If You Feel Chaotic With Your Business Priorities, Just Start With #1. After Spending 8+ Weeks & 320+ Hours On This, I Found The Perfect 7-Step Framework!
Growing a business can be a tough and confusing journey.
You’re constantly being pulled in different directions and it can be difficult to know which task to focus on first.
So, how do you prioritize your business goals?
What's the most important thing to you right now?
As your business grows, do your goals and priorities shift accordingly?
Well, I am a founder and CEO and I spent 8+ weeks and 320+ hours defining my top business priority, so let share with you what I think and give you the 7-step framework I created.
It'll be worth your time!
Let’s start with my top business priority and how I defined it.
As you may know, I am extremely customer-centric and metrics-driven.
My entire business is based on customer satisfaction.
So, naturally, my customers (and their success) are my top priority.
Next, I’ll share with you the 7-step framework you can follow to define (and achieve) your number one business priority.
Step 1: Focus on your customers.
If you’re just starting out and haven’t yet defined your business priority, I’d say you should, first and foremost, focus on your customers.
What do they care about? What are their pain points? What would make their life easier?
If you can solve their problems (with your products or service), they will be more likely to become loyal customers.
It’s also essential to try to understand their needs and wants. If you can provide them with a great product or service that meets their needs, they’re more likely to buy from you again in the future.
But how do you figure out what they need?
One way is to simply ask them!
You can conduct customer surveys or interviews and use that feedback to improve your products or services.
Additionally, you can also look at competitor products and see what features they're lacking that you could provide.
Keep your customers in mind with every decision you make, and you'll be on the right track.
Step 2: Solve their problems with your products (or services).
Once you have a good understanding of your target customers, you can start thinking about how to solve their problems.
This means creating products or services that are high quality, offer unique value, and meet the specific needs of your target market.
But keep in mind that it's not enough to simply create something that solves your customers’ problems; it also needs to be something that people actually want to use.
So, try to explain the exact ways in which your products will benefit your customers.
To provide a better answer and tell a richer product story, follow the Before-After-Bridge framework:
- How did your customers’ lives look before using your products?
- How will they look after using your products? What will change? How exactly will their lives improve?
Step 3: Prioritize cash flow and use metrics to make data-driven decisions about your business.
Some people say cash is kind. Others say cash flow is king.
I agree with the second group of people - any business needs cash flow to survive and scale, so this step is crucial:
You must prioritize cash flow.
You need to be proactive about monitoring your cash flow and making decisions that will improve it.
For example, you need to look at your financial reports and identify which areas of your business are doing well and which need improvement.
Then, use this data to make decisions that will grow your business in a sustainable way and determine where you should be investing your time and resources in order to maximize profits.
And, also, if you’re a merchant starting an e-commerce business, don’t buy too much stock or stock you don’t need yet.
In fact, buy as little stock as possible to begin with.
Then, keep your eye on the dashboard. Pay attention to every detail.
Track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, conversion rate, customer satisfaction, and more.
Once you see your business is taking off, for example, people start buying your products, they keep coming back to your store, they keep spending more and more (i.e., the AOV is increasing), start piling up with stock.
Or, another success scenario here would be if you see that the word-of-mouth marketing starts working and you notice that you generate more and more targeted traffic from that acquisition channel. This would also be a reason to stock up.
In any case, don’t stock up in advance (unless you have a clear indication you have to). Instead, keep your eye on the dashboard, analyze the numbers, and make decisions based on your data.
Keep these answers in mind as you move onto the next step.
Step 4: Define your main acquisition channel.
The fourth step is to define your main acquisition channel.
Acquisition channels are the ways in which you acquire new customers.
There are many different channels you can utilize, such as online ads, social media, content marketing, word-of-mouth referrals, or brick-and-mortar stores.
At first, it’s important to focus on one main channel so that you can invest your time and resources wisely.
So, you need to figure out which channel is most effective for acquiring new customers and double down on it.
For example, if you’re a merchant selling in a local market, find the online communities that are within that local market and start interacting with your customers.
Your main focus should be to help them - unblock their challenges, answer their questions, solve smaller problems they are facing, and make their lives easier in some way.
This will benefit you in the long-term, because, eventually, they will get curious about your business, they’ll visit your store, and they will buy from you.
And the winning strategy here is to provide them with as much value as possible (instead of just asking them for something).
Keep this in mind as you move onto the next step.
Step 5: Genuinely help your customers and provide them with as much value as possible.
Customer service is crucial if you want to retain existing customers and attract new ones.
After all, there’s no point in acquiring new customers if you’re not going to give them the best possible experience.
So, focus on providing them with value at every touchpoint and go above and beyond to exceed their expectations.
This goes hand-in-hand with solving their problems with your products or services.
Once you've helped them solve their problem, continue providing them with value by giving them helpful resources, discounts, bonus content, etc.
The more value you can provide, the more likely they are to continue doing business with you in the future - and hopefully even tell their friends about you!
So, give, give, give, and then ask.
Be there for your customers and help them. But help them in a genuine way, not just for the sake of being out there.
This will help you build meaningful relationships with your customers and keep them coming back to your store!
Step 6: Scale and utilize multiple acquisition channels.
If you already have one acquisition channel that is working well, start thinking and searching for more (different) acquisition channels.
As I mentioned before, choosing one primary acquisition channel is important, but that doesn't mean you should ignore all of the others.
Once you've mastered your primary acquisition channel, begin slowly incorporating others into your marketing mix.
For example, if online ads are working well for you, start dabbling in social media ads.
Or if PR has been bringing in some good results, consider using paid media as well.
Slowly scaling up like this will allow you to reach even more people without becoming overwhelmed in the process.
And, ultimately, having multiple acquisition channels is essential to your business success and it should be high on your priority list as you enter the next stage of business growth.
This is something I’ve noticed many merchants undermine.
I have seen many merchants relying solely on Facebook Ads, or solely on Google Ads, and, for the longest time, they don’t open another acquisition channel.
Then, at some point, for example, Meta changes their terms, and one morning they wake up and see that their Business Manager is no longer active.
This can cause a lot of trouble for a business, especially if that business doesn’t have another active and working acquisition channel.
So, it’s essential to start thinking and setting up different acquisition channels - this will ensure you have a steady and consistent cash flow and will, ultimately, grow your business.
Also, having multiple acquisition channels means that if you have troubles with one channel, you can rely on the others (and you will always have customers coming to your store).
Let’s go back to the example above.
Imagine that the merchant didn’t rely solely on Facebook Ads. Say, they also had a lot of traffic coming to their store from word-of-mouth marketing - their second (and solid) acquisition channel.
Then, even if they have some issues with their Facebook Manager, they would still have people coming to their store to buy from them.
That’s why it’s important to sell on and utilize as many acquisition channels as possible.
So, once you have figured out one channel, then open another one… when you figure the second one out, move on to the third.
But don’t move on to the next channel before you’re sure the channels you already have are working properly.
If you do, you will lose focus.
Which brings me to my next point:
Step 7: Focus on one thing at a time. Take things step by step, so that you can achieve steady business growth.
Last but not least, it’s important to focus on one thing at a time so that you don’t get overwhelmed or spread yourself too thin.
Taking things step by step will help you methodically grow your business.
So, master each step and then move on to the next and expand from there.
Each small victory will bring you closer to achieving your long-term business goals!
And growing a business takes time, so be patient and trust the process!
As a business founder and CEO, you always have to be thinking about what your top priority should be.
It’s not an easy question to answer, but it’s important to have a clear focus so that you can make the best decisions for your company.
For me, my top priority has always been and will always be my customers.
I focus on giving them as much value as possible and ensuring that their needs are always met.
I also adopt a data-driven approach to making business decisions so that I am sure my company is moving in the right direction.
If you’re just starting out as a Shopify merchant, I recommend that you do the same.
I would advise you to focus on your customers and cash flow.
Prioritize giving as much value as possible to your customers and make sure you have a robust system in place for tracking your sales and expenses.
As your business grows, your priorities will shift accordingly.
For example, if you already have one acquisition channel up and running, your new priority might be expanding into new markets.
No matter what stage you're at in your company's development, following these tips will help you define and achieve your top business priority.
And remember that, wherever you are on your journey as a founder and CEO, it’s essential to keep growing and learning so that you can continue scaling your business successfully.
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