Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “just where is my revenue coming from, how much is it costing me and how much more could I get”?
Yes, no or maybe, having a basic understanding of what’s working and what’s not is a big step on your business journey. But with so many different tools out there (Google Analytics, SalesForce CRM, Lead Feeder, the list goes on), where do you start?
I have an answer for you, “The Four Box Model”. This is by no means an academically accepted theory, nor has it been endorsed by Gary Vaynerchuk. It’s useful though for busy business owners who want to grow but aren’t sure where to start.
How do you use it then? Let’s begin
Step 1: The Box
Here it is, in all its glory. It’s worth opening this page on a separate screen.
Step 2: Look at the format
Think of this as a typical month for your business. Don’t worry about having quantifiable data. All the information you provide can be based on the truth, a well-educated guess or a stab in the dark. Although, the less you know, the more you need to understand.
Step 3: Understand the context
The box is broken down into four areas:
• Business Development & Networking – what most business owners do (or someone in the team does). This is all the work you’re putting into hardcore relationships and sales. The coal face if you will. The sweat, blood and tears. Kind of like David Brent post-Wernham Hogg.
• Client Referrals & Recommendations – a big one for B2B and service-led businesses. How many times do you hear “so and so is a client of yours and said you’re great”? Word of mouth referrals go in here.
• Partners & Affiliates – if you have a bank of trusted allies, ones that offer a complimentary product or service and feed you sales every month, then this is where they belong.
• Marketing (Inbound & Outbound) – the area we’re most interested in. This is everything you’re doing on social, direct mail, advertising (outbound) and through Google AdWords, technical search engine optimisation, great content (inbound).
Step 4: Start with your revenue
The bullseye in the diagram, REVENUE. Take any given month and put the total money you’ve earnt in the middle. Or, take your yearly revenue and divide it by 12.
Step 5: Next, fill in the rest
Each box is broken down into 4 sections.
• Activities focus on your outputs i.e. events you mingle at, email campaigns you’ve sent to existing clients, digital activities you’re running, partner meetings you attend, tenders you’re writing.
• Cost is how much do you shell out in monetary terms to complete said activities.
• Leads are the number of GENUINE opportunities coming your way every month and…
• Sales are the total amount of revenue you’re making from each box.
Step 6: Finally, take it in
Think about how much revenue each box is driving into your business. Put down the % contribution. Then ask yourself are you happy with that. What more could you get if you increased one of the channels?
And as I’m a generally nosey person, why not send yours across to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll offer you my 10 pence on how you can get more from your marketing box.