Tag Archives: business growth

How Are You Growing Your Business During A Recession With Limited Budget?

Grow Your Business With Limited Budget

One of the questions that I have received a lot in my inbox since 1st Jan 2013 is this:

“How can I grow my business significantly with little investment?”

I spoke with one of my clients only this morning who was facing this dilemma. He runs a small coaching consultancy, is in the process of writing his first book and wants to launch a seminar to his local community of businesses.

He recognises that his spend on marketing and advertising is limited and wants a good return. I should point out that he is highly intelligent and keen to make a positive impact on the world through sharing his message.

Here are his 2 biggest problems:

  1. His budget for the seminar and it’s marketing is limited
  2. He acknowledges that most companies and individuals are reducing expenditure

Do these problems sound similar to the issues facing your business today?

Let’s tackle these problems in reverse.

Companies and individuals are reducing expenditure

Every time there is a recession two things happen. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It’s an interesting statistic that there are more millionaires created during recessions than at any other time of an economic cycle.

And this isn’t even the domain of the millionaires. High income families always maintain their lifestyle during recessions.

This may sound implausible, so understand the car market which reflects the buying power of our demographics.

Sales of luxury cars are up (and increasing) sales of middle value hatchbacks are continuing to fall (by the way, the car market is the litmus of the confidence of the economy which is why it is always featured so heavily on the news).

The second consideration for “reducing expenditure” is this. The psychology behind companies and individuals reducing expenditure belies a hidden opportunity.

Those companies and individuals are in pain as a result of their perception of the recession. If you are intelligent you can develop a solution to their pain that will help them, not only survive, but thrive during the recession.

If your business is struggling I urge you to seek out someone who is successful during a recession. Anyone can make money during a boom, intelligent growth specialists succeed no matter what.

My budget is limited

Most people fall into this common mindset and are then limited in their thinking of what a solution may be.

I have been sought out for my innovative approaches to business models that leverage relationships so that everyone benefits.

How can you do this?

Strategic Partnerships

Going back to my client he was hoping to land a celebrity keynote speaker with no payment by saying that a percentage of the profits would be donated to his chosen charity.

As you can imagine being on the television he gets many requests like this and when asked, he politely refused.

So when we started working together I approached it in a slightly different way.

I asked my client to approach the celebrity and the charity at the same time, including the individuals on the same email. We worked on the tone and language of the email so that it eloquently put forward a proposition that was beneficial to the objectives of the charity and the celebrity.

As my dad always used to say “what’s in it for the other fella?”

We formed a partnership between us, the celebrity and the charity that would meet their needs ahead of our own.

Outcome

As you can imagine all three partners gained significant local press coverage and we were able to leverage the brand of the celebrity and the charity through a joint marketing.

This didn’t fill the seminar.

What did fill it was the 12 strategic partnerships that we were able to form with other suppliers using this same model.

I hope you use this model and have at least 10% of the success that my client.

Ross

ross@inceptionbusinesssolutions.com

Not All Marketing Is Created Equal

Tell me if this conversation sounds familiar –

“We tried that but it didn’t work so we haven’t tried that again”

Imagine if you had a baby who saw everyone else walking around upright on two legs and tried to stand then walk….. but fell over. Do you think they have the same thought process?

I regularly hear of businesses large and small who try a marketing tactic and do not get the result they were hoping for and form a quick belief that because it didn’t work for them, it’s not worth investing further in it and look for an alternative.

Marketing has never been more powerful or influential in generating and increasing sales to a business. It is a Formula One car.

The only problem is – not everyone is a Formula One driver.

As I write this I am imagining that you can drive. However, would you be able to win the Monaco Grand Prix if you had a Formula One racing team?

Two factors will determine your success.

How well you can drive a Formula One car and how well you know the track and opponents.

In other words – exactly the same as marketing.

When you hear of companies making incredible business growth a lot of it is developed through the same marketing activities that every business has at their disposal. The difference – they know how to use their marketing Formula One car and they know the track and opponents better than anyone.

What Is Your 2013 Business Strategy?

2013 Business Goal Setting Ross Kingsland

2012 is nearly over. Some of us met our goals, some exceeded them and some can’t remember what they said 12 months ago. And now 2013 is fast approaching.

It is at this time that we reflect on how successful our business and lives have been over the last year.

Many will blame the economy. Some will blame circumstances in their lives. A handful will blame themselves.

One thing I do know through years of coaching and working with businesses is this. For many business owners, goals are nothing more than hope.

If it happens – “great”, if it doesn’t happen then the “maybe next year” mantra is rolled out.

And it is not because our intentions were anything less than good. We set out with a strong idea of where we want to be and where we are going – but something happens along the way. 12 months is a long time in business.

Some of us struggle, get caught out, rely on a “good” economy to keep our business going. The reality of business is very different. Unless you are adapting, flowing, continiously improving you will not achieve your goals.

Then there are a few who not only survive in a recession – they actually become more successful. I am fortunate enough to say that this is one of the business principles that my business is leveraged by. When a recession is here – we celebrate.

Here’s the truth about recessions: There are more millionaires created during a recession than at any other time of an economic cycle.

Why does this seem counter intuitative to your experiences?

The amount of money that is in the world has not been reduced, it is simply in someone else’s bank. This means that while one business may be struggling that same money is invested elsewhere.

So how do the millionaires succeed where other businesses fail? Strategy

Let me give you an example.

Imagine that you are about to set off on a car trip from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Would you simply get in the car, unprepared and set off driving without a map, checking the fuel or car condition? As an intelligent person I would imagine that you wouldn’t adopt this approach.

Instead what do we do? We plan the route with the use of maps, perhaps speak wtih friends who have done the whole or part of the journey, ensure you have fuel in the tank, check the tyre pressure and water levels, assess how long the trip will take and factor in your timescales.

Then you get in the car and drive. You know where your destination is and you know what roads and changes you need along the way to ensure you reach your destination.

Imagine this, even as you are driving in the dark with your headlights just showing a couple of hundred meters ahead of you – you know that you are still on the right path.

Why does this work? You had a specific outcome that you wanted to achieve and you planned how you were going to achieve it, then you made that decision to start the journey. And if, like me, the journey has not gone quite according to plan – did you stop and give up? You ask directions, get help – maybe even use the Sat Nav.

And then you finally arrive at your destination. You’ve been through some experiences to achieve it. But it was worth it in the end.

How can you use this for your 2013 Business Strategy?

Start today by writing down your answers these questions to develop your strategy

1. What specific goals do you want to achieve by the 31st December 2013?

2. What are your current resources and skills?

3. What resources and skills will you need to achieve your goals?

4. How can you get access to the resources and skills to achieve your goals?*

*remember: what got you here will not get you to your goal

5. How committed are you to achieving your goal on a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being not very, 10 being 100% committed, nothing will stop me!)

Everytime I ask the last question everyone says 100%.

If this is so then why do so many of us not achieve our goals? Lack of action and committment.

Whatever your goal make it a MUST not a WOULD BE NICE.

Many people talk about what they are going to do, few actually take action and do something. Be one of the 0.01% that seize the opportunity and make a decision to create the business that they want, on their terms.

So, when would now be a good time to make your decision?

 

In friendship

Ross

ross@inceptionbusinesssolutions.com

 

Profit Builders: Do You Have Customers Or Clients?

It’s interesting how we position our selves, products and services often without realising the impact of what is happening and the subsequent effect to our business.

To use one example:

Around your office or business, do you use the word customer or client?

Although this sounds like a very small difference the effect on your relationship with them is dictated by this.

To understand this we can use the Webster Dictionary

Definition of “Customer“: one that purchases a commodity

Definition of “Client“: one that is under the protection of another, a person who engages the professional advice or services of another

Consider what the impact of this really is.

If you have customers, the position that you are adopting is that they are purchasing commodities. Commodities are abundant, replicable and replaceable. If your business perspective is based on this, how do those customers then view you offerings?

It becomes very difficult to differentiate yourself, charge a premium, develop loyalty to you if that is also their perception of you – a commodity provider.

Conversely, by using the word client in its place your whole perspective changes. You are now a trusted advisor to them. You have their best interest at heart – above your own.

And what happens to you in the eyes of the client? You become trusted, they show you loyalty, you are irreplaceable, you are needed.  Your purpose is to give your clients the best short term and long term results and benefits.

That may not sound like much of a strategy for increasing profit but look at it from the other side.

You will never let they buy less than they should, or at least you won’t be shy about offering and recommending, if appropriate, that they buy more because you have their best interests at heart.

Imagine that you were a doctor. You have a duty of care to your clients (patients). If someone who was sick came to see you and at the end of the consultation they ask which medicine of the two you recommend. It is your duty to recommend the medicine that you believe will give the most benefits and fewest side effects. Or would you let them take the “cheaper” that may have more side effects with fewer benefits?

Customers will see you as a commodity provider.

Clients will see you as trusted advisors.

There Are Only 3 Ways To Increase Revenue

I was working with my personal trainer the other day who came to me with a problem:

“How can I grow my client base?”

One of the principles I learnt very early on in my career was that the first question that someone asks you is rarely the real question they want answered. What he really wanted to know was “how can I make more money?”.

While this question obviously has a lot more depth behind it, for the purpose of this blog I will tell what I told him.

“There are only 3 ways that you can increase your revenue.

1. Increase the number of clients you work with

2. Increase the revenue per transaction per client

3. Increase the frequency that they purchase”

That’s it. Now, the secret to this answer is this. Each principle can be ranked according to how easy it is to achieve.

Increase revenue per transaction per client.

This is by far the easiest principle to implement. You set out an up front “contract” of the service that you will deliver against how much it will cost the client to achieve that result. Once you have a client in your system they develop loyalty to you (if you are genuinely providing an outstanding service) and will stay with you even if your fees increase.

Increase the frequency that they purchase

If clients working with you they are predisposed to give you money for your services. Why not – they are already doing it so there is already implicit trust established and bonding the two of you. As their trusted advisor, coach, mentor, trainer if you recommend something they are much more likely to purchase this based on the trust that they already have in you.

Increase the number of new clients that you work with

By far the “hardest” of the three as you are going out into the marketplace to attract new clients to you. This is where most marketers spend most of their time looking at new ways to reach a niche with the latest technologies. When marketed exceptionally the results are very high, executed good to average the results are average at best. Competition is too intense to be anything less than exceptional – long gone are the days when just about any form of marketing and advertising worked.

Assess what principle you are currently using. Assess what principle the best in your industry are using. I guarantee this. Most of the top names in most industries communicate more to their own customers than they do trying to attract new customers.

Why? Because they recognise the power of word of mouth and viral information in our world which is more powerful than any marketing message that they can craft that might meet some of the wants and needs of new customers.