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Expand the Life of your Business

Posted by Susan Frew

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:
• Infancy
• Adolescence
• Growing Pains
• Maturity

We’ll talk a little about what each of these cycle’s means and how they can each help expand your business’ lifespan.

Infancy
This is generally consider 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.
Adolescence
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.
Growing Pains
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

Maturity
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.


Gather the Troops

Posted by Susan Frew

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.
The Technician
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.
The Manager
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.
The Entrepreneur
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.


Do It like the Big DAWGS

Posted by Susan Frew

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:
1. 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.
2. Develop value-oriented yellow page ads.
3. Consider newsletters as a way of educating and informing customers about your industry and services offered.
4. 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.
5. Buy an existing business, introduce better marketing and grow this new business faster than a “from scratch” business.
6. Always test different versions of your ads to find the most effective ones.
7. Use direct mail marketing to grow your business.
8. Put together a database of previous customers and send them new information.
9. Offer incentives such as frequent purchasing benefits, loyalty programs, referral programs or others.
10. Approach large firms who may need your services and negotiate a deal to be their exclusive expert in your field.
11. Offer a 24-hour information line with a regularly updated recorded message. Make this available to all past and future customers/clients.
12. Donate time or materials to local charities to show support in your area.
13. Offer public clinics for the general public to come along and discuss what they need that’s free and approachable.
14. Organize seminars your customers/clients can pay to attend by putting together a high-perception value package.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. Take a good seminar and turn it into written form as a home study, member site program, audio or video program.
18. Approach large companies and offer to give seminars to their employees, investors or management.
19. Be proactive with your marketing plan.
20. Barter for your marketing. Offer products or services in lieu of payment.
21. Be willing to bring in new clients, even if at an initial loss because it will likely pay off later.
22. 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.
23. Make offers to target markets or target market businesses to pay them for referrals or shared databases.
24. Offer loaner products to replace equipment that’s be repaired or refurbished.
25. 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.
26. Continually consider what new products/services you can offer to current customers/clients.
27. Develop a mail order division of your company.
28. Offer a proposition to your competitors to trade customers/clients you were both unsuccessful in selling to.
29. Use different marketing tactics as an excuse to attract new customers/clients with new offers and goodies.
30. 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 you 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 you 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.


Direct Response or Bust!

Posted by Susan Frew

Direct response marketing is a marketing that demands a direct response from your potential customers. This type of marketing is used to answer questions, present your branding, products and the reason you do what you do. Customers love this, as they are offered the opportunity to response, whether that be in the way of signing up for a newsletter, posting a comment on your site or blog, or purchasing a product from you.
So, what does direct response marketing look like? Well, it comes in many forms, including:
• Direct mail
• Print ads
• Radio and TV ads
• Coupons or other incentives
• Telemarketing
Some of the advantages of direct marketing are:
• A great way to use free time during lulls in business
• Productive way to communicate and empower you to create more relationships
• Great way to up- and cross-sell to current customers
• Low cost way to rustle up new business
• Used as leverage to turn small sales into large sales
• Supplement your current marketing program
• Cost-effective way to reach target markets
• Offers measurable results
• Reach outside your local area for new business
• Increase the effectiveness of your sales force
These are all great things that can come from just taking a few simple steps to putting together a direct response marketing plan and executing it.
“I honestly don’t think you’ll ever find a safer, lower-risk, higher-profit method of increasing your business or profession than direct-response marketing.” Jay Abraham
Direct response marketing is one of the best ways to launch your business on a large scale and reach out to everyone in your target market whether they are in your local area or not. Our GUIDED TOUR can help you put together a great direct response marketing plan and get you on your way to heightened success.


Make It Pop

Posted by Susan Frew

There are 5 major components to good advertising copy: (The order of these is essential to success)
• Command Attention
• 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:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 for the most effectiveness. 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.