Spider Patience: Sometimes It Takes Time

Spider Patience - Chicago Cubs 2016The Chicago Cubs have waited 108 years for a World Series championship.  Talk about spider patience.  Especially those Chicago Cubs fans that continue to go to games or watch on television year after year expecting different results than the previous year.  How is it even possible to have that kind of patience?

Sometimes in business having patience, even spider patience, can be a virtue.  Sometimes being more aggressive is in order.  How do you tell the difference between the two situations?  As a rule of thumb, you want a new business to show a yearly net profit within 5 years.  Some businesses will show a good amount of revenue early, some will not.  It is up to you to determine what to expect and when to expect it.  Here are some things you can research or be on the lookout for:

» Read more

Could Global Climate Change Actually Be A Hoax?

Global Climate Change - The SunWe now live in a world of facts and alternative facts.  Just to make it clear, facts are true and non-facts are not true.  True and false.  Black and white.  Could facts turn out to be non-facts?  Sure, it is possible, but scientific truths, i.e. facts, are usually measured, tallied, counted, concrete, and iron.  They are the things we know, for a fact, are true.  Things like global climate change.

A hypothesis, on the other hand, is a strong theory based on the facts that is likely.  There may or may not be a way to prove it absolutely true, but the facts point to it being true.  A scientific hypothesis is often backed up by other scientists, published in a journal, argued, debated, and open for discussion.

Why would I write about global climate change, being a business writer?  Because as business people, we often have to make tough decisions based on the facts.  If there can be two sets of facts, well then, how do you make good decisions?

» Read more

Declare Your Independence Day

July 4, 2015 in Gilbert, AZ

July 4, 2015 in Gilbert, AZ

Happy 4th of July to those of you who live in the United States.  Back 240 years our country declared its independence from England and set off on its own course, and the rest is history.  How about you?  Have you thought of declaring your own independence from your job?  Becoming your own boss and generating your own income rather than depend on a company you have no control over?  In this post I am going to tell you exactly how to be an entrepreneur so that you can work towards being an independent business person.

1. Find a product or service to sell

A business starts with a product or service that is in demand by customers.  Keep your eyes open for needs that people are having a hard time filling, this is a good clue.  Tune your mind to look for good opportunities.

» Read more

How To Get Massive Traffic To Your Website In 30 Days

Can you get massive traffic to your website in 30 days?  Sure… it depends on what you are willing to do to get it.  If you want to build consistent traffic without spending money, it may take a bit longer than 30 days.

Our SplashPlan.com site will help you build your network marketing business.  Mainly all you need to supply is traffic.  So getting traffic is the challenge, and the battle, and the victory.  If you can get traffic to your SplashPlan site, you can get all the leads you will ever need.

How can you build traffic?  Here are some ways:

  • Set up a Twitter profile and consistently participate on the site.  Make sure to include a link to your SplashPlan site in your public profile.
  • Participate on small-business-forum.net daily.  Make sure to fill out your profile and include a link to your SplashPlan site.  Set up a signature with a link to the SplashPlan site so it will be included when you post a message or response.
  • Respond to blog posts on problogger.net and copyblogger.com daily when it makes sense to do so.  Find other popular blogs and comment daily.  Make sure to use the link to your SplashPlan site.
  • Advertise if you can… on facebook, twitter, google, bing, or any number of other places.  It will cost money but you will get visitors.

I would advise you to avoid spending money for advertising.  Go the slow route and you will generate consistent daily traffic.

There are any number of other ways to generate free traffic to your blog.  Make sure to do a google search.  If you have time, the possibilities are endless.

Now, if you want to improve the quality of your visitors, you must do one of the following:

  • Make sure they are looking for exactly what you are offering
  • Make sure they know and respect you as a leader

So in comes attraction marketing.  Warm up your leads by promoting yourself and or your expertise.  You can do this by:

  • Creating how-to youtube videos
  • Write a blog about things you know
  • Put your face and resume on linkedin
  • Make sure people know who you are and what you can do to help them

Attraction marketing is about attracting people to you based on: them knowing who you are, them knowing some of your skills and abilities, them knowing about your company, and so forth.  Create a brand – you!

Let me know if you have any other ways to generate massive traffic… beyond link bait of course.

Similar stories:

Helping People You Help Yourself

I wanted to share with you some excerpts from emails we sent to our sales force… I thought it might be useful for everyone:

How To Serve Your Customer

I was thinking this week about how to personally sell or personally sponsor and I’ll tell you the way that we do it: We sincerely try to serve our customers’ or prospects’ needs.  Often this is selfless service as we will give products or information away free and we really don’t expect much in return.  We are pleasantly surprised when we do get an order or somebody is really interested.  I am not telling you to give away the store or put yourself in the poor house to help your customers, but giving your time or helping somebody in need can ultimately help you promote your business.  People see you as somebody who really wants to help.  So here’s my exercise for the next week:

For the next week set aside your business.  Each day for the next seven, find one person to help without expecting anything in return.  Don’t promote your business unless you are specifically asked about it, just help one person each day.  Preferably it is going to be somebody you don’t know, but it could be anybody.  Just volunteer to help in some way.  Again, I am not asking you to give a large loan to somebody or give away something of value unless you would like to, just give help, advice, direction, or a little of your time to somebody in need.  See how all of this feels… That’s how it feels when you are truly serving your customers.  You find out what they need and you help them with it.  You go the extra mile when you can.

The only value we are adding as associates is the service we provide and it can truly be your competitive edge if you are willing to serve your customers to the absolute best of your ability.  Many people are not willing to do this, but that’s what this business is all about.

Helping People

I believe Zig Ziglar once said something like: You can have anything you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.  That is what this business, and really any business, is all about.  We help people.  I am reminded once again this week that there are a lot of desperate people out there that are hurting.  We have the opportunity and the responsibility to help as many people as possible rise above the situation they’re in to a better place.  We can’t and should not do it for them.  But we can show them a better way… We can teach them to fish.  It’s really up to them to put the effort in to catch the fish.

Many people do think that they are owed something, and you do have to watch out for people who want something for nothing.  But there are a lot of people out there willing to work their tail off if they can get just a little help to get going.  We should be there for these people the best we can.  Help people by having them earn their starter kit for our organization.  They can show the catalogs and bring you orders.  It doesn’t take many orders to earn the starter kit… And then you show them how to help other people like themselves for bigger income.

Make sure to also remember the people out there who just love our products or remember their grandma talking about the products, and want to order but can’t find an associate.  They are out there.  They need you to find them.  Make sure to try to get them anything they need… If they need a product you can’t find, give me a call and I’ll help you out.  Sometimes our company discontinues items but there are still places you can find them.  If not, there is usually a good substitute.  Make sure to give heroic customer service to your customers and it can lead to all kinds of good things.  I don’t know what exactly… But we have found this to be true.  As one associate said: Look for the dime behind the nickel.

Remarriage After Divorce

In the blink of an eye, that which you worked so hard for can be dissolved, leaving you out in the cold.  And while you may think I’m referring to a marriage between a man and a woman, this is actually a business blog, so I am referring to a business failure.  I used to say that the failure of my network marketing business was like a divorce and I wasn’t ready to be remarried.  So I went on to school in 2001, getting my MBA in 2009.  You may know this if you’ve followed my blog for a while.  You may also know that I formed an aimless corporation in 2008.  I wanted to start a business again but wasn’t sure exactly what.  I thought, well maybe I’ll start my own network marketing product company, but I wasn’t completely sure what I was going to do.

Since 2008 I have taken on some consulting, here and there, but in 2010 my decision to go into consulting full time was solidified with the pink slip.  I was laid off from my employer and I had enough luck to land, the next Monday, at another company doing full-time consulting.  Then I verbally signed a contract with a friend and did a few hours for him every once in a while.  This contract was dissolved a bit later, I guess you shouldn’t work for friends.  We were heading into the winter and it was the busy time for my other client, so I just went full time with them through March.  March is now approaching and I’m considering asking for another year, which I really don’t think is going to be a problem.  So I will be full time in my own business for more than a year as of June.  That is better than I did in my first business, when I was full time for about 6 months before I went back to work.  The difference this time is that I am “working”, i.e. selling time for money, so it doesn’t feel like I’m working for myself.

When we had our first business, it was a lot of work for very little initial return.  But by the time I quit my job, there was very little to do and plenty of money.  It was kind of weird.  I wasn’t prepared for the change.  After a few weeks, I knew I had to go back to work.  This was before the beginning of the end; I knew I wasn’t ready to be flooded with time.  But before I had quit my job I was so burned out.  We had worked our tails off, my mind was mush, very little sleep for a couple of years, virtually could not do my job any more.  Six weeks later, I couldn’t stand all the time.  Then within 6 months, virtually no more business.  It was painful.  I was very bitter and I “never” wanted to do it again.  We put in all that work and it was destroyed in a flash.

A lot has changed since then.  In addition to my consulting, I am starting to build a network marketing business again.  This with a company I’ve been associated with for 18 years.  I signed up when I was 28 years old and did a little bit, but when success wasn’t instantaneous, I quit trying.  But I did renew the membership every year.  Then we started our “first” business in 1997, our first successful business at least.  So I came back to my original network marketing company full guns last year and am actually doing pretty well.  It’s a lot of work but it’s growing.  I’m happy to be doing it again, and this time I don’t think I’ll have problems with the company.  It’s a little weird to be using the same muscles again after all this time, but the memory is still there, and I feel like I’m actually pretty good at it.

Have you ever had a major business failure, and what did you do to come back from it?

Make Money By Serving Needs

In business, we make money by providing value to our customers.  Value is actually a very wide term, which can mean something as simple as helping the person lose weight by providing them with an easy way to lose weight or it could mean the service we provide to our customers; for example, finding them what they want no matter how hard it is to find.  People are willing to pay for value, but it must be value worth paying for.

Mainly, it is the way we are better than everyone else that sets us apart.  The things that give us competitive advantage.  We can offer a better product, better service, better price, or better customer service than our competitors.  Many of these are hard to do, there are so many competitors out there with great products or services, many are selling at rock-bottom prices, but one thing that many companies forget is how to truly serve the customer.  By serving, I mean putting the customers’ needs ahead of the needs of the company.  For instance, I had a customer that wanted a particular item that I could not get at wholesale, so I ordered it from drugstore.com and shipped it to them free of charge.  Why would I do such a silly thing?  Because the customer will remember it and go out of there way to buy from us in the future.

It can be a difficult concept to wrap your mind around.  Providing heroic customer service just so the customer comes back to you in the future.  There’s no guarantee by the way, it is possible that they will go elsewhere in the future, so your effort may or may not be rewarded.  You may just be giving away the store.  However, most customers recognize great service when they see it and go out of their way to use companies with great service, depending on the price.

And what about price?  If you can give your customers great service, you typically can charge a bit more than your competitors and get away with it.  If you are competitive but slightly higher, but you give far better service, customers will definitely seek you out.

It’s not always easy to give the best service.  At times it can be time consuming and costly, but if 99% of your customer interactions are fairly normal but 1% require heroics, you will make plenty of money and impress your customers.  You really do have to be perfect though.  Any problems whatsoever will tarnish your reputation.  Any mistakes should be cause for lavishing your customer with service and gifts.

Giving great service is an investment in your long-term business, so you may spend a bit more short term for great service.  But long term your investment will pay huge dividends.

Small Changes With Big Results

Sometimes being a business person is similar to being a painter of paintings.  It’s the smallest details that make the biggest differences.  And you have to pay attention to all of those details, at least at first when you are just getting started.  The customer’s perception of your company and your product are at stake… so what kinds of things should you worry about?

The internet is a tale of two cities.  One dark and desolate, and one bright and populated.  What is the difference between the two places?  The most minor of minor things.  And it may not be anything you’re thinking about.  Is it design?  Is it speed?  Is it wonder?  Is it usefulness?  The answers: Maybe, maybe, maybe, and maybe.  It seriously depends on what your target visitor wants and what your target visitor expects.  And then, you have to give them even more than they expect.

So then it all comes back to marketing right?  Well… yes, and no.  It is very important to know what your customer’s (or visitor’s) requirements are.  Then you must really get into their mind.  Deliver innovation where innovation is not possible.  Smooth out the jagged lines or fill in the gaps of the customer’s requirements with what they really want, before they know they want it.  This is really where the art in business comes in, knowing the unknowable, doing the unthinkable, being the best in a catagory of no equals.

It all comes down to creating something that draws in visitors and customers like a magnet.  They can’t help themselves, they are drawn to your business.  They may not even be sure why.  It’s all of those little details that mean so much.

Make sure to check out other business leaders and their obsession with detail.  People like Howard Hughes, Sam Walton, and Bill Gates.  They built their obsessions into empires.

It’s All About The Product

When you go into business, it’s all about the product.  Because no matter which marketing method you use, ultimately the customer will either buy the product or not.  That’s why, if you are considering multi-level marketing, you must seriously consider the desirability of the product.  Would you buy the company’s product at retail?  If not, it may be too hard to sell your customer or sell yourself, and somebody has to buy the product in order for you to make money.

When you look at opportunities, you really need to do the math.  You are looking for a 20%+ rate of return for your time, materials, and cash investment.  For instance, if you spend $100 a month and at the end of the year have a $20 per month commission check, you are right on a 20% return.  So how do you do the math?  Try the following on for size:

cr / ci = ri

cr is what you expect for commission or profit for an individual customer in a year

ci is what you spend in dollars to get a customer.  You should include time, materials, advertising, and other expenses.

ri is your return on investment.  .20 would be a 20% return.

For your customer, you may sell to end consumers or other distributors.  You might want to figure out your return in both ways to see which gives you the most immediate return.  Traditionally this is going to be your customers.  Distributors get a break on the product so you get less of a profit on the volume.

The thing we are not figuring on is when your direct distributor gets another distributor.  You do get a cut on the sales to your second-level distributor, but it’s not usually as much as your first-level distributor.  What I would do about the multi-level aspect of your business is to ignore, for financial purposes, that you will ever get beyond your first level.  You might want to allow for a smaller initial return on investment to compensate for the multi-level effect, that’s up to you.

Again, product sales is the most important thing so you should always be selling the product, even when you’re recruiting.  In fact, sponsoring sales people, people who will sell the product to consumers, is usually the best way to go.  Some of you may say that selling the dream works best.  However, the dream gets people sponsored into the business, not selling product.  It also produces unrealistic expectations and unhappy distributors.  You may also get a look from the FTC.  So we sponsor sales people to get product volume, and we can generally bank on the fact that we’re only going to get first level distributors unless we train our great sales people to be good recruiters.

The downside to multi-level marketing is what the MLM company can do to you.  You are pretty much at their whim.  You advertise their way, you sell their way, and at a moment’s notice they could decide not to use distributors any more.  So be careful out there.

We are starting to be really active with a multi-level marketing company again.  We joined the company in 1992 and they have been very consistent. I believe they produce a very good return on investment for recruiting and have an exceptional product line that customers love.  Check them out.

Marketing Blah, Blah, Blah

I have been working on a marketing project lately and what is the deliverable for marketing ultimately?  A nice little report that details the problem the company is facing, case studies of other companies, options to pursue, and the option selected with an implementation plan.  Unlike a technology project though, there really isn’t a hard and visible product of the marketing project.  It is research and strategy, both of which don’t sound like a whole lot.  They are software for the business though, and sometimes software is more important than hardware.

New companies often avoid marketing.  Or they see sales as marketing, or advertising as marketing.  I hear many people talk about internet marketing, which is actually advertising.  They are getting their message out to a mass audience hoping to get a few leads that they can sell to.  Internet marketing often encompasses marketing and sales directly to the customer, without much effort from the company beyond creating the web presence.  Individuals and companies often sell on the internet without really doing any marketing at all.  I call this brute force selling, not really having a marketing strategy (or having one that came from the top of your head) and just getting a message out there that may sell your product to people.  You might get some feedback from friends about your selling method and make changes based on that feedback.  The feedback is a shallow kind of research but can be very helpful to improving you message.

So you can create a company and do brute force advertising and sales, and you might get lucky.  Or you can learn a lot about the kind of product you sell, the types of people who may be interested, and the messages they will be looking for.  There is a ton of free secondary information on the internet that can really help, but it will take time to wade through it all.  Better than google searching for information is using an article database that specializes in business information.  I typically use the one that I have access to via the University of Phoenix, but I believe you can also pay for access to these article engines.  A couple that I use are EBSCOhost and ProQuest.

Secondary information is articles and research papers, which often refers to primary information.  Primary information is when somebody does direct research with consumers to get a good idea of their preferences.  Primary information often tries to prove or disprove a theory, leading to a confirmation (or not) of a belief.  Primary information can be acquired but is costly, but secondary information is plentiful on the internet.  And the more different articles you get that say the same thing, the more you can feel comfortable that the information is accurate.

All of this information and research can give us good ideas about our marketing strategy, but we have to test this information against our company mission and values and make sure it makes sense.  Assuming it does, we can make sure our advertising and sales processes agree with our marketing strategy.  We may also want to change other things about our company based on what we find out.  For instance, if the kind of customer we sell to expect exceptional customer service by telephone, we need to make sure we are prepared to help our customers in this way.  All of our company processes should be customer-centric, and our marketing research and strategy can be the test to make sure they are.

Now marketing may be blah, blah, blah to you… but it really can help create a focus for a company to make sure the customer comes first, last, and always.  Then sales just start rolling in, and it all seems easy.  Rather that the constant beating your head against a brick wall to make the sale.  Marketing makes a huge difference.

1 2 3 5