3 Things I Did to Grow Revenue by 30% in 2018.
Updated: May 13, 2020
Good morning CCF!
I was reviewing my numbers this morning and I wanted to share something. In 2016 I did $461K revenue. 2017, I did $498K...8% growth. 2018 is projected to do $650K...30% growth, without increasing my advertising/marketing budget.
Last year I was coasting. I didn't do much to grow my business. I didn't implement systems or level up my marketing strategies. This year, I decided that I was done being complacent and I was going to do something with my time, since I was only working 15-20 hours a week to maintain my domestic referral agency business, I had another 20 hours to grow the damn thing. Why not use that free time?!
So, this is what I did.
1. Got an Accountability Coach
First, I got an accountability coach. We spent our first meeting doing a brain dump. I told her ALL the ideas I've ever had in 2017 and we narrowed it down to what we want to accomplish in 2018. Then, we broke it down to a timeline with goals bench-marked for various times of the year to be executed. Each week I talk to her on Monday morning. We go over what I accomplished last week and then we add tasks for the upcoming week. We assign the time anticipated to accomplish each task to ensure it’s realistic with my traveling/vacation schedule. Recently, we’ve reduced my work week to 4 days so we adjusted workload accordingly for that.
Every few weeks we look back on our outlined goals and ensure that we’re on track to accomplishing everything we had set out to. This was the single action step I took that created a domino effect on everything else I accomplished year to date. If you feel you can be more productive with an accountability coach…GET ONE! Being your own boss has drawbacks, like complacency. I know it all too well.
If you want to use my coach, she’s still available to take on a few new clients and she’s way more affordable than specialized coaches I’ve used in the past, but I get so much more out of these weekly meetings than I do with those coaches because I already know what I want to do…I just need to do it! And actually doing it gets me a $152K increase in revenue.
Hannah Escher Benjamin (she's in our CCF FB group)
Mention me as a referral to get your first hour free
2. Put Systems in Place
Second, I began to put systems in place. I knew that if I was going to start putting effort into growing, I would need to hire a virtual assistant to handle client calls and emails so I would not be interrupted while masterminding a killer growth plan! So, I began creating a “Resource Center” where I documented systems on how to execute tasks, how to handle situational customer complaints, how to sell over the phone, etc. Once I on-boarded an assistant to take over customer service, we continued to build and add to the Online Resource Center. It now includes performance assessment for the assistant, automated customer complaint forms and resolution ideas, as well as a very detailed FAQ for all areas of business that the assistant would ever have to encounter. The best part is, I didn’t even have to add all of that. I had the assistant add the new content as we were faced with new issues that were not yet addressed in the Resource Center. You can use any website builder to create this. I used wix.com because I know it best and SEO is not needed for this site so building it on Word Press was not necessary. Here's a video on my resource center idea
I also put systems in place for recruitment, which is the foundation of my business. Finding good, qualified independent cleaning professionals and ensuring they share the same customer service standards as my referral agency is not an easy task…but now its super simple and automated. One good cleaner can generate $6500 in revenue or $2600 in profit for your referral agency in a given month. So it is VITAL that you invest the time, energy and resources into making this a fool proof system within your agency.
Another long term investment you must make is in building your company culture. This culture will prevent cleaners and clients from poaching and allow you to build a solid foundation of relationships to grow your agency’s financial future.
You can see my automations for this here: The Process of Recruiting Qualified Independent Cleaning Professionals.
You can check out the online shop here for resources to help you in this process.
3. Setting Up Automation
The last thing I did, which has the most direct impact on my 30% growth in revenue, is to implement automations. I didn’t believe all the hype that other business owners were talking about when they said “Automation is key.” But, now I know. I began setting up 6 different email marketing automation sequences to target specific messages and coupon codes to contacts based on the stage they were in within the sales pipeline. It was not easy. I had to learn the capabilities within the scheduling software and CRM software I was using, create 45 emails all with the appropriate message to convert the contact to the next sales stage, then learn how to connect all that together so contacts can be automatically sorted and filtered when they move to a different stage. The key word is automatically.
Once I was done setting this up, I was able to sit back and watch the magic happen (well, after I tweaked some of my automation errors). Whether you do this on your own, use someone else’s (like Ginger Mead Whitson’s Infusionsoft Campaign) or use my system (integrating Launch27 with Active Campaign via Zapier), you must get this done! This is a key component in my 30% growth this year and best of all, it is $0 extra in your marketing/advertising budget, yet it’s return is limitless.
Here I explain what automation system I use and how you can implement it for your own agency.
Shop Resource: Automation Package A & B in Shop
The final quarter of 2018 is around the corner. With all of what I’ve accomplished this year within my agency (not mentioning the launch of Cleaning Cash Flow and my real estate investments) I’m really looking forward to my planning session with Hannah to see what I want to accomplish in 2019. Cheers to a kick as final quarter y’all! You can do this!!!
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