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A roadmap to entrepreneurial freedom (part three)

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Strategic Coach will be discussing many of these breakthrough strategies in more detail at a live event in London on 6 March. Real Business readers can get complimentary tickets here.

Strategy five: Build a unique ability team

To fulfil your potential as an entrepreneur, it’s essential to focus almost entirely on developing your own strengths, while delegating your weaknesses. Of course, you can’t delegate to just anyone. You need to understand what each person in your team loves doing and does uniquely well, then delegate tasks accordingly in order to make best use of their talents.

A group for whom your weaknesses are their unique abilities and strengths – that’s what we call a “Unique Ability Team”.

Having such a team will not only dramatically boost your company’s growth and productivity, it will also create a work environment where people are actually excited to turn up! People are simply more productive, efficient and effective when they focus on the jobs they both enjoy and are best at. 

Now let’s look at how you prevent your business from becoming commoditised and make your product or service stand out from the competition.

Strategy six: Create a unique process

All too often I meet business owners who are willing to compete almost wholly on price. While this can work in some cases, it’s an extremely hard way to grow a sustainable business if you are forever dealing with tighter and tighter margins. 

As a general rule, you should focus on building greater value and product differentiation. To separate yourself from the competition I suggest doing the following:

  • Gain an intimate understanding of your customers’ desires and needs.
  • Establish credibility and position yourself as an expert in your marketplace.
  • Develop a unique process that cannot be replicated by your competitors.

These tactics will help you avoid a price war by developing factors beyond the cost of your product or service, which can make you the number-one choice for your customers. This means developing specific unique processes and ways to position yourself as an expert in your market – elements that can’t be duplicated by your competitors. 

It’s also essential to understand what is truly valuable to your prospects. To do to this we advise asking a specific question that gets straight to the heart of your prospect’s most important dangers, opportunities and strengths (what we refer to as DOS).

Too many entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing on selling products, and yet many prospects aren’t looking for product or service. They want something over and above that – they want to know how you can help them overcome their obstacles, take advantage of opportunities and leverage their strengths to make their long-term vision a reality.

If you prove that you understand their situation and are interested in helping them establish direction and confidence while reducing their feelings of confusion and frustration, you will become a very important part of that client’s future. That’s how you provide value they can’t get anywhere else, and how you become a hero to your customers.

Our next strategy is about increasing your revenue by focusing on only the best business relationships.

Strategy seven: Strengthen your relationship with your top 20 per cent

It’s highly likely that whatever your business or industry, 80 per cent of your revenue comes from 20 per cent of your clients. The good thing about the 80/20 rule is that nurturing those top 20 per cent relationships can make a massive difference to your revenue growth.

A few months ago a Strategic Coach client asked for my views on her budget for an upcoming marketing campaign. I did support investing in the campaign, but I also suggested she considered using a little of that budget on a few lunch dates with her top 20 per cent of clients over the next few months, as well as tracking what additional income resulted from those relationships.

Just recently, she told me that not only did she receive more revenue directly from those top 20 per cent, but she also saw a significant increase in the number of referrals from those customers. Those few lunches created a major jump in her revenue and growth.

The old adage is true: people do business with people. Even a little nurturing of your top clients can have a big impact on your lead generation and revenue.

Deepening the relationship you have with your top clients will also help you further define why they prefer to do business with you. This helps you further adjust your marketing to attract more top tier clients.

In our next and final article we’ll cover exactly how you can take more time off to plan, and spend more time working on your business instead of just in your business. 

Real Business readers can apply for complimentary tickets here for Strategic Coach’s upcoming event in London on March 6th.

Dan Sullivan is founder and president of entrepreneurial coaching company Strategic Coach.

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