How Reverse Logic Doubled Profits


 

How Reverse Logic Doubled Profits

I find it amazing how many entrepreneurs and business owners get burned by thinking about things incorrectly.
 
Here’s an example from a recent conversation I had with an entrepreneur who sells professional services. His sales were strong, but his profits were weak. In trying to figure out a solution, he started by suggesting he layoff part of his staff. If he cut his staff, costs would go down and profits would go up.
 
However, he then realized that if he had less staff members, he couldn’t close as many sales nor complete as many projects. So, sales would go down about the same as costs, and profits would remain flat.
 
The solution I gave him was to cut costs by reducing his staff (either through layoffs or natural attrition) and to boost employee productivity. Because if he were able to serve the same number of clients with a smaller staff, then profits would rise. In fact, if the staff were pared down enough, he could even afford to pay each staff member more than they currently make.

There are several great example of this “reverse logic” of paying employees more to increase profits.
 
One example is The Container Store. The Container Store has just one employee for every three their competitors have. But, they pay their employees double the industry average and spend 160 hours training them.
 
What is the result of this strategy? The Container Store employees are better trained and happier, and thus provide superior service. All this at a 33% lower cost than competitors.

Interestingly, when The Container Store opened in New York City, it had 100 times more applications than available positions. With numbers like that, they can hire the best of the best each time.

Similarly, Harry Seifert, CEO of Winter Garden Salads gives employees bonuses just before Memorial Day, when demand for its products peak. The bonuses boost morale and cause the company's productivity to jump 50% during the busy period.

Paying employees more to improve performance and boost company-wide profits is a historically proven tactic. In fact, back in 1913, Henry Ford doubled employee wages from $2.50 to $5.00 per day. The move boosted employee morale and productivity and caused thousands of potential new workers to move to Detroit.

Your employees can and should be a source of your competitive advantage. Recruit them slowly and wisely. Train them well. Give them a voice in your company and respect them. And pay them well. When you do this, you’ll have employees that perform at three times the level of your competition. And even if you pay them double the industry average, you’ll still have huge profits and outperform your competitors.

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My #1 Tip for Super Fast Business Growth

What’s my best secret for accelerating your business growth?

It’s simple, actually: Get other people to build your business for you.

In other words, Build Your Dream Team <-- Click Here

Most entrepreneurs are making a big mistake: they’re trying to do everything themselves.

But that’s not a recipe for business success -- it’s a recipe for burnout, frustration and failure.

To build a truly successful business, you need a “Dream Team” to help you turn your vision into reality.

And I created this training to show you how to do it right.

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Are You a Stealth Manager?


 

Are You a Stealth Manager

My first job, 25 years ago, was at a market research firm.

About six months into the job, I had an idea for a new product.

My idea -- rather than giving clients access to a large database of information, I took the database and created pre-defined reports that allowed them to access key pieces of data quickly and easily.

Instead of asking approval to launch the new product, I used my spare time to actually create it. I then showed it to the VP of my division.

And the result?

I got yelled at.

Seriously, the VP was angry at me. He questioned my immediate boss as to what I was doing and why I had invested time in creating something new.

Obviously this was not a very entrepreneurial company.

But what I found most interesting about the event was how much face time I got with the VP.

You see, that VP was what I consider to be a "stealth manager." That is, he pretty much sat in his office, door closed, day after day after day.

So he really had no idea what everyone was doing. So he didn't know that I created the new product after hours, and that between 9 and 5, I was accomplishing all the regular tasks assigned to me.

In fact, he didn't know much about anything that was going on.

And the result -- the employees were not inspired. We were not motivated. We lacked a clear vision of what the organization was trying to achieve.

And all this resulted in lackluster performance.

We didn't go out of business. But we certainly weren't growing like gangbusters like we should have been.

Think about your days. Are you a stealth manager? Are there others at your organization who are stealth managers?

Stealth management doesn't work. Effective leaders and managers walk around and speak to their employees. They listen to them. They inspire them. Because effective leaders know that it's the employees who make or break their companies. They (the leaders) are the conductors of the orchestra -- without the players (the employees), there is no music.

Here are 5 things you can do TODAY to quickly break out of the "stealth manager" mode (and make your team more productive).

1. Walk around the office

Simply walk around to see what everyone is up to. Don't make it seem like you're Big Brother checking up on them. But rather, be very casual about it (the next points will give you some talking points to help with this).

2. Ask people what they are working on

Ask people what they are working on, and then really listen to their answers. Ask them why they are completing a task a certain way, and as appropriate, suggest another way they may accomplish it. Not only will they appreciate this mentorship, but you could improve their performance.

3. Tell someone/several people they're doing a good job

Tell at least one person that they're doing a good job. Let them know you found real value in something they accomplished recently.

4. Buy cookies

I don't know many people who don't like cookies. Come back from lunch with cookies, and either hand them out or put them in a main area. In either case, let everyone know that you bought them "just because." Even those on a diet who refrain from eating them will appreciate the gesture.

5. Picture each of your team members as they looked when they were toddlers

This will force you to smile when you see them. And that smile alone will brighten their day.

Great companies are not built by one entrepreneur. They are built by entrepreneurs who inspire their employees to accomplish great things. Make sure you keep this top-of-mind, since if your employees don't succeed, neither can you.

------------------------------------------------------------

My #1 Tip for Super Fast Business Growth

What’s my best secret for accelerating your business growth?

It’s simple, actually: Get other people to build your business for you.

In other words, Build Your Dream Team <-- Click Here

Most entrepreneurs are making a big mistake: they’re trying to do everything themselves.

But that’s not a recipe for business success -- it’s a recipe for burnout, frustration and failure.

To build a truly successful business, you need a “Dream Team” to help you turn your vision into reality.

And I created this training to show you how to do it right.

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How to Find a Venture Capitalist: The 5 Best Places


 

How to Find a Venture Capitalists The 5 Best Places

Do you have a great business or business idea?

That, with an infusion of millions of dollars could become a huge success story?

If so, you should be talking with venture capitalists or VCs. As you probably know, VCs are the folks with the big checkbooks. Who have funded numerous successful companies like Google, Yahoo, Ebay, Twitter, Federal Express, and more.

So, how can you meet a venture capitalist?

Well, the best way to meet a VC is to be introduced to them. Perhaps you have a consultant that knows a VC. Or a lawyer that knows a VC. Or a Board Member that knows one. Etc.

But, even if you are extremely well connected, it's virtually impossible to have a connection to every VC you want to meet.

So, below I've included the six best places to meet VCs.

1. Meet Them on Their Blog

Most of the top venture capitalists maintain their own blogs. For example, VC Brad Feld's blog is located at www.feld.com, while VC Fred Wilson's blog is located at www.avc.com.

Once you find the blog of the VC you would like to fund your company, read their blog posts. And then comment on them. Your comments should add valuable insights to the posts; showing that you're smart and someone the VC would want to know. After a few comments, the VC will start to recognize you. And when they respond to one of your comments directly, you'll have the chance to respond asking them if they'd like to meet in person.

2. Meet Them on Twitter

Many VCs are active on Twitter.  So find them on Twitter and then follow them. See what they're posting about and use that to start a dialogue with them (via direct messaging, replying to a tweet, etc.).

3. Meet Them on LinkedIn

LinkedIn makes it very easy to find and get connected with VCs. As you grow your LinkedIn network, you'll gain more and more connections to VCs.

Once the targeted VC is in your network, send them a LinkedIn message.

4. Meet them at Industry Events

All industries have events. And at these events venture capitalists who are interested in funding companies in that sector will come.

For example, next month I will be attending the AdTech conference in NYC to learn about the newest online advertising technologies. One of the speakers at the event will be Tim Chang, the Managing Director of Mayfield Fund.  In addition to Tim, I'm sure lots of other venture capitalists will be there.

5. Meet them at Local Events

Every major city has local technology and other events that attract venture capitalists.

One of the best ways to find out about these events is at http://www.meetup.com/.

I just searched on "venture capital" within New York City and found tons of local events that VCs will be at. Most smaller cities have less, but still plenty of events for you to attend to meet the right VCs for your business.

6. Meet them via Email

The final way to meet venture capitalists is via email.

Many VCs still list their email addresses on their websites. If not, subscribe to a database that offers them, or simply call the VC firm and ask for the email address.

VCs get tons of emails, so just send them a teaser email with no attachments (teaser emails give just a few exciting points about your company to get the VC interested).

So, there you have it. Even if you don't have any connections to VCs, you now have six places you can go to find them and contact them. And once you do, you could be on your way to a multi-million dollar funding check which allows you to build a phenomenally successful business.

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How to Raise $1 Million or More

If you need millions of dollars in funding to build your business, you should raise venture capital.

Click here to discover the proven formula for raising venture capital funding.

When you click, you'll learn why the "old fashioned" way of raising venture capital is dead.

You'll learn why mastering the "T-Factor" is key to raising venture capital.

And you'll learn much more when you click here.

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The One Thing Every Venture Capitalist Wants


 

The One Thing Every Venture Capitalist Wants

A venture capital firm is a financial institution that focuses on providing capital, in the form of equity, to companies who offer them the prospects of significant growth. 

The partners and associates at venture capital firms are known as venture capitalists. The term "VC" or "VCs" applies to both venture capital firms and venture capitalists. 

Unlike angel investors, who invest their own money, VCs are professional institutions that invest other people's money. VC firms raise capital for their own funds from sources which primarily include pension funds, financial and insurance companies, endowments and foundations, individuals and families, and corporations.

The VCs are then charged with providing a solid return on investment on this money. This is the one thing that every VC wants. By providing a solid ROI to their investors, VCs earn bonuses and raise more funds so they can stay in business.

VCs earn returns for their investors by finding high growth companies, making investments in them at favorable terms, guiding and nurturing them, and enacting a liquidity event (e.g., selling the company or having it complete an initial public offering).

Because they are utilizing other people's money, and are judged and compensated by the performance of their investments, venture capitalists are extremely rigorous in their investment decision-making process.

Importantly, VCs tend to only invest in companies with significant market potential of $50 million, $100 million or more. This is because even with all their relevant experience, the average venture capital firm will lose money on half the companies they invest in and only break even on a third.

Where VCs make their money is on the approximately 20% of companies they invest in that see explosive growth and provide remarkable returns of 10 times to 100 times or more on their investment.

Industry insiders sometimes refer to the 2:6:2 rule. This rule is that an average portfolio of ten VC investments will include two losses (e.g., companies go bankrupt), six moderately performing companies (may break-even on the investment or lose a little) and two very successful returns.

In fact, an analysis by Bygrave and Timmons of VC funding found that just 6.8% of investments returned ten times or more on the invested capital (these "home runs" are what give VCs high overall returns). Conversely over 60% of investments lost money or failed to exceed the amount of money earned if the capital had been put in an interest-bearing bank account.

The result of this analysis is that typically a venture capitalist will want to see the ability to get 10X their money back or more from investing in your company (they are seeking "home run" investments which compensate for the 60% of their investments that don't pan out) . As such, for every $1 million you are seeking from VCs, you must show them a realistic scenario where you can turn it into $10 million.

So, importantly, when approaching venture capitalists, remember 1) their primary goal is to make significant money from investing in you; and 2) you need to show them how they can earn a 10X return.

Now, if your company can potentially give VCs a 10X return, then seeking venture capital might be right for you. However, raising it is virtually impossible if you don't know what you're doing and haven't done it before. So follow this plan:

1. Develop a list of VC firms.

Start by creating a list of venture capital firms.

2. Narrow your list.

Each venture capital firm invests based on particular characteristics (e.g., some only invest in software firms), so you need to make sure your list only includes VCs that are interested in your type of venture.

3. Make sure the VC is active.

Many VC firms that have websites aren't active. That is, they aren't making new investments. You don't want to waste your time contacting and talking with these firms.

4. Find the appropriate person to contact.

This is critical. Venture capital firms are comprised of individual partners and associates. If you contact the wrong one, you'll be dead in the water.

5. Send the VC partner or associate a "teaser" email.

You don't want to send the VC a full business plan or executive summary initially. Rather, you need to send them a "teaser" email to see if they are interested. You don't want to "over shop" your deal.

Once the VC "bites" on your teaser email, the next step is generally to send them your business plan. Following that you'll do an in-person presentation(s), receive and negotiate a term sheet, and then sign a formal agreement and receive your funding check.

The process is a lot of work, but once you receive their multi-million check with which you can dramatically grow your company, you'll agree it's worth the effort.

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How to Raise $1 Million or More

If you need millions of dollars in funding to build your business, you should raise venture capital.

Click here to discover the proven formula for raising venture capital funding.

When you click, you'll learn why the "old fashioned" way of raising venture capital is dead.

You'll learn why mastering the "T-Factor" is key to raising venture capital.

And you'll learn much more when you click here.

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How to Contact Investors


 

If you've purchased any of my capital-raising products or followed my essays, you've undoubtedly heard me say that you should never send an investor your business plan cold. (By "investor," I'm mainly referring to venture capitalists and angel investors.)      

Rather, you should always start with a "teaser" email. A "teaser" email is an email that "teases" the investor by giving them a bite-sized amount of compelling information about your company.       

The goal of the email is to see if they are interested. If they are, you will follow up with more information (maybe your Executive Summary and/or full business plan) with the goal of getting a face-to-face meeting with the investor.     

There are two reasons you shouldn't send your business plan in your initial email. First, you don't want to "over-shop" your deal. Over-shopping is letting too many investors know about your company. If too many investors know about you, the law of numbers states that many investors will pass on investing in you (remember, most investors passed on the opportunity to invest in Google years ago).

So, if an investor isn't even interested in your market space or teaser email, they certainly won't invest in your company. And here's what can happen -- an interested investor asks this investor (the one who isn't interested in your space) if they've heard of your company. That investor says "yes" (since you unwittingly sent them your plan) and that they weren't interested. And then their disinterest persuades the once interest investor from funding you.

The second reason you don't want to send out your business plan in your initial email is for confidentiality reasons. You just don't want your business plan out there for everyone to see. Rather, wait until the investor shows that they are at least somewhat interested in your venture before sending it.

So, now that you know that you should start by sending investors a "teaser" email, the question is what to include in the teaser.

Here's the answer: the teaser email should include 5 to 6 bullets about your company and should be very short (200 words or less).  The goal, once again is simply to create a general interest in your venture so the investor commits time and energy to learning more about it (by requesting additional documents or setting up a meeting).

Your bullets should describe what space your company is in and credentials that make you uniquely qualified to succeed (e.g., credentials of management team, customers serving already or showing interest, etc.).

Now one of my subscribers asked me a great question the other day --  what should my subject line be on my teaser emails?

In fact, she said that she felt subject lines such as "Unique Investment Opportunity," "Please Invest in our company," and "Great Investment Opportunity" don't catch investors' attention and/or could turn them off.

And she is 100% correct here.  You should never send emails with subject lines such as these to investors.

So, I put together a few Subject line "templates" for you to use here:

1. Re Your Involvement in XYZ Company

Where XYZ company is a company that the VC has funded and which is in your general space. You would start the email with something such as "based on your investment in XYZ company, I think you will be interested in what we are doing..."

2. "New in XYZ Space" or "XYZ Space Introduction"


Where XYZ is the "space" that you are operating in (e.g., the financial software space). The first line would tie the subject line to what you are doing.

3. Referred by XYZ

Where XYZ is a referral source that knows both you and the investor. This works extremely well, but clearly you must first get the referral.

4. Comment on Your Post About XYZ

Where XYZ is a post that the investor recently wrote on their blog about a subject. In your opening line you explain what you agree with in their post and then tie it to your company.

To summarize, send investors a teaser email instead of your business plan to start. And realizing that they receive hundreds of emails every day asking for funding, make sure your subject line stands out and seems like you're offering them value.

 

Suggested Resource: Want funding for your business? Then check out our Truth About Funding program to learn how you access the 41 sources of funding available to entrepreneurs like you. Click here to learn more.

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Raise Funding in 2018 with Our Proven Funding Pyramid™ Formula

If you’re struggling to raise money, it’s probably because your funding strategy is broken.

Here’s how to do it right

As I explain in this video, the key is to start at the bottom and work your way up the Funding Pyramid.

Click here to watch the video now

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The Big Secret to Raising Venture Capital


 

The Big Secret to Raising Venture Capital

Years ago I served on a funding panel with Tom Clancy. At the time, Tom was a partner at Enterprise Partners Venture Capital in San Diego.

At the time, many venture capital firms were licking their wounds. They had funded a ton of companies during the tech bubble phase, and most of them had failed.
 
This led Clancy to make an important decision. He said that going forward, Enterprise Partners would wait at least six months before funding any new company they met.

The rationale was solid. During the six months, he would see what the entrepreneur was able to accomplish. If the entrepreneur accomplished the milestones set forth in their business plan, than they were deemed worthy and would receive funding. If not, they would not.

So what is the entrepreneur to do during the six months in order to get the investor to write them a check?

Obviously they need to achieve milestones... But what else?

Before I give you an answer, I want you to know how crucially important this is, not only in raising capital, but in securing key partnership and gaining key customers.

Let me give you an example of an entrepreneur who successfully used this technique in order to get a key partner. This entrepreneur’s name was Chet Holmes. And one of the key reasons that Mr. Holmes achieved success was through his partnership with marketing guru Jay Abraham.

How did Holmes get the partnership with Abraham? Like many people, he tried to reach him by phone, fax and mail. But Holmes did it every other week...

...FOR TWO YEARS!!!

Then, he finally got a call from Abraham's business manager for a lunch appointment, flew to Los Angeles for lunch, and established a very profitable partnership.

So, what's the answer to the question of how to woo investors, customers, partners, advisors, key hires, and more over six months?

Effective and persistent communications. In other words...

FOLLOW UP.

You must consistently, over a period of time, hammer home your message to investors, key customers and others.

What exactly does this mean? For investors, once you meet them, you should follow-up with them at least twice per month to update them on your progress. For prospective customers, you should contact them on an ongoing basis to continually give them value and convince them of the benefits of working with you. And of course, don't forget to follow-up with your existing customers.

And a key here is that this follow-up should NEVER END unless or until the costs of the follow-up clearly outweigh the benefits.

Remember that people invest in, buy from, and partner with other people. So, who would you rather work with? Someone who has been contacting you for two years with quality messages regarding why you should partner with them, buy their product or invest in them? Or someone who you just met yesterday and tells you how great they are?

The answer is clear.

Don't stop at the first contact. Choose the appropriate frequency (i.e., you don't want to be perceived as too obnoxious or pushy to potential investors), craft quality messages, achieve your milestones, and convince investors and others to work with you over time.

------------------------------------------------------------

How to Raise $1 Million or More

If you need millions of dollars in funding to build your business, you should raise venture capital.

Click here to discover the proven formula for raising venture capital funding.

When you click, you'll learn why the "old fashioned" way of raising venture capital is dead.

You'll learn why mastering the "T-Factor" is key to raising venture capital.

And you'll learn much more when you click here.

------------------------------------------------------------

Categories:
 

4 New Strategies For Your 2018 Marketing Plan


 

4 New Strategies For Your 2018 Marketing Plan

An effective marketing plan is necessary to grow your business. Among other things, the right marketing plan details your target customers, your unique selling proposition (USP), and your pricing strategy.

And importantly, your marketing plan covers the "channels" you will use to get new customers (known as your "promotions strategy"). These channels include, among others:

  • Billboards    
  • Blogs, Podcasts, etc.    
  • Card Decks    
  • Catalogs    
  • Celebrity Endorsements    
  • Classified Ads    
  • Contests    
  • Coupons    
  • Direct Mail    
  • Door Hangers    
  • Email Marketing    
  • Event Marketing    
  • Flyers    
  • Gift Certificates    
  • Networking    
  • Newsletters    
  • Newspaper/Magazine/Journal ads   
  • Online Marketing   
  • Postcards    
  • Press Releases/PR   
  • Radio ads/TV ads/Infomercials    
  • Seminars /Teleseminars / Webinars    
  • Telemarketing    
  • Trade Shows   
  • Value-Paks    
  • Voice Broadcasts    
  • Word of Mouth / Viral Marketing    
  • Yellow Pages   

While most of these channels require advertising dollars, there are some additional strategies you can employ that are low or no cost. Four such strategies are detailed below.

1. Get To Know Your Competitors

Regardless of what you're selling or the services you provide, you must know how your competitors are doing it. Why? Simple. Because you want to do it better-or at least not get left behind!

Visit their brick and mortar stores to see what they are doing differently this year. And/or take a real close look at their websites and blogs to see what they're doing and the customers they're serving.

Sneaky Tip:
When visiting a competitor's blog, make sure to leave high-quality comments on a number of posts. By doing this, you can also mention your website directly or perhaps just indirectly through the Name and Website fields (they turn into a link when your comment is posted).

Once your comment is approved, everyone who sees your comment will be able to click on your link and visit your website.

2. Create Some YouTube Videos

I recently met with representatives from Google who presented some very interesting information to me. Including the fact that more and more consumers and businesses are relying on video in their decision-making process.

Specifically, more and more people are searching YouTube for videos when thinking about making a purchase. And they showed me specific research stating that "1 in 3 small businesses purchased a product or service as a result of watching the related video."

Which means that you need to create videos.

Importantly, these videos can also bring you a flood of new customers.

Here's an example. I created a video a few years ago entitled "How to Write an Executive Summary for a Business Plan." On YouTube alone it's now been viewed over 58,000 times. Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLAZpFKRgUg

Once again, I haven't shared this video 58,000 times. Rather, people are finding it by searching Google, searching YouTube, social sharing, etc.

3. Use An Effective LOCAL Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy

An effective search engine optimization strategy will get your website on a top position in the search results pages of all the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

While ranking at the top of the search engines on generic phrases (like "business plan") is hard, ranking on these phrases locally is a lot easier.

Essentially, all you need to do is choose the keyword or phrase that best describes your business, add your city or area name, and use it in texts that you post on your website (e.g., Business Plan Development Chicago IL).

Your keyword or phrase should appear in the URL of your website and it has to show up in its meta description tag. For example, even though we don't have an office in Chicago, IL, this page on the Growthink website ranks near the top of Google's results for searches on "Business Plan Development Chicago IL" - http://www.growthink.com/businessplan/help-center/chicago-illinois-business-plan-writers

4. Write Newsletters And Send Them To Your Contacts

Keeping in touch with your customers is critical if you want your business to blossom. Information is crucial nowadays. Therefore, make sure that you keep your customers informed with regard to your products and services.

Some businesses do it with a print newsletter, which is fine if the business you generate is worth the costs. But an email newsletter is a much less expensive and time-consuming way to start.

Invite people to subscribe by offering a small discount or freebie, if they are willing to provide their e-mail address. After that, any message you send them is free advertising!

This does not mean that you will have to send a weekly newsletter-they might not be that interested. Instead, write a newsletter with the sole purpose of informing your customers about new products you are adding to your current offer.

Make sure that you mention discounts and advantages. Send these newsletters weekly or monthly at first (but it is better to under promise and over deliver). This will show your customers that your business is serious and it will help create a long-lasting relationship with your clientele.

In conclusion, add these 4 strategies to your 2018 marketing plan, and start rapidly growing your business.

 

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The World’s #1 Marketing Plan Template

Would you like to know the quickest and easiest way to create a winning marketing plan?

And how to use it to quickly increase your sales and profits?

Well, we've developed the ultimate marketing plan template to help you do this. Simply click below to learn more.

Finish your marketing plan and start growing your sales and profits today.

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The Marketing Experiment


 

The Marketing Experiment

This experiment has been done many times at events.

At one end of the table, they place a box of donuts.

At the other end of the table, they place a bunch of fruit.

The attendees filter out of the room on a break...and see the table.

Fifteen minutes later, the attendees go back into the main room.

What do you think the table looks like? As you can imagine, the donut box is usually empty and much of the fruit is left on the table.

This doesn't makes sense, does it? Everyone knows that fruit is MUCH healthier than donuts. So why does everyone eat the donuts?

Obviously the donuts taste better, and unfortunately, this trumps the fact that the fruit is healthier.

So, why do I tell you this story? Because many times companies make the mistake of marketing "fruit" in their businesses, when they need to be marketing "donuts."

Let me explain. Even though customers should need your product or service, it doesn't mean they will buy it. If consumers always bought what they needed, the size of the fruit section in grocery stores would be doubled, and fitness clubs would be twice the size.

The solution is typically this: sell customers what they want; but then give them what they want AND what they need.

An example of this would be to sell a weight loss diet that promised customers they could eat five times a day and never be hungry (because that's what they want to hear). But then, the diet would slowly replace those five meals with smaller and/or healthier options so that the consumer realizes the desired weight loss.

So, I want you to ask yourself two questions:

1) What assumptions do you have about what your customers need, that your customers might not agree with (or won't buy since the reality of solving that need is unappealing)?

2) How could you reposition your offerings and/or solutions so that you are able to give customers what they want, and then give them what they need?

In marketing, your "hook" or marketing "offer" will bring more customers to your door. But then there are 14 other tactics you need to employ to maximize your sales and profits. The video below explains more:

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The World’s #1 Marketing Plan Template

Would you like to know the quickest and easiest way to create a winning marketing plan?

And how to use it to quickly increase your sales and profits?

Well, we've developed the ultimate marketing plan template to help you do this. Simply click below to learn more.

Finish your marketing plan and start growing your sales and profits today.

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5 Ways to Improve Sales Without Selling


 

5 Ways to Improve Sales Without Selling

There is a big difference between marketing and sales. The act of selling generates revenue when a product is sold. Marketing, on the other hand, is the act of attracting attention, branding a product or person, and creating a buzz that will eventually result in sales.

Peter Drucker once said, "The point of marketing is to make selling superfluous." In layman's terms, this means that if you do a great job of positioning your business in your ads and build a strong reputation, you won't have to do a lot of convincing and selling once prospects come in the door (or to your website). They will already be convinced that are the right company for them.

Below are 5 marketing strategies to use to make selling superfluous and to grow your business.

1. Improve Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Having a strong unique selling proposition (USP) is a critical element of your marketing plan. Your USP separates your product or service from your competitors. It makes your product or service a "unique, must have" item.

In fact, the USP of Domino's Pizza: "Fresh hot pizza delivered to your door in thirty minutes or less, guaranteed," has widely been credited as the reason for the company's success in a highly competitive and fairly commoditized business.

Ideally you can come up with a great USP for your company like Domino's did. But at the very least, you must be able to clearly articulate reasons why customers should buy from you instead of competitors.

2. Use Multiple Marketing Channels

Once you have the right USP, you want as many of your target customers to hear it as possible. That's why you need to market yourself through multiple channels. The key is this: the more channels you use, the more prospective customers will hear about you. Importantly, some of your target customers prefer one channel (e.g., print newspapers) while others may prefer a different channel (e.g., radio ads).

While one marketing channel may be the most profitable for you, the more marketing channels you can make work for you, the more you will be able to dominate your market.

So, which of the following marketing channels can you start using?

  • Direct Mail
  • Email and Print Newsletter Marketing
  • Event Marketing
  • Networking
  • Partnerships
  • Press Releases/PR
  • Print Ads
  • Radio Ads
  • Search Engine Optimization and Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Telemarketing
  • TV Ads


3. Understand Your KPIs

"KPIs" or Key Performance Indicators are the metrics that judge your business' performance based on the success you would like to succeed.

Knowing your KPIs and constantly working to improve them is critical to your marketing. For example,

  • How many leads do you generate per dollar of advertising (per channel)?
  • What % of your leads turn into buyers?
  • What is your average revenue per sale (and have you improved this through upselling, cross-selling, etc.)?
  • How often do your customers buy from you?

The more you understand and improve your KPIs the more your revenues and profits will grow. In fact, creating and managing your KPIs is one of the pillars of an 8-figure business.

4. Make Buying From You Easy

We've all been to businesses that don't accept credit cards. Or they only accept certain kinds of credit cards. As a result of this, they lose out on some customers. So make sure you offer multiple purchase options, from credit cards to possibly payment plans.

Likewise, you can make buying from you easier by having your products and services distributed elsewhere. For example, if you offer a physical product, you can also sell it on Amazon.com or eBay among other website. These are essentially buyer search engines; people are searching them for things to buy - what a perfect place for your product to show up. Or, if you offer a service, you can develop joint venture partners who sell it to their customers.

5. Provide the Right Information to Prospective Customers


Remember how good marketing will make selling superfluous? Customers need certain information in order to make a decision.

Specifically, be sure to provide information educating your customers on how your product or service can 1) solve problems and/or help them avoid pain, 2) improve their lives and/or increase their pleasure, and 3) save customers time, as that's a growing need for customers today.

Convey this key information in graphics, articles, videos, case studies, interviews and/or any other way that your prospective customers prefer to consume information.

By following these 5 marketing strategies, you can dramatically grow your sales and profits, and not have to resort to high pressure selling.

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Six Great Places to Find Angel Investors


 

Six Great Places to Find Angel Investors

Last year, according to the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, 67,030 ventures received angel funding.

This represented an increase of 1.8% over the prior year. In total, these angels invested $22.9 Billion; that's a lot of money.

Importantly, the Center for Venture Research found that the number of angel investors providing the funding last year was 268,160 individuals. So, clearly, there are a lot of angel investors out there.

So, you're probably thinking: how do I find these angel investors? The good and bad news is that there's no directory of angel investors. It's bad because if there was, it would be easy to find them. And it's good, since if angel investors were simple to find, they would be bombarded with deals; and thus raising capital from them would be much more competitive.

The best way to find these angel investors is through networking.

First, ask everyone you know (e.g., friends, colleagues, family, advisors like consultants, lawyers and accountants, etc. ) who they know that might invest in your business.

After that, the key is for you to keep networking and meeting new people. In many cases you should target individual angel investors directly. For instance, you may realize that a certain executive in your industry would be perfect, in which case you should call them and/or seek an introduction from a mutual acquaintance.

In other cases, you should "get out there" and meet them at different venues. Here are the six best venues I've found for meeting angel investors.

1. Local Business & Networking Events


Every city has local events that attract business owners and entrepreneurs (note that other business owners and entrepreneurs are often angel investors and/or can introduce you to angels).

You can find out about these events on sites like Meetup, Eventful and EventBrite.

For example, if you go to Meetup and type in "entrepreneur," you'll find lots of local events.

2. Industry Conferences & Trade Shows


Industry Conferences & Trade Shows are great places to meet angel investors. These events are filled with successful people who have the means and often interest in funding a company like yours. And, based on the fact that they are attending such a conference, they know your industry. This makes educating them on your venture easier, and also often gives them the ability to give you valuable strategic advice.

You can generally find out about these events in your industry's trade journals.

3. Alumni Events


Particularly at college alumni events you'll find lots of successful people. Many of whom would be very interested in funding your company as an angel investor. You already have a connection with these individuals since you share the same alma mater. So go to these events and meet them.

You may also have access to an online alumni directly. If so, you can use this to directly target certain individuals.

4. Chamber of Commerce Meetings

There's probably no better place to meet a large concentration of business owners (and potential angel investors) than local Chamber of Commerce meetings. So attend these meetings.

5. Volunteer at Local Organizations & Charities and/or Attend Charity Events

As a general rule, you should volunteer to give back to people less fortunate than you. But as a bonus, when volunteering you'll often meet very successful people, including large donors to the cause. These individuals might also be interested in funding your company.

6. Become a Guest Speaker

There are many groups like YPO (Young President's Organization) and Vistage that have monthly meetings during which they bring in outside speakers.

Find groups like these that could benefit from your knowledge. Present great information to them to help their businesses grow. In doing so, you will make great connections, including some that can fund your business.

As you can see, there are many, many places to find angel investors. It's mostly a matter of scheduling the time into your schedule to go do it.

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