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How knowing your current Business Cycle can help you grow & scale your business?

Today's blog post is about how knowing your current business cycle can help you grow and scale your business. So if you have seen any of my webinars or you're inside my digital COO accelerator program, you'll have heard me talk about business cycles and bottleneck cadences when growing and scaling your business.

This is to do with the cycle that happens in a business. And no matter what type of business, even if you are a product-based business versus a service-based business, these cycles are:

Number one, your brand awareness. Number two leads and nurturing. Number three is selling and converting. Number four is delivery capacity, and number five is cash flow.

After cash flow, it's back to brand awareness and again in this cycle to get more customers. So depending on the type of business, some of these phases might happen in a different order. For instance, money can be collected before you deliver a product, but typically it's collected after when you take an item off the shop shelf, or sometimes it happens at the same time, but each and every business goes through this kind of cycle.

It might just be in a different order. So even big businesses like Coca-Cola and McDonald's they're always doing brand awareness ads to keep their product top of mind, and then they'll go onto the lead and nurture. So brand awareness is about getting noticed, going out into the marketplace, networking, Facebook groups, highway boards, social media, television, et cetera, and getting noticed for the right reasons and resonating with people who need your services or products.

Then leading and nurturing is how we get them to take action to get them to go to your website, ask for a quote, sign up for a loyalty program, book an appointment, make an inquiry, or simply hand over an email address. There are literally thousands of different ways and promotions that are options here and will need to be tested and measured for your particular market.

For example, McDonald's will advertise a new type of burger or flavor that's coming out, or maybe they're teaming up with Monopoly or some other partnership brand collaboration, where they're trying to lead and nurture you to come in, leveraging other brands to do so. So that happens before they get you to sell and convert and become another paying customer.

So selling and converting is about how easy it is for the transaction to happen or how complicated the legality involved is. Or maybe you have a website that sells products with a sales card that prompts you to add something else to your cart. So this selling and conversion piece can happen exclusively via a website, or it might be someone behind a kiosk or on a sales call, through an app, or even on a webinar.

It's about how easily somebody can hand over their money or put something in the cart, click to buy, and move on to the next step and have it delivered. That selling and converting vehicle happens differently for every business, and there is a process that happens to be able to do that.

Then the next stage of the cycle is the delivery and capacity. So delivery could be the delivery of the product, or it could be a delivery of your service. There is always going to be a capacity limit for every business. This capacity limit is shown in Amazon, having to overcome logistics, and that is what made them big.

When they were able to expand their logistics worldwide, that led to their success and growth in their business, and it didn't always start out that way. They had to grow the logistics as the business grew. It happens in these cycles, but as the business gets bigger, those cycles are going to be getting higher and getting bigger and getting larger in every way and capacity.

This constant growth that is happening in the business will happen in these cycles. Then there's your collection and cash flow phase. That involves making sure that you are charging the right amount for your goods and services and the right prices for your offerings. Finding the balance between supply and demand, making sure that you can purchase stock first before you can sell the product.

There's always going to be that pressure on cash flow to strike an even balance on reinvesting back into your business or new products and paying the overheads, and making a profit. In some businesses, this can be shown through payment plans making sure that you can keep collecting the money that is owed for a service or product that they have already purchased.

Once you finally made your sale, delivered your product or service, and collected the cash, then the cycle starts all over again. It might start again even if you sell to a customer that already exists or you need to go out and find new customers. So this cycle will keep happening throughout the growth of your business, and there is a balance that needs to happen between all of the phases.

We don't wanna have so many leads come in that we can't actually deliver with delight. That we have such a long wait list that we have to wait a whole year to be able to even sell and convert. And I've seen an example of a business owner who hand makes their own skincare range. She gets so many orders that she actually has to shut down the cart on her website and only open it for a limited period of time until she can make enough of her product to put the cart back up again.

Then she sells out in just minutes. So she does a campaign around what date and time she'll be ready again to have the cart up, ready to buy her products again because there's only a very small time opportunity that she can open that cart, ready to sell her products. So these limitations can happen in many different ways in your business.

When you identify the biggest bottleneck in one of these areas, we get to work releasing them. Let's be honest; it's usually the business owner, so we can train and delegate and automate that process and get the bottleneck off their hands. Often one of the objections is, well, how do I delegate 30 years of knowledge and pass that on to a team member?

Well, you can't, but you can dissect the knowledge that you have and break it down and delegate it to different members of your team. Then you can get that bottleneck off your plate and watch the business grow and expand as more and more tasks are taken off that plate.

Here's the thing, when those tasks are taken off their plate, business owners tend to find new things to put back on their plate. So there is always growth happening in these new high-value tasks that they're going to free up their time and do. But before you know it, we're discovering a new bottleneck in a new area of the business that needs addressing before the business can grow and scale once again.

So there's a delicate balance, and finding that cadence is key. It's key to understanding what the balance is so you know how many leads to expect before you sell out or reach full capacity and realize you don't have enough capacity to be able to deliver that service. If you sell too many or you realize that you can't bring in any more cash flow or bring in more customers because you are at capacity, your business is going to stop being able to deliver with delight to your customers because you've got too many.

When problems like that start happening, you might find that you don't have enough people looking after your inbox and inquiry tickets. The more people that you service might mean more emails that come in, and then you need more customer service staff to be able to help with the capacity and delivery of that offering.

There's always going to be a balance and a cycle that happens as you grow, and as the business grows, you find these bottlenecks. That's where metrics and strategy pieces come into play. So each quarter, you want to be addressing and measuring where the current business bottleneck is because each time your business grows and makes that next step, that bottleneck can shift into a different place.

Or it could go through the cycle and be in the same place again, just at a bigger capacity. Alternatively, you might end up in another phase of the cycle altogether that you didn't even see coming. So if you would love to dive deeper into where the bottleneck is in your business and you would love a strategy session to identify and remove that current bottleneck in your business, then schedule a strategy call here. But until next time, have a productive day.

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