Archive for the 'Business Growth' Category

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How to find windfall profits in your business – look at your shoe laces!

Many business people search for complicated (and expensive) ways to grow their businesses… Often, the simplest and easiest things create the biggest results. This TED TALK video is an example of the concept of finding hidden assets in your business BY CHALLENGING preconceived thoughts and ideas.

In this video, Terry Moore challenges you on how you tie your shoe laces… Chances are you are not doing it properly!

The moral of THIS STORY is… chances are you are making other mistakes in YOUR business or career that are just as easy to fix!

My encounter with a (non) super model

I recently had an encounter on the sidewalk with a young lady who, as we chatted, revealed she was on her way to a modelling audition.

I knew she was a model – not because of the way she looked, but because she was lost. I offered to help with a suggestion with the direction I thought she should take to get to her appointment. I wasn’t familiar with that area and I didn’t know the street she was looking for and I didn’t have a directory on hand.

On my way to my appointment, she caught up to me and what do I notice under her arm? A street directory that I had not seen previously…

She hadn’t told me she had one, so when I saw it, I asked if I could use it and we found her street…

I really hope she gets the modelling gig because she really, really needs to make money with her beauty ’cause there ain’t much brains to work with!

Business Tools, Personal Development, Ladder

I know this is one of those extreme situations, but I see it often in business. People have all the gadgets and tools, but simply don’t know how to use them. Contact us if you want to make the most of the tools and resources you currently have available to you so that you can start to grow your business more effectively.

 

Online and offline advertising: The Double Whammy

Does combining offline and online mean double the costs or double the profits?

That’s a perplexing question that baffles many small business owners and independent retailers.

What works for multinational corporations with deep pockets doesn’t work for small businesses with shoe-string budgets.

Even though today’s empowered consumers expect to interact with brands across a wide range of touch points, that means a strategy that integrates both an off- and online approach is becoming increasingly important. A recent Google/Ipsos study indicates shoppers are feeling increasingly comfortable hitting the “Buy Now” button using their mobile devices, but the wise retail marketer knows the best way to make a sale is by integrating their message across both the “old” and the new media channels. Print and digital campaigns are now tightly intertwined.

The Internet has undoubtedly changed the world of advertising forever and a successful advertising campaign must embrace this medium in order to be successful.  Yet one may think that a purely online approach is the answer, however it’s also important to remember that physical promotional items (and advertising) still reach people that online advertising can’t.

Plus, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of having information that prospective buyers can take with them to analyse and review at their convenience and discretion. That’s why niche magazines remain popular and why print is far from being “dead”.

Most businesses and brands realise that a balance of online content and physical information is necessary, but many are not sure how to achieve this balance.  More often than not, the answer comes down to budget and desired outcomes.

One thing is for sure: combining online and offline media is now a must.

Even though social media has played a large role in toppling foreign state political regimes, I am not a fan of social media marketing for small businesses who need to produce tangible sales results.

Instead of wasting time, money and effort on something that is marginal, why not direct it to something tried and tested?

Offline media like print advertising is PROVEN to work – especially in specialised, highly targeted niche markets.

But print won’t work on its own anymore. Print needs an online component to facilitate and enhance the conversation that needs to take place. Without the web, that conversation now falls on deaf ears. With a fully developed online presence, print advertisers can direct their offline leads into fully automated online systems that create a much more fluent, enjoyable and valuable customer experience.

Yet, without print or physical media, often, the catalyst doesn’t exist and “nothing happens”.

Therein lies the conundrum – in many instances, the fastest, easiest and most economical path to prospects is print. Physical (niche) publications have distribution networks that reach people in pockets of interest that are well established. These networks are entrenched geographically, culturally and economically. They have been around for years or even decades, reinforced across generations.

Therein lies the power of the PHYSICAL REAL WORLD network.

But that power remains impotent without the Internet as its new ‘enabler’.

Traditional media such as print, radio and television advertising often has better brand recall than digital media which suffers from source credibility syndrome.

The challenge for small business is focusing on what works to produce measurable outcomes versus and not be tricked by the smoke and mirrors evangelised by the providers of the new media services who keep referring to deep pocket campaigns that the lone Aussie Battler simply can’t afford.

We have solutions for all budgets – contact us and we’ll help you get results within the next week that you can measure. No smoke. No Mirrors.

Is Your Business Growing?

Sydney’s Private Jeweler, Sam Kritsotakis, recently opened his new Eskae Boutique in Mosman… The reason that’s newsworthy is because a lot of businesses are struggling, yet our clients are thriving and expanding.

The reason is simple. They are applying antimimeticisomorphism principles of Exponential Mindset Thinking – having fun, doing out–of-the-ordinary things that create extra-ordinary results with the least amount of effort and at the lowest cost.

If you’re not GROWING, you’re contracting.
There is no middle ground.

If you want to grow your business, isn’t it time you contacted us to get going and growing?

Lead Generation For Small Business

Sports Car, Fast CarAcross Italy, police are cracking down on Ferrari and Lamborghini drivers, but not because they are driving too fast.

Italy, like so much of southern Europe, is drowning in debt, so police are pursuing drivers to make sure they are declaring – and therefore paying taxes on – earnings that would allow them to afford cars worth as much as half a million dollars.

The lesson here is that as a business, you want to adopt antimimeticisomorphism thinking – simply put, think differently to get different results.

If you are struggling to find new leads for your business – start looking at WHAT your clients are DOING, WHERE they are going, WHO they are spending time with…

If it works for the police in Italy, it might just work for you!

For example, want to deal with better clients? Look at the help wanted ads – companies who are HIRING are doing better than the ones who are laying off workers. Want more out-of-the-box ideas like this to grow your business? Contact us.

Are you in the entrepreneurial jail?

One of the sad things I see in my line of work as The Exponential Growth Strategist is business owners who are slaves to their business and won’t admit to themselves.

They put up appearances and “posture” when I meet them, claiming they are decisive and “in charge”, but just a little probing reveals the truth.

They are working for their employees and not the other way around.

Now don’t get me wrong. Great employees are fantastic, but toxic employees are a life-threatening, profit killing cancer to a small business.

I put together a quick quiz you can take to determine if you’re in the entrepreneurial jail or not.

Are You Really In Charge? Problem Employees, Bad Employees

Yes = 1, No= 0, Not Sure = 0

Total your points and let’s see how you measure up:

If you scored 1, 2, or 3: You’re on death row
You know there’s very little hope for freedom unless you make dramatic changes.

If you scored 3, 4 or 5: You’re got a life sentence with a chance of parole
You have a job with tax benefits and poor working conditions.

If you scored 5, 6 or 7: You’re on parole.
Like most business owners, you like to think you’re the boss, but you realise your personal life and schedule revolves around your staff showing up physically and “mentally” to get the job done.

If you scored 8, 9 or 10: You’re Free!
Y
ou’re in control and happy to be master of your own destiny. You are the exception to the rule. Well done!

If you scored 0, you know you’re taking your last breath, time has run out and all the appeals have been used. It’s over.

Muddled Messages

Marketing Communications, Copywriting, Writing Copy, Marketing Message

Muddled Marketing Messages

I recently blogged and asked if your clients understand you. Today’s photo of the week is a great reminder of the need to avoid muddled messages.

In marketing and sales, the clarity of the message is a key component of success.

That being said, all too often, messages get muddled by the time they reach their audience.

Want to test it for yourself?

If you have staff, ask a handful of them what your USP (Unique Selling  Proposition), mission/vision statement or key competitive advantage is.

If you don’t have enough staff to make the test statistically significant, ask your existing clients.

See what happens.

Chances are you’ll get a muddled message, maybe even totally different and/or conflicting themes.

Give that some serious thought…

How much more (cost) effective and (time) efficient would your marketing be if you had a CLEAR MESSAGE?

Hmmm…

Contact us and we’ll help you get YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS, clearly and succinctly.

BTW, the photo was sent to us by Successful Endeavours in Melbourne – have a look at their website – you’ll see their message CLEARLY STATED on their home page:

“We make electronics and embedded software work the way they should,
saving you up to 2 out of every 3 dollars you otherwise would have wasted,
so you can manufacture your market leading product in Australia at a profit.”

“NOICE!”

Apple’s Cash Pooling

Cash Pooling, Apple Tax, Apple Tax PlanningAs you know, I am a huge fan(atic) of Apple‘s products – haven been for more than 20 years. Of course with great products and market-leading valuations means Apple gets a lot of news coverage. This week it’s about it’s overseas tax planning strategies and cash pooling.

Even though they are legitimate and legal, the popular press is all over it because of their recent declaration of a share buy back and establishing a dividend payment to shareholders.

Even though it makes for great headlines and sells newspapers and now online advertising, the reality is that these strategies are impossible if you can’t do what financial managers call Cash Pooling.

It’s quite sophisticated and all multi-billion corporations do it. Simply put, it’s knowing where your cash is so you can place and use it in the most effective place which usually involves tax considerations. As a business owner, it’s just another reminder that the practices of the “big boys” still applies to small business – especially those in high growth mode. Knowing where you cash is and having it where and when you need it can be the difference between growth and believe it or not – going bust.

Many high growth businesses (even profitable) ones run out of cash due to irregular cash flows and their timing. If you’re struggling with Excel spreadsheets to figure out where your cash is, you might want to consider an online cash management solution that goes well beyond your accounting and bookkeeping tasks.

Disclaimer: I am currently LONG on APPLE stock. I figure with $100 Billion in cash reserves, they have more than enough cash to deal with any competitors and technological challenges that will come up.

Strategy Versus Tactics

Business Coaching, Business Mentor, Business Coach, Business MentoringWe have all heard the expression “you need to work ON your business instead of IN it…

Easier said than done.

In fact, for most owner operators, it’s a transition they can never make.

The reason is simple: The personality traits that got them to go INTO business are exactly the ones that will keep them chained to the business, day in, day out.

Those personality traits create behaviours and habits that unfortunately most entrepreneurs can’t break. Sorry to be so pessimistic. It’s just the way it is.

Are you wondering if you’re one of the FEW who can make the transition?

If you are, you need to be:

  • Open minded
  • Flexible
  • Self aware

Otherwise you’re kidding yourself and will waste a lot of time money and effort on trying to change something that’s not going to change – YOU.

If you’re stubborn, intractable and think you’ve got it all figured out – “goodonya mate”. You’re all set and have “no worries”. She’ll be right mate.

If you’re open minded, flexible and self aware and want to work ON your business to grow it with less effort, have a look at my coaching and mentoring philosophy page. If it resonates with you, then contact us.

How To Grow Your Business

We all remember playing around with a Rubik’s Cube, getting close to solving it only to scramble it even more… Those frustrations are not all that different from business owners who try to grow their businesses…

Now there’s a special tool to help you grow your business – it’s called a Marc-Ka-Ching Kube!

Business Growth Products

I recently created a short YouTube video (48 seconds) that highlights what you can do with the exponential power of the Internet.

In less than 1 minute, I am able to introduce myself as The Exponential Growth Strategist, promote my 1 Percent Improvement Doctrine to help you get more done with less effort, and make sure your business gets noticed by going from Bland To Brand.

And that’s just 20 seconds into the 48 second video!

Then I explain that you can increase conversions and sales with our Killer Kopywriting System as well as get news leads for a fraction of the cost with our brand new Internet Sales Lead Generation Toolkit so you can acquire the Mindset Of A Champion and win in business!

All of that in less than a minute!

The reason this video is on my Business Coaching And Mentoring blog is because all of our Internet Marketing Strategies are geared for REAL businesses who want to sell more of their products and/or services.

The Internet and its multimedia capabilities enable you to do that at a fraction of the cost, with minimum effort.

This entire campaign took me about 1 hour and cost less than $100 in total.

That’s hard to beat with ‘traditional advertising’.

Are You A Cost Or A Benefit?

Corporate Branding, Bland To Brand, Corporate PositioningClients see you in one of two ways, either as a COST or as a BENEFIT.

Examples of companies that are perceived as a ‘cost’

  • Lawyers
  • Dentists
  • Plumbers
  • Gym
  • Search consultants/headhunters

Examples of companies that are perceived as a ‘benefit’

  • Restaurants that you want to eat at (non fast food)
  • Jeweller
  • Concerts and events
  • Zoo and other attractions
  • Pubs, bars and other entertainment

Here’s the thing – UNLESS you transform yourself from a cost to a benefit, you’ll remain stuck in the vortex of price matching and discounting – BECAUSE the prospects SEE you as a cost and not as a benefit.

Continue reading ‘Are You A Cost Or A Benefit?’

Print media is alive and well – as it should be

I was just talking with a print publisher explaining to her that I am a firm believer in the immense value of print media – EVEN if we are in a digital age, we are still not about to forego print anytime soon. Print just has to COMPLEMENT digital capabilities. Both print and digital can and SHOULD co-exist at least for another 5 years (if not a lot longer).

If we look at email versus direct mail, you’d think the physical mailing would be on its way out, but there has been a resurgence of direct mail BECAUSE of the overload of electronic media. Most people sign up for every email subscription and don’t manage their inbox very well.

Recent research estimates the number of emails sent per day to be around 294 billion which means more than 2.8 million emails are sent every second and some 90 trillion emails are sent per year. Even though most are spam and viruses, emails are sent by around 2.5 billion genuine email users.

Regardless of the Internet Statistics, they all point to electronic information overload with the average professional receiving more than 100 e-mails every day. That’s enough to load up your inbox quicker than you can clean it out.

That’s why the physical mailing has not only become an attractive alternative to email and online marketing, but a source of pre-screened and highly qualified visitors.

The Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA, USA) report that consumers are most motivated to begin an online search after viewing advertisements in magazines followed by ads on television and then newspapers.

RAMA, Offline Consumers Research Online

Offline Consumers Come Online Via Magazines

What print media publishers need to recognise and appreciate
is the tactile aspect of their product

Reading a Newspaper, Newspaper AdvertisingNothing beats having a newspaper, magazine or book in hand. I totally understand the sexiness of an iPad, but it’s NOT the same experience. It’s a DIFFERENT ONE.

That’s the point I’m trying to make.

Print is print is print.

When publishers forget that, the game is over.

So what is a print publisher to do?

  1. Embrace digital technology to complement, supplement and enhance the print medium with additional features and benefits.
  2. Link the print medium to online alternatives with polls, surveys, feedback, audio and video components. A print article can easily be an introduction to a full in-depth interview or book chapter available online as an opt-in download.
  3. Print-exclusive promotions such as tear-out coupons (identified as such) can bolster subscriptions and/or increase distribution.
  4. Physical distribution costs can be shared with partners who have a vested interest in the publication’s increased reach.
  5. Want to know more ideas and suggestions, contact us – it’s what we do for our clients!

A recent study showed that about 8 in 10 Canadians read a newspaper each week with American weekly and British daily readership at 64 and 49% respectively.

Magazines Canada reports that magazines are read by all age groups, and an average of 78 % read a magazine within the last 30 days.

An analysis by the Magazine Media Fact Book reveals American magazine reading habits include 93% of adults reading magazines for an average of 42 minutes per issue.

Print media statistics, Magazine StatisticsIf you think it’s only the senior demographic that is holding on to physical print media, you’re dead wrong!

A recent study discovered that North American consumers, aged 18-34, prefer direct mail over online media for many types of marketing communications.

Examples of consumer preferences for offline versus online are:

Product Offline Online
Personal Care 62% 22%
Food Products 66% 23%
Cleaning Products 66% 20%
Over The Counter Medecine 53% 21%
Sensitive Health Products 46% 21%
Prescription Medecine 45% 21%

Young generation reading magazinesBut there’s a condition for the young generation to hold on to traditional print media.it’s vital that there be a cross-channel synergy between digital and direct mail for it to be effective.

So there you have it, if you want to get more sales in 2012, you need to go back to traditional offline marketing and leverage it with online ‘web enabled’ benefits.

Act as the business you want to be

If you want the genesis of this concept, watch Steve Job’s Commencement Address To Stanford University Graduates in 2005 shown below.

Listen to one of our Platinum Program Members
who explains this philosophy in his own words:

When we started, we were aiming to assist smaller businesses, those with less
than 20 employees.  This is because 55% of all employment income in this
country is paid by those businesses.  The multinationals only provide 2%.

So wanting to help Australia be a more prosperous and competitive economy
meant helping those smaller businesses to really become successful,
particularly in export markets.

So we started as a small, lower cost base business able to serve smaller
clients cost effectively.  Since then I have grown less enamoured with this
position over time.  There is a reason companies remain small.  Sometimes it
is because that is what they want.  Less.  Less is easier and can involve
reduced risk, though not always.  But often it is because they don’t have
the mindset, skill or vision to be anything else.

It is clear that for us to grow, I have to have the resources to do more work
and the income to pay for those resources.  So our business model doesn’t
scale if we want to move up in size.  Particularly with the type of clients we
have generally been working with.

This year I’m thinking about how to take what we are doing and push it past
the $1,000,000 mark.  So what I’ve started doing is pricing our quotes as if
we already were that size.  Sometimes this means the price is double what it
might have previously been.  But I’m also looking at the delivery side and
making sure it also looks like it should for the size of business I want to
be.

And it is working!  We are changing.  We are looking at moving to commercial
premises before the end of the financial year.  A new class of clients are
being attracted to us (and us to them) because our value proposition makes
sense to them.  Some of these clients are larger than our previous target
companies.  Some are wanting to grow and know they need the right
partnerships to get there.  There is a long way to go yet but the progress
is encouraging.

So my distinction is a simple one.  Start acting like who and what you want
to be.  Don’t wait for the growth and then respond.  Change first.  Be the
catalyst yourself.  Make it happen first in you and then it will flow out to
the rest of the world.

Steve Jobs would be proud.

What watching Grey’s Anatomy taught me about growing a business

Some people say that TV rots your brain and can’t teach you anything. I like to take a more exponential approach. TV is great way to unwind (if you’re like me and lucky enough to have the time ;-) and you can occasionally learn something from the boob tube and not just from documentaries.

Last week I was watching one of my favorite shows, Grey’s Anatomy (I actually bought the first six seasons on DVD to avoid all the annoying commercials!) and I realised that doctors are really on to something. I mean both real doctors and TV docs like the ones on Grey’s, but more on that later.

Business Coach, Business Coaching, Business Mentor, Business Mentoring

Grey's Anatomy and MasterMind Groups

Continue reading ‘What watching Grey’s Anatomy taught me about growing a business’

Why You Lose Clients

This graph says it all…

As a regular reader or subscriber to this and my other blogs, you know about my holistic approach to business. One of the key components of what Exponential Marketing is all about is establishing authentic and genuine rapport with your suspects, prospects and clients via what I call “Killer Konversations“.

If you don’t engage interactively with your suspects, prospects and clients, they will simply gravitate towards suppliers and providers that give them the attention they seek.

The exponential question then becomes – what conversation / relationship do you want to have with them? And secondly, how are you going to manage them?

Client Attrition, Lost Clients, Losing Clients, Lose Sales, Lost Sales

Sources Of Client Attrition

Creating the various client conversations is one of the main features of what we do within the Platinum Program. Click on the hyperlink to learn more about how we could help you grow your business.

4 Minutes To Explosive Growth

I love it when I learn my own lessons! I teach ambitious entrepreneurs and business executives how to find hidden opportunities in their businesses.

Opportunities that are sitting right there, under there noses…

That’s what happened to me today.

I figuratively tripped across a 4-minute audio that I completely forgot I had in my archives (I have more than 500 different electronic product components…)

It’s only 4 minutes, but it includes all of this!

Essential ingredients you NEED in your marketing to get
your PROFITS TO RISE FASTER than yeast in BREAD

  • These ideas will enable you to bring home up to quarter of a million dollars per year more instead of netting a profit that makes you feel you are working in a job (Just Over Broke)  (00:24)
  • Following these steps for improving your methods will bullet-proof your career and business so you will always lock in this much profit each year as a minimum (00:37)
  • Changing this one thing will minimize your risk so you will feel you’re working your way to the upper crust rather than picking up the crumbs of clientele from the bottom of the heap (00:47)
  • These vital ingredients enable you to look at things differently to get a bigger slice of the pie (00:54)
  • Making these small changes within your business each week for less than a hundred dollars can grow your profits by a factor of 157. (2:40)
  • Gaining new ideas on a daily basis provides the raw materials to get top-quality results within the first year (3:17)
  • Learning to think exponentially is like the air in your dough: it will help your brand, business and profits rise to peak levels (4:00)
  • The mindset you will gain from these distinctions will get people begging to give you their money so you will be rolling in dough (4:25) faster than you knead it!

Click here to access this 4-minute audio that reveals the 1 Percent Improvement Doctrine.

How To Add Value To Your Clients

Exponential Marketing has a cornerstone concept: Add value to your clients and they will come back and refer more clients to you. Easier said than done.

That’s why I’ve included a simple example: An Australia Post Postcard Fact Sheet that helps clients prepare their documents for direct mail.

The question for YOU is “What basic information, like this can you make available to your clients?”

The more information you make available, the easier it will be for them to do business with you = you’ll sell more.

When you’re exponential, you create Pathways To Profits™ that guide people through the path of least resistance preemptively, smoothly, creating a memorable and hopefully unique experience they will want to repeat themselves and advocate to others.

This is what we help our clients do – create a Business Building Blueprint™ that summarises these processes so everyone in the business knows what to do and ideally, automate them leveraging the Internet so the business transforms from an effort-based model to a value-based model.

Australian Business Ownership On The Rise

According to a recent Bankwest Business Trends Report, there were 42,000 more start-ups, a 3.3% increase in the number of people running their own business in 2010 than there were in 2009.

The report states this is the strongest level of start-up growth seen in almost a decade, with 1.3 million Australians now running their own business, accounting for 11.5% of employed Australians.

The report also reveals that there are more men than women running their own business. However, the strongest growth has come from female entrepreneurs. The Bankwest Report explains “We have found that over the past year, the growth rates for women running a business are almost double compared to men and over a five year period, the growth rates for women are more than triple that of men.” Women entrepreneurs are increasingly choosing to work for themselves for the added flexibility, in addition to the ease with which one can now work from home.

So, you’d think you’re in good company…

Business Coach, Business Coaching, Business Mentor Continue reading ‘Australian Business Ownership On The Rise’

Marketing Tip: Creating value for your clients – Part two

In a previous blog post, I explained how to use a promotional product to add value to your clients, prospects and suspects. I know this is an example of antimimeticisomorphism that takes a while to get a grasp of, which is why I wanted to show you an alternative, called Permacharts, shown below.

Permachart - Sample

The charts themselves are self-explanatory, but which ones can help your clients?

Continue reading ‘Marketing Tip: Creating value for your clients – Part two’