If you own a business, you’re probably well aware on the importance of generating revenue. It’s what feeds the viability of your business long-term. But did you know that your ability to grow revenue is dependent on two other major factors – Reputation and Relationships? The trouble; however, lies on two points: 1) Either you’re solely focused on driving revenue without regard for the other factors OR 2) you want all of them at the same time and you’re overwhelmed trying to get them. Does this sound like you?
Let’s talk about these three Rs – what they are and how you can best use them in your business to rev-up the engine and drive it forward!
There are all kinds of relationships you’ll build in your business – partners, vendors, advisors to name a few. When you started your business, it was probably the people you had the closest relationships with that helped you get everything off the ground during your first year. People like your family, friends, former co-workers and/or colleagues. But as you seek to grow and sustain your business, it’s essential to build new relationships. You may want (more) clients and customers; however, you mustn’t forget that clients and customers are real people and much more than a number or transaction for your business. So, as you look to gain clients in your business, it’s important to remember: 1) how you will build new relationships, and 2) how you will nurture others. There’s value in retaining your existing clients and customers as much as you target new ones. In all likelihood, building new client relationships will be much easier if you have stronger relationships with your current and past customer/client base. This is because business is built on relationships. People talk to people and people want to do business with people.
So, begin by asking yourself, WHO do I/we want to build Relationships with? And HOW do we want to be perceived and/or known?
Which brings us to our next driver…
First off, to be clear, your business’s reputation is not something that lives solely online. Nor should the recovery or proactive care of your reputation be solely managed that way. Because the truth is, whether you want to drive more positive chatter online or dissipate/quiet any negative, the most influential conversation will always begin offline.
Your reputation isn’t what you want it to be, it’s what it actually is. WHAT is your brand and how is your business known today? As Amazon’s Jeff Bezos so notably said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” I believe this is true – whether that room is a small one in someone’s house or a widely open one online.
Whether you are actively managing your brand reputation or not, you still have one. The question is, WHERE does the origin of your story start? With you or them? The answer should be YOU.
Practicing the Authentic Brand Connection™ and Brand Reflection™ regularly will help you proactively build and manage your reputation, as well as be the ‘Chief Storyteller’ for your brand!
Last, but certainly not least, we return to revenue (aka your company’s income). And I prefer to look at it that way, ‘in-come.’ WHAT makes someone want to come in when they receive your invitation?
- They perceive what you have to offer inside is valuable to them.
- They know, like and trust you.
- They’ve heard good things about you and came with the intent to come in.
Maybe you came up with some other reasons; but it’s safe to assume they’re probably similar to these, ALL related to Reputation and/or Relationships. So, it’s no wonder generating income for your business can feel overwhelming. It’s not as simple as a spreadsheet and goal setting. It takes clear, genuine intention. Nobody cares how much you make; it’s HOW you make them feel and WHAT they gain from the relationship. Of course YOU care how much you make; but the best way to earn more, ensure you feel good, AND that your best value can be shared, is to focus authentically on growing these two other areas – Relationships and Reputation.
It’s easy to spread yourself thin trying to drive all these areas all at once. But the greatest thing you can do to drive your business forward today is to look at the ‘R’ you have the most exceptional strength in – Relationships, Reputation or Revenue. Begin there and allow it to help you feed these other areas (e.g., Relationships -> Reputation; Reputation -> Revenue; Relationships -> Revenue; Reputation -> Relationships). There are many combinations. However, the main message here is: start by focusing on your now and next to drive your business forward.