.

According to Merriam-Webster, keeping it simple means making something easy to understand or do, not going into too much detail, and sticking to the point.

Humans tend to like complexity more than simplicity, especially at work. We often find it hard to believe that simple solutions will actually work. We mistakenly think ‘simple’ is the same as ‘easy’ when they’re actually very different. As we start this new year, let’s work together to keep growing business by trying to keep things simple.

In fact, let’s commit to focus on three things all year:

Know Your Customer

Know Your Checkbook

Tell Everyone

Know Your Customer

Understanding what your customers want collectively and individually is key to growth. Having an in-depth of knowledge – or knowing more than their name, gender and herd size is paramount. As a business, knowing your customers’ kids, hobbies, tastes and interests along with what they watch, listen to and read can be a profitable advantage.

Understanding your customers’ buying behavior is also very important. As a business, you need to comprehend what type of person is most likely to need or want the product or service you provide. These are some of the key questions that you need to ask yourself daily:

  • What is their reason for purchasing your product or service?
  • How often are they going to need to buy that product or utilize the service? If you can be proactive with your outreach efforts around the time you know they will purchase, chances are the customer won’t look elsewhere.
  • Where are they most likely to purchase? If you are a brick-and- mortar business and hear from your customers that they would prefer to order online, then it makes sense to change your business model to include an ecommerce or online ordering component.

Companies that know what their clients want and what they expect can also work on customizing the customer experience to create loyalty and repeat business. Listen to your customers’ feedback and provide sound advice if that’s what they want.

It is crucial to take every advantage to outsmart your competitor. Understanding and building upon your customer knowledge and relationship will put you ahead of the game.

Know Your Checkbook

Keeping accurate records helps keep the doors open. Knowing your records and simply using what they tell you to drive growth makes a business thrive. A business checkbook is often the primary source of record-keeping for many small businesses, according to the Internal Revenue Service. However, for a larger business know your checkbook translates into know your financials. Or in our new simple terms for all of us – know how much money you have and can/should invest in helping the business thrive.

It is ok to ask for help here. It is not ok to never look at your numbers and the money they are generating and also know what they are telling you.

Tell Everyone

The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends, “As a general rule, small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8% of their revenues to marketing.” This percentage is based on companies that have profits in the 10-12% range.

Whether you run a small business
or a multi-million-dollar corporation, marketing is essential to your profitability and growth. Products and services don’t sell themselves. By ignoring marketing until it’s too late, many small businesses risk hitting a brick wall and quite possibly, failing (just putting it simply).

So, what does tell everyone mean? Simple, tell everyone so everyone tells everyone (Tidbit: you must tell them 7 times before they even hear you). I like to think of the Christian song Pass it On for this concept. If you don’t know the words, it goes like this . . .

“It only takes a spark. To get a fire going. And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if the glowing was your business?

The paper clip. The post-it note. The BioZyme product center. Some of the best ideas in the world are also the simplest. Take some time to give these three simple, focused tactics a try. You might find yourself discovering a fresh lease on life at work. Happy 2022!!

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