Over the last few weeks we have been undergoing change.
- Change in address.
- Change in philosophy but no change to vision or purpose
- Change in operational methods
- Change in ideas and positions.
Several things sparked this change.
The researching of “Stop the Success Thieves” and the writing of the book. The interviews around the book but more importantly looking at a new direction for our life by undertaking the Rich Dad Poor Dad Real Estate Coaching Program.
Now in looking at the program, two things stood out:
- The concept of Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom
- And the systems required by every business for optimal efficiency.
In looking at the systems one thing we found – we are great at implementing them in other businesses, just remiss in implementing them in our own. So that changes NOW!
Want to know the key systems a BUSINESS needs?
Broadly they are
- Daily Office Operations Systems – need to do every day things like phone, mail, email, managing orders and delivery
- Product Development Systems – those things that you need to do to ensure you legally have products to sell
- Manufacturing and Inventory Systems – even in today’s online information products, what happens when your website goes down?
- Order Processing Systems – how do you take and fulfill orders
- Billing and Accounts Receivable Systems – unless you get the money in, your business will fall over
- Client Services Systems – what happens if there is a problem/
- Accounts Payable Systems – you need to pay your bills
- Marketing Systems – Finding out what people want and telling them you have it
- Human Resources Systems – getting the right people working for you
- General Accounting Systems – keeping track and paying taxes
- General Business Systems – how and why you do business
- Physical Space Management Systems – even virtually, people need to work somewhere and have the tools to work.
To find out more get yourself a copy of Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing: What the Rich Invest in, That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!
So yes self employment is great but to move to a business person and investor, we are upping the game. The idea here is to share the journey and help you become more successful too
To your future
There are more than three ways to test your ideas but these three can be a great time saver as well as a good indication that there is a need your idea can meet profitably. (NOTE: Profit = money in your pocket)
In business the number one challenge with any idea is to get the idea to market and once to market, get information to enough people who then are willing to buy the product or service. Money is usually needed to do both so before you put your hand in your pocket or the pocket of investors do some simple testing and see if you have an idea that can earn $$$$s.
Remember: There are millions of GOOD Ideas
but only a few actually ever generate significant money
On Amazon, how many books are published about your idea? Rather than look for what your idea specifically, look for what people have written that solves a similar problem.
Let’s say we have an idea of to keep skin supple. We could then look on Amazon for books on skin care, appearing younger or even looking more beautiful. Skin care gives us 447,958 entries, appearing younger gives us 91 entries, and looking beautiful gives us 57,870 entries. From this we could say that a few others have identified a similar problem and come up with some workable solutions. But we have no idea how big the market is.
On Google or Bing do a similar search. Skin care gives us 165,000,000 items which says a few people look for skin care. We can confirm this number by going to Google keyword research and seeing what the competition is.
Now as you can see, lots of people deal with skin care but appearing younger and looking beautiful are not as popular or searched for quite so often.
If I enter supple skin, we see that the competition for the term is at a
2,400 people search for that monthly.
So what that tells me is that while there may be a need, the chances of making good dollars without investing a lot of time and money is small.
Redefine your need and how you would approach the market
Conduct some surveys. Survey monkey is a great free tool for surveys but for you the challenge will always be to get enough responders. It takes time and money to reach enough people to find out if anyone wants that glorious supple skin that your idea will produce.
So other surveys you can do include Facebook Questions. Questions on other social media sites. You could create some conversations around the idea with people on Google+ and in forums. But find out the language people are using and how they see this problem.
This is a key test because it actually engages your audience and helps you develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
WARNING: While you can ask family and friends, they will either pan the idea to prevent you losing out or out of jealousy or they will love your idea because they want to be supportive. Either way, their opinion is colored so treat the information carefully.
Unless you are prepared to test your idea, you could have loads of great product going off in your garage or basement.
I will never forget throwing out $500,000 of women’s vitamins because the company I worked with did not test their idea before they went to market.
ARROGANCE brings many a producer and marketer to their knees.
TEST and test again
To your success in taking ideas to $$$$s
Are you always on the outlook for new ideas to turn your ideas into $$$$s?
Do you look at new promotional media and new ways to to get the word out about your product or service or do you do the same old
media (magazines, newspapers, Television)?
DIGITAL has CHANGED the WORLD
According to an article in Newspaper Death Watch professional marketers are changing their use of media, especially print. Depending on their target audience, they are using the media that is actually relevant to their audiences. That sometimes means digital. That could mean visual in places where their prospects frequent or it could mean finding new fun promotional techniques to help people reach their audience.
The professionals are aware that the world has changed.
(professionals meaning here people who are paid to do the promotion)
Competitions, social media promotions and games or contests allow direct and indirect promotion. They create fun and excitement. One such option is a scavenger hunt like the one currently being run by Firepole Marketing. (Wow do I admire what they are doing)
Now doing a contest or a competition, a scavenger hunt or even a social media campaign takes WORK.
You need to keep priming the pump.
You need to keep the excitement happening.
You need to track what you are delivering.
You need to keep people informed about what is happening
In the good old days of advertising, you designed your ad, placed it in your media and made sure that when people responded to the ad, your suppliers and staff could fulfill the orders. The work came in preparing the ad and making sure you could deliver what was promised in your advertisement.
In the second decade of the 21st century, you need to keep the energy and excitement going.
- You need to respond to the tweets,
- Support the Facebook likes, shares and comments,
- Answer questions and comments on blogs and
- Spend time and energy interacting with people to keep the excitement up.
And that is WORK.
Work that many small business people fail to understand or plan for.
Yes Virtual assistants can help you but only if they have clear, measurable goals.
The other day, Sherryl Perry, in Keep up with the Web wrote a blog on what to measure (Tracking Your Blog Post SEO Meta Tag Data). I asked Sherryl about how she tracks and I am hoping that she will write a blog around her answer to my comment. One thing – even to track takes WORK.
Writing a book takes WORK!
Writing a blog takes WORK!
Creating a product takes WORK!
Delivering a service takes WORK!
Building a relationship takes WORK!
Maintaining a relationship once built takes WORK!
Work is a four letter word but it is one that will help you earn dollars rather than one that gets your mouth washed out with soap (do they still do that?).
If you want to turn your ideas into dollars, you need to plan to work. And finding out what to work at, what to do takes PLANNING and PREPARATION.
Remember if you have the money to pay others to do the work, you are using the money that you worked for to save you time and buy the time and effort of others.
WORK costs – money and time.
What work are you doing today to help your ideas become the dollars you want? Share your work in the comments below. And yes that takes work but it helps get your message to a wider audience.
To your success in making those ideas = $$$$$s
Every business needs sales. They need someone who will buy whatever it is they produce or whatever service they provide. And if you want to successfully take your idea to $$$$s, you need to find someone who can sell your product or service or you need to sell it yourself.
Different ways of getting $$$$s
- Promotion or as many people describe it marketing. Unless you promote your idea by some form of advertising, article, direct contact or flag waving, no one will know you exist. This includes blogging (all forms), article writing, interviews and any other form of getting the word out to the wider world. And if no one sells your product or service, if no one talks about your product or service, NO $$$$s will be made.
- Get others to promote or sell your product or service. This is what the big guys do. Coke Cola sells to retailers, restaurants and other outlets their product and those places then on-sell to the consumer. Sony, Sanyo, Toyota and all the major manufacturers have thousands of sales people around the world selling their product to the end user. MLM and network marketing companies get lots of people to buy into their program and sell it to others. Franchise operations get others to sell their wares according to their manual.
What can you count on?
One of the many challenges for every business owner is to convince others to sell their product too, as well or instead of their own.
If you look at someone who offers you affiliate programs, a franchise, a PLR what you are looking at is a business owner who wants a sales man. And unless you sell their program neither one of you can make money. The difference though is that they may have “hundreds or thousands of you” in the market and a few are keen to sell their product for them.
You can only count on yourself but if sales is a weak area for you then you need to find people to sell for you. And recognize that the incentive for them to do it has to be good otherwise, why should they.
And why will they sell your product? Because they know people who need your product. They know people who will buy and if they are not willing to buy, they will find another product. They want an easy job of selling.
BUT – does what does that mean for your idea?
If you are selling other people’s ideas, you are NOT selling your own.
Yes you can make dollars but are those dollars certain. What happens if the company goes out of business? What happens if for some reason they stop paying you? What happens if suddenly negative press means prospects stop buying.
Think for a moment of instances, you know either personally or anecdotally, when payment or sales dropped because of some external reason.
Your idea works when you prepare, plan and execute a strategy.
Your plan may be to sell someone else s product or service and if it is that is good. If you are creating your own eBook, information pack or course or service then you need to understand that SOMEONE needs to sell it.
- Someone needs to do the promotion, the follow-up and get the money in and deliver. They need to set performance criteria.
- Someone needs to talk to people and convince them that they wants your idea and get them to part with the $$$$s. They need to know what to say, how to represent you and how to collect the money
- Someone needs to write articles, blogs, website, promotional materials and then someone needs to follow-up. And all of this comes with lots of performance criteria and measurability.
Having the idea without the strategy, key performance indicators, the prospects, and the sales channel (which includes delivery) will never ever, ever result in you earning $$$$s.
If you need help with the strategy, the systems or the promotion, remember that is our area of experience and you can sign up for the webinars, forum or mentoring to help you turn your ideas into $$$$s.
To your success
What happens when someone calls you about a problem they are having with a service you offer?
Does dealing just with the problem rather than the person actually help the client feel that you care? Does it build a relationship?
During the last week we moved house. We set up all our technology and found that the internet provider had yet to set up the service because of a backlog so we waited two days for the internet and were told that we would receive a call to tell us the internet was up. The internet came online 32 hours later (40 hours after the phone went live) and four hours before the due time for the call that never came.
48 hours later, the internet was gone again. Now began hours of phone calls to find out that it appeared that the modem had died. Since the box was less than six months old, we could get a replacement within the next week. Yikes, a week without internet. So we went to buy another router. And after a few hours fiddling, and a couple of phone calls we were back online.
Now that Netgear router replacement can serve as a backup unit – oh wait, the paperwork to return it and get a new one has still not arrived. More phone calls required
Most people I know seem to expect things to work when they need them. When they plug in that new appliance or even the old one, they expect it to work. When they turn the key to start the car, they expect it to start. When they turn on their gadget, they expect it to work.
And when they fail to work, they expect to get help and support easily.
Training for Customer Service
The training of customer service people has come a long way but…they forget that there are emotions attached to the problem. Customer service training teaches staff to ignore the emotion and get the problem fixed. And then move on.
Customer service training says,”the problem’s solution is all that matters”.
And to a certain extent they are right.
But every problem has a person or people involved and people have emotions and they often feel pain and frustration because of the “failure” of the service.
Is there an alternative to “solving the problem”?
Yes and it lies in “what will the world be like when the problem is solved?” Keeping in mind what the vision is for the solution to the problem, can ease the frustration that seems to arise from the problem.
When you provide service, you build on the relationships that help you succeed in business. But you need to deal with the whole person. You find that people remember how they felt that the problem was solved rather than the fact that you solved it.
I may be wrong so in the comment box, please share what matters more to you – just getting the problem solved or getting the problem solved by someone who cares that you may be suffering some frustration, possibly even anger, because the problem occurred.
Have we become too PC to recognize that anger and frustration are emotions that affect us as much as love and warm fuzzy feelings?
Relationships take ideas to $$$$s