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How to Succeed in Business — Only 4 Key Steps Needed

Essential4StepsToBusinessSuccessWhether your business succeeds … or struggles and fails … depends upon only a handful of steps. If you succeed with them you will first survive, and then grow. We can easily present each of these in the form of a simple question. If you can say “Yes” you will succeed. Just that simple.

There is a fifth step which will make you wealthy, but before we get to that —

  1.  First, the question: “Can you Economically reach an Adequate Number of Likely prospects?”
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    When you begin to think about what this means, you will be thinking about the sentence backwards. For example, you will strive to clearly identify exactly who are these prospects who are Likely? (Sometimes these people are called your target market.) And then …

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    And then you’ll think about where the largest numbers of them congregate or can be found, such as reading a certain magazine, in a certain group on LinkedIn, on a purchased list for direct  mail purposes.)
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    .And then you will calculate what method of reaching them are economical. Economical could be a low money figure, or it could be a high money figure. But calculating first the lifetime value of a customer, and then calculating/estimating how many prospects you must reach to produce one paying customer will give you the figure that shows you how much you can pay for each one, and any method you use that costs less than that that you can handle … is economical.
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  2. Next, the question: “Can you present your product or service in some way that is Different from the similar product offered by other companies?”
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    This is related to the idea of having a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), to present what you offer as being completely unique, but the essence of this question here is simply: Can you appear different? (Ie: Can you be superior in delivery? Can you be higher quality and prove it? Can you be cheaper? Faster? Easier? Easier to pay for?)Some of these are better than others. For example, being cheaper nearly always means you haven’t thought it through, and you will discover that competing on price alone is a vulnerable and eventually deadly approach for the health and growth of your business. But even if you take this reckless approach, it does allow you to present yourself differently, if you are indeed cheaper.
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    And if you have discovered a revolutionary new way to have lower costs than the competition, that can work out for a time. (I did this in the answering service industry by introducing voicemail service in San Francisco before other people did, and in a specialty guitar manufacturing business by utilizing a modular design, computer-controlled cutting machinery, and overseas parts suppliers.)
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  3. Third, the question: “Are you willing to Invest in marketing?”
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    This investment may consist of money, time, or some pre-existing resources. Frankly, most businessmen do not. If you examine the budget of most small businesses, you will see that a small percentage of their income goes into marketing (ads and salesmen and lead-generation systems), and usually more goes into administration (bookkeeper, office manager, rent, utilities), and the largest amount goes into production (costs of goods, salaries of employees, machinery).
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    This is understandable, because the auto mechanic pictures his new business as something where he will work on cars. He imagines all his time, and most of his budget, goes into the repair of cars. However, he will never grow, because sales are the lifeblood of a business that enable growth, and he isn’t investing to cause sales.
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    If you look at large companies — American Express, Burger King, Sears and Roebuck, GoDaddy, Amazon, Google — you will see that in every single case, their largest budget item is the marketing division. Because that, and only that, is what produces growth. If you want to grow, then marketing budget (in time and/or money) must be as large or larger than production. Fact.
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  4.  The fourth question is:  “Can you arrange to Measure the results?”
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    For example, in the marketing department, can you measure exactly how many leads, and how many signed-up customers were created from a magazine advertisement, every month? Or, in the administration department, what exact percentage of outstanding were successfully collected by your bookkeeping system or person? Or, in the production department, what is the exact cost spent on the production of every single widget you manufacture; or how many clients are lost every month due to problems?
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    Once the answer to this question is true, then all you need to do is regularly monitor those numbers. If the number improves, do more of that. If the number degrades, find out what’s wrong and fix it. Experiment now and then with new bright ideas and see if the bright idea is better than the old process, and then use the winner in the future.
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  5. BONUS! — And if you will make the above questions all answerable with “Yes!” then there is one final Question, and if you make the answer to this Bonus Question to be “Yes!” then you can create wealth. Companies which do this one thing make their owners wealthy. Companies which do not do this final thing often do not.
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    The “Wealth” Question is: “Can you turn every operation in your business into a documented and repeatable System?”
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    If you can turn every part of the business into a system, that means that anybody can do it. You no longer need to depend upon unusual talent, because anyone can do it. Your product and results won’t vary, because it’s done the same way every time. McDonalds’ scoop for french fries is quick, easy to use, immediately trainable, and deposits the same amount of french fries into the package every time.
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    And that includes YOU. If you turn the parts that you do, then you can replace yourself. You don’t need to work long hours. Your particular unique skills are no longer required on a daily basis for the business to run successfully. So you start with the most repeatable parts of your business (or your life) and one by one turn it into a system — including your systems for hiring people and training them on these systems — and one day, you’ll notice that the place doesn’t need you slaving away every day. Because you have built a money machine.
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At the beginning of this article, I promised to reveal four essential questions that, if you can arrange to answer them with “Yes!” your business will not only survive, it will grow. And I threw in a bonus question that, if you can arrange to answer it with “Yes!” will enable you to create wealth, and a stress-free life.

If you like this article, pass it along to others, OK?

— Arthur Cronos, for Voltos Marketing Systems

 

 

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