Today I’d like to talk about the three keys to business development and how you can put the right bricks in place to build a solid foundation.
There are three main areas of business development:
If done well these three areas will help you build a solid foundation for your business. Let’s talk about each one of these for just a minute.
Innovation should not be confused with creativity, which is the expression of ideas. Innovation is taking these ideas and putting them into action. This is where a large amount of your focus should be in the beginning and even throughout your business’ entire lifespan.
This, of course, refers to the numbers. We are talking about the value of your innovation. The best way to gauge this is by your customer response. 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.
Once you’ve had a chance to find what areas are working, you can narrow down those areas and concentrate on making them the stand out ideas. You shift your focus here to get the most out of your business and to meet the needs of your customers.
We can help you work through these three areas to put together your business development foundation.
Today I’m going to talk about the life cycle of a business and how to get the most out of each cycle while also extended the lifespan of your business.
The four different stages of a business life cycle are:
- Growing Pains
We’ll talk a little about what each of these cycle’s means and how they can each help expand your business’ lifespan.
This is generally consider the technician’s phase, which is the owner. At this point, the relationship between the business and the owner is that of a parent and new baby. There is an impenetrable bond that is necessary to determine the path your business will follow.
The key is to know your business must grow in order to flourish. You cannot stage in this stage forever.
In this stage you need to start bringing your support staff together to delegate to and allow growth to happen. The first line of defense is your technical person as they need to bring a certain level of technical experience. This cycle really belongs to the manager though. The plan stage needs to start and a relationship should be built with the entrepreneur to plan for the future.
There’s a point in every business when business explodes and becomes chaotic. This is referred to as growing pains. It’s a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. You are often faced with a number of choices:
- Avoid growth and stay small
- Go broke
- Push forward into the next cycle
The last cycle is maturity, though this doesn’t mean the end of your business. Your passion for growth must continue in order for your business to succeed. You need to keep an entrepreneurial perspective in order to push your business forward.
You see how all three of these cycles are connected and depend on a strong foundation for each one of them for your business to be and continue to be successful. All three of your key roles must also work together to work through these cycles.
If you’re having trouble putting together your business life cycles and figuring out which of the key roles you fit into, try our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our amazing coaches.
We are going to embark upon a journey through the world of e-myths and debunk them to help you avoid falling into the e-myth trap.
First, let’s take a minute to talk about what an e-myth is. An entrepreneurial myth, or e-myth, is an assumption that anyone can succeed at business with:
- Some capital
- Projected a targeted profit
This sounds great, but it just not realistic. Think of starting a business as a marathon. Sure, everyone starts out of the gate at record pace, but after a few miles people start slowing and some drop out entirely. Building a successful business takes stamina and agility.
The reality is that there are many different facets to a successful business and none of them can be ignored if you plan to find success.
Let’s take a minute to talk about entrepreneurial seizure. This defines the roller coaster of emotions that comes with starting, nurturing and the potential failure of a business.
The emotions that occur, in order, are:
- Sense of self-loss
This is usually cause by the e-myths and assumptions we talked about. You can get your hopes so high on instant success that even the smallest lag and you are sent into an emotional tailspin. This is also brought on by the stark realization that you can’t do it all and will need help in the areas where you don’t have the knowledge. Now, faced with limited choices you may feel like you need to back out and hide, but don’t do this.
Use our GUIDED TOUR to get the business coaching you need to avoid feeling overwhelmed and defeated.
Today we’ll take a look at how the kings of industry wine, dine and otherwise cajole prospects.
Most successful professionals use a series of information based ads that build emotion and a call to action. These are much more effective than a standard company branding advertisements. The same principles that go into putting together a high impact (and, often, high priced) ad campaign can be adapted to fit your needs with similar results.
Here are some ways to put together and execute a professional, effective ad campaign:
- Put together a short report that’ll you’ll automatically send to prospects when they contact you. This should include a short description of your business and what you specialize in. Don’t forget to include case studies, samples or other proof of your success.
- Develop value-oriented yellow page ads.
- Consider newsletters as a way of educating and informing customers about your industry and services offered.
- Offer a free seminar, webinar or other lecture to build awareness of your business, but make sure you make the information pertinent to your target market and find speakers who are respected and known in the industry.
- Buy an existing business, introduce better marketing and grow this new business faster than a “from scratch” business.
- Always test different versions of your ads to find the most effective ones.
- Use direct mail marketing to grow your business.
- Put together a database of previous customers and send them new information.
- Offer incentives such as frequent purchasing benefits, loyalty programs, referral programs or others.
- Approach large firms who may need your services and negotiate a deal to be their exclusive expert in your field.
- Offer a 24-hour information line with a regularly updated recorded message. Make this available to all past and future customers/clients.
- Donate time or materials to local charities to show support in your area.
- Offer public clinics for the general public to come along and discuss what they need that’s free and approachable.
- Organize seminars your customers/clients can pay to attend by putting together a high-perception value package.
- Approach local newspaper by offering to write a weekly column about your area of expertise. Don’t ask for money, just a byline and bio.
- Develop a weekend or other destination seminar for customers/clients, not only does this give you an action-packed weekend with the most important people, it gives them a tax-deductible business adventure.
- Take a good seminar and turn it into written form as a home study, member site program, audio or video program.
- Approach large companies and offer to give seminars to their employees, investors or management.
- Be proactive with your marketing plan.
- Barter for your marketing. Offer products or services in lieu of payment.
- Be willing to bring in new clients, even if at an initial loss because it will likely pay off later.
- Regulate your marketing budget to maximize the potential income from them to hit the next year and try to push back advertising costs for the next year to offset your expenses.
- Make offers to target markets or target market businesses to pay them for referrals or shared databases.
- Offer loaner products to replace equipment that’s be repaired or refurbished.
- Give away something free to everyone who brings in a print version of your advertisement. This is a great way to see which ads are giving you the most bang for your buck.
- Continually consider what new products/services you can offer to current customers/clients.
- Develop a mail order division of your company.
- Offer a proposition to your competitors to trade customers/clients you were both unsuccessful in selling to.
- Use different marketing tactics as an excuse to attract new customers/clients with new offers and goodies.
- Offer a “you-choose-the-price” program. This is especially good for product you just can’t seem to sell.
So, there are 30 great ways to market to other professionals and businesses. Some other great ways to get your name out there for little or no cost are:
- Get involved you in your community-volunteer, donate to local events, etc.
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend the networking and other activities throughout the year.
- Join a local, state or regional professional associates for further networking opportunities.
- Become a board member of a local organization.
Advertising should never be your only method of marketing, there are a myriad of ways to get your name out there in a way that feels personal to potential customers/clients.
“Effective advertising…must be used to get your name out to the public. If your name is not familiar to people, they will not come to you.” Jay Abraham
If you’re not sure where you start with your marketing plan or how to reach out to your local community, competitors, customers/clients and others who could influence your business in a highly positive way, try our GUIDED TOUR to experience the tools and resources we have to boost your business to the next level and beyond.