If you are new to these series, we are exploring how business owners can supercharge their businesses, and here at High Performance Ventures, the first milestone that we help businesses to hit consistently is getting at least a million dollars in revenue each year. Next, we look at how to get to a million dollars in profit, and we then amp it up from there ($5 million in revenue, then $5 million in profit, then $10 million, and so on).
Many of the clients that we work with on a one-on-one basis have already travelled this journey, and so in this 3rd part of these series I asked a number of them what it took for them to get their first million dollars from their business.
Each one of them shared what they thought was the most helpful factor, and I will be sharing their thoughts. I split their responses into one group which is having one million in revenue, another group has over $10 million in revenue, and another client is doing over $100 million in revenue.
Next, I split them into a group getting a million dollars in profit, then groups earning higher than that.
The reason why I bring this up is that we would like to know how many of you out there are in the process of building your business to at least a million dollars in revenue.
There are nine different tips shared by the people I contacted, and those tips are really powerful. However, we are going to focus on just one during this segment of the series.
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Now this particular lady whose response we will focus on today is already doing a million dollars in profit, but we asked her what she thought was the most important factor in getting her business to $1 million in revenue.
The importance of targets in business
Her response reminded me of a quote one of my mentors pointed out to me, that if you went to a shooting range and took out your pistol and started firing at a wall and then later painted a bull’s eye around where each bullet landed, you would be pleased with yourself saying you are a great shooter. However, the reality is that if you want to become a great shot, you paint a bull’s eye and then figure out a way to land each shot in that circle.
Now I have noticed that a lot of business owners, and we know this because we have a business accelerator in which each quarter we bring on board a group of ten business owners and we work closely with them to help them accelerate their lead acquisition, lead conversion, their processes, their people, and other metrics of business.
In working with all those people, it is common to find many who don’t have any specific targets they are working towards in each quarter, and they give vague responses when asked.
What’s the maximum capacity of your business?
Just a quick question; if a faucet was turned on right now and your business received 50% more clients right now, how many of your business structures would be able to handle that influx and sustain it for 7 days? Meaning each one of those clients would get the same quality experience, would be blown away by their interaction with your business, etc.
How about 100% growth in 7 days? Meaning, for example, you had a hundred clients and reached 200 all at once, or whatever your current client base is. The answer for most businesses is no. I had a client from Louisiana who was literally going to sign a contract which would triple their business within seven days and the challenge was that they didn’t know the current maximum capacity of their business. They didn’t realize that if they were to triple their business at that moment they would put the business at great risk and they could choke to death since too much would be happening at the same time.
And so we need to set really clear targets for our businesses so that you maintain the highest quality possible. Actually, this is precisely why we at High Performance Ventures take on only ten clients at a time so that we can maintain our high standards with each group we take on.
I learned that at the beginning because when I first started coaching, I somehow signed up 52 one-on-one coaching clients within my first 8 months of doing one-on-one coaching on my own, and those were way too many for one-on-one coaching. Over the years I’ve figured out that I can handle up to 20 at any given time, not 52 as I originally signed on. My problem wasn’t getting more clients, it was figuring out what my maximum capacity was.
What is your business target and how will you get there?
So, have you drawn a clear target of where you want to take your business? For example, if your target is to hit $1 million in revenue, how will you get there? Will you find one client and sell them a package worth a million dollars? Or, do you want to sign a million clients and sell them each a package worth a dollar?
In my business, my target in 100 clients who will give me about $1.2 million revenue in a year. Any more clients beyond this number will compromise the quality of what we offer. So, what’s your number? What’s the maximum number you can handle before quality begins to suffer? What’s the number of clients that can take you to your revenue target?
Another question, once you know the number of clients you need to hit your annual revenue target, do you start each year looking for that number of clients? How many are recurrent clients on auto renew arrangements?
And, what is your maximum capacity? Many people think that their businesses are set up to have unlimited client capacity, but this isn’t always true. Something will collapse. For example, Apple is one of the biggest companies valued at about $2 trillion, but each time they launch a new product, the customer experience goes down. How do I know? When they launch a product and I try to buy something, my order takes long to go through, the website gets really slow and it takes longer to deliver my purchase. This is an indication that they have been stretched beyond the point at which they can give clients a wow experience.
As the volume goes up, the quality goes down and chaos happens. If you know your max capacity and the target revenue number, you can work out how many new clients you need to bring on board within specified timeframes so that quality doesn’t suffer.
3 lessons from Jeff Bezos on building a business
Something else that I have noticed. Many people who are trying to build their businesses to $1 million dollars in revenue turn to people way above them, such as the Jeff Bezos who are earning billions and they ask them what they are doing. The problem is, when you apply the things being done by a company earning billions in a company yet to hit a million, it won’t work.
What I do instead is look up someone who is a step higher and try to learn what they are doing so that I can learn those lessons, apply them in my business and help it grow to the next level, such as $5 million in revenue up from a million.
Now Jeff Bezos said a lot of things, some of which aren’t applicable to a business trying to reach a million dollars in revenue. However, three things stood out and they are applicable to a business growing to $1 million in revenue;
- Only make 3 decisions each day. Challenge is, as a startup, you will need to make lots of decisions each day. So, I would add, what are those three most important decisions you need to make each day so that your business moves closer to the million or five million dollar mark? Make those decisions first.
- Start small and build. If it works really well at that level, build it up.
- Get a full night’s rest. In our programs, we remotely track the breathing patterns, sleep patterns, heart rates and so on using the really cool tech available to us. What we find is that in the beginning, the results move upwards and then stagnate or drop as sleep quality goes down. The results follow the sleep! There’s a delay from the time sleep quality goes down to the time results take a dive, and during that time people may think that they don’t need that much sleep to remain performing at their best. However, when results tumble and they don’t know what happened, I show them their sleep stats for the past 30 days and they can’t believe that is why their performance has dropped.
It’s all about sales, sales, and more sales!
Back to our client and what she says helped her get to a million dollars in revenue. She is now making a lot more than that, so she has a lot more to say. But, to get to a million, she says always be selling; ask for referrals, make cold calls, hustle, knock on doors, network your butt off. Basically, always be selling.
By the way, she’s in her early 30’s and has already done that. She’s now on course to do a million dollars in profit.
How our business accelerator program helps
So, where can you fit it in within your week to amp up your sales? One thing we focus on in our business accelerator is lead acquisition. We help people figure out how to open a faucet of leads so that the Hoover Dam comes flowing in.
Second thing we help with is lead conversion. You might have all the leads in the world but if you can’t get them to work with you, you are in trouble. We help come up with a process that helps you to nurture leads so that they quickly decide if they are a good fit or not.
The third thing we help with is determining what your max capacity is. Not a lot of people know this max capacity, and this could stand in the way of their success. You can increase your maximum capacity, but it is important to know how to set things up so that your profit stays up even as you increase your people (employees).
Wrapping it up
If you are interested in this, we have an accelerator starting January. You will find links to some videos at the bottom to help you decide if this program is an obvious fit for you or not. I hope this has been useful and you’ve learned something valuable. Talk to you soon as I will be sharing more in these series.
To Your Success,