The Morning Rituals Highly Successful Small Business Owners, And Me!

The Morning Rituals Highly Successful Small Business Owners, And Me!

Successful Small Business Owner

One recent blog that caught my attention was The Morning Rituals Of 15 Highly Successful Small Business Owners.

Owning a business can require a greater level of discipline than merely turning up for work, and when you are the top person within your organisation you’re the only one left to make sure everything has been done. So,  as a small business owner myself (and not yet confident that I fall into the “highly successful” bracket!), I was curious as to what other business owners were doing every morning to set them on the right track for the day.

Interestingly, despite the huge variety in age, business type and lifestyle of these highly successful business owners, the vast majority of them started their morning with some form of exercise. It’s well documented that exercise helps to clear your mind, energize your body and keep you healthy, but why is it such a big part of all these business owners’ days?

Speaking from my own experience, exercising in the morning gets me up and out of the house. If I exercise in the morning before work then it’s over and done with and by 10am I’ll have forgotten that I’ve even done it (apart from the sore limbs!) and it means that I don’t need to think about when else to fit it into my day. I find that since I’ve committed to exercising in the morning I’ve stuck to the routine of working out much more strictly, whether I use a DVD at home, go for a run or go to the gym.

Other than seeing a great improvement in my own fitness, adding exercise to my own morning routine has helped me give a stricter timetable to my day. When I’m not out seeing clients I work from home. This means that while I might have a few days a week out on the road, the chances are that I spend most of my week in the house. For me, exercising in the morning means that I have a huge task done before 9am, and as a non business related task it’s something that I would feel bad about doing during the recognised working hours of 9-5. Like many people after a full day of work I can think of 1001 excuses not to go and work out after hours but first thing in the morning I can roll out of bed and to the gym before I’m even fully awake, and by the time I get to my desk an hour later I’ll have had time to settle into my day already.

So why is it that so many successful business owners have found this to be a good way to start their day too? I guess that having an hour or so set aside just for yourself first thing in the morning gives you some all important “me” time. It’s time when you’re committed to doing something for yourself, at a time when your team won’t necessarily find it appropriate to bombard you with work related trivia, before you get bogged down with the stresses of the day. No matter how busy you are, few people expect a business response before 9am, whereas in the evening I regularly send and receive emails as late as 10pm.

It’s also worth noting that exercise isn’t for everyone, even the highly successful. What all the highly successful people have in common is a regular routine. Whether you choose to start your day with exercise or not, starting each day with a plan of attack and sticking to it seems to be a recognised formula for business success, after all, those to do lists don’t write themselves and they certainly don’t do themselves.

What is your strategy for a successful start to the day?

The Most Expensive Thing in Your Business is a One Time Client

The Most Expensive Thing in Your Business is a One Time Client

Businesses of all sizes could do well to think more carefully about customer retention. Acquiring new customers is not only critical to ensure your business grows; it also satisfies your need to move on to the next thing and provides a fresh start and a blank slate. Unfortunately, acquiring new customers comes at a cost, which some sources suggest is around 7 times as much as reselling to your existing customer base.

 

Although acquiring new customers is a necessary and very important part of any business, it shouldn’t be your only focus. Once you have done the hard work of getting a customer on board you need to make sure you keep them! After all, how can you expect to grow your business at all if you can’t keep your existing clients happy?

 

Without repeat business from an existing client base you are constantly trying to plug the gap. A great month in terms of new business needs to be repeated month in month out if you have no steady income from your existing customer base. In short, running a business solely on one off sales does not make good business sense.

 

Some sources have suggested that it’s possible to increase your profits by up to 95 per cent just by improving your customer retention rates by five per cent. This seems like a pretty bold claim, but even an increase in profit of 20 per cent would seem like a huge win to most businesses!

 

So why are existing customers worth so much more than new ones?

 

With new business you are likely to have a longer lead time. The prospect has to be convinced that you are the right company to work with. Their doubts have to be addresses, whether they are about your product, service, price, quality, location, personnel or anything else. For every prospect that eventually buys you have to factor in not only the cost and time you’ve spent selling to them, but also to all the other prospects who haven’t bought anything.

 

Once a customer is on board you are likely to have overcome most, if not all of their concerns. The benefit to you, and the reason they’ll become easier to sell to in the future is that you will have built an element of trust with them. They are likely to be less sensitive to price, less likely to shop around and likely to buy from you more readily than go elsewhere. This again means shorter lead times, meaning less time, meaning you can focus more attention in other areas (like winning new customers!).

 

That doesn’t mean to say that existing customers are worth less of your attention, far from it! If you don’t give every customer the respect they deserve then they will leave you and go elsewhere. What I mean is that if you do your job right from the start, the process of retaining customers should be far easier than the process of attracting new ones.

 

Happy customers means you are also in a position to benefit from additional customer referrals. Good old word of mouth marketing is still a great tool for any business, especially now that you utilise the internet. If you have dozens of satisfied customers talking about you online, and possibly sending out referral offers to their friends it means that those friends who approach your business aren’t a “cold” customer. They already know about your business and have had a personal recommendation from a friend.

 

Existing customers should be at the heart of your marketing strategy, without a strategy to retain customers you leave yourself open to losing customers unnecessarily which puts you right back at square one, looking for new customers who cost you seven times more to win than retaining existing customers costs.

 

Given the recent economic turmoil (even the weather is being blamed for a potential triple dip recession!), frankly we could all do with whatever help we can get in order to reduce spending and increase efficiency. Our customer bases are one of our best assets and most valuable resources, make sure you’re getting the most out of yours!

 

Leave your comments below, we would love to know your thoughts are on customer acquisition vs repeat business!