Recently, we worked with a client whose business was consistently bringing in about $1m in revenue each year.
But no matter what she tried, she couldn’t find a way to increase it.
She tried focusing on creating new products, better products, better marketing, better sales funnels …
The result was a few incremental gains here and there, but nothing really seemed to be clicking.
What was going on?
Well, imagine you have an outdoor faucet:
You open up the tap.
Water comes out.
You open up the tap further.
More water comes out.
You don’t want the water to get everywhere, so you have a bucket to capture the water as it comes out.
Maybe you want to water some of your tender veggies.
If everything is working properly, then you’ll have no issues.
The same is true in your business.
When you’ve got a steady stream of prospects and revenue, it’s like having great water pressure. Plenty of water to go around.
You can control how much revenue comes in by adjusting the tap—your profitability. But if your profitability “tap” is stuck shut, no water will flow.
And then there’s the question of what you do with the water once it comes out of the tap. Ideally, you want a place to put it all—a container (team) that’s large enough to hold it all.
Finally, you need to do something with that water. So you carry it over to your flower bed and help your flowers—your clients—grow.
So how do you increase flow?
Well, the first thing most people try is just to just open the tap further, right?
That’s what our client had been doing.
They’d been trying to open up the tap, put more money into ads and lead generation, but it wasn’t really making much of a difference.
It seemed like she had a revenue problem, but we needed to go in and check how her “business’ plumbing” was working to be sure.
Because sometimes, what presents as a revenue problem (for example) may actually not be a revenue problem at all.
And in fact, even though it presented as a revenue problem, what was actually going on was a team problem.
Here’s how we explained it to her:
Look, you built your business to $1m based on you following your gut and your intuition. That means you have an amazing innate sense of what your people want and how to sell it to them. Further, you are an amazing connector of people and community builder. This is your Zone of Genius.
The problem is not that you don’t know how to make more money. You’ve proven that you know how to do that.
The problem is that you don’t have the capacity to let yourself do that. You’ve put yourself in a position where you simply don’t have the time, space or energy to operate from your Zone of Genius.
In other words, you’ve got your tap in the half-way closed position.
And the reason you’ve got it half closed is because your team (the bucket you’re pouring into) can’t handle more water, anyway.
So you’ve been holding yourself back, keeping yourself locked in your zones of competence and excellence, because even though you’ve got loads of water behind you, you don’t have a container that can hold all that water.
The solution, then, is to solve the container problem first. Create a more suitable container, a more suitable structure for your business and team, and you’ll be able to open that tap up — spend more time in your Zone of Genius, and the revenue will begin to flow again.
So here’s the question for you today
See, this wasn’t a revenue problem, even though from the outside it looked like one.
That’s why all of the lead generation, new products, new funnels, etc. weren’t working.
Because her revenue structure wasn’t actually broken.
It was her team structure that was letting her down.
So before you go and try to make more changes in your business, do me a favor and ask yourself this:
Are you trying to solve something in your business that isn’t actually broken?
Or have you taken a look at your business’ plumbing, to make sure you’re working on the right things?