Imagine you are the captain of a boat. You can control your boat with six propulsion control levers, all located in the wheelhouse, a mere arm’s length away. Each of these control levers throttle an engine in the engine room of your boat, propelling you towards your destination in different ways.
The levers are labelled with the names of the engines they throttle. The labels say:
To move towards your destination, you can pull on any of these control levers. With these levers, you can control the amount of fuel or power each engine will use to move you forward. Pull on all of them, or pull too much, and you might run out of fuel too early. Pull none, or pull too little, and you might end up dead in the water. What do you do? Which lever do you pull and by how much?
There are as many answers to these questions as there are businesses.
The aim of this post and the posts that follow is to provide you with a boat owner’s manual. This manual won’t tell you how to run your boat. Instead, we’ll tell you what the effects of pulling these levers will do for your business.
There are six control levers you can pull to grow your business:
- The marketing lever influences how many new enquiries contact you to inquire about your product.
- The telephone lever influences how many sales appointments are converted from initial enquiries (your conversion rate).
- The appointment lever influences how many transactions arise from the sales appointments you hold (your close rate).
- The pricing lever controls how much you will charge for your product or service.
- The loyalty lever influences how many repeat purchases your customers make
- The referral lever influences how many customers refer their friends and family to your business
Let’s make this real. Let’s say you run a relatively small business. You’ve invested in a website (the first lever) and get some referrals from colleagues and patients you’ve treated (the sixth lever). In your wheelhouse of levers and gauges, your gauges may look like this for a month:
- The Marketing Lever is generating 100 enquiries
- The Telephone Lever is generating 10 appointments
- The Appointment Lever is generating 5 patient transactions
- The Pricing Lever is set to £1000
- The Loyalty Lever generates 2 transactions per customer
- The Referral Lever generates 1 referral from every 10 customers
Your gauges will tell you what your marketing and sales engines are producing. If you’d like your engines to get you where you want to go faster, you either need to improve your efficiency, divert power to certain engines while leaving the others less powered, or get new engines.
For some, this may be the first time you will have looked at your business in this way.
Regardless of how well you think you’re doing, examining numbers like this will usually reveal how you are really performing.
If you have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database system, much of this information will be available through standard reports. If you’re like most private health businesses however, the system you use to manage your diary and your patient information will fall short of tracking or providing information like this.