Do You Dream Of A Business With Over A Million Dollars In Revenue? by @XLConsultingGro

7 Strategies To Reach a Million Dollars in Revenue

Business Success

by Elaine Slatter | Featured Contributor

Did you know that less than 2% of women-led businesses reach over a million dollars in revenue?  In researching for my follow-up book to “Fabulous Fempreneurship” a business startup guide, I have been interviewing women founders to see what it takes to move up from a startup business to a superstar organization of over a million dollars in revenue.

Here are some of the highlights of these interviews.

 

Don’t over analyze and paralyze yourself into taking action

Victoria Sopik founder of Kids and Co. is a visionary and her partner is an accountant and a detailed person.  As a visionary Victoria says it’s her role to think big and expand the business (originally starting in Canada and now spreading across North America).  Her partner’s role is to find holes in the vision but not stop the vision.  Victoria will listen to her partner but unless there is a great reason why the company should not go forward with its plans, she takes the risk, because she knows from her past experiences, with the risk comes the reward.   She has seen and heard a lot in her 15 years of business, but nothing she says is insurmountable. After all, she has survived the trials of being the mother of 8 children all of whom she says are still alive to-day!

Surround yourself with mentors

No-one can be an entrepreneur on their own.  The successful women founders I interviewed all said they had mentorship.  For some it was mentorship by other women in CEO networks, for another CEO it was earning a spot in the Quantum Shift leadership series, partly sponsored by KPMG

Have a strategic plan

If you don’t know where you want to go, how can you get there?  All the women leaders stressed that as your business gets traction you have to plan the next phase.    Using SMART planning to define your strategy was a unanimous choice.   Breaking the strategic plan into 5 year, 3 year and 1 year visions is paramount to success.  Sharing the plan with all your employees is another essential element because everyone on board has to be part of your plan says, Shantel Feltman, CEO Sitiris Research.

When putting the strategic plan together it should include the total structure of the company.  As you grown, your company structure will change.  What will that look like?  Identify employees that can grow with your company says Shantel and push them to take on the responsibilities.   Shantel knows this only too well.  Having to take a couple of years away from her business for breast cancer surgeries and recovery, she learned that people will step up to the plate if they are empowered and encouraged to do so.

Joni Lien, franchisor owner of Supperworks also found out the same thing as she was forced to take a break from her business to look after her terminally ill husband who was the chief operations officer.  Her team stepped up to the plate and now Joni has been getting back to her business but in a different role.  She is focusing business growth, while her team handles the operations side of the business.

Listen to your customers

For Debbie Gracie-Smith, founder of Cretos an International IT business that she has since sold said “it was listening to the customers of American Express when I worked there was the whole premise of starting my own successful company”.   Cretos filled the gap for her customers that American Express was not interested in filling.  Debbie says “Do the right thing and do work you are proud of”.

This also means making things right even if you make a loss and it’s not your fault. Having respect for the client.  In the case of Michelle Bailey, CEO of Blazing The Agency, this also meant covering up the mistake of a manager in her client’s business who signed off on a $60K print run with an error.  The error was fixed, the print run reworked and Blazing The Agency footed the bill so the client’s employee could save face.  Not every company would go that far, but Michelle believes the client is always right (even when they are wrong).   Michelle suggests making sure your clients are partners, not users.

And how does Michelle get it right for her clients?  Without a doubt, it’s “by active listening”.  “ How can you make sure your solution fits the client’s needs if you don’t understand what the problem is?” says Michelle.  Mirroring back to the client in their own words clarifies the problem.  If you don’t have the solution, recommend another company who can solve the client’s problem.

Hire for cultural fit and teach the skills

All the female founders stressed that building a team that gets what you are trying to do and buying into the strategic plan is paramount to success.  Don’t hesitate to remove toxic employees from your company.  It’s not the right fit for you or the employee.   They will be happier at a different kind of company.

Use technology to expand your business

This can mean so many different things.  It could be app based software to manage employee projects, it could be software to make the quoting process more efficient.  Or it might be database management to keep track of your strategic metrics.  Whatever it is, information at your fingertips is paramount to efficiency in all areas of your business.   Technology can also change your business focus from offline to online giving you more areas of growth towards a million dollars in revenue.

Read, read and read some more

Whether you are reading for ideas, productivity, business structure, success stories or client engagement, keep reading. Or to-day should we say watch videos, listen to podcasts and attend webinars.  But like anything else, keep the end goal in mind and educate yourself only on items that fit your strategic plan.

Keep focused and head on up to the million dollar club.  Let’s get the million dollar club up from 2% to 3% of women-led businesses in the next few years.   If your business already has a million dollars in revenue, and you would like to be interviewed for this new book “Startup to Superstar”, drop a comment below.

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Elaine Slatter is a Small Business Expert, founder of  XL Consulting Group and author of the popular book, “Fabulous Fempreneurship”, a complete business guide for women.  XL Consulting Group helps entrepreneurs with market planning, strategy, branding, web design and social media. She has over 30 years of executive business and marketing experience and is ready to help you rocket your business to success.  Elaine is passionate about mentoring women to become successful women entrepreneurs.   To find out more, visit XL Consulting Group or join the Fabulous Fempreneurship mastermind.

You can connect with Elaine on social media at:  Facebook Group | Twitter | Facebook

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