How to Reach Your Revenue Goal: Planning for 2015

There’s a problem with the way many business owners plan their revenue and sales goals.

They say something to the effect of “I want to make more than last year” or “I want a bigger profit percentage than last year”.

Great. Don’t we all?

The issue is that there’s no specificity. How much more? What profit percentage?

Just like the old GPS analogy… you can’t get where you’re going if you don’t know where you are. You also can’t get there if you don’t know where “there” is.

When planning your revenue (and/or profit) goals, it’s helpful to have a few numbers handy. For purposes of this article, we’ll focus on revenue from sales of your primary product or service.

You’ll want to gather the following information in order to plan for your 2015 revenue:

* Your 2014 revenue from sales
* Your total number of paying clients for 2014
* The total number of programs, products and services sold in 2014
* How much more you want to make in 2015 than you did in 2014

Let’s pretend our answers to the above are:

* $265,000 in 2014 revenue from sales
* 54 paying clients
* 12 total programs, products and services sold in 2014
* $35,000 additional revenue from sales you wish to create in 2015

Divide your total sales revenue by total number of clients to get your average revenue per client

You now have two choices:

1. Decide you want all your new 2015 revenue to come from new clients. In which case you take the amount more that you want to create ($35,000 in our example) and divide it by the average 2014 revenue per client ($4900 in our example or 4th bullet from above divided by #1 from above). This totals 7 new clients in our example.

Before nodding your head saying “yep, new clients”, stop and think about what that entails from a lead generation, marketing and time/energy cost standpoint. Then… since all these clients won’t be starting with you in January, add some more of them. The longer it takes to bring them in, the more you need to bridge the gap to how much more revenue you want to create. This means our “7″ new clients could be 10, 15 or more.

While we’re stopping this exercise here, truth is, the number of “new” customers you need depends also on your conversion rate from strangers to opt-ins and opt-ins/leads to paying clients. If you speak with 50 people for every 1 new client, you’ll need to have a lead generation plan in place which brings in 350 people in order to welcome 7 new clients or 750 people for 15 new clients.

2. Offer more items (or more of the same items if appropriate) to existing customers. What if, instead of spending $4900 with you like in 2014, 5 of your existing clients spend $9900 with you in 2015. 5 clients x $5000 in new sales revenue = $25,000 additional. Now instead of 7 new clients, you only need 2 -3 to make up the additional $10,000 for your desired $35,000 in new revenue.

Reality is that your business requires (and will have) a mix of both existing and new clients and customers. This requires you to create not only a lead generation plan to bring in new customers, but also an Extreme Client Care(tm) or relationship marketing plan to keep existing clients, discover what they want and need most and find a way to offer it to them.

Once you know your numbers, it’s time to put together an action plan to achieve them. Your action plan allows you to plan your quarters, weeks, months and days such that you consistently take the actions necessary to achieve your goals.

Six Tips for Finding More Leads For Your Small Business

Do you struggle to find enough local leads because you are a newcomer in the community with few acquaintances? Or perhaps you have burned through your warm market already and have a limited budget for paid advertising.

When I started my network marketing business, I had just recently moved across the country. I hardly knew anyone in my new local community except my family members who lived here.While I had experience with selling online through eBay and Amazon, I didn’t understand how network marketing depends on relationships in your warm market. So at first I struggled with how to meet people. I found the solution was to build a new warm market.

Here are six ways that you can rebuild or create a new warm market network.

First, you should have a local Internet listing for your business in online directories, starting with Google+ places, Yahoo Local and Bing.

Next, find people with common social interests such as sports, dancing or bowling. It is best to get involved with groups where you will see people more than once. You may want go to a gym or fitness center to get in shape.

You might want to take a class in a community college. Some colleges offer classes for learning or upgrading your skills. Community centers may offer classes for a variety of interests, such as art, drama, dancing or home improvement.

Look on meetup.com to find social events and activities with like-minded people.

Volunteer for a charity or community service project. There are many worthwhile groups that are always in need of people to help in variety of roles.

Contact the local Chamber of Commerce to request a list of local business networking meetings. There you will meet other entrepreneurs and small business owners who are familiar with the local community. Business owners are always looking for referrals and also willing to give referrals as well.

Remember that people like to do business with people they know, like and trust. Whatever the ways you meet new people, it takes time to make a connection and get acquainted. Of course you do not to rush in and start pitching your business when you first meet new people.

If Only I Had More Customers

Target your marketing strategies

As a small business owner you need to be careful with your marketing budget and time since you generally have little of each. The first thing you need to do is to analyse where your business comes from, that’s assuming you’ve been trading up to that point.

I analyse where my business comes from each year and gear my marketing spend and time towards generating the same. The last survey revealed:

  • 30% from existing client referrals
  • 40% from my network referrals
  • 15% from Inbound Marketing and my websites and blogs
  • 15% from my weekly sales tip emailing to my database

These produced leads which I put into my sales funnel, which directs to a close.

Remember this point – it’s really important. Marketing is fine and effective marketing will produce sales leads. It still requires a salesperson to close the lead into business. Many small business owners forget this but need to have created their sales funnel and their sales process within the funnel.

My friend needs to do this and if he doesn’t have any existing business, then he ought to research how someone like him gains new business. Knowing the sector I suspect it comes from:

  • Existing active client referrals at 50%
  • Network referrals at 15%
  • Buying leads on the internet and other bought data at 25%
  • Orphaned clients (old ones where no business has been conducted for a while) at 15%

These are my best guestimates but also prove the point that it’s pointless doing other marketing if it doesn’t actually work.

Be wary of internet marketing

Be very wary of the internet marketing, social media, search engine optimising your website for leads, paying for online advertising. Every day I get emails from so called SEO companies offering to get my website higher up the rankings. I read a blog post today from my friend Graham Jones who reported that it’s very easy to get lured into online marketing for two reasons.

  1. One, it’s actually quite easy to do, is faceless and you don’t get any rejection from prospective customers.
  2. Two, it’s dead easy to measure how successful it is but not how much business it produces. It’s simple to add up your Twitter followers, how many Facebook followers you have, how many “likes” your latest article received and how many retweets you had. These stats give people pleasure and the illusion that it works.

So back to my financial adviser friend and how he can get some prospective clients.

Your sales process

Once he’s analysed how he can put people into his sales funnel, he needs a database management tool to act as his CRM, to create his sales process, wrap it into his CRM and stick to it rigidly. CRMs don’t have to be enterprise level and costly. Something like Nimble or Pipeline will do just as well at $10 per month.

My sales process looks like:

  1. Qualify over the phone or Skype video – are they a fit for my business and are they motivated, have they the budget and is there a business challenge that needs addressing?
  2. Face to face meeting or Skype video to determine needs/problems and the solution I can recommend.
  3. Further meeting to run through proposal (I will not email a proposal to a new prospect and hope and pray they accept it – this is not a good strategy)
  4. Close the business.
  5. Conduct the business and seek referrals.

Let’s see how we can put some prospective clients into my friend’s new pipeline that he can channel into his sales process.

Where to start

Referrals is where I would start.

Sieve through your client bank and see which have a need for business insurance. Are they self-employed or run their own small business. Easy to judge.

Contact them to offer a complimentary review of their financial circumstances, speak to them on the phone, don’t do email or letters, these get deleted unless they’re a very close client. Phone them on their mobile, contact them outside of office hours – early in the morning is good. Prepare a voice mail message to guarantee they return your call and have a sound bite ready.

Telephone prospecting pattern

Follow this pattern.

  1. Introduce yourself
  2. Suggest the challenge they may be experiencing i.e. knowing who’ll take on their business if something tragic happens and they’re no longer around.
  3. Suggest you have some really tax efficient, low cost and exciting ways of handling this
  4. Call to action.

Have two calls to action ready. One would be an immediate face to face appointment to discuss further. Two, might be to send them something via email to capture their email address, if you haven’t already got one. A White Paper that you’ve written on the solution to the challenge you mentioned, or a YouTube video link of you describing the problem that small business owners have and the solutions you have available.