As the world returns to something that begins to resemble ‘normal’, it’s the businesses who are able to market and sell proactively and effectively that will grow, prosper, and dominate in their industries.
At The Entourage, Australia’s leading business coaching and training providers for business owners, we know firsthand the difficult and fickle nature of business, especially in the last 2 years. And we also know that for many of the business owners in our community, it’s been the resources, tools and knowledge taught to them from those with been-there-done-that experience that has helped bring stability during challenging times and massive growth during economic opportunity.
We’ve partnered up with Swoop because we want to share with you and guide you to the business growth you want to achieve in 2022 through 5 of the leading marketing and sales strategies of Australia’s best entrepreneurs and businesses.
#1 — Ask, where do people hand over the money?
One of the most important things to surviving and thriving into the New Year and beyond shared by one of our good friends at The Entourage, Tony Nash, the Founder and CEO of Booktopia is that you have to understand where people hand over the money.
Tony Nash started on a budget of $10 a day in the early 2000’s and now has taken it to over $220 million in revenue in an industry people called ‘dead’ because he knew where to follow the money. By actually understanding that the place where the money is can change at any point in time meant that he didn’t rest on his laurels over the years and always continued to look to where the money would flow.
While that sounds fundamental, it’s all about thinking back to the foundations, especially going into 2022 and post the effects of COVID. We cannot assume that the way it was is the way it always will be. Tony says that we’re literally at the flexion point right now that things are starting to change, and it’s so important that we as business owners think 3-dimensionally.
“Most people in the book industry are 2-dimensional. But because we’ve been thinking differently, I’ve been able to come up with opportunities and get Booktopia to where it is today.” — Tony Nash
#2 — Dream bigger, and actually take action on it
At this point in time, as the world starts to rise back up into action, it’s one of the best moments to take action, dream bigger, and achieve massive success. Now, while actually dreaming big might not be a problem for many entrepreneurs, actually taking the action to achieve those big audacious goals may be intimidating for most. So, what should you do to get yourself to that goal?
In 2020, Justine Flynn, the Co-Founder of Thankyou, one of Australia’s leading social enterprises aimed at ending extreme poverty, set a goal for $800,000 profit – a stretch target for a for-purpose business like theirs. And when COVID hit, even though they were in the business of hand wash and hand sanitiser, it didn’t make it any easier for them with suppliers getting held up or cancelled altogether. But by the end of the year, they hit $8 MILLION profit, all to donate to those who really needed it the most during the pandemic.
Justine talks about how despite the knockbacks, the hurdles, the times they wanted to quit, and those brickwall moments over their journey, what got them through it to achieve their big audacious goal was by first, remembering that you are still standing, and that you never know what’s around the corner for you. And two, focusing on the solutions, not the problems, and then, uniting your team around that goal and the solutions that you can come up with together. Even if you don’t know how to get there, that unity is so powerful in getting you to the goal.
“We had this unity to go from this is where we are to this is where we need to be . We have no idea how we’re going to bridge that gap but we said, let’s do it. We were setting out into the unknown.” — Justine Flynn
#3 — Create a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)
If you want to recreate the success of the billion dollar eCommerce business Catch.com.au, read this. The Co-Founder Gabby Leibovich shared one of his top secrets to creating multi-million dollar digital empires through lots of free marketing.
In the first few years of running the business, they didn’t spend a single cent on marketing because they were able to create the feeling of FOMO — the Fear Of Missing Out. They were able to create this feeling through offering lots of great deals for limited times which helped create lots of word of mouth, allowing their consumer base to continue to grow year on year.
With great product delivery, user experience and customer service, they were then able to build a strong Australian brand that people trusted. And with brand building, Gabby says it’s all about creating a story that other people (your customers) tell to the world themselves.
“In the early days of Catch of the Day, we listed one product every single day at Australia’s best price and would you believe that in our first 5-6 years in business, we didn’t spend a single cent on marketing.” — Gabby Leibovich
#4 — You must look at and use your data
Want the hard truth that many business owners don’t want to hear? The fact that data is one of the most important things you could look at and utilise in your business’s growth. Many business owners are what we call Visionaries, big-picture thinkers, and like looking at the creative solutions, rather than the analytic sides. But data is what will help you grow your marketing strategy, and thus business growth, to the next level.
In fact, one of Australia’s leading marketing-specialised entrepreneurs, Jess Hatzis, the Co-Founder of skincare brand frank body and Founder of Willow & Blake communications agency, even said herself that learning how to utilise data was her biggest learning curve, but is now the bread and butter of her team’s marketing strategy.
Looking at things like average order value, customer acquisition cost, lifetime value of your customers provides so much information on where to direct your team to spend their time and money, especially as the digital world continues to evolve quickly. Doing this will help you start moving the dial on where specifically you should best spend your money for the most return.
“Metrics that weren’t paid attention to before are now the bread and butter of our marketing strategy.” — Jess Hatzis
#5 — Actually speak to your customer’s needs
Speaking to your customer’s needs sounds simple enough, right? Well, you might actually be surprised by how many businesses talk more about their product or service instead of finding and communicating their customer’s needs to them.
We often find ourselves in this comfort zone, speaking about what we know, rather than digging into what our customers are experiencing, feeling, what their challenges are, and thus what their needs are. Once we discover this, THEN we can actually present the product or feature back, as a solution to their problem or need.
This is one of the top ways to sell anything as taught by our Founder at The Entourage and 5x AFR Young Rich Lister, who through The Entourage has helped transform over 3500+ businesses in 150+ industries over the past decade. Once you start doing this, Jack says that it will help you change the entire conversation, because you’re no longer talking about you, your business, your product or service. You start talking about the customer instead.
“What we tend to do is move too quickly to present the product or service too early before we’ve found or communicated a need.” — Jack Delosa
The last two years have been difficult for all business owners, but as the economy starts opening back up to full capacity, your biggest opportunity is now. Take these notes from some of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs and fastest-growing businesses, and look back to the key drivers of what will grow your business — Marketing & Sales especially.
From revisiting the fundamentals of business to the best ways to approach achieving a new goal with your team and the specific marketing and sales strategies and tips mentioned in this article, these are just the foundations to growing and scaling your business to the ability you know it can be at.
If you feel like you’ve hit a glass ceiling but know you can take the business further, reach out to us at The Entourage where we have all the right resources, tools and knowledge as well as access to leading entrepreneurs and industry experts around Australia to help you grow your business and make it happen in 2022 and beyond.