Is 90% of All Online Marketing a Waste of Money?

The only way to verify that quality marketing works, is to ask every single potential paying client how they found your business, which marketing prompted them to contact your company.

In this article I’ll be sharing my 20 years of full time training of thousands of business owners that my company has worked with for at least 3 months, and generally 9 to 18 months. There’s no theory, just real world feedback and experience being shared, so stay tuned as some of what’s written here may be controversial!

27 years ago I paid to attend a workshop with the great Jay Abraham, the world’s highest paid and most famous marketer of the 80’s and 90’s. In the workshop he talked about the importance of measuring. I loved the power of numbers and the certainty that came with it. By applying his strategies and those I next learned from Chris Newton, who I call “The Grandfather of marketing training in Australia), I found measuring held the key to success with marketing, as FACTS don’t lie, but what people assume will work and what actually does is worlds apart.

In 1997, after entering the business coaching industry as a Brad Sugars franchisee I introduced all business owner clients to measuring, to prove that strategies we introduced worked, and what results they achieved. By measuring it revealed astounding facts about marketing, and unfortunately that 90% or more just didn’t work – not for a few businesses, but for every single business clients’ business!

Back in the late nineties Yellow Pages ruled. If you didn’t have an ad in, and you were a trade service or manufacturing business, you would miss out on hundreds of thousands in sales.

It was the only form of marketing I’ve ever seen that can be completely poorly designed, yet still be cost effective. No other form of marketing has even been produced as badly, and still been profitable. Mind you, not all Yellow Pages advertisements were profitable, or successful because a lot weren’t.

ALL business owners newspaper ads FAILED to produce profitable results. Profitable means the profits paid for the advertising, not sales income.

You’re in business to make a PROFIT and that means from employees, from products and from marketing.

This is where most businesses aren’t aware of how badly their marketing, advertising and promotions are working, simply because they just don’t measure. They don’t ask every single prospect how they found their business.

Its easy to do, just ask every caller, “Have you purchased from our business before?” and if they reply with no, ask “How did you find us?”

Collate all calls and track calls to paid advertising to see what works and what doesn’t.

For example, a lot of businesses pay for social media posts and blog posts. There is little evidence this works well at all, but its a popular strategy that marketing service providers love to charge and promote. A lot of top marketers laugh at how bad and ineffective the strategy is for the majority of businesses.

Adwords is a classic for burning up huge amounts of cash, to produce little to no profit return.

For example, the average click through rate (CTR) is around 3% to 5%.

Take a plumbing company, with an average sale value of $500 and ads that cost $5 per click.

For 100 clicks the cost would be $500, and with 3% of those turning into website visitors, even if all 3 became paying customers, (which is impossible with any volume of clicks) that would mean the business generated $1500 in sales for a spend of $500, which is a LOSS as few plumbing businesses have a net profit margin of more than 33%!

In real world, realistic figures the 3% response would obtain 1 in 3 customers, so from the 100 clicks 1 customer would result with an income of $500 for a spend of $500 on advertising, which is a HUGE loss for the business.

A great rule of thumb, applied to every service business I’ve had experience with measuring marketing ROI is, that 10% of the income is all that can be allowed to pay for the advertising. If a business generates $1000 in income, it can only afford to pay $100 on advertising to obtain it.

If you look a the majority of businesses spending money on marketing, like outsourced blog writing or posting, that money is NOT generating sales profitably in 90% of all businesses. Unless you MEASURE all leads coming into a business, this won’t be seen, so business owners ASSUME their advertising is necessary, but burn a lot of cash for no results and its occurring in over 90% of businesses that have been trained for 20 years through my company.

Sometimes the marketing piece is very poorly executed, which sadly is the case with 90% of websites. Just because a website is new and cost $8,000, doesn’t mean its effective as the majority of them aren’t!

Take a look at this Masters Hardware home page…

masters-hardware-jpg

This design FAILS to get a quality and effective message across to its potential customers in a lot of ways. Can you spot the mistakes as there are a LOT of them?

For a start, the first thing any person sees (and is drawn to) on any website is the image.

In this case, its a clothesline!

WHY a clothesline?!?

The best and most important image of all to have on every web page is a photo of happy people.

Why happy people?

Because that’s the outcome of what people buy and its how they want to feel after buying from a business. There is no better photo to use on a homepage of a website than one of happy people. Its the safest one too.

A website needs to create “momentum” from a visitor, so the longer you can keep them on the site the better, and the more likely they will stay longer and then eventually contact the business to buy.

People LOVE looking at photos of people. Look at Facebook for the evidence! Look at Instagram, Pinterest etc. All of them are all about people doing stuff. Nothing much, and nothing interesting, just stuff!

Also, the main photo needs to be the full width of the site/page/browser because that’s the ‘modern’ look, or it has been the look for 4 years now.

When a website doesn’t have a full width image (like Masters Hardware above), it can create the feeling that the website (and also the business) is ‘out of date’ and therefore ‘out of sync’ with humanity, making the company seem ‘out of touch’ with society. That’s a BIG risk for a company with an older website design (like Masters).

Also the photo needs to match the ideal target market age of its customers. Notice the home page image on this site? Its of a man about age 38. Why? Because the average age of our clients is 38 to 48 and 98% of clients have been men.

What image is featured on your home page? Is it of a happy person or people?

Then is one of dozens of points about how poorly executed marketing is, and why 90% of it is just a waste of hard to get money.

These days just about anyone is a website developer, who taught themselves to work with templates in WordPress.

The second most critical ingredient of all marketing is the wording or “copywriting”.

There is an extreme skill of writing great ‘copy’ and very few marketers (e.g. website developers) are great at it. In fact, a lot of them just outsource it as an extra cost to the business owner. But because website developers know customers don’t like to pay $500 per page for great copywriting, they often don’t charge them extra for an outsourced copywriter and copy the (bad) text from the old website, or they ask the owner to provide the most second critical aspect of a top quality, effective website.

Why do copywriters commonly charge $500 per web page and up? Because of the radical difference it can make to the business, potentially in the order of $50,000 to $200,000 per year in sales!

Copywriting is one of the least appreciated skills in business, yet its one of the most critical and beneficial to pay for or learn yourself. Yes, you can learn to write great copy, if you pay a marketing trainer (if you can find one).

This whole blog post was written in about 23 minutes. It contains very effective copy. Why?

Because its written in “point of you” – which simply means, its written in words you find relatable with variations of the word “you” in it, such as “you’ll” and “you’re”.

Poor text (copywriting) on a website contains the word “we” and talks from the business’ perspective, with common phrases like “we have been operating for 15 years”, “we provide the following services” etc.

Recognise that sort of text anywhere? Go to any website and you’ll almost certainly find it (except on this site, or any clients that has asked to be trained on copywriting).

Its very ineffective and just encourages website visitors to call and ask about price, because there’s no education in copy with facts and features.

People buy benefits, not facts and features. Unfortunately they aren’t able to see them, so to avoid paying for what they want when they are ignorant and not helped, they take the safe root and buy the cheapest, because they see no value in higher or lower prices items based on benefits, so ‘why pay more for nothing extra’?

Is all this making sense? Are you seeing there’s more to marketing than what 90% of businesses are currently paying for?

Do you know what’s really expensive?

Ignorance.

Business owners PAY for marketing, but they never pay to LEARN marketing. Because of their ignorance of effective, quality marketing – that will generate “HOT to buy” clients, who have less focus on price, and will frequently pay one or multiple thousands of dollars more for a product or service they ‘see’ VALUE in, they settle for average customers, who are cold to buy and focus on price.

Great quality marketing generates more PROFIT for a business, because you can sell more at higher prices!

And that’s a FACT a tiny percentage of business owners understand, because they haven’t experienced it.

Sound too hard to believe?

You’re not alone on your thinking. But just because you haven’t experienced something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or it isn’t possible.

You’ve be amazed at what a basic education in marketing can do to EMPOWER you to generate more sales in dozens of ways you never knew or have heard about.

For example, did you know you can do your own SEO on your website for free, using (free ) tools that show you FACTS of what to do and how to do it?

SEO is easy (like everything), when you know how, but have you ever paid to learn how to do it?

Not paying for education on marketing before you pay for it or attempt it yourself, is like going to apply for an accountant’s advertised job, with zero experience in the industry and with no degree from a university.

Marketing requires a bigger training/education time frame than does an accounting degree, but the education has to be practical, with money spent learning and testing to prove to yourself what works and what doesn’t. That’s absolutely critical. You can’t learn great marketing without testing and seeing FACTS to prove what works and what doesn’t.

The beginning of success is knowing how to gather facts to base your decisions on, and then knowing what proven principles have to be followed with any marketing that lead to success.

You can test 100 ways of doing marketing and never succeed, just like there are 100 websites for 100 businesses in one industry sometimes, and none of them are effective or tick all the boxes of quality execution practices.

If you are ready to stop burning cash “trying” what so called “marketing experts” want you to, and see than training isn’t expensive, ignorance is – then this may be for you…

The Marketing Fast Track is a half day live, online training (video conference style in small groups) – that also gives you 15 videos of further, in-depth education on the most critical elements of effective online marketing as well as the most commonly used.

Together with the live training and videos, you’ll have such a powerful education you’ll start seeing improvements in your results within days! That’s because you’ll be introduced to fact producing (free) tools, so you are empowered to make changes to things like your home page, SEO for on-page and text on pages, and see the results for yourself.

Can you see how exciting that would be?

If you’re ready for the transformation of marketing for your business, check out the Marketing Fast Track workshop. Register your interest and you will be sent more information about it, be put on a list of invitees for the near future and be given the (small) investment for attending and when to pay.

You’ll be amazed at what you learn in the workshop! It will be the best money you have ever paid for growing your business. Find out more, register your interest to see that for yourself.

Thanks for reading this blog. Add your comments below.

Can I Set My Business up to Run on Autopilot… And Live the Life of My Dreams?

This headline was an actual question asked of me back in 2001 when a new client (a kitchen renovator) asked it.

He didn’t just want to stop working hard and to grow his business, he had a vision of not working in his business at all.

iStock_000004001793Small

It was an exciting challenge to be asked this as you can imagine. Michael Gerber, the author of the E-Myth books talked about this in the workshop I attended in 1990.

Frankly, I wasn’t sure of all the steps (at the time), but after working with 140 business owners before then (solving virtually any kind of challenge), and with a very sound knowledge of growing my own businesses after 18 years I had a bunch of good clues from what I had already learned.

So just ten months later, the business owner achieved this fantastic goal, and stepped out of his business, because he had an excellent general manager running it (that we had recruited).

The GM was an ex Coca-cola manager, so that took care of his management skills! He was semi-retired and looking for something to do and so he thought managing a kitchen renovation company would be fun to manage.

After hiring the guy, and going through the complete systems of the business that we had put in place, explained all the KPI’s and strategies to generate sales, six weeks later he was fully prepared to run the business.

The owner booked a two month holiday to go around the world and thoroughly enjoyed his trip with his wife, completely worry free.

Keep in mind, back in 2001 there weren’t mobile phones with emails, so he was completely out of touch with his business whole travelling. He had that much faith thought in the systems, strategies and processes that his business had in place he was comfortable his business was going to operate smoothly without him, and it did.

After Shane, the owner came back to Australia he didn’t go back to work in his business, and his GM didn’t want him to! He wanted free reign to run it and grow it, so he was left to do so.

Shane ramped up his education with property investing and loved his freedom to do that and make investing his “occupation” instead of his part time hobby.

About 2 years later he decided QLD was the place for him and his wife to live so he decided to put his business on the market to use the capital to buy his new home and acreage on the north west side of Brisbane. Besides, he felt he could now grow any business with his new found skills.

Setting up a business to operate without you (the owner) being in it all the time, or even at all like in Shane’s case means you have complete confidence to do so, and that confidence needs to be in facts, not just people.

This is a critical factor that few business owners understand and pay the price because if it when they “blindly” trust someone to take care of their finances or management.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of well known people going “rogue” and destroyed a business because the owner wasn’t there.

Trusting people blindly is definitely a risk, but what you can always trust are numbers as they don’t lie.

Think about this…

In any business you need to generate sales, do the work outcome of the sale (i.e. production) and get paid for the work. All of these can be measured in dollars and usually every week (with the right measuring tools and know-how).

If you think of a business like this 3-legged stool, and each leg is a measure in dollars of each of the 3 activities of a business, then ideally all 3 leg lengths (measured in dollars) should be the same every week, at least in theory.

So if your annual turnover per year is say $1,000,000 then in one week it would be about $20,000.

The Tripod of Business Harmony

3leggedstool-business-management

 

Measuring all three “legs” generates figures you can trust, especially (when in this client’s case) you’ve been measuring all three “legs” for months.

Over many months the legs have to be about the same in length (accumulative) as what you sell it what you produce and what you are paid.

When you have these measurements (and a few others in each of the three main activities) you get predictability in a business. It becomes an almost a paint-by-numbers guide to growing the business, deciding when you need to hire people – (or put them off when sales are low and things are too quiet).

Without going into too much detail… in a given business it will need X number of leads (on average) to achieve $Z in income per week (average). Watching the leads quantity each week and comparing the figures for 4 weeks in a row very accurately predicts sales income, work to do in production and after that, the cash coming in.

Tracking dollar values in both sales and production gives you “work load”, i.e. do you have too much work/sales or not enough for the number of employees you have?

Without the “tripod” in any business, with figures being generated consistently (and weekly), it’s a huge issue with trusting any person who is running the business. You can look at a P & L Statement, but it won’t predict lack of work to do because leads are down.

The gross margin of a P & L Statement for one month isn’t a good guide as the wages paid rarely match the income received in the same month. This month’s work and wages paid in part are usually for the next month or two of income, and it can vary even more than this.

The majority of businesses where the business owner stepped out and it turned into a disaster I guarantee measuring of the all three legs of the “tripod” wasn’t in place.

Measuring (the three legs) weekly is just one of 7 core strategies that need to be learned and implemented, to set a business up to run on autopilot, and to run smoothly, reliably and profitably without the owner.

Another major element is team building. Running weekly team meetings is critical as part of building a “bullet proof” management structure that works… without you being there.

So two major strategies (of the 7) are team building and measuring.

A third one (of the 7) is systems.

When you run weekly team meetings (where ALL employees speak in turn), and then bring the numbers of the “tripod” into the meetings you automatically create accountability for all employees.

They then see and discuss the results of the week from a factual, number based point of view, so there’s no debate.

“Numbers don’t lie, but people can believe, and do assume anything”

When a team is accountable to numbers, in weekly team meetings and discussions, the team automatically talk about the need for system creation, or improvement, which is fantastic!

When you have all the team discussing and wanting to use and improve systems, you start to have the key ingredients of a business that can operate smoothly and super profitably, without the owner being there. (In fact when clients reach the “5th stage” of team building, their staff ask them not to come in to work anymore, because they work better without the owner being there … and its true!)

Since 2001 I’ve assisted a whole bunch of business owners to set their business up to operate without them, by giving them the systems, measuring tools and strategies (all part of the Academy of Business Mastery) to do so.

Some business owners have moved interstate and stopped working in their industry completely. Others travelled for years, while others started new businesses and had two “hobbies” they played with and fulfilled the awesome role of BDM, where seeing clients for lunch and dinner anywhere as a “researcher” was the usual.

What would you do if you didn’t have to work in your business at all anymore?

Believe me, you won’t be bored and that’s the most common answer I get to the question!

My clients have never been bored, when working at all became a choice.

I’m about to interview a client (on video) to hear what he now does with his time. He rang me the other day to tell me he hired a general manager (using the interview systems and job description in the Academy course and workbooks).

After hiring him his manager tripled his turnover and now he doesn’t have to work anymore. He’s enjoying lots of fishing time and family time.

It was 4 years ago he attend the 7 month Academy of Business Mastery course, and he only had one employee and a turnover of about $400,000 back then, so things have progressed well for him (considering he had no other training since).

How long do you intend to keep working? All your life until you retire, or would you prefer 12 months time?

Are you off the tools, or able to take two month holidays anywhere in the world anytime?

I’ll leave you with this final thought to remember…

Working in your business can be optional

 

 

The Number One Key to Business Growth & Success

“Knowing and doing are worlds apart” – so frequently we don’t put the emphasis on something like this subject we’ve heard before.

This is the Number 1 Key to Success in MINDSET.

entrepreneur mindset

But just what is mindset?

Can you describe it simply?

I will attempt to do so now…

Mindset is a combination of experiences, beliefs and personality. These all create a way of thinking that leads to assumptions about future experiences.

You get 95% of your beliefs from your own parents, before age 5!

Does that scare you?

It should!

Experiences are determined by your upbringing. Where you lived, class levels, education etc. Combine these with personality and beliefs and there’s a powerful mix of determinants of your life success, level of wealth, happiness and relationships – all forming when you were a child.

Want to change some things about your business and life?

There’s only one way.

Change some things about your life.

The books you read, audio you listen to and people you associate 100% govern your success from TODAY until the rest of your life.

We need all 3 “Magic” ingredients because they work like magic to change your mindset.

This isn’t a one off experience to change your life or business; it’s an ongoing experience that is needed.

Our world programs us to struggle and fail. It starts to happen to us when we were a child. The TV, internet, radio and print media are perpetuating the mindset thinking that keeps people struggling.

Top wealth and mindset educators state… “You will earn a similar average of 5 people you spend the most time with.

Who do you spend the most time with? Do they have 20% to 100% more than you do?

“Birds of a feather flock together”. Want to become a fulfilled business owner? Loving life, feeling happier in your being every year… Laughing more and more each day… With the choice where you take holidays and for how long and with whom?

Would you like $50,000 to $200,000 more income for yourself?

It all happens after our mindset is improved and not before.

It all comes down to 3 things… what you listen to, the books you read and the people you spend time with.

If don’t do any of these things, your life fulfilment won’t increase. Sure, you may make more money, but that’s not fulfilment. Money isn’t fulfilment, but sure, it can help to relieve pressure and give you choices.

Where do you source quality audio content? What books are best to read? Where are the people to associate with that are positive thinking, empowered, happy, dynamic, creative, solution orientated?

Finding and paying a mentor is one way to help with mindset by associating with them, listening to them, reading their information. All 3 of these are required for months and months, not days. Good mentors are students of success themselves. That means they have sources of content where they learn and benefit from all 3 magic ingredients of success.

Find a good mentor and you can find a good source of ongoing information.

Yes, mentors cost money, but so what? Don’t most things? They need to be paid for their time, so a free one is going to be poor. Your friend isn’t a mentor, because their level of success is probably very similar to yours (and probably one of the 5 people you spend time with).

Mindset examples

Let’s imagine an opportunity to attend an event about business success comes up. What’s your first thought?

If it’s… “I don’t have time” – or “What’s the cost?” – your mindset is sabotaging your success.

You must always have time for greater success as a mindset, otherwise you will dismiss opportunities for greater success when something new comes along.

If you dismiss new experiences before even looking at what they are, you are running assumptions about them. These assumptions are what cost people a fortune. Entrepreneurs don’t run many assumptions, that’s where and why they succeed where other people think there wasn’t any opportunity.

How do you stop this self-sabotage of success through new experiences?

Investigate every opportunity with an open mind and then make an informed decision about it, not a knee-jerk one based on an initial first opinion.

Opinions are extremely dangerous things. We all have them, on virtually every subject.

Opinion is our ego expressing itself.

Do you know the role of the ego is to make you self-righteous and sceptical about anything beneficial?

It’s the number one element that prevents fulfilment in people.

Ever noticed how easy it is to find a reason NOT to do something you haven’t done before? Or to not attend a new event? Or to assume someone isn’t interested in buying from your business? Or that customers are focused on price?

All of these are expensive assumptions based on opinions, from experiences.

Experience come from decisions. Decisions are thoughts and thoughts determine actions and results.

Don’t like your results? Look at your thinking.

It all comes back to the 3 magic ingredients of success ALL super successful business people agree.

You need to listen to audios, read books and attend events.

How can you access all these in your life to be more successful in business?

Ah, that’s the million dollar question!

There’s a little known small business course that ticks all these boxes of these success ingredients – and then some.

Check it out if you truly desire a permanent, wonderful and significant improvement in your business and personal life.

The quality of information and not the volume is what determines the effectiveness of the 3 ingredients.

Quality of life is what matters most… Having a wonderful balance of work to home time, having all the money you could want. Not thinking about your business at all when you’re not working there, feeling stress and worry free – these are all the signs of a fulfilled life.

If that’s what you want then work on your mindset.

Want help to absolutely accelerate your level of fulfillment in life?

Talk to me. There’s such more to share with you that what’s on a blog page or this website. There’s no cost, no risk, but so much to gain by being open minded.

Minds are like parachutes, they work best when open.

 

Internal Marketing – What is it and Why Focusing on it Attracts & Keeps A-Class Customers

Internal Marketing: Developing Your Internal Aspects that Make Your Business Stand Out in a Crowded Market Place

Would you LOVE to have all A-Class customers buying from your business?

Just to clarify, an A-Class customer is one who

  • Takes little time to decide to buy from your business
  • Doesn’t try to beat you down on price
  • Values what you offer and trusts you with supplying it
  • Thanks you for your service
  • Refers more A-Class customers to your business

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to only work for A-Class customers?

internal marketing and A-class customers

There are definitely businesses that operate like that, and this post is all about achieving that outcome for your business.

The way to ‘attract’ A-Class customers is through your website, but to keep them loyal to your business and advocates who refer their friends to you for years to come means you need to understand Internal Marketing.

There are always potential A-Class customers in every industry, looking for an A-Class business to buy from and they know one when they spot one.

It begins with your website.

A lot of websites are old and dated and therefore say to prospects your business is behind the times. Its not fresh, modern, innovative and that can stop them buying from your business straight away. A modern website has full width images, lots of images down the page and videos on the site.

The images need to include ones of people, the same age as your ideal A-Class customer, so they relate to the ages of people and feel comfortable they are at the right place.

That’s the external marketing angle that is critical to begin the attraction process.

The next steps are all about internal marketing – beginning with the phone answering technique.

Have you ever called a business and felt like hanging up, because the person answering the phone sound bored disinterested, dull or half asleep?

Unfortunately everyone says yes to that!

That’s one end of the scale, the other is where your person answering the phone sounds happy and confident. These two words, or emotions create a strong impact for that critical first impression.

The first impression is a long lasting impression.

There is a special way of answering the phone, proven from testing various wording and tonality with hundreds of businesses. From that testing one BEST way was identified and you can see what is best here on this video…

Use exactly what is shown on that video and watch what happens! You may be surprised at how much friendlier the people seem who call you in the first ten seconds. Try it for yourself and see.

This first impression has seen businesses increase sales income by up to 17%, just from the phone greeting.

The next step in the sales process, like a quote or meeting is where sales training is absolutely critical and extremely beneficial.

Sales training is NOT about how to be pushy and annoying, its about how to get your personality out of the way of people buying.

Here’s a fact… people buy from people they like and/or relate to.

There are four major personality types in the world and since you’re one of them, your personality is a bit annoying to the other 3, so that means you won’t win many sales from them.

Our sales training workshop is essentially about rapport building and knowing the four types and behaving like each of the four types, so you aren’t annoying them. Watch this video on DISC Profiles for a good introduction to the four personality types.

After winning the sale, internal marketing isn’t finished with, its still extremely important.

You’ve won the sale, but you still have to provide the service and that’s where a lot of businesses don’t excel.

Aiming to satisfy your customers is a waste of time.

Why would you bother aiming so low? Your customers aren’t going to tell  a single person about your business if you “satisfy” them.

Here’s an interesting statistic that’s been forgotten over the last decade…

“67% of people don’t bother to buy from the same business they bought from previously, because of perceived indifference towards them”

In other words, they weren’t made to feel special – they received “satisfactory” service!

Think about that for a second, if this was your business we are talking about…

Two thirds of people won’t buy from your business you will never see again and they won’t tell a single person about your business.

That makes it extremely costing with your marketing, to keep your business turning over.

Can you see why internal marketing is so critical to focus on if you want A-Class customers who want to tell their A-Class friends about your service?

What Can You Do To Improve Your Internal Marketing?

There are a number of super effective strategies to implement. Some are simple, and take minutes (like how you greet people on phone calls) and others take a month or possibly two to implement. The longer they take, the bigger the benefit, so its a reward for your effort scenario.

There are two major ingredients of effective internal marketing…

  1. Hold regular/weekly team meetings – to make your staff happier
  2. Systems – including job descriptions, so your team members know exactly what they need to do
  3. Measuring to create a feedback loop to your team members to discuss in weekly team meetings

Each one of these strategies works “okay”, but the true power comes from the synergy of combining all three strategies.

How you treat your employees and how they feel towards you is exactly how they will treat your customers.

If you’re a tyrant and rule with an iron fist, your staff won’t give a stuff about your customers and it will be reflected in their work ethic. They will probably swear in front of them, not care what they hear, forget things, not take pride in their work, turn up late etc.

The opposite is also true. If your team members feel like they work as a team, they enjoy their work, laugh at work sometimes, are praised, appreciated and recognised and listened to in weekly team meetings, how they treat customers will be fantastic!

When customers like the service providers (not just the salesperson), that’s when referrals begin with A-Class customers.

The service in society is quite poor, just ask anyone. So when you find a great service providers you feel like telling your friends, because its “news worthy”.

The three strategies of team meetings, systems and measuring combine to create powerful outcomes.

When you measure you always have things to talk about with your team in weekly meetings. If you don’t measure you can hold team meetings but you will run out of things to talk about, because you don’t have subject matter to discuss.

Measuring (expertly) reveals discussion topics such as…

  • Number of leads and sales coming in each week (so you have enough or too much work)
  • Time recorded by each technical employee
  • Time taken on jobs
  • Gross profit margin on every job
  • Overdue receivables

These are some of the most important and biggest variables of people performance in any service business. Tracking all these is essential good management practice. Bringing numbers like these into team meetings transforms them!

When you measure and discuss numbers, you and your team will start to focus on systems as the need for them due to all the inconsistencies shown by measuring will become obvious.

Keep running your team meetings for a few months, with numbers being discusses and you will absolutely be amazed at what happens in your business!

Your time will be freed up as team members step up

The accountability on every person will increase as all the above numbers to measure affect every person in your business directly or indirectly. People always perform better when they are accountable to numbers.

You’ll save money because you’ll find lost profits, inefficiencies, wrong pricing on jobs, marketing that doesn’t work, employees who don’t work hard enough or have bad attitudes and dozens more things to improve.

Your net profit margin will increase and that means more cash in your bank.

All of these benefits are due to the process of internal marketing, so if you’re still reading this far, doesn’t it just make sense to focus on internal marketing with all these wonderful, profitable benefits?

You can start to do this yourself, or save yourself months of trial and error, wasted time and poor involvement by your staff to implement all these wonderful changes, or you can take the short-cut and get some professional training on it.

Our Academy of Business Mastery is the ultimate small business course because its all about internal marketing.

Not only do you get complete team building systems (including a recruitment system), you also get all the measuring tools customised to your business with training one on one, you also get systems templates and KPI identification to take your measuring to a whole new level. Plus you get system templates and 50 business growth strategies matched to your business from our 150+ we share with you.

Our training increases net profit margins, frees up your time, bring happiness and harmony into your business and puts the foundations in place to attract and keep A-Class customers so your business can grow super fast for years to come, with less and less dependency on your energy.

If you like the sound of all these benefits, then get in contact with us and let’s talk. The first hour is free, so what have you got to lose? More importantly, what have you got to gain?

 

What is an Entrepreneur and is there Entrepreneur Training?

In our society, we know who entrepreneurs are, but where is the line that defines a business owner from an entrepreneur and more importantly can you become one with some kind of entrepreneur training?

Let’s explore the answers in this post…

There are all kinds of entrepreneurs, some are philanthropists, some became super successful from one business they built and others are renowned for starting numerous businesses with varying levels of success.

Let’s concentrate on how the super successful ones think and also the ones who own small or medium sized businesses like you.

Thinking a certain way is the result of a certain mindset and your mindset is created by your life influences. These influences could be people, or they could be circumstance. Both combine to create the way you think.

Your parents determine a lot of your mindset and you follow in their footsteps, perhaps more than you know.

entrepreneur mindset

Did you know 90% of your beliefs about life are formed and locked in at the foundation level of your unconscious mind, before you were aged 5!

That almost means you are unaware of the framework in which you think, which is what the unconscious mind creates. You won’t usually be aware of your limitations, your assumptions (that can hold you back)  or habits for possibly the majority of your life.

Your beliefs form part of that mindset, which are part of your unconscious programming as to how you think. ‘Programming’ can be empowering, limiting or anything in between.

Your beliefs about how to get ahead in life, money, available time and what is a “worthwhile” use of your time are all determined by your influences from your whole life until now.

The good news is you can change your mindset to one that is more entrepreneurial, but there’s a powerful principle of success that might prevent it that is, you can’t change something that you don’t know exists.

Your mindset and your beliefs can get in the way of your success, so knowing what an entrepreneur’s mindset and thought are, then reflecting on whether you think like one, can be the beginning of a great first step to becoming a better entrepreneur.

So let’s begin talking about what an entrepreneur does and thinks like. Some of this content may be confronting, but hang in there and just go along with it. Our habits are locked in with emotional support and the thought of changing habits brings up emotional blocks that creates resistance to change. If you get feelings that are uncomfortable with any of this content, just acknowledge what triggers those feelings and come back to the subject after self reflecting on them for a while.

Let’s begin with a common reality of an entrepreneur’s thinking and dialogue.

The words, “I don’t have any time” are not ones they speak.

Have you ever had a conversation with a very wealthy person, someone worth over $10 Million to $100 Million or more?

If so, you would probably notice they aren’t in a hurry, looking to see what the time is or worrying about the passing of time. They value their own time extremely highly, yet when they make a decision about using it they don’t ‘clock-watch’. They have a very high awareness of what is a good investment of their time and reflect on the best use of it.

Entrepreneurs are always concerned about the return on investment of their time. They willingly put months into a project for success, that months or years later may result is no financial reward, yet that doesn’t really bother them. They put it down to experience.

I once met a venture capitalist in South Brisbane and had a few meetings with him over a couple of years. He talked to me about big chains of law firms in USA, what’s happening in the global economy and China with small businesses and other interesting subjects. He turned up for our first business meeting in a t-shirt and pants looking like he had just finished gardening. He was extremely down to earth with no pretentiousness.

Many people in our society are caught up in the image of looking rich, when they aren’t rich. Many multimillionaires never display their wealth. Read a book called “The Millionaire Next Door” and that’s what a lot of the book is discussing.

So, back to the venture capitalist meeting… One of our mutually interesting subjects was discussing a platform for SME businesses to operate their businesses, through an online CRM and accounting system. The venture capitalist told me about a platform his team were building.

About a year later I asked him how his online CRM program was going as I saw a strong interest in it for my clients.

Imagine being able to see how well your whole business is performing with sales, production, cash flow and management all through a Smartphone, wherever you are in the world! That’s the power available in this tool.

Well the VC told me in that meeting that the business model had fallen over and died. He just said “Oh well, that’s a couple of million dollars that didn’t amount to anything”.

Can you see how unattached to money he was by that comment?

Deepak Chopra once said, “Wealthy people don’t have the problem with money, poor people do. Wealthy people don’t think about money because they have so much of it, whereas poor people think about it all their life”. This comment reflects how entrepreneurs think.

Entrepreneurs value money and their time, but they don’t have a “scarcity” relationship to either of them. They aren’t worried about wasting them, or losing out with them as they don’t have a feeling of ‘not having enough’, which is what “scarcity thinking” perpetuates.

Entrepreneurs and self-made millionaires have exactly the same amount of time as you and I. If your thoughts are constantly “I don’t have enough time”, then your actions will be the outcome of those thoughts. In other words your thoughts begin first, then create actions that support the thoughts, so while ever you think “I don’t have enough time”, you will create this outcome, over and over forever.

We all have the same amount of time to become successful and entrepreneurs know it!

Another mindset trait of an entrepreneur is they tend to trust people, not all of them do, but most do (or they have tough contracts to enforce their will through legal processes). Trust is a very interesting word and something sadly lacking in the majority of people in our society and that includes business owners.

When you don’t have trust in your nature, you trap yourself in your business with “no time”.

That’s because you will rarely allow your staff to price your products/services, or to deal with your top A-grade customers. Without trust you also repel those advisors who could help you to achieve your goals. Lack of trust comes from fear of relationship fallout, from the past. This fear of being hurt, exposed, taken advantage of is not in the future, it’s from the past as a thought that keeps creating the future. This is a great example of mindset preventing success.

There are obviously some very trustworthy people in our society and there other people who aren’t at all. Can you accurately determine the level of trustworthiness of a person you’ve just met… rapidly? If not then how can you ever hire a great quality person who you can “trust” to deal with your best customers, or to set your prices?

Trust is a necessary mindset of an entrepreneur as they have to trust people to run their businesses 100% without them being there. Think of Richard Branson, how many companies does he own now? He obviously trusts people incredibly well, or he couldn’t be as wealthy and successful as he is.

Another mindset of entrepreneurs is they don’t ‘cry about spilt milk’, which means they see every experience an opportunities.

If they “fail” to make money from a new venture they just learn from it and move on. Our society teaches people to blame someone if they make a mistake, to feel shame and guilt and regret, but entrepreneurs don’t buy into that thinking. They are more evolved in their emotional intelligence (EQ).

It’s a worthwhile subject to learn about; understanding what your Emotional Intelligence is. Look it up on Google and study it. All entrepreneurs operate with a very high EQ. Nothing really bothers them. They rarely change their emotional state of mind.

Entrepreneurs see opportunity where others see risk. An example of that is Richard Branson who saw an opportunity to start Virgin Airlines in Australia. He knew one company would go bankrupt, before he started the business here, but he started it anyway.

Sceptics would have thought, “That’s a huge risk, starting up a new business against long established Australian ones”, but entrepreneurs don’t follow the advice of their advisors all the time, they just do it!

Entrepreneurs trust themselves and their own intuition.

It’s a natural inherent ability they have.

Sometimes you can learn to develop your intuition, but to do so you need to work on improving your EQ. This is something that is very challenging for most people, but relatively easy to do if you adopt the word and value of humility into your mindset, the humility of accepting your emotions for what they are, emotions and not letting them control you, but you control them.

Entrepreneurs are doers, not talkers. They don’t talk about what they are going to do, or much about what they have done. They make plans for the future and work those plans today. Never being too “attached” to the way forward or to results when they happen. Entrepreneurs change direction quickly and don’t dwell on what could have been if they fail.

Entrepreneurs are realists or optimists but never pessimists. The easiest thing in the world to find is someone who will tell you why something won’t work. Rare are people who just assume something will work and focus all of their energy into how to achieve it.

Entrepreneurs think leverage with everything they do. They aren’t concerned with doing things themselves, they understand their true worth is thinking, solving problems, coming up with ideas and spotting opportunities. They work very little in their own businesses doing the technical work because they realise there are HUGE amounts of money to be had from ideas, implementing strategies and focusing on new marketing concepts to leverage their time.

Leverage is where you achieve get long term returns for short term effort. For example employees work and get paid, but if they don’t work they don’t get paid. As a business owner you have the ability to make money (or should we say the business does), beyond the hours you work yourself. The challenge is business owners don’t exercise that ability.

Leverage is where you put 10 hours into something but keep making money for more than 10 hours, for possibly 50 or 500 or 5,000+ hours.

Marketing is a form of leverage. By learning it yourself instead of outsourcing everything, your business benefits for years for a skill you have learned once.  My most successful clients by far, were ones who took strong interest into developing one or multiple skills, such as selling (at higher prices and winning more sales), copywriting, people skills (from personal growth) or measuring (using spreadsheets).

In business learning is a pre-requisite for becoming an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have great intuition, so they can feel what the best answer is by trusting their guy as they say. The rest of us need to learn a skill in place of that.

A burning desire to do non-repetitious tasks is absolutely essential too, as entrepreneur rarely perform repetitious tasks, unless its making them fifty thousand dollars for a few hours work, or a few million dollars for a few hours work.

Entrepreneurs love doing something once!

When business owners are trapped by “busyness” mode – i.e. busy but not really making significant measurable progress, they can’t become entrepreneurs as their actions are hindered by their mindsets, which govern their actions.

Lastly there’s an old saying quoted by some entrepreneurs, which is,

“The deal of a lifetime comes around about once a week”

It’s a great saying because it’s so true, there are always deals to make (substantial) money, to leverage time, to accelerate progress and achieve financial success, but the average person can’t “see” them (with their mind).

Their lack of trust, or too much scepticism, or lack of humility to accept their fears (of learning, inadequacy or vulnerability) or knowledge limitations prevent them from taking advantage of the opportunities.

Opportunities are everywhere, if we slow down long enough to see them. Advising business owners to work less, so they slow down to accelerate doesn’t initially make a lot of sense, but when they get that they personally need to do less, so they learn to leverage, that’s when year after year they keep working less while their business grows to become more profitable.

You can ALWAYS grow a business, in any economic condition, because if there are still businesses trading in an industry that means there are people buying from that industry, but the amount has dropped a little. There is always work in our society, because while some are convincing themselves there’s no work a few smart ones are chasing it and winning it! Their mindset is “There is always work around if I chase it”.

From what has been discussed here are you building up a clear picture of what an entrepreneur’s mindset is all about? Can you understand the essence of who they are and their uncommon mindset?

Understanding is the first step of learning, then progress and finally success.

Listen to what you say yourself out loud or to yourself. Record your conversations if you have to, to reflect on your own thoughts and words.

Ask yourself, “What mindset do I have that stands in the way of 50% to 100% increase in my profit this year?” That is incredibly achievable for your business! 50% increase in profit each year isn’t that much. That’s my mindset because I’ve seen it being achieved so many times, and quite effortlessly!

Questions create answers. Remember, the easiest thing in the world to do is to justify (make excuses) why we aren’t successful in business. Justification is just a limiting belief explanation for failure. Until this is recognised no progress can be made.

Are you making significant and measurable personal and business progress each year?

My entrepreneurial clients do, year after year! Are you an entrepreneur?

If you feel you’re ready and willing to commit to entrepreneur training then the Academy of Business Mastery is where you need to be. This 7 month course will change the way you think forever and new thinking is always necessary if you aren’t where you want to be in life and business already.

 

How to Know if Your Business is Being Well Managed

This post is going to explore what expert business management is all about and some great insights into how to manage a business.

Have you heard of the concept of “Gap Analysis”?

In case you haven’t, it’s where you clearly define a gap between two specific points…

Gap Analysis

Gap Analysis is a great concept to use when you are in business and understanding what you need to do to grow your business.

To grow any business its all about numbers. These numbers include leads, conversion rates, total income, gross margin, net profit margin and more.

Knowing the numbers for your business is where growing it by improving on numbers begins.

Good management is therefore about knowing your business’ numbers.

That’s where the gap comes in too, because when you measure a number often it indicates a weakness or an opportunity to improve it. So a gap is formed between where it is and where you’d like it to be.

In this newsletter we’re going to look at how businesses would be managed expertly and by doing so you’ll be able to see where you are in response to that and therefore create a gap with which to work on to improve your management skills.

Management is an extremely broad subject. And “Manager” is a title that is all too easily handed out to employees in businesses. By reading this you might see why this is so.

In this post we’re going to be talking about a General Manager, not a manager of a section in a business. Not an office manager, or a production manager, or a project manager, or administration manager, but a General Manager – i.e. the person who runs the whole business, so the owner doesn’t need to work in the business at all.

By the way, probably about 98% of all SME’s operate without a person employed as a General Manager so that means the business owner is operating in this role.

So let’s begin this subject of management.

First of all, management is – where the buck stops. If a manager (or business owner if they don’t have a general manager) is running a business, then they are fully responsible for what happens while they are managing it.

That means if sales are down the manager is responsible for doing something about it. There’s no other person for them to pass the buck to.

If available cash is down it’s the manager’s responsibility to do something about it and get some in.

If someone needs to be put off or hired it’s the manager’s job to carry that out.

The manager is only as good as the information they have available to make quality decisions to keep the business profitable and growing and away from major challenges.

In any business there is a need to bring in customers (call that sales), to do the work for the customers (call that Production) and get paid for the work done (call that Cash flow or cash in).

3leggedstool-business-management

How balanced all 3 of these aspects of the business are each week is what the first priority of management needs to be. You could consider these 3 aspects as being like a 3 legged stool. All 3 legs need to balance and if they don’t the business can fall over.

If you get too many sales for your capacity to do work, you will have a challenge. If you don’t have enough money coming in for work done, you also have a challenge.

All 3 aspects of Sales, Production and Cash flow are equally important in a business.

The wise saying of “You can’t manage what you haven’t measured” is very appropriate here.

So first of all, expert management is about measuring what’s going on in the business on a weekly basis in these 3 areas.

The majority of all small and large companies manage the business on numbers, but only with 1 set of numbers of the 3 areas … finances.

The finance side of the business happens only after the sales and production processes have been completed and invoices have been issued. For a very large proportion of businesses (especially service and manufacturing) the time frame from initial phone call that turns into a quote, then a sale, then work pending, then production, then invoicing and finally the payment of the work can be many weeks to many months. So if these businesses are only measuring finances, they are many weeks to many months out of touch with what the business is actually doing at any time.

If you are only managing your business by cash in the bank, or P & L’s monthly or quarterly, you can be bankrupt weeks or months… before you even know it!

Measuring Sales, Production and Cash flow weekly, is what expert management is all about. But there’s more to management than just measuring, in fact measuring is just 1 of 3 skills you need to develop and master for expert management.

There are 3 primary skills to learn for management of a business and they are, measuring, people skills and systems.

When you master all 3 of these skills you will have a business that works smoothly and completely without you being there, at all!

Real synergy happens with all 3 skills when they are all applied in any business.

Look at McDonalds as they are a great example of this. The company started out with expensive chefs cooking burgers and meals. Then by measuring they developed systems, which their staff became by-products of, so much so that teenagers now run multimillion dollar businesses with a 20 year old manager while the owner never comes in to work. The Net Profit Margins is usually extremely high too, over 20% plus!

So let’s look into these 3 primary skills of management and see what they include.

First of all let’s look at the people skill.

People skills have to be the least developed skills of all business owners. How many business owners have thought, ‘I’m going to start my own business: marketing is about getting people to notice my business, selling is a skill with people, staff are people, suppliers are people, I’m one of those people, so I need to go and learn psychology!’

Did you think like this when you first started out in business?

No one thinks like this! Yet there is sound logic in this line of thinking.

Your skills with people determine the level of stress, frustration and profit you experience from your business.

Do you endure constant stress from your business, or get frequently frustrated with people, especially your staff? If so, that’s a sure sign your people skills aren’t highly developed.

Your ability to get along with people, but more importantly to influence them, determines the profit and quality of life you enjoy as a business owner.

The good news is; you can significantly improve your people skills rapidly, if you’re willing to learn how.

This brings up your relationship to yourself, another skill if you like. How resistant are you to learning new skills such as measuring, people and systems? Your resistance to learning, developing new habits and taking action on what you learn is a skill in itself. Discipline is a habit or skill. You can enhance it so greatly by stopping saying, “I should…” and start taking action.

Start doing this right now. Next time you say to yourself “I should…”, keep talking to yourself and finish the thought off with, “If I should, then I MUST!”

This one thought can transform your life and business… guaranteed!

How many times have you thought, “I should work on my business more”, or “I should update my website”, or “I should call that client who owes me money”, or any other thought that relates to turning procrastination into decisions and actions?

Stop “Shoulding” on yourself and get into “Have to” mode, it will change your life!

Notice when you think, “I have to…” you actually get stuck into doing whatever it is?

Another people skill is selling as a skill. Almost no one (business owners) gets professionally trained in how to sell, because they falsely believe one of two things, “I’m not a salesperson, I just give people quotes/prices” or “I don’t want to become a pushy salesperson by being trained”.

Both of these are complete myths about what learning about selling is about. Selling is the art of asking questions to help potential customers realise what they want to buy, based on their own buying criteria. The more questions you ask before “telling” customers your opinion the better the salesperson you are. So next time you are in front of a customer, watch how quickly you either give them your opinion (statement), or go into answering questions to answer their questions.

Did you know the person who asks questions is the person doing the selling? So if you are waiting or simply answering a person’s questions, you are relying on them selling themselves, when they are ignorant of what they truly need, because you’re the expert… not them!

Selling skills is a phenomenal skill to have. It empowers you to sell far more products/services AND at higher prices/margins! Dozens and dozens of our clients have put their prices up by 30-50% in a space of 6 months AND increased their conversion rates at the same time! Most people think this is impossible, but not the ones who just watch it happen before their eyes, proven by numbers. These were the ones that were sceptical too, until it happened to their own business.

Another great skill with people is influence. This skill is used with staff, with suppliers and with customers, even after the sale has been won. Few people understand or appreciate let alone fully develop this skill, yet it transforms a business rapidly when learnt.

One of the most powerful and beneficial people skills you can learn in business is one of rapidly determining attitudes of people, especially staff.

Attitudes are misunderstood in business. Many business owners don’t quite clearly understand this word, they assume they do, but the reality is they don’t.

Many business owners have average or poor attitude staff, yet don’t realise that’s why they have a lot of frustration with certain staff. Staff with great attitudes don’t need to be told what to do, they think for themselves, they anticipate what work needs to be done and go and do it. They never stand around wondering what to do. Great attitude staff don’t need to be asked twice or reminded to do the same job again and again. They remember what is required of them and do it, because their mind and heart are on the job.

Can you pick great attitudes of potential new employees, before you hire them, or does it take you a few months to find out?

This incredible skill can be developed to transform your business by creating a great team, not a bunch of staff who don’t give a stuff (staff).

Other facets of people skills include leadership and managing employees based on their unique needs, which are strongly determined by their DISC profile. This is a huge subject but let’s get on the next one.

The next skill of measuring has been discussed previously. This skill isn’t something you can learn yourself, you need professional and expert assistance and training with numerous spreadsheets for your business that have been refined over many years.

Many businesses measure finances, but measuring production weekly and your gross margin from that is the most powerful form of measuring there is! This is what the Academy of Business Mastery attendees learn in great depth, with customised measuring tools supplied (discussed and reviewed)  for their specific industry and business.

This method of measuring gives you the ability to control your Net Profit Margin, before you win sales, during the production and after the job has been completed and paid for (finances). How would you like to know you are making an excellent profit, before you even win the work?

With measuring you can also price all work/jobs/products/services with a minimum Gross and Net Profit Margin. This is incredibly powerful and should be the primary aim of your business and management. Until you can do this effortlessly so you have a system of pricing with a Net Profit Margin, how can you step out of your business and let someone else run it and price everything instead of you?

The answer is – you can’t (unless you’re a retailer or one of the minority service businesses)! You probably won’t trust anyone else to do it.

Did you know business owners tend to have an issue with trust, which is primarily due to their undeveloped people skills? Trust of staff can be learned as some people are extremely trustworthy and some aren’t. Can you pick the difference rapidly, accurately and on the phone (before you hire or even interview new potential employees)?

The last primary skill of business is learning systems. Are you aware of what an induction system is, and do you have them for all positions in your business? Few business owners do, yet its one of the most powerful and beneficial types of system there is.

The MOST important system in a business is a full recruitment system to hire great attitude staff who work as hard as you do, are keen to learn, think for themselves and enjoy responsibility. When you have this system you don’t hesitate to put off poor performing or bad attitude staff. Without this system you put up with them thinking you can’t replace them. Then you get frustrated with them and end up taking on their responsibility because they can’t think for themselves and then you have no time. See the vicious cycle?

There are 9 systems categories you need to systemise in a business. You can systemise a business 80%, but you need to humanise it the other 20%. This means you need to have your staff working together, as a team, getting together once a week to review their KPI’s, talk about their week and to discuss the need or use of the systems.

Just like a team sport, the coach can’t explain every specific way each player has to play with another player. The players who play next to each other have to figure out their working relationships, based on each other’s personality to create teamwork. This is the humanising side of systems. DISC Profiles play a major role in people learning to work with each other. It’s the most powerful people skill to learn and master there is!

Have you learned about DISC Profiles? If so have you mastered them so you can pick the profile of 80% of your potential customers in 30 seconds, on the phone? Not being able to do this means you’re missing out, greatly. If you can do this, how about all of your team? Can ALL of them do this as well?

When all of your team, who communicate with customers at any time, can pick the customers’ DISC profile, now you are operating an extraordinary business that will generate a flood of customers, for zero cost. What can that do to your net profit margins?

Combine all “3 skills” and you are now beginning to master management. There is incredible synergy to be had when you master all 3. Your whole business and life changes! You become less stressed, remove frustration with people at work, start to free up your time and reduce the pressure on yourself as your team start to shoulder it too, plus your profits go up as you become far more efficient.

What happens is your numbers from your spreadsheets get fed into the weekly team meetings, which generate discussions on refinement of the systems, which keeps liberating higher profit margins, which liberates surplus money for you and the business to keep growing… virtually effortlessly!

That’s the number one aim of effective business management and something you should focus every moment of your time at work on… no matter how busy you are, because the rewards are LIFE changing!

 

Profitable Marketing Made Easy

Small business profitable marketing has to be one of the most complex and confusing subjects for SME business owners.

This newsletter will explain what profitable marketing is all about and how you can increase the profits in your business from reading about simple strategies and a mindset for marketing success.

profitable marketing

Unfortunately you could read a dozen books on marketing and still know very little about the subject (although if you read a few of ours you’ll learn some GREAT insights very quickly) so this post will start easy and then get you thinking about the subject and the relationship to it and your business’s success.

Profitable marketing is simply the process of optimising the delivery of products and services to market.

Optimising is about constant improvement, which brings up some of the greatest challenge with marketing.

First of all business owners’ relationship to marketing needs serious improvement… speaking humbly from working with countless hundreds of SME clients over 14+ years.

The typical business owner has a lot of ‘limiting beliefs’ on the subject, so before we go any further we need to do a ‘check up, from the neck up’ so your thinking leads to success!

Which of these thoughts about marketing have you had more than once? …

1. “It’s a necessary evil”
2. “It doesn’t really work”
3. “It’s not hard to do”
4. “I can do it myself”
5. “I know someone who can do it cheaply”
6. “You can never tell what works and what doesn’t”
7. “I don’t like spending money on it”
8. “It’s not something I need to do with my business”
9. “I’ll give it a go myself”
10. “No one can market my business better than me”

Have many of these thoughts or sayings have you heard yourself expressing?

What if I told you ALL 10 of these are all complete myths and misconceptions!

You know the REAL trouble with marketing?

Anyone can do it, so unfortunately anyone does!

My experience over the years has been quite incredible on this subject because I’ve been fortunate to listen, meet and learn from some of the top marketers in Australia and the world. People like Jay Abraham, Chris Newton, Brad Sugars, Simon Reynolds, Joe Sugarman, Ted Nicholas, John Caples, David Olgilvy and dozens more.

Virtually every successful business owner needs to become fantastic at marketing, yet the average SME doesn’t usually want to spend a cent on learning about it. They outsource it and get it done as cheaply as possible (not with the most expensive and best marketer they can find) and wonder why they still consider it a necessary evil or expense when it doesn’t work!

Marketing IS the BEST investment you will ever make! Second to NONE!

Why would you outsource the one thing that can make you the most money and PROFIT?

It comes down to limiting beliefs and busyness habits.

Business owners are too busy to make money!

They can’t slow down long enough to think, let alone learn, it’s their favourite affirmation “I’m really busy” and they keep telling themselves that.

And what you focus on (and repeat to yourself) is what you create or recreate.

But let’s get back to marketing.

There Are Really Only 5 Types of Marketing…

1. Zero Cost Marketing
2. Leveraged Marketing
3. Cost of Sale Marketing
4. Scalable Marketing
5. Expense Based Marketing

The first 4 are far more profitable marketing strategies. Watch this video to learn more about each one…

Zero Cost Marketing: means it costs you nothing to obtain customers. You wouldn’t believe how easy this is or how many hundreds of strategies there are under this category. Every business can do this, but almost no one does. Business owners believe, “You have to spend money to make money” – what a load of nonsense!

Examples of these strategies are: asking for referrals, strategic alliances (for lead generation) and any strategy to increase conversion rates or the average dollar sale.

Unfortunately a common strategy for some business owners to win new customers is…

“Hope”

Hope obviously doesn’t work as a marketing strategy or for any other need for a solution.

A great example and one that has achieved AWESOME results for hundreds of clients is to focus strategies on improving the conversion rates in a business.

There are so many simple ways to increase conversion rates in a business its almost ridiculous how easy it is. Massive gains in profits for clients over 18 years achieved in just weeks or months are the evidence of how relative this is to all businesses, retail, manufacturing, wholesale and service businesses included.

Our current record is increasing turnover from $600,000/month to $1,000,000 in just 1 month.

The owner was warned how much the training would increase their sales prior to it.

Yes, this was achieved from a one day sales training course!

If you aren’t measuring your conversion rate, I guarantee you aren’t focused on improving it with strategies!

So the first way to do some Zero Cost Marketing for your business is to measure it, because it always goes up when you focus on the number and wonder why its lower than you thought (it always is).

You can seriously gear up Zero Cost Marketing with some strategies – if you know how. Just imagine winning stacks of new customers – all for free? It sounds good doesn’t it, so Zero Cost Marketing has to be the best category.

Learning selling skills is a great example of increasing conversion rates as a Zero Cost Marketing strategy. It’s not exactly Zero in cost though as you need to be trained in the uncommon art of selling by a very experienced professional with brilliant testimonials of outcomes. But it’s something you pay for once and benefit for many months later, so it’s a form of Leveraged Marketing.

Leveraged Marketing: is where you spend money once but get an ongoing residual result where you keep winning more customers, but for no extra cost. Signage is a good example of this. There are lots more awesome strategies for this too, like strategic alliances but signage is a great, simple example.

Cost of Sale Marketing: is where you spend money, but only if when make money back (similar to what appears on a Profit & Loss Statement as a ‘Cost of Sale’).

This has been a very popular one with clients because it costs you nothing unless you make money. Often what you spend is 2% to 10% of what the average customer spends, so you pay a little to make a lot.

Imagine if the banks said, “We will give you $110 for every $100 you give us, a week later”.

What would you do – give them $100?

I would hope you would give them $1,000 or $10,000+ because you make a profit return on everything you spend! The more you spend the more profit you generate.

This is how you need to ALWAYS think with marketing. Invest some money and get more back.

Let’s say you spent $5,000 on testing the same strategy multiple times and made no money back whatsoever, but then with the next $500 spent on the same strategy using a slightly different design you made $10,000. And let’s say you could keep using the same strategy year after year to keep making $10,000 from $500, would that have been worth spending the $5,000 in the initially, even though it supposedly cost you a lot and made you nothing?

This is how entrepreneurs and great marketers think. Marketing is always an investment, not an expense. It’s a subject to study and learn, much like any form of investment you want to create wealth from. When you find something that works, that’s the beginning on your success, not the end. You then need to keep refining and testing changes to optimise it.

There are many strategies in the category of Cost of Sale Marketing.

An example is a Proactive Referral System whereby you incentivise previous customers to refer people to your business by offering them a gift to do so. Virtually every business can do this and it has worked with spectacular success for so many clients of Business Building Mentors over 14 years.

Scalable Marketing: is where you find a strategy that works and is very scalable in that it can be seriously ramped up. This is fantastic when you fully appreciate what it means.

A scalable strategy is one that works at one level to create great profits, but then you can easily and effortlessly leverage the quantity of it so that you can do more and more, 5, 10 or 100 fold.

Most strategies are scalable and include; telemarketing, letterbox flyers, Google Adwords, direct mail letters, TV advertising, local newspaper ads and more.

There are few limitations to huge increases in marketing with these strategies which is why they are called Scalable ones. This type of marketing can combine with the other categories so you can have scalable zero cost ones, leveraged one etc.

Your aim should be to find these types of strategies. Reflecting on the saying, “When you’re on a good thing, flog it to death” is a great way of thinking about marketing!

Expense Based Marketing: is the most boring of the lot!

This type of marketing is typically what every business owner does and focuses on. It’s the most common type of marketing as well.

This type of marketing is where you spend money and then ‘hope’ you get some back.

This type is very different to Zero Cost Marketing and Cost of Sale Marketing as you are gambling with your money with this type of strategy.

It should be your last choice of marketing types, after you’ve tried the 3 or 4 others.

This type of marketing includes newspaper ads, online ads (like Google Adwords), flyers, direct mail, magazines, inserts, billboards and sponsorship of events.

There are possibly hundreds of these strategies, which can all work brilliantly, but most business owners know of only a handful they could try for their business. This lack of awareness of hundreds of marketing strategy options severely hinders them.

Make a list of strategies you are aware of for your business and count them. Now how many are just advertising? What other strategies can you think of that have nothing to with advertising, like conversion rate strategies, average $ sale strategies, retention and transaction increasing strategies? If you can’t come up with at least 100, you are sure to be missing out on some great strategies that cost you a FORTUNE in lost opportunities and profit.

This brings us to our last subject relating to marketing. It brings with it a question that is an excellent one to stimulate thinking. As the attendees of the Business Freedom Workshop Series learn all too well, a few good quality questions asked of one self, or of your team, can literally transform the whole business by freeing up your time and finding great strategies to increase your profits.

So here’s the question to ask…

Why doesn’t every person in your local 50km or so radius (or where your business operates), buy from your business?

1. They don’t know your business exists (why not?)
2. They buy from a competitor and not you (why?)
3. They make contact with your business but buy elsewhere (what is your C/R? why?)
4. They have preconceived ideas about your business, which stops them buying (what?)
5. They used to buy but don’t any more (why, how did you repel them?)
6. They do buy now, but not always or irregularly (what can you do about this?)
7. They thought they didn’t need your business’s products/services (and so?)
8. They have no need for your products/services

Now, out of all these questions, consider all the possible answers. What can you do about each one strategy wise? Each point almost certainly needs these questions asked about it: ‘why’, ‘what’ (can you do about it – what strategy), ‘how’ (can you change it) ‘when’ (will you action the strategy) and ‘who’ (can assist me professionally to really create a BIG impact by creating a professional strategy)?

This is a very simple yet very powerful exercise. Talk it over with your team and spend a day, or week on it, then expand that into a month.

Marketing (including mastery of selling) needs to become the most important focus of your business. You probably spent 4 to 10 years learning about production (doing the work once you win it), but almost no time (or money) professionally being trained to on effective marketing. As a result you are probably struggling with low profit margins and low or inconsistent customer numbers.

Think about this… if all of a sudden you had way too many customers to handle, would you put your prices up? Wouldn’t that create more profit and mean you could afford to pay someone to free up your time? Lack of profit is the number one reason why business owners work every hour their business trades in the year. So if you had surplus profit, you could pay extra staff to free up your time. Then you would have business freedom! It really does hinge on your marketing (including selling) level of expertise to get too many customers.

Not all business owners need to be masters of marketing, but they especially do if they want to make SERIOUSLY big profits due to BIG net profit margins (i.e. 20%+).

Learning marketing comes from investing in education, in books, webinars, courses and by using experts who have proven results from dozens of SME clients (not corporate ones). SME marketing is completely different to corporate styles of marketing so don’t think you’ve got an “expert” if someone knows corporate marketing, you might waste $10,000+ before you find out it doesn’t work at the small end of town.

Our Academy of Business Mastery is the ultimate marketing course. It focuses on “internal marketing”, which is preparing your business to be extremely attractive in the market place to attract and retain A-Class customers, who refer more customers to your business.

This course has ‘5 Steps’ to take that are all focused on “internal marketing” before external marketing and then a BIG emphasis on marketing with powerful and unique strategies to use, after the ‘5 Steps’.

Each of the ‘5 Steps’ liberates profit at zero cost, hence why they are needed first. Plus they prepares the business for exponential growth (like a client whose business added $8.5 Million in sales in one financial year).

Workshop 6 gives our attendees 150 proven strategies (most of which are zero cost ones) that can be matched to your specific business based on our selection formula. Using our tool you will find at least 70 strategies that work for your business. Each one generally takes a month implement, so this special spreadsheet gives 5 years of focus on marketing!

If you haven’t attended our Academy of Business Mastery, you’re missing out on the most powerful training for small businesses, arguably in the world, so why not… invest in your success?

Get a free sample with our small business marketing books, or subscribe to our marketing video newsletters and to be invited to a Free Online Training Webinar so you can make BIG profits, without spending a dollar on anything!

 

Why Business Owners Rarely Enjoy True Business Freedom

This post is about a study of strategies to create positive change in your business and life!

What is business freedom There’s a great question we need to answer before we look at why business owners rarely achieve it.

iStock_000004001793Small

Business freedom is different for different business owners. For some business owners it would be enjoying an income from business ownership, never going to work in their business again.

Believe it or not that’s not what experience shows the majority of business owners want (in seen by their choices and actions when it’s very achievable.

Business freedom is best defined as not being at all concerned about your business so you never think about it at night or on weekends once you leave work.

The reason you don’t think about it is because you aren’t affected by it emotionally. You don’t feel stress or pressure because you earn good money, your business is managed well and it looks after you, not the other way around. You can take a holiday mid-year for a month or more and life is great. You have lifestyle choices.

So if that’s what we can define as business freedom so let’s now look at why so few business owners actually reach this level of success or achieve a passive income.

From working 1 on 1 and in workshops with over 1,000 business owners for 18 years, this experience has been very insightful about the inner workings of business owner’s minds. Some dedicated clients of mine have achieved the true entrepreneur level of owning a business they no longer work in, at all while most don’t.

An electrician client went from working 80 hours every week to zero in 10 months! Others have taken a bit longer with the average time being 15 months. That’s not a long time considering the rest of your life is it?

Experiences with business owners show they aren’t driven by a burning desire to have a passive income from their business as shown by the very few that achieve this outcome despite the complete system of achieving “business freedom” being available to achieve it.  And it is VERY achievable for the majority of businesses and business owners.

You would think people would get excited by this and turn up in droves to attend the very affordable Academy of Business Mastery so they can finally put an end to a lack of time and money, staff issues and having an average quality of life but strangely enough people rarely believe what they see and hear even though the evidence is provable by results and the step by step system is there to follow.

So the first realisation about why so few business owners achieve true business freedom is… they don’t truly desire it.

Another major reason is … business owners aren’t in “have to” mode.

When you get into “have to” mode, you can achieve anything, can’t you?

But why do people wait till they “have to” before achieving great things? Good question!

The reason is due to… self-worth and personal power.

Few people fully feel like they deserve and “want” a passive income. Sadly they get used to struggle and stress until it becomes a ‘normal’ part of their life. With few dreams to strive for in the future you have little need for ‘how-to’ systems and can therefore easily become sceptical of anything promising something you aren’t striving to achieve.

Keep in mind you rarely want something better in life until you’ve either had a taste of it or experienced it.  This reason is by far the biggest and most influential of all about why a business owner will or won’t achieve the highest level of business freedom.

If you don’t specifically define what you truly want, you will never have it

Napoleon Hill said it best with his book title – “Think, and Grow Rich”. That meant think… very clearly about what you want and then you will have it.

Until you get real clear of exactly what you want from business ownership, you will get what you don’t want, because you create what you focus on – e.g. lack of time, money, stress etc.

Let’s just imagine you got really clear on exactly what you wanted from your business, put it in writing, got excited, passionate and by not having it, so much so you would do anything to achieve it and would even attend training, pay for it and use what you learned!

So what’s another reason why you don’t have business freedom?

People skills – i.e. your team building and leadership skills.

The reason this is a major factor is… if you weren’t running your business every hour, day, week or month it operates, that must mean someone else is and your people skills determine if that is possible or impossible for you!

That brings up an interesting subject called trust.

Trust is something most business owners don’t have with people (e.g. their staff). As a result they can’t ‘trust’ someone else to price their services, they can’t trust someone to deal with all their best customers and they can’t trust them with access to the business bank account… just to name a few areas and examples.

Lack of ‘trust’ is really caused by a lack of people skills. Let’s face facts, there are some people in our society who are extremely trustworthy, you are probably one of them, and there are some people very untrustworthy. Can you tell the difference accurately and quickly?

What business owners call trust, is usually a desire for predictability. If you truly understand emotional drivers, belief systems, values, DISC profiles and human behaviour of people (all very learn-able subjects), you can easily recognise who is trustworthy and who isn’t and determine that very quickly.

This is a skill like anything else in life. You can learn it, with a great teacher complimented by a keen interest.

When you learn a lot about people they become very predictable hence trustworthy. Without knowing who is trustworthy and who isn’t, you are right with having a fear of what might happen if you leave your business, money or customers in the hands of any employee.

So where do you get trustworthy people?

You attract them with a great recruitment system (like the one given to attendees of the Academy of Business Mastery training). You need to improve your people skills to the level of the ability to pick great attitude (trustworthy) people, before you hire them. Until you can pick them before you hire them it will be extremely hard to find trustworthy people to leave your business in the hands of.

The next major factor preventing business freedom is just as important as the others previously mentioned and that is your Net Profit Margin. If your net margin is low (below 10% if you’re turning over more than $750,000) then you will probably be struggling with money (not always, as it depends on cash flow levels relative to your industry).

The net profit margin is the most overlooked (and most important) Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in business today.

Its also the most important KPI to focus on. The more efficiently your business does work the higher the figure gets.

Research has shown 90% of all businesses operate with a net profit margin of less than 10% (with turnover above $750,000). Rare it is that a business fails, goes bankrupt, closes down or ceases to exist due to some factor apart from net profit margin. Cash flow is the only other reason and that often (but not always) has a lot to do with net profit margin.

The reason why net profit margin really affects your ability to have business freedom is because when it’s low there isn’t enough surplus cash to turn your own salary into a passive income AND hire someone else to manage your business and do your work.

When the net profit margin is low business owners find themselves working every hour their business operates and then some. (Sound familiar?)

Often its 80 hours a week (including ‘thinking’ time at home, nights and weekends), week after week, year after year, for the owner who is constantly heard to be saying, “I’m really busy” as an affirmation, confirming how busy they are by their constant focus on busyness. Never slowing down to realise running a busyness has nothing to do with progress, lifestyle or the achievement of business freedom, in fact busyness is in the opposite direction of that reality.

When you focus on improving the ‘3 Core Skills’ of business and management – people, measuring and systems, you create a synergy between all 3 areas. That means money is liberated, progress is experienced by the team (that become happier), numbers become your weekly method of decision making with absolute certainty and you make changes daily and weekly that literally transform your business in weeks or months – to become a profit generating machine that works hard… without dependency on you!

By measuring sales (getting work in), production (doing the work) and cash (getting paid for work) each week you start to see trends, long before they become stressful points. This is the basic start of managing by measuring.

The most important systems is to have one for pricing everything you sell based on a desired gross and net profit margin. Before you can do that you need to understand what is a Cost of Sale in your business and investigate your Chart of Accounts with a business management expert.

This is a huge subject so this newsletter won’t be the place for that, its covered in the Academy and is a major focus of all of Workshop 3 and with the spreadsheets for measuring Sales, Production, Cash flow and Profit Margins.

Until you have a true “system” for pricing everything – not a “guestimate” based on a mixture of fear, material costs, scarcity, and assumptions of what you are guessing customers may pay – you can never have true business freedom.

You also need a system of reviewing all sales outcomes (i.e. production work) so you can learn from experience of ‘quoting’ to see true margins before and after every single sale.

Until you have both systems – for pricing and reviewing pricing after work is carried out – you will never leave anyone to run your business as there isn’t true decision making by numbers.

In summary, business freedom isn’t hard to achieve. Not know the factors preventing you from having it makes it impossible to have, but once you know about these factors (discussed in this report), you’re halfway there to addressing them and achieving it!

If you haven’t attended the Academy of Business Mastery and you’re reading this, then ask yourself… “Why haven’t I? What prevented me from deciding to attend? Was it being ‘too busy’ or ‘the timing isn’t right’?”

Think about this question – “Will the timing ever be perfect?

Entrepreneurs don’t wait for perfect timing, they ACT!

NOW is always a great time to become extremely successful. Successful people always have time for more success; because it’s a priority not something they’re too busy to focus on.

We always have time for what we personally feel is important. Running a busyness never ends.

What financial progress have you made in the last 365 days that is measurable and provable with real profit margin improving figures? I believe 365 days is almost an eternity in a business to wait for an improvement. A month is about as long as you should wait to see a measurable improvement in your business or life.

Clients have gone from 80 hours a week of hard work, to ZERO hours and left their business safely in the hands of their trustworthy team and achieved that in just 10 months! They didn’t have time to do what was necessary to achieve this, but they had a burning desire and used it to create a wonderful change in their life. That business owner moved his family 630 km away from where his business operated without him and enjoyed a passive income from his business for years.

As Albert Einstein said “The level of thinking that created the problem can never solve the problem”.

Think about that next time you say you’re ‘really busy’ or ‘I haven’t got time now’ and remember business freedom just a decision away.

Have a thoughtful week!  Think about the choices you need to make to have more business freedom your life.

 

A Soft Skill List to Develop in Yourself in Business (and the wonderful benefits to your personal life)

Want to know the “secret” to rewarding success from business ownership?

Could you take a guess what it is?

You might think its financial management knowledge, or even marketing, and you would be close with marketing (including selling skills) however there is something that is even more powerful to learn than marketing.

The secret to GREAT success in business is to… develop great people skills.

Think about this… If you take all the people away from a business – what’s left?

Not much – just a bunch of objects and computers and not something that makes you a lot of money without people.

In business, every kind of business, people are necessary. Customers are people, employees are people, suppliers are , marketing attracts peopleand yes… even you are considered a people (excuse the poor diction).

Doesn’t it make good sense then, that to be very successful in business, you study the major component of business, which is to study people?

This subject is the one I see most as not being a focus with business owners. The benefits of focusing on this key skill are quite fantastic as we will explore in this newsletter.

For example, do you wait 3-6 months before deciding an employee you hired was a poor choice? Then do you struggle with what to say to put them off?

Having great people skills first of all can avoid having to put someone off, because you understand what they will be like… even before you hire them!

Your people skills in business are absolutely proportional to your (profit margin) success. Want more profits without spending any more money on advertising, then focus on improving your people skills for the next 1 to 2 years.

But what specifically are “people skills”? And what relevance does it have to net profit margins?

Great questions! They deserve answers, so here they are…

The Soft Skills List of People Skills Include the Ability to…

  1. Pick great attitude potential employees, before you hire them
  2. Know which potential employee is teachable within minutes of meeting or talking to them
  3. Teach people what you know so they enjoy learning from you as their teacher
  4. Lead people to follow in your footsteps to potentially replace you
  5. Sell to anyone (price shopper or not) and win more sales at higher prices
  6. Write great advertisements (with additional training outside of people skills), used to “attract” great attitude employees as well as eager-to-buy customers.

These are the major areas to improve on with your people skills that lead to fantastic benefits in your business.

In case you are wondering, ALL of the above areas can be learned. It all comes down to a willingness to learn – call that having a good “attitude” – as a business owner.

So let’s look at the relevance of each of these points and why they are necessary…

To recognise attitude employees is an incredibly beneficial skill to have. If there’s one thing I commonly see, it’s average attitude staff working in a business.

They are average because they don’t have their heart in their work.

The business owner is stressed out because they work hard, year after year even regardless of whether they have 3 or 30 staff.

Identifying attitudes of employees early is rarely a developed skill by business owners. And if you have the skill and can pick great attitude staff, even you only hire one person in the next year, it can be truly transformational for any business.

Not being able to identify them, before you hire them means could mean you are locked into working hard for the rest of your life, not taking long holidays and doing the work of others who don’t do it well enough themselves. There is a huge emphasis and benefit on this one skill alone. 

Knowing how to pick a ‘teachable’ potential employee is a critical skill. Too often business owners find out an employee doesn’t listen, follow through, or do what the owner wants them to consistently (all aspects of having a great attitude) until months after hiring them. This is far too late and very expensive.

Being a great teacher of anyone, is a wonderfully beneficial skill to have in business. It saves you an enormous amount of time as well. To be a great teacher one of the necessary skills is to make it enjoyable and to stimulate the learner’s mind so they engage in self learning. This is the best form of teaching. Teaching isn’t about having people remember what you say, its about them engaging their brain to self learn and understanding.

In the Academy of Business Masterythere is a strong emphasis on this skill and its one all attendees have agreed is extremely beneficial to have.

To be a great teacher you first of all need to learn about learning. If you don’t study learning how can be a great teacher? Understanding left and right brain dominance and integration in teaching absolutely determines how well you teach and how well students learn. There are many other aspects of learning too numerous to go into here, but understanding left and right brain dominance in people is a good place to start.

Leading people to replace you is an interesting and beneficial point.

So often business owners might consider a technically skilled person to become their best choice for a production manager or business manager, yet they don’t realise as soon as an employee goes from a technical role to a supervising/managing role, the title automatically includes a very strong emphasis on people skills, more so than technical skills.

Too many business owners have failed in business because they falsely assumed being technically talented meant they would be successful in business.

This is the biggest fallacy there is in business!

You need to have both technical and people skills to be good in supervisor/management positions in any business and that includes the business owner. Understanding leaders need to create better leaders than themselves not just followers is the key to remember.

Selling to people is a skill everyone in business develops to some extent, but without training it would be like trying to be a doctor or surgeon performing operations by figuring out how to do it by experience alone. It’s not going to happen effectively!

Selling skills is the ability to persuade people to buy from you and not your competitors, after they first make contact with your business. There can be no excuses about the customer not buying from you if they contact your business. They contacted you specifically to buy from a business in your industry, but did you talk them out of buying from you?

Ah, now that’s an interesting question!

In one client’s business from the Academy, the business owner (who learned to sell brilliantly by attending our sales workshop) outsells the other employee by over 100%. The business owner’s conversion rate of quotes won is 60% but the employee who has worked in the business for 4 months and has had extensive training and been in sales for over 12 years has a conversion rate of 15%. This is for a business selling products with an average dollar sale of over $10,000 where customers get 3 to 5 quotes from competitors.

Business owners commonly believe people buy on price alone, which is a fallacy. People consider many criteria and therefore price alone is not the only reason. If this was the case all salespeople would have the same conversion rate, which is almost impossible to find in any business. There would be no competition as all businesses would have to sell every product and service at exactly the same price.

This and dozens of other examples reveals the factual evidence you can dramatically affect whether people buy from your business or not. Getting trained in selling by focusing on people skills (e.g. picking DISC profiles of potential customers in 5-30 seconds) is the key to improved selling skills.

The final people skills point here is about copy-writing for ads and website pages etc.

Here’s an interesting fact… business owners don’t change their ad as soon as they have written it, or as soon as it works. My philosophy, also taught to Academy attendees is that success begins when any ad just starts to work! Success is just the beginning, not the end when it comes to all advertising.

To write great copy that attracts and persuades, it comes from a great understanding of people as you “relate” to the reader with your message. This is the major factor in whether a person likes your promotion and responds with strong interest, or tunes out and buys from a competitor instead. People skills are what determine your ad writing skills.

After reading these points above are you seeing the incredible benefits of improving your people skills?

Keep in mind the additional benefits…

When you learn how to hire great people, your own life gets better and less stressful.

If you could teach every employee how to do their job as good as you or better, what does that make you?

Redundant! And free to do what you want to do in life apart from work!

Isn’t that something worth striving for?

If you had ALL fantastic staff who were reliable, worked hard, always did what they said, learned fast, and had your skills, what difference would it make to your business and quality of life?  Read this sentence again so it sinks in.

What difference would it make to the level of stress you have as a business owner?

With great attitude staff who all work as hard as you do, it would attract more customers to buy from your business. Customers rarely refer friends to businesses that have any ‘okay’ staff or a mixture of good and bad. Think about it yourself. You happily refer people to a business after you have had an extensive time engaging with them AND when your total experience was excellent not ‘okay’ or ‘satisfactory’.

When you have ALL excellent employees and are a great leader yourself, then you have a team. A great team is where Together Everyone Achieves More (T E A M) and when you have a team then you get lots of referrals, lots more profit and higher profit margins (more work being done for the same wages) and then you have less stress as your team carry their own weight and don’t need supervision.

When you develop your people skills to a very high level you get rewarded with more time, more profit, less stress and pressure and more time off… i.e. business freedom.

You can develop your business skills by studying personal development or psychology. I suggest you think about studying psychology (I did so myself years ago) or, even better, attend the Academy of Business Mastery where your people skills learning can be short-cut by years. Then you’ll see why our attendees all consider it “life changing” for the positive affect it had on their personal and business relationships.

Life is all about living and working with people and the better you understand people the easier they are to get along with and the less stress and frustration they create for you. Is that something you’d like to enjoy in your life?  Start today!

Read How to Win Friends and Influence People to start improving your people skills, that’s a good place to start. Learning DISC Profiles is another, so start now… today!

 

How to Manage a Business

A lot of business owners are asking, how to manage a business?

There’s a lifetime of information to learn about business management and business growth strategies, so where do you start without attending online business courses?

Managing a business is not the same as operating a business. Managing a business is about increasing its efficiency, which in plain English means, increasing profits, but not necessarily sales.

Increasing the net profit margin is what business management is all about. This is covered extensively in our Academy of Business Mastery 7 month small business course online. A shorter yet more sales and marketing orientated business growth strategies course is Double Your Profits.

Any business can increase its profits, without increasing its sales. Yet how many businesses focus on this incredible opportunity? The banks do, that’s why they hit record profit levels, even during a GFC time. What does that tell you about their management skills?

Increasing profit margins is not about increasing leads, unless those leads cost zero or much less than other marketing sources.

Increasing net profit margins is about being smarter, finding short-cuts to tasks, using technology and other strategies.

However, these are the common ones, that yes, get a result at one level, but wouldn’t it be far more exciting to double or even TRIPLE your business profits, without spending a dollar more on marketing?

Have this got your attention?

Let’s take a walk through some of the ingredients of business management and what thinking behind the strategies you need to rapidly increase the profit margins.

How to manage a business comes down to learning 3 main skills…

business-management-training

If you think about it, business is all about these 3 subjects.

You have people working for you, customers are people, suppliers are people and you’re one of the people. It kind of makes sense then to learn about people in business. Doing so reduces frustration, frees up your time, increases your profits (from better sales skills) and so much more.

People skills are the least developed skill and the most beneficial one in the majority of businesses.

In regards to measuring…

“What you aren’t measuring, you aren’t managing”

What do you measure in your business?

Everything! If it moves, measure it!

In every service and manufacturing business…

There are 3 essential areas to measure

3leggedstool-business-management

Measuring of the Sales leg includes…

Measuring these weekly – your leads, sales income, average $ sale value, number of sales, and conversion rates.

You also need to measure your service work – i.e. ‘production’ every week, to see what dollar value of work has been worked on (finished or not), what the costs on every sale was (technical employees included as well as materials/products).

Measure the gross profit on every sale (Income – costs related to the sale) and then divide the gross profit into the sale price to determine the gross margin (gross profit percentage).

And finally you need to measure your cash in, cash out, cash balance and what’s owed.

Why measure all these every week?

Great question. It’s so you eliminate your stress caused by, not having enough sales, having too many to handle or not having enough cash in the bank.

By measuring all 3 “leg”s of the stool, you can BALANCE your business and see what’s coming weeks before you do stress in response to it.

Not measuring all 3 legs means you are completely flying blind, with no warning problems are about to occur. When they do, you are already busy, so the solutions to them tend to be “quick fixes”.

The stress keeps on coming!

Sound familiar?

This video can show you the path to permanently solving your challenges in business. ALL challenges, not just some of them.

The video will show you how to access a FREE measuring Tool. A simple, but super powerful one that shows you what to measure and why.

Growing a business, or managing a business is all about the numbers. Numbers are the “glue” that keep your staff using the systems you put in place.

Measuring and systems give your business the necessary structure to grow, fast, year after year (as some of our clients have, added millions to their sales each year for year after year).

Measuring reveals the profit opportunities and profit “leaks”, you don’t know your business has.

Every business leaks profits and only by insightful measuring and using specific measuring tools will you find these opportunities and leaks.

Your business is like this blue bucket. The size is like the size of your turnover (annual income).

The gold bucket is the profit bucket, represented by the size of your business’ net profit.

profit-bucket-leak

The relationship between the 2 buckets is like the Net Profit Margin of your business. The net profit margin is calculated by diving your net profit into your turnover (yearly figures). Its a percentage and in 90% of all businesses, its too low at under 10% (once the business has reached $700,000 in annual income).

Looking at this picture, would it be wise to to put more water into the blue bucket, or to plug the leaks?

Plugging the leaks is easier, you just need to know where to find them. Measuring is how you find them in a business. Advanced measuring, not just of your sales and marketing where small leaks can be found, but in your service delivery where the majority of your employees are.

Measuring people increases accountability and accountability lifts people’s performance.

Just look at sport and how much people lift when the competition is at its toughest? People need accountability to perform at their best. Your employees are no different.

To measure, you may need a spreadsheet.

Yes, you can pay other companies for their tools, which can cost $15,000 per year, or you can get the training you need to understand the tools and get all the tools you need to manage your business, to measure all 3 legs (and more), to use forever for free, while attending the Academy of Business Mastery course.

This course has it all. Training on all 3 legs, training on systems, people and measuring skills and more.

It can and has transformed hundreds of business owners lives, because these topics discussed in this blog are all aspects of the 7 month intensive training.

Before you consider the cost of it, ask yourself what it costs you to not be operating with a net profit margin that is 5% to 15% higher (as our clients’ businesses regularly achieve), or the price of your family not being able to have 100% of your attention at night or weekends because you’re thinking about your business.

Or the cost to your own health for being under pressure and stress. What price do you put on these?

The good news is, because the Academy of Business Mastery is delivered live in small groups (online and offline), you aren’t paying like you would a business coach with 18 years of experience (where the fee is $3,000 to $4,000 per month for 12 months).

The business Academy was created for every day business owners, who wanted top quality information, but most of all tools and systems, ready to implement.

Find out more by getting in contact with our office, or subscribe to receive our free video newsletters to find out more, or to enroll for our online business course.

If you don’t feel you’re ready for our complete Business Academy, then check out our Double Your Profits video training course. Its an awesome business growth strategies course for businesses with less than three years of trading, or even ones with more.