3 More Key Elements to Expanding your Advertising Effectiveness

22 02 2011

Last week we started a new discussion on 7 Key Elements to Expand your Advertising Effectiveness.  We discussed the first two elements, providing the main idea and admitting to your limitations.  This week we are going to continue with three more key elements to expand your advertising effectiveness.

You will find, as you work with your customers, that as they trust that you have their best interests at heart, they will spend more with you over time than they would have if you required them to make a large, one-time purchase.  Each time you offer a step-up program, you are allowing them to test what you say to be true and you are providing them with a level of security, knowing that they can back out if you do not provide what you promised.

Once you have your customers starting to make larger and larger purchases through your company, the third key element to expanding your advertising effectiveness is to make your big idea (the first key element) exclusive.  Identify your unique competitive advantage and let your customer know that if they take advantage of what you have to offer, then there is a good chance they will have a leg up on their competition.   Let your potential customers know that this offer is not provided to anyone, but only to a select few, who really see the benefit with your offerings.

Are your customers the savvy business people you expect them to be?  Have they tried to overcome their particular challenge and failed in the past?  Keep your customer focused on what they gain if they are successful in utilizing what you are offering.  Be sure to keep them aware of what may befall their business if they do not continue on the planned route.  Are their competitors nipping at their heels and they can’t seem to get ahead?  Reiterate what your solution can do for them, and your solution may not be available to their competition.  Also be sure to emphasize that you would only wish to work with them if you can show positive results.  You are in this business together; you need them to want to win as much as you wish to win.

Now that you have your prospect’s attention, the fourth key element is to demonstrate that you have the credentials to back up the claims you have made thus far.  Provide solid reasons for why you are qualified and back those reasons up with testimonials from others that you have helped.  This is where it is important to be factual, and provide solid, verifiable numbers that prove you can do what you claim you can do.

Remind your prospective customer of the years of management experience or industry experience you are offering to them.  Point out the number of very satisfied and exclusive customers.  If you have any specific case studies, or examples, this is where you would include that information, again, being careful to not divulge too much specific information on your current, active customers.

The fifth key element to expanding your advertising effectiveness is to identify your motivations for making such an incredible offer.  By now your customers are wondering why you are offering such a good deal.  They will want to be sure you are going to provide real value for their money and time spent.  Your customers will also need to be reminded why your offer is better and will help them more than any other offers made by your competitors.

You should reassert that your offer is exclusive, and only certain customers will qualify for your product or services.  You want them to know that this is more of a partnership, and not just a one-time business deal.  If you help them to explosive growth, you both will win.  The key is to be sure your potential customer knows that this is either a limited-time offer or that this offer is only open to the very few qualified customers.  By reminding your prospects of the exclusivity of the offer, you re ultimately reassuring them that your services will not be available to virtually everyone on the planet.

Next week we will finish this series on the 7 Key Elements to Expand your Advertising Effectiveness.

If you are looking for a second income to supplement what you are currently doing, please feel free to explore our website.  We offer several home based business opportunities and are more than willing to discuss in detail any opportunity you are considering.  We offer Pre-Paid Legal Services, Stem Cell Nutrition and can assist you in starting up your own waterless detailing business.  You only have to ask.

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Building Your Business Success – Part 2

11 01 2011

Last week we began a brief discussion of how to build your business success

Key to Business Success

for 2011.  We reviewed the concept of what Commitment means to your small business success and that you personally are responsible for your small business success.  This week we are going to finish the discussion on Building your Business Success for 2011.

Actually anybody who starts a small business can be successful.  The differentiating factor is, how LONG will your business be successful.  Again, it does partially go back to that commitment thing.  You may be successful when you first start your business, but you must remain committed to your business success.  True business success is also founded on solid business basics.  If you do not have a good grasp of business basics, it would be wise, even before starting your own business, to take a class or two, or take a seminar to learn and master the basics of business.  Without business basics, you may be successful for a little while, but your lack of basic business knowledge will most likely get you in more trouble and could ultimately contribute to your lack of long-term business success.

We must all continue practicing and reviewing and mastering the basics of business.  Without a well established / thought-out business foundation, everything you build, will most likely not stand the tests of time.  Keep up on your basics.  If you don’t know, be sure to ask a trusted source that will help you master your business foundation.  With a strong business foundation, all the work you do for your business will be successful.

Focus on Continuous Growth

Another key to building your business success (and not just making a New Year’s Resolution) is to focus on growing throughout the year, and ultimately growing for the next several years.  Do not just focus on growing your business for this month or the next.  You need to have a long-term view of where you want your business to go if you want your business to grow.  Focusing only on the month-to-month growth will not provide you with enough time to really refine and define what direction you want your business to grow in the years to come.  If you focus 2-, 3-, 5- and even 10-years in the future, then the short-term setbacks will not be so difficult to resolve.  By looking at the long-term, you can look past the immediate obstacles and focus on how to obtain that long-term goal.  By having long goals, you will find it is much easier to get past the little stuff.  If you only look from month-to-month, the problems that may crop up will most likely appear much larger than they actually are.

Lastly, it is never too late to make your business successful.  You may have had a really bad year in 2010, but that doesn’t mean you will have a bad year going forward.  Review your business plan, identify what went wrong and more importantly, look for WHY you did not follow your business plan or why you were not successful last year.  If you can identify WHY things didn’t occur (this is different from placing blame) then you can identify what you need to do to avoid that obstacle going forward.  Even if you had a decent year last year, it is not too late to revisit your business plan and adjust for any new plans or ideas you may have.  Again, be sure to keep the long-term view when reworking your plans.  When in doubt, enlist the assistance of other experts in  your field of business, to help review what you have and where you want to go.

Here is to your continued business success in the new year.

If you are looking for a second income opportunity, or are looking for some type of small, home based business to get involved with, we may have something that would interest you.  We offer a wide variety of business opportunities, from Pre-Paid Legal Services, to Stem Cell Nutritional Products, to Waterless Cleaning Products.  If we don’t have exactly what you are looking for, we may know where you can find it.  Good luck and let’s all see our businesses grow in 2011.

Until next week…





Building your Business Success in 2011

4 01 2011

 

Analyzying Business SuccessHow many times have you heard or seen information on Building your Business Success for the new year? Have you become tired of reading these articles to realize that they are nothing more than a business version of a personal New Year's Resolution? The bigger question is, if your business was not as successful as you would have liked in the past year, building on that lack of success is not an exciting proposition.

This week we are going to again review business success and why it is not a “New Year’s Resolution”.  You cannot decide one day that you will make your business successful…well, actually you can decide to do that, but effectively implementing your desires is an entirely different problem.   One main reason many people with small, home based businesses don’t succeed is that they do not have the commitment necessary to create and grow a business.

Many people who start a small home based business are usually told that “the business will grow itself” or that “you won’t have to work very hard at this, the product practically sells itself”.  If you got into business under either of these premises, or something similar, odds are that you are ready to throw in the towel.  The key to business success, or success in general is commitment.  Very few people will stick with anything once it starts getting difficult, or once the business doesn’t seem to pay off in the time-frame they expected.   Like anything, if you plan on making your business successful, you need to have a plan and COMMIT to staying with that plan for the long haul.  Granted there will be occasions where you are going to have to modify the plans, but you can not modify the commitment to the business overall.  If you start, and then, once the going gets a tad tough, quit, how will any of your customers want to stay with you in any future endeavors?   Customers will run from you if you show even the slightest sign of lack of commitment to your business, or worse yet, if you show lack of commitment to them.

Once you are committed to the task of becoming (if you are not already)

Commitment to the Plan

successful, you should realize that success is your PERSONAL responsibility.  You cannot rely on others to make your small business successful, others may help, but the success or lack thereof rest entirely on your shoulders.  If you do not push others to work harder, odds are that they won’t.  You should not place the blame of your lackluster success on anyone who is helping you to grow your business.  This holds true for any business partners you may have also.  Just because you are in a partnership, if you want the business to become successful, it is YOUR responsibility to make it so. Having your partner on the same page helps a lot, but do not expect them to have the same level of commitment.

 

Many problems people have when trying to grow their home based business is the lack of validation that they are doing a good job.  We have become used to getting that congratulatory pat on the back for a job well done and will drive harder just to get the next pat.  The problem with being your own business owner is that the only times you will get a pat on the back is if you pat your own back.  You need to learn to not look for external validation of a job well done.  You know, based on your existing plans and set goals, when you have succeeded, you do not need anyone else telling you that you did a good job.  Keeping your business successful is a major milestone these days since there are so many businesses that fold when the times get tough.

Next week we will complete this discussion on building your business success in 2011.  In the meantime, if you are looking for a business opportunity and still have no idea what to do or where to begin, please take a look at our website.  We offer several different business opportunities and if we don’t have what you are looking for, we may be able to point you in the right direction.  We are also available for consulting, if you would like someone to review your current business plans.

Until next week…





5 More tips for Small Business Success

28 09 2010

Last week we introduced 5 tips for small business success.  This week we are going to continue the topic, providing an additional 5 more tips for small business success.  Hopefully these simple tips will help you to focus on what is important in your small business so that you will continue to grow and be successful.

1 – After you have started your business, one key tip to keep in mind is to not borrow any family money and do not ask your family for advice.  Even though you may believe that the money you borrow has no strings attached, there are strings, there are always strings attached.  Even if you family may not have attached those strings, you will know in your heart that you owe that money and you may be your own worse enemy in terms of putting pressure on yourself.  Borrowing from a bank is much less personal, any arguments you have with your banker will remain strictly related to business. If you have a fight with family about money, you know that there will be more brought into the argument than just the business and money owed.  It is not worth the risk of ruining family relationships in order to get money to fund your business.

Also, family advice, though well-intentioned, may not be the best to follow.  There are two schools of thought here;  your family will tell you that you are crazy for starting up a new business, and not support you.  The other thought is that even if you have a really bad idea, your family will not tell you it is a really bad idea because they do not want to hurt your feelings.  By asking the advice of a third-party, you are taking the emotion out of the advice and getting pure business advice.

2 – Make sure to network with other small business owners in your industry.   Do not necessarily network with your direct competition, you do not want to provide them with your business secrets, but network with other business owners in the same type of industry.  You can then discover other resources for ideas and problem resolution.  These networking friends may also be able to point you towards additional advertising and marketing channels.  Networking provides a great sounding board for new ideas with like-minded people.

3 – Despite your desire to keep prices low, there will ALWAYS be someone else who will undercut your prices.  Unless you have other products to make up the lack of profit, do not try to cut your prices below your costs, despite what competition might do.  Differentiate your products and services by not focusing on the cost, but what value added items you have.  What additional items/services do you provide for your customers?  Many times cheaper is not better.  “Good ain’t cheap, and cheap ain’t good.”

4 – Remember, when you started your small business that your customers were in a particular mind-set.  As time goes on, customer’s tastes and desires will change.  What may have been popular when you started your business may no longer be the desired item now.  Remain flexible, be in front of what your customers want by listening to their thoughts and ideas.  You may need to adjust your products and services to suit your customer’s changing needs.

5 – Always stay informed on the small business resources available to you in your local area.  Stay in touch with your networking group to discover any new services available.  Also keep in touch with your local Small Business Association office.  These offices can point you to other types of resources to help you grow your small business.

The key to these 5 additional tips for small business success along with the tips provided last week is to be reiterate the importance of planning ahead.  You do not want to focus on today, but you want to stay focused on what will be happening to your business in the next year and next 5 years.  Stay flexible and stay in touch with what is going on around your business.

Check out our website for additional sources of income.

Until next week…





5 Tips for Small Business Success

22 09 2010

We have talked throughout the year about small business success.  There have been several blogs posted regarding building plans, budgets, etc.  This week I would like to review 5 tips for small business success and what we all need to do in order to keep our small business’ successful despite the economic climate.

The most important tip for helping to keep your small business successful is to develop and follow a business plan and mission statement for your business.  There have been several articles related specifically to developing your business plan, we will not go into that again here, but just remember that if you do not have a business plan for your small business, how do you expect to have a “road map” to grow your small business successfully?  By taking the time to write your business plan and mission statement, you have been able to outline where you currently are verses where you want to go.  Following your business plan (making appropriate adjustments along the way) will allow you to stay focused on growing your small business.

The second tip for small business success is to be sure you are able to get accurate financial data on your company in a timely manner.  If you get your monthly financial statements two weeks into the next month, you won’t be able to implement any adjustments until the following month.  By not having timely financial reports, you are basically driving your business blind.  How do you know if your spending is exceeding your income without timely statements?  You cannot fix what is broken with delayed reports.  Perhaps you do not have detailed financial reports, but you need timely and reliable financial reports if you expect to continue to keep your small business profitable.

The third tip for a successful small business is to continue to profile your target customers.  Determine both the physical characteristics of your customers (age, gender, race, income) along with their emotional characteristics (what they like, don’t like).  This information will help you to effectively target your marketing campaign.  You do not want to waste your hard-earned marketing money on advertising to, let’s say NASCAR customers, when you are in a part of the country that doesn’t even care about car races.

The fourth tip for business success is to be sure that you have profiled your competition.  Do you know what products they carry, and how successful they have been selling to the same customer base?  What are their weaknesses, what do their customers complain about?  Is this something you can capitalize on?  Have you wandered into your competition’s store to see how they present their products and services to their customers?  Is there some design there that you can use, or is there something they are not doing that you can do?

The last tip for continuing your small business success is to be sure that you have gone into business for the right reasons.  Make sure that you have the experience, expertise, finances and desire necessary to make your business a success.   Luck will be part of your business success, but without the other aspects, luck may make you successful for a short period of time, but not for the long-haul.

These 5 tips for small business success should help you to focus on what is important for you to continue to grow your business.  You may want to keep these tips close at hand, especially when you might think your business is struggling.  They will help remind you why you went into business and what your goals are for your business.

Next week we will cover some additional tips for your continued small business success.  If you are looking for additional sources of income, our website may have an opportunity that appeals to you.  Feel free to e-mail us with any of your questions.

Until next week…





Failure to Plan Part 2

6 09 2010

Last week we introduced the topic of a failure to plan with small businesses.  Many people love the idea of being their own boss and operating a successful small business, but many may not plan properly for that same business endeavor.   There are many reasons why small businesses fail, some of them due to no fault with the originator.  Sometimes a business may fail despite the best laid plans, but those are usually few and far between.  Our focus is to strive to reduce the risk of failure to a nominal percentage.

We covered the lack of a business plan that could quickly spell a new small business’s demise. Part of the importance of a business plan is to include a vision, mission and value statement for your new small business.  It is important to have these statements, but to have them and then not to have any actionable plan to achieve them is no better than not having a vision statement at all.  It is important when developing your vision and mission statement that they actually MEAN something that you can measure.  Just to say that you will be the best in the industry is an empty promise.  How will you be best in the industry?  How will you offer superior products and service?  By making these types of statements means that you should have some form of measurement.  You should have some other company standard that you are measuring yourself, your company and your products and services against.  Without a solid basis of measurements, your vision and mission statements are not any more important or useful than the paper they are written on.

Along with having an initial plan, you should have documented some version of where you believe your business to be in 5 to 7 to 10 years in the future.  Documenting these targets will allow you to make longer term decisions.  Sometimes we get caught up in the short-term fix and lose sight of our long-term targets.  By documenting your 5/7/10 year goals, you will be able to keep in the forefront your long-term goals and may then make  better long-term decisions even when faced with a short-term problem.

A trap that many established businesses fall into is the one where you take time out to do a strategic planning session, write all the decisions down, and then not utilize any of the plans decided upon.  It is often very easy to continue with business as usual, but if you have had a successful strategic planning session, why did you waste all that time if you had no intention of implementing the new goals?  Again, when re-adjusting your strategic plan, be sure that you have measurable targets in place.  You need to have a measuring stick to be sure you and your business are moving in the direction you had planned.

Worst of all is failing to make the tough choices in your business.  There will be times that you may have to stop one project because it just will not produce the necessary profits.  This can be extremely tough if the particular item was a pet project of yours.  You may also have to make the tough decision to let certain people go if they are not producing to your defined targets.  These are all tough decisions, but necessary to maintain the health of your business.  (notice though that all these decisions are based on measurements against a predefined target)

In a nutshell, if you want to have a successful small business, you need to have a plan.  You will need to have that plan documented, you should have clear and measurable objectives so that you know when to make adjustments, you need to follow your plan and adjust when necessary and lastly, you will at some point have to make some tough decisions.  With luck, those tough decisions will be very few and far between.  You will never be accused of failing to plan.  The more you practice planning and adjusting your plan, the easier it will become.

If you are interested in earning an additional income or possibly start your own small business, we may have something that would meet your needs.  Please feel free to review our website and contact us with any questions you may have.  Even if we do not have a business opportunity that is exactly what you are looking for, we would be more than willing to work with you to find your perfect opportunity.

Until next week…





Failure to Plan

31 08 2010

As the economy continues to decline and more people find themselves out of a regular job, many people look to alternative methods for earning an income.  Many great business opportunities are born in hard economic times, but on the flip side, there are many people out there who would take advantage of desperate people looking to earn a living.  If you have the drive and ambition, now is a great time to get into your own home based business, but one of the largest problems many of these new entrepreneurs face is a failure to plan.

Just because you find this fantastic business opportunity and someone tells you that you can earn millions at it does not mean you do not plan your new business venture.  Do not allow anyone to tell you that planning is not necessary, that all you have to do is to follow their example.  Someone, at some point in time made a plan for that particular business opportunity and you should make a plan for yours also.  In prior posts we talked at length about developing and implementing your business plan, and that is absolutely critical, even if you are entering a business opportunity that others have succeeded in.  If you did create a business plan, in order to be truly successful, you must follow that plan. Why did you go through the exercise of creating a business plan, doing all that strategic planning, if you had no intention of following what you developed?

There are several reasons why some business opportunities may never come to fruition, one, which seems to be a favorite of many who start a home-based business, is taking a dart-board approach to generating sales.  Many people who start home based business opportunities will not have a specific plan on how to generate the sales in order to obtain the income they desire.  They will try one approach, try another, and continue trying without any specific rhyme or reason to why they tried and discarded the plans.  This will not only kill any enthusiasm you may have, but it will also undermine your belief that the business opportunity you entered into was a sound idea.  Heck, they may not even have identified a specific sales amount to achieve.   If you begin one sales approach, make sure it was one that you have outlined in your business plan, and then, if it is not productive, review why it did not produce the results you desired and identify possible adjustments to the plan before discarding it and starting on another plan.

When you built your business plan, you should have identified several programs for generating sales.  Those programs you identified should have had specific and measurable goals so that once implemented, you could identify where the failures occurred.  Jumping from one plan to another in a willy-nilly fashion will not allow you to build sales momentum, nor will it be repeatable for any other people you would want involved in the sales process.  If you quickly start and discard sales plans without any specific road-map, you are doing both yourself and your customer a major disservice.

By not planning your sales process, you will have no idea why certain ideas did or didn’t work.  Without measurable and strategic goals, you will never know if the sales process was successful.  For example, I had worked for a company that believed their customers were dissatisfied with a particular segment of the sales process.  There was no real basis for this belief other than a few stray comments and a “gut feeling”.  Before we changed the sales process, we implemented some strategic measurements and sent out a set of standardized questions to our existing customer base.  What we discovered is that the initial process was not broken, but another step along the sales plan was definitely not working properly.

If we had immediately changed what we believed to be wrong, just based on a gut instinct, we would have further alienated our customer base and not corrected the true sales problem.  The key is to plan your process, make the process measurable, identify benchmarks, and most importantly follow and review the plan regularly.  A failure to plan on your part could very easily put your whole business in jeopardy.

Next week we will continue this discussion and review some other pitfalls in strategic planning.

If you are looking for a business opportunity to provide you a second or additional income, please feel free to check out our website.  We may have an opportunity that meets your needs.  If you have questions regarding building your business plan, please feel free to contact me, I am more than willing to assist and provide some alternate solutions.

Until next week…