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Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneur’


Are you an ‘indentured servant’ to what you’ve been conditioned to believe?

By: Dan Kennedy on: April 30th, 2013 1 Comment

“Indentured Servants Who Broke Free

That’s the headline of a small section in Forbes May issue.

Highlighting entrepreneurs who served as apprentices before striking out on their own, the choice of the words, “indentured” and “broke free” is a reminder why you own your own business…

To not have anyone tell you how to do things, to be independent and in total control.

To be able to do business on your own terms.

That’s what you want, right?

The dentist that closes at 3:00pm on Tuesdays so he can go watch his kid’s baseball games. Or the info-marketer who does what he does so he can travel and do business from anywhere in the world. Or the mompreneur who likes her two-minute commute to her home office and works her schedule around her kids.

Personally, a close rival to the fascination I get from turning the words I write into money is the autonomy I have.

Having the freedom and independence to work where I want, when I want, how I want and with whom I want is one of the main perks for doing what I do.

As an entrepreneur and GKIC member, it’s an important idea for you and one of the biggest reasons for doing all the stuff we teach here.

Of course, doing business on your own terms is a marketing strategy in and of itself. (This strategy and the 19 autonomy factors are discussed further in Absolute Autonomy Blueprint.)

I do things in my business that others say would be “impossible” for them to do. For example, I only answer my mail once a week and if you miss that window, well you might have to wait a week or more to get a response from me.

I don’t do email or carry a cell phone. I use a fax machine to communicate.

I require clients to come to my office to meet with me. If they want me to come to them, I require a private plane and won’t fly on commercial airlines.

People give me all kinds of reasons why that “can’t” or “won’t” work for them. But let’s be clear about one thing. You’ve been conditioned to believe that you should be available to your clients or customers or patients 24/7. And the idea of not being readily and immediately available to them is in deep conflict with what you have been taught.

You’ve likely received pushback too…with people saying things like, “What makes you think you can close your shop early?” or “Do you really think the world is supposed to revolve around you?”

How available you are to clients, customers and patients is just one example of where you may be doing business on someone else’s terms instead of your own. I could of course list dozens more. But the truth I want you to get to is that the pushback you receive when you decide to do business on your own terms comes from people who have a problem with you having that kind of freedom.

In fact, if you are successful at all, if you are in control at all, everybody else who isn’t successful or isn’t in control or who doesn’t have the freedom to set their own schedule will have a problem with that. But that is their problem.

When you have worked hard, been responsible and smart about things. When you have invested in yourself and your business and created good marketing, you are entitled to independence and control. If you go to the lengths required to deliver exceptional service and quality, you deserve to be able to set up your business the way you want.

Examine all the beliefs you have about why your business is designed the way it is.  By constantly exploring all the options you have, you might be surprised to find that what you’ve been conditioned to believe is the only way to do things is not really the only way.

Think about why you do things the way you do. Whether it’s the hours you operate or how much you charge or who you sell to or how you deliver your products or services…be open to all the options you have—and realize you’ve earned the right to make the choice.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

Three Ways To Increase Your Clicks & Revenues Online

By: Dave Dee on: April 23rd, 2013 8 Comments

Recently I heard sad news about a small business that has been an industry giant for decades.

I’ll refrain from using their name as it is one you would undoubtedly recognize. Their products are fantastic and have helped hundreds of thousands of people.

The company has done a great job building their subscription list. They send out emails and hold free webinars with formidable guests. They engage in social media and have hundreds of thousands of followers. Their posts are shared, liked, and commented on. They have even been successful generating viral activity.

And selling is, if not their top strength, close to it.

The thing is…unfortunately, this company is struggling and I’m afraid might not survive.

Why? It’s the same problem many small businesses suffer from…

Not only did they eliminate almost all of their direct mail activities and move the majority of their marketing online, they failed to use direct response concepts in ALL of their online marketing.

You see they didn’t quite understand that while it’s cool to have a big list and necessary to engage with people online…it’s really important that every aspect of online marketing is about hardnosed direct response marketing.

When you engage with a prospect, there must be a purpose behind it. Every time you…

  • send an email
  • write a blog post
  • direct someone to a page on your web site
  • make a post on social media…

…you should be thinking about how you can generate more clicks to your sales pages.

This does NOT mean you should be “selling” or promoting in every online activity. Let me say that again in a different way, because it’s really important. It’s not always about making a sale, but rather about “selling the click.”

For example, let’s say you have an event coming up that costs $500 to attend. You can’t sell someone on a $500 event in a 140 character tweet; however you could send them to a sales letter.

Even better though, you could send people to an opt-in box to get a free video, a free booklet, or attend a free teleseminar that relates to a topic you’ll be talking about at your event. Not only will you get more people to click through to something that is free, but now you’ve captured their email address and can market to them about your event (and your products and services and future event.) This means that instead of getting one chance to get them to click through to your sales page, you have multiple chances.

When you start focusing on how to use direct response in everything you do online, you’ll increase clicks.  And when you increase clicks, you’ll convert more clicks into sales. Just imagine increasing your conversion rate from 5% to 10%. If you did that consistently you would double your revenues.

Here are three ways you can use direct response to increase your clicks…

1) Use Active Verbs. Many businesses will create a link and write something like, “This week’s specials” or “Calendar of Events”. Instead trying putting an action verb at the beginning…”Find out what this week’s specials are here” and “Explore our calendar of events.”

2) Add urgency. Give them a reason to respond right now. While you don’t want every email or social media post to be promotional, using urgency when you are doing a promotion is really effective. You can accomplish this in many ways including using a limited-time offer, scarcity, or a fast action bonus.

3) Make offers. One of Dan Kennedy’s Direct Response Rules is to always make offers.  Look at ways you can incorporate offers into more of your online activities. Offer the first ten people that post a comment on your blog post a copy of the template you mention in your post. Or offer a free webinar on the topic you discussed in your email in your P.S.

If you don’t have a plan that includes how you will insert links that click through to a sales page, your time is wasted. Even worse, you could be the next small business that “bites the dust” because you didn’t put enough focus on how to get people to take a specific action.

Study direct response and start looking for more ways you can implement direct response marketing into your e-newsletters, emails, blog posts and social media. When you do, you’ll see an increase in clicks, which will lead to more sales.

How do you regularly use direct response in your online activities? Share your ideas in the comments below.

NOTE: Do You Want To Discover The 8 Steps To Growing Your Business By 25% to 75% in Just 48 Hours?

Then come to one of GKIC’s Fast Implementation Boot Camps where you’ll walk away with the blueprint in hand of what you need to do to grow your business and see results almost immediately!  This event is totally FREE to GKIC Insider’s Circle Members.  Simply go to www.dankennedy.com/bootcamp to reserve your spot now.

Not a member?  Take GKIC’s FREE Trial Membership by going to www.dankennedy.com/incrediblegift now and get access to thousands and money-making strategies, this FREE two day workshop and best of all…full access to the GKIC Insiders Circle area online.

Three Tips Guaranteed To Boost Your Productivity Instantly

By: Darcy Juarez on: April 16th, 2013 9 Comments

As a small business owner, one of the biggest challenges you have is getting everything done.

In fact, one of the things we often hear from new members is “how do we find time to read everything and implement all this stuff.”

A frustrating puzzle for many because they know if they read and implement our proven strategies, they will be more successful.

So what’s the solution?

What really holds business owners back are “time vampires,” procrastination, and productivity drain holes.

It is possible to boost your productivity to levels you didn’t think possible…so that you can get more done in less time.

Today, in order to help you start tackling these I’ve put together three tips on how to advance your business and avoid feeling like your day has slipped away without accomplishing much.

1)     Make productivity your top ambition. If you are going to achieve extreme productivity, it has to be top of mind awareness at all times and ensure your behavior is congruent.  To demonstrate, I’m going to use the idea of saving money. If your number one goal is to save money, you watch every penny you spent like a hawk. The same goes with productivity. It should be on your mind all the time—asking yourself if what you are doing is productive or non-productive and accounting for everything you do.  A minute wasted “here” and a minute wasted “there” can quickly expand and sink an entire day.

2)     Identify and plug your productivity drain holes. Temptations, habits, and lack of knowledge suck productivity from you. Identifying which drain holes you are victim to is the first step to becoming more productive.  For example, you might be super-efficient with your time, but using the wrong strategies. Once you are aware of what is causing the problem, you’ll find there are methodical ways to solve this. This can be one of the most eye-opening and profitable activities you can do for your business.  And most likely won’t take you long to identify as you’ll see yourself when you quickly read through the list.  (Refer to pages 7-11 of Extreme Productivity Blueprint for a list of the common productivity drain holes and how to plug each one.)

3)     Automate whenever you can. Automating allows you to literally be “two places at one time.” Case in point, last year the entire GKIC staff was heading to an event. We knew we would be busy and not have time to round up new members and sell things. Of course we have many automated series in place to attract new members, such as our Most Incredible Free Gift Ever series (This is a great example for you to study and follow in your own business, if you haven’t checked it out, I encourage you to go take a look at it here now.) However, in addition to attracting new members, we want to be able to sell things. So we created an automatic sequence that was able to triple our membership to one of our newsletter products while we were off at an event.

 

As you may already know the biggest strength I bring to any business I work with is my ability to automate. I strongly believe this is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, and your business to increase your productivity and profitability.

Make productivity your top priority. When you become laser-focused on productivity and make it your top priority, you’ll soon find more ways to replace manual labor with automatic systems. You’ll eliminate your time vampires and you’ll produce more, make more and experience a lot less stress and struggle.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

Four Key Factors You MUST Know If You Want To Hold Onto Your Online Audience

By: Dave Dee on: April 11th, 2013 2 Comments

Last week I was in Ohio with Dan Kennedy and a packed room of entrepreneurs at the New A to Z Info-Biz Blueprints event.

I’m amazed that after 17 years of reading and studying and attending everything Dan does, I still discover new “ah-ha action items” for me to implement.

While I won’t be sharing my action items here today, I do want to talk about the psychology of how you get clients to continually come back to you.

Whether it’s getting your prospects and clients to come back to your events or come back to your website, there are specific ways to accomplish this.  Things you’ll want to implement ASAP because “returning prospects and customers” are key to growing your income.

Today I’ll discuss four ways specific to your online marketing.  It’s important to…

Understand the difference between the way customers view online and offline media.  The Internet was not created to sell. It was created by the U.S. military as a communication system and was later made available for academic institutions.

The idea was to create a place where people could connect and share information, not to sell.  And if you think about what most people do online, they go there to search for information or connect with people on social sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

This means they are in a very different mindset when they read something on your website versus when they read something you’ve sent in the mail.

Reading a sales letter that came in the mail, they may be more relaxed and sitting in their easy chair. But online, people are more alert and searching for specific answers. Make it simple and easy for them to find the answers they are looking for and don’t waste their time with copy that is focused on  branding your product, service or company.

Create specific landing pages. Online your customers compare prices. Offline they don’t. The truth is online audiences do price comparisons… frequently. This is bad news for you.

To help avoid price comparisons and drive your customers to your website, try sending something offline that drives customers to a specific online landing page that then drives them offline again. (KEY POINT: drive your audience to a landing page created specifically for your offer. Do NOT send them to your home page and make them search for your offer or you will lose them.)

For example, an offline postcard could drive people to a landing page with a specific low cost or no cost offer that requires them to enter their address to receive a CD mailer, report, etc. This gets them to raise their hand and say they are interested and gets them offline before you start talking price, thus avoiding the price comparison online.    The next step would be to send them what you promised with an offer to buy your product or use your service. By taking this approach, you’ll have a captive audience and loyal audience that are more apt to buy.

Have a system for capturing email addresses and use auto-responder emails. Another way to get people coming back is to use autoresponder emails. There is always a large portion of people who won’t buy your product or service the first time they find you.

Be sure to include an email capture box on your website so you have a way to continue marketing to them. Then create a series of emails designed to send prospects and customers back to your sales page for your product or service.

Be relevant. Always. If you are looking through the business section in the newspaper searching for information on ways to market your business, you’d expect to see ads about business, travel and things which aren’t related to marketing your business. But online, if you typed in Google, “Ways to market my small business” you’d expect to find exactly what you are looking for, right?

Your content on your web pages, in your emails, etc. should be very relevant to what your reader is looking for and not wander off topic. Because it’s much easier for people to click away from your website than it is to find another book, magazine or newspaper on your topic. This means if you stray they are gone.

Of course these are just four of many things which will help you keep readers returning to you online. If you want to be profitable online, you’ll want to beef up your understanding of the online reader’s mindset. Concentrate on learning and using online marketing strategies that make it simple for you to not only capitalize on this audience, but keep them coming back for more.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

Get an “Unfair” Advantage Over The Competition With These 7 Event Strategies

By: Dan Kennedy on: April 9th, 2013 2 Comments

Over the past week, I spent three days conducting the first of only four live events I’ll do this year.

Although I’ve considerably shrunk the number of events I do, I still consider there to be no substitute for getting people together in a room. Never underestimate the power of holding live events for your customers, clients and patients. You sacrifice a lot when you don’t get them in the same room with you.

Years ago, Gary Halbert held a seminar in Key West, Florida. It was about as easy to get there as hooking up horses to a wagon and taking three days to haul yourself there.  I said to Gary, why not have it in Miami? You like Miami. There’s an airport that flies right into Miami. But Gary didn’t budge. He knew the people who were serious about their business would come, no matter where he was at. He knew they were the truly ambitious, the ones most likely to succeed.

Holding events allows you to identify the people you should pay the most attention to. These are the people who are searching for solutions, committed to finding answers and willing to do what it takes to solve their problem. These are the people you should focus on and engage with the most. And they will come to you no matter where you’re at.

At the New A to Z Info-Biz Blueprints event I spilled everything I know about what I’ve discovered over the past 40 years to work as well as what doesn’t work in Information Marketing.  The positives and the negatives in boom times and in bad times. The good trends and the evil trends. How to find the right combination to “the vault.” Key factors when considering a market for entry or expansion. Blueprints for everything from product development to presentation of price to lead generation and more. I gave insider information that you won’t find in writing and will be stricken from any audios or videos made.

Rewarding customers, clients and patients with information or other items they won’t get from you any other way, not only makes your customers, clients and patients feel special, it gives them an advantage over others. This will improve your bond with clients and create better retention.

It wasn’t until I attended a Gary Halbert event that I realized I could charge royalties for my copywriting. Until I heard Gary say he charged royalties, it hadn’t occurred to me that I could get them too… despite me being well aware that writers are often paid royalties on other types of work such as books. Events allow people to see firsthand that they can be successful using your methods. This can prove very valuable to them (and to you.)

You also create fraternity and community while facilitating connections. I’m accustomed to hearing stories from members about alliances formed and money made as a result of meeting someone at an event. One year at SuperConference (click the link now and check out the latest video!) Ed O’Keefe struck up a conversation in the bathroom that was later worth $1.5 million to him.  I’d tell you the details, but you kind of had to be there.

For years I’ve attended events just because it allowed me to see friends that are separated from me geographically. It’s much easier and frankly less expensive for me to see everyone by attending an event.  Similarly, your customers will form a fraternity too.

You’ll often hear, just as we do, that your clients, customers and patients don’t have time to trek off to a conference, seminar or event. But make no mistake, conducting live events and seminars gives you an enormous advantage over your competition. And it gives those who attend your event an enormous advantage too.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

Seven Tips For Getting And Keeping Your Financial House In Order

By: Darcy Juarez on: April 4th, 2013 7 Comments

It didn’t take her long to go out of business.

She was 22 years old and it was the first time she’d owned her own business.

Why was she forced to fold her business?

Not for the reason you might expect: lack of sales.

She went out of business because she was uneducated about keeping records for taxes, budgeting finances and keeping cash flow positive.

This story was told to me recently by a GKIC member who I’m proud to say is doing much better in business these days.

Depending upon your own personal experience, it may or may not come as a surprise to you that one of the top reasons small businesses fail is because of their lack of keeping their financial house in order.

Taking care of billing, tracking your expenses, taxes and other financial tasks can seem overwhelming and stressful for new business owners.

Even those who have been in business for themselves awhile can find managing their finances intimidating or perhaps not your favorite thing to do.

However getting and keeping your financial house in order makes things not only less stressful, but can help ensure you don’t overspend and that you have enough money for your savings, investments and retirement.

Here are seven tips for getting your financial house in order.

1)     Get some advice. If you’ve never been in business for yourself or if you struggle with managing your finances, get some advice. It’s an investment that could prove crucial to your survival and one of the smartest investments you can make. It may be as simple as meeting with an accountant to get advice or finding a seasoned, successful business owner who can give you advice on how to run a profitable business.

2)     Create a budget. When starting a business, your income may fluctuate. Therefore it is very important to have a budget both for your business expenses and your personal expenses. Use your lowest income or your average income, rather than your highest income, to base your budget on. In your business budget, you’ll want to include items such as tax payments, marketing, education, Internet service, your cell phone, and so on.

3)     Manage your expenses. While you want to avoid carrying debt, you may find it necessary to incur some debt, especially when getting started.

For example, you will need to invest in marketing materials to show the world you are open for business and looking for clients, customers or patients. Using swipe and deploy marketing systems proven to work will help you prevent costly mistakes and help you feel confident about getting a return on your investment. (A great place to start is to use the marketing systems found in Magnetic Marketing, our number one recommended resource by GKIC members.)

If you need to incur debt, don’t take on more debt than you think you can reasonably pay off. The key is to manage your debts by paying on time so that you avoid additional charges, using the lowest interest rate credit cards or loans possible, paying off debts as soon as possible and only incurring debts that are absolutely necessary.

4)     Use financial management tools. Keeping track of expenses, income, invoices and past due invoices, estimated taxes, etc. can feel daunting at times, especially if you’re a new business owner. However, not keeping track of these can cause your business to fail or even put you in hot water legally.

Fortunately, there are financial management tools you can use that will make this much easier and require a minimal amount of your time and effort. Most are inexpensive and some are even free. A few to check out are Zoho, Freshbooks, and Get Harvest. Each has varying features and track things like your time, invoices, and expenses. Some you can set up things such as automatic invoice reminders or scan receipts in your phone to create automatic expense reports.

5)     Put money aside every time you make a deposit. Dan Kennedy discusses setting a percentage of your income aside for both savings and charitable donations each time you get paid in his book, No B.S. Wealth Attraction in the New Economy.  There are multiple reasons for doing this. The obvious reasons are that you have money “for a rainy day” and you get into the habit of saving. But even more important are the psychological benefits you get from this habit. Read more about this and Dan Kennedy’s “90-Day Experiment” in chapter 14 of No B.S. Wealth Attraction For Entrepreneurs

6)     Track whether you are “on schedule.” Dan Kennedy suggests you track day by day whether or not you are on schedule to hit your income and wealth targets for the week, month, quarter and year. By assessing where you are frequently, you have an opportunity to correct when you fall behind. If you wait until July to see if you are on schedule to hit your financial goals, you may already be too late to correct your course to reach your financial goals.

7)     Plan for your retirement.  There is no retirement funded by someone else when you are a small business owner. That means you are entirely responsible for your retirement. On the flip side, setting up a retirement plan can also help you shelter your business profit. In the U.S. the two most common self-employment retirement plans are a Simplified Employee Pension plan (SEP) and Keogh plan.

In 2013, in either one, you can put in up to twenty-five percent of your net earnings or fifty-one thousand dollars (whichever is smaller) from your self-employment income. Like an IRA you can deduct this money off the top of your income, which gives you a big tax savings.

Compare that to an IRA with a cap of $5000 (or $6000 if you are 50 or older) and you can easily see the advantage of the SEP and Keogh plans.

Of course these are just a couple of options and I am not a financial advisor, so I’d advise you to

seek professional counsel to ensure you set up the best plan for you. The point is to set up a retirement plan and start saving immediately.

Integrating these tips will help you get your financial house in order making the financial end of your business more profitable and less stressful.

 

NOTE: Do You Want To Discover The 8 Steps To Growing Your Business By 25% to 75% in Just 48 Hours?

Then come to one of GKIC’s Fast Implementation Boot Camps where you’ll walk away with the blueprint in hand of what you need to do to grow your business and see results almost immediately!  This event is totally FREE to GKIC Insider’s Circle Members.  Simply go to www.dankennedy.com/bootcamp to reserve your spot now.

Not a member?  Take GKIC’s FREE Trial Membership by going to www.dankennedy.com/incrediblegift now and get access to thousands and money-making strategies, this FREE two day workshop and best of all…full access to the GKIC Insiders Circle area online.

Unhappy With Your Tax Return? Four Strategies To Boost Next Year’s Return

By: Dave Dee on: April 2nd, 2013 No Comments

Because of the April 15th U.S. tax deadline, this is the time of year business owners tend to focus more intensely on their finances.

So all this week, to help make sure you have more income to focus on come next April 15th, we’re going to talk about ways to boost your profits and improve your financial outlook.

Here are four strategies you can employ immediately:

Look for opportunity. A good businessman sees opportunities where others don’t. Train yourself to sniff out and be open to opportunities everywhere.  The founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, says, “One of the great myths of business is that opportunity knocks. Opportunity does not knock at your door, you have to bang on the door yourself and keep knocking until you get in.”

He suggests, as does Dan Kennedy, that you look for opportunity in obstacles. Surrounding yourself with successful people will help you to learn how to see, hear and sniff out opportunity.  (Two great places to surround yourself with people like this are at events such as SuperConference and at Chapter meetings. If you aren’t currently a member and would like to learn more about Chapter meetings, claim your $633.91 worth of pure moneymaking information and get access to try attending a chapter meeting here.)

Keep score. Motivational speaker and author, Earl Nightingale once said, “There are really three amounts of money every person should decide upon: the yearly income he wants, now or in the near future, the amount of money he wants to have in savings and investments, and the amount of money he wants as retirement income, whether he ever retires from active work or not.”

Dan Kennedy says, “Money is THE most effective means of keeping score.” Money goals are very important…they reflect both the value you have developed and the value that you have delivered. To truly create wealth, you need a system for developing wealth and keeping score.

Make a plan for not only earning money, but also a plan for saving and investing. Even when you are starting out and feel you have no money to save or invest, you must have a plan for this.  Having money in savings affects you physiologically. Similarly not having money affects you. Which is why money in savings can be especially crucial in the beginning.

Transcend ordinary thinking about money.  Dan Kennedy often says that the key to naming your price is being able to look someone in the eye and keep a straight face while quoting the fee.

There is truth to that, but what he really means is that you have to think about time and money differently. Instead of thinking about making a certain dollar amount per hour or marking up your price by a certain percentage, you must think about your price in terms of the value you deliver. When you think about value, you’ll find it easier to not only raise your fees, but get people to willingly pay them.

Build a strategic round table business team.  You need a team of entrepreneurs—a mastermind group—that you can regularly meet with and brainstorm on ways to grow your business.

One of the benefits of a mastermind is the pooling of resources. It is often difficult for an individual to obtain what he needs for his business himself. For example, brilliant ideas don’t make it past the drawing board because the individual who came up with it can’t raise enough capital or access a resource needed on their own. Or a business owner has strengths in creativity, but not in marketing.

Not only will you gain ideas when you have a strategic team, but when you are talking about a concept or idea and you lack a key resource to fulfill your idea, many times you’ll find a member of your group that will be able to connect you to what you need and expand your network.  (If you are looking for the right strategic business team, i.e. mastermind group, check out these options available to you here.)

Make this year more profitable than last. Develop a system and write down your goals for how much you’ll earn, save, and invest. The most successful and ambitious people attend events. So surround yourself with successful people by attending events regularly and be on the lookout for opportunity everywhere.  And start building your business team that will help you expand your network and connect you to the resources you need to grow your business…and your income.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

Dwindling customers? How to make more money FAST

By: Dan Kennedy on: March 28th, 2013 12 Comments

A recent article about one of the world’s largest ferry boat systems says they are swiping money from one program to keep another program afloat.

Why are they forced to do this?

Increased  costs coupled with a dwindling customer base.

A cry all too familiar to many businesses these days.

Swiping money from Peter to pay Paul may keep them afloat – but only temporarily.  It’s a stop-gap method that eventually catches up to every business.

Did your business lose customers last year?

If “yes,” my guess is you can’t say for sure how many you lost, who you lost, why you lost them or where they went.

But one thing is for certain…

If you do nothing different, I can send you this same message next year too.

In stormy economic seas, investors turn more attention to preservation of capital vs. growth or yield.

The next four years provide tremendous opportunity, but also are filled with tremendous risk.

Business owners must give more attention to preservation of their business’ equity—which actually lies almost entirely in their relationship with their customers, and, of course, their personal capital: their time and energy.

Regrettably, many do not pay nearly enough attention to these things until forced to by adverse circumstances.

Most businesses get this wrong. They think it is easier to just keep trying to attract new customers. Aside from the fact that there is a finite pool of new customers, in truth, a great way to make more money is to stop losing customers.

This will require accurately determining what a customer is worth and what the cost of replacing a customer really is…so you can decide how much you are willing to invest to NOT lose a customer.

Next taking that investment and deciding how to apportion it, between programs for customer retention and winning back customers. Then designing, re-designing, beefing up and actually implementing both programs. Then testing, evaluating, improving, again and again.

In my own work and you’ll find in GKIC’s strategy, that a lot of time, money and work is spent in doing exactly this, even though we already have low loss/high retention and sophisticated multi-step, multi-faceted “stick” programs for new customers, and “keep” programs for continuing customers, and “rescue and recovery” for lost customers.

Do you?

But we continue and will continue to add to, experiment with, refine and hopefully improve all three.

Will you?

Often we will implement twenty or more different adjustments in a ninety day period. Some minor, some simple, some painfully complex.

How many are you testing in your three programs by June 30?

Every year, I’m somebody’s lost customer. Many don’t even realize I’m lost. I guess they think “gee, he hasn’t been in, in a while,” or perhaps they don’t even know I’m gone. Every year, national companies and local shops lose me as a customer. I can’t recall even one, ever, doing anything proactive and significant about their loss.

That is just one very practical suggestion for making a lot more money fast. Here’s another: upgrade customers before you lose them. You’ll then lose less automatically. This idea alone is worth giving a lot of thought.

You ought to HATE and I mean HATE—losing customers.

The athletes and teams who win a lot hate losing, even more than they like winning. To win races, you’ve got to hate losing. Winning is not sufficient motivation. You NEED to understand the true economics of losing customers.

You NEED to get yourself highly motivated and passionately committed to invest aggressively in not losing customers.

No business exists solely on its owners’ ability to get customers. Successful businesses sustain themselves only keep them.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

Begging For Change To Millionaire In One Year. His Secret Revealed…

By: Darcy Juarez on: March 26th, 2013 1 Comment

He was abused and started drinking as a teenager.

Ending up homeless, he begged on the streets for change in order to survive.

Today Toronto Canada native Francis O’Dea is a multi-millionaire.

O’Dea says, “One year I was broke, the next year I was a millionaire.”

What is his secret?

He says for six months he lived on the streets with no clue as to what he wanted or how to get out of his current situation.

He changed his circumstance by changing his focus. 

He got a job and focused on turning his life around.  Later, with a friend, he opened a little coffee shop naming it, “Second Cup.”

Today, Second Cup is Canada’s largest Canadian-based specialty coffee retailer with more than 360 cafes across Canada.  Although, O’Dea sold his shares in Second Cup in 1988 when they had 150 locations, he went on to enjoy an extremely successful business career, receiving the Order of Canada in 2004.

While sometimes it’s a lack of focus on what we want that causes us to stay stuck, other times it’s caused by getting too comfortable in our routine and not knowing how to change our situation.

By just shifting your focus, even slightly, you can create big wins.

Here are some simple ideas for where you can shift your focus to improve your business and your income:

Sharpen your marketing. If your marketing isn’t working the way the way it used to, a quick way to correct the problem is to consider hiring a professional copywriter to audit your copy. While it may make more sense to start fresh, sometimes an audit of an existing piece of copy or funnel can identify slight changes and quick fixes that will make your marketing fresh and profitable again.

Before you hire a copywriter, be sure to read our FREE report:  The 7 Key Questions Every Copywriter You Hire MUST Be Able to Answer To Write Killer Direct Response Copy and Create Marketing Campaigns That Will Outsell The Pants Off Your Competition.

Check your client-attraction system. If you aren’t earning the income you desire, focus on doing one thing every day towards getting more and better clients.  Fine-tune your approach, learn how to identify and attract clients who can pay you big money right now. (Dan Kennedy will introduce and present his new “Specific –Customer-Focus Process® at SuperConference May 2nd –May 4th)

Specialize in a niche. Narrowing your focus in your industry can quickly increase your income.  If you’ve already picked a niche, see if there are courses or certifications which can further qualify you as an expert in your chosen specialty.

Identify a gap. Look for an area which is not being covered well or is in big demand.  For example, Mike Capuzzi of CopyDoodles saw a need in the copy cosmetics field as there were no real options other than to hire a graphic artist or to individually mark up your copy and try to photo copy it. By creating a product to fill that gap, he quickly rose to the expert in his field. Concentrate your effort on identifying and filling a need.

Focusing on the most important activities which keep your business growing is what separates the most successful businesses in the world from the businesses that spend their entire shelf life wondering why nothing they do seems to work.

So if you’re wondering how to bring your business up a notch, look at how you’re spending your time—you might just need a slight focus adjustment.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

Six Tips For Using This Shortcut To Success Tool

By: Darcy Juarez on: March 14th, 2013 3 Comments

Last week at the Fast Implementation Boot Camp, I witnessed the magic of networking.

Connections were made, budding friendships and accountability partners started, alliances were formed, and even some possible joint-ventures emerged… all through networking.

Networking is one of the best ways to make powerful connections that can propel your business forward and shortcut your path to success.

Of course, there are tons of opportunities for networking, (too many, actually) some better than others.

But here’s the thing…

You don’t want to end up with a stack of business cards you’ll never look at again or spend time in a room with non-decision makers who are schmoozing you.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your networking encounters:

Find learning environments. Business card exchanges and other networking focused events are high pressure. People are there to meet others for the purpose of doing business, which means their defenses are up. Educational events, such as seminars, conferences and bootcamps are more relaxed, therefore defenses are lower. People are more at ease.  Plus, because the most successful people are continually learning, you are more likely to meet high quality like-minded contacts..

Start conversations. Don’t wait for someone to come to you. Sit next to someone you don’t know or cross the room to talk to someone. Strike up a conversation with the person standing in line next to you. Find out what they are working on or trying to accomplish. A simple conversation can turn into ideas, alliances, new business, referrals, joint-ventures, and a host of other opportunities.

Focus on making quality contacts, not quantity. The goal should not be to meet as many people as possible, it should be to build quality relationships. If you are in a conversation that is going well, stick with it rather than trying to move on to meet more people. That said, don’t hang with one person the entire time.

Do more listening than talking. Ask a lot of questions, then listen and respond to what you hear. By listening you may find you can provide a solution they are looking for.

Do your research. Find out about the speakers and what their specialties are before you attend an event. Pick a couple that you want to meet who work in something related to your field, have a similar business set-up or might be able to answer a question or help you with what you are working on. Then seek these people out. To prepare write down three intelligent questions about your most pressing matters. For example, if you are attending SuperConference and have a brick and mortar business you might want to seek out extraordinary entrepreneurDonna Krech with 25 years’ experience, a thriving local brick and mortar business, a national coaching and franchise business, and a direct-to-consumer products business. She is sure to have plenty of answers about what it takes to make your business ultra-successful.

Write down what you are looking for before you go. Are you looking for someone to give you feedback on an idea you have? Similar businesses to compare promotions? A good “power partner” for referrals? An affiliate or joint-venture partner? Advice about a particular business problem? When you take the time to define what you are looking for from networking, you’ll ask better questions and get much better results.

Armed with these ideas, you’ll be able to brilliantly network and use these opportunities to blast your business forward.

NOTE:  Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.