Similar to many tales as told by many an entrepreneur, Mary* did her “great escape” about 2 years ago. Well, you know? The proverbial escape from the 9-5 otherwise known as #nomoreratrace?
And just like most entrepreneurs, she envisaged a life full of endless freedom; time, financial, and of course the autonomy to do whatever she wanted with whomever and wherever.
Unfortunately for Mary though, that freedom has yet to come, 2 years down the line.
Entrepreneurship has since proven to be far from the escape she had envisioned. Instead, she has not been on any holiday for the past 2 years. Further, her social life has become inexistent and she is constantly plagued by fear and desperation especially when chasing for her next client or worried that she wont be able to pay the infusionsoft bill. Overwhelm has become Mary’s second name!
So how did this come to be? What went wrong you may ask? Didn’t she have a system? Isn’t she qualified in what she does? Doesn’t she work on her personal brand? How does Mary spend her days?
As a matter of fact, Mary is qualified in what she does. She constantly works on her personal brand and is constantly speaking at numerous events. For her business, she pursues a set system as follows:
You may wonder that with such a solid system, Mary is bound to excel in her business, right? After all, she has all the logical elements in place, right?
Well, what Mary has not considered is that her line of business, which is coaching, is the easiest business to get into. Coaching and consulting have the least barriers to entry. Which means the competition is huge.
At the moment, she runs her business like everyone else does and has not positioned herself as filling a gap. This means that to her potential customers, she is just adding to the noise.
Further, the last couple of years, systemization of business has been the number one trend in the business world.
Which means that many business owners, like Mary, have focused on creating systems rather than the only fundamental element that enables businesses to grow.
Jay Abraham, the marketing guru, states that in order to grow one’s business, you must either:
And that’s it. There is no other way to grow.
And if you look further into each of the points above, they all have one thing in common.
You see, to increase the transaction size, someone needs to buy it.
To increase the frequency, someone needs to buy it more often.
To increase the number of customers. Well, you need to find someone who then becomes the customer, right?
Over-systemization of business has however made many a business owner focus less on the humans who buy and instead place it on the systems where they buy it from. It almost seems that these business owners forget that behind the systems taking the orders, going through the funnels, are living breathing humans who OK the transactions or not.
There is little in the market on how to actually learn about the people, the someone, the customer, the REAL FUEL to all businesses. Most customer diagnostic processes are shallow at most.
Great companies like Apple, Coca Cola, Amazon, Disney have deep learning systems that monitor human behavior in order to eventually convert them into buyers. Once they gathered this data down, they converted the intelligence into systems we currently know.
A similar process needs to happen before small and medium sized entrepreneurs can get to this level of systemization that involves limited human contact.
This is however not to say that business owners, like Mary, should only resort back to one-on-one sessions with clients in order to grow. It however means that they should actively research and acquire a deeper understanding of their clients and have it down to a tee, before they attempt to systemize the acquisition process. They should go beyond the typical demographical data or amazon/forum mining that is currently pegged as the only client research necessary.
It should go deeper and include nuances such as their emotional and decision making profiles, among others.
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