Tag: Business Development

Stop Wasting Your Marketing Budget!

Today you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers so you aren’t wasting precious resources on blitz marketing. So, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:

  • What do people really want to buy from me?
  • What related products are they already buying?

Once you figure this out you will know who is more predisposed to purchase your products/services. Then, you find other businesses with the same customer base who you can customer share with. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your stores.

The basic concept is this:

You want to find existing businesses who have the customer profile that you are looking for to market your products/services to.

Then strike up a relationship with those business owners to work out an incentive for customers to purchase from both businesses.

As a result, you have an audience to market to and they generate an added value from their current base.

So, how do you figure this out? There is a great formula from Jay Abraham you can follow with great success.

LV = (P x F) x N – MC

Here’s what it all means:

  • LV is the lifetime value of a customer
  • P is the average profit margin from each sale
  • F is the number of times a customer buys each year
  • N is the number of years customers stay with you
  • MC is the marketing cost per customer (total costs/number of customers)

Once you know how much you need to spend to attract a new customer, you will know how much of an incentive you can offer to a business to help attract new customers.

So, here’s your step-by-step process:

  1. Find companies who already have the customer base you are looking for.
  2. Negotiate an incentive for them to share that customer base with you.
  3. Focus your marketing resources to this group of predisposed customers.

If you need help working through this process, check out our FREE test drive for the most comprehensive system of small business marketing tools and resources.

Focus First On Your Current Customers

Though many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. After all, these are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!

Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.

Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:

  1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
  2. Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
  3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and junk out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:

  • Quality product/service
  • Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
  • Offer subjects your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.

Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!

As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and divert some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every way possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

So, there it is! Remember, our FREE test drive can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you educate your customers and you can watch the benefits pay off many-fold.

Franchise Prototype 101

In our  last post we talked about the first three of the seven specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process. As a refresher, here are all seven again:

  • Primary Aim
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Management Strategy
  • People Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Systems Strategy

These seven pillars form the foundation for the growth and ongoing success of your business. Now, we are going to cover the last four.

Think of constructing your business model like planting a tree. At first, it’s so small and weak you wonder if it will even make it through the night. Yet, you keep watering, fertilizing and nurturing it. Your ideas will grow the trunk and each of these strategies will extend out as the branches of your now strong tree. Finding the perfect support staff, employees, vendors/suppliers and other relationships will make your tree flourish with leaves and flowers.

Management Strategy
The way you structure your management team is not only essential to your growth, but the happiness of your employees and, ultimately, your customers/clients. This strategy is results-oriented and doesn’t depend on the people, but the actual system that’s in place.

A management strategy is, in short, a set of standards that includes goals, rules, a mission statement and other concrete guiding principles that tell your employees how to act, your management how to grow your business, and your customers/clients what to expect. These should all be in perfect alignment with your business goals.

People Strategy
You need to put together a people or “employee appreciation” strategy that shows your employees how you feel about their job performance and dedication to your business. They also need to understand “why” they are doing specific tasks. This helps them to personally connect to their job which, in turn, leads to better production and a happier workplace.  There are a number of strategies you can use to keep work interesting and to heighten and maintain employee engagement:

  • Short-term Performance Reward Contests
  • Long-term Performance Incentive Programs
  • Employee of the Month
  • Performance/Holiday Bonuses

These are just a few of the ideas you can use. One of the best ways to appreciate your employees is by calling a meeting and asking them how they would like to be rewarded.  Think about it for a while and put the best idea into play. Keep it fresh and change up the reward and recognition program you use from time to time to keep your employees guessing. Once they get used to the prize, it’s time for a whole new approach.  You need to build a community within your company. There needs to be support, appreciation and respect. The more “at home” an employee feels, the better they will perform and the more loyalty they’ll have.

Marketing Strategy
Marketing is, of course, essential to the success of any business, but it also must work cohesively with the other strategies you’re using. There are two major components of a successful marketing strategy:  1) the demographic profiles and 2) psychographic profiles of your customers.  The psychographic tells you what your customers are most likely to buy and the demographic tells you who they are, which can help you learn why they buy specific items. Without this information, it simply doesn’t matter how good your business prototype is.

Systems Strategy
There are three types of systems in every business:

  • Hard Systems
  • Soft Systems
  • Information Systems

Hard systems refer to inanimate system or systems that have no “life”, such as computers, in-house servers, storage devices, or other capital equipment.  Soft systems are those that could be living. Information systems which are, of course, everything else, including customer data, product information, financial…anything with data and numbers.

The most important of all three systems is the soft systems because it includes the sales and training systems your business uses. In your sales system the two keys to success are: structure and substance. Structure being what you sell and substance being how you sell it.

All three systems are essential to the success of your business.  While they all have their own very specific roles, they all must work together to get the job done. This also goes for your entire business development program.

On that note, I want to take a moment to recap the main themes we’ve covered in the recent business development lessons from our blog.

First, we explored the entrepreneurial myth, or e-myth, is an assumption that anyone can succeed at business with:

  • Desire
  • Some capital
  • A projected targeted profit

Next, we covered the essential three key roles that need to be filled to set your business up for success:

  • The Technician
  • The Manager
  • The Entrepreneur

Then, we highlighted the four different stages of a business life cycle are:

  • Infancy
  • Adolescence
  • Growing Pains
  • Maturity

Also, we illuminated the three core concepts of the franchise model, if you are considering that path to expand your business:

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

Additionally, we addressed the three main areas of business development:

  • Innovation
  • Quantification
  • Orchestration

Lastly, we specified the seven areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process:

  • Primary Aim
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Management Strategy
  • People Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Systems Strategy

We can help you define, design, develop, and deploy the appropriate business model and business development strategy and processes to turbocharge your business and leapfrog your competition. Please contact us to learn more about how our innovative, proven e-Marketing platform and business elevation coaching services can take your business to the next level.