This month’s theme is, All Things Fall. I understand that this means the season of Autumn; however, since I am the Business to Business journalist for this magazine, allow me to play on words. Isaac Newton said, “What goes up, must come down.” As a businessperson, do you view this as a true statement; must your business come down? Must it fall?
According to Investopedia’s blog article, Top 6 Reason New Businesses Fail, and according to the SBA, 30% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 50% during the first five years, 66% during the first 10 years, and only 25% the first 15 years. Where do you see your business?
Being one of the 25% of the 66% percent who become succussful, that puts you in a less than 5% success bracket. The truth is, you can make it. You can be the one who transforms your struggling business into an Empire; and you can do this through strategic planning.
I work with entrepreneurs throughout seven countries; the United States, Belize, Philippines, Australia, Canada, Europe, and China. No matter where they come from, they are much alike. They all seem to ride the roller coaster of feast to famine; meaning, one month they are earning up to $20,000, and the next couple of months they have not one client. This my friend, is where I come in to help. So, if you are like the many who come to me for help; or you are nervous if you will be in the 25% of those who succeed, let’s look at the top three things you can do to begin creating and building a sustainable Empire.
- Ideas are great! However, they can also wreak havoc on a business when not controlled. Too often, I see businesspersons get a great idea and run with it, with little to no investigating. It is vital to your success to make certain the idea that you are eager to implement is exciting to your potential buyers. Before making a big launch, collect data. Ask yourself questions such as:
- Are there a lot of competitors?
- Do I believe others will spend money on this product, or service?
- How much do I believe others are willing to pay for this product, or service?
- What is my overhead expenses, in both time and money.
- What is my profit margin?
Next, ask your potential buyers, or current buyers, questions such as:
- What are your general feelings about this product, or service?
- What do you already know about this product, or service?
- When, how, and where do you, or would you, use this product, or service?
- How much are you willing to pay for this product, or service?
- Do you know at least five people who would be interested in this product, or service?
- Do you see a way this product, or service, can be improved?
There are many more questions you can ask; in fact, do a google search for focus group questions, and you will find lots of great questions to consider. You can easily collect data from your potential buyers, for free; but, with just a bit of set up and delivery time, by using one of the survey platforms. Two that I love are Survey Monkey, and Jot Forms.
- Trial and Error, despite what some may believe, is great! When I began my mastermind group, Transform Mastermind, those who went before me said to me, “That is not the way a mastermind group operates. You must do this, and this, and this, and…so on.” To which I replied, “Thanks, but I am going to do it my own way.”
Within a couple months, those same people came back to me and asked, “What the heck are you doing? How can I get those same results?” Being a businessperson who isn’t scared of a bit of competition, I taught them my way.
Now, is my way perfect. Absolutely not! We make changes all the time. We collect data; we try new ways; and sometimes, we revert back to older, better ways. But, this is what makes Transform Mastermind profoundly great! You see, change is where growth happens; while complacency equates to failure.”
Below are a few listed tips to remember.
- Do not do things a certain way just because everyone else is doing it that way. Be an innovator. Understand, you may just be wiser than others, with better ideas.
- Take risk.
- Be wise when implementing the trial and error method by first collecting data through a focus group to see what others want. Understand, because I know from experience, people will say they will buy and that they want the change, but they don’t end up changing with the change. It is not your data that lies to you; rather, it is the efforts of others to change that can sometimes become the challenge. Either way, stay consistent and commit for an extended period to allow the time for change to occur all around.
- Focus solely on being a problem solver. Every great invention succeeded because it solved a problem in a way that no other product, nor service, was capable of solving. As a businessperson who serves others, you solve problems for others. The key is to solve a problem in a way, or with a product, that nobody else does, or can. Make a point today to look over all of your offers. What are you selling? Create a seller’s focus group who will spend the next 24 to 48 hours writing down new ideas on how to make that product or service better through way of solving bigger and better problems. Have them answer questions such as:
- How can I add value to this product, or service?
- What can I take away from this product, or service, to make it easier to use and understand?
- Can I make this product, or service, less expensive; all the while improving the quality? Why, or why not?
- If we tweak this product, or service, can we add a new target audience to the mix?
- How can we create an additional product, or service, to compliment this product, or service, to create opportunity for upselling?
Of course, there are many more tips I can give you, had time and paper spaced allowed. However, I know, when you commit to the above three actions, you will see great transformation in your business. Moreover, as you make those actions a quarterly habit, you will truly begin to witness your business transform into an Empire; and become one of the 25% who make it past the 15 year mark. Go ahead, prove Isaac Newton wrong! What goes up, doesn’t have to come down. You, and your business, do not have to fall.