Becoming a Million-Dollar Business
In the world of sports, it’s said that what separates the amateur from the professional—the best of the best—is more than natural-born talent. It’s also attitude, commitment, level of investment and discipline. An amateur athlete usually has something to fall back on, while a professional is “all in.”
Similarly, in business, there’s a distinction between women entrepreneurs who are running successful businesses on a smaller scale out of their home offices or online and those who reach the next level of growth to become million-dollar or even multi-million-dollar business owners—employing others and contributing more to the overall U.S. economy.
That’s why just 3 percent of women business owners ever reach this million-dollar milestone. It’s also why the NAWBO Institute for Entrepreneurial Development, a 501(c)3 non-profit educational foundation, has introduced programs specifically focused on helping these women business owners grow to the million-dollar mark and beyond.
The first Institute program, co-designed with Babson College specifically for members of NAWBO, is PRACTICAL BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT EDUCATION: Strategies for Growth—A Digital Lab Experience. The Institute has also launched the Circle—a premier program exclusively for NAWBO members who own businesses with more than $1 million in revenue each year. Program benefits include special workshops and activities at the National Women’s Business Conference, Mastermind groups to share ideas, get support, manage challenges and move each other forward, two one-day retreats each year with workshops and special activities and much more. You can learn more about the Institute and its programs here.
Meanwhile, here are some expert tips on taking your business to the next level:
- Find a growing market: One of the easiest ways to build a million-dollar company in a short period of time is to find a growing trend and ride it to the top.
- Look to acquire: This might be the most expensive growth strategy, but it’s also the quickest. Many business owners interested in selling will close shop if they don’t find a buyer. That could put you in a strong position to negotiate.
- Be the best: If you want to hit big potential profits, you’ve got to bring something to the table that really wows customers and generates buzz within your marketplace.
- Be a thought leader: Start a blog, give speeches, publish articles or write a book on your area of expertise. Position yourself as the expert people seek when they need solutions.
- Hire the best: You certainly aren’t going to achieve quick, sustained growth with a team of underperformers. Ask around for referrals and hire an all-star team, especially in your key positions.
- Check yourself: Try something new, check the statistics to see how the changes impacted revenue and then either commit to the changes or try a new test.
- Upsell your customers: If you have customers who love your product, perhaps they would like to use more or upgrade to a higher level. The easiest way to grow is by earning additional sales with the people who already know and love you.
- Over-deliver when possible: Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool around. Imagine what your customers will say about you when you provide better customer service and delivery than the larger players in your industry.
- Analyze the competition: Look at your top competitors at least once a year—their website, people, customer service, products and prices. Brainstorm new ideas you can learn from them and use to stay ahead of the curve.
- Invest in yourself: Spend time with other like-minded individuals who can keep you inspired and focused. Continue to learn and grow as a leader by attending conferences, meetings webinars and more.
- Break it down: $1 million a year in revenue might seem a little less intimidating if you break it down and map out how to get there. You must earn $83,333 a month, or $20,833 a week or $4,166 per business day.