If my son or daughter were to ask me, “Dad, what do I really need to know in order to be really successful in business?”
Here’s exactly what I’d tell them: Often the simplest changes can help you succeed in business. If you want your business to succeed, forget about searching for secrets, and focus on the following simple strategies.
: Understand where your customers are coming from.
Understanding where your customers are coming from gives you clarity. Companies with a clear understanding of customer acquisition are in control. Successful businesses always seek to understand how customers find out about them. Asking a simple question such as “How did you hear about us?” can provide you with great insight.
The process is simple. You should be systematic about this and ask each customer. Make it part of your business culture to know. When you ask, “How did you find us?” you will learn whether it was word-of-mouth, email, search engine, advertising, a trade show, a mailer, or social media.
Understanding where your customers are coming from enables you to start scaling your business. It empowers you because it tells you what works and what doesn’t. Do more of what works and less of what is ineffective. Businesses that are more likely to succeed can tell you their most effective customer acquisition channels. Key Performance Indicators such as customer acquisition channels are essential to understanding and grow your business.
2. Visualize success
Do you see your business successful? When you are visualizing success, you are doing more than daydreaming. You are actually thinking about ways to get there. Dreaming is passive, while visualizing is active. Picture what it would look like to reach your next goal. Do you want to get 100 new clients in the next six months? What would your business look like with 100 new clients? How would it impact the way you do business? How many people would you need to hire? Would you need to manage your company differently? Will you need more capital? Visualize your goals and think through possible scenarios.
Use the following steps to visualize success:
- Picture exactly what you want. Be specific. If you are not clear about your goals, you will not get there.
- See what it will look like. Associate your goal with an image. It could be a group of new customers or an improved version of an application. Whatever it is, associate it with an image.
- Visualize daily. Repetition makes it more real.
3. Strive for optimal instead of maximum performance
Today the average passenger car engine is built to last at least 200,000, running at optimum performance. The biggest problem with running your business at maximum performance is that it is unsustainable. You will burn yourself and your staff out.
An optimally run business will outperform a business that is running at maximum performance for several reasons:
- If you are in it for the long haul, you want an optimally run business. Getting the most out of yourself and your team sounds great, but in reality, it will burn out you and your staff before you have time to succeed. You will resent your business, and your employees will jump ship.
- It would help if you only grow your business at a rate that enables you to manage and finance your growth.
- You can expect people to work 14-hour days, but you won’t get the 14-hours worth of work. It is fine to pull an all-nighter once in a while, but it is not sustainable.
- Just because you can sell 100 more new customers, it doesn’t mean that you can provide quality service. It is tempting to rev up your sales efforts, but you could harm your reputation in the long term.
- Don’t grow your team faster than you can train them.
4. Build your business to last
Hopefully, you will sell your business one day and retire rich. – Reality check. Only about 1 out of 10 businesses are ever sold. – But, even if you sell your business one day, build it as if you would own it forever. Many businesses are started with a passion for a product or industry or the idea of entrepreneurship.
Here are a few key points to building a business that lasts:
- Be patient.
- Always chose security over growth.
- Always strive to become an absolute expert in your field. When you are the best in your field, it is unlikely that anyone will beat you.
- Focus on markets that are either growing or stable. Never enter a shrinking market even if it is attractive as a short-term prospect.
- Go beyond your geographical area. If you can expand to the next city, that is good. If you can go global, that is great.
- Continually innovate.
- Do more for your customers than your competition is willing to do. Going the extra mile is what builds brands.
- Manage your business as if you had expected it to live forever.
5. Engage with your target market
The most successful brands are great at building relationships with their audience. Focus on building relationships before you are selling. If you can manage to build an authentic relationship with your market, they will want to buy from you. People want to buy things from people they know and trust.
Here is how to define your target market:
- Who are your best customers?
- Who are your competitors’ customers?
- List the benefits of your service.
- Be very specific about your target demographics. Your B2C customer demographics should include: Age, Location, Income, Education, Family status, Occupation, Ethnicity. For B2C customers also consider psychographics such as: Personality, Attitudes, Values, Behavior, Interests, Lifestyles
- Your B2B customer profile should include: Location, Industry, Number of employees, Revenue and Who are the decision-makers?
- Can you attract enough customers to build a business?
6. Learn from your competition
Businesses that learn from the competition are winning. Think of your competitors as your teachers. There are several valuable things you can learn from competitors:
- Customer satisfaction
- Errors – learn and hopefully avoid them with your own business.
7. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
CAC tells you how much it costs to acquire a new customer. CAC is essentially your cost of sales and marketing. If you don’t understand this number, you can’t justify spending on sales and marketing. CLV is the profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer.
Understanding the relationship between your CAC and CLV is crucial. Both are real numbers with an actual dollar value you can measure. The numbers may change over time, and as they do, you will be able to make the necessary adjustments.
8. Emailing your prospects and your current and past customers
Email marketing offers a simple and cost-effective way to communicate, yet most businesses continue to ignore it. Sending one or two emails here and there is not enough. Proper email marketing is about staying in touch. The most effective tool to stay connected is email. You should email your lists at least once a month. Depending on your industry or your business’s seasonality, you might need to adjust the frequency, but the key is to email regularly. You should email at least three groups: your prospects, your current customers, and your past customers. Email your past customers to let them know what’s new. Maintaining contact through regular emails with your past customers gives you a chance to stay top of mind when they are ready to buy again.
9. Ask for feedback
Some businesses are concerned about asking for feedback because they are afraid of negative feedback. In business, no news is never good news. The reality is that your business will benefit more from negative feedback than no feedback. Feedback also gives an outsider’s point of view. It gives you a chance to understand what your customers like and don’t like. It helps you to make adjustments. Asking for feedback allows your customers to feel important.
Any business that wants to succeed should strive to improve continuously. When you ask for feedback, you show that you are willing to turn a wrong into a right. We often hear customers rave about companies that managed to turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Some frequently asked customer feedback questions are:
- Would you refer us to your friends?
- What did you like the most about our product/service?
- What did you like the least about working with our company?
10. Decide the role of social media in your business
Social media empowers you to grow your focus of influence. It helps you introduce new products and services. Social media can be your tool to solicit customer feedback. There is nothing magical about social media. It is simply a tool you can use every day to improve your business and make you more competitive. It will provide you with opportunities to stay connected and in front of your prospects and current and past customers.
11. Manage your cash
Even successful businesses go bankrupt. When you run out of money, your business dies. It’s that simple. With cash in the bank, your business lives for another day. Managing cash is one of the most difficult tasks entrepreneurs deal with. You spend too much; you run out of money. You spend too little; you miss growth opportunities. There are many ways to increase cash in your business:
- Expect the worst.
- Cut costs.
- Only spend on things that grow your revenue or must-have items.
- Sell unused or unneeded assets.
- If you are a service business, take large upfront payments for projects.
- If you are a product business, sell excess inventory.
- Bill your customers early and often. Don’t wait.
- Keep your cash in interest-earning accounts.
- Ask for the net-10-30-90 payment terms of your vendors.
- Offer incentives for early payment.
- Hire a collections agency or freelancer to help you collect for old receivable.
- Introduce subscription or recurring revenue models to your business.
- Pre-sell products or services.
- Buy used instead of new equipment.
- Barter for products or services.
- Get a business line of credit. Only use it in case of an emergency.
12. Success is always a group effort.
There is no such thing as a self-made man or woman. Even if you overcome hundreds of obstacles, you are still beholden to the team you’re working with. In addition, we are all standing on the shoulders of giants–the people who created the infrastructure that makes business possible.
13. Work is to be savored.
The ability to make a difference in other people’s lives is a gift precious beyond price. The only way to make that difference is through expending personal effort, which is the textbook definition of “work.” Remember: the ultimate failure in work and in life is to be idle and useless.
14. Anger is an expression of helplessness.
People become angry not as the result of outside events or the actions of other people, but because they’re frustrated at their own inability to change themselves and their emotional state. Put another way, a screaming boss is just a screaming baby writ large.
15. Every action creates an opposite and equal reaction.
This law of physics also applies to people. The more you try to control, the more resistance you create; aggressive managers create passive-aggressive employees. True leaders redirect and guide rather than push or pull.
16. Information is the enemy of insight.
The essence of a problem, solution or opportunity is usually hidden in plain sight surrounded by wads of undigested and unnecessary data. Half the battle is eliminating the noise. Rule of thumb: simplify, simplify, simplify.
17. Other people usually mean well.
People do the best they can with the resources they’ve got. Those who possess minimal emotional and mental resources can do very silly things, but their intentions are almost always good. Harnessing those good intentions is always more effective than telling people that they’re wrong.
18. Best-case and worst-case scenarios never happen.
Everything is a continuum between what you’d like to have happen and what you dread might happen. Understanding this saves you from disappointment if things go sour and frees you to be delighted when things go well.
19. Sharing something creates more of it.
Sharing happiness and positivity creates more happiness and more positivity. Similarly, sharing misery and negativity also creates more of both. So take heed when you speak because you’re creating whatever comes out of your mouth.
20. Nobody’s perfect and neither is any organization.
Just as you must forgive, understand, and work with the limitations of the people you meet, you must forgive, understand, and work with the limitations of your corporation, division, or team. Expecting perfection is a certain recipe for disappointment.
21. What goes around, comes around. ‘Nuff said.
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How much you pay for Michael Kissinger’s business coaching is dependent on your needs and wants. He works on a performance for results basis with many clients.
Michael Kissinger as your an independent business coach charges between $1,000 – $2,000 per day, for 1 day per month, and not bring a team or many frameworks If you invest less than $2,500/month in coaching your progress will be slow because you aren’t spending enough time with us
The hourly rate for Michael Kissinger can cost around $200 to $750 an hour, with most of his business coaching in the $300 to $500 price range. He will also agree to a set monthly rate that will cover your sessions, which might include follow-up phone calls and emails.
Fees are negotiable. Our associates hourly rates can range from $125 to over $500 an hour. Our rates and fees are based on a number of factors. Rates vary based on the size of the company, the level of executive, the type of coaching, the experience of the coach, and the package of services that you arrange with us.
NOTE: Rates do not cover travel time, travel expense, hotel or other items like these. To reduce your fees we recommend using online services as much as possible.
Michael Kissinger remains committed to 100% customer satisfaction and has drastically improved his business processes over the years to better serve his clients. He is truly dedicated to making sure ALL customers are happy with their coaching and consulting. He continues to show client service is of the utmost importance and that they currently have no complaints!
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Disclaimer: Our vision is to help you bring your biggest dream into reality. As stipulated by law, we cannot and do not make any guarantees about your ability to get results or earn any money with our ideas, information, tools or strategies. Your results are completely up to you, your level of awareness, expertise, the action you take and the service you provide to others. Any testimonials, financial numbers mentioned in emails or referenced on any of our Blog pages should not be considered exact, actual or as a promise of potential earnings – all numbers are illustrative only, as I’m sure you understand. That being said, we believe in you and we are here to support you in making the changes you want for your life and giving you methods, strategies, and ideas that will help move you in the direction of your dream.