Strategy for small business growth

Why You Need Strategy for Small Business Growth

Strategy before Tactics

Most small businesses start with an idea. Often it’s a good or even great idea and the founders hit the ground running. If they have not had to raise capital during the launch process, chances are they have not created a strategic plan, or maybe any plan at all. They don’t have a strategy for small business growth.

What do they have? They have tactics, lots of tactics. Small business founders are doers. They implement. They get things done.

Don’t get me wrong, tactics without an underlying strategy can work for a while, if you’re lucky and you implement well. But at some point most small businesses will hit a wall. They won’t be able to grow anymore. Or growth becomes really, really hard. What got them here won’t get them there.

Getting Past the Stuck Points

Entrepreneurs need a strategy that will propel them past the stuck points and jumpstart their growth again.

Here are just a few symptoms that come up when you don’t have a strategy for business growth:

  • Business decisions feel difficult and risky. There is no clear path to investing your time and money for the best returns.
  • You feel tired and frustrated with your business.
  • You are not attracting enough clients or customers.
  • You are attracting clients and customers that are not a good fit for your business. You want to run away screaming when you see their name pop up on your caller ID.
  • Your clients and customers are extremely price sensitive, and will only buy if you are the lowest price option.
  • You have high client turnover.
  • Your marketing does not get a good return on investment.
  • You feel like you are spreading yourself too thin.
  • You work long hours and don’t know how to grow without working even longer hours.
  • Your employees and team members are not rowing in the same direction.
  • You have lost control of your brand image.
  • You have lost control of your company culture.

Why are these things happening? Because without an underlying strategy, using the latest and greatest tactics for growth or solving employee problems is like throwing darts at a dartboard with a blind fold on.

The Solution

When  you know…

  • where you are headed
  • who you want to attract
  • what your brand represents
  • how you stand out from the competition
  • and how to scale without working yourself into the ground….

…you have a strategy for business growth that every other decision can flow from. You have consistency. You have a winning message. You can deliver on your promises consistently and efficiently. When you implement tactics that are aligned with your business strategy then everything falls into place!

Strategy for Business GrowthThe challenge for most small business founders is that they have no idea where to start when it comes to developing effective business strategy. Plus it’s difficult for anyone who is mired in the day to day of their business to easily see their business from an objective standpoint.  This is where a business coach, consultant, advisor or mentor comes in.

A business coach or consultant who understands the value of strategy and how to help you craft that winning strategy can help you cut the learning curve, stop spinning your wheels, and start making progress towards your vision and your goals again.

At Pumpkin Plan Your Biz, our strategic process in centered around understanding, identifying and growing your Sweet Spot. Every business will have a different Sweet Spot, but the process for determining that Sweet Spot is the same.

How do you know if you are in your Sweet Spot? When…

  • You know exactly who your best clients are
  • You have and can articulate a Unique Offering that is an exact match to what your best clients want and need, and
  • You have the systems, processes and people in place to consistently deliver that Unique Offering to your best clients…

…you are operating in your Sweet Spot. When you are operating in your Sweet Spot, business growth stops being hard! Your decisions become clear. Your business runs smoothly.

Your Next Steps

If you are struggling to figure out your next steps, how to grow your business without working yourself into the ground, then your next step, before you implement another tactic, is to determine your underlying strategy.

If you are an entrepreneur and want to hire someone who can help you design that winning strategy, you can GO HERE to Hire a Pumpkin Plan Strategist.

If you are a business coach or consultant, and you want to know how to develop your own winning growth strategy, we invite you to become a Certified Pumpkin Plan Strategist.

Elise Campbell Photography Brand

Create a Brand Your Ideal Clients Love with The Pumpkin Plan

When you know something has to change

It was the middle of the night and photographer Elise Campbell of Elise Campbell Photography was pouring her heart and soul into editing her client’s family photos. This particular client had begged Elise to lower her prices because she really wanted to hire her but couldn’t afford her rates. Elise had agreed.

Feeling like she needed a break from editing, Elise jumped on Facebook for a few minutes. She was shocked to see posts of her client, who claimed she couldn’t afford Elise’s photography rates, on a clearly expensive family vacation. In that moment, everything changed.

When Elise first started out as a photographer, she saw herself as a mom with a camera who could maybe turn her photography into a business. She would take photos and sell a bunch of digitals on a disc for a very low price to anyone who acted like they liked her. This unintentionally became her brand. Over time, she started to feel like she was over-giving, over-serving, and being taken advantage of.

Elise knew that something had to change. She started googling for help and she found The Pumpkin Plan book. As she read through the Pumpkin Plan, she had an “aha” moment. The clients who were hiring her, were hiring her for the wrong reasons. They were all looking for family photos as cheap as possible. They saw her as a commodity. The deciding factor had nothing to do with her skills and talents, her ability to beautifully capture the essence of her subjects, her ability to turn a photograph into a work of fine art. For those clients, it was all about her pricing. It was time to re-create her brand.

The Pumpkin Plan to the rescue

Elise decided in that moment that she would no longer compete on price. She knew how much of her love and attention she devoted to her clients’ photographs and producing art quality prints. She would only work with clients who valued her work enough to pay for it.

The first step in making this change to her brand was to find her special seed, her business Sweet Spot. Once Elise identified her Top Clients, those clients who truly appreciated her artistry, she was able to charge what she knew her services were worth. She could continue to devote her time, energy and love into creating truly special portraits for her clients without feeling resentful or having to reduce the quality of her work and the level of service to match their budgets. Elise wanted clients who wanted to work with HER, not clients who wanted cheap snapshots.

As she drilled down on who her Top Clients really were, she was able to determine what was truly important to them. Not surprisingly, they were not people who were looking for a bunch of digital photos that they could reproduce somewhere for a low price.

Create a brand that is aligned with your Top Clients

Elise’s Top Clients are busy women who want to be served well. They want a final piece hanging above the fireplace that features all the people they love, that is as beautiful as a painting. They don’t want to have to make decisions about what size the final piece should be or what kind of frame. They want Elise, the artist, to make those decisions for them.

Based on what she now knew about her very best clients, Elise developed a Unique Offering and put systems in place to deliver on that offering. She knew that her best clients didn’t want to have to make a million decisions or worry about how their children or grandchildren would behave during the photoshoot.

Elise’s solution: when she’s doing a shoot with toddlers, she brings in “child wranglers,” extra hands to help deal with the little ones. She takes care of all of the details, so the parents don’t have to stress.

Since Elise implemented The Pumpkin Plan into her business, her revenues have quadrupled. And even more importantly to her, she is known for what she does, for her artistry, for her level of service.

The impact on Elise personally has been huge. She has three children, and she is proud that they get to see their mom owning her worth. She now feels a strong sense of empowerment and freedom.

Through her own sense of empowerment, she has also started a project called “She is Love(d)™,” which is a combination of a photo shoot and words that help girls rely on their own inner knowing of themselves, as opposed to getting their self-worth from social media. According to Elise, “it’s like turning selfies into a soulful kind of thing.”

Today, after Pumpkin Planning her business, Elise Campbell has a business that she loves, that both rewards her financially and fulfills her artistic passion.

Would you like support and guidance using The Pumpkin Plan method to create YOUR client attracting brand? Go here to Hire a Certified Pumpkin Plan Strategist

Are you passionate about supporting small businesses to experience extraordinary success? Get certified as a Pumpkin Plan Strategist.

Download our FREE Pumpkin Plan Booster Pack for more business building resources!

Right on Target; Niche strategy

Is Niche-Phobia Holding You Back? 3 Powerful Reasons to Get Over it Today!

I’m sure you’ve heard it before –  the arguments for defining a narrow niche for your business. And yet, you don’t quite believe it. It seems to go against common sense. Why narrow your potential market? Don’t you want to attract as many customers as possible?

Give Away Your Secret Sauce to Attract More Business

Once you know who your Top Clients are, you can make them so happy that they will never leave you, and they will help you bring in more clients like them.

Let Your Bad Clients Go And Make More Money

One of the most controversial, and most powerful, elements of The Pumpkin Plan is to let your bad clients go.
This is the step that gets the most resistance from business owners. It’s also the step that we get the most positive emails and feedback about. Go figure!

The Laws that will Grow Your Business

Defining and declaring your Immutable Laws can make your business, and not knowing them can break your business. According to Mike Michalowicz, author of The Pumpkin Plan, “Immutable Laws (are) the unbreakable rules you follow that serve as the spine of your business.” Why are they so important, you ask? Because they will guide you to make the choices that are in line with who you are, and as a result, to grow your business in a way that is in line with your deepest held convictions.
Here are a few ways that Immutable Laws can play a crucial role in your business growth.

Identify Your Top Clients and Unique Offering for Growth

In my last post I talked about the importance of Finding Your Sweet Spot for Business Growth. Today I’m going to take a deeper dive into two elements of your Sweet Spot: Your Top Clients and Your Unique Offering, and how identifying them can generate explosive growth.

Business Sweet Spot

Find Your Sweet Spot for Business Growth

“The main difference between you and an aspiring giant pumpkin farmer is that you already have your best seed, you just have to find it.” Mike Michalowicz, The Pumpkin Plan.
If you want to grow a giant pumpkin, you need to start with a special seed. An ordinary seed won’t cut it. If you want to grow an extraordinary business, you also need a special seed. We call that seed your Sweet Spot.