Small Business Talk

The Podcast to Grow your Business Faster

How To Turn Your Business Into A Growth Engine

Show Notes

How To Turn Your Business Into A Growth Engine With Troy Dean

Today, we’re talking to Troy Dean. Troy is the  Co-founder and CEO of WP Elevation, Mavericks Club and Video User Manuals. He’s proud Australian and university dropout who has managed to use the internet to grow a successful and profitable business. His Mum is still trying figure out how he gets all of his friends into that little computer.

We all want to have more growth and have better businesses.

What Is A Growth Engine?

In our world, we typically work with service-based businesses, and the idea of a growth engine is to put systems and processes in place that allow your business to continue to grow mechanically. And what we mean by that is that; a machine has predictable behaviour, because it has all the right parts, moving together. When you turn a machine on, for example, a vacuum cleaner, it kind of does what you expect it to do. However, most of our businesses, when you turn a small business on, most of them don’t behave in a way that we expect them to behave. That’s just because human beings get involved and we like to complicate things, and we get distracted. So, the more consistent and the more standardized you can make your business, then the more chance you have of turning it into a growth engine, that is something that you turn on and it behaves in a predictable way.

That’s kind of the engine part of it, and the growth part of it is that your business should be designed for. It should be designed to grow. That sounds really obvious but, again, just through the experience of consulting and coaching many businesses over the last seven years, we’ve found that a lot of small business owners get very busy optimising their processes and their delivery and trying to optimize the internal mechanics of the business, but they don’t actually focus on growth.

The growth engine is really a mindset to help you focus on getting your business structured and architected for growth, and then turning it into an engine that you turn on at the start of every day. It goes about growing mechanically, and human beings just get involved at the part of the process where they do their best work, which is typically speaking with other human things.

What is WP Elevation

WP Elevation is a business coaching platform for web design freelancers and digital agencies. Troy started off in that world, he comes from an agency background, he started answering emails from customers. “We had a WordPress plugin that we were selling, that started back in 2008, and I just started answering questions from those plugin customers over email. And over a period of a couple of years, as I was running the agency, I kind of found myself in a situation where I was kind of coaching our plugin customers for free over email, which was fine, I was more than happy to do that, and it was a really enjoying experience, I really enjoyed that process.

Then it got to a point where I just didn’t have enough time to do both, I had to make a decision between the agency and coaching others, and I decided to coach others. Primarily because the gratitude that you get from coaching students and members of your community, is for me, was far more rewarding than gratitude I was getting from my clients, just because there were more of them. There were hundreds of members in our community and our programs, and I was just getting all this gratitude and thank you letters every morning, I’d wake up in my email inbox. I was like, “Wow, this is a lot of fun.” So, we turned it into a business model back in 2013, and we’ve been going ever since, and I think that’s how we met. You came through one of our online courses and then flew over to Melbourne to attend our Christmas party.”

The Mechanics Of A Growth Engine

We definitely know that when, particularly business owners get involved, we tend to paddle, so how can we make our businesses a bit more mechanical, and streamlined so it just grows when we want to turn the tap on and we can turn it down if the situation calls for it. That much work that we need to be looking at, thinking about a bigger turn.

It all starts with a conversion event. So, what is the event that takes place that converts someone into a customer or a client? Now there’s a couple of different business models that we can use as examples. In the service business model, it’s typically a phone call, or if you’re selling low-ticket services, it might just be on the website, someone makes a booking or books in a service on the website. The first thing you want to do is look at the conversion event and try and figure out everything that happens in that conversion event. So, in our case it’s typically a phone call. Now, we’re kind of moving our business model a little bit towards having more phone calls with customers on the phone, purely because you learn more about your customers when you speak to them rather than just automating everything through emails. In our world it’s a phone call, and I want to have a look at everything that happens on those phone calls and that conversion event, that is repeatable, that can be either scripted, processed or automated.

For example, the conversion event for us requires a phone call between the customer and one of our staff. So, let’s get that right, let’s figure out the script for that then document that script, put it in a Google Doc and share it with everyone who’s going to be running those phone calls. So, when they get on a call, there’s no question about how they structure that call. Then you work backwards, you say, “Okay, how do people get on that call?” Well, they typically book in to make a call. Now, when you’re dealing with people in different time zones, it can be very wasteful and very cumbersome trying to schedule those calls in. So, what can we use to automate that? We use a calendar booking system called Calendly, and we just set up a couple of web pages on our website so people can book in for a quick coaching call with one of our coaches. So that process becomes automated. We wake up every day and there are calls booked in our calendar from people who are excited to talk to one of the coaches about how, what their next steps are. Then you’ll just work backwards from there and say, “Okay. How do we get people to book in those calls?”

Try And Be Predictive

You want to try and figure out where your prospects and leads are in their journey. And so for us it’s typically they’re responding to something that we’ve done on a Facebook ad or in one of our Facebook groups or an email that we’ve sent or they’re on our website, because we’re an online business, so most of our first point of contact happens online. So, what we’re doing now is we’re replacing a lot of our calls to action in our email newsletters and on our website and in our Facebook ads, with a link to just get into Facebook Messenger and start a chat with one of our team. So, we want as many people as possible in the Facebook Messenger. We then have a script for how we handle those chats in Facebook Messenger, and then the goal of those messenger chats is to either send people back to our website to buy one of our low-ticket services or our low-ticket programs, or ultimately get them to go to the website and book in a call with one of our coaches.

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