10 ways to ensure your online business is growing and not dying

feature-sunflower-200If you aren’t growing, you are dying. It’s a sad but brutal truth in business, and especially online.

What is going to keep your business going when you aren’t there? Honestly, do you think it would last for 12 months? If there isn’t a force behind a company that keeps it going and driving forward, you would be amazed at how fast it dies.

I believe a business is a living organism that feeds off energy. A business’s energy usually comes from a collection of key people (like Oracle), a collective mantra or belief (like a political party) or a core mandate (like a government).

If that energy dies, the company dies.

There are other things that can also kill a company and sometimes it’s hard to tell if you are growing or if you are dying.

Here are ten lessons, I learnt the hard way, to ensure your business is growing instead of dying.

1. Get new sales:

  • Everything in a business starts with a sale. If you kill the sales, the business will die fast.
  • Always be closing – follow up leads and get the sale, lead, contact, referral, vote or whatever you need from that person. Everyone is in sales, everyone needs to close.

2. Fire bad customers:

  • Fire a bad customer every month and replace them with a great customer. Bad customers take up time and are why you aren’t getting that next great customer. You should be devoting your time to marketing, selling, meeting, networking and pleasing the people who are going to grow your business, not bring it down.
  • How do you determine a bad customer?
  • You lose money on their account
  • They kill your motivation
  • They kill the motivation of others in your company
  • They don’t pay on time
  • They question everything
  • They are just a pain in the ass

But how do I fire them?

Call them up and explain the situation and say that you think it would be better if they worked with someone else. Refer them to someone else; you have to give them an option that is great and will work. Call up that person and ensure they can take on the client and can help the client out.

Then move on.

3. Collect Money:

  • Cash is king – build up a huge stockpile and never stop.
  • Assume you are always in trouble and need to collect it on time.
  • Establish a goal for collection.
  • Invoice on time, every time, and establish a process with all clients.
  • Fire the bad payers – you aren’t a client if you don’t pay your bills. That is called a freeloader. You aren’t a government agency, don’t make donations to your clients until you can afford it and you are choosing to do it, as opposed to your clients choosing.

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