Forget revenue. Focus on serving your customers well.

Earlier this year I was talking with a business owner about his company’s business planning. He had spent a fair amount of time looking ahead and thinking about the revenue he wanted his company to produce this year. Planning like this is good when it helps us focus on the things that make our business better.

But often, we focus on the wrong things, like revenue.

Understand, I’m not suggesting revenue is unimportant. Of course it’s important. But I am suggesting it’s wrong to focus too much time, energy and planning on it. Revenue is only an outcome. It’s an effect produced by many causes. You can’t control it, which is why you shouldn’t focus too much on it.

You’ll accomplish more if you focus on what you can control, like taking care of your customers.

If you give you customers what they want and you do it consistently well, they’ll come back. And if you really thrill them, they’ll tell others. Repeat and referral customers are the best kind. They produce the best kind of revenue because it comes from doing things well. Revenue from a happy, loyal customer is the most profitable and sustainable revenue you can have.

The good news is, we all know how to do this.

The first step is knowing (or discovering) what your customers want. Do this by asking them. Have conversations. Find ways to connect with your customers on a regular basis. Ask, listen then ask some more. They’ll tell you what they think.

The next next step is to do it. Of course this involves much more than we can go into in one short article so we’ll save it for another time. Until then, remember to focus on your actions and how those actions give your customers what they want. Do that well and consistently, and you’ll have all the revenue you want.

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz