When you start your own business, you tend to be all things for all people. You are the boss, the receptionist, the warehouse manager, the human resources department, and the tea maker.
As your business grows, its important to start outsourcing these roles if you are going to stay sane, healthy, and profitable.
Bring in the experts
Recruitment itself is a highly specialised industry, and you would be well advised to hand over this particular area of your business to the experts. The whole process, from writing the job descriptions, to advertising for the right candidates, to streamlining the selection criteria Is best done with someone who has the knowledge and resources in a particular area.
For example, as a business owner you know your market, you know your product, but you might not know how to best advertise it. You may have got to where you are now by the sheer force of your own will and your utter belief in your product – but to take your business to the next level it is probably time to start recruiting for marketing roles – roles which are going to create an effective strategy for growth based on industry specific KPIs.
Marketing KPIs – key performance indicators – are not difficult to identify. However, you would be wise to clarify them one by one so that you all know exactly what you are working towards. And just as importantly, that you are all working together towards common goals.
- Sales growth: if you are witnessing a growing order book, people through the door, bums on seats, then that is the biggest indicator that whatever marketing you are doing is working. However it is vital that you track this increase in sales so that you understand exactly where your marketing is working, and where it may not. Split testing between different channels will indicate where you may want to redirect your budget. Knowledge is power when it comes to marketing spend.
- Increasing quantity of leads: in extension to the point above, you need to be able to know which marketing activities are giving you the best leads – not just in terms of quantity, but also quality. You may have 100 leads which led no where, but one good lead can bring in a significant order.
- Cost of Customer Acquisition: growing your business is a numbers game. If you’ve spent £2000 on marketing and advertising in one month, and you win five new clients, then your Cost of Customer Acquisition (COCA) will be £400. If this figure stacks up against profit margins then it is a brilliant guideline for setting budgets and growth targets.
- Customer LTV (Lifetime Value): do you find that customers will come, purchase once, and then you never see them again? Or do they come back again and again. The latter is preferable – having spent considerable sums to get them to come to you in the first place, you want to make sure their experience is good enough to keep them coming back for more, and in the process significantly increasing your gross profit margin with minimal additional marketing spend.
- Landing page conversions: it is essential to keep an eye on the mechanics of your marketing spend, and understanding (and if need be tweaking) the entry points for potential customers is important. Your landing page needs to be well optimised for internet search engines, be key word friendly, have strong CTAs (call to actions), and high conversion rates, then you are on a good run. But never rest of your laurels. Fashions change as much as the algorithms, and if you start to see a drop off in conversions, it probably means one of your competitors is picking those up somewhere else.