As we emerge from the chaos of 2020, I think it’s safe to say just about all of us are looking ahead and hoping for much smoother sailing in 2021. Business owners had to weather the stress of unpredictable storms, each threatening to strike without warning, seemingly overnight.
Naturally, we look forward to a (hopefully) calmer 2021, but this year’s chaos leaves us with one critical principle we shouldn’t leave in 2020. And it’s this:
There are no guarantees in life. And crisis is always a possibility.
Wow, that got dark fast, didn’t it? Hang with me. To be honest, I don’t think many of us want to think about this, let alone talk about it. But we need to, so here goes.
Yes, 2020 generously gifted us with an unprecedented crisis, but crisis itself is not unprecedented. Even after the dust settles and we (hopefully) go back to smiling at each other without masks, it’s inevitable that another crisis will come sooner or later. (Say it with me, “Thank you sir, may I have another!”)
Crisis isn’t a matter of “if” as much as it is “when”.
Now, I’m not saying that we need to be constantly expecting the worst case scenario. What I am saying is that it’s far easier to fix and fine-tune your business in a calm economy than one that’s in crisis.
Think of it this way - your business is like a boat. It might have a few issues, but it floats. As long as the seas are calm, its handful of flaws don’t seem to make much of a difference. One day, you’re out on the water and a storm kicks up. Suddenly, the flaws that didn’t matter much on a calm day make a world of difference.
Your business is the same way. If you’re not consistent in fixing and fine-tuning your business in friendly conditions, you may find that those seemingly insignificant flaws can have serious consequences. If you felt like you were drowning in 2020, I’m guessing you know what I mean.
Let’s assume for a minute that in 2021, we get to catch our breath on some calmer seas. The business world enjoys some stability. You feel like you have both feet on solid ground again. What are you going to do with this long-awaited calm?
Some businesses will try and return to their “normal” from before the chaos of 2020. They’ll put their focus on rebuilding things the way they were--vulnerabilities and all. After all, we all miss the “old days” a little bit at this point.
For you as a business owner though, you need to take advantage of the calmer seas to evaluate your business and its vulnerabilities. If 2020 rocked your boat like it did for most businesses, what areas were affected the most? Where did this crisis expose cracks in your armor? Were any of these 8 revenue factors affected?
If you allow 2020 to serve as a stress test for your business, you have the opportunity to not just recover but to pivot into new, strengthened positions for the next crisis - which, again, is a matter of “when”, not “if”. Once you’ve identified the things that harmed your business the most, you can begin to creatively adapt to be better prepared.
When you’re looking to see how “crisis-hearty” your business is, we find it’s best to look at how resilient your revenue generation is. Why? Because when a crisis arises, just about any threat it will present can be traced to its effect on your revenue. And no matter what industry you are in, revenue is the lifeblood of your business.
That’s why crisis preparedness for your business goes hand in hand with revenue preparedness. If you can preserve your revenue flow in a crisis, you can preserve your business. So let’s get into how you can fortify your business’s revenue flow.
One of the biggest challenges business owners encounter - crisis or not - is pinpointing problems or inefficiencies in their business. It can easily feel more like whack-a-mole with problems popping up one by one whether or not you were done fixing the last one.
It creates a reactive cycle in which business owners are consistently fighting fires instead of preventing them.
That’s why when we work with business owners to grow their revenue, we take a systematic approach that we call “Revenue Throughput”.
We look at the eight major components of your business that impact your ability to grow revenue (i.e. targeting, differentiation, marketing, sales, leadership, resources, production, and fulfillment--try saying that ten times fast) and then optimize the problem areas that are holding you back.
Now obviously, there are many ways you could approach optimizing your business, but we’ve found that a systematic approach (like the Revenue Throughput System) is best for a few reasons. But we’ll keep it simple with this illustration:
Think of your business like a pipe. Opportunities and leads flow in on one side, and come out the other as revenue. On this pipe (which is your business) there are 8 valves which control the flow of the pipe.
If any of the valves aren’t fully open, it restricts the amount of water that can pass through the pipe. And likewise, with your business, if any of your 8 “revenue valves” are even partially closed, it restricts the amount of revenue you can produce.
So when it comes to increasing the amount of revenue you generate--and fortifying your business against crisis--you can see that it’s not just about optimizing one area of your business. It’s not about just cranking up your sales or marketing budget. It’s about looking at your business systematically and making improvements across the board.
While nobody looks forward to a crisis, it’s important not to waste the hidden opportunities that one brings. There will always be another crisis on the horizon--so what matters is that you learn everything you can from the most recent one.
That’s why I’d recommend that you set aside some time at the beginning of 2021 to run your business through a strong, top-to-bottom analysis. There are many ways you could do this, one being our Revenue Throughput System.
It’s how we work with business owners to diagnose trouble areas and optimize their businesses for revenue growth--and owners who use our system typically see up to 30% new growth.
If that sounds interesting to you, share a few details about you and your business below. We’ll send you a full brochure that will introduce you to the program. You’ll get a better idea of exactly how the Revenue Throughput System can help you overcome your constraints and move into new growth.