Tag Archives: business development tactics

7 Steps to Becoming a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

successful-businessThis past weekend, I attended a personal development training led by a husband and wife team of multi-millionaires with multiple business assets constantly throwing off cash on their behalf.

I listened intently to what they had to share. One of their tips was to ‘release the breaks’. The supposition being that we’re actually doing things (or not doing things) that keeps the breaks on our business engaged.

I gleaned 7 steps from their talk on how to become a highly successful entrepreneur. Add these to your strategic planning and implementation activities and you’ll raise the revenue and profitability levels in your enterprise, even if it’s in its infancy. In fact, the sooner you apply these principles, the more easily you’ll reach your goals.

1. Zoom out
Take time to imagine the long-term vision of your company and your life. Really get in touch with your purpose on this planet and the impact you want to have. Think big. Think bigger than you think is possible. It’s hard to see all of your potential grandeur when you’re not yet there, but work at it and let your perspective expand to the greatest possible heights.

2. Zoom in
Once you’ve gotten clear about the big, bright future, reel yourself back to the present and identify what tiny (or not so tiny) steps you can take TODAY to start down the path toward your destination.

3. Organize
Identify the activities that seem to be generating the best results. Clarify which ones are working. Simplify your processes in order to minimize wasted efforts, resources and time.  Unclutter your life and business.  Focus on what matters most. Focus on what works the best.

Get rid of everything else that could distract you from reaching your goal

4. Actualize
Keep taking productive, consistent action. Keep moving forward. Things may not always turn out the way you expect. Learn along the way. Adjust and keep taking action

5. Monetize
Keep looking for revenue streams. Perhaps there are new markets to be tapped. New ways to deliver the products/services you already have. Partner with others to gain access to new prospects.

6. Can it and clone it
Once you have a business model that works, document it. Identify the processes (think McDonald’s). Keep them simple so it can be replicated. Replicate it.

7. Increase your reach
Visibility is critical for success. Look for ways to get in front of your ideal clients. Get referrals, advertise where they hang out, speak to them (individually or in groups) to demonstrate your expertise and value. Use marketing tools to carry the message farther.  Get your product or service sean, heard and read about by as many people as possible.

Follow up with them. You’ve probably heard this advice before but are you doing it? The fortune is in the follow up. Follow up!

Implement these 7 steps and watch your business soar.

5 Critical Concepts for Business Growth & Profitability

People often go in business for themselves because they have a special knack or interest in something. They soon realize however, that that knack is not the only thing they need to be a success.

There are many internal factors that influence how fast or how big a company will grow. If the owner doesn’t acknowledge and attend to those critical factors, they are setting their burgeoning enterprise up for potential failure or enduring mediocrity

The most critical factors often aren’t always obvious but I’m ready to share them with you right now to help you navigate the perils and enjoy the benefits of business ownership.

Here are 5 simple, yet critical concepts you MUST master if you are to experience the growth and profitability you desire.

1. Know your strengths and deficits – intimately
When you’re crystal clear about your skills, you can leverage them to move mountains. You can also use them to counterbalance your weaknesses. When you’re working in your blind spots, you’ll struggle to accomplish goals. You’ll try to do things you shouldn’t and fail to delegate profitably.

2. Work within your value system
The whole point of being in business for yourself is to more closely control your own destiny. Without a thorough assessment of what’s important to you, day-to-day and for the long haul, you rob yourself of bringing in experiences that will create the fulfillment you need. Once they’re clearly articulated, your chance for fulfillment increases dramatically.

3. Understand the marketspace you operate in
When you target the highest possible level of clientele for your product or service, your fees have room to expand. When you clearly distinguish yourself from the competition, people will seek YOU out.  If you go to market blindly, you run the risk of stepping into a crowded space, missing out on opportunities to leverage your company’s unique advantages and not being prepared internally for growth.

4. Have a variety of sources of revenue
You’ve probably heard about the importance of diversifying your investments. Well, your business is one of the most important investments you own.  While you can make a great living selling just one product or service, with more options, you’re likely to improve your revenue stream.  During the recent recession, many businesses had to expand their offerings to appeal to additional markets. Even as the economy recovers, having various offers for various kinds of customers can help maintain your revenue stream. Just remember to not diversify to far afield. If that happens, you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin and becoming ineffective in your efforts.

5. Utilize your time in the most effective manner possible
It’s tempting to work on that which is easy, comfortable and familiar. Unfortunately, those kinds of activities rarely lead to outstanding results. “Magic occurs outside our comfort zone.” Work in your personal ‘sweet spots’, delegate the rest and focus on the highest profit potential activities possible.

These concepts are critical for your success. Implement them and practice them consistently. They will pave the road to profitability for your business

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Why It Pays to Focus on a Niche & How to Find Yours

Most business owners resist the thought of honing in on a tight target market. They fear they’ll be missing out on potential sales if they don’t go after every possible sale that could be had.

And with the current state of the economy, they feel particularly justified in doing just that.

The problem though is that when you go after everything, you water down your marketing efforts. It’s like trying to paint a fine masterpiece for your living room with a spray paint can.

People don’t know who you are and what you specialize in.

Before I dive into the tips for today, I want to clarify a few terms. I’m often asked, “What’s the difference between a target market, an ideal client and a niche?”

According to Entrepreneur magazine, a target market is “a specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services.” An example of this might be ‘women business owners’.

Your ideal client is a subset of your target market, perhaps defined by demographic and psychographic data. An example might be women business owners over 40 years old in professional service industries, particularly those that require licensure from an industry or professional board or certification process who are looking to increase the revenue coming into their companies.

Your niche is a combination of 3 things:
1) The people you serve
2) The situationally specific problem you help them solve
3) Your specially branded Signature System that provides the solution to their problem.

When you’re clear about who you are best suited to serve, you’re able to get inside their head, understand their worries and concerns. You’ll know what they crave and yearn for. You’ll have the confidence to talk with them clearly and concisely about how you are uniquely suited to help them navigate their way throught their challenges to their desired outcome.

Here are 3 easy steps to get started.
1) Get clear on why your clients need you (and it’s probably not for the reasons you think).
Without this clarity, your marketing will sound like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoon movies, “Wah wah wah wah wah wah wah”. No one will hear you above the noise and you’ll really miss out on earning what you’re truly capable of. When you have it nailed, people will flock to you because your marketing will be extraordinarily focused on JUST THE RIGHT PEOPLE.

2) Come up with a “platform” that distinguishes you from everyone else who does what you do.
Let’s face it, there are tons of graphic designers, financial advisors, attorneys, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, realtors, business coaches, professional organizers. you need more than a nice business card and a catchy tag line to set yourself apart. When you are trapped by being viewed as a commodity, you’ll never be able to rise above the herd; you’ll struggle with raising your prices and run yourself ragged trying to ‘reel in’ that next customer.

When you find your voice, it will pierce through the marketplace din to be heard by the people who most need what you have to offer. They’ll seek you out, already being sold on your service. Referrals will flow to you more swiftly because people who don’t even need you will recommend you to their friends and colleagues.

3) Make a choice of a niche that is crystal clear and easy to communicate.
Building on the first two points, when you know who you serve and how you specifically help them, you can be WAY more confident (but not pushy) when you speak with prospects. Your marketing will sound like you’re ‘playing their song’ and will draw them to you and position you as the best possible solution to their problem. If you falter on this step, you’ll remain one of the ‘also ran’s, working hard to close deals and wondering why you’re having such a hard time.

I want you make sure this doesn’t happen to you! If you know this would make a difference for you, grab this free training I did over the weekend and/or join us for the upcoming Niche Breakthrough Secrets program where I’ll help you finally step into the spotlight with a unique message that makes your marketing compelling and allows you to market less and still fill your practice or programs with the perfect people for your business.

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How to Attract Clients Who Will Pay You What You’re Worth

Many business owners scrape by serving clients who are struggling themselves.  In spite of the economy, there are many businesses and people who have been unaffected and are willing to pay for premium-level services and products.

When you’re trapped servicing the middle or low-price market (which, let’s face it) much of the country is these days, you encounter a ton of hairy-pulling, teeth-gnashing concerns like:

1.    People don’t buy from you because they can find what you offer at a lower price somewhere else
2.    People don’t buy at all because putting up with their problem is easier than forking over money to solve it
3.    Your bank account is scarily low leaving you worried, anxious and maybe even a tad desperate.

You get the picture.

So, well-heeled clients sound like the answer to your prayers, right?

The challenge to landing those clients however is  (at least) three-fold:

1.    You don’t know exactly who is looking for what you have to offer
2.    You don’t know how to find or attract them
3.    You don’t have anything to offer them that they’re truly interested in

So what’s a busy business owner to do?

There are several ways to overcome these problems.

In dire times businesses try to offer everything to everybody. That’s exactly the wrong strategy.  And here’s why.  When you market to everyone, your ‘target’ won’t feel special.  She won’t believe you have a solution that addresses her needs so she keeps looking until she finds it and it likely won’t be with you.

I recently went into a shoe repair shop (a dying breed, admittedly) but they were selling children’s toys and household tchotchkes that didn’t even look like they belonged in the shop.  Perhaps they were selling well, but frankly, I’d be surprised.

The solution is to focus on a small set of specific clients and do everything you can to understand them, their worries, pains, dreams, hopes and desires.

Once you know who they are, ask yourself, how are they spending their time? What do they read, listen to or go to?

Are they attending networking meetings? If so, which ones? Most networking events are populated with people hungry for business not necessarily looking to invest in solutions.

Think about it. When you need to buy something, do you go to an event to buy it? Probably not. You might go and ask people you trust for recommendations, but if you found exactly what you were looking for, I’ll bet you’d be a little bit surprised.

So you have to get visible where your market is looking. That could be online, on their smart phone, in industry-specific or niche publications (although that can be expensive).

If they’re suffering with a big problem, they may have complained to their friends and colleagues. So developing a referral strategy with the right people could be really productive.

Then, once you’ve found them (or they’ve found you), you must make sure your marketing message hits them directly between the eyes.  You have to be so clear about how what you’re offering is exactly what they need that they go “Duh! It would be a mistake NOT to invest in that.”

Again, this underscores the importance of knowing who really needs what you have so when they hear our message, they say “S/he’s talking to me!”

I remember participating in an event and one of the attendees remarked “I felt like the speaker was inside my head saying out loud what I had only thought in the privacy of my own brain!” That’s what you’re going for!

So, when you know who they are, what they’re gnashing their teeth over and have a solution aimed directly at pain (or dream) with a message that feels like it’s directly personally to them, the right people will refer you, find you and happily pay you for your expertise!