Weekly Edge

Is your business growing or dying?

Marcus Everett - Wednesday, March 20, 2019

So often business owners ask us why many new businesses fail within the first 5 years.

 

It’s usually because the business owner(s) doesn’t have the following in place

1. An open mindset and willingness to accept changes that occur and adapt to those changes.

2. An interest in asking and seeking advice from people who are experts.


3. A willingness to take advantage of changes in technology, economic progress and sales processes.

4. Awareness. Business owners who succeed are aware if their profit and cashflow situation, and are ready and willing to make changes when necessary. They take immediate action in implementing changes in their business.

5. Systems. They have typically created a system that is easy and simple that can be applied in their business. And, in the presence of this system, the average business owner can focus on the growth of their businesses.

6. Culture. The successful business owner creates a good atmosphere and culture in their business. Communication between departments is well run, so the business has a solid team that works well together and is productive.

In the development of a competitive business, all six of these things are necessary to support the success of a business. Working with a "Trusted Adviser" who can assist employers, so business owners can achieve their goals, is another method.  A "Trusted Adviser" is now better known as a Business Coach.

Do you know what really works for your business?

Heather Frame - Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Testing and measuring is the most important thing you can do for your business.  Every aspect of your business, no matter if it’s a marketing campaign or the nuts and bolts of selling your products or services, must be tested and measured to ensure your business is running at it’s peak.

 

If you don’t test and measure, you’ll never know what really works and what doesn’t.

 

You’ll always be guessing and guessing in the world of business is a recipe for disaster.

 

That’s why we’re always surprised when we hear about people who use social media but fail to test and measure the effectiveness of what they do.

 

Like any marketing campaign, any work that you do in social media to grow your customer base should be tested and measured.  Many businesses just assume because they are using social media, it must be effective, but they couldn’t be more wrong.

 

One major difference between traditional marketing and social media marketing is social media marketing shouldn’t cost you a lot of money, so it is far easier to have an effective campaign. 

 

But as it turns out you might not be as focused on the return you get from social media as you would the return from a campaign of radio commercials you had to spend an arm and a leg for.

 

So, whether it’s traditional media or social media, you don’t want to waste time on campaigns that aren’t as affective as others and the only way to know what works best is by testing and measuring.

 

How do you start?

 

It’s simple. Just keep every lead you get from your social marketing campaign separate from your other leads.

 

If you have multiple pages and sites, keep each separate as well. This way you can figure out why some do better than others, instead of throwing away your time and effort on what doesn’t work.

 

It may be that the message isn’t uniform or maybe one ad or website has a better offer or better copy.

 

Whatever the answer is, without testing and measuring you’ll never know.

The Impact of Accountability

Heather Frame - Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Do you play above the line?

By that we mean, are you totally accountable for the state of your business?

The lure of freedom can be a double-edged sword in that many business owners feel they no longer have to be accountable because they’re the boss.

But it’s important to remember, if an employee makes a mistake it can be covered up, but if you make a mistake, as the owner, it can affect your livelihood and your company itself.

As a business owner, do you have a boss?

Of course you do.

Your boss is the marketplace and for that reason, your accountability is more critical than anyone in your organization.

So do you play above the line?

Do you accept responsibility for the actions of the entire team?

Do you blame others for your company’s problems?

Only you can change what is going on in your business. Blaming your team members, the government, your mother-in-law or even the economy doesn’t do you any good.

Remember, when you point a finger at someone else, there are three pointing back at you.

Accountability is what keeps people on track and moving toward their goals and is the key to growing your business.

If you want to create amazing results in your business you’ve got to take responsibility and be held accountable.

The freedom of business ownership only happens on the backend. To get there, you must put in the hard work on the front end, and that means being accountable and always playing above the line.

Every Advertising Dollar Spent should be an Investment

Marcus Everett - Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Every business, small or big, advertises in the hope of finding new customers, yet at the same time most view their advertising as an expense rather than an investment.

 

As any business owner knows, you get returns from investments, not from expenses, so understanding that you're investing your advertising dollar in the hope that it will bring you a return is the only way looking at your marketing and advertising that makes sense.

 

Unfortunately this thought process happens too seldom because in the average business, the owner has little if any idea what the return on their investment is.

 

Why?

 

Too often the average small business owner doesn't take the time to measure the response that each marketing piece generates, leading to that uncertainty.  Sure, you might think your latest radio commercial, which you spent $2500 on, is drumming up business, but what if it’s your social media, that you spend virtually nothing on, that is generating the leads for you?

 

If you don’t know what your resources are doing for you, how can you ever really know how to use them most efficiently?

 

If you were to invest your money in a stock or a piece of real estate, you'd most likely keep a very keen eye on what returns you were getting from that investment, wouldn’t you?

 

So why doesn’t the average business owner look at their marketing in the same way?  After all, it’s a helpless feeling when you aren’t sure whether you're getting any return at all from the money you invest.


So how do you find out what return you're getting from each marketing piece?

 

You simply ask each customer who calls, or comes into your store how they found out about you.  You then record their response, and calculate how much business each advertising effort generates.

 

Yes it will be time consuming and you may not get every single customer right, but it will give you an idea of what works and what doesn’t and you can move forward from there, deciding which campaigns and materials are worth keeping or updating and which can be thrown in the trash.

 

But most importantly, once you've worked out the marketing campaigns that are making you money, or at least paying for themselves, and the ones that are costing you money, you'll be able to stop throwing good money away and start to increase your profits.

How to successfully manage your business and your life

Heather Frame - Wednesday, February 20, 2019

If you’re like most business owners, you have more to do than time to do it.

 

But too many entrepreneurs get so wrapped up in their business, they forget to take care of the other aspects of their lives.  And the results can be devastating!  Families are neglected, friends are lost, and physical and mental health of the business owner declines (just to name a few).

 

So here are some tips to successfully manage your business and your life:

 

§  Put systems in place – Mistakes are made when processes are not systematized.  When processes are consistent, fewer mistakes are made and there are fewer fires to put out.

§  Take the day off – Despite the temptation to work a 7-day week, take at least one day for yourself.  You will see  your productivity and your health improve (not to mention how happy your family will be to see you)

§  Go home – Set a time schedule for yourself.  Schedule the number of hours you will work and stick to that plan.

§  Set your priorities – There’s always another crisis to save.  So be sure to make special occasions with friends and family a top priority.  Don’t allow a business ‘disaster’ to hold you back.  After all, there’s bound to be another one tomorrow.

 

You’ve probably heard all these tips before, but unless you are willing to take these suggestions to heart and make a change, then you’ll never be able to effectively manage your life.

 

And remember, nobody ever lay on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time at the office!

Is your database up to date?

Marcus Everett - Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Do you have a database of your customers?

 

As you know, it is far easier to sell back to someone who has bought from you before than it is to someone who has never bought from you.  So, doesn’t it make sense to know who these people are!

 

Keeping an accurate database of all your customer’s means you ensure you have all the right names and addresses.  This is important if you have a large database that you do not regularly check.  It is especially critical if you base much of your business on mail order and direct mail.

 

If your database is out of date, you can waste a lot of time and money contacting inactive customers, or sending mail to an old address after your clients have moved.  By regularly updating your database you can be sure that your time and money is being well spent.

Moments of truth…

Heather Frame - Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Do you know what your Moments of Truth are?  They are times when it really counts to impress someone with your service.

 

Do you know what yours might be?

 

Take the time now to list as many of them as you can.  Be ruthless with yourself.  A good place to start is with your customer interaction.

 

Once you’ve jotted down some of your Moments of Truth, you’ll begin to see why it is customers leave you for a competitor.  You’ll begin to develop ideas to stop this in its tracks.

 

Before we go any further, here’s some statistics about why customers leave that may startle you.  They are:

 

1% due to death

3% due to a house move

5% due to buying from a friend

9% due to being sold by a competitor

14% due to finding a better product or price

68% due to perceived indifference

 

These figures are staggering.  68% of your customers leave because they perceive your business to be indifferent to their needs.  They feel you just don’t care.

 

Now look at how many leave because of the efforts of your opposition.  The figures are so small as to be almost negligible.  Only 9% are swayed by the active efforts of your competitors, while a mere 14% find a more attractive deal elsewhere.

 

Remember the 80:20 rule?  If you were to really do well with only 20% of your customers, you’d be looking after those that account for 80% of your revenue.  So how hard is it to hang on to that 68% slice of customers who leave just because they think you don’t care about them?  Putting this another way, how easy would it be to retain that 20% of customers who contribute the most to your bottom line just by treating them well?  Why do all the difficult (and costly) things to shore up your bottom line when a simple remedy like offering great customer service can do it for you?

Here’s a quick test for you

Heather Frame - Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Do you know what a client is worth to you in your business?

 

What we’re talking about is their lifetime value.

 

Is a client worth $100?  $500?  $1,000?  20,000? Or even more?

 

Take a moment to get a figure in mind of what a client is worth to you…

 

Once you’ve got that figure think about this question

            What would you be willing to pay to get a new client?

 

Whenever you do any marketing, like placing an ad in the paper or doing a letter box drop for example, the cost of the activity must be divided by the number of new clients it creates.  This is your cost of acquisition.

 

So, whenever you embark on a marketing campaign in your business make sure you know how much you are going to spend and test and measure the results of how many new clients you gain from each campaign.  So you know exactly how much it costs you to acquire each client.

Have you bought yourself a job?

Heather Frame - Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Why do people go into business for themselves? 

 

Just look at the statistics.  Around 80 percent of businesses started this year will be gone in five years.

 

Most business owners we meet seem to work harder than any of their people, and many seem to make less income than they could make elsewhere.

 

From what we’ve found, people start their own business for one thing and one thing only…. freedom. 

 

Whether that is working for themselves, having more time for themselves, financial freedom, or just the freedom of knowing that they’re in charge of their lives.

 

Yet despite this longing to be in charge, the exact opposite becomes reality.  Most end up having the business run them.  In fact, they end up with the very thing they didn’t want, a job.

 

In effect, they’ve taken great risks and expended vast energy, and all they’ve done is bought employment.  A job that keeps them just over broke.

 

So, now it’s time to reflect on where you stand.  Have you bought yourself a job or are you well on the path to building a business that gives you your freedom?

Moving forward in 2019

Marcus Everett - Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Great leadership requires the ability to control what is in your power to control, to give people clarity, direction, and a sense of security, to chart a course and set goals your employees believe are attainable.

 

As we begin a new year, it is your job as the business leader to set and communicate expectations for the year ahead. From strategic initiatives to marketing campaigns, from new positions to new product lines, your company is waiting for you to clearly set the goals for the new year.

 

It also falls on your shoulders right now to make sure that your financial house is in order, that you understand thoroughly where you are today, how you got there, and have a plan moving forward.

 

Three areas of financial focus for Quarter One

We’re all eagerly anticipating good things from the year ahead. But hoping is one thing, preparing is another. Here are three financial objectives you really need to have in order to start the first quarter off right:

 

1.     Set Your Budget - Your budget is the financial plan for managing and controlling revenue and expenses over a period of time.

 

2.     Determine Your Financial Goals - A big part of your budgeting process revolves around the financial goals you’ve set for the year ahead. Where do you want and need your business to be at the end of the year?

 

3.     Communicate to your Team - we talk a lot about the importance of creating your Company Culture, or “the way we do it here” and communication is the key.

 

How your business does in Quarter 1 sets the tempo for the entire year. Make sure that you set the right tempo for the year ahead with clear direction, a realistic budget and the support of your team. Here's to your success!

 

Need help developing a budget? Just email us at info@profitedge.com.au  and we’ll

arrange to send you some tools to create your Budget and Cash flow forecast