What’s the one business habit that, when practiced, it makes you more decisive and better able to make clear decisions, while everything starts making more sense? Ask any successful entrepreneur, from the family business owner to the multi-millionaire, and their answer will likely boil down to …
Do you get well-qualified leads (consistently) from your website?
Does your marketing get the phone ringing, inbox “blowing up,” or feet in the door?
If not, pay attention to what the lack of results is telling you, so you know exactly where to make a change.
Millionaire Warren Buffett says, “Rule #1: Never lose money. Rule #2: Never forget Rule #1.” When you don’t pay close attention to what’s not working well for your business, you do lose money. The problem for many entrepreneurs is that the loss isn’t always as evident as seeing revenue decrease from month to month. Income can still increase, the business can still grow, but you can still be losing profit.
Here’s how to fix it and start plugging those holes.
Treat Your Business Like a Verb (Not a Noun).
How do parts of speech apply to your business growth? Well, nouns are people, places, and things. Verbs, however, are so illustrious that they’re affectionately deemed “action words.”
If you view your company as a “thing,” that’s how (would-be) clients will think of you:
As a faceless person, a stranger with whom they have no emotional connection (and thus, no motivation to do business.)
As a “thing” to leave on the shelf, an object collecting dust.
As any random place under the sun. Not a destination, but a location they pass through on their way to the next company, a competitor that knows that profitable marketing is a strategic, complete process.
Does the way your company is run make your audience feel like shouting? Jumping? Smiling? Doing?
Does it make them feel like reading? Like clicking…?
If not, then your Web presence is “dusty”—decorative, and woefully ineffective.
Time to pay attention, because you’re not seeing the potential you otherwise would if your Web presence exhibited CLEAR INTENT and inspired action.
What to Do When Results are Lower than You Expect
“Mistakes can be corrected by those who pay attention to facts, but dogmatism will not be corrected by those who are wedded to a vision.” —Thomas Sowell
Once you’ve begun to pay closer attention, you’ll inevitably find several processes you follow that “just aren’t working.” But why?
This question is difficult to answer outright. You could be giving off the wrong impression, marketing in the wrong channels, marketing in the right channels with the wrong message, marketing in the right channels with the right message, but to the wrong people, doing all your marketing right, but sending people to an ineffective website… or one of a myriad of other combinations.
You could be doing all of the above perfectly, but once you get the lead, they never close. Or perhaps your team does get the sale, but something is out of line somewhere and you’re not securing the maximum profit per customer.
When you treat your Web presence as something living and active, as opposed to something static that’s there to make you look good, you move ever closer to getting the results you want.
Time to Evaluate
For every ad you place, and every marketing channel you use, are you seeing it pay off in measurable returns? Put more simply, are you getting leads and customers from it?
- Does your Twitter or LinkedIn profile ever send qualified leads… or only tire kickers, freebie-seekers?
- Does your website and marketing attract the clients you want… or low-ballers and budget shoppers?
- Does your Web presence or logo no longer reflect who you are? (Did they ever?)
- Are your business cards mere pieces of cardboard you hand out routinely, which never spark any response?
Is your Web presence just a pretty picture to be appreciated for a moment then forgotten completely, as would-be clients move on to the next destination that actually makes them feel something… do something… buy something?
“Empty heads, cognitive science has taught us, learn nothing. We are good learners because we know what to pay attention to and what questions are the right ones to ask.”
Does your website inspire action, or just decorate the space? How does it compare to others in your industry?
Your website is part of your marketing, of course, but let’s look at it more specifically. Once your external marketing gets people to your website…
- Does the website cause prospects to write, phone, or visit your company?
- Does the website make your job easier by shouldering some of your workload (i.e., with an FAQ)?
- Does your site make visitors lives easier by presenting exactly what they’re looking for in a logical, user-friendly way?
- Do a good portion of your website visitors actually become clients, or refer others?
Are you paying close enough attention to the logistics of your business? Every single thing you’ve put into place for your business should be producing a return. Even if that “return” is a complete lack of response that tells you to switch gears, pay attention.
Whether it was this year or 20 years ago, you started your business to make a difference. To improve people’s lives. To change the world in some way. Your business grew, and sustains itself now, from your passion. Can other people see it?
Your passion makes a statement. Your Web presence must actively reflect that, or you’re not reaching your potential. Remember: Pay close attention to results in every area of your business to get maximum returns.
“We’re all teachers if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts, and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.” —Marla Gibbs
How has your attention in a particular area helped you spot the chance to increase results, response, and/or revenue in your business? Please share with us in a comment.
Serial entrepreneur H.T. Major started her first Web design and marketing company in ’99 at age 19, transitioning it to full-time after just one year in the field. More recently, H.T. founded Expect Perfection, a professional transcription service for executives, academics, and nonprofits, and Excellent Presence, an elite Web strategy studio that helps service-based businesses maximize results and boost business via effective websites, marketing, and CRO.