Archive for 'Business'

Upon Further Review …

Today marks the day the NFL Officials get reinstated and professional football games won’t look like they are fixed moving forward (we hope).  It is every fan’s hope that a repeat of the Monday Night “Inaccurate Interception” between Green Bay and Seattle is a humorous footnote instead of something that costs a good team a playoff birth.

Once the dust settled, it was clear the replacement refs didn’t fully understand and apply the rule differences between the NFL and their “regular” gig. They were confused and couldn’t adapt to the speed of the game. All of this got me to thinking about business and how this debacle might relate to you from a strategic marketing perspective.

How the NFL Referee Debacle Relates to Your Business

A few years ago, I met with a chicken wing franchisee that opened up shop nearby.  The owner (who I like and consider a friend) and I discussed different sales growth ideas on several occasions. A few proposals were exchanged yet nothing came of them because she believed she needed someone with “experience growing a restaurant.” Never mind the fact my family ran a privately held restaurant for over 120 years. ;) Ultimately, she decided to bring in a guy who previously ran a restaurant and supposedly “understood marketing.”

Replacement Marketer … the Results

Two weeks ago, that chicken wing franchisee folded up shop. The guy who “understood marketing” apparently led the business down the same path as his own restaurant … into the toilet. Ultimately, why did the business fold? Just like so many businesses, a lack of sales did them in. What causes a lack of sales most times? Ineffective marketing!

Now, this isn’t meant to be a sour grapes or an “I told you so” post, rather one to help fellow business owners learn from reality.

Industry Experience Does NOT Equal Qualifications or Skill

Much like the replacement officials, bringing in someone who “understands marketingversus a professional marketer threatens the stability and longevity of your business. If you need evidence of the potential differences, look no further than the replacement refs.  Yes, the refs had experience refereeing football games at lower levels. That doesn’t mean they are qualified to be “professional” referees.

Just because someone has “experience” with marketing in your industry does not mean they are good at it or will produce the desired results like someone who lives, breathes and eats the stuff daily.

The Biggest Difference Between Pro and “Replacement” Marketers

The best thing about a “professional marketer” is they can apply proven strategies and concepts to almost every industry. Contrast that with someone who merely has experience in an industry who can only apply things specific to that industry. Stale thinking produces stale results. It’s as simple as that.

A professional marketer can adapt proven strategies to fit your business whereas the so-called “experienced” marketer will attempt to adapt your processes to fit their one trick pony strategy.  HUGE difference.

How to Protect Yourself

Don’t settle for cheaper replacements just to save a buck or two … you could end up like the chicken wing franchisee. Doesn’t your business deserve the best? Talk to a professional marketer today … your bottom line will thank you later.

What’s Your Business Growth Strategy?

Almost daily, I (Roger) get an email or call from a business owner lamenting how they have their “strategy” all mapped out.  What I typically find, after talking with them for 5-10 minutes, is that they have a group of disjointed tactics that they’re planning to test out.  They’re confusing being “busy” doing tactical stuff with having a strategy.

How Marketing is Like Sex

Yep, I said it … marketing is like sex because everybody thinks they’re good at it.  Rarely do employees tell a business owner they’re not good at marketing so the lie only gets reaffirmed in their mind more often than not.

Consider this … even when sex is bad, it’s still pretty good right? Marketing is the polar opposite because it can make you look like a complete buffoon when you screw it up yet you won’t take the hint. You’ll blame it on the market, economy, some consultant, or the timing.

Take some time to read this post right now because it could save you from making a buffoon out of yourself.

What a Strategy is NOT

Let’s be straight with one another … running a business isn’t easy. Being a strategist isn’t either so let’s understand what strategy is not before defining what it is, shall we?

If you go from chamber meeting to chamber meeting then BNI group to BNI group looking for a stockpile of leads while running a Yellow Pages ad and you just overhauled your website to look “prettier,” that’s not a strategy.

If you’re planning to implement SEO and PPC within the next 3-6 months, that’s not a strategy.

If you do a bunch of tradeshows every year, that’s not a strategy.

If you have an outside sales force that’s making 100 cold calls/day, that’s not a strategy. That’s a tactic!

Even if you do everything just outlined, you’re operating tactically.  In fact, that’s what I like to call “Silo Marketing” where you do a bunch of separate tasks in hopes that they somehow deliver a windfall at some point in the future.

What a Strategy IS

A strategy enables you to leverage a combination of marketing vehicles to build your business seamlessly and systematically. A strategy also has a defined timeframe associated so that results can be measured.

For example, a marketing strategy may involve the following:

1) You create a special report entitled “The 5 Things You Must Know Before Buying Your Next Widget That Can Save You Thousands” which you offer to new prospects free of charge. You also repackage that report as a video and a podcast to reinforce your message.

2) You then develop a lead capture form on every page of your website so that prospects can get your report in exchange for their contact information and permission to follow up.

3) Their registration to get the report feeds an auto-responder follow up sequence in the background that also triggers telemarketing efforts at pre-determined intervals to prevent leads from slipping through the cracks.

4) You then rent and mail to targeted lists (email and/or snail mail) to promote your special report on your website.

5) Next, you craft a press release announcing the availability of your lead magnet on your website which you distribute nationally.

6) Maybe you run radio, TV and trade journal ads promoting your lead magnet on your website.

7) You print up special business cards that promote your lead magnet and how to obtain it on the back of the card.

8) You team up with complementary businesses to promote your lead magnet with the ability to pay a commission or exchange services should someone buy from you.

9) You write and distribute articles, documents, white papers and produce short online videos promoting your lead magnet that you spread across the web.

The nine steps outlined form the baseline of a marketing strategy because everything builds upon one another versus just doing a few separate tasks that merely serve to make you look busy.

The timeframe to implement such a strategy can be anywhere from a couple of days to 6 months depending upon where you are today. Ditto in terms of when you’ll likely begin to see tangible results.

Strategic Questions to Ask Yourself

Here are some questions to answer that will help you formulate a strategy versus a tactical silo effort.

What are your lead generating offers? Who are the best targets for those offers? How are you reaching them now?

How many leads are generated via the following, and how much does each cost per month (whether it’s time, money, or barter)?

  1. Internet (website, SEO, PPC, banner ads, etc.)
  2. One-on-one interactions (BNI groups, referrals, cold calls, social networking, mobile, etc.)
  3. Education (white papers, case studies, buyer’s guides, etc.)
  4. Public / Media relations (press releases, articles, features in the news)
  5. Events (trade shows, lunch-n-learns, seminars, etc.)
  6. Advertising (sponsorships, radio, TV, crusty Yellow Pages, ValPak, etc.)
  7. Sales literature (brochures, business cards, slicks, etc.)
  8. Partnerships (JVs, endorsements, affiliates, etc.)

How many leads does it take to close a deal? Is that number increasing or decreasing?

How long do you have to follow up until they buy? Is that time period increasing or decreasing?

How much of your initial follow up is automated?

What’s a typical first deal worth? What’s the upsell process? How many people take the upsell?

Need Help?

Should you need help piecing everything together, please give me (Roger) a call at (502) 394-0460.

Amway Business- Marketing Amway Business Growth Strategies

Before I get into marketing strategies for growing your amway business, I’d like to focus more on what the true definition of marketing really is. Marketing is a profession, just like any other profession which takes education and training. Unfortunately it’s not a profession taught in school. It’s something that you must learn on your own due to trial and error alone with persistence. The advantage or marketing compared to other professions is that it can be applied to any profession in the world. For example, If a dentist doesn’t know how to market his profession, he’s going to fail and his business will not succeed.

I have chosen to write this article about marketing and using the amway business as an example because amway is one of the most successful network marketing companies in the word and have been around longer than almost everyone else. They have a wide variety of high quality products to choose from and they even use television commercials now to get their brand known. The strategies and techniques that I’ll be referring to for growing your amway business can actually be applied to any MLM or home based business. In fact, what I’ll be discussing is the secret to what makes so many people successful.

The first thing that you’re going to need is a system. The reason a system is unavoidable when growing your amway business is because amway is a network marketing company which means in order for you to make lots of money, everyone else under you must be successful as well. Using a tried and tested system is replicable and simple. The second key ingredient you must have when growing your business is leads. If you don’t have leads and prospects to talk to, everything else you do won’t matter. In order for your system to work you must understand the full benefit as well as the pros and cons of using a script. Once you understand the advantages and disadvantages you’ll clearly see that the success of your amway business will depend on using scripts.

Your marketing system can be broken down in 4 simple steps.

A Prospecting scrpt
A Recorded Presentation Call
A Closing Script
A system for training others.

You will memorize and read your script to every prospect (lead) that you call. Next, for the ones that show interest, you will send them to a recorded presentation call that promotes your amway business opportunity that you created using a script. For the ones that are still interested after the presentation call is done, you will finalize the enrollment process by reading your closing script.
In order to get a fully detailed understand about how to and the free resources for create your system for your amway business, simply read my free report which is located at http://www.networkgurusecrets.com. Thanks for reading my article.

Jawaune Saad is a home based business consultant livint and Tampa, Fl and has helped thousands of people achieve their business dreams. To learn more about his training visit http://www.networkgurusecrets.com you can contact Jawaune saad at support@7figurenetworkerkit.com or by phone at 813-315-6575

2011 Business Growth Strategies #1: Think Different

This week is the first week of a brand-new year.  We all have resolutions and revelations about our personal selves and our businesses. 

My question is, “Are those resolutions based on our past, and gravity, or on our future and a path to growth?”

This week I’m sharing some easy, straightforward things you can do to check your gravity and shift 100% into growth mode – right now, in time for a big impact in 2011.

Today – I want to talk about thinking differently.

Thinking differently is a big deal in today’s “new economy” and a key factor in powering 2011 success.

Why? Because the negative news, the down economy, the fear that permeates our world create limitations in our thinking.  It’s time to let those limitations go.

2010 was a tough year with lots of negative news.  But 2010 also had significant successes.  For many businesses.  We just don’t hear about those because success doesn’t sell newspapers or media.

Success is all around us.  Just look here, at the Zero Gravity businesses I’ve profiled in 2010.  I have at least 100 more small businesses to profile and more appear on my radar every day. 

Zero Gravity business leaders all share one key behavior.

They know how to think differently.  They question the limitations of the past, they seek new opportunities in the present and they constantly shift their perspectives to stay in sync with their dynamic markets.  They constantly ask “Why?” or “Why not?” depending on their circumstances.  They push the envelope of the status quo, forget the past and break out into the ways of thinking and doing.

My question for you is, are you focused on the excitement of a new opportunity that comes with the new year? Or are you focused on the negative – defending and protecting against the tough times in your business (and personal) past?

2010 is behind you – it’s behind all of us.  So let it go.  While you’re at it, let go of 2009 and 2008 too.  Focusing on what’s behind you will not help your business succeed in 2011, anymore than a pilot focusing on what happened 300 miles back will help him fly the plane right now. 

What matters today is today – and the future.  Yes, we can bring forward the lessons learned that are VALUABLE.  But we can also let the rest go.  Dragging along woe is me, negative vibes doesn’t help anything.  It does prevent you from seeing your future clearly.

2011 is a new year.  We can think about it, and live it, as we choose.

We can choose to see it as a continuation of the same challenges and problems from 2010.  Or we can choose to see 2011 as a year filled with new opportunity.
We can choose to continue to do things the way we’ve always done them, and wonder why it’s not working.  Or we can shift our perspectives, see our business through fresh eyes – and find new ways of thinking and doing.
We can choose to hang on to what’s comfortable – even if it is negative.  Or we can step up to challenge our comfort zone with new ideas, critical perspectives and brave new approaches.

What do you choose for 2011?

Rebel Brown consistently challenges the status quo to deliver optimum solutions and high velocity growth for her clients. She combines the strategic expertise and tactical savvy of a global Corporate Strategy, Launch and Turnaround Expert, along with the leadership and motivational skills needed to get the job done.

 

Check out Rebel’s new business book, Defy Gravity, where she shares proven strategies and tactics for growing your business even in a down economy.

The Top Seven Proven Small Business Marketing Tips to Grow Your Small Business

Copyright (c) 2008 Paul Flood Marketing, LLC

These Powerful Small Business Marketing Tips Are Guaranteed to Dramatically Increase Your Sales!

If you are like many entrepreneurs, you are looking for small business marketing tips that not only work, but work consistently. If you’re ready to take the your small business to the next level, you need to look at marketing differently.

This may seem obvious but, over 97% of the time, your small business marketing should have one of two goals: 1. Result in a sale. 2. Result in a lead or prospect.

The other 3% of the cases include your community service marketing like memberships in Rotary, Kiwanis and organizations to which you belong.

Marketing Shouldn’t be a Mystery!

Small business owners often see marketing as a mystery and don’t know what works for their business. Not knowing what to do leads to either copying competitor’s poor marketing or their falling prey to media and agency reps who often know less about marketing than them! The reps are taught to tell you, the small business owner, the goal of your marketing is to build your brand.

The ground is littered with failed small businesses who fell for this brand-building fallacy. Don’t misunderstand me here. I strongly believe in advertising as a pillar of your marketing system but you must view all your marketing as an investment, not as a trial to see what works if people know your name.

Another Small Business Marketing Tip:

Look at advertising as you would a sales ep. Would you hire a sales rep to build your brand and “get your name out there?” If they never close and sale and you’re losing money, do you keep them on board? Of course not! You don’t keep them around longer or pay them more money. You make a change.

Do you see the analogy? Your sales people and advertising are both marketing investments. Why continue advertising that doesn’t generate profits?

Remember that everything in your business is part of your marketing. You either move clients and prospects towards or away from a buying decision. When you look at everything you do as part of your marketing investment, you begin to consider how to leverage it in every possible way to increase profits.

7 Powerful Small Business Marketing Strategies That Will Grow YOUR Business!

1. Develop a powerful (USP) that gives prospects a compelling reason to buy from you now. Your USP must scream a powerful reason to do business with you. It motivates your clients to send friends in droves to buy your product or service! This small business marketing tip has built small companies into empires! Remember the little pizza company that guaranteed fresh hot pizza in 30 minutes or less – Or it’s free?

Make an outrageous and exciting claim that shows that you are better than anybody else and the best thing for a prospect can do is buy from you now!

2. Learn selling and customer service skills. Advertising legend Clyde Bedell taught us “That all good selling is service.” Service and sales go tightly together. When you cross-sell, you provide a tremendous service. You save clients the time and aggravation of having to search elsewhere to complete the purchase.

Marketing legend Dan Kennedy sums up this concept beautifully by saying “People are walking around holding an umbilical cord and saying, “Tell me what to do.” Your clients and prospects need and value your recommendations and will follow them so make a habit of providing them!

3. Capture client and prospect information and create a database. Take a moment to ask yourself the last time a retailer or restaurant asked you name or asked you to return. In general, it is NEVER! Your business will be one of less than 5% of companies that make any effort to build a powerful bond with your clients.

4. Use your database to keep in touch. Send thank you notes. (Super car salesman Joe Girardi is in the Guinness book of records for selling more cars than anybody. His secret? he kept in touch with tens of thousands of clients using thank you notes and greeting cards.Give them a reason to return by sending special discount coupons, invitations to “Platinum Client Days”.” Always thank them for their past business and give them a special offer as a reason to return and always have a deadline for your offer. 5. Start a newsletter, which is THE most powerful small business marketing tip to build a fence around your clients. The added advantage is that you are marketing to those most likely to buy – Current and past clients!

6. Create a referral and reward program. Unfortunately, most people are afraid to ask for referrals even thought clients are happy to give them. The easiest strategy is to simply ask for them and reward people who send you new clients. It can be as simple as giving coded coupons to a client in your store. For each one that is redeemed, the referring client gets a gift. Many professionals are a lot more strategic and have arrange special meetings with their clients for the sole purpose of getting high quality referrals. If you are living up to your USP, clients will gladly refer others! You must realize that if you are providing quality products and services, it is your right to ask for referrals.

7. The final small business marketing tip is so powerful that you must insure you have the capacity to handle the additional business! Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances leverage the goodwill and relationships other businesses have built with their clients.

Identify non-competing businesses that serve a client base similar to yours. Approach the owner and propose a joint venture or strategic alliance in which you are going to endorse their business to your list and vise-versa. As mentioned earlier, consumers are constantly asking “Who should I buy this product or service from?’

This powerful small business marketing tool leverages the trust you and your alliance partner(s) have built with their clients and, when properly structured between two good companies with quality products and services, is as close to a guaranteed success as you will ever get.

See the powerful online marketing strategy detailing the powerful Hidden Marketing Assets system and see how you can see exponential increases in your profits without risking a thin dime on advertising. Rush over to www.paulfloodmarketing.com

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