When small business owners come to me, they usually cite the same problems: wanting more leads, sales, and revenue. These entrepreneurs claim that if they could only sell a little bit more and get more clients, that their business problems would all be solved. For these entrepreneurs, they believe the lack of clients is the cause of their problems.
And yet when I come onto the scene, I find that the lack of consistent sales is the symptom of a deeper problem, not the cause.
These businesses tend to have other symptoms too:
- They can’t seem to get marketing launched on time (or at all)
- They have haphazard marketing efforts, such as starting and stopping social media posts and sending emails erratically
- They are falling behind on completing current client work while still hoping for (or needing) new client work or sales to fill the revenue gap
- Clients are consistently not a good fit (personality, readiness, follow-through)
When I first became a copywriter, I ignored these concurrent symptoms and focused on the marketing and copy. I figured, it was someone else’s job to fix the operational problems. And if I got my client a lot of sales, well then great… they could figure out how to fulfill on their own.
But that plan didn’t fly when Mr. Success became one of my clients. Mr. Success, as I call him, was very good at what he did. He had a few famous clients on his roster… the kind of high profile clients most of us would LOVE to be working with. And yet, he could barely remain profitable. Clients resisted paying for his fees and he couldn’t keep up with fulfillment.
So how was it that a consultant with high profile success stories, a number of awards, and regular speaking engagements could have such problems?
The answer, I found, was in what I call the Profit-Operations Factor.
The Profit-Operations Factor
The Profit-Operations Factor says that how profitable you are is directly correlated to how solid your operations foundation is at all three points in your business:
- The Front-End Lead Generation
- The Core Work Fulfillment
- The Back-End Product Development
And each of those areas can cause major profit loss if you can’t complete the work required for each. So, you can have the lead generation down pat, but if you can’t fulfill, you’ll still experience profit loss. Or, you can have the client fulfillment down and not have enough time to get more leads or create more products.
And most small business owners suck at at least one of them, if not all of them, without a solid operations foundation.
Mr. Success, it turns out, sucked at all of it. When I came on to do copy, he changed his campaign multiple times, up to and including changing his business name. And when it came to fulfillment, he didn’t have work systemized enough to consistently churn out work. And when it came to new product development and upsells… he consistently spent time creating products no one wanted to buy, rather than selling what people actually wanted.
His problem wasn’t that he didn’t have good marketing assets or copy. It’s that he didn’t have the operations foundations necessary to stick to a plan and follow-through to completion. It is for this reason that I created the Scale Fast System.
In my Scale Fast System, we tackle all 5 areas of your business:
- Delegation, or your team structure, cohesion, and role splitting
- Documentation, or the knowledge management about what you do and how you do it
- Conversions, or your sales and marketing processes and success
- Automation, or your ability to systemize and automate parts of work fulfillment
- Optimization, or consistent process improvement
And we incorporate the mindset and project planning steps you’re likely missing so you actually get projects done, rather than starting and stopping a million projects.
And if Mr. Success was a client today, I wouldn’t have started with the copy. I’d instead have addressed the Visionary Chaos causing him to start and stop projects first, and then I’d address his quarterly planning, and then I’d address the copy.
If you’re thinking about hiring someone for marketing, first ask yourself:
Is this really a marketing problem, or a follow-through problem?
And if it’s the latter, I suggest focusing on building a complete funnel you won’t have to change in six months or a year, rather than worrying about lots of little things which won’t move the needle.
Want to know how I plan and create complete marketing funnels with hundreds of pieces of copy? Then you’ll want to download my “Marketing Asset Tracker” Template and Mini Training today.