In this article Mark Burgess, CEO of Iceberg Digital, shares some of his knowledge on how to build a business as opposed to finding yourself just working in one.
Mark has had various businesses over the last 20+ years, some have worked, some have not. He has built a multi-million-pound company, written two best-selling business books, spoken on stage in front of 1000’s of people and had his own TV show on Sky, to help entrepreneurs. He has been featured on Forbes.com as one of the entrepreneurs in the world making a difference but he started that journey with no qualification or knowledge or business at all. In this article he shares some of his top tips on how to build a business that works for you instead of you working for the business.
1 – Can technology free up your manpower?
When you first start out in business, it is all about cashflow and just getting the job done. You work endless hours and nothing is too much trouble. Of course, you always want to keep those levels of customer service but once your business is established you don’t want to find yourself still working 24/7. The initial way of trying to solve this problem is to employ more manpower into the business but again as the business matures beyond its first few years it is important to start to look at what technology can be implemented to create perfectly repeatable processes. This will not only free up your manpower to deliver a more personal service but will also safeguard your business from staff leaving that have the whole process in their head.
2 – Do you have a customer journey?
Learning about customer journeys was such a vital part of my learning in business that I often run workshops and speak at events about the power of these. It is literally critical to your long-term success. The idea of a customer journey is for you and your team to plan out every step of your customers journey with your business, from how they might discover your company, what they will find out when doing their research, how you will interact with them as a client and right through to everlasting love!
3 – Do you have buyer personas?
This links hand in hand with a customer journey. Again in the early days of your business you will take any business that comes your way but as your business becomes more established it is important that you look at a selection of your best ever clients and begin to find the type of person your business suits. Find the clients that paid the right fee, had a great service, were a pleasure to deal with and enjoyed working with you and then dig into the details of those people. Why they chose you, what they do for a living, what cars they drive, why they were moving, do they have kids, their age etc. Once you do this you will start to find some amazing similarities amongst your favourite ever clients and you can construct your marketing to appeal directly to those types of people, attract more of them, earn more and enjoy working with them!
4 – Are you building for the future or just focused on the now?
Again, this one comes as the business begins to mature because it goes against the ideas of a frantic start up. However, it is common sense to an agent that they should always have a pipeline of sales going through in order to know cash will constantly flow through the business but where most business fall down is that they do not also have a pipeline for new business ie instructions that goes beyond the properties they have valued in the last month. To really grow, a business needs to invest in a full eco system that will continually be working on creating your new listing for next year and the year after. With systems like this in place it becomes almost inevitable that your life as a business owner will get easier and easier over time.