So what’s sustainability? Sustainability is this: are you making enough to pay your bills and have some leftover to pay your taxes and a little bit for your savings account?
From a financial standpoint, sustainability means your business is able to pay you and the other people in your company enough such that it’s profitable. In other words, it’s not costing you more to run the business than you are taking in.
How to Create Sustainability
In a sustainable company, you’re focused on creating something that’s predictable, repeatable, and replenishable. You really want to apply those three ideas into the major areas of your business. Roughly, almost every activity in business falls into one of these three categories: marketing, sales, and fulfillment.
So, you want to create predictable, repeatable, replenishable marketing. You want to create predictable, repeatable, replenishable sales. You want to create predictable, repeatable, replenishable fulfilment. I call that a crank. You need a marketing crank, a sales crank, and a fulfilment crank for your business.
What those cranks do is yield a known result for a calculated quantity of effort. So, when you have that crank spinning, you can go, “Hey, I need a little bit more revenue,” or, “I need more leads… Well, I have this teleseminar that I can do. And when I do a teleseminar, I know I get 100 people on the call and I know I get twenty of them to sign up for $1,000 a piece, so I know I can make $20,000. If I do two of those, it’s $40,000.”
How to Know if You Have a Working Crank
First of all, you always want to be refining these cranks and making them better. But if you don’t even know whether they’re working yet, ask yourself the following questions…
Are the things you’re doing for your marketing predictable, repeatable, and replenishable? Could you quote a number of monthly website conversions accurately within a certain margin of error? Do you do networking events that you know lead to x number of customers which leads to x number of dollars?
What about your sales? Do you know that for every ten sales calls, you’re going to close five? Or is it way different on some days than others? If you can’t answer that, then you know you need a sales crank.
And so on with fulfillment. Your customers need a consistent experience. If some of them are happy and some of them hate you, then you really need a predictable, repeatable, and replenishable way of fulfilling.
Do You Have an ATM or a Slot Machine?
Another way you can tell whether you have a working crank or not is how you feel when you’re doing that thing (marketing, selling, or fulfilling). So, let’s say you’re going to do a sales call. You’re about to pick up the phone. Close your eyes for a few seconds, put yourself in this moment.
…The question is, does it feel more like you’re standing in front of an ATM or does it feel more like you’re standing in front of a slot machine?
Because if you’re at an ATM, you know what to do. You push the buttons, slide the card, and the money comes out predictably. But with a slot machine, it’s more like, “Come on, lucky number seven!” And over time, as you probably know, the house always wins. Which means you always lose when you gamble.
Furthermore, playing the slots gets you excited and nervous. When you’re doing your sales calls it’s like, “Am I gonna hit the jackpot with this person?” This nervousness actually creates fear, which your prospect can feel. Think of a time when you talked with a salesperson who needed your sale so bad you could sense the desperation. It’s a turnoff.
But if you’re relaxed because you know ten calls will yield two or three sales, this assists with making that crank even better.
How to Fix a Broken Crank
To get your cranks going in each of these areas, I recommend you take a hard look at your business. What’s an area where you can honestly say you haven’t really done all your homework? What’s an area thats is definitely not predictable, repeatable, and replenishable?
Many people have their marketing automated, but they don’t have the kinks in their sales worked out. Or they don’t have their fulfillment totally smoothed over. You may be okay in most areas and just need to work on one piece of the puzzle. Or you might have a lot of work to do in order to fix all your cranks and make your business exponentially easier in the long run.
The idea here is to use this blog post as a diagnostic tool so that you can figure out where you do and don’t have a predictable, repeatable, replenishable crank for your business.
If you want help diagnosing your business, I have a free offer for you. It’s a plan to evolve your company even further, faster than you thought possible. All you have to do is fill out the orange box in the top right corner of this page–-I’ll send you a customized rapid growth plan for your business in the next 19 minutes.