Exploring the Three Golden Rules of Business Success – #3 Economics

In my first two posts in this series I talked about the three Golden Rules of Business Success ; Audience, Conversion and Economics.

As a reminder

  • Audience refers to the crowd of people your business is there for. Are there enough customers who you are able to relate to on some level. Have you “walked a mile in their shoes?
  • Conversion is offering a product or service that your chosen audience are looking for. What is the problem you’re offering a solution for?
  • Economics is making sure you can offer your product at the right price. So it costs less than the price to create or provide it. And more important the customer believes it’s worth far more than the price.

I also said that if your business isn’t working as well as you’d like then the formula is broken in some way.

So lets look at the third rule and see what can go wrong there.

Golden Rule of Business Success #3 – Economics

It makes sense to start by being clear about who your audience is. The next step is to make sure that your product or service really does help this crowd of people.  The final step is to make sure this can operate as a business.

To do this you’ll need to be already be clear about what problems or needs this group of people have.  You’ll also need to be offering a solution that they are interested in.  Finally you need to present the offer in a way that they think the cost is less that what its worth to them.

Using the example I used in the previous posts you plan to put on a webinar for people who are short-sighted – you have a natural solution that means they can throw away their glasses or contact lenses. Using some rough math, you’ve come up with a number of about 100,000 people that you would be able to interest with an offer.

So the questions for this section are:

  1. What are the costs associated with putting on a webinar – including advertising for the event and the hosting?
  2. What value would a potential customer put on the solution you’re offering?
  3. How can you package the offer to make it easy for enough customers to say yes?
  4. Can the offer be scaled – i.e. how big is your potential audience?

These questions are important to answer as you’ll need to make sure it’s run as a proper business activity (unless it’s for lead generation but that is a subject for another day) .

Question 1 on this list has two parts – the first should be quite straightforward – there are a number of solutions – I’d start off with GotoWebinar which is about $100 for up to 100 attendees or $300 for up to 500 attendees.  Next there is advertising cost, to keep the math simple lets assume we can set up a name capture and campaign that would register names for $5 per person. 

Question 2 is partly guesswork – what is a fair price to pay for getting your eyesight back? lets say it’s in the range $100 – $2,000

Question 3 then is making sure you can present an offer that is likely to attract potential customers to say yes.  One obvious approach here is to compare the natural solution you have with laser eye surgery.  You can offer a better solution based on cost, reliable laser eye surgery starts at about $1,000 per eye.  Even better is the risk as any surgery has a risk associated but hopefully your natural solution has little or ideally no side effects.  What’s more you can offer a zero risk guarantee – if it does’t work or only partly works then its easy to repay any money and the customer is no worse off.

So you could imagine the costs of running a webinar for 100 people working out to be $600 – $100 for GoToWebinar and 100 x $5 for the name capture.

Looking at the pricing it would be reasonable I think to assume that 20 people would be happy to pay $200 for a guaranteed, risk free solution to their poor eyesight.  That works out to be $4,000.  Less the $600 costs that is $3,400 as a balance – say 2 people aren’t happy and ask for a refund that still leaves $3,000 net profit.  Which is a good start.

So think about this example and apply it to your business – do all the figures stack up? 

They need to make sense both from your customer and your accountant’s point of view.  If they don’t then you have a problem that is now a lot clearer!

I hope this was useful – If you’d like to find out more on this subject then I’ve just released a free video series – 7 Reasons Why Your Online Business is Failing – click here for more details which I think you’ll find interesting.

 Bye for Now,

MatthewSig

 

Exploring The Three Golden Rules of Business Success – #2 Conversion

 In my first post in this series I talked about the three Golden Rules of Business Success ; Audience, Conversion and Economics.

As a reminder

  • Audience refers to the crowd of people your business is there for. Are there enough customers who you are able to relate to on some level. Have you “walked a mile in their shoes?
  • Conversion is offering a product or service that your chosen audience are looking for. What is the problem you’re offering a solution for?
  • Economics is making sure you can offer your product at the right price. So it costs less than the price to create or provide it. And more important the customer believes it’s worth far more than the price.

I also said that if your business isn’t working as well as you’d like then the formula is broken in some way.

So lets look at the second rule and see what can go wrong there.

The Three Golden Rules of Business Success #2 – Conversion

It makes sense to start by being clear about who your audience is. The next step is to make sure that your product or service really does help this crowd of people.  

To do this you’ll need to be really clear about what problems or needs this group of people have.  So long as you clearly understand the group then this should be straightforward.

Using the example I used in the previous post you plan to put on a webinar for people who are short-sighted – you have a natural solution that means they can throw away their glasses. Using some rough math, you’ve come up with a possible size of about 500,000 people. If we continue with that project we next need to ask ourselves ‘What problems your audience has that your webinar is going to help?’

  1. How interested is the group going to be in your solution?
  2. What language would the sub-group most interested in your solution use?
  3. How can you make contact with the group?

These questions are a bit more difficult to answer that the first set. You may need to start off with your own knowledge (or best guess) and then check with some surveys.

Question 1 on this list is ‘How interested is the group likely to be in your solution? (the webinar) This is probably better phrased as ‘Will this group be interested enough to commit time and money in a webinar?’ or ‘Is a webinar format going to seem normal enough so that the crowd would trust that option?

The reason I’ve split these out is to allow for the fact that you may need to change how to deliver the information – it may be that the crowd are more used getting info in a written form rather than video.  So just watch out for what the crowd is already doing.

For the second question that is to make sure you have the right words when you come to talk to this crowd of people.  Are you able to be part of the group, an insider?  This one may need you to do some research if you’re not already there.  Forums are a great place to go for this info.

The last question is the same as in the first post but I figure its important to ask again as you may have changed your direction but its vital that you can contact your potential crowd.  If you can’t then you don’t really have a business.

So as before answer the questions now for your business.  

I hope this was useful – look out for the next in the series economics – will it be a profitable business?

If you’d like to find out more on this subject then I’ve just released a free video series – 7 Reasons Why Your Online Business is Failing – click here for more details which I think you’ll find interesting.

 Bye for Now,

MatthewSig

 

Exploring the Golden Rules of Business Success – #1 Audience

In my last post I talked about the three Golden Rules of Business Success ; Audience, Conversion and Economics.

As a reminder

  • Audience refers to the crowd of people your business is there for. Are there enough customers who you are able to relate to on some level. Have you “walked a mile in their shoes?
  • Conversion is offering a product or service that your chosen audience are looking for. What is the problem you’re offering a solution for?
  • Economics is making sure you can offer your product at the right price. So it costs less than the price to create or provide it. And more important the customer believes it’s worth far more than the price.

I also said that f your business isn’t working as well as you’d like then the formula is broken in some way.

So lets look at the first rule and see what can go wrong.

Golden Rule of Business Success #1 – Audience

It makes sense to start with your audience.  

You obviously need to have people who have a problem or a need.

What’s maybe less obvious is that you need to be able to talk with that group of people in a way that shows you empathise (or identify) with them. This will come naturally if you are part of the same group.

Imagine as an example you plan to put on a webinar for people who are short-sighted – you have a natural solution that means they can throw away their glasses. What factors, relating to the possible audience, do you need to consider to find out if it’s even worth thinking about as a business idea?

  1. There is the size of the group
  2. Who within the group is the information for? Who is in NOT for?
  3. How can you make contact with the group?

How would you find out the answers – if you don’t already know – Google is where I’d start. It took me about 5 minutes to find out that about 30% of the american population are short-sighted and need glasses or contacts to be able to drive or other distance work. So 30% of 315 million is still a huge 94 million.

The next question is a bit more difficult to answer – but you can go with your instincts. The main stream solution for this crowd is glasses or contacts and on the whole people are resigned to that as their option. The more adventurous might consider laser eye surgery – and its that group that may be more likely to look at unusual approaches as they have rejected the glasses/ contacts solution. Lets say that there are 5% of the short-sighted crowd that fall into this group – now we’re down to about 5 million.

For the last question it relies on your knowledge of the group of people. If you are part of the group then you’ll already know where these people hang out, ideally online but could be anywhere that advertising can reach. Are there forums or direct mail lists that would be used by the adventurous short-sighted people you are looking for? This is another important question as you need to be able to reach your potential crowd.

Hopefully the example I’ve used has helped to make sense of what I’ve been talking about.

Next it’s time for you to answer the questions for your own business idea.

These may seem basic questions but the more you put into this the better the result.

I hope this was useful – look out for the next in the series.

If you’d like to find out more on this subject then I’ve just released a free video series – 7 Reasons Why Your Online Business is Failing – click here for more details which I think you’ll find interesting.

 

Bye for Now,

MatthewSig

Discover The Golden Rules of Business Success and How to Use Them

There are many good examples of how to become successful. They have all followed the golden rules of business success. Looking at some big names in self help I’ll explain what I mean. Napoleon Hill in his best-selling classic “Think and Grow Rich” shows thirteen steps to prosperity. Jack Canfield has ‘the simple set of rules for success and shows how anyone can follow these principles to achieve their own dreams’.

Stephen R. Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” uses seven essential principles. Deepak Chopra also has “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success”.  There are many more but these should be enough to make the point. That success isn’t an accident – its something you can design.

Sorting through all of the advice above is quite a job.  The truth is not many people bother to do it, even though the benefits you’d gain are enormous.  But for most people the systems above are just too complicated. Most of those that do try it end up feeling frustrated. What’s odd though is that even though we struggle to find out how to succeed, every one of us is already successful. We succeed at something every day.  You may find this difficult to accept, and quickly point out all of your ‘failures.’  The point is though that even though you may not realize it you already use proven rules of success.

You are already successful!

Focus on what you have already achieved and use the golden rules of business success. You don’t need a Ph.D. or MBA to succeed in business.  By simply focusing on the golden rules of business success you’ll eventually win the game. Also success is actually built on a whole series of little victories.  The means to success – the cause, the how – comes down to a few, simple fundamentals.  By understanding the basics the road to success becomes clear. Then you’re certain to gain what you’re aiming for.

As humans our life is seen separately through our  mind, body and feelings. Our view of the world is created by interpreting what has happened to us through these three elements.  How you think, move and feel creates your personal experience and together they define your quality of life.

Personal success is a result of properly using these three closely interrelated elements. What you think is a result of how you feel and where you are. How you feel is a result of what you think and what you’re doing. And what you do is a result of how you feel and what you think. If any of these three elements isn’t right then look to change the other two. Once you get all three working together and your options are enormous.

The Golden Rules of Business Success

Business Success is also a simple formula with three elements; Audience, Conversion and Economics.

  • Audience refers to the crowd of people your business is there for. Are there enough customers who you are able to relate to on some level. Have you “walked a mile in their shoes?
  • Conversion is offering a product or service that your chosen audience are looking for. What is the problem you’re offering a solution for?
  • Economics is making sure you can offer your product at the right price. So it costs less than the price to create or provide it. And more important the customer believes it’s worth far more than the price.

Just think about that for a while.

If your business isn’t working as you’d like then the formula above is broken in some way.

Are you clear about who your audience is?
Do you understand who they are and can identify with them as a group of people?

Do you know what problems your audience have?
Can you offer them the best solution on the market?

Is the product you’re offering worth more to the customer than the price you charge?
What extra benefits can you offer to increase the value without adding to the cost?

These are deceptively simple questions that are worth taking some time to answer truthfully – check back later or subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss my next installment.

What Can the Hobbit Teach You About Online Marketing Success?

I first read the Hobbit over 30 years ago and to be honest enjoyed the book more that the Lord of the Rings. It is quite a short story, only just over 300 pages, and is an exiting adventure full of twists and turns. So I’m now rediscovering the story as I’m reading it to my 10-year-old. After I’d finished off a chapter in the middle of the book it struck me that the hobbit faces similar problems to running my business. I wondered  what can the Hobbit teach you about Online Marketing success?

What Can the Hobbit Teach You About Online Marketing Success?There are quite a number of important ingrediants. Firstly there is a person who can be trusted,  as they have already walked the paths and knows the likely pitfalls. Secondly Bilbo, he’s the main character in the book, isn’t alone on his journey. Bilbo takes advice from a number of sources, sometimes it works out and other times not.

The main point of the story is that Bilbo, together with his company are searching for treasure. They know that its likely to be a difficult journey and so prepare as best they can.

So the chapter that inspired me to write this article relates to when Bilbo has to continue the journey without his mentor. They come to a great forest called Mirkwood. Gandalf has his own important business to attend and so has to leave the group. What the wizard does though is give clear instructions – follow the path, beware of the river that crosses the path, and don’t get distracted.

This is how it normally works in running a small business. You ultimately need to make the journey on your own, otherwise its not your business.

 After a few days the group comes to the river, after a small mishap they cross the river and carry on. Then it all starts to go wrong, the group is tired and starts to get impatient. At one point they are virtually through the forest, but don’t realize it. They spot lights off to the side of the path and, ignoring the advice chase the party that seems to be going on. When they arrive at the place it turns out to be nothing like they imagined, and they see another set of lights and off they go again.

This part above all reminded me of my own journey in online marketing. I have been given great advice on how to develop my business. I’ve trusted the advice and followed it for a while but then been distracted and chased another bright light that seemed better than the path I was on.

Seem familiar to you too?

The group gets into all sorts of problems then, and in fact never find the path again. I won’t spoil the ending just in case you haven’t read the book yet and plan to go and see the film! Basically Bilbo has to become very resourcefull to get himself and his group out of the problems they find themselves in.

It all makes for a good story, if they had simply followed the instructions and gone through the forest would have been boring but they would have gotten to where they had planned to.

I know I’ve been guilty of that – trying to make things complicated instead of just following a simple plan.

I now think building an online marketing business is a big enough adventure without going for the overly complicated options.

How about you?

Choosing the Right Market Segment for Your Online Business #3 – Sorting Through Your Best Qualities

This article is 3 in the series on choosing the right market segment for your Online Business. It follows on from the previous article where you built a list of your skills, interests and knowledge. Then from that list you picked out your main qualities – click here if you missed it

As a reminder we are aiming at building a business that is right for you. It matches your set of core inner strengths with a subject that you enjoy.

Next we are taking the list of personal qualities from step 2 and sliming that down. We need to translate the list into skills that are useful for building a business. By choosing which skills to use you’ll be able to create a solution to problem that a chosen crowd has and is willing to pay for. That is the starting point of a great business. And particularly a business that is best for you.

So look at the list of your personal qualities. Start thinking about how they could be useful to someone else. A good tip here is to imagine someone who hasn’t got those qualities. What kind of problems would they face?

So for example say you were good at voicing your opinion. Someone who lacked that quality is likely to be quite shy. Their problem may be loneliness or not able to speak out for themselves.

You could provide a solution that involved teaching a way to safely say what they wanted to say. Or another alternative could be writing skills.

For another example say you were good at being organized. Someone who didn’t have that quality is likely to be messy and disorderly. Their problem may be poor efficiency or being too hasty.

You could provide a solution that helped by giving an easy to follow system for arranging your work into a logical order. Or by teaching how to say no when you already have too much to do.

You get the idea I hope.

Now go through your list of personal qualities one by one and repeat the process. You could easily come up with dozens of ideas.

Think of it as a game and aim to come up with as many solutions as you can.

Once you’ve done that you can move on to the next step – Choosing the Right Market Segment for Your Online Business #4 – checking how valuable each solution is.

 

 

What is Visualization – And Can It Be Used For Online Business Success?

So what is Visualization and can it really be used for Online Business Success?

This is two questions – the more important being is it useful for online business success. The short answer is yes – a major part of my and other people I know with online business success is down to mental preparation and developing the right mindset.

To answer the question properly let’s take a look at what happens in our brain when use visualisation to influence the future.

Firstly its important to understand that there are two parts of our brain—the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious is the part of the brain we usually think of as our active thoughts; in other words the part we ‘think’ with. The conscious brain generally focuses on one (or a small number) of things at a time. Based on what we decide is important at that moment. For example talking to a friend, choosing a movie to see or what to eat tonight are all jobs that the conscious mind looks after.

The subconscious brain works in the background, in a totally different way.  This part has a number of jobs:

  1. It looks after our safety (like dodging a ball that gets too close to our head)
  2. Maintenance tasks (like walking or breathing)
  3. Skills that we’ve learned and are now so good at there is no longer a need to ‘think’ about it  (like driving – e.g. when you’re talking to someone and the road situation seems safe)

The subconscious brain ‘sees’ everything thats going on around us, and also within us, at every moment.

So to compare the two:

Your conscious brain…

  • Can only process a tiny amount of information, less than one percent of what your subconscious brain can.
  • Even though its very clever its only really designed for short attention span tasks. Its not very good at repetitive or longer term tasks.
  • Best at thinking ideas through, then making decisions.
  • Your conscious brain is good at coming up with ideas, but useless when it comes to carrying them out because it is easily distracted. The average person changes focus 6 – 10 times a minute.
  • Goal-setting is also something your conscious brain can do well.

Your subconscious brain…

  • The subconscious brain can remember vast lists of things in perfect sequence, not only for a few minutes, but for many years.
  • It can process many pieces of information at once and choose which is the most important to give attention to.
  • It never gets distracted. Ever.
  • It isn’t worried about being ‘clever’ and instead of complicated words uses an emotional based language
  • So achieving Goals is something that only your subconscious can do.
  • Your real power is in your subconscious brain.

So, let me ask you, which part of your brain would you trust to deliver on your online business success?

Think of the following:

  1. Write a script of how you want your business to be and play that like a film in your imagination. Your subconscious will watch it out and think it’s real. The subconscious mind is a captive audience for the movies we play in our head.
  2. Realize a mere thought causes measurable biological changes—a scary movie can cause our hearts to race while a different image can evoke biological cues telling your body to relax.
  3. Combine the future stories you are creating about your business using powerful emotions. A good script evokes powerful mental images and those images can create an emotional response that is stronger than what is really happening in our lives.
  4. Visualize your ideal life in order to reshape your inner view of reality, and once that happens, your subconscious will work to make sure reality matches that perception.

How effectively you are able to move an idea from your conscious (imagination) to your subconscious (belief/action) will determine your success. Visualization is the key to making this happen, because your subconscious mind doesn’t know that what you are visualizing is only in your imagination. Your life script visualized and acted upon can change the course of your life.

John Assaraf talks about this a lot on his website and has some really useful products if you’re interested in learning more.

How to Choose the Right Market Segment for your Online Business #2

This article follows on from a previous where you build a list of your personal catalogue of skills, interests and knowledge – click here if you missed it. As a reminder we are looking at How to Choose the Right Market Segment for your Online Business. So that you are building a business that matches your set of core inner strengths and also in a subject that you enjoy.

Ultimately what you’re aiming for in this exercise is a short list of your 4 to 8 core inner strengths.

Basically this will give you a clear view as to what makes you unique as a person.

The reason for doing this is that you’ll be able to play to your own strengths and delegate the tasks that someone else should be doing as quite frankly they are better at it than you!  This is important as fairly soon there will be a number of different activities that need to be done well for you to stand out to your future audience. And its not possible to cover off ALL of the tasks that need to be done without involving someone else.

What this means you can now focus on working ON your business rather than IN your business. If you are lost in the minor details or running with the business then you’ll not spend the important time thinking about where you want your business to go.

So look again at the personal catalogue of skill, interests and knowledge that you complied on the previous step. Initially group the items together into general sets of topics that link together.  There are generally themes that become clear as to start to do this. So when I was working on categorizing my list I came up with ‘People Skills’, ‘Technical Skills’, Sports, Medical, ‘Personal Development’.

Once you have some group headings list the items that fit under that. Note that where a subject covers more than one group just list it separately under each.

So you should now have a table with group headers and a number of related items underneath.

Finally look at each group list and come up with one or two phrases that summarize them all.

This stage alone could easily take a couple of hours, longer if you’ve put the effort in and got a big list to work with!

So now you have your short list. How good does that feel?

Finally, for extra value, send out the short list to a small number of people you trust would give you honest feedback. Ask them whether they agree with the list of your core strengths and is there anything else that should be included.

Thats it for this stage, next is how you apply this to choosing your market segment.

How to Choose the Right Market Segment for your Online Business

An important lesson I learned from Perry Marshall a while ago was how to choose the right market segment for your online business. Before I’d just looked at where there was lots of (apparently) successful businesses and and created a ‘me too’ copy.

It didn’t work – spectacularly!

I was trying to be someone else and not doing a good job of it.

What I did from then on was look at my own strengths and then check out where they could make a difference. I needed to find areas where I know more than most and there was a problem that needed to be solved and had enough pain attached so that people would be willing to buy the solution.

So start with building an inventory – see how big you can get this list!

  • Education – schools, college, training courses and any other significant education you’ve received.
  • Every job and industry where you’ve worked in it long enough to be on the inside – even if you stopped that a while ago
  • List every magazine, newspaper or journal you’ve been reading for a while (i.e. over 3 to 6  months)
  • All the groups, sports and clubs that you have ever been a member of. For example my list looks like this – 10k runner, sports injuries, balcony gardening, jazz dance, water color painting, origami, music festivals, father of 2 boys, gardening, ferns, psychologist, excel spreadsheets, windsurfing, scuba diving etc.
  • 4 – 6 topics you know lots about, that most people may not even know you know about
  • Particular products or services that you’ve got to experience more than once, like blocked drains or kitchen appliance
  • Any hobby or other interest you’ve had for a while and have more than 4 books on
  • Major personal victories from different times of your life. Detail what happened and what was it that made you feel about it.

Once you’ve completed the list start to group together topics.

The next stage will be to look at how that list fits with possible markets to join. Click here to go that article.

 

What’s Your Inner Game Got to do with Online Business Success?

In this article I want to answer the question “What’s Your Inner Game Got to do with Online Business Success?” and to explain why its impossible to achieve online business success without first developing some degree of mastery of the Inner Game.

When you run an online business there are a number of things you need to get right in order to be successful. Certainly there are technical skills and knowledge that is important. Like planning an advertising campaign, checking if a particular product is profitable, cashflow, legal disclaimers etc. In order to stand out you have to consistently deliver excellent service and / or products, you’ll also need to stay up to date with the latest techniques,  information and ideas.

Even if you are at the top of your game in delivering all of that it isn’t enough build a successful, growing online business. What will make the real difference is how you approach your business. You’ll make the biggest difference by innovation and brilliance that comes from your own inner genius. Even as I start talking about this I can hear complaints as to what that means.

Its one of the most intangible skills of building your online business, but it is also arguably the most important.

So what is the inner game, is it easy to understand?

Tim Gallwey, who first started using the phrase a few years ago now explains it this way:

Current Results = Your Potential – Your Own Interference

According to this formula, your results can be enhanced either by increasing your potential or by decreasing your interference .

Most of us have had moments when our actions flowed smoothly and we created a kind of effortless excellence. Athletes call this – ‘playing in the zone’. One striking characteristic of these special times is that our mind is quiet and focused, the inner chatter dies away and we are just watching ourselves without comment. What is a big difference is that our self-interference (or self sabotage) was at a minimum.

At a high level the Inner Game is about making the most of how your brain works.

There are four main elements that need to be considered:

Self Esteem is about your feelings of worth. How much success do you think you deserve?

Self Image is how you see yourself; it’s who you think you are. Your self-image is determined by self-imposed limits. Very few people ever perform beyond those self imposed limits.

Self discipline is doing what you said you would do

Self confidence is belief in your own abilities

Quality in these four areas is a necessary foundation to Online Business Success. The area that most online business owners have problems with though are the Self Image, as if we are aiming for a target that deep down we don’t believe we can achieve then we’ll end up sabotaging ourselves.

So as a first step look at areas where you aren’t reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself and your online business. Based on what you’ve achieved in the past how different are your current goals.

When you’re reflecting on these goals is there an inner voice saying “no way!!” ? If  there is then its quite likely that you are limiting your own success.

I’ll be expanding this topic in later posts – please check my other articles on this subject if you’d like to learn more.