Should You Be An Entrepreneur? A test from the Harvard Business Review

•February 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

“Some of your friends are doing it.  People who do it are in the front pages and web almost every day.  Even President Obama is talking about it.  So should you do it?  Should you join the millions of people every year who take the plunge and start their first ventures?”

Another great article from HBR.com.  Take the test Here. Ponder the results.  Do some soul searching.  I’d love to hear from both aspiring as well as experienced entrepreneurs on this.

If small business consulting is one of the areas that you have considered as a career, we can help.

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Stop Ignoring Growth Opportunities

•February 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So I get an email every business day from the Harvard Business Review under their “Management Tip of the Day.”

I thought today’s tip was not only great, but very related to the work we do with our clients.  I also liked the article because it included some great case studies.

The tip of the day is:

“Stop Ignoring Growth Opportunities”

“Chances are that someone inside your organization has a great idea for how to grow your company. Chances are also that leadership is ignoring that idea. Kodak long ignored an engineer’s idea for a “filmless camera” (aka a digital camera) because it was in the business of selling film. The largest growth opportunities are often the market-changing ideas that not only represent growth, but a threat to your business as well. Figure out what those threats are before someone else does. Ask your people: what could put us out of business? In the answer to that question may be your biggest source of innovation.”

You can read the full article the tip is based on HERE.

Validation

•February 16, 2010 • 5 Comments

You can’t help but smile as you watch.  Do you validate?

Imagine the implications of a business that integrates validation into not only their sales and marketing systems, but every part of the customer/client experience.

Back to Black (Out of the Red)

•February 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Clients and other consultants often ask us variations of the following question:

“Which step of your system generates the most profit in the shortest time?”

Now I’m sure we’re not the only consultants to hear this type of question. The question is rooted in the nature of business. The question is also rooted in our human nature. The question may be a capricious query stemming from a desire for instant gratification, or it may be a desperate plea of one who has nothing more to lose.

Those familiar with our system know that we believe marketing is much more than getting more prospects inquiring about your product or service. We believe that marketing should be systematic, and simultaneously do three things:

1. Increase your qualified prospects

2. Increase your conversion ratio of prospects to paying customers

3. Increase the value of each individual customer

The reality is that any number of things could be what catches on and creating the desired results, that’s a big reason why a system is important.  Anyone with experience would agree that putting all of your eggs into one basket is not the wisest of methodologies.

But if there are three ways to grow, why do so many advertising and marketing firms only focus on one?

The beauty of being able to create growth in three separate areas is the mathematical assurance of exponential growth when all three work together. This exponential aspect of our system has allowed us to guarantee results for almost 20 years now. Providing your clients with a guarantee: that they will get more of what they want – profits – out of what they already have – assets, is a fun thing to be able to do.

Is there just one right answer to the question of the largest ROI in the shortest amount of time?  No, there are many.  But, if you are interested, we’ll share with you what our experience in the last 20 years has been.  Of the 7 steps in our system, we have recognized one that seems to consistently produce extraordinary results.

As a consultant, how often do you hear someone tell you they “need more customers?”  As a business owner, how often have you though that “more customers” would be the answer to your problems?

Many times a business owner or manager thinks the solution to their problems is more customers, but after evaluation, it is clear that they don’t need more customers, what they need is to get more out of the prospects that are already coming their way.   In other words, there is plenty of room for growth through increasing the conversion ratio of prospects to paying customers and increasing the value of each customer.  Working on the marketing and sales processes from the inside out is much more efficient than trying to bring in more customers.  There are mounds of statistics that show that maintaining a customer is anywhere from 5-10 times less expensive than trying to acquire a new one.  In fact, in some cases, bringing in too many prospects when the business isn’t equipped to handle them could be detrimental.

If you haven’t already guessed it, I’m talking about Step 2 of our system: “Integrating the USP” into your current sales and marketing processes.

It goes without saying that developing an effective USP (unique selling proposition) is the necessary first step here, and this is so much more than branding, positioning, or developing a creative slogan or catch phrase. What good is creative and targeted messaging if it’s not communicated effectively? Not just in advertising, but by all levels of the company, in every aspect of the customer experience.

After creating a Unique Selling Proposition, Step two ensures that the USP is integrated in to the sales force, in scripting, in literature, and in presentations. It is so crucial for the marketing and sales departments to be on the same page here. Anyone who answers the phones needs to be communicating the USP. It needs to be on the website, everywhere. Integrating a powerful USP into your sales process is a very quick and easy way to increase both the conversion rate of prospects to paying customers, as well as increase the value and worth of each individual customer through the average transactional value and the frequency of purchase.

In conclusion, there are many ways to increase your bottom line, getting you out of the red and back into black. Our experience has shown that one of the quickest and most effective ways of doing just that is through the comprehensive integration of a powerful USP.

Slides and Audio now available

•February 6, 2010 • 2 Comments

Many who had registered from international locations to listen to our tele-seminars last week, requested that we record the calls, and make the recordings available for download.

We now have the slides and the recordings available for download. Let me know if you’re interested.

We’ve Increased Capacity!

•January 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Because of a much larger-than-expected increase in demand for our system in recent months, and because we believe that it will be the small business sector, the entrepreneurs, that pull us out of this recession; we have dedicated ourselves this year to helping as many entrepreneurs as we can.

This week we are hosting two free tele-seminars.

On Tuesday, January 26th (tomorrow!) the first tele-seminar, for sales professionals is scheduled for 7 pm Eastern.

“How to Leverage Your Selling Skills into Your Own Marketing/Sales Consulting Practice”

To learn more, and to register, visit:

http://www.21st-centurymarketing.com/leverage-p/

The second tele-seminar, for current and aspiring consultants, will be Thursday, January 28th at 7 pm Eastern.

“How to Leverage Your Current Skills into Your Own Niche Consulting Practice”

To learn more, and to register, visit:

http://www.21st-centurymarketing.com/leverage-c/

We’re very excited about the calls. We have some great content prepared, and with listeners from 11 different countries registered to attend, we’ve had to increase capacity!

We look forward to having you on the call.

Leverage Your Selling Skills Into Your Own Marketing/Sales Consulting Business!

•January 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Inc.com recently listed “Niche Consulting” as one of the best industries for “Starting a Business Right Now”. They reported (and our experience confirms) that businesses everywhere are “dropping corporate consultancies in favor of smaller, more specialized firms.”

Because the demand for our system has increased so much in recent months, and because we believe that it will be the small business sector, the entrepreneurs, that pull us out of this recession; we are dedicating ourselves to helping as many aspiring entrepreneurs as we can this year.

On January 26th we are hosting a free Tele-Seminar titled:

“How to Leverage Your Skills into Your Own Marketing/Sales Consulting Business”

Date: Tuesday January 26th, 2010

Time: 4pm Pacific (5pm Mountain, 6pm Central, 7pm Eastern)

You can register at:

http://www.21st-centurymarketing.com/leverage-p/

Our niche is helping small businesses grow WITHOUT asking them to spend more money on advertising. You will learn a step-by-step system that helps businesses uncover, leverage, and optimize their existing marketing assets for guaranteed growth of up to 25-100% or more.

Hoping that 2010 is the best year for you yet!

Regards,