Continue. Stop. Start.

Consumed by day-to-day operations, it’s amazing sometimes just how many business people forget where the money comes from. In other words, many fail to remember that there are exactly two* ways a dollar can enter most businesses:money

  1. From a new customer
  2. From an existing customer

(*Three, if your company is engaged in its own finance and investments. But let’s assume that’s not a significant portion of income for your business.)

This means that in order to achieve top-line growth, you need to sell stuff to new customers. Or you need to sell more stuff to existing customers. Or, ideally, both. Seems pretty obvious, but yet we tend to overlook its simplicity.

Some basic roadmap questions can help add perspective to driving more sales. They break down to three components: Continue, stop, start. Here’s how that looks:

What should we continue? What’s working well? Can it be even faster, cheaper or better? Can it be expanded and applied to other areas or markets? What do our customers really like?

Conversely, what should we stop doing? What’s NOT working well? Can it be fixed at a reasonable cost? Or should it be discontinued? What are we doing with five people that could be accomplished with two? What’s outdated or unwanted?

Finally, what can we start doing? Where is there a new opportunity that might not have existed even a short time ago? Where do we need to respond to competitive threats or simple market demands? Where can we make fast improvements? Is there a new technology make sense? Where are the long-term opportunities and how do we get there?

These aren’t always easy questions to answer. But they do create a framework for action. And all three directives—continue, stop, start (in that order)—could be significant influences on the ways dollars enter your business.

As always, when it comes to things related to road-mapping, strategic action plans, ecommerce, web marketing and other essential elements of building a business, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can help you identify and validate the things you should continue, stop and start.

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