Is Your Business Always In “Feast or Famine” Mode? What You Can Do To Generate Predictable Monthly Revenue
Having spoken to, trained and coached thousands of entrepreneurs who sell services to other businesses, including social media and marketing agencies, I believe that it would be a fair statement to say that I truly know the struggles of being able to generate a steady stream of leads then qualify them, then sell them then fulfill on those sales, then run your business. I know this based on personal experience, (I have struggled with lead generation, sales, fulfillment, and marketing too).
Now if you listen very carefully I touched on several things there:
The truth is- that it takes all three and most of us entrepreneurs get stuck in a place where they are only focusing on one or two but not all three of these areas: marketing, sales, and fulfillment. When your business cannot focus on all three at the same time, something always gives and revenue ultimately suffers.
Typically, solo entrepreneurs or small businesses, start ups, face dynamic and similar issues which and sound like this:
- I don't have enough time to focus on marketing consistently to eliminate the "feast or famine" syndrome.
- My business does not yet have predictable revenue growth in order to scale sensibly
- I am tired of investing in gimmicks, tactics, and the next "thing" that doesn't help long term.
If this is something you can relate too, then you have probably witnessed (maybe even in your own business) this vicious cycle. It is the true definition of insanity and looks something like this graphic below:
Many of us get stuck right here and don't know how to get out. Don't worry, you aren't alone. This is a natural evolution of business growth.
Unless you are so well funded and have started out with all of your systems in place and proven, you would be able to for the most part skip through most of this cycle where you have to start stop, start stop.
If you are like most of us who has to build upon each success and reinvest in marketing, sales, system, improvement, the system looks like this:
You have a need to generate revenue- after all, you have bills to pay. You hustle, buy an advertising or marketing campaign, drive traffic through to your door if you are a brick and mortar business, or drive leads to your website, cause the phone to ring, and basically generate activity which in turn morphs into prospects, which converts into sales, which turns into revenue.
Because you are pretty much a one person "shop", start up, or have very little resources in terms of employees or help, you are in charge of everything. You generate leads, make sales, do the marketing, take care of the customer, and perform service calls. You do it all.
The problem is when you do this, your attention is never spread evenly between the tasks that will help you consistently generate leads, convert to sales, and fulfill your orders.
When you handle all things in your business, you tend to only focus enough in each of those areas to survive. The problem is you create a feast or famine situation because first its lead generation, so you market, then you have plenty of leads so you try to convert to sales, but while you are doing that, you are not spending time marketing, only in selling mode.
When you make the sales, you have to fulfill the order and that typically takes the ever-busy entrepreneur away from marketing and sales to focus on actually providing the service you sold them on in the first place.
If you are struggling, can't get traction, and find yourself in constant feast famine, one step forward and two steps back, then the fundamental questions to ask yourself should be:
- How can your business make that jump from constant struggling to having predicable revenue?
- How long have you been in this feast famine mode?
- Have you found it a struggle to move beyond this feast/famine and having predictable revenue?
- What have you been doing up to this point?
- Is it serving you and your business well?
What we have found through personal experience is that to take a business from earning little, no, or inconsistent income, predicable revenue takes some work. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
If you ask yourself why can't you get any traction, why is it always the same 1 step forward and 2 steps back, the first thing to do is to take an honest look at your business so that you can fix things.
Most small businesses never plan for these things, and simply just react. When they do that, the chances for business failure increase exponentially.
So why is it that businesses fail? (source: safeharbor.com)
Businesses fail because:
- Lack of clarity of product or service
- Lack of a sales and marketing plan (no sales or marketing systems in place)
- Lack of knowledge of who your target market even is
- Lack of focus- who among us hasn't experienced the bright shiny object syndrome?
On the flip side, here are some reasons and characteristics of successful business owners-
According to smallbiztrends. 8 characteristics of successful business owners are:
- Have a crystal-clear vision
- Have a plan mapped out
- Sets short and long term goals
- Ongoing education and self-improvement
- Satisfy your customers
- Are great at marketing
- Are laser focused in your business- no more bright shiny object syndrome here
- Won't give up.
So, what if you had access to a complete marketing, sales, system- a real business building system that helps you achieve all of those characteristics of a successful business- focus, sales, marketing, fulfillment, personal growth, mindset, systems, and skills…
How far could you really go? What could you really achieve?
Picture this: It's not so far off in the future and you are a different entrepreneur a different person really. Your business is hitting all of your revenue goals each year and its growing. You have identified your target market, what their pain points are, how to sell to them, the systems to fulfill are there, you are growing and want to scale sensibly and are thinking of bringing on some reliable help in the form of an employee or small equity partner.
You are clear on what your business is about, you have a plan and a vision and know exactly what is needed to get there. You look back and laugh at some of the stuff you did in the beginning… You can finally take a vacation- where would that be? Europe, Caribbean, Far East? South Pacific? USA?
So, what is the solution? The solution is first to smooth out the lead and sales process so you don't have the ebbs and flows, feast and famine cycle occurring.
Find targeted prospects for you to connect with, then engage them, warming them with the multiple touch points needed nowadays to cultivate relationships, making them ready, willing and able to buy your services. The problem most people face is not in generating that initial lead, but conducting the follow up consistently so that you can still maintain a steady stream of sales.
Did you know that:
- 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up. [Source: Scripted]
- The average sales person only makes 2 attempts to reach a prospect.
[Source: Sirius Decisions]
- 80% of sales require 5 follow-up phone calls after the meeting.
[Source: The Marketing Donut]
- Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. [Source: InsideSales.com]
- If you follow up with web leads within 5 minutes, you’re 9 times more likely to convert them. [Source: InsideSales.com]
- 63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least three months – and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy. [Source: Marketing Donut]
- Only 25% of leads are legitimate and should advance to sales.
[Source: Gleanster Research]
- 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy.
[Source: Gleanster Research]
- Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. [Source: DemandGen Report]
- Companies that excel at lead nurturing have 9% more sales reps making quota. [Source: CSO Insights]
As you can see, there is a ton of money lost once a lead has been generated. If you do not already have a follow up system, then it is critical that you get a simple follow up system to help you stop losing out on sales in the post lead acquisition, follow up process. These systems can be acquired and set up for relatively inexpensively but pay for themselves in the revenue you gain in increased sales as a result of a proper follow up system.
By taking a look at where your business is so you can address some of the areas your business is leaking profits to the point where you are unable to have predictable monthly revenue and growth, you can then begin to put some plans in place to fix those issues.
For a complete LinkedIn Marketing Blueprint to help you put a solid lead gen and follow up system in place, click the button below.