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Building Business Profits: The Roadmap Strategy: Issue 4

Mar 29, 2005

Building Business Profits – Roadmap #5 by Steve Pohlit, CPA, MBA. Steve continues the series by helping us learn how we should be Growing Revenue: Time to Drill Down and Discover Your Core Values

This series is for people running their own business, thinking about going into business or working for someone and wanting to make a valuable contribution to the success of that company. There is a sequence to these reports. For maximum value, please start with Issue 1.

PS. There Is A Very Valuable Formula At The End of This Message …. You Need To Read The Entire Report to Appreciate The Formula!


Growing Revenue: Time to Drill Down and Discover Your Core Values

The sequence of this series has been to address the infrastructure required to measure cash and cash requirements. Then we moved on to improving revenue and gross margin. Simply repeating the only three ways to grow revenue is insufficient guidance particularly considering the volume of material published on this subject.

When studying most of the success stories, invariably one theme runs strong. You may have heard it in another context. The age old saying; “you cannot be all things to all people” is probably the most valuable revenue development principle for you to adopt.

Another translation of that saying is “niche marketing”. If you spend any time on line researching marketing guidance, you are likely to come across many sites and newsletters promoting niche marketing advice and services. The theme is right on point. Like most other subjects, much of the material is excellent… a lot of it isn’t.

To the point: who is your target audience? You must define who intended receiver of your message. I remember working in an office building located in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Many days I would leave for lunch, simply grabbing a sandwich and maybe stopping at the peanut roaster shop or Cheryl’s Cookies for a treat.

I would cross the busiest intersection in the city… Broad St. and High St. Almost every day there would be some preacher on the corner admonishing everyone in earshot as being a sinner. I am guessing 10,000 people a day crossed the preacher’s path between 11:30 AM and 1:30PM. It was a busy street corner – especially at lunch time.

So who was his target audience and what was his call to action? Well it seemed to me that everyone was his target audience and his general call to action was stop doing bad things. Did he measure how many people he called out to and how many people listened and took action? Did he test different messages to see which ones had the greatest response?

Every business must define the target audience. A friend earns a multi-seven figure income annually from a customer base of less than 5,000. It is not about the number of people that pass by the street corner. It is all about the people who trust you and want to buy from you. Far fewer than the 10,000 or so who passed by the corner, stopped in to buy nuts from the peanut roaster. All walked out with a smile on their face and ignored the preacher on their way back to the office.

So are you the preacher or the peanut roaster? Who do you want to hear your message? How are you delivering that message? Do the methods you use to deliver your message reach your target audience?

Core Values:
Part of the introductory message of today’s message referenced core values. This is an area of business that can easily encompass multiple weeks of guidance in this forum. For now, I encourage you to think in terms of benefits to your intended audience. What is it that you do that benefits them? What products or services you offer bring them the most value and why? Have you clearly defined who “them” is? Have you clearly defined how what you do or what you offer benefits “them”?

This guide in the roadmap series asked many questions. The questions actually guide you to the answers for your business.

Stay Focused:
It seems to be nearly universal that there are only about a handful of items that make the most difference in your business. And while the list is short, most companies fail miserably in allocating the right amount of time and resources to this list.

Why is that? Distractions – a large number of small items that steal the time out of your day. Maybe it is your cellular phone, a coworker, mail, email, or any one of a large number of incidentals. Regardless of the items, the day comes to a close and the major items – the ones that will propel your business or career into the stratosphere have been ignored.

I recommend an easy to use A, B, C system. List your key tasks. Those that make the most difference should be in you’re A category. No more than 20% of your tasks should be in the A category. Focus 80% of your time and energy on the A tasks and you will make remarkable progress.

Coming Soon
In the next article in this series, Which Medium Is Best For Your Business? Is it the Internet, Yellow Pages, Direct Mail, Newspaper Ads? Until then, be well and prosper.

As Promised
I should have titled this “A Billion Dollar Formula.” Why? Because it is the formula at the foundation of every business ever. Here it is… Traffic plus Conversion = Profits. More in a future edition…stay tuned… as the man said “it keeps getting better and better”!

About the Author:

Steve Pohlit is the President of Exec Net Consulting, and the Chairman of the Diabetes In Control Advisory Board. His career includes, more than 10 years experience as a CFO for companies ranging in size from $40 million to $1.6 billion. Steve has owned and operated a chain of drug stores with pharmacies and has developed a number of Internet based businesses. He is currently writing a book titled Consulting Secrets Revealed, which provides all the details of the processes and procedures he implements with his consulting clients. Steve offers an initial complimentary consultation and is available as professional speaker on “Build Cash Profits or Close The Doors”.