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:
- Growing Pains
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 stay in this stage forever.
And this is the toughest stage for most business owners to take on an advisor, coach or consultant. Because in this phase, many new business owners think they know what’s best for their baby. Things are still new and the baby is developing. Notice I said developing, not growing.
In this stage you need to start bringing your support staff together to delegate leverage 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.
Like an adolescent child, this is where you will start being tested by your business personalities (technician, manager, entrepreneur) and other employees. Be firm and stick to the plan.
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
- Go broke
- Push forward into the next cycle
I see too many business owners who buy into the idea the business must grow before it’s profitable. This is simply not true. Your business can grow and profit at the same time. But if I have to choose between the two, I chose profits over growth every day of the week and twice on Friday. Which is great for me because I chose not to work on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
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.
If you’re not the entrepreneur in your business, find someone who is and work with that person.
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.
As you already know, you might be the technician, manager or entrepreneur. You might think you’re all three. But that is not sustainable for continued growth and profits.
If you’re having trouble putting your business life cycles together and figuring out which of the key roles you fit into, take a guided tour of my Abundance & Prosperity Business Mastery eLearning System.
Then book a Live Business Breakthrough Session with me. I know I can find $10k to $50 or more in your business in just 45 minutes. Put me to the test.
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:
- The Technician
- The Manager
- The Entrepreneur
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.
In many cases this person is you, the business owner. Well at least this was you before you decided to quit working for others and start your own business. Before you’re your entrepreneur seizure.
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.
You can be one, but not all
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.
In the beginning you may find yourself in all three of these roles. In order for your business to grow and profit you must separate yourself from two of the three roles as much as possible.
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 FREE test drive.
Let me start out todays lesson with a true story.
I attended a networking event a few weeks ago. This event included business owners and soon to be business owners of various industries. There were about 120 people in the room.
Among the speakers was a guy who had owned a business for about 4 years. He proudly told the crowd “In just 4 years, my company’s revenue has grown to $55 Million.” The crowed cheered.
When the cheering died down, he admitted, almost as proudly, “But I’m still just as broke as I was when I opened the doors.” He went on to say, “Be prepared, because as business owners, that’s your fate as well.”
I call Bull-Shit.
What I mean is, that is the fate of most businesses. But that does not have to be your fate. Some, like this business owner, believe you can grow or you can profit. But you can’t do both. Again, BS.
You can grow and profit at the same time.
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:
- A plan
- Some capital
- Projected a targeted profit
This sounds great, but it just is 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, agility and resilience.
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. And by success I mean profits, not just revenue.
“Revenue feeds your ego. Profits feed your family.”
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 do this.
You are not alone. Rather your a Broke Multi-Million Dollar Business or a Broke $100k business, it’s not your fault. Regardless of your amazing technical skills in your craft, chances are, you know very little about actually running a profitable business.
That’s where we come in. We can help.
Use our FREE test drive to get the business coaching you need to avoid feeling overwhelmed and defeated.
You’re spending hundreds, maybe even thousands, on Pay Per Click (PPC), FB Ads, Google Ads or even space in the paper, Yellow Pages or Billboards. And I bet you think you’re getting a fair number of leads and good conversions.
What if I told you, you could easily double or even triple your leads and conversions without spending any more marketing dollars?
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
- Get results!
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/Service 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 thats different from your competition?
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.
Note: The reality inside your business/service must be translated in your marketing, or you will always look just like 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. This is the interrupt. You have 3 seconds to do this in print and 7 seconds in video or audio.
- 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 offer guarantees.
- Share your specific sales proposition.
- Walk your customers/clients through how they should respond and act. They are looking for leadership from you, your staff, your system.
- Motivate with a call to action. “Call me” is the worse 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. 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 innovate 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
- Follow through quickly when guarantee’s are called to action
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.
- Create true Joint Ventures with businesses who serve your customer/clients in a different way. There is Gold in this strategy.
- 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 FREE test drive 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 successful professionals use a series of information based ads that build emotion and a call to action (CTA). These are much more effective than your standard run of the mill 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, even greater, results.
Here are some ways to put together and execute a professional, effective ad campaign:
- Put together a short report that will 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, testimonies (video works best), samples or other proof of your success.
- Develop value-oriented yellow page ads.
- 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. This is known as split testing or A/B testing.
- 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.
- Offer a 24-hour information line with a regularly updated recorded message. Make this available to all past and future customers/clients.
- 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 column about 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 30 great ways to market to other professional 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 FREE test drive to experience the tools and resources we have to boost your business to the next level and beyond.