Tag: profit

Are People Talking About You the Way You Want?

Are People Talking About You the Way You Want?

Take Control of Your Word of Mouth

It is time to start a new series, all about Word of Mouth and how it can make or break your business in an extremely short amount of time. In this first lesson, we’ll explore exactly what word of mouth is and give you a chance to know if you’re using it correctly. 

Word of Mouth is easily the most powerful form of marketing and is absolutely free. People talk about ads they see, experiences they have, and the products they purchase. So if you treat people right and spread the word about your new products/services in a positive way, you’ll attract the right customers and clients who will sustain your business for a long time. 

Now, as positive as word of mouth can be for your business, the other side of the coin is how negative it can be as well. Unfortunately, bad news seems invariable to travel faster than good news. If you have a less than high-quality product or weak customer service system, then your customers will tell everyone they know not to buy your products and services.

The age of technology has proved to be an amazing benefit in the world of word of mouth. With blogs, podcasts, online marketing, forums, social networking, and other online mediums available, it is easier and easier for consumers to share their experiences. And remember this is all free advertising for you. 

Shorten Customer Decision Cycle

The decision cycle or more commonly known as your sales cycle. This is your first opportunity to influence your client experience. There are three great ways to shorten & streamline your IAC decision cycle, plus they have the added benefit of impacting your revenue. They are:

  • Decision Speed
  • Friction & Stress Reduction
  • Operational Flexibility

Decision Speed

Let’s take a deeper look at decision speed. Offer simplicity, ease, and a fun purchasing atmosphere, and you’ll help your customers make their decisions quicker and more confidently. When this happens, your customers will buy more frequently, spend more money than usual, refer friends, and decided to purchase more quickly. This can raise your market share by over 100 times.

The time it takes your customer to decide and purchase far outweighs any other component of marketing. When you focus on customer decision speed it forces you to take a hard look at your company and brand image, positioning, value, customer service, guarantees, and product quality.

Friction & Stress Reduction 

The next area I want to talk about quickly is how to minimize the friction or stress involved with decision-making. No matter how easily people find decision-making there is a certain amount of anxiety we all experience when making a purchase, especially from a new source or for a large amount of money. When you help to minimize this emotional response, you will soothe your customers’ anxiety and they will make their decision quicker and more confidently.

There are a few secrets to accelerate the customer’s decision making progress:

  • Your benefits, features, claims, and promises must be obvious, clear, and concise.
  • The information you offer must be complete, easy to understand, credible, and balanced.
  • Use comparisons that show a marked difference.
  • Your guarantees must be rock solid and more than the customer expects.
  • Make trial periods easy.
  • You must have simple evaluations of your products or services.
  • Testimonials need to be relevant and positive.
  • Your support, delivery, and other operational systems must be perfect.

Your website can be as good as you make it. You can offer more than information; you can offer an experience that guides your customers gently through the decision-making process to make it easy for them to buy. Take it a step beyond by offering toll-free support numbers, software downloads to help with the process, or other classy and informative ways to reassure your customers that you are there with them every step of the way and have nothing to hide.

Operational Flexibility 

The final area to explore is the customer journey. This might be the most important piece of any marketing strategy. A customer journey is the ideal touchpoints and behaviors you want to see your customers exhibit. A great customer journey has the following components:

  • A mapped out experience from prospect to fulfilled happy customer
  • Clear explanation of business action (items you put out in the world) and response (the action you want your customers to exhibit
  • The expectation of employees and responsibilities at each stage 
  • Training on your staff should implement these experiences

Now here is where the flexibility comes in, a great liner plan like a customer journey is an ideal experience. This means you need to empower your employees to be able to make edits, changes, skip steps, expand steps, etc to get to the finished product which is a repeat customer singing your praises to everyone they meet.

This wraps up the first post in our series on word of mouth. If you need help identifying your target market and the issues they run into that lengthen their purchasing experience, complete our One Thing survey and get an implementable solution within 48 business hours. 

Next time we’ll move forward with word of mouth and talk about the power of word of mouth and what exactly this powerful tool is and can be used for.

10 x Your Resources to Maximize Your Resources Part 4

10 x Your Resources to Maximize Your Resources Part 4

If you have read this series so far, you have received nine great ways to get the most out of your resources. So far, we’ve covered:

  1. Call in the Troops
  2. Bring ‘Em Out of the Woodwork
  3. Black Sheep Clients
  4. Olympic-Size Sales Staff
  5. Open Water Fishing 
  6. Call for Back-Up
  7. Go Big Online
  8. Bartering with the Best
  9. Give Away the Farm

You have found ways to maximize your clients, staff, time, and more. Today we’ll finish up this series with the last three ways to multiply your maximized resources. We’ll cover:

  1. Finding Your Pot of Gold
  2. Put Yourself Out of Business Before Your Competition Does it For You
  3. Wealth from the Inside Out

These areas are all key to keeping up the momentum you’ve found to make what you have work harder for you.

Finding Your Pot of Gold

You must always have a goal you’re working toward to stay on course. Your plan needs to be something you can attain and utilize your full potential. Don’t be afraid to aim high; make sure you are clear on your goal and exactly what you need to do to get there. You need to continue to hold yourself accountable to your goal and raise the bar as you accomplish the steps to your goal.

A few goal setting techniques to consider are:

  • Exit planning: You can’t know how to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going.
  • Fear setting, this goal-setting technique allows you to address your anxiety and hesitation. Great if you need to make a significant investment.
  • SMART, great if you need to make short-term tactical goals.

No matter what you need to accomplish, excellent goal setting can make a difference in resource management.

Put Yourself Out of Business Before Your Competition Does it For You.

Once you’ve mastered these areas, you need to make sure you stay competitive and constantly come up with new ways to use your new tools. Don’t rest on one success when there are more on the horizon. To continue to be successful, your business must continue to learn and evolve.

When you get to this point, it is time to set aside 1 to 4 days a month where you, as the business owner, spend time working on your business. This means for that day; you do not answer emails, do daily tasks, etc. Instead, you spend the day thinking about opportunities and find new ways to grow your business.

Wealth from the Inside Out

Wealth and riches are defined within yourself, not by your profits or the world beyond. You can use all these strategies in both your business and life to find a greater level of success. When you naturally reflect on who you are and what you mean, you will automatically attract the right people to you. This will happen in life and business. 

You can reach your goals as long as they are well-defined and a solid road is built to them.

Throughout the last several lessons, we’ve talked about how to take a hard look at the resources you currently have right in front of you, how to take advantage of them, and leverage them to maximize your results. 

I hope this series has inspired you to look at your business and see the opportunities it provides. If you need help applying, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free business evaluation. We will review your business in providing you with a road map to your companies success.

10 x Your resources to maximize your results part 3

10 x Your resources to maximize your results part 3

So far in our series, we have covered the following topics; make sure to go back and read parts 1 & 2 to catch up on anything you have missed. Call in the Troops

  1. Bring ‘Em Out of the Woodwork
  2. Black Sheep Clients
  3. Olympic-Size Sales Staff
  4. Open Water Fishing 
  5. Call for Back-Up

These topics have covered how to use your champion clients, reactivation, sales teams, and more.

Today we will make a huge step forward with the following three topics:

  1. Go Big Online
  2. Bartering with the Best
  3. Give Away the Farm

Go Big Online

Some businesses solely operate online; others only operate brick and mortar, and then there are the hybrids. The hybrids are by far more successful than the previous two. This is because a physical location allows having a space to give your clients an experience. At the same time, establishing an online presence opens your business up to the entire world through a few clicks of the mouse.

To successfully sell products online, you need to:

  1. Offer high-quality products/services that people want.
  2. Build an attractive, effective website that’s user-friendly.
  3. Generate high-quality traffic at a low cost.

With all of these things in place, you can find success with your online exposure.

Bartering with the Best

If you’ve ever gone to a yard sale and paid the sticker price, then you need to up your bartering game. Everything is negotiable, and you need to take the time to barter with your suppliers. Companies are always open to bartering, and when all is said and done, you could find yourself saving significantly on the things your business needs to operate smoothly.

Give Away the Farm

Ok, not literally, but you have to be willing to contact prospective clients and offer them products and services they will need. You don’t know what they need until you offer them everything you’ve got, then work with them to create the perfect package that fits their needs.

When you take the time to put yourself at the front of their minds, they are more likely to work with you going forward. You can do this by offering free newsletters, a free consulting session, or other valuable tools.

Are you taking action?

I hope through this series you have begun to rethink part of your business. If at this point your say to yourself all of this is so obvious, then good. Then I ask, are you currently doing implementing these practices in your business? If yes, can you do better? If no, why not?

If you answered yes or no to the above questions, then I have a special offer for you:

  • First Download My Book 8 Steps that change your business Forever
  • Once you download it, I will reach out to you with a complimentary business assessment guaranteed to find your business $10,000-$100,000 in additional revenue without you having to spend any more money on marketing or advertising.

Next time we’ll finish up this series with the last three ways to multiply your maximized resources. We’ll cover:

  1. Finding Your Pot of Gold
  2. Stay at the Top of Your Game
  3. Wealth from the Inside Out
5 Quick Tips for a Kick A$$ Internship

5 Quick Tips for a Kick A$$ Internship

Internships are no longer a tool for massive companies to get grunt work out of college kids. It is a significantly underutilized option for small businesses to develop high-quality talent. Entrepreneurs tend to be overworked and stretched thin. Many of them have dreams of growing their business by adding digital marketing, business outreach, sales teams, or taking a real vacation. However, most feel they lack the funds to invest in their business. 

Here comes the power of an internship. The internship provides you the opportunity to get high-quality inexperienced talent at a low to no cost. It also is a fantastic tool for building relationships with major educational institutions.

Take a minute and review the graph to understand the cost and benefits of adding this program. It is always essential to understand what your committing to before you get started.

Cost/ Benefits

I have created several internship programs, from short 4-week middle school programs to multi-year professional programs. Here are my tips for creating an effective program for both you and the participant.

Set aside time.

It is pivotal before you get started creating a program, you first organize your schedule. Most internships require a reasonable amount of time upfront to get up and running. Then minimal time to maintain the progress.

Here is a rough time breakdown to run an effective small business internship program.

  • 3-5 hours for initial planning
  • 4 hours for onboarding 
  • 1 hour a day for the first two weeks 
    • Specifically for skills training and internship planning
  • 15 min a day for daily check-in
  • 1 hr every two weeks for the remainder of the internship 
    • Continued skills development
    • Performance review

Start with the talent.

Now that you have a rough idea of the time commitment, my next tip is to start by finding great talent. Most people will tell you to start by having a problem in mind and then find the person to solve it. 

However, when it comes to internships, most of the people you talk to will not have extensive experience or knowledge. It is best to look for two things talent and attitude. The rest you can teach them or even better they will learn themselves. Hire fast and let them have some control of the scope of their work.

Define the scope.

When starting a program, make sure you keep the project somewhat vague. Once you have great talent, engage them in identifying the work that will benefit the organization. How do you do this?

Tell them your desired outcome, for instance, if you would like them to take on your marketing. Then simply say that you would like to see a 10% increase in inbound leads. Then they can figure out how to achieve this goal, and you can coach them to this desired goal. 

Find the right partner.

Go to your local high school, junior college, college, technical school, or university and offer an internship for the semester by connecting with the student affairs office and at least one professor in a field similar to your business. Set up a meeting and discuss the possibilities.

For example, every business needs additional administrative help, so offer an internship to a student majoring in business administration. The schools LOVE it when a company provides internships since they act as a value-add to their educational offerings by providing their students with real-world experience. Make sure you negotiate that the school will give the student credit. On the flip side, if you find the right student, they can do all of this for you.

Prepare to mentor, be patient. 

Have a plan to mentor and develop the missing skills of your interns. Once you have created the space for them to successfully make sure you provide them access to the coaching/skill development to achieve your desired outcome. 

I strongly suggest taking a scientific approach to coaching. What I mean is be prepared for your interns to fail. Use their failure as a chance to improve your process. Remember, an internship is a low risk and high potential reward. The only way to get those results is to create a process around failure. 

Measure Your Results.

The final tip is to make sure you measure your results. I strongly suggest committing to running your internship at least three times before you scrap it. Each time you run, make sure you measure it against the previous results and against what your business was like before having the program. Make adjustments and improvements with each iteration.

Here are few categories to consider when evaluating your program:

  • Revenue/profit
  • Where you spend your time
  • Problem solved vs. created
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Intern satisfaction 
  • Your happiness

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section and feel free to share your top internship tips. For additional business improvement strategies, get your free copy of my book here

I am actively seeking business case studies for my next book; if you would like to be featured, please email me at doogie@ideasactionsuccess.com to set up a time chat.