Cathi Hight’s Top 20 Tips to Grow Your Business for 2014

1. Spend 20% of your week working “on” your company rather than “in” your company.

Analyze how you spend your week using Covey’s Time Management Matrix and make a goal to spend more proactive time in Quadrant II (important and not urgent). This includes time for planning, prospecting for new business, follow up with customers and building relationships with prospects and customers. QII time is also for learning new skills and improving your infrastructure.

2. Respond Quickly. Respond Professionally. Respond Informatively.

Get back to prospects, customers and friends timely. Remember that your image creates your reputation. Know your products/services well and stay on top of the game.

3. Remember that to build your company brand, you should also enhance your personal brand.

People buy you before they buy your product/service. Your personal brand is your promise of value.

4. Find ways to be memorable with your customers.

Want to know what makes you memorable? Ask your customers, “Why would you recommend me?” or “Why do you buy from us? or “What do you like best about doing business with me?” Look for ways to become memorable by remembering birthdays, posting on customers’ social media pages, and going above the ‘call of duty.’ Do things that others won’t make the time to do.

5. Take the time to do things well.

If you don’t take the time to do it right, when will have the time to do it over? Successful businesses take the time to deliver quality, accuracy, and consistency as core values. Make no excuses.

6. Maintain a competitive advantage by being a niche expert or dominator, an improver of competitors’ products/services or an innovative leader in your industry.

Rather than being a “jack of all trades” to all, become an expert on what you can do well.

7. Know your top three-target customer groups, what motivates them, and how to market to them effectively.

Everyone is not your customer—learn to market to distinctive markets who appreciate your expertise.

8. Develop a reward program for referrals and your best customers.

Recognition is a nice way to “touch” your past and current customers. Remember, “People remember those who remember them.”—Marshall Fields

9. 7% of your potential customers are ready to buy from you at any given time.

Focus your energy on those who are ready to buy. Continue to stay in touch with the others, educate them on what you offer and find ways to provide value without an exchange of money.

10. Don’t cut back on marketing and activities in a down turn market.

Your “recovery marketing” strategies should include back-to-basics, hard-working strategies including networking, niche-marketing, innovation and getting closer to your customers. Don’t shut down—use this time to get ahead of the competition instead of being a passive follower.Hight Performance Group, Inc. P.O. Box 270010, Louisville, CO 80027 T 720.304.0747 Email:

11. “You can’t solve an issue with the same level of thinking that created it.” –Albert Einstein

Time to let go of what isn’t working. Look for new ways to grow your business and solve critical issues.

12. Use the back of your business card to provide more information about your products or services, extend an offer or to add a memorable message.

Everyone looks at the back of business cards. What’s on yours? You could include your mission statement, list of services, a map of your location, or a coupon. Don’t waste potential marketing space.

13. Spend time proactively developing your future or you won’t have one. Commit to spending time on planning rather than on implementing action. You’ve heard it before: “10% planning can save as much as 90% of execution.”

14. Collect and maintain customer intelligence.

Know your customers and their business, what they buy from you and how often, who they refer to you and how often. Make sure that e-mails, click throughs, and purchases link back to your database.

15. Begin with the end in mind.

Develop exit strategies that allow you to leave your company profitably. The “Going Out of Business” sign is the least attractive way to bow out. Consider bringing in a partner, merging with another business, selling your business or intellectual assets, or franchising. So many other options than exiting without equity or a legacy.

16. Build a “networld” rather than a “network.”

A Networld creates strategic alliances where the support of individual goals equals exponential opportunities for all. Believe in the “six degrees of separation” and leverage your connections. Realize how social media networks can help you promote your business beyond your small, inner circle.

17. Determine how often you want to “touch” your customers each year.

Plan how you will stay in touch with them and create a system to remind you and implement your strategies. Use your database to set up reminders as tasks to call, e-mail or visit customers. Consider creating nurturing campaigns for active and inactive customers so you stay “top of mind” with them all year around. Instead of always prospecting for new customers, invest in those that already are!

18. Develop a Unique Selling Proposition and use it consistently.

A USP establishes you as a leader in the field. Federal Express’ USP is, “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” and Wal-Mart’s is, “Always low prices.” A USP is more than a slogan; it educates would-be customers on why they should do business with you. A USP could be your tagline.

19. Use e-mail signatures to add information about your business and what you offer.

Change your signature line every month to keep your message fresh and interesting. This “free” form of marketing can increase sales and generate interest to potential customers. Consider having more than one signature with different messages and rotate them. Remember to change signatures that state dates of events or special offer expirations.

20. Remember, “There’s no traffic on the extra mile.”

Most companies do only what’s necessary to attract and keep a customer. Providing extra value with your products/services will keep you memorable with customers. Honor a guarantee after the expiration, replace goods that break before their time, or provide an extra discount for a large order. Remember—in a horse race, the winner wins by a “nose” and it’s a tough race out there!