Can you ‘small ball’ your way to wealth?

JA-101Mitch suggests that while you are waiting for the “landmark victory … i.e. a four-bagger, a game changer … one that propels your business to a new level” you should play a little ‘small-ball’ with your business:

Small ball for me is the ability to deliver small but meaningful enhancements to your business in succession and continually.

A 2% improvement here, a 1% improvement there and a 4% pick up in efficiency here – those small bits can really add up.  If you stopped to think about how you can deliver a 10% or a 20% improvement in your business it could be a struggle.  Or you might have a few good ideas, but the resources to get there may be out of reach.

Instead, if you thought about how you could improve your business by 1% or 2% you’d likely come up with a bunch of practical, implementable ideas.  And the good news is if you string those wins together you get your 10-20%!  Even better, if you keep doing it you’ll go way beyond.

Thinking back, I can’t really recall if I was a ‘small-ball’ type of business person … perhaps I was, but  just called it ‘business as usual’, which is what I guess it should be … in fact, it’s the small stuff that you should empower your staff to go after (with encouragement, culture, recognition, and incentives) while you, perhaps, focus on the strategic picture (assuming that you have staff … otherwise I guess you’re going to have to do all the small-and-big-ball stuff yourself!).

If I suggested that you needed to find a way to produce a compound growth rate of 33% in your business to help you reach your Number, you might balk …

… but, if I suggested that you look to increase a few key areas by a mere 10%, would you be quite so wary? Probably not.

Jay Abraham, perhaps the greatest (and, most practical!) marketing mind of the modern era, illustrates this perfectly … in this case, by demonstrating the power of cumulative changes in, say, your marketing and sales strategy:

If you had [say] 1,000 active clients, and if you had an average order of $100 for each time they were coming in, if they bought two times a year, that works out to an annual revenue of $200,000.

# of Clients        Transaction Value per Client       Transactions per Year      Total Income
1,000            x                      $100                       x                 2                    =      $200,000

But if all you did was increase those three categories by a mere 10% each…

# of Clients        Transaction Value per Client       Transactions per Year      Total Income
1,100             x                     $110                       x                2.2                  =      $266,200

It would increase your annual revenue to $266,200—a 33% increase!

Now, if you have a ‘normal’ business … one operating profitably, and with a reasonable gross margin (which means, that you have more fixed than variable costs), then I don’t need to tell you that the effect on your bottom line could be much larger than 33% … do I?!

You can now see why this is one of the most powerful business lessons that I ever learned … and, Jay told me via a written document, exactly the same way that I am now telling it to you.

So, If you have a business, don’t waste time; meet with your key staff [AJC: or, yourself 🙂 ] today to look at how you can increase each of:

– The number of clients that you have [sales and prospecting],

– The average order size [upselling and cross-selling],

– The number of times that they buy [repeat-selling and back-end sales].

Simple … effective!

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4 thoughts on “Can you ‘small ball’ your way to wealth?

  1. Adrian,

    I agree it’s always a good idea to look for improvements in your business. Especially if there is low hanging fruit you may get a few small boosts in your rate of return with very little effort.

    If you don’t think a 1% change will make much of a difference you’re wrong! Over time it will become a big difference. Check out this post on compound interest to understand why:

    -Rick Francis

  2. @ Rick – … only if you have a LONG Date; try compounding 1% for 7 years (the difference between flat and compounding is negligible).

    But, the type of compounding that I talk about in the latter part of this post is major, by growing three interrelated areas of your business by, say, 1% each.

    Put the two types of compounding (yours and Jay Abrahams’) together and it starts to get interesting 😉

  3. Adrian,

    You are right 7 years isn’t enough for compound interest to do much unless you have a huge growth rate. Still, if it doesn’t take much effort and it improves your business for years to come small improvements are worthwhile. I liked your idea of having staff sweat the small stuff while you seek out the major growth.


  4. Pingback: How to increase sales …- 7million7years

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