Episode 9: How to grow your business not your outgoings

Get My "How to Grow Your Business NOT Your Outgoings" Worksheet

In this episode I’m talking all about something that is very close to each and every one of you. It is the foundation of every single business.We’re all always looking for how we can grow our business in a positive way, but without increasing our outgoings.

Here are the highlights from this episode:

{0:55} The lesson we learned from COVID-19

{3:24} The difference between doing a job and loving a job

{7:02} A customer-centric philosophy: the customer experience as the driver 

{11:47} First fundamental: building sales funnels

{13:36} Second fundamental: having a CRM

{14:19} Third fundamental: looking at your competition

{15:06} Fourth fundamental: automation

{16:33} Fight fundamental: commit to what you can do

{17:07} Sixth fundamental: have an affiliate scheme in place

{19:39} Seventh fundamental: passive income

Check out all episodes and download worksheets – https://dawnmcgruer.com/podcast/

Connect with Dawn: 

Instagram @dawnmcgruer and @businessconsort





Web: www.dawnmcgruer.com

Dawn McGruer:

Welcome to episode nine, Dawn of a New Era, the Podcast – Chronicles of a Serial Entrepreneur. And in today’s podcast, we’re going to talk about something that is very close to each and every one of you. And it is at the bottom, the foundation of every single business, because we are all looking at how we can grow our business in a positive way, but without increasing our outgoings.

Now, many people will tell you this is impossible, but it is not, and honestly, this is something that I feel very passionately about because when I started my business, I did fall into the trap. I did think, honestly, that you had to build an office, you had to grow a team, you had to invest, invest, invest, and that literally the success of your business was down to the physical growth, the footprint that you held, and the opposite is quite true.

And if we’ve learned nothing during COVID-19, we have absolutely learned that we can indeed be virtual teams. We can come together and be united as a business front and have great results. And this doesn’t have to be working from a physical bricks-and-mortar business. It doesn’t mean that you have to have hundreds and hundreds of employees. Now, some of the best teams that I have built within my agency, within my academy, are the teams that I have met the person and chosen to work with that person. And they have done the same back to me because they are an expert in their own field. They are stand-out in terms of their capability, their skills.

When I choose a team now, it is so different. I used to feel like I was the leader in the business. I used to feel like I was the hub, the centerpiece. And I would interview people and think about what skills they could add, how they could impact the business, how they could help it grow, how they could help it scale.

But actually, when I changed my approach… And this honestly took me years. This took me years and years and years. Building a team has been one of the best and one of the worst things in my life. Honestly, the stress, the strain, of having people within a business is huge because they are the working dynamic, fluid pieces of your day. And they are subject to change, because each person has a different circumstance. They have their own career progression.

I suppose when people joined the business, I used to feel like they’d be as invested in the business as me, and no one’s going to feel that. I don’t want someone to work in a business where it’s a job. I learned very quickly that having somebody there who shows up, does the minimum, gets the job done, is fine, but you know what? Who gets the worst end, or the brunt of this, is the customer. It wasn’t me.

I could cope with the fact that the person would do what they needed to do, and I would think, well, at the end of the day, they’re showing up. They getting the wage. They’re doing everything in the job description. But there’s a different layer. There’s a different feel when someone truly loves their job, and they show up because they want to, and they they’re invested in you and the business, but most importantly, the customers. And the client is the person that they want to please, and they ultimately get a buzz out of this.

So when I started choosing my teams after a huge amount of fails… I mean, literally I have employed people who have lasted a day. I have employed people who have tried to rip me off. I’ve employed people who have really, really, really upset me, even to the point where I just thought I’m never employing anyone again. And literally, I probably went through a couple of years where I just did not want employees. I did not want anyone in my business. I was scarred from it.

And this experience is down to me, not anyone else. This is down to the way that I was recruiting. I was coming at it from a very traditional point of view. And I was looking at mentors who were quite old-fashioned in their view that you had an office, you had people, they showed up, they did the job and you were the leader.

When I changed this, and I let go of things, it was the art of delegation, really. Learning that I don’t want to be the smartest person in the room. I wanted someone who inspired me as much as I, hopefully, inspire them. So this whole change took me far too long. Far too long. But when I actually realized that having a team whereby someone is a geek in their own right, in terms of they’re passionate about that topic, things just started to fall into place.

And having virtual teams works for me, because I do not want to be in an office environment. It doesn’t work for me. I do not want to show up and have meeting after meeting. I just would not be in my genius zone in that way. I want to be out of it. I want to have really good conversations where I come away from that meeting, be it face-to-face or online, and I feel that we’re going to make a difference, and that whatever we’re going to do is going to happen. It’s going to have impact. And I’m not one for having meetings for meetings’ sake.

So if we look at how we grow our businesses, and this is growing and scaling your business not in physical entity, but how you grow your business without your outgoings, these are the lessons I learned. Now, I knew when I started my business that it was all about the maths of selling, and marketing for me has always been hand-in-hand with sales. The whole purpose of sales and marketing is that if someone sells something, you market to get the person back, to retain them, to build loyalty. If you are selling for the first time, you market so that you can sell to that person.

For me, it’s a fluid circle and it goes round and round and round. So when we look at the customer journey, this is at the heart of growing your business. Because everything, for me, the soon as I started becoming customer-centric and thinking of them as running my business and not having the team run it, this is where it changed. Because I started looking at the customer experience. I started looking at the sales cycle, but then even deeper into the life cycle. So not just how did they find the business? What was our brand awareness like? How did we reach our client? How did we nurture them through to a profitable customer?

I looked at what the experience was like, the touch points for the brand, for that person, and looked at trying to enhance it and get that relationship and messaging deeper and deeper. And this in turn, the better we got at it, the more efficient I could recruit people into my team, because I could see the stages where we needed a customer success manager, somebody who could see that person through the journey and really support them.

And this is where a lot of businesses fall down. They stop at the sell, and they don’t want to excel and exceed their client’s expectations. They may be over-committed at the beginning and then end up with unhappy customers. For me, it was about being really true, really authentic and transparent about what we’re offering, what people were going to get, but having people in those stages and actually investing in people. Not that you had to have them full-time, but just having people at those stages to support it.

Now, once we realized that the customer experience is the driver, it became a lot easier to look at how we saw it, because we started pulling things together and building teams in at these stages, and having people who were committed to making sure that every stage happened in the right way. The mistake I made early on was having someone doing too much. And I’d recruit someone and I’d think, “Right, we can do these 10 things,” and I would literally brain-dump and I would just be driving that person, just 10 things where they were just too diluted. There were never going to be the best at what they did.

And when I realized that if I just gave someone one thing, that they operated in this whole different level. It sounds simple, but maybe it just took me longer than others. Maybe you’ve experienced it. I don’t know. But the things I’ve learned are around recruiting the people. And when I sat down and I thought about, what are the objectives for any business? What is it that makes a business grow and scale? And how can I do this without actually having to invest in massive teams? I wanted to be leaner. I wanted to work smarter, not harder. And because I was working in the online space, this made sense. How could I work with more people, not just on a one-to-one basis, but really efficiently without losing that customer experience?

So I always thought about the three layers and these are the three goals in any business, any niche, any industry worldwide, they are the same throughout. Every single business wants these three things. And at the end of the day, if they achieve them, then it’s very powerful. So the three things are… Every day in business, if I woke up, if you woke up, any business owner thought about these three things, you could not fail.

And the three things are, increasing your average order value every single day. Every single day. Your purchase frequency and your customer base. Now you imagine just small incremental changes in those, but you put them all together, I mean, that’s just vast. If you achieve those objectives each and every day, each and every month, and each and every year, your business will automatically scale and grow.

But how do you do this without increasing outgoings? Many people think you have to plow thousands of pounds into team members, into advertising. It’s actually more fundamental than that. It’s all about the processes, the structure, the foundation, the thing that no one ever teaches you in business. And this is something that I set out as an entrepreneur, because I blooming well wish someone had taught me this, is how to actually set up a business. How to structure it, how to look at your accounts, how to know that if you’ve got an accountant doing it, that you’re claiming all the money back you should be. How to make sure that every single sale that you make, you’re enhancing that sale by cross-selling, by diversifying and making sure that you’re upselling across that way but creating value for the customer.

Now, the fundamentals in business, I mean, for many years, I was just winging it. I had no idea how a business was structured. I was passionate about marketing, a complete tech geek, knew what I was doing there, but had not got a clue how to run a business. And that has cost me thousands, if not more, over the years. So every single course I teach every training, this is something that I just wanted to build in. I wanted to make sure that people who show up to my three-day training, for faster academy, yeah, it’s about digital. Yes, it’s about online. Of course it’s about mastering the whole world of online marketing and social media. But the fundamentals are how to run a business efficiently and effectively, and how to structure it so the foundations and the processes are absolutely smashing what you want to do. And it’s all about how to get these prices in place.

And do you know what I learned? It takes time. It takes organization. Once you do it, if you invest every time that you do something and you get that structure working, it makes all the difference.

So the first thing that I found out in life, in business, et cetera, when I was looking to attract my ideal clients, I wanted to grow. So how did I get the customer base? Building sales funnels. There is no business in history worldwide that doesn’t do well that has a sales funnel, but why do we not get this in business?

I still meet hundreds of thousands of people who have no sales funnel. And they say to me, “Dawn, I’ve got this project, I’ve got this service.” And I look at it and I think it’s amazing, absolutely outstanding. And I’m thinking, why are more people not buying this? Because it’s the world’s best-kept secret. They haven’t built a sales funnel. They haven’t built a mechanism, a process, that pulls these people in each and every day. And they’re working every day, absolutely killing themselves, trying to grow the business and pull customers in.

And that’s never going to work, and it’s never going to allow you to scale and grow your business. And then you fall into the trap where you plow money in, because you think scaling and growing and getting more people in is about money. It’s not. It’s about having a sales funnel. What’s the most important thing that’s going to attract them? What’s the hook? And then building that relationship and nurturing them through and creating the desire and answering any FAQs, or frequently asked questions, that they have.

And best of all, overcoming any sales objections head-on so that you can shorten that sales cycle, but improve the customer experience. If someone’s interested in something and they take action and they go from a social media post and they land on a page, how many people just let those visitors go? 97% of visitors who land on a website will never do anything other than just browse. They’re not ready to buy. They’re not ready to inquire. So if you’re only recognizing 3% of that every single day, it’s catastrophic.

And I see businesses go down the drain that really shouldn’t. And I see businesses who are not achieving the profit levels that they deserve, and it’s not the product or service. The main reason businesses fail are because it’s ineffective and inefficient marketing. Building a sales funnel and having a CRM.

If you’ve never heard of a CRM, customer relationship management. A database that literally has everybody, from a suspect to a prospect to a customer, listed in there so you can make contact and you can segment and talk to different people at different stages of the sales cycle. This is the golden area of success. This is something that so many people don’t have. And also, if I talk to people about the CRMs, and you may feel the same, that you think, “Oh, the data in it’s awful,” but it shouldn’t, because if you get your data populated by the user, then nine times out of ten, if it’s something that they want and they’re signing up for a lead magnet, it’s going to be right. So your data is right.

So funnels, CRMs, looking at your competition. I follow every single person in my world. I sign up for everything. I am literally in my competitors’ faces. And people think, “Why would you do that? You don’t want people to be on your mailing list.” I don’t care, because everything is available online. Yeah? And I work very hard to be unique and to stand out. So at the end of the day, to keep my finger on the pulse, I don’t want to be trawling competitor websites every single day. I need to know what’s happening. So I do. I sign up for my competitors. I set up Google alerts for my competitors names so each and every time they publish something new to the web, I am the first to know.

Now automation. You’ll hear me talk about automation until I’m blue in the face, because me, I get bored really easy. So removing duplication from my day, removing duplication from my team. Anything that I do, day in day out, that I did as a repetitive task, needs to be automated. And this means that then I’m doing things that I want to do, and I’m working on things. I’m just far more creative, because I have time. And automating a process whereby someone signs up for a free lead magnet, and then you have a nurture series, an email series, that is sending to these people over a period of a month and doing all the nurturing for you, creating the desire, answering the FAQs and overcoming sales objections, why wouldn’t you have that process in place?

And again, when I teach this people go, “Do you know, it’s so simple. It makes so much sense, Dawn.” But it’s taking the time out to get the building blocks in place to make sure that the customer experience, you’re constantly driving that and improving it, and that efficiency and effectiveness is the heart of your business.

Now, the next thing, when you promise something and you commit to somebody, you have to be damn sure that you’re not just going to get to that point… If I say to someone, “I’m going to save you 30% of time,” I know that I can probably save them 50 if not 60%. I know that I can probably double that. So the thing is, when you promise to someone that you’re going to do that and you exceed it and you excel any expectation that customer has, how can they be dissatisfied? How can they not be your ultimate success story? This is all about how you sell.

Commit to what you know you can do, and absolutely work your hardest. As soon as that sale comes in the door, don’t let it drop. You need to account-manage it and make sure that the success carries on, because a loyal customer will spend on average 33% more with your business than a brand-new person that you’ve never met before. Plus, there’s so acquisition cost. So a person who’s satisfied, a loyal customer, will come back again and again, but they’ll also refer people to you.

Have affiliate schemes in place. Empower people and reward people with commissions because this could be an extra revenue stream for them. Our affiliate scheme has been going for many years and it is absolutely key to our business. It is a big chunk of revenue, and it is brilliant, because who better to sell our products and services than the people who have experienced them? Every single sector… And affiliate networking or affiliate schemes, a lot of people don’t understand them. But if you have them working correctly whereby they’re automated and somebody literally signs up, gets their own unique URL, a link that they can send in social media, email marketing or wherever, and it’ll track every single sale. Why wouldn’t that person do it if they love what you do? So utilize that relationship.

And get people to rate your services, give you testimonials, and get an understanding, because this is not only great social proof, it’s amazing market research, but reward them. Don’t expect people to do it for the good of their health. Yeah? Think about how you can reward these customers. And this might generate new opportunities. It might generate new partnerships. Partnerships, again, in business, for me, for scaling and growing, it doesn’t cost anything. It just means that you have another opportunity, another revenue stream to your business, that’s not going to cost you anything other than time. But a partnership, once it’s in its place, can be very, very lucrative.

Now, we’ve talked about diversifying and upselling and cross-selling and looking at how you can add on additional-value services that a customer would see as a no-brainer at the point of sale. One of the things I see is that when people are trying to make a sale… So let’s take a photographer, they sell a photo-shoot day and that photo-shoot day comes and goes. They have to then go back to that person and resell them something else. Trying to reinvigorate the sales relationship is tough and it’s time consuming. What you want to do is, instead of selling one day photo-shoots, sell monthly photo-shoots that are short, sharp, so that they’re constantly generating revenue for you, but also content for the client. So think about the client’s needs, wants and demands, and what their wishes are, and what would make their life easier and how you could keep that relationship and keep that revenue coming in.

And that pulls me into the final things, the final aspects of growing your business without your outgoings. And this is passive income. Passive income, where you’re not central to it. So you could be earning money, like an online course or a membership or something like that, where you don’t have to be there every single day. You don’t have to be serving to actually earn the money. But again, recurring revenues.

Now membership sites are great for this, and having retainers and having some form of incremental monthly relationship whereby they get an additional service from you again and again and again. It could be a repetitive service. Licensing, so when I created our dynamic digital marketing model, I did that so that I could license people to deliver my course content, but without losing the quality, without losing any of the continuity in delivery. And also, franchising. Franchising is one of those things that’s been around for many years, but a lot of businesses don’t think about it. So franchising is something to look at.

Now, having something in your business that now is working for you. The number one thing, if someone said to me, “Dawn, what has been the one piece of advice you would give yourself 20 years ago?” This one piece of advice is all about how to grow my business without my outgoings. And it’s all about the structure. It’s all about the processes and getting them right. So if you want to get this right, go and get my checklist. Go through and start marking them off. Start thinking about ways that you can implement in your business. You don’t have to do all these at once. But use the worksheet, sign up for it and just go through it step by step. Collaborate with any of your team members and think about where you could save money, how you could take repetitive tasks out. That’s one of the quickest wins that you can acknowledge.

So I hope you enjoyed this episode. It was slightly longer than normal, but I really wanted to share how passionate I am about this, because it’s the biggest game-changer in business today. So come and follow me on social media. Check out the website, dawnmcgruer.com, and come and visit me also on the Academy website. If you just Google “Business Consort”, you’ll find the Academy and you can come and check out some of our free resources on there, all about how to master online marketing and grow your business through digital marketing and social media.

So I’ll see you all at next week’s episode, and I hope you enjoyed today. Don’t forget to subscribe as well so you get the next episode ready to listen. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode and don’t forget I’m going to be with you each and every week. So download and listen on dawnmcgruer.com or on iTunes, and come and join us in our Facebook community too. All the details are on the website, and I’ll see you next week.


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Dawn McGruer's Marketing * Motivation * Mindset Group

Speaker. Author. Podcaster. Strategist.

Multi-award-winning speaker, strategist & best-selling author of Dynamic Digital Marketing - Helping to inspire entrepreneurs to rise to meet today’s challenges and be powerfully present to shine online.

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