(Time to read this Blog is about 3 minutes)
Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking:
- My biz quote of the week:
“Business is a lot like dating. If you’re not too mean or too ugly, you can get a 1st date with almost anyone. It’s the 2nd date that tells you something. The 1st date is about marketing and 1st impressions. The 2nd date is about value delivered, trust built and a relationship started. In both our business and our personal lives, if we’re not getting any 2nd dates, the universe is speaking to us.”
- Plan now for an extraordinary 2021: Now is the time to commit and plan to make 2021 your best year ever. For free access to my newly revised Biz Tool…’13 Questions to ask to make next year your best year ever.’ Click Here.
For even more help in getting clear about the future of your business, you can purchase our ‘Vision Critical Guide’ for just $24 by clicking here. This step-by-step Guide has helped thousands of clients around the world manage more effectively and create a more profitable future for their business.
- Cooper is completely booked up. I’m completely booked up with Biz Coaching clients till the end of the year, but if you’d like to chat about possibilities for 2021, I’m easy to find at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, to this week’s important topic:
You can spend yourself into bankruptcy…but you can’t save yourself into prosperity!
You can spend yourself into bankruptcy…but you can’t save yourself into prosperity. For that, you have to sell more stuff, profitably. Yes, you need to be an efficient, low-cost operator but, after you’ve trimmed expenses and improved your systems and processes, additional savings get harder and harder to find without cutting into the very heart and muscle of your business.
At some point you have to sell more. You have to create, deliver and communicate compelling, customer value and experiences that will ‘grab’ your target customers, clearly differentiate you from your competitors, make you ‘famous’ and grow your bottom line.
And, here’s the good news. You don’t need to increase sales by a huge amount to make a significant difference in your bottom line. For example, if your gross margin is 35%, just 5% more sales will likely grow your bottom line by 35%…if you maintain your margins and expenses at current levels. If your gross margin is 25%, 5% more sales will grow your bottom line by about 25%, if you maintain margins and expenses at current levels.
Get the idea? Whatever your gross margin percentage is, 5% more sales will grow your bottom line by about that same amount, as long as you don’t cut your prices, reduce your margins or spend like a drunken sailor. How much better would you have to be to increase sales by just 5%? Not how much ‘cheaper’…but how much ‘better’?
Bonus Tip: In most businesses, the easiest way to increase sales by 5% is to make sure that your existing customers, the ones who already know you, love you and trust you, know about all the value, products and services you offer.
Reality Check: Whatever product or service you sell, your market is over-served and under-differentiated so, basically, you’re peddling a commodity. To increase sales and profitability, you need to stop being a commodity.
Solution: Here are 3 simple steps to rethink your business, clearly differentiate yourself and sell your way to prosperity:
Step #1 is to redefine your business, not by what you sell, but rather by how you help your target customers.
For example, a mortgage company would no longer say, “We sell mortgages!” That just doesn’t ‘grab’ people. They would powerfully redefine themselves as being in the business of helping people have a stress-free experience buying a home wisely, securing the best mortgage for them and then paying off that mortgage as quickly. conveniently and inexpensively as possible. Isn’t that what people really want when they’re looking for a mortgage?
This Step #1 requires that you make a fundamental decision in your business. “Are we trying to get our customers to do what we want them to do, or are we committed to helping them do what they want to do?”
Step #2: What kind of help do they need?
Now that you’ve redefined yourself by how you HELP, take some time to think and feel like a customer. Sit down with your Team and start making a list of all the help your target customers need in order to know about you and all the value you offer, to wisely choose and effectively use what you sell…and what kind of help they need in any way related to doing business with you. Think about what gives them stress, or causes confusion, suspicion or doubt.
Think of what products, services, information and coaching, after-sale support, convenience, confidence, kindness and encouragement, payment methods or terms, updates, reminders or maintenance they might need to have a complete, successful and stress-free experience with you and with what you sell at every touch-point. To jump-start your creativity, consider these four simple questions…
- Do all of our target customers know about us and all the value we offer? How can we help them know more about us…and trust us?
- Functionally, emotionally and financially, what are our target customers really trying to do when they buy, install, use, service, update and eventually recycle what we sell?
- What do they want or need to know to wisely choose and effectively use what we sell? How can we be their ‘Caring Coach’?
- How do they want to feel when they do business with us and every time they ‘use’ what they buy from us?
Step #3: How will you deliver some of that help…better than your competitors?
Now that you know exactly what kind of help your customers need, get creative. What’s the most wonderful way that you can deliver some of that HELP, effectively, consistently and profitably every day, without fail…better than your competitors?
– what can you do to help them to know about you and all the value you offer?
– how can you help them to do what they’re trying to do?
– how can you help them to know what they want or need to know…and,
– what can you do to help them to feel the way they want to feel?
Think ‘WOW’…think ‘amazing’…think about what has never been done before. Think and feel like a customer and have the creativity and the courage to create compelling customer-owning value and experiences at every touch-point. Compelling value and experiences that will ‘grab’ your target customers, clearly differentiate you from your competitors, make you ‘famous’ and grow your bottom line.
In conclusion: Involve the best minds and hearts in your business in this process (If you’re a very small business, ask some bright friends to help you). Get creative! Break the rules! Ask, “What’s possible and what’s next?” Then, dare, decide and commit to action.
How can you use these three powerful steps to create prosperity in your business?
That’s it for this week…
Stay safe…live brilliantly…and do at least 3 important or kind things each day!
Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability. He can be reached by email at email@example.com in Toronto, Canada.