As a successful business owner you want nothing more than to thrive by doing what you do best.
You want to be of service to your clients and to be valued for that. You want to see the fruits of your labor rewarded. You want to make a good living doing what you love.
Of course you do! I do, too.
But not everyone is experiencing that, for a variety of reasons. One of the issues I often see service-based entrepreneurs struggle with is their ability to succeed in two different ways, simultaneously. In order to truly thrive as a service-provider and business owner you absolutely must be able to meet (and ideally exceed) your clients’ needs and grow your business at the same time.
What do I mean by that? Am I implying that’s a source of conflict and cause of stress for many entrepreneurs? Why yes, yes I am.
Let me explain.
You are amazing at what you do. I know you are. You know you are. Your clients are the proof. They rave about you and all that you provide. They want you all to themselves. You are definitely nailing the first part of the equation – meeting your clients’ needs – so that’s great. But what often happens is you keep on delivering and delivering and delivering. The clients take up all your time. All of your energy. And there’s no time / energy / available resources left to grow your business.
How will you grow your business beyond where it is today if you only excel at the first part of the equation? The short answer is you won’t. Then what happens? You may already be experiencing this result for yourself: What happens next is you burn out. You have no life outside of your business and your dreams come crashing down. You’re exhausted and wonder what you ever saw in the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
Then there is the second part of the equation – working hard to grow your business. Now I know, devoted reader, that you would never fall into this category I’m about to illuminate. But believe me, others do. They set their sights on building their business into its next phase, into that bigger vision. That’s great! I’m all for having a big vision and focusing your energy to make it a reality. But not at the expense of your clients and their needs. Not if it means that you are no longer providing an outstanding service experience.
I’ll give you one guess as to what happens to those businesses that focus on their future growth at the expense of their current clients’ needs and experiences. You know the answer. They won’t last. They’ll lose clients and lose their foothold in the future vision they created. Next thing you know, there’s no more business at all. Again, the entrepreneurial dream has come crashing down.
So what’s a service-oriented entrepreneur to do?
Start Here: Bridge the Gap
Start by making sure that you really truly have identified the pressing problems of your most ideal clients so that you can meet – and exceed – their needs. Do you have a way to get underneath what they’re telling you they want help with? How can you dig a bit deeper so that you can provide outstanding results? Be the one who can uncover the deeper need, the bigger sticking points, and present a solution to those. By bridging the gap between what they say they want and what they really need, you provide a better solution. That better solution is what gets them the dynamite results they’re after. And when that happens, they rave about you. Now you’re cooking!
Next Up: Ensure a Smooth Delivery
Now you’re confident that you can indeed meet your clients’ most pressing needs, you want to free up some energy to devote to growing your business. How? By ensuring that you have strong business systems in place to make client care an easy-peasy proposition. Deliver unparalleled value to your clients and do it with ease on your part. Ahhhh. Can you see how that combination allows you the time and energy to focus on future growth?
Have your technology lined up, have your intake process streamlined, make sure it’s a breeze to keep track of your finances, client follow-up, etc. Provide excellent client care by having systems in place that allow you to do that with ease and joy. Yes, I said joy! You won’t have to worry about what’s falling through the cracks if you have a strong business foundation and the systems in place to support that foundation.
Now you’re ready to focus on growth, positive growth. You’ll be ready to grow while meeting your clients’ needs. When you do it this way, no one gets left behind. Not you. Not your amazing clients. Not your entrepreneurial dream.
Final Piece: Deepen and Develop
If you’re going to grow your business to the next phase, to the next level of success, to that big vision stage, then you’re going to have to ramp things up. You know this, I know.
What you may not know is that to ramp things up in a way that is sustainable you need to go deep. Deepen your offerings. Go farther into what is needed ‘next’ for your most ideal clients. Then develop offers and programs that will take them there. Grow with your clients and their needs and you’ll be growing your business. Take them to the next level and your business will follow.
If you want to grow your business beyond where it is now, beyond what you’ve achieved so far, then you need to deepen and develop, too. Your personal and professional growth must be continuous. In fact, I would argue that’s an essential piece of entrepreneurial success. If you want to grow your business, the ability to grow both personally and professionally is essential.
Don’t stop short. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo. Deepen your skill set, expand your offerings as a service provider, and develop more comprehensive solutions for your ideal clients.
Master this and you’ll be well on your way to sustainable business success because you’ll be able to grow your business and meet your ideal clients’ needs, simultaneously. Your clients receive an amazing experience that’s easy for you to deliver. Their needs are met or even exceeded by the services you provide. And all of it is done with ease and joy, which creates time and energy for you to be future focused. That’s when your business growth accelerates beyond where you are now.
When you can simultaneously meet your clients’ needs and grow your business to the next level of success … everyone wins!