Stop Discounting and Start Creating Value for More Profits

Posted by johngies
image courtesy of Pixabay and geralt

Product bundling is a great strategy to use when you want to create additional value for your business. Product bundling is simply the process of grouping together certain products to create ‘packages’ which you then sell to your clients. If you’re in a service-based industry then “discount books” do the exact same thing. At the heart of all value-added propositions lies the need to help make your clients’ decision-making process easier.

Many people are very indecisive by nature and will often prefer not to make a decision at all rather than make the wrong one. Product bundling can help people make easier decisions. Consider these examples of product bundling to stimulate your own thought processes.

A dentist could offer 30% off a teeth-whitening program after each visit by a patient. A person is more motivated to buy this product having just gone through the physical and financial pain to have their teeth look great, and naturally they’ll want to keep them looking that way?

A landscape gardener could offer a do-it-yourself garden maintenance kit after each job… including gloves, a spade, a rake, a broom, clippers, a compost bin and so on. This enables the client of the new garden to keep it in the same pristine condition. When added to the cost of the new garden, this bundled offer can be positioned to sound like an excellent investment.

What about a photographer? They could bundle enlargements, a photo album and a DVD of all the session photos taken. Customers are thrilled to receive this complete service and it gives them a permanent record on DVD for future generations.

A locksmith could provide an alarm system, roller shutters, a fire protection system, a car alarm, a personal attack alarm, exterior alarm warning signs and stickers and possibly an ozone detection system where appropriate. People often need a locksmith due to a break-in or fear of one, so why not offer them a ‘complete home-protection package’. Some people will definitely say yes.

By the way, most locksmiths aren’t qualified to install some of these types of high-tech systems. No problem… just joint venture with businesses that are qualified and work out a referral fee for driving qualified clients to them in droves. The locksmith can go ahead and sell the service as well as collect the revenue… then pay their JV provider the reduced fee.

Consider a home builder or remodeling contractor. If they build or remodel multiple homes every year (some builders construct more than 50 homes annually), they typically contract with suppliers and receive huge volume discounts. This is especially true for electronics.

Consider a builder or remodeler who agrees to buy multiple packages of a whole home entertainment and security system including a 42 inch HDTV, a complete high quality surround sound system, a complete home security system including surveillance cameras at all entry points to the home as well as a complete fire protection and monitoring system.

The retail price of this package would easily exceed $25,000 but the builder or remodeler could acquire them in volume for around $6500 since installation would not be part of their costs. Since the builder or remodeler will already have the home stripped to the studs, installation can be handled by their crew for pennies on the dollar.

Now imagine a builder competing with other builders in a moderately priced neighborhood. All the builders offer homes in the $250,000 price range. Our builder offers their home for $256,500 (includes the additional $6500 out of pocket expense to the builder) and it comes standard with a $25,000 home entertainment and full security system for FREE! Which builder would you buy from?

In fact, what if this builder offered that new home for $260,000? Do you really believe that additional $3500 would prevent anyone from buying this home? I seriously doubt it. And if it did, the builder always has the option of reducing the price. They could even maintain their original price of $250,000 and lower their profit margin on each home they sell. This would allow them to possibly double their normal sales volume and practically doubling their overall new profit every year.

The remodeler could use this same type of positioning for every remodeling job they bid on.

What kind of value Bundle can you Create? If you would like help looking to add value versus the discounting madness, let’s chat.

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.

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)]

Your Company is Not That Special…Yet

Posted by johngies

We Deliver Integrity…

We are Your Trusted…

Your Satisfaction Guaranteed…

People, Process, Technology that’s what sets us apart…

Image Courtesy of Unsplash

Name the company or business associated with any one of these phrases. No, you can’t? Why? Because they are throwaway lines that 99.9999% of companies try to get by on and as a result, they compete on price.

It is only when you distinguish yourself to set yourself apart from the others in your industry that you can become memorable.

You might do it with a mascot like Morris the Cat, (9-lives cat food).  Maybe you call out the limitations of an industry and how you’ve solved it. Think Apple and the iPod. You no longer need to carry multiple CD’s You can have 1,000 songs in your pocket.

Stop and think about this. No, you are thinking of something else. Step back and consider how you are different. How you could be different. We all can be unique. We can all stand out.

An example maybe. You know how you encounter business coaches that are insightful, curious and you feel good afterward; only to wonder what change they helped you make? My clients have a numbers-driven process-oriented toolbox at their disposal to help them bring the best of their business into the world. It is measurable, accountable and profitable.

Given the number of people with food sensitivities, I am convinced that a casual dining experience that delivers clean and organic food, can capture a slice of the fast-casual space at a premium. There are a number of people I know that no longer eat out as they used to because they can’t trust the kitchens.

Another one was a Portland Oregon Theatre that Sets ticket prices at $4.00 per show. They show second run movies and offer gourmet food at gourmet food prices.  They are not trying to be everything to everyone. BUT they have clearly identified a niche and that niche wants what they offer.

If you want your customer to find you and do business with you, you have to be different, unique and offer something of value. To really get to that you have to slow down, think about what your customer wants, your ideal customer. And who you want to work with and how.

Do you want to learn how your business can stand out? Then let’s talk. You can learn more here.