If your business is struggling, why continue to look at it from the same perspective? Find the answers you crave with these unexpected questions.
No one wants to admit their business is struggling. In fact, you probably looked over your shoulder before you even opened this blog. So often, when we’re faced with bad numbers or too-tight profit margins, we bury our heads in the sand — or worse — overcompensate by slashing the budget, acting like everything is fine, and then drowning our sorrows alone in our offices.
I get it. I’ve had really hard days in business, days when I worried if I had the strength to keep it alive. But here’s the thing. The answers you’re looking for don’t come from the common questions. Questions like:
“How do I make more money?”
“Where can I save in the budget?”
“How do I get more clients?”
Why don’t those questions lead us to the right answers? Read on.
7 Unexpected Questions To Ask If Your Business Is
If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels trying to get more customers and more money, then you could be asking yourself the wrong questions. In today’s market, people are looking for connection and meaning from their favorite brands and business relationships — more than ever before. They want to know they’re making a difference with their purchasing power. They want their contributions and relationships to make a difference, not just affect the bottom line.
That’s why focusing on numbers and customers — instead of impact and reach — doesn’t work like it used to. If you want to attract people, you have to start asking the big-picture questions. You have to start thinking about the people you’re serving.
How do they want to be served?
What are they looking for from this relationship?
How can you make their lives more meaningful?
So let’s dive into some unconventional questions you should be asking if you’re running a business in the digital age.
1. How can I create a formatted, weekly show?
Right out of the gate, I bet this seems like an oddly specific question. But there’s a really good reason I recommend TV or web shows to anyone looking to breakthrough a market. When it comes to marketing — and getting your message in front of millions — there’s no better way to work around the noise than to create video content. Not only is video the most-consumed form of marketing content, but it’s also the least saturated content market and the most influential form of media.
2. How can I improve my content distribution?
Here’s another reason why I love using formatted shows as my staple content. There’s a “grassroots-style” distribution option. Over-the-top (OTT) distribution refers to the insanely popular, nontraditional channels we love as viewers: Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Netflix, Hulu, etc. If you distribute through these OTT channels, you no longer have to go through a massive TV network (aka “the middle man”) to get our content aired in front of millions. Today, we can go straight to the source and use OTT distribution to create binge-worthy content that capture millions. So when it comes to content, try to focus on creative ways to get your content noticed.
3. How can I create new products or services for the audience I already have?
I bet you’ve already tried (more than once) to create a new product or service in an attempt to lure in more business. We’ve all done it, and yes, it needs to be done. But that can also be a more costly way of going about it. Instead, try focusing on your audience. Ask the people who are already raving fans of your business what else they may need or want from you. How can adjust or expand upon what you’re already doing to serve the customers you already have?
4. How can I create multiple and/or passive income streams?
Especially when we first get started, we tend to think of revenue as something linear: We produce a product a or service; someone buys it, and we get paid. But that’s an extremely limiting way to fuel your business. Consider creating a digital membership or subscription to boost your sales without imposing on your resources. Create a product suite that offers clients a way to access what they need without requiring action from you. This is an excellent option for coaches or other service-based businesses because it allows your expertise to live forever on the internet.
5. How can I get sponsorship opportunities to pay for what I can’t afford?
This is an excellent solution for those who want to launch a TV or web show but don’t have the resources to produce it. Whenever you’re creating a show, you’ll want to consider ways for that show to benefit others: your viewers, your guests and your advertisers. Build opportunities to showcase others into the format of your show, so you have something to offer people, such as a guest spot or a commercial spot. Then you can attract sponsors or partners who will invest in your show or even offer a trade relationship. When you can’t fund a necessary venture, outsource it.
6. How can I create business relationships that will provide the resources I don’t have?
Whether this is media attention or the equipment to shoot a web show, getting creative with your needs is going to take you farther than trying to generate the revenue it would cost to do it alone. Consider trade relationships, power partnerships, referral programs and more to generate extra dollars, resources and boots on the ground. Your bottom line will thank you — and your reach will skyrocket as you involve other people in your mission. Why? The more people who are invested in your mission, the more opportunity you’ve created to help spread the word about what you’re doing.
7. How can I get someone else to sell for me, without investing money up front?
Hiring a sales staff is probably the most conventional way to increase your sales power. You need more sales, so you increase the number of people selling. Unfortunately, that’s not always an option when your cash and resources are tight.
This is where influencers and ambassadors come in. Do your research, and gift a handful of influential clients with complimentary products or services — in exchange for their public testimony. Need an even more aggressive sales plan? Offer a commission to brand ambassadors when they refer clients to you. It’s a win-win relationship for both of you.