By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International 5/17/2012
Takeaways: Two strategies are key to ensuring entrepreneurs and business owners are successful. They are Mindset and Systems Strategies. Having the right mindset helps to set the vision and purpose of the business. Setting up and following the right systems ensures the needed actions occur.
Mindset Strategies and Systems Strategies are the two proven methods all entrepreneurs and business owners should embrace in order to ensure future growth. They work together, building upon one another over time – if you find the proper balance and strength to follow them.
According to Clate Mask and Scott Martineau, founders of Infusionsoft, “Mindset strategies are your preparation for owning, managing, and controlling your business. They give you the capacity to grow your business without being consumed by it. “Systems strategies are more tangible – they are the processes and tools you implement to grow your business and keep it running smoothly and profitably.”
In their book, Conquer the Chaos, How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy, Mask and Martineau identify the three areas of Mindset Strategies and of Systems Strategies that business owners need to develop.
1) Emotional Capital
2) Disciplined Optimism
3) Entrepreneurial Independence
Emotional Capital is hard to put your finger on. Basically, it has to do with how you feel. Are you energized each day or do you feel yourself dragging? Do you wake up excited to take on the day or worried, anxious, and nervous? You need to honestly evaluate where your emotional capital stands and what actions you can take to refill the emotional bank account if it’s nearly depleted.
Disciplined Optimism is divided into three components:
an underlying belief that your small business will achieve the success you envision confronting the brutal facts of your current reality attacking those brutal facts because you WANT to, not because you HAVE to.
Having a clearly stated vision is a step in the right direction – but stating a 10-year plan for your business is even more liberating and focusing, according to the authors. They recommend writing it down, posting it on your desk or wall so you see it every day, sharing it with firends and colleagues, and re-visiting it often. Thoughts become words. Word become beliefs. Beliefs create action.
Entrepreneurial Independence requires that you take full responsibility for your actions. You decide the fate of your business. You need to clearly define success – what it looks like, smells like, feels like so you have a sense of recognition when you get there. You need to believe in your decisions, following through whole-heartedly despite the limited data to back them up. Conviction is essential to making things happen.
Centralize. As an entrepreneur, you wear many hats – you are the boss, the sales team, the HR department, tech support, customer service and even the janitor. Unless you’re really well organized, you’ve got reports, statements, records and information everywhere. You need to centralize all that into one database of information which you can access at any time.
Follow-Up. This is perhaps the one greatest fault of most entrepreneurs – lack of follow-up. Whether it’s because you feel you’re being a pest if you call more than three times, or you simply forget after trying once or twice, follow-up is critical to finding your freedom as an entrepreneur. Consider this:
- Only 2 % of sales close on the first contact
- 3 % close on the second contact
- 4% close on the third contact
- 10% close on the fourth contact
- 81% close on or after the fifth contact!
(source: Sales and Marketing Executives Club of Los Angeles)
Yet 48% of businesses quit following up after the first call and 24% quit after the second.
Automate. The key to lack of follow-up is automation say the authors – automating those repetitive tasks that involve following up with prospects. With the right tools, this can be done and at a relatively affordable cost. Automated follow-up keeps you top of mind with your prospects and helps to build relationships. With the right tools, automation can cover nearly every aspect of your business from lead capture to billing and collections and even workflow.
This frees you up to do what you do best – lead the company, focus on its future direction, adjust for changes in the marketplace, and make time to spend with your family.