You can win in life confidently, or you can make excuses and accept losing. It may sound "hard-nosed" or some may call it "tough love" and it's clear why this would be perceived as such. Let's think about it.
Understand, when attempting to create and/or maintain a business, you run into roadblocks. It's only a roadblock if you allow it to be. To understand that, let's first think of what can be a roadblock in creating a business? Picking a business name (1 of many examples). We had a client that was so sure that their company name was ABCXYZ and website would be ABCXYZ.com (not the actual site but just an example to protect identity) and they were SURE of this. We did a general website view instantly and that domain not only existed but was in an entirely different language. I took Japanese in High School for 2 years, so I am sure it was Japanese. I asked the client if this was their website. Obviously the answer was no. They were SHOCKED.
Now was that a roadblock? They truly felt like their entire company was not worth creating, based on not having the "dream" website domain they wanted. To me, that's not a roadblock, it's an excuse - excusing yourself from your own mis-step of not checking. They could have easily did the exact thing we did, during the time of creating a company name. Proper business planning, makes for a winning business launch with NO EXCUSES - that's what we at S&L train our business clients to understand.
The point being made is this; there are either good or bad business moves with nothing in the middle. The good business moves will place you in a position that will benefit you short and long term. You must plan, predict, over estimate, and attack your goals consistently with full force. The bad business moves will place you in a position that will harm all progression. Improper planning, under estimating, and procrastination with strong inconsistency and minimum effort. There is not an in-between in business. No maybe deals, either you sell or you don't. Either you succeed or you fail. Win or lose. Breaking even, is just another way of failing in the realistic business world, no excuses.
All of this can be done with the S&L iMAGINATIONS® No Excuse model. It's been explained through this entire article in various perspectives. Simply detailed; Address all possible roadblocks before they have a chance to arise. Ask the business dreamer side of you the question, "What if?". That's why Business Plans are so important when starting a new endeavor. This leads you to discover roadblocks you may face without expecting them, then we work around them, and later conquer them. The best successes we've seen in clients comes from readiness to uncover the roadblocks before a business is officially active. It's like buying a house with possible plumbing issues, hard pass! Who wants to fix the entire plumbing 5 months into buying a new house? It's just not good business...
Business is not luck! View it from the marketing, all the way to working with customers directly. All these interactions can be predicted, planned, and controlled to the expectations of the business. Imagine an establishment you do business with on a regular basis. Let's use a gas station for instance. Why that gas station? If they changed something you liked about them, would you continue to go? I use one specific gas station because I feel the gas is cleaner and thy have a mini grocery store. I also get points for swiping their rewards card. That business controlled that experience. How? They plastered marketing around the store, boasting their clean gas with proof. Rewards points are a great idea, and customers depend the points it basically. I understand what's going on technically and I'm still convinced by their planning. Whatever the reason, they had a vision of who they were as a business, knew what they wanted to achieve, and knew the customer demographic they would appeal to.
- As previously stated: Good Business is not luck, it's planned.
Can you get lucking in business? Well, yes. Would I bank my personal savings on the hopeful notion of getting luckily rich, no thank you, some of us have sadly experienced that fate. Consider the least harmful outcomes, like wall colors, to the most outlandishly harmful outcomes, like natural disasters. Plan, predict, over estimate, and attack your goals consistently with full force. So whatever comes your way, you're ready, and won't do excuses, and will do good business.
Customer value: Now in this case, I'm not speaking about the service you provide for the customer nor the cost value of the service. I really mean, HOW MUCH IS A CUSTOMER WORTH TO YOU?! Perspective changes vision.
So... HOW MUCH IS A CUSTOMER WORTH TO YOU?
I ask this question so many times in a day. What I come to find is, not a lot of small businesses really stop and think about the worth of a customer, the focus is only getting MORE customers. This "worth" does not need to be overall, it can be specific to each particular service you provide. I like to look at it this way; If I gave you a customer today, ready to buy, sign up, and/or spend money with you as a completed sale right now, how much money does that generate for you? Sadly, people think when I ask this question, and if they answer it truthfully, it may affect the price of the service I can provide. It does not! Rest easy, we know our Customer Value. ;)
Why is it good to know as a business owner or decision maker, how much a customer is worth to you? Well it's simple, when you're marketing or advertising for your business, you can see if you are really getting your money's worth. 9 out of 10 small businesses are losing money on marketing their services every day. It's so common to lose money on marketing and advertising, it's become the norm. Getting likes and views is great, but it's not an instant payoff. Visitors to a store is awesome, but when they walk out empty handed, what did you gain as a business? Nothing much today.
Think about this example: Placing an ad to get a serious customer to contact you, can cost you up to $1000, just to generate leads with emails and phone numbers. Then someone has to sift through the customers gathered, to pinpoint who would be a real customer and who is a waste of hard earned profit dollars on baseless marketing... So I see it like this; If you value a customer at $900 each, and you spent $1000 on marketing/advertising ads, to gain a 2 customers from it, you may feel like the ad worked and served it's purpose. It hasn't. You spent $1000 on ads to gain $1800 worth of business, but subtracting the cost to get the customer, your revenue is only $800 and that's less than the "worth" of your customer. Honestly, I'm not even considering the cost of the ad creators/marketers and working wage which plays a factor in your spend as well. So now your cost is sitting closer to $2000 and you just lost $200 but overall may feel like you gained 2 customers. The books say so too... It's deceiving.
Stop lying to yourself and don't avoid digging deeper. Every dollar counts in business, even if you made 100 deals a day, and lost only $2 on every deal you would lose $73,000 over the course of the year, and that's scary! Stop buying leads, and buy direct customers. When you buy direct customers, you'll skip over the tedious process of placing adds, paying a marketer, and sifting through a bunch of customer contacts to get one paying customer. The truth of the matter is clear, it does not help the bottom line. Very few companies handle this type of leg work for you the way S&L iMAGINATIONS does, keeping economic value of your business in mind.
Now you can see why knowing "how much a customer is worth to you" can benefit you and how much not knowing can hurt you. When I speak to you about the worth of a customer (Customer Value) you can have the peace of mind knowing I'm looking to help you make a profit! Not only that, your customers are prepared and ready to do business with you. You have the comfort of knowing that this is not just a random contact, we have prescreened this customer to your specific needs as a client. Meaning S&L iMAGINATIONS ask the questions that you may ask in a "Free" consultation. This speeds up the completed sales process by 70% - We present the offer to our clients with a wealth of information about their future customer. Giving our client the right so say yes I can take this customer, or no, this customer will not work for me. Only S&L does that.
So what is the value of your customer? Are you losing the cost of their value trying to gain them through marketing/advertising? Are you running ads for potential leads or buying direct customers? Good questions to ask yourself. When you get the answers to those questions, and you're ready to make money and not lose money, set up and appointment with us to see true revenue growth this year...Remember, your business results are only as impactful as the steps you take to get there.
You see the title, so what comes to mind? Would you consider service and assistance to be the same? In a meeting today we discussed this very topic in detail. It's important to understand where you are as a business, and where you exist in the 2 categories. Yes, in the world of S&L iMAGINATIONS, service and assistance hold differences but still cross paths very often.
Service, well, it's provided daily, under appreciated, misunderstood, and it's created such a high demand that it's basically expected. Assistance, sometimes can be provided daily, appreciated more than it's not, why it's needed is understood, and it's created a culture of only providing it to those who are deserving. Now of course stating it this way, it almost sounds as if the words service and assistance are complete opposites.
If you're in any industry that accepts money for something you provide, you're providing a service, I say it to clients on a daily basis in the office. However, what I'm delivering is assistance. The end result may be a completed service, but I did more than service you. I helped and assisted you get to a better position. Let me explain.
HR Firm (True story, no names)
Speaking to a company, who spends many hours of their working day, recruiting, interviewing and hiring employees for one of their new clients. This new client took over their business resources, and now they didn't have the team members or time to handle everything on their schedule, nor were they were not meeting goals. Sadly the new business revenue was needed, so they accepted the job, but they went about it the the wrong way. Yet there was still hope.
With my assistance, we were able to review time spent sifting through potential clients, conversions made from time spent, and their overall recruiting goals, then came up with a plan. S&L prescreened all candidates, and only provided the HR Firm with recruits ready for hire based on their qualifications, this ballooned the conversion rate numbers, and I helped them gain recruits at a faster rate. In one month, they cut time spent by 47%, their conversion rate increased by 112%, and the company saved over $1,500!
Why? How? The why is easy, with the right system, we took the work off their plate, charged a fee less than what they were paying, and provided them with pre-screened recruits ready for hire. The Why is simple. I able to be the assistance and was there to help. They were in a position where they didn't need just a service, they needed assistance with very specific details, tailor made, and not just a basic cookie cutter plan. I was willing to do what was needed to assist and help them through a time that could have affected their business long term...
So yes, I provide a service to clients, but my assistance is what provides results. The best money spent is money well spent. This HR Firm understands that what we did for them felt like a secret weapon. We all should have goals, and it's even better when someone is there to help you achieve them. One day that service we receive may be the assistance we need to succeed.
Have you ever did something for FREE but you enjoyed doing it? Have you ever done something for PAY but you disliked doing it? The first question sounds like something a lot of us do on a regular basis, kind gestures. The second question sounds less appealing, but most of us do this everyday as well.
How? Some skilled people give their hard work away for free to friends and family. Do you enjoy doing it? Yes, but if this is your business, then profit is mandatory to support the business. Simple, sure it is, but it's one of the biggest and first mistakes in business.
We speak to entrepreneurs on a regular basis who are breaking out of the "hobby" phase of their skill and into the "business" phase. Some may feel like that's how a business starts. Gaining traction by giving "samples" or "free stuff" but that might be why actually have the traction to start with, it's FREE, everyone loves free stuff! Your data is then sacrificed. Sure some people start that way. Is it profitable? No, it's not. We have helped many start-up businesses that started with no customers, and the first "job" they received, they were paid for the work. For example, T-shirt companies feel they need to give away clothing to attract customers. That may work for some, but we do not recommend it. How can I get people to buy my T-shirts? Present the right products to the right customers!
Giving away your hardwork for free does not sit well with any profit/loss plan. Keep in mind, there is a difference in just "giving away your product for free" verse "giving away a product as a buying incentive". Now you're asking for the sale first, and then offering a "thank you" for the purchase in the form of a free gift. That transaction feels better, oppose to having your team create a quality product and lose all funds invested with the "hope" of gaining a customer. Let's be honest, they can accept the free gift and never return.
Let's focus on the topic "getting paid for doing things you dislike". That is a clear indication and description of so many people in the workforce. We get jobs based on money or necessity, not always interest, desire, passion and know how. Today we may have the next Michael Jackson working at your local burger shop, or an athlete with the potential of Lebron James working at a grocery store. There are ways to break out of this cycle. If you are in a role, job, or career that you do not enjoy, it's best to prepare yourself to first understand what would make you happy, and next put all of your devotion and spare time and energy into that. The key to it all is BE HONEST with yourself. Easier said than done, I know, but we can help you through.
The overall goal is to make sure you are gaining profit with all your motions. if you want to be nice, and do a project for a friend, ask them to pay for the cost of supplies to avoid a profit loss, unless it is really a gift of course. If you want to give away free products to motivate potential customers, give them that gift after for purchasing from your company, so you can see profit gain. I'll close like this; Business can be TAKEN 3 ways - 1. Taken for granted - 2. Taken advantage of - 3.Taken seriously - It all really depends on how you take it. Profit is important.