Introduction video for our series on Using the Fruits of the Spirit in Your Business.

Business Bible study based on Galatians 5:22-23

 




God will grow businesses whose leaders are growing the Fruits of the Spirit. #Christianbusiness #Christianentrepreneur Click To Tweet

steps to grow your business3 Things you need to understand to grow your business

Growing a business takes a lot of work.  We all hope for the day our business becomes viral and people flock to us like moths to a flame, but in reality, growing a business takes a bit of time.  It takes a foundational understanding of what we do, who we do it for and how to tell them about it.

 

Understand what you sell in business

I know a lot of business owners think they know what they sell.  I am always surprised to see that they really don’t know what they are selling.

Let’s say you sell new cars.  There are thousands of different cars to choose from, so how do you stand out?  You stand out by understanding what you are selling.  If you have a minivan, you may be selling safety and security.  If you have a sports car, you may be selling power and prestige.

Here’s a quick exercise.  Take your product or service and define how your customer’s life is different after they use your product.  Then, ask “Why?”  Do that five levels deep.  Once you do that, you will truly understand what you are really selling.

For example, let’s say you sell minivans.  Your customers have a car that fits all of their family together.  Why?  Because having enough room is important.  Why? So the kids don’t fight.  Why? So they have a more peaceful ride. Why? So the parents can concentrate on the road.  Why? Because family is important and we want them to be safe.

If you follow those five levels you will see that family is important to people who buy minivans.  You are selling the idea of family, unity, peace and security.  You are not just selling a minivan.

 

Understand who you do business for

Once we have nailed down exactly what it is that we are selling, we must understand who needs it most.  Our customers are the people who are going to purchase and if you get this one wrong, we will always have a struggling business.

First thing we must get right is how they think and talk.  Each group of customers speaks a different language.  They may all speak English, but what they say is different.

A twenty something new mother is going to use different vernacular than a forty something female executive.  They are the same general persona, but they have widely different circles of influence, habits and values.  What is important to one may not be as important to both of them.

It is important that we really nail down our ‘best type’ of customer.  If we try to get everyone into our business, we will find ourselves doing a lot of work and getting minimal results.

Think about fishing.  Depending on what type of fish you want, you need the right type waters (lake, river, ect.), the right bait, the right hooks, the right equipment to get where they are, and the right timing.

The more we understand our ideal customer, the better we can talk to them and help them with the business that we have.

Here’s a quick exercise.  Write down 10 things your ideal customer values.  Write down 10 habits they may have.  Where do they shop?  What do they drive?  Where do they spend leisure time? Etc.  Once you nail down those 20 items.  Write a ‘day in the life of’ you ideal customer.  What does their life look like before they use your business and what will it look like after they use your business?

 

Understand how to tell customers about your business

Everyone likes to buy but no one likes to be sold.  People love getting a good deal and finding things that help them with problems they have in everyday life.  They love businesses that can speak their language and if they can relate to your business, they will be a loyal customer for life.

I can’t express this hard enough.  If we want our customers to buy from us, they must like us.  They must feel like we understand them and are there to help them.  No longer are we in the days of yelling the loudest to get the most attention, we are in the days of whispering in the ears of good friends and engaging them on a personal level.

You have a message about how you can help your customers.  They want to know how you can help them.  Put together the two ideas from above.  Do they fit?  If not, fix the one that makes the most sense.  Remember, people love to buy things that help their lives and solve pain points they feel, but they only listen to you if they feel like you are talking directly to them.

 

Putting it all together

Here is a real life example. I was talking to an insurance sales man.  Their motto of their company was “for all your insurance needs from A to Z” (slightly altered to protect the company).  I asked what they did different that all the other companies that say they have all kinds of insurance.

He said, “Well, we are Christian and we pray for our people.  We have all the insurance they need and can probably get them a better rate than they are currently getting.”

I asked, “Many insurance agents offer all types of insurance and a lot of them say they can save you money. What are you doing differently?  Are your customers Christian?”

He said, “Why, yes, most of them are. I don’t guess I ever realized that.”

I suggested, “Then why don’t you emphasize your Christianity?  I would put our some ads, geared at Christians that said, ‘When was the last time your insurance agent prayed for you?’ When people know you are praying for them, they realize that you really care for them and that is different than other insurance agents.”

He said he had never thought of that and would have to do some work to see if he could get more people.

See, he wasn’t just selling insurance, there are thousands of people doing that.  He was selling a company that prayed for you.  In essence, he was selling insurance agents who care about you and your needs so much they will take time to pray for you.

Being in business as a Christian may not mean you only have Christian customers, but some do. You must identify your ideal customer and how you can help them.  Then, and only then, will you be ready to tell them what you have and how you can help them.

 

People love to buy, but they hate being sold. #Christianbusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

 

 

how to grow your businessHow to use an org chart for business growth

We have been going through a mini-series on setting up or revisiting your org chart for your business.  If you have not read those article, please read them.  It is CRUCIAL that you do the steps in our second article and have a solid list of tasks you complete in your business.  Go read the article on developing an effective org chart to grow your business if you haven’t and come back to this article once you complete the exercise.

Since this is a page for Christian entrepreneurs, I am going to take your word that you did the exercise in our article about setting up an effective org chart.  Now let’s jump into how to use an org chart to grow your business.

If you are a solopreneur, you will have a much easier time doing this process, but it is very important you take this exercise seriously.  If you have multiple staff, it may mean rearranging responsibilities and positions and making decisions based on your new understanding of your business.

Let me be clear.  This process is not an exercise to get rid of staff.  God gave us the people we have working for us.  Our goal is to use them to the potential that God has created each and every one of them.  You may reorganize and reposition, but there is rarely a case where a worker cannot continue to work in a company.  Be creative and if you truly start to grow your business, you can afford to have all your staff and more.

 

Start with your org chart tasks

In our previous exercise, you should have created a list of all the tasks that you do as a business as well as all the tasks you personally do.  It should include everything from unlocking the door to developing new products and helping customers.

I want you to go to the tasks first, not the positions.  Put a dollar amount on each task.  You can continue to use sticky notes or mind maps, or you can create an excel sheet.  I suggest an excel sheet because you can sort and analyze the data.  If you don’t have Excel on your computer, use Google Drive or other Microsoft Alternatives.  (See our article here.)

For each task, ask how much is the task worth and how much could you pay a worker to accomplish that task?  For instance, answering a phone may be a ten dollar task, but closing a sales lead may be a hundred dollar task.  Depending on your business, the tasks may be widely different amounts.  You should know what value each task brings to your business.

Our goal is to create an understanding of our hourly task responsibilities.  Once you have an understanding of how much each task is worth to your business, you have a plumb line to make some decisions about where to spend your time best and how to delegate better.  Both of those decisions are what lead to business growth.

 

Assess how much your time is worth

You are the owner of your company working under God’s authority.  As a Christian business owner, you are not above taking out the trash because you know that we are all servants.  However, you need to realize how valuable your time is so you can focus on the things that grow your business and put time into growth activities for your business.

We often get so busy working ‘in’ our business that we forget to work ‘on’ our business.  When we work ‘on’ our business we can focus on growth.  Your time is worth much more as your business grows.  Your time may be worth one hundred, one thousand or one hundred thousand dollars.  You have to see how much value you bring to your business.

Let’s say that you spend two hours checking emails and replying to requests.  You analyzed your time and realize that if you spent those two hours developing new products you could develop a product each month.  That product would bring in four thousand dollars to your business.  That means your time would be worth one hundred dollars an hour.  (For the math people, 2 hours a day, 5 days a week for a month would be 40 hours.  40 hours divided by the income of $4,000 = $100 per hour of value.)*

Now you ask yourself, could I hire someone to weed through my emails and respond to the basic inquiries for less than one hundred dollars an hour?  The answer is an astounding YES!

*This example was for simplicity.  In reality, we want to see how much income those activities produce over a year or over the lifetime value of a customer.  You must start simple and move to the more complex if you want to grow you business.  Doing these kinds of assessments on a yearly basis may be exactly what you need to maximize your business growth.

 

Knowing how to better utilize my time by hiring different types of workers

There are a lot of options in today’s digital world for how to get worker.  You can hire full-time, part-time, virtual, contract or task-based.  Each of these workers holds value to you and your company and each of them are valuable in their own rights.

The first thing people think about when hiring is full or part-time.  They want a person physically present to do the tasks assigned.  That is a great decision if it works for your company.  Take into consideration where they will office, insurance, and all those other things that comes with hiring a new employee.  Your goal should be to hire new employees who will work for you for the rest of their lives.  You want to take care of them so well, they never want to leave.

If a new employee is not what you need right now, consider a virtual or contract person.  These people work on a specific task or job for a specific amount of money or a specific amount of time.  Since you are contracting them, they will handle all the taxes, insurance and all of those things.  You still want to consider hiring someone who will work for life, but this person will work from a distance.  Make sure you have solid procedures and expectations laid out for each task for each person.

 

Understanding the term “Virtual worker”

Virtual workers could live around the block from you, in another state from you or around the other side of the country from you.  Virtual just means they do not office in your specific location.  If you hire an accountant to do your books, they are technically a contracted virtual worker.  I don’t want you to get hung up on the word ‘virtual.’

I know some people frown on using workers from outside of their country.  Some people say we take advantage by paying them too cheap.  Others say we are giving away jobs that could be for people in our country.  Either way, let me try to clear this up.  You are hiring a worker so that worker can support their family.  You will pay them a fair price for what they do.  If their cost of living is lower than yours, they may ask for less.  If the task is simple, you may not have to pay as much.

Knowing what to pay for tasks is why we do an hourly cost basis for each task. We hire based on what we are willing to pay for a task to be completed.  We are not trying to find the cheapest worker, we are trying to find a mutually beneficial solution for their gainful employment. We hire a contract or virtual worker to fit your needs and help that person find honorable wages.

I have worked with a lot of different types of workers.  From college student in my city to a single mom in Tennessee all the way to an Asian Man trying to support his growing family.  Each of these people become special to me.  I cared for them, prayed for them and paid them what they were worth.  I treated them both with respect and got nothing but respect back.

My only note of caution is to make sure you understand the culture you are working with.  If it is outside of your country, do some research and understand expectations from business owners.  For instance, some countries have a thirteenth month pay and it is required by their labor law.  More than that, it is expected by those employees and you want to be a good boss to them.

You can use a virtual services to find virtual employees, but be careful about using a virtual employee service.  Many times you may not get the same employee for your tasks.  They are sometimes trained to do specific task, but the worker may not receive what you are paying.  I worked with one company (I won’t name them) and found out their workers only got half what I was paying.  Their owner ran around with Rolexes while their workers barely made a living . . .don’t be like that. God help those people.

 

Conclusion

When you understand how much your tasks are and how much your time is valued, you can make decisions about hiring and creating new positions.  You can grow you business by focusing on the tasks that bring your business the most money.  Your time is valuable and you want to maximize your results based on how much time you spend.

If you have multiple positions, you may want to look at the tasks given to each employee and the benefits it brings to your company. They may need reorganization or a pay raise.  Assess which positions are bringing in the most revenue and add a position to augment or assist that division based on your task assignments.  For instance, you may hire a project manager specifically for your sales staff.

The key to all of this is to care for your employees and customers enough to grow your business. It will take time to do all of these exercises, but if you don’t do them, you will continue to stay where you are.  Ultimately, you owe your Boss, God, the respect and honor of growing your business.

Christian entrepreneurs have a God-given responsibility to grow their business. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

 

If you really want to grow your business, consider joining our membership program.  We have monthly group coaching where you can send in your questions for a very affordable price.  If you are tired of working IN your business and want to work ON your business, join our membership today.