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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

How to Ride the Revenue Rollercoaster

Written By: George and Mary-Lynn | No Comments

There’s a common challenge that we see as we coach entrepreneurs. The two of us have had this problem ourselves. It seems to particularly prey on solopreneurs and micro-businesses.

It’s only natural. We have fewer resources. We have to wear more hats, so we’re more susceptible.

The problem? We’re riding the revenue rollercoaster. See if this sounds familiar…

Business is slow. So, you market and market and market. Then, you market some more. You network. You advertise. You correspond. You meet. You push and push and push because you need business.

All of a sudden, you’re at the top of the ride. You have too much work. You have to get it done. There’s no time for anything else. So, you stop marketing.

Before you know it, the work is done. You’re done – because you have no more work. No work means no cash flow. You’re at the bottom. 

You have to slowly climb your way back up. So, you desperately start marketing again.

You’re on the revenue rollercoaster and it’s a wild ride. While you may never get off of this ride completely, you can smooth out the track!

Establish a baseline

The key to effective marketing is consistency. The reason for this is that marketing has a cumulative effect. Today’s activities build on yesterday’s outreach, which build on the things done the day before that.

So, establish a baseline. What can you do every week?

For example, it may be as simple as sending out five e-mails every week to prospective customers. Not the kind of e-mails we all hate getting. We’re talking about personal e-mails based on research and previous conversations.

Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it? But we’re not quite through yet. Plan to follow-up with a phone call to these people the next week.

So, during Week 1, you’re going to send out five e-mails. Starting in Week 2, you’re going to e-mail five people and make five follow-up phone calls every week.

That’s your baseline. Commit to it. If you have more time, you can do more. But the key is to try something to see if it works over a period of 90 days or so.

If it does, keep doing it. If not, try something else which requires the amount of time you can commit every single week.

Aggregate your activities

We have learned that there’s friction between activities. So, we stopped jumping back and forth between production, marketing, and other areas of our business.

We put on a hat and leave it on for a while. For example, the early part of our week is dedicated to production. So, we’re not e-mailing prospects on Monday. We’re cranking out the work we need to get done.

The latter part of our week is for marketing. We reach out to prospects and customers when they’re likely to be in a better mood. Of course, we post to our social media accounts every day. But the one-on-one outreach is reserved for later in the week.

Of course, it doesn’t always go as planned. We have to be available when our clients need us. But we have found that we get more done and are more effective by aggregating our activities as much as possible.

Form coalitions

We hear a lot about collaboration these days. We like the idea of forming coalitions even better.

There’s a reason we make this semantic distinction. To us, collaboration tends to imply an in-and-out relationship. You may work with someone on a project and then, it’s over. Down the road, you may work together again.

A coalition is always on. We know what our coalition partners can do. We know what they’re looking for. So, we constantly have our eyes and ears open to opportunities for them. They do the same for us.

At a given point in time, they may not be busy. So, they’re doing more marketing. We get to ride along. At other times, the reverse is true.

So, look for coalition partners who want to attract the same customers as you. Narrow the list by making sure their values are the same as yours. Then, refine the list further by selecting those people who complement your offerings.

The revenue rollercoaster is a frustrating ride to be on. The good news is that you can make more money, more dependably if you implement these tips.

How do you smooth out the revenue rollercoaster? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Article written by
George Krueger and Mary-Lynn Foster are the co-founders of BIGG Success, your place for entreprenurturing(TM). They also co-host "BIGG Success in a Minute," a syndicated radio show now playing on stations around the United States.