Want to command your Market? Do This.

Posted by johngies

There are three keys to business development. How well you can put the right keys in place can determine the strength of your business foundation.

These areas of business Development are:

  • Innovation
  • Quantification
  • Orchestration

Execute on these areas well and you build a solid foundation for your business. Let’s talk about each one of these for just a minute.

Innovation

Innovation is not creativity. Creativity is the expression of ideas. Innovation is taking these creative ideas and putting them into action. Without action they are just ideas. You want to spend a large amount of your focus on how you can innovate your business. You want it to be different, to stand out, to draw in customers. Think about Domino’s Pizza. Before Domino’s, almost all pizza was either take out or eat in. They looked at the market and said who is hungry for pizza? (College Kids). Domino’s built pizza kitchens near the campus and delivered fast. They got creative ideas and they innovated. 

Where can you innovate in your business?

Quantification

What we measure tends to grow. When you can track the numbers related to your business and to your innovations, you can track success. The best way to gauge this is by your customer response.

  • Did leads increase or decrease?
  • Did sales increase or not?

Look to positive responses for what you are doing right-and keep doing it. Look to your negative responses to find out what you’re doing wrong-and fix it. This will enable you to keep growing and progressing with the needs of your customers and business climate.

Orchestration

When you find what areas are working, you can narrow down those areas and concentrate on making them the standout ideas. You shift your focus here to get the most out of your business and to meet the needs of your customers.

I can help you work through these three areas during your FREE test drive.

In the next few lessons we are going to transition to the 7 specific areas you need to consider in building your business for survival beyond you. That is building a business you can sell for more money and or one that you can franchise or license. These are:

  • 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.

Image courtesy of https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Business_idea_diagram_graph.jpg

 CCO 1.0

Do You Want to Sell Your Business? Is it Ready to Sell? Part 2

Posted by johngies

In the last post, we talked about the first three of the 7 areas you need to consider in your scaling to sell process. Here are all seven again:

· Primary Aim

· Strategic Objectives

· Organizational Strategy

· Management Strategy

· People Strategy

· Marketing Strategy

· Systems Strategy

These strategies will fine tune your plan for the ultimate level of success by providing the buyer of your business with a business that they can walk into. Today, we are going to cover the last four.

You might think of your initial business model like planting a tree. At first, it’s so small and weak you wonder if it will even make it through the night. As you grow and add revenue and staff, it is like you are watering, fertilizing, and nurturing it. Your ideas will grow the trunk and each of your strategies will extend out like the branches of your now strong tree. Finding your support staff, employees, vendors/suppliers and other relationships, will make your tree flourish with leaves and flowers.

Management Strategy

The way you hire and structure your management team is not only essential to your growth, but also the happiness of your employees, and ultimately, your customers/clients. This process means that your business is not reliant upon any one person. Rather it is creating a system that is repeatable and that makes it easy for someone to buy your business or, to open a new location.

A management strategy a set of standards for your business that includes goals, rules, a mission statement and other concrete things like job descriptions and policies that tell your employees how to act. They also inform your management team on how to grow your business and to deliver upon your vision and primary aim.

These should all be in perfect alignment with your business goals which in turn, support your primary aim.

Employee Appreciation

You want to put together a people strategy that demonstrates to your employees how you feel about their job performance and dedication to your business. They also need to understand “why” they are doing specific tasks. This helps them to personally connect to their job which in turn leads to better production and a happier workplace. 

There are several strategies you can use:

· Feedback

· Development opportunities

· Contests that reward high performance

· Employee of the Month

· Performance/Holiday Bonuses

These are just a few of the ideas you can use. One of the best ways to appreciate your employees is by calling a meeting and asking them how they would like to be rewarded. I can remember a call center where people valued the ability to wear jeans to work over a $25 gift card. Go figure. Keep it fresh and change up the strategy you use from time to time to keep your employees guessing. Once they get used to the prize, it’s time for a whole new approach. Sometimes it is recognition. I know one company gives their people the opportunity to recognize their peers. They do this by nominating them for a high five recognition for helping a customer or someone else. The person that won the award would get a reward.

You want to build a community within your organization. You want support, appreciation, and respect. The more an employee feels they “belong”, the better they will perform and the higher their level of loyalty.

Marketing Strategy

Marketing is, of course, essential to the success of any business but it also must work with the other strategies you’re using. There are two major pillars of a successful marketing strategy – the demographic and psychographic profiles of your customers.

The psychographic tells you what your customers are the most likely to buy based on their emotions, their desires, and their concerns. The demographic tells you who they are, their income, age and other physical characteristics, which can help you learn why they buy specific items,. You must know your market.

Systems Strategy

There are three types of systems in every business:

· Hard Systems

· Soft Systems

· Information Systems

Hard systems refer to an inanimate system or systems that have no “life”. These could be processes, manufacturing spec’s, or programming steps. Soft systems are those that could be living. These typically involve people and they are called soft because people are not binary. They can be a little messy. Information systems which are, of course, everything else including customer data, product information, financial…anything with data and numbers.

All three systems are essential to the success of your business and while they all have their own very specific roles, they all must work together to get the job done. This also goes for your entire business development program.

Let’s take a moment to recap these ideas.

7 specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process. Here are all seven again:

· Primary Aim

· Strategic Objectives

· Organizational Strategy

· Management Strategy

· People Strategy

· Marketing Strategy

· Systems Strategy

Use our FREE Test Drive to learn how you can apply these and other ideas to grow your business without spending any more money on marketing or advertising.

Do You Want to Sell Your Business? Is it Ready to Sell? Part 1

Posted by johngies
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Too often small business owners create a business and then want to sell it. But they have not taken the time to think through what is valuable in selling a business. When you consider scaling your business and eventually selling your business, it is helpful to think about how you will make it easy to step into. One way to think about this is the franchise model. There are 7 steps to consider as you scale. They are:

· Your Primary Aim

· Strategic Objectives                                                     

· Organizational Strategy

· Management Strategy

· People Strategy

· Marketing Strategy

· Systems Strategy

Today we will explore the first three.

Your 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. You also want to think about what you desire out of life. If you are just thinking about the business, you might as well be in a job. What do you dream about? How do you see your success unfolding? Who is with you to celebrate your success? What is the impact of success on you, your customers, your employees your family? Understanding these things will give you the momentum to get started and the stamina to see it through. Now take a minute to write them down and tape this to your desk for a constant reminder of what you’re aiming for.

My primary aim is to create a business that helps the business’ on Main street thrive so that regardless of what happens on Wall Street our community thrives. To do that I help a number of small business owners create millions of dollars in new revenue without spending more money on marketing or advertising. 

The Strategic Objectives

These are essential in taking your business from surviving to thriving. These objectives should offer a path to get to your primary aim. There are many things you can use to set strategic objectives, but here are a some of the most popular:

  1. Money: Setting income goals is a 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 such as new product or service development, you want to think about whether they will help you reach your primary aim. Those that will are the best opportunities to seriously consider. All too often I see small business owners distracted by the next shiny thing.
  3. Customers served: Tracking the number of people your business has served. I have a colleague that wants to reach 10,000 women through her work. And in the process of serving, you create a business.

The key to 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. I know one business owner that uses bananas as a measurement. You’ll have to ask me for more details. 😉 These are just a few 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 daily and the personalities that need to fulfill those roles. These might be:

– Finance

– Operations

– Sales & Marketing

It might even be helpful to create an organizational chart and slot people in these roles. Even if it is a business of one right now. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the roles will move your business forward. No matter what roles and responsibilities you’ve defined for your employees, you must always keep your own 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 leads to a key distinction that often causes strife. Expectations versus agreement. All too often people have expectations for their partners and employees. But they have not reached an agreement with those parties. Having a contract helps make this an agreement and it makes it easier to hold each other and ourselves accountable.

By now 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 and  tools and then check out our  FREE test drive.

Everything You Think You Know About Generating Leads and Closing Sales is…Wrong!

Posted by johngies

Facebook Advertisements, Twitter, SEO, Pay Per Click, Magazine, Radio TV where should I promote my business? Many small business owners ask themselves those same questions. The reality is none of that matters until you get the right message for the right audience down.

If you look at the back of many publications at the advertisements from small business owners what you find is a copy of their business card. It shows the name of their company. It says they deliver the BEST service and how to contact the business. 

Doesn’t every business say they are the BEST?

All prospects and customers want the exact same things

  • they want to feel confident their money has been well-spent
  • that their decision has been made to the best of their ability
  • they want to get the best deal

Your job is to figure out what is important to them. Then to educate them as to how you can deliver that at the BEST value and then show them some proof.

What do most marketers do? They tell buyers to buy from them because they have more experience, better quality or they have the best price. And there are some very clever ways to do that.

The key is how do you stand out. Consider this: Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s are all making billions of dollars selling the same thing, Pizza. Yet, each of them has staked out a unique position in the market.

Image via Pixabay and Ronald-Owen- Wahl
  • Domino’s delivers fast (They don’t claim to be high quality)
  • Pizza Hut offers variety and either pick up or delivery
  • Papa Johns is all about picking it up with the fresh ingredients and baking it yourself.

Each of these companies has taken the time to get clear on who they want to serve, how they want to serve and then the innovated their operations to meet their market. The challenge is most small business owners don’t take the time to do this.

Slow down. Yup slow down. Take the time to think about your business. Why are you in business? What problem were you going to solve for your customer? How were you going to be different than the others?

When you stop and consider why buyers want your product (category) They have some concerns. It is not just should they get Pizza but, rather what kind of pizza, what do they want it to do for them? Do they want it delivered fast? Do they want variety or is fresh important?

Then based on where you are, who your competition is and your passions around Pizza, (Pizza by the way is a metaphor here for your business), what is your position. And then you create your message.

Once you have your message you can decide where to promote your business. If they are of a certain generation (retired) Facebook Pay per click is probably not where they hang out. They are probably reading the local newspaper. If they are young and mobile perhaps Instagram is where you will find them.

But until you know:

  • Your market
  • Your position in the market
  • How you will differentiate yourself
  • And your message

The medium does not matter. Do yourself a favor and schedule an hour a week to step back and think about your business.

Do You Want an Easier Sale? Target Your Market!

Posted by johngies

There are three parts to creating a marketing message that delivers new customers. The first is getting clear on who your target market is. (We will get to how you solve their problem and the message in subsequent articles.)

Let’s look at a Real Estate Agent as an example. They may be able to sell commercial and residential real estate. And they could sell to anyone. But as they communicate their message many people won’t hear it because when they hear “Real Estate Agent” they have a concept of what that is. The rest sounds like Charlie Brown’s mother “Wah, Wah, Wah Wah, Wah.”

Now when the agent gets very clear on who they can serve the best. The clients that best fit with their talents, skills and personality, now they can create connections. For example, “I help millennials find the Loft of their Dreams in downtown Denver.”

The fist step is to identify who qualifies for your target market. There are four things to look at:

  1. They have a need, want and or desire for your service or product.
  2. They have the budget for it.
  3. They have the decision-making authority
  4. They have access to you and your business

First look at your product or service. What need, want or desire does your product fulfill?  What does your product cost? Who can afford it who will be willing to pay for it? Who tends to make this buying decision?

Did you answer the questions?

Do you have a better sense?

Demographics also play a role in developing your target market. Who does my product cater to in terms of Age, Income, Generation, Occupation, Education, Is ethnicity important?

Then there are the Psychographics. These tap into the beliefs and emotions of your target buyers. What is their lifestyle, who do they listen to, what do they read? What is their motivation are they leaders or followers? What values and beliefs do they hold? Will they be supportive of the environment or do they care? What are their hobbies?

Now that you have this information you can begin to describe your target client your ideal client. As an example, it might be something like:

“My target customer is a senior manager in a health system who has risen through the ranks to her position. She has earned her degree through night-school and now that the kids are out of the house, she is ready to move up to the next level of management a Director role. She wants her team and organization to thrive.”

Now for the research. Does this target customer exist, and do they want what you are selling?

You can research this through a variety of ways. Beginning with the resources at the library. A librarian can point you to the resources to see where this demographic exists. Are they in the zip codes you serve? If not do you want to adjust your target or move your location?  You can also buy research.

Then there is primary research. That is, you out in the environment where your buyer is hanging out. What are they doing? How are they spending their time? What do you notice about them?

Then there are surveys. If you have a list, you can survey the market to see what their preferences are. If you have a website, you can have some tracking analytics to help you identify who is finding you and what their characteristics are.

Another method might be a focus group. Here you gather likely buyers and interview them about the offering, their motivations, what they like and don’t like.

Once you have done the research that you can determine, is there a market? How does the market want to interact with my product or service? Is the market large enough to support my dreams?

Now you know who they are and what they want. In our next conversation we will explore how we can uniquely solve their problems so that we are the choice for their business.

If you would like help identifying how you can identify your target market or if you are interested in my 45 minute break through challenge (we will find $10K – $50K perhaps $100K in 45 minutes or less.) Contact me at CALENDLY LINK

Image Courtesy pf Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]