12 Ways To Scale Your Business
Owning a business is like running a fantasy football team, you always look forward to Mondays.
Once you taste a little success, you want growth. And when you’re chasing after that growth, you often fall in love with the journey. They say the chase is the fun part anyways, right?
Reading business websites like Forbes is not enough to take your business to the next level. You need to take action.
If you plan on achieving some hockey stick growth in the near future, then you’re in the right place. We have over decade of experience building and selling businesses, but we’re not here to talk about ourselves. We’re here to help you grow your business as much as possible…
Business growth only happens in three different ways:
- Getting more customers. The more people that buy, the more money you make.
- Raising your prices. You’ll make more money off of each transaction.
- Improving your conversions. Increasing the frequency that your average customer buys from you and getting each customer to buy more often.
This post will cover all three. And even if you aren’t as far along with your business, this post will give you the ingredients to scale quickly and efficiently whenever you are ready.
Are you ready to scale your business? Let’s dive in.
1. Repair Your Sales Funnel
The first and arguably the most important factor when it comes to scaling your business is your sales funnel. If you haven’t thought long and hard about your sales funnel, then yesterday is the perfect time to start.
Also referred to as a customer acquisition funnel, your sales funnel is the ideal process that takes customers from being a prospect to being a paying customer. It’s what takes you from seeing a random ad on Facebook to reading a blog post to receiving a free Ebook and then to finally making a purchase.
Think of your sales funnel like a real funnel. The more leaks your funnel has, the more customers spill out along the way. The stronger your funnel, the less spills you have, and the more money you earn.
If you haven’t examined your funnel, chances are there are MANY funnel leaks that you don’t know about. Most funnels work something like this:
To be honest, all of our businesses used to look like that as well. Then we realized we were leaving a ton of money on the table.
Here are some mistakes that we’ve made over the last few years and ones that we see a lot of other businesses making as well.
Funnel Mistake #1: Too Many Steps
You can only ask people for something so many times until they say no. If you have too many steps in your funnel, it will look something like the following, then you’re losing sales:
Paid traffic → FB page → free content → email opt-in → $10 product → $25 product → Webinar → $100 product → $700 product
Each step is going to yield a dropout rate. The more steps, the more people will drop out. It’s as simple as that. The more steps, offers and products in the funnel, the more people are going to say “no” and once they’re gone, it’s difficult to get them back. It’s better to have a tighter funnel that consists of 2-4 steps and to retarget people who have dropped out.
While too many steps can be a bad thing you also need to make sure you are careful of having…
Funnel Mistake #2: Not Enough Steps
Have you ever walked into a random store for the first time and bought a product you had never heard of for $3,000? I’m not sure about you, but I’ve never done that.
The internet works the same way. If your product is $1,000 or more, do you expect your customer to make a purchase after reading two blog posts? You should hope not.
You need to have a tripwire, or a low dollar product that gives people the option to make a low-risk choice and test your company out. Once they buy from you, if they like what they’ve bought, they’ll be more likely to use that credit card again and again to buy your more expensive products.
We’ve played around with our tripwires, pricing things as low as $7 and as high as $97. It really depends on your product and how familiar people are with your brand, but we definitely recommend testing this out for yourself.
Funnel Mistake #3: Too Many Funnels
At one point, one of our companies had four different funnels with four different lead magnets and four different tripwires. In practice, this sounded great, but we quickly realized that it was extremely confusing to people that were opting in.
Sometimes people would want to buy cheaper products that weren’t offered in the original funnel that they opted in to. Other times, people were confused by the different courses and it was unclear which courses were free and which ones were paid.
The more funnels you have, the more products you need, the more email autorespondersyou need, the more segmenting you need to do within your CRM software (more on that in a minute). Basically, it means that your headache potential is high.
It’s better to have one strong funnel that works than four funnels that are sub par. It also takes time to figure out how well a funnel is performing. It can take an extremely long time, especially when you have…
Funnel Mistake #4: Not Enough Leads
Try to think of your sales funnel as an escalator, taking your leads from nothing all the way to the top floor (that’s where you make the sale). If it breaks, it becomes stairs, and nobody will move, and they’ll leave entirely and look for the elevator (which is your competitor!). If you want proof that your escalator is working efficiently, you need to get a lot of people on board.
In order to know if your funnel is working, you need to send a lot of traffic through it. Without testing it, you’ll never know, and it’s difficult to tell whether or not a funnel is converting without enough data.
“What’s enough data?” This depends on your price point (which should reflect your budget), but we aim for at least 1,000 new leads to send through a funnel (for a product that’s around $1,000) before we analyze it and see if it’s working or not.
If you’re only getting a few dozen leads per day, you’re not able to make strong observations on what’s working and what’s not. It also slows down your entire business if it takes a full month to realize that the funnel isn’t breaking even.
The solution? Use paid traffic to get more leads so you can test your funnels within days instead of weeks. We prefer paying for traffic with Facebook ads but there are plenty of ways.
Another big mistake many businesses make is that they…
Funnel Mistake #5: Not Asking for the Sale
We see a lot of businesses shy away from asking for more. They’ll have a great lead magnet with a great opt-in offer, but once you opt-in, they stop asking. If they don’t ask us to check out their products or visit their latest blog post, we won’t, and then the interaction stops there.
Instead, you want each step in your funnel to always include an upsell. If they buy an inexpensive product, offer them an upsell on a more expensive product on your thank you page.
If they read a blog post or watch a video, ask them to sign up for your lead magnet. If they give their email address, ask them to buy your product.
If someone stumbles on your website for the first time, you want to give them the opportunity to slide down your funnel as far as they’re willing to go. If you don’t offer them an upsell after each step, then they’re not going to make it as far. It’s that simple.
On another note, I see a lot of companies that don’t go after the sale hard enough. I’m not saying you need to be extremely aggressive, but if you aren’t pushy and are scared of being unsubscribed, then someone else will get the sale and not you.
But don’t get too busy trying to make the sale. Because, at some point, you’ll need to take a step back in order to…
Funnel Mistake #6: Review Your Automation
Automated funnels are great, right? Once you set up everything, you can just plug and play and then never have to think about it again, right? WRONG.
If you’re not reviewing your funnels, you won’t know which ones are performing well and which ones are actually making you money. Assuming you are paying for traffic, you need to review your analytics and make sure that your funnels are profitable.
For example, back when our company had four funnels, when we looked at the numbers, we realized that one of the funnels simply was not converting.
Meanwhile, one of our funnels was converting FAR better than the rest, so we shut down the weakest funnel completely and started sending more traffic to the lead magnet that had the highest conversion rate.
If you have more than one funnel (and you should), then make sure to mark your calendars and schedule time to review them and make sure they’re all running profitably and efficiently. You will probably find that you’ll need to cut and increase spending according to performance
Alright, now that we’ve got our funnels behind us, time to move on to the most overlooked aspect in funnels today…
2. Live Webinars
If you haven’t hopped on the webinar train yet, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. It took us two years to start doing them regularly, but now that we’ve found a system that works, we’re not slowing down anytime soon.
Webinars work well for many reasons. They’re personable, focused, engaging, scalable, and fun. We still think it’s so cool that we can hop on a call from Vietnam and talk to people in all corners of the world all at once. Oh, and it’s FREE!
Anyone who signs up is clearly interested in the topic, so none of your leads are completely cold. We make sure that our webinars are filled with more information than any of our lead magnets, and by doing the presentation in real time, it gives us a lot of credibility and trust.
Sure, sometimes people don’t show up or you experience technical difficulties, but we’ve found ways around these issues through sending follow up emails, replays, and an email with the subject line “For those of you who hate webinars…” to address this.
I’m not talking about the same webinar strategy that you’ll read in books about recording one, replaying it, and letting it act as an automated sales funnel. Ours are different.
We do them live, and we do more than one. We’ve already written more about funnels than originally intended, so in order to keep this post from being 6,000+ words, here’s more details about our webinar funnels.
3. Private Facebook Group
Having a Facebook group where people can connect and chat is valuable. I’m not sold on pushing your leads to Facebook (it’s distracting as we all know!), but the important part here is that you have somewhere to push your leads to.
Sure, perhaps they can comment on your blog post, but how often does that turn into a conversation weeks down the line? How often will your question get answered by someone else? If you have a huge blog with a loyal fan base, then sure. But if not, it’s better to direct people to one casual group that you control.
Our Facebook group is getting more active by the day, and people are starting to help each other out as well as promote our most expensive products for us! It’s a great way to maintain a community without much maintenance.
Plus, since it’s on Facebook, nobody expects it to be extremely formal, so you can treat it however you like. If people ask questions, you’re able to provide value publicly, which not only helps others with the same questions but helps you gain trust. Everyone spends hours on Facebook everyday mine as well give them the chance to be productive.
Obviously, there are better ways out there to communicate than Facebook, which takes us to our next point…
4. Don’t Just Build An Email List, Engage
This should be obvious, but if you’re not building your email list, you better get going. If you’re not sure why then you should probably revisit this blog when you are further along in your business.
The bad news is that you should have already started building our email list, the good news? If you’ve built a business without one, then your potential for growth is enormous.
If you’ve just started to collect email addresses, it’s time to double down on your lead magnet and get more. Having an email list is incredibly valuable. So far, our biggest email list has had 84,914 subscribers. We’re currently getting a few hundred leads a day, so this number is only growing.
It took over three years (and a lot of money on paid traffic) to get it to that number, so don’t be discouraged if you’re just starting out.
Once you get an email address, it’s a waste of time and money if you don’t engage. You need to be sending frequent emails to your list, and your emails need to be engaging and valuable. If you send email blasts every other day selling your products without providing value, then people will stop opening your emails.
In your emails, make sure you’re solving a problem or at the very least entertaining people.
Here are a few of the types of emails we send out to our list:
Once people opt-in, we send them through an indoctrination email sequence (or welcome series). In these four emails, we ask them several captivating questions helping people open up. This gives us AMAZING data (the more we know about our customer’s problems, the easier it is to solve them) and also makes it clear that we want to build a relationship. It’s WIN-WIN.
Lead Magnet Autoresponder
These emails provide people with the FREE lead magnet they signed up for, but also adds a little spice to it. We provide advice on how to use our products better, try to answer their questions, and hit on the challenges that we know they are going through at this given time. These continue the relationship and keep us fresh in their minds.
For every 60-minute webinar, we send 2-3 emails promoting our webinar, two more reminder emails to those who signed up, and then 5-10 follow-up emails to those who attended and 5-10 for people who missed the webinar. It’s a lot of emails for one sequence, but it’s definitely worth it.
Once people join our community and buy our product, we continue to provide value to them by sending them monthly newsletters. This varies depending on your business model, but it’s not a bad idea to continue the relationship after people have bought your product. If your business has a recurring billing model, then you need to be sending newsletters/updates.
Our newsletters’ sole purpose is to help our current customers even more. We want to remind them they made the right decision (buying our course) and motivate them. The ROI on this isn’t immediate, but our customers love hearing from us.
This is usually for people who haven’t bought. You would expect these broadcasts email message to be filled sales pitches, right? That’s the OPPOSITE of what we do. Broadcast emails are for big announcements and FREE content. We send out blog posts (like this one), podcast interviews, videos, and other helpful content that is completely free.
You might be thinking, “Wow, this is a lot to keep track of. How do I organize this?”
5. A is for Apple, C is for CRM
For those of you who forgot, CRM stands for customer relationship management. Why is CRM important? Because if you want to scale your business, you need to care about your customers. That means tracking who bought what and studying the metrics.
Since we’ve upgraded our CRM software and have paid more attention to it, we’ve been able to pinpoint which funnels perform well (see #1), which emails have the highest open rate, and which steps people are dropping out on. It enables us to maintain an overview of how everything takes place, which helps us stay organized and keep tabs on every lead and customer that comes our way.
We used to use Ontraport and now we use InfusionSoft. Both Ontraport and InfusionSofthave worked well for the most part. Having either will help you segment your email list so you can track who you’re talking to and tag them appropriately.
In the meantime, if all of this sounds overwhelming, no need to worry, it’s time to…
6. Delegate Like It’s Your Job
A lot of business owners suffer from what is called “superman syndrome”. They think they can do everything themselves. They write their emails, run their ads, do podcast interviews, and more. They’ve thought about hiring help, but they’re either too cheap or too scared that if they delegate it, it won’t get done properly.
These fears as a business owner are rational, but they are still holding you back from scaling. If you want to grow your business, you need to work on your business, not just in it. Even though you think you’re the best at writing your sales copy or running your Facebook campaigns, it’s not the best way to spend your time. Plus, there are experts out there that can do it better than you. Sorry, superman.
Hiring a VA or outsourcing some of your workload can be a scary thing, so it’s important to be careful when bringing on new team members. While hiring someone to replace you right now may seem like a step backward, in the long run, it’ll definitely be a forward LEAP if you do it right.
Some people feel like they need to touch every single aspect of the business in order to be confident that it’s running well. Here’s a good rule: if you can hire somebody who can your job 90% as well as you can, then do it.
You’re not going to find someone who can do it as good as you right now. But if you hire them now and it is their full-time job to get better at that skill, sooner or later they’ll be able to do that task better than you.
7. Pay For Traffic The Right Way
In order to get paid traffic right the first time, you’ve got to mull over the following core questions:
The first question you should ask yourself is, “Who is my target audience?”
If you’re selling arch-support heels for old ladies with calluses, you’re probably not going to want to target males, ages 18 to 24.
Brainstorm and figure out who actually WANTS or NEEDS your products. Then, write it all down. You need to make your very own customer avatar.
What’s his/her age? What do they do in their free time? How much money do they make? What is their job? You should even give him/her a name. This is your ideal customer, and this is who you should target.
The next question you should ask yourself is, “Where does my target audience hang out?”
You definitely need to be thinking about where your audience actually IS on the internet, and then digging further to see how you can speak to them in the places they ALREADY visit.
The third and final question here is, “How do I speak to my target audience?”
When you are asking your target audience for their email address in exchange for a free download or another lead generator, you need to be able to adequately speak to this person in his/her language.
You need to be able to persuade them to give you their email address through text alone. This isn’t always easy.
There a few ways in which we prefer to do this.
- Tell your audience what they are going to get/gain out of giving you their email address.
- Use emotions, tell your audience how this lead magnet will inspire them, or make them better at their life or job, etc.
- Ask yourself, “How will this download make your target audience’s life easier? Or how it make their life more efficient?” Then spell it out in words that they use.
- Finally, show your target audience social proof. What have others accomplished by using this lead magnet? What have others said about your program or business?
Ask yourself these three core questions before you jump on to any ad platform, and if you answer each one truthfully and tailored to your business, you should see a high ROI.
On top of paid traffic, it’s also a good idea to…
8. Content Market Like a Queen
One area you should definitely be delegating is content marketing. Why? Because it’s extremely time-consuming. Sure, every now and then you can write a new email or blog post, but if you are going to produce content on a regular basis (which you should), you should bring someone on board or hire an agency to help out.
If your content is not helping the reader, it’s not going to help your business. Your content needs to be valuable and easy to follow.
As far as what platform to use, here are some options with some pros and cons, but remember, engagement is what matters most:
Blogging is not dead. Not even close. If it were, do you think we’d be publishing this post right now? Blogging is great because it’s easy to set up and get going, but writing is hard and takes time to put out an in-depth post. That’s why we have a content editor on board.
One issue with this is people’s’ attention span keeps getting less and less. The problem here is that you can’t half-ass social media. If you’re on Twitter, people are going to expect you to respond within minutes rather than days. We plan to experiment with this in the future as we grow.
We are able to get leads for extremely cheap by advertising on other YouTube channels and sending them back to our channel. Then, once they watched one of our videos, they are able to opt-in to our lead magnet.
The great thing about content is the more you have, the easier it becomes to backlink and cross promote. We link to YouTube videos in your blog posts all the time, letting people consume as much content as possible until they are ready to buy.
9. Focus. Focus. Focus (Your Products)
The main reason our Drop Ship Lifestyle business still continues to grow and succeed is because the main product has not changed over the years. Sure, we’ve updated the courses, improved the videos, and added information, but the coaching program we sell today is the same 7-module video course that it was in 2013 when we launched.
Similar to your funnel, if you complicate your business by adding too many products, it can lead to a lot of confusion. Adding products and levels can sound appealing, but it can do more harm if it’s not done correctly.
Over the years, we’ve been able to raise our prices because we’ve improved our course and made it better by trimming a ton of fat and making it easy to consume. We didn’t try to add on an upsell of products that were semi-related. We’ve grown because we’ve made sure our product is the best ecommerce course on drop shipping out there and then we focused a ton of energy marketing it.
Notice we didn’t just raise the price randomly, we increased the price while adding more value and improving the product. If you want to charge more, you’ve got to bring more value to the table. The best way to do this is to provide additional products or services that helps people get their desired result faster. Que the segway…
10. Go Premium or Go Home
If you’re familiar with the 80/20 principle, then you can assume that 20% of your customers will generate 80% of your sales. It sounds impossible, but it’s pretty accurate. Especially when you offer a premium product.
As we mentioned earlier, when you offer premium, you need to add value along with the price tag. Here are some examples on how to make your product premium:
- Offer done-for-you services
- Offer 1-on-1 coaching/training
- VIP treatment
Really, it’s up to you to figure out how to provide more value to existing and potential customers.
11. Build a Public Image Because People Care
In the age of the internet, it’s never been easier to establish a relationship with your customers. It baffles us how so many business owners still hide behind their laptops and never make an attempt at getting persona!
Since you’re the leader of your company, other people want to know you. The same way we want to know Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. It’s not always easy to be the figurehead, but you just have to do it. If your approach is to stay behind the scenes, hire a CEO who can fill your shoes or rest well at night knowing you are selling yourself short.
If you can remind your customers that behind every product and every pitch there are real people, they’ll be more likely buy. Share your experiences and tell your story. People appreciate authenticity.
12. Think Big. Then Bigger
This seems cliché, but the main reason your business isn’t growing could easily be your mindset. Are you comfortable where you currently are, making a few hundred thousand per year?
It’s easy to slip and plateau if you’re not surrounded by the right type of people and the right team members. If that’s you, make sure you set some ambitious goals and surround yourself with people who are going to hold you accountable or help you achieve them.
You’d be surprised how many people don’t actually aim high because they assume there is too much competition. It’s actually the opposite. There’s less competition the further up you go, because most people don’t want to fight to get there. If you’re going to dream, you mine as well dream big
Well, we know this wasn’t exactly a short post, so if you made it until the end we hope you got a lot of value out of this. If you know a friend who would benefit from this post, make sure to send it their way!
If you’re ready to scale your business on a massive level, turning your passion into a profitable membership site could be for you! Membership Site Masters is the only course that shows you every step from taking an idea or passion and turning it into a profitable membership business.
If you’ve always wanted to start or grow an online business, to take your passion and share it with the world, this FREE MINI-COURSE will show you how. FREE MINI-COURSE to for yourself to understand the different ways you can turn your passion into serious profit.