Category: Small Business

The Corporate Puzzle: How To Build A Franchise Prototype Process

Today were going to discuss how to build a franchise prototype process.

There are the 7 specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process:

• Primary Aim
• Strategic Objectives
• Organizational Strategy
• Management Strategy
• People Strategy
• Marketing Strategy
• Systems Strategy

These 7 areas will fine turn your plan for the ultimate level of success. In this post, we
are going to cover the first three.

Primary Aim

It’s essential in business development to set goals and see a vision for the future. This
needs to go beyond the business and you need to think about what you want out of life.
What do you dream about? How do you see your success unfolding? Knowing and
understanding these things will give you the momentum to get started and the stamina
to see it through. Even take a minute to write them down and tape the list to your desk for a
constant reminder of what you’re aiming for.

 

Strategic Objectives

Strategic Objectives are essential in taking your business from surviving to thriving. All of these
objectives should offer solutions for how to get to your primary aim. There are many
things you can use to set strategic objectives, but here are a couple of the most popular:
1. Money: Setting monetary goals is a powerful yet simple way to see how you are
doing at any point in the game. It’s easy to measure and easy to find adjustments
to help meet this goal.
2. Worthy Opportunities: When considering partnerships and other business
opportunities you need to think about whether or not they will help you reach
your primary aim. Those that will, are the best opportunities to seriously
consider.

The key in setting standards and goals is not to limit you or stress yourself out. You need
to find some quantifiable things you can use to measure your progress toward your
primary aim. These are just two suggestions, but make sure no matter what standards
you set, you are paying attention to the details, as these are one of the biggest keys to
your success.

 

Organizational Strategy

The strength of your organizational structure can make or break your business, so it’s
important to take the time to put together a solid structure for your business to grow
from. Generally, a company is organized around the roles and responsibilities that need
to be taken care of on a daily basis and the personalities that need to fulfill those roles.
No matter what roles and responsibilities you’ve defined for your employees, you must
always keep your personal primary aim separate from your company’s primary aim or
mission statement. Once you’ve identified the primary aim for your company it will be
easy to set up a position structure that will work.

Don’t forget to put together position contracts. Your employees should sign a statement
of their roles and responsibilities. This helps keep them clear for you, the employee and
other employees/vendors or other individuals.

You can see how these areas all work together to build a solid structure on which to
build your business. If you need help defining any of these areas, you can check out the
resources, tools and/or speak with me if you need any help with this…

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Expand the Life of Your Business

Today I want to talk about the life cycles of your business and how to get the most out of
each cycle while also extended the lifespan of your business.

The four different stages of a business life cycle are:
• Infancy
• Adolescence
• Growing Pains
• Maturity

We’ll talk a little about what each of these cycle’s means and how they can each help
expand your business’ lifespan.

Infancy
This is generally considered the technician’s phase, which is the owner. At this point, the
relationship between the business and the owner is that of a parent and new baby.
There is an impenetrable bond that is necessary to determine the path your business
will follow. Never drop your baby.
The key is to know your business must grow in order to flourish and you cannot stay in this
stage forever.

Adolescence
In this stage you need to start bringing your support staff together, delegate and
allow growth to happen. The first line of defense is your technical person as they need
to bring a certain level of technical experience. This cycle really belongs to the manager
though. The plan stage needs to start and a relationship should be built with the
entrepreneur to plan for the future.

Growing Pains
There’s a point in every business when business explodes and becomes chaotic. This is
referred to as growing pains. It’s a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless.
You are often faced with a number of choices:

• Avoid growth and stay small
• Go broke
• Push forward into the next cycle

Maturity
The last cycle is maturity, though this doesn’t mean the end of your business. Your
passion for growth must continue in order for your business to succeed. You need to
keep an entrepreneurial perspective in order to push your business forward.
You see how all four of these cycles are connected and depends on a strong foundation
in each cycle for your business to be and continue to be successful. All three of
your key roles (the technician, manager, and entrepreneur that I mentioned in my
previous post) must also work together to work through these cycles.
If you have trouble with your business life cycles and figuring out which
of the key roles you fit into reach out to me for additional help with this.

30 Great Ways To Market To Other Professionals and Businesses

Today we’ll take a look at how the kings of industry wine, dine and otherwise cajole
prospects.

Most successful professionals use a series of information-based ads that build emotion
and a call to action. These are much more effective than a standard company branding
advertisements.

The same principles that go into putting together a high impact (and,
often, high priced) ad campaign can be adapted to fit your needs when

posting on social media, your website or a capture page with similar results.

Here are some of the best ways to build and execute a professional, effective ad campaign:

1. Put together a short report that’ll you’ll automatically send to prospects when
they contact you. This should include a short description of your business and
what you specialize in. Don’t forget to include case studies, samples or other
proof of your success and your contact information in case they share with colleges.
2. Develop value-oriented yellow page ads.
3. Consider newsletters as a way of educating and informing customers about your
industry and services offered.
4. Offer a free seminar, webinar or other lecture to build awareness of your
business, but make sure you make the information pertinent to your target
market and find speakers who are respected and known in the industry.
5. Buy an existing business, introduce better marketing and grow this new business
faster than a “from scratch” business.
6. Always test different versions of your ads to find the most effective ones.
7. Use direct mail marketing to grow your business.
8. Put together a database of previous customers and send them new information.
9. Offer incentives such as frequent purchasing benefits, loyalty programs, referral
programs or others.
10. Approach large firms who may need your services and negotiate a deal to be
their exclusive expert in your field.
11. Offer a 24-hour information line with a regularly updated recorded message.
Make this available to all past and future customers/clients.
12. Donate time or materials to local charities to show support in your area.
13. Offer public clinics for the general public to come along and discuss what they
need that’s free and approachable.
14. Organize seminars your customers/clients can pay to attend by putting together
a high-perception value package.
15. Approach local newspaper by offering to write a weekly column about your area
of expertise. Don’t ask for money, just a byline and bio.
16. Develop a weekend or other destination seminar for customers/clients, not only
does this give you an action-packed weekend with the most important people,
but it also gives them a tax-deductible business adventure.
17. Take a good seminar and turn it into written form as a home study, member site
program, audio or video program.
18. Approach large companies and offer to give seminars to their employees,
investors or management.
19. Be proactive with your marketing plan.
20. Barter for your marketing. Offer products or services in lieu of payment.
21. Be willing to bring in new clients, even if at an initial loss because it will likely pay
off later.
22. Regulate your marketing budget to maximize the potential income from them to
hit the next year and try to push back advertising costs for the next year to offset
your expenses.
23. Make offers to target markets or target market businesses to pay them for
referrals or shared databases.
24. Offer loaner products to replace equipment that is to be repaired or refurbished.
25. Give away something free to everyone who brings in a print version of your
advertisement. This is a great way to see which ads are giving you the most bang
for your buck.
26. Continually consider what new products/services you can offer to current
customers/clients.
27. Develop a mail order division of your company.
28. Offer a proposition to your competitors to trade customers/clients you were
both unsuccessful in selling to.
29. Use different marketing tactics as an excuse to attract new customers/clients
with new offers and goodies.
30. Offer a “you-choose-the-price” program. This is especially good for product you
just can’t seem to sell.

So, there’s the 30 great ways to market to other professional and businesses. Some other
great ways to get your name out there for little or no cost are:

• Get involved you in your community-volunteer, donate to local events, etc.
• Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend the networking and other
activities throughout the year.
• Join a local, state or regional professional associate for further networking
opportunities.
• Become a board member of a local organization.

Advertising should never be your only method of marketing, there are a myriad of strategies
to get your name out there in a way that feels personal to potential customers/clients.

“Effective advertising…must be used to get your name out to the public. If your name is
not familiar to people, they will not come to you.” Jay Abraham

If you’re not sure where to start with your marketing plan or how to reach out effectively to your
local community, customers/clients and others who could influence your
business in a highly positive way, contact me to get a more in depth view of how we can help.

Kick Start Your Marketing

Today I’d like to teach you about the three most important start up marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.

  1. In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
  2. Follow up letter: Always take a moment to send a follow up letter about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
  3. Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.

None of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up!

Here are the key steps for putting together your start-up marketing tools:

  1. Research potential customers, buyers, competitors and their preferred methods of distribution.
  2. Talk to potential customers. Take a hard look at your product from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to be successful.
  3. Follow up with your 3-step process from above.
  4. Develop systems for contact follow through, quality control standards and customer service.
  5. Develop post-sale follow up system to keep lines of communication open is customers and build on your current relationship which increases future purchases.

“Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs” Peter Drucker, management consultant

Here’s another one I love from an icon:

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

This lesson has offered you the tools to put together a start-up marketing plan that can be used over and over again to help your customer base and business grow in a manageable way.

Stop Wasting Your Resources!

Today you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers so you aren’t wasting precious resources on blitz marketing. So, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:
  • What do people really want to buy from me?
  • What related products are they already buying?
Once you figure this out you will know who is more predisposed to purchase your products/services. Then, you find other businesses with the same customer base who you can customer share with. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your stores. The basic concept is this: You want to find existing businesses who have the customer profile that you are looking for to market your products/services to. Then strike up a relationship with those business owners to work out an incentive for customers to purchase from both businesses. As a result, you have an audience to market to and they generate an added value from their current base. So, how do you figure this out? There is a great formula from Jay Abraham you can follow with great success. LV = (P x F) x N – MC Here’s what it all means:
  • LV is the life time value of a customer
  • P is the average profit margin from each sale
  • F is the number of times a customer buys each year
  • N is the number of years customers stay with you
  • MC is the marketing cost per customer (total costs/number of customers)
Once you know how much you need to spend to attract a new customer, you will know how much of an incentive you can offer to a business to help attract new customers. So, here’s your step-by-step process:
  1. Find companies who already have the customer base you are looking for.
  2. Negotiate an incentive for them to share that customer base with you.
  3. Focus your marketing resources to this group of predisposed customers.
If you need help working through this process, please contact us and we’ll set you up with the most comprehensive system of marketing tools and resources.

Educate Your Customers

Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!

Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.

Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:

  1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
  2. Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
  3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:

  • Quality product/service
  • Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
  • Offer subjects your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.

Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!

As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

So, there it is! Remember, we can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you educate your customers and you can watch the benefits pay offer many-fold.

Lessons I Learned from Paris Hilton

Today we’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! After all, we are learning from Paris Hilton here.

It’s all about self-promotion! Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Look at politicians! Talk about self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But, seriously, consider some of the major superstars we all know. Madonna, Donald Trump, Howard Stern and Bill Clinton, just to name a few.

We all self promote. Did you raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course! That’s self-promotion. This is the kind of self-promotion we are talking about. With dignity, class and the knowledge to back it up. If you self-promote only to prove you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re going to lose business.

Natural self-promoters are the former and I want to tell you about the three major traits they have and use to build themselves and their businesses.

  1. The first is position. You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. You need to do this frequently. You need to wake up every morning and ask yourself “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.

Also consider:

Who can help me meet my goals?

Is it a prospective customer/client? A colleague with contacts? An association with key members who may become prospects?

Don’t settle into interacting with the people who are the easiest to access. You need to reach outside your comfort zone and there you will find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.

  1. Now, let’s talk about Style. No, this doesn’t mean you need an Armani suit to bring in more business (though, let’s be honest-it wouldn’t hurt) ☺ What this really means is how are you different from your competitors and others in your industry. What makes you memorable with customers?

If you are meeting a lot of people and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have a serious problem! This means you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.

There are lots of little subtle changes you can make. Reassess your:

  • Business cards
  • Company message
  • Your picture
  • Your wording

Maybe even, your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)

You get the idea. There are lots of little ways you can work on making your image and business more successful. Also, consider how you sound on the phone and how you great people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-sec elevator speech.

  1. The third trait of natural promoters is repetition. You can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need until they get a response. Would you remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if you only saw it once, no! You see it over and over and eventually you head out to the store.

You, also, have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition is in direct connection with positioning. Once you find people to network with, reach out and find hundreds more who can help in your success as well.