8 Things You Need To Do For Your Business To Be A Success

In order for any business to be successful, there has to be methodology in the marketing efforts. What this article will cover is an 8 pillar approach to marketing that uncovers hidden assets within a business, leverages these assets and uncovers 20% or more in revenue in as little as 3 months.

The 8 pillars are:

  1. Uncovering your Unique Selling Proposition (USP.)
  2. Integrating the USP for exponential growth.
  3. Database marketing.
  4. Strategic marketing alliances.
  5. Custom advertising.
  6. Community relations/PR
  7. One to one direct marketing.
  8. Internet marketing.

These pillars do not have to be completed in series. Certain businesses might not need to be doing all of them but all businesses need to be doing at least the first four.

Uncovering you Unique Selling Proposition (USP.)

This is by far the single most important marketing project that must be completed. This is the cornerstone of any successful marketing plan. Why? It is the USP that differentiates you from your competitors. It is the reason that people come to your business and not someone elses’.

How do you go about defining your USP?

You need to ask yourself and your staff (if you have any) what it is that makes your company unique. You then need to ask your past and present customers why it is that they came to you. (Not all of them as you may be there all year! 50 of each maybe.) You then need to pretend to be a customer of your competition. This means shopping in their store or getting on their mailing list or ezine and maybe even actually buying something from them. This is when you will see if what you think is unique, is actually unique. You then need to write up the USP into copy that you can use for adverts, emails, mailings, phone calls and any other marketing you do.

This brings us neatly onto…

Integrating the USP for exponential growth.

You need to start by finding your companies core sales numbers. This is what grows your business in 3 ways, not just getting more prospects which traditional advertising concerns itself with. The 3 core sales numbers you need are:

  1. Amount of prospects
  2. Closing rate of prospects to customers
  3. Average transaction value of each customer

This is then your starting point so you can see how you grow. This also allows you to manage staff better by being able to show them figures. This also means that you can challenge them and reward as appropriate in order to have a motivated staff. If you do not know these figures, you just have to get some tracking organised.

When you have the core figures, you then integrate the USP into ALL marketing you do. On your business cards, in sales pitches, in adverts, the secretary and all staff say it, in email and letter correspondence, signs, websites, voice mails and so on and so on…

The next step is to increase the rate of prospects to customers. You should be tracking and capturing details of everyone who enters your store, phones your company, visits your website and who you meet at conferences or trade shows.

This means that you can follow up with them as it has been realised that people need to be subjected to a piece of advertising or whatever an average 7 times before they do something about it. This means that if you do not capture contact information, and follow up with your prospects at least 5 times, you are leaving money on the table.

The next step to consider is increasing the average transaction value of each customer…

You now have the three pieces of information: Number of prospects per week/month, conversion rate of prospects to customers and the average transaction value of these customers.

The average transaction value will eventually be tracked over a year focusing not only on transaction amount but also transaction frequency.

How do you increase the transaction value?

If you have been into a fast food restaurant, you will have noticed that they are the kings of this technique. Upselling. Do you want fries with that? Do you want to go large?

You should be promoting complimentary products and services to you customer base all of the time. The reason is that you have their best interests at heart, you do not want them getting an inferior service from a competitor and your customers want you to look after them properly. They expect it. Clothes shops – “these just came in, I think they’d go with those shoes/jeans/earrings.” Sports shop – “Have you tried these socks/polish with the trainers?” You can probably tell I don’t sell clothes or sports gear but you get the point! There will always be complimentary products and services that your business could be upselling to your customers. If you don’t have any other products that you produce, don’t worry, we will cover that in the section after next (Strategic alliances.)

Database marketing.

I am trying to keep this brief but the first two are the most important. Except this bit!

Okay, you have probably heard the saying “the money is in the list.” What this means is that you already (hopefully) have the most vital aspect of any business. A customer database. If you don’t have one, you need one NOW! As mentioned, you need to be collecting contact details of everyone that your business comes into contact with. Your website needs a squeeze page that you give away a free product for their email address. If you have a shop, you could have a prize draw. If you have a garage or any other type of business, you could provide special discounts to preferred customers. Anything that will have people giving you their contact details.

Why? So you can follow up! This is where a lot of your increase in revenue comes from initially. The USP you need, you need to integrate the USP but this part is where the growth skyrockets.

You need to communicate with your customers, you need to reward them and you need them to provide you with referrals and endorsements. Past customers you need to reawaken with your new USP. You want to remind them why they came to you in the first place (USP) and say that you have noticed they haven’t been around and that you have new stock/special offer(s) that you think they would be interested in and as a previous customer, you want them to come and have a look before the general public.

Think of ways you can reward them.

Remember that current customers want to be treated differently – like royalty. These are the most important people in your life!!! Give them special discounts, tell them about new stock before you tell the general public so they get in first.

You have to give before you get sometimes. The world has a way of looking after the givers. I believe it’s called Karma…

Ask your customers to refer people and reward them for it. Ask if they would endorse you to any clubs or associations that they might be members of.

Strategic marketing alliances.

By creating these alliances (also known as joint ventures), you can bypass the prospecting and turning them into a customer phase. Here is where you ally yourself with complimentary businesses. They endorse you to their customer list and you both split the proceeds. This provides you both with new customers as you can return the favour to them and promote their products/services to your list of customers. The endorsement goes to customers not prospects. The beauty of this is that you are leveraging the trust that your ally has with his customers and so the conversion rates are usually pretty high. This also shows both sets of customers that you are looking out for them by finding other complimentary services that they may be interested in. It is a win/win/win situation.

Custom advertising.

Just because a business is advertising, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are engaging in successful marketing of their company. Media advertising is a tool that can do certain things for a business bit it is not going to accomplish the whole marketing process.

Media advertising has 4 roles:

  1. Helps your company get awareness and into peoples’ minds.
  2. Positions your company as to how it is perceived by the consumer (high value, low price etc.)
  3. Can create a sense of urgency for people to contact your business. Gives them a reason to come in today but not necessarily to buy today.
  4. Can help in educating the consumer with regards to product benefits.

There are strengths and weaknesses of each type of media advertising. These can range from expensive such as T.V. to coverage in certain newspapers and lifetime of the ad. I do not know your business so I do not want to say anything that will have you spending money and wanting to lynch me!

I will leave advertising there, but, what I will say is that the results that you get may or may not be great. For instance, in a newspaper or yellow pages ad, they are not going to be bothered if you get no prospects calling you as they have already got their money. Do not get hooked into a continuous expenditure of thousands of pounds in placing trust in the advertising agencies. Have you seen an advertising agency advertise recently? Always test on small scales if you do go down this route.

For online companies, it is generally easier, I’ve found. You can get solo ads in ezines that can go to very targeted readers extremely cheaply. You just need to know where to look.

Community relations/PR.

Once the USP is established, you want to be actively and aggressively promoting it in your community. This means getting publicity so it has to be newsworthy…

You can sponsor events, put money into your community (remember what I said earlier about giving first?) Even put out your own news releases. You could put on workshops, seminars and talks to teach and educate. No matter what type of company you are, you can always teach something. It doesn’t even necessarily need to be exactly associated with your business, just mildly. Just let the community know you are around. Even get experts in to do some talks.

The trick is to always be at the forefront of peoples’ minds any way you can whether online or offline.

This works the same online as well by having Yahoo news pick you up or getting a radio show or television program or newspaper to run a piece on you. Have fun with it and think outside the box.

One to one direct marketing.

There are different forms of direct marketing. These are:

  • Direct mail
  • Classified ads
  • Telemarketing

Anything that has a seller and a buyer communicating one to one. The seller makes direct contact with the prospective buyer.

All of this should be tracked and tested as well.

Direct mail can be post cards, brochures, ads in news letters.

Classified ads can be both online and offline.

Telemarketing can be used in a variety of ways – general communication, promotions, setting appointments, follow ups, surveys (used in USP section), upselling, plain straight selling and so on and so forth.

Whenever you undertake any form of direct or indirect marketing, you do need to have your target demographics specified and test small. Secure the proper mailing list and determine your method of distribution. For example, you may want to communicate a set of earrings if you are a jeweler. Depending on time of year, you could send it to either men or women. Get the list from your prospects or present customers or both. You want to send an email as it is valentines day so you do not want the other half getting excited when a package from a jewelers shows up!

There are many things you can do to test your direct marketing efforts from changing headlines, changing colours, fonts, graphics, calls to action, urgency, different envelopes, different types of mailings (first class, Fedex) and how people can pay to name a few.

Always remember to follow up and ask for referrals. See how the steps of this system integrate with each other?

Internet marketing.

95% of websites are nothing more than online brochures. There is so much more a website can achieve.

I use a checklist of 30 points to evaluate a website. Here is an overview of what a good website should have…

  • Compelling headline
  • Use friendly navigation
  • Effective sales copy
  • A clear call to action
  • Well chosen images
  • A strong opt in offer
  • Testimonials
  • An “about us” page
  • An FAQ (frequently asked questions.)
  • Any and all current contact information.

You need to keep the website up to date with good quality content, monitor competitors sites and maintain your companies site advantage.

For promoting your site, you can use advertising and media, publicity and public relations, community and grass roots marketing, affiliate programs, pay per click, online advertising, search engine optimisation, and backlinking from high PR websites.

Hope you enjoyed this piece – it was supposed to be a bit shorter so well done for getting this far! The methodology that has been outlined here works both for offline businesses and online businesses and any type of business. You just need to change a couple of things for it to work with yours. All of the steps are interchangeable with each other and do not necessarily have to be completed in the same order as here.

One last thing. If you haven’t started building a list or prospects and/or customers, I suggest you put this in place first.

Good luck and all the best. As a gift for reading the whole way through, take a look at my resource box for a nice little freebie!

Residual Income Through Business

What is residual income? Residual income is a type of income regularly received after a one time investment of money, time, and effort. When an author writes a book, he will spend time working on it. When the book has been written, he will publish it online or offline. During this time, he needs to spend some amount of money in order to publish and advertise it. He might create a website for that purpose, or look for another one where he can post and advertise such a product. At first, it’s all money out. There is no actual income at this point in time. But over a period of time, people start browsing and clicking the websites in which he advertised his book. When visitors get interested in his book and buy it, he will start making money especially when he becomes popular in his niche. Because of this, he receives a regular income even if he does not any more spend his time making another book. This type of income is called residual income.

Common to everybody, we have to work hard to earn some money. We all know that what we earned is commensurate with our work. It’s an income, isn’t it? This type of income is called linear income. Many are already satisfied with this income model because it’s quick and guaranteed. Aside from that, we can control and anticipate the amount of income we can earn for a period of time and that gives us a basis for budgeting. However, it is limited because it is also based on our energy and time. Every day, we are awake for 16 hours. Assuming, we earn $25 per hour. We work 16 hours a day so it gives us a daily income of $400. After a month, we have $12,000. Of course we need to eat and take a shower every day. We change clothes and go to work while being stuck in the middle of the traffic jam. On top of that, this work includes Saturdays and Sundays. Even if we enjoy this busy lifestyle, where can you get any more time to earn more?

Residual income is a better alternative for people who want more. With less effort, you could earn $5k, $10k, or $20k a month depending on how you set it up. Therefore, residual income is a business. But unlike most traditional businesses, residual income business can be set up without having to set aside your linear income. Since residual income business is still a business, you may need to spend a little effort from time to time. But that does not require you to give up your regular work if you still wish to work continuously. In fact, you don’t have to.

What are the types of residual income business? Residual income business is more common with artists such as singers, music composers and movie actors and actresses. They are paid for the work they have accomplished. After a certain period of time when their films or recordings are distributed in the market, they will receive a royalty fee. Every time a single copy of their work is sold, they earn a residual income. The entertainment industry is just one type of residual income business.

If entertainment is a residual income business, creativity is another type. This type of residual income business entails knowledge and intelligence. Inventors, scientist, and designers such as engineers also receive an income based on the agreed amount equivalent to their output. When another institution or any business entity uses the patent of their work, they may earn a huge amount of money. The only challenge here is that nowadays, most companies have their own R&D department that develops their own patent.

Most of us must have forgotten that a franchising business is also an example of a residual income business. This kind of business requires so much time and money. It involves risk during the start-up stage. However, when the business grows and becomes popular, people who want to engage in business would prefer to have the same. Businessmen willing to use the franchise name will benefit from the same market where it is the leader. On the other hand, the owner of the franchise earns a residual income from the franchise fee every after the expiration of a franchise period. Common businesses that may sell a franchise are fast food chains and retail shops.

Online business is the hottest residual income business nowadays. We can earn a residual income from various income models. As a beginner, we spend more time browsing and researching some related information on how to earn money online. By doing so, we become bombarded and loaded with a lot of options to begin with. The most popular one we may notice is the affiliate marketing business. And a person engaged in this business is known as affiliate. An affiliate is someone who looks for a product online not for the purpose of buying it. He sells it online. He gets into a number of websites offering some affiliate programs. This includes advertising the products from the said websites to many different links and web directories. An affiliate earns a commission upon from the sale of the product bought by online visitors. It requires a lot of effort and trials in the beginning stage. When it’s all set, residual income follows.

How does it work? We may find our niche or a particular specialization based on our talent and skill. Afterward, we can create a niche website or blog and write some articles related to our expertise. In order to draw the visitor’s traffic to our sites, we optimize the search engines using keywords in our article content. This formula is known as SEO or search engine optimizer. Through this, we might gather an optimum number of visitors who may like we say and who, eventually, may want to learn more about we have and what they should buy to go deeper. From there, we can search for some websites selling products related to our expertise. We should apply for a membership and select the niche products which we can promote on our site. Through this, we can lead the visitors to those sites using a link. Once a visitor gets interested to buy the product, he will just click the link and get directed to the sites where he can make a purchase. When a sale is done, an affiliate will earn a commission. This process can happen repeatedly even if an affiliate is offline. Your site and the links in it will do the rest for you. Sometimes, an affiliate must exert his extra effort to sustain and strengthen the traffic. But if an affiliate has started it right, there will only be little effort needed.

On the other hand, you can create your own online products and let the affiliates promote and sell them. Instead of just an article, you may be an author of a book. Make sure that the books, you should make, is related to your niche. At first, you should build your credibility as an expert in your niche. To do so, you should also do what affiliates do.

Residual income business depends on our personality. It does not depend on the amount of capital or on the opportunity available at a particular point in time. Although it is hard to measure the exact result, the potential is limitless. It is true that we can earn with less effort through residual income business. However, there is no easy way to earn higher. We should innovate and learn new ways in order to be competitive. For all kinds of residual income of business, competitiveness is the greatest capital. The competitive are paid competitively.

Your Information To Help Improve Your Home Business Is Finally Here!

Most people are aware that a home business affords great opportunities. Working for yourself will give you the independence that you have always dreamed of. However, actually implementing this plan is separate from dreaming it. This article provides some advice on how to put your plan into action.

Be at your best when you have a home business, even if you don’t leave the house that day. You will have to put yourself before working in a home business. Working in your pajamas is wonderful occasionally but don’t make a habit of it. Get up, have a shower, and dress for the day as you would for any other work location. This can help your self esteem and make others admire you.

If you are running a home business, meticulously track every mile you drive for tax purposes. Your tax situation is going to change once you are a business owner. This means that you could receive a tax deduction for your business-related automobile expenses. If your business requires a lot of road time, you can save a significant amount on your taxes with driving-related deductions.

The separate checking account you open specifically for your business will double as a financial record keeping tool. Use the account for everything that is related to your business. This way, you have a detailed record of all money that flows through your business. Also get a business credit card for all transactions like ordering supplies.

When establishing a home-based business, it is important that you have a business plan. Even with a small business, you need to document all of your goals, strategies, and resources. If you have a set plan, you will be able to continue to build your business effectively.

Don’t get discouraged. Your home business will most likely take awhile to blossom and begin to profit. Building a successful home business takes time and constant hard work. You must learn to remain calm and consistent. They are important virtues to hold onto when maintaining a small business.

You may feel tempted to offer your new customers unbelievable deals on products to help build a customer base, but ultimately, this will be detrimental to your profitability. Have a solid payment plan visible on all of your documents and do not waiver from it. It is also a good idea to include a clause for late penalties, within reason, for those who neglect their payment.

One cost-effective way to buy online advertising is by paying in kind: offer to host another webmaster’s ads in exchange for getting your own hosted on their site. Doing so will bring more visitors to your site and boost your search ranking. Be sure that your business is being accurately promoted and that people are always aware of what they’re clicking on.

As you can see, it will require a little bit of work and dedication to make the jump. If you can manage to pull through and stick to the plan, you will be able to accurately represent your dream in the company’s image and create something that is long-lasting and profitable over the years.