Posts Tagged ‘business owners’

Some Lessons From Brad’s Summer

Over the last few months, Brad has been traveling the world, delivering his message to business owners all over the world… and enjoying some vacation time. On his way back to his home in Las Vegas, we asked Brad a few questions about what he saw in the course of his travels this summer.

You’ve been all over the world this summer, did you get a chance to talk to any business owners and learn if there were any new challenges they were facing?

These days, all over the world, business owners face the same challenges they’ve always faced, the perception that there’s never enough money, never enough time to get everything done … never a good enough team to support the vision of the business and the business itself.

It’s that idea of scarcity that dogs them. But the reality is that the right knowledge is all you need to overcome all of these challenges. Sure, in certain areas of the world there are challenges that don’t exist in others, but the bottom-line is that once you understand how business really works – and how you can work it – you can find creative ways to solve any of your problems, no matter what the economy is.

What surprises you most about the mindset of the business owners you met over the last few months?

It’s interesting – but people, especially business owners, are always looking for the next great investment – when owning your own business is the best investment you can make.

We’ve had some research done in the past few years that shows the right knowledge of running your business (i.e. hiring an ActionCOACH) can deliver 10 times return on an investment.

Where are you going to get that kind of return on anything these days?

Even if you’re just stumbling along and in a decent running business in a growing industry, you can probably get a 20% return … and even then, you can’t beat that with other investments.

If those business owners you met over the last couple of month were thinking of expanding to other countries, what would you tell them?

I’d say learn as much as you can about how to run a really profitable business – get a sales system and methodology in place – a system for getting repeat business – and always more inexpensive ways to get new customers in the door so you can sell them multiples of what it cost to bring them in – and you can succeed in any kind of business – in any country – in any economy.

The Year is Halfway Done…How Do Your Plans Look?

With the close of the second quarter of 2013 upon us, where do you stand?

If you’re anything like most business owners, you were likely fixated on creating plans and systems that were going to help you make 2013 your year…but how do those plans look now?

Are you working on a completely different plan than the one you started the year with? What changed in your plans and why? Have your plans become nothing but what you hope to accomplish during the day with only a glimmer of what you will have done by the time the third quarter of 2013 is done?

Planning is one of the most difficult and misunderstood aspects of running a business…but it is also one of the easiest to follow…if you’re diligent.

The problem for too many people is that when they begin planning they aren’t prepared for everything that could happen so when a challenge arises it tends to destroy the greater plan, making most of that plan useless going forward.

If your 2013 plan isn’t working…it may be time to start considering your 2014 plan and how you will stick to it…what changes will you make to your company to ensure that you and your team can best follow through and stick to your plan?

Start by figuring out what went wrong in the first half of 2013 and how you can salvage the rest of the year and then begin to figure out your 2014 plan now. Don’t wait until 11:59 on December 31, start figuring out what you’ve done right, what you’ve done wrong and how you are going to make appropriate changes so your plans come to fruition next year…and you can make the most of the rest of 2013.

Planning doesn’t have to be a waste of time or a challenge to your way of doing things. Planning is the only way you can truly know where your business is going and no business ever grew huge out of sheer luck…simply put success takes planning and if you know this is a challenge for you, start now…or better yet, get into contact with an ActionCOACH Business Coach who can teach you how to plan properly for virtually everything that can happen in your business.

Mastery Is The First Step

My definition of a business is a commercial, profitable enterprise that works…without me. This means the business will be fully functioning while I am free to work “On” the business, not “In” it.

Of course that type of business doesn’t just happen. You’ve got to really know what you are doing to create a business, not just another job for yourself, which is what most people get when they start off on their own.

The steps along that path are what I call the 6 Steps to Massive Results. Each is important, but you’ve got to start at the first step and the first step is Mastery.

Mastery is about moving from Chaos to Control. It is about controlling aspects like Money, Time and Delivery in your business.

Simply put, when you have Money Mastery you have profits, when you have Time Mastery your company is productive and when you have Delivery Mastery your business has predictability. Put all three together and you have a profitable commercial enterprise that works…without you.

But how do you get there?

When it comes to Mastery, don’t leave anything to chance. Sure, when you first open up your business, systemization may not be possible because there is still a lot you need to learn about your customers and your business.

That said, you should be moving toward systemization and mastery from the minute you open the doors. How can you streamline your operation so cash flows through the business, how can you use your time to get as much done as possible and how can your deliver on time, every time, so your clients are never disappointed?

If you’ve owned a few businesses, getting these ideas right for your latest business shouldn’t be a difficult task. Any business owner that’s had a level of success understands these concepts and how to make the business efficient, but if it’s your first business and takes you some time to get there, that’s okay, just make sure it’s something you are working toward every day.

You see, the danger for many small businesses is that they never achieve Mastery in one or more of those areas, which can doom them in the long run and they end of closing, or selling out for a fraction of the investment they’ve put in.

How do I know? When I look at businesses to decide if they are worth buying, the first question is ask is have they achieved mastery?

If they have, but they are still struggling, the problems run much deeper and will take longer to fix than I like. But if the business is up and running, but they haven’t been able to achieve Money, Time or Delivery Mastery, I know turning them into a profitable company is just a few shorts steps away.

Don’t Miss Brad’s Buying Customers Webinar On December 4

Buying Customers, the idea behind Brad Sugars’ latest book of the same name, is a revolution in thinking for business owner, sales people and anyone else actively involved in growing a given business.

In conjunction with the release of his 15th book, Brad’s next free webinar is brand NEW and LIVE, and called “Buying Customers”.  It is scheduled for Tuesday, December 4th (or Wednesday December 5th in the Asia Pacific region).

You don’t want to miss this new webinar that happens on the same day as the official launch of Brad’s new book “Buying Customers”.

To register for this webinar, go to: http://bradsugarsbuyingcustomers.com/

In this webinar, Brad will talk about why the idea of buying customers is so important for businesses these days. In his more than two decades helping business owners achieve success as the world’s number one Business Coach, Brad has learned these valuable lessons and distilled them into one volume, chock full of actionable ideas that have been proven to work for any business, anywhere, no matter what that business sells.

And if you can’t get to the seminar, but still want your own copy of “Buying Customers” on the launch date of December 4, just go to http://www.buyingcustomers.com/

Some Owners Need to Sack Themselves- Part 1

SO, YOU STARTED the company, you built it up, but are you the best person to keep running it?

It’s a tough question. Entrepreneurs are not always the best managers. In fact, they are often some of the worst.

For entrepreneurs who find themselves “stuck” or see their companies at a growth plateau, a great question to ask yourself is whether or not your greatest strength is managing what you’ve built. For most owners, it isn’t. For most of them, what they really need to do is get out and start a new venture or enterprise.

Because entrepreneurship is what they do best. What are the characteristics of a great entrepreneur? They’re different from those of a manager or employee. That’s why owners are entrepreneurs in the first place.

Beyond a vision and drive for something more, true entrepreneurs realise trading time for money is not the way to get rich.

However, being stuck as a manager in your own operation is not productive, especially when your talents lay elsewhere.

But how do you get out of your own business in a way that benefits everyone – including yourself?

First, you must recognise that “you” may be the issue. Once you admit that, options and opportunities become clearer.

Ideally, you already have some systems in place in your business and a good team you can trust to run at least some portions of your operation.

Then, you must take a leadership position to put new leadership in place. There are a few great ways you can successfully make it happen that have proven effective for other owners in your position over the years:

1) Recruit two or three high calibre people and let them work their way to the top. Don’t let them know you are looking at them as your replacement one day. Instead, mentor them and let them lead their various divisions and see for yourself who would be the best fit for the company long-term.

2) Look within. Here, you’re looking at your current roster of executive staff you currently have for one or possibly a group of employees who could take over the company and run it long-term. You might even find a way to create an income flow for yourself long-term from this type of arrangement – one that would let you do something else.

3) Find and run a business that is not dependent on you. Ideally, this is the business you start after you sell or find a creative way to get your cash out of your existing business.

Strategies to Drive Your Business

Business owners must understand  drivers that make their companies grow.

If they don’t, it is a problem, but it is also an opportunity for the business owner to grow their business, provided they understand which of the drivers they are neglecting.

Just a few new tools, or tweaks to an old strategy, can really drive revenues and profits. And when you understand what you are doing, it can take just a couple strategies consistently applied over time to really improve your business’ performance. Here are four strong strategies you can employ to begin moving in the right direction.

1) Accept the business cycle, and learn to profit from it- Just like the seasons, business has its ups and downs. Right now, we are coming out of economic “winter” and slowly heading into economic “spring.” What do you do in spring? Get your soil ready and plant your seeds.

In business terms, this means get a good marketing program in place and start planting “seeds” in your marketplace.

2) Learn the “Lifetime Value” of your customers- Once you realize how much you can earn from a customer over the “life” of your relationship with them, you can create all kinds of added-value propositions to ensure loyalty for that all important component of profit: repeat business.

You can also make better marketing decisions up-front, knowing that the cost of “buying” a new customer will be paid for by extra profits over time.

3) There are only five ways to increase your profits- You can get more leads, convert more leads to customers, get repeat business and more purchases from those customers, increase your price points and increase your profit margins. Just a 10% increase in each of these factors works out to a 61% increase in bottom-line profits. Increase all of them over time and you can exponentially grow your company.

4) Forget branding. Focus on leads- Put your efforts in generating more leads and create a great experience for your customers. When you do this your branding will fall into place. And of course don’t forget to test and measure all of your advertising and marketing efforts, because if you don’t, you are literally throwing money down the drain.

Now is the perfect time to put key strategies in place to get your company ready for the next upswing in the economy.

While no one knows when it will happen, it’s important to remember that  after winter comes spring, and those green shoots are not only showing up in your neighborhood, they are also showing up in businesses everywhere.

Make sure they show up – and continue to grow – in yours.

The Pros and Cons of Business Ownership

There is something special about owning your own business. It can be a dream come true for most people. It is right at the top of the wish list for many along with owning your own home. Owning a business means a great deal of responsibility as well as a great deal of pride and joy.

Both the greatest joy and the greatest challenge are one in the same – freedom.

But the freedom of owning your own business is a two-edged sword.

While the freedom of being your own boss and driving your own destiny is a great feeling, whenever you first start a business you must give up a certain amount of freedom to get that business off the ground.

The sacrifice may be in the beginning of the process, but the joy comes further down the road when you experience the freedom of owning your business and having someone else run it for you.

That will come after much hard work and commitment on your part and the part of the team you put together.
What are the “pros” of owning your own business? It is a way of turning your dreams into reality. For many people, it is a life-long goal they have achieved. Their business is the tangible evidence, the fruits of their labor right before their eyes.

It is also the sense of personal fulfillment and professional accomplishment. It is a sense of purpose and vision and the opportunity for a creation of wealth and prosperity.

And it all starts and ends with you and your dream and commitment to seeing that dream come true.

Owning a business that provides a product or service that helps people is a real thrill for the business owner. Making a profit is even more of a thrill.

So what are the “cons”?

When you own a business, there will be days your employees will not show up and you will have to multi-task and fill in for them. You will have to sacrifice time with your family which oftentimes creates stress within itself.

Another con of owning a business is taking your work home with you – literally and figuratively.

Owning a new business is stressful enough but taking it home with you is absolutely unhealthy for you and your family.

There are always mountains and valleys – ups and downs – to owning any business. But valleys are important, because they help us learn and grow, and they make the mountain tops all that much more enjoyable.

When you own a business all the responsibilities are on your shoulders. You are responsible for a team, and you have to put the right team together and work together for a common goal.

There will be growing pains without a doubt, but that only means that you are growing.

In the end, there are few challenges that are more rewarding than owning a successful and profitable business. And now is one of the best times to start.

Are you “on the fence” about starting your new enterprise? Step up to the challenge and go for it. It may be one of the best decisions you have ever made.

A Tasty Way to Grow Your Business

Who doesn’t love a nice grilled cheese sandwich?

The ultimate comfort food for many, a grilled cheese sandwich is easy to make, cheap and delicious… and now it is the subject of an event glorifying it, the Grilled Cheese Invitational, which attracts fans eager to display their own unique take on the ultimate American comfort food.

The Invitational was started about eight years ago by Tim Walker.

Walker started the Invitational on a lark with friends, but his event has showcased the power of contests and business awards as a way to build publicity for any brand or item. Incredibly, after 8 years the contest has grown to include 221 participants and about 8000 spectators (who pay $12 a piece to attend) in its latest edition.

For business owners, the story isn’t about the grilled cheese competition itself, it’s about the way this contest has generated incredible buzz around something as simple and common as a grilled cheese sandwich.

Imagine if your business could take something it does and turn it into a contest the business could host that would create loads of publicity. Don’t you think that could pay big dividends for your business?

The idea of creating contests to grow your business while presenting contestants with awards is a natural for restaurants. For instance, some restaurants hold eating contests and places that have specific themes could hold contests directly related to what they serve, like an oyster shucking contests in a seafood restaurant.

But it isn’t just restaurants that can use this tactic. Any business that provides a service can turn that service into a contest to promote the business with just a little thought.

So if you are you looking for a way to grow your business, but aren’t sure what to do, why not hold a contest that customers and potential customers alike can take part in?

A contest centered around your business, complete with awards you can give to the winners can be a very powerful tool and if you don’t believe it, just ask one of those 8000 people that spent $12 to attend the last Grilled Cheese Invitational.

The Importance of ActionCOACH’s GrowthClub

GrowthCLUB is a great way for businesses to gain perspective. Many business owners can’t see the forest for the trees, but workshops like GrowthCLUB give business owners the motivation to overcome obstacles. And they are also instrumental for the planning and goal setting necessary to take a business to the next level. Check out this testimonial from a very happy GrowthCLUB member.

Owning a Business in a Recession

Small business owners might be overlooked, but their businesses are still businesses.

Despite what you might have heard, it isn’t all doom and gloom in the business world today. In fact, more and more businesses are reaching out and acknowledging they need help to avoid closing their doors. This might seem like a bad thing to them…but it’s actually a good thing.

Business owners are acknowledging that they need to be held accountable, and so the only chance of failure is if the business owner doesn’t work to achieve their goals. If you have even mentioned once that you are losing money, or missing out on sales you owe it to yourself to invest some of your time learning how your business can reach its full potential.

Interested in learning more? Click here.

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