Today I’m going to talk about the life cycle of a business and how to get the most out of each cycle while also extended the lifespan of your business.
The four different stages of a business life cycle are:
We’ll talk a little about what each of these cycle’s means and how they can each help expand your business’ lifespan.
This is generally considered the technician’s phase, which is the owner. At this point, the relationship between the business and the owner is that of a parent and new baby. There is an impenetrable bond that is necessary to determine the path your business will follow.
The key is to know your business must grow in order to flourish. You cannot stage in this stage forever.
In this stage you need to start bringing your support staff together to delegate to and allow growth to happen. The first line of defense is your technical person as they need to bring a certain level of technical experience. This cycle really belongs to the manager though. The plan stage needs to start and a relationship should be built with the entrepreneur to plan for the future.
There’s a point in every business when business explodes and becomes chaotic. This is referred to as growing pains. It’s a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. You are often faced with a number of choices:
Avoid growth and stay small
Push forward into the next cycle
The last cycle is maturity, though this doesn’t mean the end of your business. Your passion for growth must continue in order for your business to succeed. You need to keep an entrepreneurial perspective in order to push your business forward.
You see how all three of these cycles are connected and depend on a strong foundation for each one of them for your business to be and continue to be successful. All three of your key roles must also work together to work through these cycles.
If you’re having trouble putting together your business life cycles and figuring out which of the key roles you fit into, try our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our amazing coaches.
Today I’d like to chat about the different types of support staff you need and what makes them so important.
There are essentially three key roles that need to be filled to set your business up for success:
All of these roles need to be played simultaneously by different people with the right talents. It’s all about balance.
This person represents the present and all that needs to be done for the physical aspects of the business building process. They are the “doer”. This is usually the most visible person of the entire operation.
This person represents the past and works to fix problems through learning from past mistakes. They are the practical side of the business and is in charge of putting together the business and overseeing the planning.
This person represents the future and the vision for the business. They are responsible for the creative side of the business and are always considering ways to enhance products/service, business image, branding and more.
All three of these characters are essential in the success of any business and to build a solid foundation from the start, you need to work harder to find the right people to put in these roles. Obviously, you need to be one of these key people, but ensure you find the role that fits your skills and talents, not necessarily what you THINK you should be doing.
This may be a hard process for you as you will need to relinquish some control over the business and instill trust in people to allow them to do their jobs.
Remember, our business coaches can help you through this entire process and teach you how to avoid falling victim to e-myths when you try our GUIDED TOUR.
We are going to embark upon a journey through the world of e-myths and debunk them to help you avoid falling into the e-myth trap.
First, let’s take a minute to talk about what an e-myth is. An entrepreneurial myth, or e-myth, is an assumption that anyone can succeed at business with:
Projected and targeted profit
This sounds great, but it’s just not realistic. Think of starting a business as a marathon. Sure, everyone starts out of the gate at record pace, but after a few miles people start slowing and some drop out entirely. Building a successful business takes stamina and agility.
The reality is that there are many different facets to a successful business and none of them can be ignored if you plan to find success.
Let’s take a minute to talk about entrepreneurial seizure. This defines the roller coaster of emotions that comes with starting, nurturing and the potential failure of a business.
The emotions that occur, in order, are:
Sense of self-loss
This is usually caused by the e-myths and assumptions we talked about. You can get your hopes so high on instant success that even the smallest lag and you are sent into an emotional tailspin. This is also brought on by the stark realization that you can’t do it all and will need help in the areas where you don’t have the knowledge. Now, faced with limited choices you may feel like you need to back out and hide, but don’t!
Use our GUIDED TOUR to get the business coaching you need to avoid feeling overwhelmed and defeated.
We’re going to go through the 5 essential keys to a successful and reusable marketing campaign launch. Once you have these basics down, you can use them over and over again.
The 5 essential keys are:
Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Put an effective sales offer to work
Avoid the marketing pitfalls
Use a world-class marketing perspective
We’ll go through each one of these, so you can see exactly how to use them and how they all affect the overall outcome of your marketing campaign.
Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Take the time to ask yourself some questions from the prospective of the customers/clients. What would it take to get your attention? What needs do you have that need to be met? What are the promises you want fulfilled?
Once you know the answers to these questions you can start putting together a plan to meet these needs. Then take a look at what USP your competitors are using to help you develop your own USP. Your USP is what you are “promising” your customers/clients. This is what’s going to set you apart from your competition.
Put an effective sales offer to work
To develop an effective sales plan, you need to:
Put together a headline that gets immediate attention.
Share benefits of your products/services speaking from the customers’ perspective.
Identify the specific needs met by your products/services.
Make it easy to do business with you by offering guarantees.
Share your specific sales proposition.
Walk your customers/clients through how they should respond and act.
Motivate with a call to action.
What this all means is, you need to put together what makes your products/services special and compel customers to buy. If they don’t feel like they NEED your product, they won’t buy it. You need to answer a question, solve a problem or feed an obsession.
You need to provide them with all the information they need to make an informed and confident decision. Buyer’s remorse is one of the worst things that can happen.
Avoid the marketing pitfalls
There are 5 major marketing pitfalls many businesses fall into and you should avoid:
Ignore market testing and push on with an inaccurate plan.
Offer an incomplete case, or reasons, throughout their marketing plan.
Fail to notice the needs of their prospective customers/clients.
Fail to diversify their marketing options.
Fail to get market opinions on their offers.
These are all areas to avoid. If you’ve been working through these lessons, avoiding these pitfalls should be easy and natural.
Use a world-class marketing perspective
World-Class marketing perspective is important, especially if you want to attract customers/clients from all over the world. You can do this a number of different techniques and activities:
Keep a marketing journal and scribble down anything innovative you see.
Keep encouraging your marketing department, or yourself, to try new things and dump the ones that aren’t working.
Order from your own company under a different name and analyze the process of ordering, shipping, online store, customer service and the product itself. This will show you where the areas for improvement in the customer experience.
Read every quality ad you can find and keep a file for future ideas to consider.
When out in public, watch how consumers behave in different situations and how they consider their purchases.
Step down a notch or two and work on the front lines with your sales and customer service staff.
Continuously acknowledge your staff, vendors and customers. Everyone works and shops better when they feel appreciated.
Always listen to feedback from employees and customers.
Continuously test markets, ads, and marketing techniques. This is the only way to stay successful and know what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not.
Offer more information in your marketing than anyone else. The more information you offer, the more products/services you’ll sell.
A great marketing plan can only get better. Continue to fine tune and refine your marketing plan based on testing results and feedback.
Be classy in your marketing. Make sure your marketing and advertising fits your company image, products/service and quality.
Improve your best marketing areas and drop those that aren’t working.
Focus on what you say, not how you say it. The best marketing ideas turn into the best marketing naturally.
Develop all your ads, campaigns and sales materials with an attention to compelling and factual information.
By using these techniques you can put your name out there to the world and become one of the top brands in your industry.
The last area we are going to talk about is the best-satisfied customers. If your customers aren’t satisfied, you’ve wasted all your marketing resources and all chance of positive word-of-mouth advertising. You can satisfy your customers by:
Providing quality products/services
Providing high quality customer service
Providing a low-pressure, highly informative sales experience
Taking all the risk away with a great guarantee
To generate more business there are a couple of simple techniques that work every time:
Build your database with a contest.
Do regular mailings with sales, discounts, or other incentives.
Find other creative ways to keep your current customers coming back for more.
“As long as the reward is directly related to your product or service, you can’t lose. Why not get started today? It’s so simple, it’s so seldom done, and it’s so profitable. And that’s the bottom line.” Jay Abraham
It is so simple! So, why aren’t you starting today? We can help you put together a great marketing plan that will get you results. Try our GUIDED TOUR and find the tools and resources you need built by some of the biggest names in the marketing world.
Today we’ll take a look at how the kings of industry wine, dine and otherwise cajole prospects.
Most of successful professionals use a series of information based ads that build emotion and a call to action. These are much more effective than a standard company branding advertisements. The same principles that go into putting together a high impact (and, often, high priced) ad campaign can be adapted to fit your needs with similar results.
Here are some ways to put together and execute a professional, effective ad campaign:
Put together a short report that’ll you’ll automatically send to prospects when they contact you. This should include a short description of your business and what you specialize in. Don’t forget to include case studies, samples or other proof of your success.
Consider newsletters as a way of educating and informing customers about your industry and services offered.
Offer a free seminar, webinar or other lecture to build awareness of your business, but make sure you make the information pertinent to your target market and find speakers who are respected and known in the industry.
Buy an existing business, introduce better marketing and grow this new business faster than a “from scratch” business.
Always test different versions of your ads to find the most effective ones.
Use direct mail marketing to grow your business.
Put together a database of previous customers and send them new information.
Offer incentives such as frequent purchasing benefits, loyalty programs, referral programs or others.
Approach large firms who may need your services and negotiate a deal to be their exclusive expert in your field.
Donate time or materials to local charities to show support in your area.
Offer public clinics for the general public to come along and discuss what they need that’s free and approachable.
Organize seminars your customers/clients can pay to attend by putting together a high-perception value package.
Approach local newspaper by offering to write a weekly columnabout your area of expertise. Don’t ask for money, just a byline and bio.
Develop a weekend or other destination seminar for customers/clients, not only does this give you an action-packed weekend with the most important people, it gives them a tax-deductible business adventure.
Take a good seminar and turn it into written form as a home study, member site program, audio or video program.
Approach large companies and offer to give seminars to their employees, investors or management.
Be proactive with your marketing plan.
Barter for your marketing. Offer products or services in lieu of payment.
Be willing to bring in new clients, even if at an initial loss because it will likely pay off later.
Regulate your marketing budget to maximize the potential income from them to hit the next year and try to push back advertising costs for the next year to offset your expenses.
Make offers to target markets or target market businesses to pay them for referrals or shared databases.
Offer loaner products to replace equipment that’s be repaired or refurbished.
Give away something free to everyone who brings in a print version of your advertisement. This is a great way to see which ads are giving you the most bang for your buck.
Continually consider what new products/services you can offer to current customers/clients.
Develop a mail order division of your company.
Offer a proposition to your competitors to trade customers/clients you were both unsuccessful in selling to.
Use different marketing tactics as an excuse to attract new customers/clients with new offers and goodies.
Offer a “you-choose-the-price” program. This is especially good for product you just can’t seem to sell.
So, there are 28 great ways to market to other professionals and businesses. Some other great ways to get your name out there for little or no cost are:
Get involved in your community-volunteer, donate to local events, etc.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend the networking and other activities throughout the year.
Join a local, state or regional professional associates for further networking opportunities.
Become a board member of a local organization.
Advertising should never be your only method of marketing, there are a myriad of ways to get your name out there in a way that feels personal to potential customers/clients.
“Effective advertising…must be used to get your name out to the public. If your name is not familiar to people, they will not come to you.” Jay Abraham
If you’re not sure where to start with your marketing plan or how to reach out to your local community, competitors, customers/clients and others who could influence your business in a highly positive way, try our GUIDED TOUR to experience the tools and resources we have to boost your business to the next level and beyond.
There are three key areas of public relations you can use to boost your advertising results ten-fold over your paid advertising.
The key to public relations lies in:
Public relation or publicity
With a solid plan in place that encompasses all these areas, you’ll have a great approach to use public relations in the best way possible.
Public relations include all that is the media. Don’t limit yourself. The attention of newspapers, television, radio, magazines, bloggers, ezines and more are all equally powerful. Online marketing is just as, if not more, important as conventional media.
Here are the steps to get noticed by the media:
Put together a press release for your company. The press release should be relevant to your target market and address consumer interest, not just announce your business.
Compact your press release to include one hook and one angle. Choose the most attention-getting to make sure the media person you are sending it to is interested in reading it.
Put your press release in professional formatting. With press releases you need a dateline, the most important information at the top, facts, figures and wrap it up with contact details including who and how. Print the press release on your letterhead.
Send your press release to all television and radio stations, local and metro newspapers, national newspapers, industry magazines, and any other form of media that reaches your target market. Don’t forgot to include relevant blogs, ezines, press release submission sites and to industry professionals.
More importantly than a perfect press release is to make sure you have addressed the needs of your target market in the products/services you offer and made that clear in the press release. If you are providing people a solution to a problem, a way to avoid a problem and an opportunity to enhance their life the media and public will be interested.
If you have a connection (or the ability to get a connection) with a celebrity, this can practically guarantee you’ll get attention. Make sure you are offering newsworthy information, and then follow up with media outlets to make sure they are publicizing that information.
“One of the most powerful techniques every business should use is free publicity. As the name implies, there is no cost, just the time and effort required to attract attention to your business.” Jay Abraham
Our GUIDED TOUR can show you how to put together press releases that work! Check out how the pro’s do it and craft the perfect press releases for your business.
It’s extremely important to build relationships with your vendors and those around you. Everyone plays a vital role in introducing new customers/clients and increasing awareness to your company branding.
The people you work directly with on your products and services are really the ones with the most to gain when you find success. By taking the time to get to know them, you’ll find a whole host of opportunities you didn’t realize were there.
Look for great ways to offer your vendors rewards for helping grow your business and everyone wins. One way you can do this is by offering performance based incentives that are much larger than their normal charges.
Here’s the step-by-step process to putting together a partnership with a vendor:
Approach all the vendors you work with and offer an incentive based on performance.
Put the generous incentive plan together from their perspective, even take suggestions.
Develop a clear, concise and easy to track incentive plan, this will increase competition between vendors and therefore higher performance levels.
Encourage subsequent sales instead of focusing only on the initial sale. By doing this you can give away more of the profit from the initial sale to your vendors and make higher profits off the back end products. Encourage:
Upsell better and more profitable products/services
Cross-sell to additional products
Create an incentive plan that’s irresistible to your vendors by offering generous, exclusive compensation.
Think of all the vendors you work with and the creative ways you can put together an incentive plan that entices them to be part of your business. Use their talents, capabilities and connections and you’ll both be winners.
Putting together an incentive plan doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Use our GUIDED TOUR to come up with some great ideas and put your incentive plan together for maximum results.
Today you’ll learn how to use direct mail marketing and, yes, telemarketing to your full advantage. I know, the word “telemarketing” might as well be four letters, but there is a way to help customers feel like they are getting personal attention and keep them from blocking your number!
With the success direct mail marketing has had and the availability of computers, these can be used as a powerful marketing tool for your success. Telemarketing is best for high priced, high margin products/services.
Here are the key steps to putting together a highly effective direct mail marketing program:
List all benefits customers will get from the purchase of your products and services.
Pick the single most powerful benefit out of that list.
Build an attention-getting headline around that benefit. Remember to use emotion: fulfill the desire to be young, wealthy, desired, popular, successful, etc.
Develop a sales letter using the headline you created to grab attention, provide information and motivate customers to act.
Put together supplementary items, such as a brochure, order form, reply envelope or note that encourages them to read the letter.
Rent or purchase a mailing list.
Compare cost of mailing vs. cost per order.
Continue to test and refine your direct mail marketing plan.
You can see how direct mail marketing can help you find a local or even country-wide target market to send letters or postcards to and draw in new clientele and customers. Fine-tuning your marketing campaign will bring better results and therefore lower the overallcost of the campaign.
To be successful in telemarketing you need to:
Put together a plan, so you know exactly what you want to accomplish during the call.
Develop a list of topics to discuss and the questions you want to present around these topics.
Input verbiage checking to see if you are calling at a good time.
Include enough questions to keep the conversation interesting, but not too many to sound like you are interrogating.
Start with broad questions and narrow your focus as the conversation continues.
Offer feedback to show them you are paying attention and appreciate their time.
Don’t insult their intelligence or manipulate them.
Listen first, talk second.
Be relaxed and conversational.
Telemarketing doesn’t have to be the trauma it’s made out to be. You can put together an honest, personal and effective telemarketing campaign that is endearing, informative and gets the job done. Think of how you would want to be treated on a marketing call. Ask your friends and family what they hate most about the telemarketing calls they get and work hard to craft your plan in a better way.
“When selling by telephone, you have approximately thirty seconds to convince the customer to listen to you. You need an opening statement that captures their attention, conveys who you are, what you want and why the prospect should listen.” Jay Abraham
It’s easy to see how direct mail marketing and telemarketing can positively affect your business by bringing in new customers and increasing the level of awareness about your products, services and company branding. Our GUIDED TOUR offers the resources and tools you need to work through these processes and put together the best marketing plan you can.
Today I’d like to talk about how to turn prospects into customers and retain them for future marketing. While, your marketing is doing its job, you must be working on turning those prospects into customers. There are a few key ways to draw them in and seal the deal.
You must be:
Most new customers fear the dreaded buyer’s remorse. You want to avoid this at all costs! Mitigate this by providing a quality product/service that delivers on the marketing claims you’ve made.
Even with the proper intention and information, it can can still occur. There are two ways to deal with this:
Offer to refund money-no questions asked
Offer a bonus they can keep even if they return the product
When making these types of offers, you build increased trust while mitigating buyer’s remorse with your customer.
There are number of other ways to turn a prospect into a customer:
Offer a special price as an opportunity for you to test the market
Offer a lower price with a reason and you don’t have to lie: pushing inventory to pay a tax bill, for your kid’s’ braces, or another tangible reason. Customers love when you are vulnerable and show that you are actually human.
Offer a referral incentive
Offer a smaller, more inexpensive product first to build trust
Offer package deals
Offer to charge less for their first purchase if they become a repeat customer
Offer extra incentives-longer warranties, free bonuses if ordered by a set date
Offer financing options, if applicable
Offer a bonus if they pay in full
Offer special packaging or delivery
Offer “name your own price” incentives
Offer comparative data or other comparison tools
Offer a trade-up or upgrade to something they already have
Offer additional, educational information to help them make the decision
The options are really as limitless as you make them. You can use these or other ideas to find what works the best for your business, products/service and target market. Remember this…
“By making it inviting, easy, informative, non-threatening, educational, inspiring and fun to do business with you, you’ll loft your company above the competition.” – Jay Abraham
Need help with figuring out the best strategy for converting prospects into customers? Our GUIDED TOUR gives you exclusive access to the mountain of resources and tools, along with information from some of the greatest marketing minds on Earth.
There are 5 major components to good advertising copy: (The order of these is essential to success)
Showcase Benefits of Products/Services
Prove the Benefits
Persuade People to Embrace the Benefits
Call to Action
Advertising is sales in print. So, you need to think about the unique benefits your products/services offer and showcase that in a persuasive way. You need to emphasize results, NOT features.
Let’s take a minute to talk about each of these components:
Command Attention: This is usually accomplished with the headline. You need an attention-getter that makes people want to know more about your products/services. The best headlines give a vivid portrayal of the benefits or show how a problem can be avoided with your products/services. The headline is the advertisement for the advertisement.
Showcase Benefits: You have to showcase the benefits of your products and services and, more importantly, show how they will solve or prevent a problem. They need to know what’s in it for them. Include useful, factual and clear information to show precisely what the benefits are and how they are going to help the customer.
Offer Proof: This is where you prove what the advertisement is offering. You need to establish you have a method to deliver. Consider information that establishes credibility and past performance.
Persuade: You need to add compelling reasons for your potential customers to purchase your products/services. Use a hard sell approach and create scarcity. This will enact your potential customers to feel like they have to act now. Which leads into the last component.
Call to Action: You need to compel your potential customers to DO something. They need to check out your site, sign up for your newsletter, purchase your products, contact you about services…something.Offer a freebie-a booklet, sample, product, bonus, demo, consult, limited time price…the list goes on. There are lots of ways to get potential customers excited about ordering and help them feel like they are getting an amazing deal.
Good advertisements include all of these components and are not complete without any of them. You can sit down and think through any one of these components, then figure out how to best place them together to be most effective. We can help you with this too. Try our GUIDED TOUR to learn how to put together great advertisements from some of the best in the business.