Saturday, October 22, 2011

How To Raise Prices and Have Customers Thank You For It

By William U Pena, Manta’s Tip of the Day September 30, 2011

Raising prices is one of the best ways to double your profits - because all the extra money goes straight into your pocket. Yet, isn't our greatest fear that if we raise prices we will lose customers - or that our new customers will go somewhere else that's cheaper? Well, here’s a simple way to raise prices that customers will thank you for.

The Bonus
Price is determined by the amount of value that your customers see in your product or service. Simply, if they see lots of value they will be willing to pay a higher price. What if you could quickly boost the value in your customers eyes, enough so that they will be willing to pay more for it? That's where the bonus comes in. A bonus is something that you add to your product or service - that is highly valuable in the customer's eyes, but is very inexpensive for you to provide
Here are some ideas of bonuses that you can provide that are inexpensive for you - yet valuable for your customer:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

One Price Does Not Fit All

Pricing your products and services can be complicated. 

Here's an easy solution: Offer something a step down (that includes less) and a step up (a premium offering) from your main product or service. 

You'll find customers on all ends of the spectrum that will pay the price that best suits their needs and budget.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What's Better Than a Big Fat Paycheck?

By Steve Tobak | Bnet September 29, 2011

No, this isn’t an eyeball-catching headline to get you to click. I’m really going to prove to you why, if you spend your career focused on salary, you’ll lose out big-time in the long run.

Yes, I know that times are hard and paychecks pay the bills. I get that. I have bills too. But if that’s your primary job criteria, you’ll never get ahead of the game and you’ll be living hand to mouth your entire life.

Even worse, you’ll always wonder why so many people are doing better than you and what you did wrong. That’s no way to live. And just so we’re clear, I’m not saying money doesn’t matter. Are you kidding? The goal here is to achieve financial success, enjoy the process, and feel good about the result.

What I am saying is that, when it comes to your career, you need to look at the big picture. If your focus is too myopic or narrow, you won’t achieve big things. For example, a higher salary doesn’t trump working at a company with greater opportunity to advance to the next level. Make sense?

You see, this isn’t the latest business school blab, some professor’s research study, or a survey from Monster or Manpower. This is serious stuff - real career advice that really works in the real working world. Okay, now that I’ve teed this up, it’s time to deliver the goods.

10 Things More Important Than Your Salary
  1. Your goals. Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you may not get there.” He was right. You need to have goals and a plan. You can revise them anytime, but you need to have them and focus. If you’re smart, opportunistic, adaptable, and work hard, you’ll achieve great things … including financial success.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Can You Learn Willpower?

A fascinating look at willpower: what it is, how it is "powered" and how we can improve it.  What would a 10% improvement in your willpower do for you?  How many more things could you accomplish, things you know you have to do to improve yourself and your business?

Can You Learn Willpower?
By Laura Vanderkam | BNET | September 22, 2011

We all admire people who seem perfectly in control of themselves. They exercise regularly; they finish projects on time. In a study of one million people, most said that self-control was their biggest weakness. So can people build up their willpower? Or are some people just born that way?

In their fascinating new book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, Roy F. Baumeister, a professor of psychology, and John Tierney, a New York Times reporter, argue that all of us can learn to become better masters of our impulses. We just have to learn that willpower is a muscle, and like all muscles, can be exhausted through overuse, but also trained to be made stronger.

Baumeister, who directs the social psychology program at Florida State University, agreed to answer a few questions on willpower, and how to get more of it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Best Small Business Investment You Can Make

BNet  By Jeff Haden | July 25, 2011

Business owners make investments every day: In advertising, in expanded product lines, in better websites… investments that will hopefully generate positive returns.

One major investment category is missing, though: Investing in you.

Spending 30 minutes a day investing in yourself will produce better long-term results than any other investment you can make.

Here are five ways to invest a little time each day in your most valuable asset — you:

1. Build strong connections. Forget Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter for a moment. Social media connections can be useful, but the best connections are personal. For example, every few days I check out readers who comment on or tweet my BNET posts. I look at their websites and profiles and when I find something interesting or helpful, I send a short email.  (I also thank them for their comment or for the implied compliment of an article tweet.)  I’m not looking for replies but occasionally receive them, and some have led to article ideas and input… or just a nice personal connection.

What to do: Take a couple minutes a day and reach out — by phone or email, not by social media — to customers or colleagues or a person you just want to compliment or thank. Good karma is reason enough, but you’ll be surprised by the real connections you can build.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

7 Simple Steps to Extreme Personal Productivity

Here's another take on how to be more productive, one that's the opposite of the "5 minute egg-timer approach" we've been advocating.  But it might work for you!

By Jeff Haden | June 28, 2011 in

Increasing personal productivity is big business:  Stephen Covey, David Allen, Tony Robbins, 43folders… those and countless others have combined to turn improving individual productivity into a massive industry.

Forget them. 

If you want to complete a major project, tackle a task you’ve been putting off, or just knock out a lot of work in a relatively short period of time, there’s an easier way.

And it’s free.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How To Get the Attention of Your Target Market

A different terminology - but an interesting look at building a Unique Selling Proposition backed up by a solid guarantee!

by Tom Poland

When it comes to creating a controllable and predictable flow of new clients, having a great product is not enough. Sure, a great product and great service will help with word of mouth (WOM) marketing however WOM is neither controllable nor predictable.

And whilst receiving new business from unsolicited referrals is like an unexpectedly delightful cream on the cake it’s also random and unpredictable and they are not characteristics on which a business can sustain significant growth.

To create controllable and predictable growth you MUST systemize your marketing efforts.

That means getting your message out through multiple mediums, the nature of which will vary depending on a whole range of factors including the type of product/service you offer, your regional focus, your Ideal Client Profile, your budget and so on.

However, having got your message out systematically through multiple mediums you may still not succeed in either seizing the attention of your target market or converting them into paying clients.

The reason is simple and the mistake is littered across every marketing medium imaginable – television, radio, newspaper, magazines, Yellow Pages, brochures, billboards, email campaigns websites and to a lesser extent direct mail.

The mistake is this: a failure to create a message that cuts through the cluttered bombardment of marketing messages that your Ideal Client is subjected to an estimated 3,000 times a day (source:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Time Management and Planning System

Four Key Time Management Concepts:
1.       It is impossible to do everything you think you should, could or might do!
2.       Time management is about making decisions of what not to do, what to do and when to do it.  So, you need a decision making process.
3.       Time management is about getting things done rather than doing more things.
4.       Time Blocks are more effective than To Do Lists.

The 6-Step Time Management Decision Making Process
Step 1.
DOWNLOAD at the end of each week.  Write down every task and “to do” item filling your mind.  At the end of each week, find a quiet time where you will not be interrupted.  List every single job and task you can think of, even little ones.  They are all taking up processing space (RAM) in that wonderful mind of yours.  Leave too much in there and it will crash.
Step 2.
CLASSIFY.  Assign each item to a category (e.g. Business, Financial, Personal, etc.).  This will give you a picture of the balance between various parts of your life and will help with the prioritization step.
Step 3.
RANK.  Put each item on your list into one of the following four time quadrants:

Something is important only if it will have a major positive impact when it is done OR a major negative impact if it is not done.

Something is urgent if it has to be done by the end of next week or sooner.  Something that has a deadline that’s more than a week away is not urgent even if it is important!  Relax, the time management system will give you time/space to get it done.

This is a critical part of the decision process.  Apply these rules rigidly! 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Build Your Referral Base

Every business needs an effective referral strategy.  In fact, referrals are usually the most effective and least costly way to acquire new customers.    Here's a step-by-step outline to help you put together an effective referral program that will make a significant impact on your business.

Get ready.  Do all of 6 of these steps before implementing any of the suggested referral strategies.
  • Define your ideal customer: who you want referred to your business (the 20% who generate 80% of your business)
  • Go through your current customer list grading them A, B, C, D (awesome, basic, can't deal with, dead)
    • Get rid of, fire your D customers
    • Inform your C customers about your new rules of business: here's how your redoing you business to provide what your most valued customers want, here's what you are no  longer going to provide
    • Train your B customers how to become A's
    • Let your A customers know you can now devote far more time to taking care of their needs
    • Calculate what it costs you to "buy" a new customer.  Include:
      • All marketing and promotion costs
      • All fixed costs (this way, any sales to existing customers are pure profit)

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Is Your Marketing Missing Its Punch?

    It’s common-place for business owners and managers of small and medium size businesses to ignore, avoid or simply not understand the need to create a repeatable marketing engine. Truth be told though, all businesses are doing some kind of marketing.  

    You see, all businesses are alike.  We all are in the business of attracting, retaining and getting customers to buy more of our product or service. Some just do it better and more purposely than others.
    So wouldn’t it be nice to confidently know just how to attract more customers, retain them longer, and to get them to buy more frequently from you? Of course it would!
    Your USP and Guarantee
    Two key fundamental elements of your marketing strategy need to be developed and receive ongoing focus in order to have a productive and predictable marketing system in your business. 
    A really solid marketing system is grounded on a business’ Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and a Guarantee. We’ve preached repeatedly at our seminars that your marketing and selling must line up with how your prospects decide to buy. 
    Study after study reveals that all purchasing decisions are driven by an 80/20 Rule; where 80% of the decision hinges on emotion and only 20% (and often less) on logic.  With that understood, having an outstanding USP and a solid Guarantee contribute significantly to the emotional side of the decision. 
    Your prospects and customers not only “want” something of value, they also “want to avoid” making a bad decision. Your USP addresses the “want” (and it has got to be better than your competitors) while your Guarantee targets what customers “want to avoid” by reducing risk.

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Translate Your 90 Day Goals into Action: A Short Guide

    If you attended our January 12th GrowthCLUB, you’ll recognize the slide to the right.  Only 3% of people have formal written plans, but it’s these 3% who generate 98% of all the wealth.

    So what should you do, right now, to build out your 90 day plan and start on the path to wealth?

    When you left the GrowthCLUB day, you left with a list of 10 goals you want to accomplish in the next 90 days.  Now it’s time to move from goals to action.  Here’s an overview of what you need to put in place by the end of this week:
    1. Translate your goals into SMART goals.   A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time based.  More on this below.
    2. Identify the resources you’ll need to achieve each goal.
    3. Schedule tasks and milestones required to achieve your goals in your calendar.
    4. Determine how you will reward yourself for achieving each milestone and goal.  At the same time, decide how you will penalize yourself if milestones associated with the goal aren't met.
    5.  Download our SMART goal planner.  Complete the planner for each of your 10 90-day goals.