Life as an entrepreneur can be overwhelming.
Between viral marketing campaigns, learning a confusing CRM tool and redesigning your website, it's easy to lose focus. Micro-optimization can distract you from the simple, straightforward actions that produce big wins for your business.
In this post, I'll reveal three actions that can help your business become more stable, predictable and profitable.
Open a customer feedback loop
When was the last time you spoke to your most profitable customer?
Setting up regular feedback loops with your customers is easy. Decide which communication method gives you the most valuable data without being too intrusive or annoying. Here are a few examples.
Consulting business: set a recurring reminder to get in touch your clients monthly or quarterly to see if there's anything else they need help with. If you can't solve their problem, then you might have someone in your network who can. A service-first attitude is a great way to retain your clients for life.
Product business: phone calls and automated emails for onboarding users to a new product help ensure that your customer gets off to a great start with your product. As the customer spends more time with your product, you can use brief emails to provide guides and prompts for feedback too.
Service business: help desk software like Helpscout includes an inbuilt customer satisfaction tool. Each email prompts a client to tell you whether they had a Great, OK or Bad experience. This allows you to resolve issues instantly, as well as share glowing testimonials amongst your team. You can also use the overall satisfaction rating for a quick customer satisfaction pulse check.
Open an employee feedback loop
How motivated is your #1 employee?
It's difficult to guess why a member of your team is performing inconsistently, especially when they had been a superstar for three months prior. If you face this problem, you can address it with either a passive or active approach.
The passive approach is to email your employee and ask how you can help, or worse, send them a generic survey. You can tell I prefer the active approach, which involves a weekly one on one discussion.
One on ones enable you to review staff performance, formulate goals and most importantly, build rapport. You can use GoToMeeting for video calls and Lighthouse, an app that helps organize your entire one on one process.
You will be surprised at how your employee's perspective can open your eyes to identify areas of improvement.
Have a single business focus
What is your single most important business goal?
Here's an unconventional, but proven approach for achieving your core business target. Throw away your balanced scorecard and dashboard of metrics. Then, focus on a single target.
Yes--it's easier to dabble across a variety of targets instead of focusing on one. I've been guilty of this multiple times. Once you try a single-minded focus on your target, you may surprise yourself with what you can achieve.
SumoMe founder Noah Kagan grew his company at an exponential rate with laser focus on the single target of reaching one billion people via SumoMe tools in 2014. While it sounds unbelievable, Noah and his team made it happen.
Kagan offered insight about overcoming the many distractions on the path to one billion. When his team thought about working on something new, they would ask "Does this help us reach our goal?" If it didn't, they simply wouldn't do it.
The next time you feel overwhelmed with an enormous to-do list, try getting back to basics. Talk to your customers, invest time in your team and focus on your single most important goal.