Category: Small Business

Solidify Your Foundation And Soar

Today I’d like to talk about the three keys to business development and how you can put the right bricks in place to build a solid foundation.

There are three main areas of business development:

  1. Innovation
  2. Quantification
  3. Orchestration

If done well, these three areas will help you build a solid foundation for you business.

Let’s talk about each one of these for just a minute.

Innovation
Innovation should not be confused with creativity, which is the expression of ideas.  Innovation is taking these ideas and putting them into action. This is where a large amount of your focus should be in the beginning and even throughout your business’ entire lifespan.

Quantification
This, of course, refers to the numbers. We are talking about the value of your innovation. The best way to gauge this is by your customer response. Look to positive responses for what you are doing right and keep doing it. Look to your negative responses to find out what you’re doing wrong and fix it. This will enable you to keep growing and progressing with the needs of your customers and business climate.

Orchestration
Once you’ve had a chance to find what areas are working, you can narrow down those areas and concentrate on making them the stand out ideas. You shift your focus here to get the most out of your business and to meet the needs of your customers.

We can help you work through these three areas to put together your franchise prototype.  In fact, in the next few lessons we are going to transition to the seven specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process:

  1. Primary Aim
  2. Strategic Objectives
  3. Organizational Strategy
  4. Management Strategy
  5. People Strategy
  6. Marketing Strategy
  7. Systems Strategy

These seven areas will accelerate your plan to achieve the ultimate level of success.  Stay tuned!

To Supersize, First Systematize

The biggest area of turn-key businesses is franchise. There is a franchise for every industry in the world.  Plus, they are fairly easy to acquire and come with practically a pop out of the box pre-assembled system. McDonald’s is a prime example. In fact, a “supersized” example with $136 billion in market cap as of April 24, 2020.

Today, there are a few topics we’ll explore:

  • Business Format Franchise
  • The Franchise Prototype
  • Franchise Prototype Standards

Business Format Franchise
The business format franchise came from an earlier model called the “trade name” franchise. The big change was in the rights. During the “trade name” days, the franchise owner only had marketing rights.  Now, however, franchise owners have owning rights to the entire business, including systems. This has allowed for a shift in focus from the past in which the quality and name recognition of the products primarily carried the business compared to today in which standard operating procedures and repeatable processes, such as sales operating models and techniques, also drive the business.

The Franchise Prototype
It was really the franchise prototypes that allowed for the changes to be made that help today’s franchises really shine with the techniques developed by the owners instead of the corporation. This can make a significant difference in the success of the franchise, as the owner can custom tailor their marketing and promotions to the direct needs of their
local target customers.

Franchise Prototype Standards
Now, the above being said, no one in their right mind would purchase a franchise if the parent company didn’t have a solid plan of action set up to ensure the future success of the business. Below are a few foundational standards that are put into place to help jump start the process of opening a successful franchise:

  1. Build a user-friendly model that can be used by individuals of any skill set.
  2. Build a defect-free model.
  3. Build a model with operations manuals.
  4. Build a model that will provide guaranteed, consistent results.
  5. Build a model that encompasses the same branding in color, dress, and facilities
    codes.

These are all ways the parent corporation makes sure its brand stays the same and consistently in front of the minds of customers. When you are purchasing a widely-known brand, you will attract customers just for being you.

If you are considering purchasing a franchise, talk with one of our experienced business coaches to further explore your options and incorporate the proven perspective of an independent third-party business development expert to your due diligence evaluation.  I look forward to connecting soon and showcasing further how our proven “5 Step Profit Formula” and revenue growth acceleration strategies will make your dream of building, systematizing, and expanding your own multimillion-dollar business a reality!

5 Keys to Mesmerizing Marketing Campaigns

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:

  1. Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  2. Put an effective sales offer to work
  3. Avoid the marketing pitfalls
  4. Use a world-class marketing perspective
  5. 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 Proposition (USP)

Take the time to ask yourself some questions from the perspective 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:

  1. Put together a headline that gets immediate attention.
  2. Share benefits of your products/services speaking from the customers’ perspective.
  3. Identify the specific needs met by your products/services.
  4. Make it easy to do business with you by offer guarantees.
  5. Share your specific sales proposition.
  6. Walk your customers/clients through how they should respond and act.
  7. 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. You need to answer a question, solve a problem or feed an obsession. You need to provide them with all the information they require 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:

  1. Ignore market testing and push on with an inaccurate plan.
  2. Offer an incomplete case, or reasons, throughout their marketing plan.
  3. Fail to notice the needs of their prospective customers/clients.
  4. Fail to diversify their marketing options.
  5. 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 via a number of different techniques and activities:

  1. Keep a marketing journal and scribble down anything innovative you see.
  2. Keep encouraging your marketing department, or yourself, to try new things and dump the ones that aren’t working.
  3. 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.
  4. Read every quality ad you can find and keep a file for future ideas to consider.
  5. When out in public, watch how consumers behave in different situations and how they consider their purchases.
  6. Step down a notch or two and work on the front lines with your sales and customer service staff.
  7. Continuously acknowledge your staff, vendors and customers. Everyone works and shops better when they feel appreciated.
  8. Always listen to feedback from employees and customers.
  9. 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.
  10. Offer more information in your marketing than anyone else. The more information you offer, the more products/services you’ll sell.
  11. A great marketing plan can only get better. Continue to fine tune and refine your marketing plan based on testing results and feedback.
  12. Be classy in your marketing. Make sure your marketing and advertising fits your company image, products/service and quality.
  13. Improve your best marketing areas and drop those that aren’t working.
  14. Focus on what you say, not how you say it. The best marketing ideas turn into the best marketing naturally.
  15. 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.

Get Results!

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 receiving positive word-of-mouth advertising. You can satisfy your customers by:

  1. Providing quality products/services
  2. Providing high quality customer service
  3. Providing a low-pressure, highly informative sales experience
  4. Taking all the risk away with a great guarantee

To generate more business, there are a couple of simple techniques that work every time:

  1. Build your database with a contest.
  2. Do regular mailings with sales, discounts, or other incentives.
  3. Find other creative ways to keep your current customers coming back for more.

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, brightest, and most creative names in the marketing world.

Top-tier Ad Campaign Tips To Do Today

You don’t have to be Don Draper or work on Madison Avenue to formulate and utilize high-quality advertising that consistently generates interest and grows your business.

Most successful business owners 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 newspapers 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 professionals 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.

Solid PR Generates Fast Free Publicity

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 lie in:

  • Public relation or publicity
  • Merchandising
  • Promotions

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, e-zines 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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, e-zines, press release submission sites, and 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 provide 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 offered 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.

Telemarketing is NOT a Four-Letter Word

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:

  1. List all benefits customers will get from the purchase of your products and services.
  2. Pick the single most powerful benefit out of that list.
  3. Build an attention-getting headline around that benefit. Remember to use emotion – fulfill the desire to be young, wealthy, desired, popular, or successful.
  4. Develop a sales letter using the headline you created to grab attention, provide information, and motivate customers to act.
  5. Put together supplementary items, such as a brochure, order form, reply envelope, or note that encourages them to read the letter.
  6. Rent or purchase a mailing list.
  7. Compare cost of mailing vs. cost per order.
  8. 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 overall cost 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.

Fast Track Your Marketing Plan

Today I’d like to teach you about the three most important start up marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.

  1. In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
  2. Follow up letter: Always take a moment to send a follow up letter about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
  3. Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.

None of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up!

Here are the key steps for putting together your start-up marketing tools:

  1. Research potential customers, buyers, competitors and their preferred methods of distribution.
  2. Talk to potential customers. Take a hard look at your product from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to be successful.
  3. Follow up with your 3-step process from above.
  4. Develop systems for contact follow through, quality control standards and customer service.
  5. Develop post-sale follow up system to keep lines of communication open with customers and build on your current relationship which increases future purchases.

“Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.”
Peter Drucker, management consultant

Here’s another one I love from an icon:

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”
Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

This lesson has offered you the tools to put together a start-up marketing plan that can be used over and over again to help your customer base and business grow in a manageable way. The tools offered in our FREE test drive offer these very same things.

Lessons I Learned from Kim Kardashian

Today we’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! After all, we are learning from Kim Kardashian here.

It’s all about self-promotion! Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Look at politicians! Talk about self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But, seriously, consider some of the major superstars and public figures we all know. Lady Gaga, Donald Trump, Oprah, Elon Musk, and LeBron James, just to name a few.

We all self promote. Did you raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course! That’s self-promotion. This is the kind of self-promotion we are talking about. With dignity, class and the knowledge to back it up. If you self-promote only to prove you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re going to lose business.

Natural self-promoters are the former and I want to tell you about the three major traits they have and use to build themselves and their businesses.

  1. The first is position. You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. You need to do this frequently. You need to wake up every morning and ask yourself “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.

Also consider:

Who can help me meet my goals?

Is it a prospective customer/client? A colleague with contacts? An association with key members who may become prospects?

Don’t settle into interacting with the people who are the easiest to access. You need to reach outside your comfort zone and there you will find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.

  1. Now, let’s talk about Style. No, this doesn’t mean you need an Armani suit to bring in more business (though, let’s be honest-it wouldn’t hurt). What this really means is how are you different from your competitors and others in your industry. What makes you memorable with customers?

If you are meeting a lot of people and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have a serious problem! This means you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.

There are lots of little subtle changes you can make. Reassess your:

  • Business cards
  • Company message
  • Your picture
  • Your wording

Maybe even, your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)

You get the idea. There are lots of little ways you can work on making your image and business more successful. Also, consider how you sound on the phone and how you greet people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-sec elevator speech.

  1. The third trait of natural promoters is repetition. You can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need until they get a response. Would you remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if you only saw it once, no! You see it over and over and eventually you head out to the store.

You, also, have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition is in direct connection with positioning. Once you find people to network with, reach out and find hundreds more who can help in your success as well.

Convert Prospects into Clients Overnight!

Today I’d like to talk about how to turn prospects into customers and retain them for life.  There are a few key approaches to draw in your suspects and eventually your qualified prospects and seal the deal. You need to be:

  • Inviting
  • Informative
  • Enjoyable

The biggest fear of most new customers is the dreaded buyer’s remorse. You want to avoid this at all costs and this should be mitigated if you’ve provided a quality product/service that delivers on the marketing claims you’ve made.  However, this 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.

These offers alone will also mitigate buyer’s remorse because the customer will trust you more, just for offering these things.  There are number of other ways to turn a prospect into a customer:

  1. Offer a special price as an opportunity for you to test the market.
  2. Offer a lower price with the reason of pushing inventory to pay a tax bill, for your kid’s’ braces, or another tangible reason. Customers love that this makes you feel so much more human.
  3. Offer a referral incentive.
  4. Offer a smaller, more inexpensive product first to build trust.
  5. Offer package deals.
  6. Offer to charge less for their first purchase if they become a repeat customer.
  7. Offer extra incentives-longer warranties, free bonuses if ordered by a set date.
  8. Offer financing options, if applicable.
  9. Offer a bonus if they pay in full.
  10. Offer special packaging or delivery.
  11. Offer “name your own price” incentives.
  12. Offer comparative data or other comparison tools.
  13. Offer a trade-up or upgrade to something they already have.
  14. Offer additional, educational information to help them make the decision.

The options really are as limitless as you make it. 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 a mountain of innovative, proven, and ready-to-use resources and tools, along with information from some of the greatest marketing minds on Earth (besides me, of course 😊).