The best time to do your market research is in advance. Here are some key ideas to help you make the right choice before you invest in a product, a service or a business.
Bootstrap Your Way To Success One of the best ways to build a business is to start off on a bootstrap. This means that you start off with very little mo ney and you grow your business with the mo ney that you ear n in the business, rather than outside financing, borr owing, l oans from friends and so on.
Ask The Right Questions The first thing to do is to research all competitors for the product or service and ask this: "Why would someone switch to buy from me?" If there’s already a similar product or service in the market, why would someone leave a product or service that they’re comfortable with for your product or service that they don’t know anything about? Is your product or service better, or is your idea cheaper or of higher quality? And can you convince enough customers of this to stay in business?
Look For The Fatal Flaw The second way to do fast, cheap market research is to be suspicious. Be wary. Develop a cyn ical, pessimistic attitude and accept nothing on faith. Look for the fatal flaw. Whenever I’ve done consulting for a corporation, especially when they’ve asked me to research an investment, I always look for the fatal flaw. I always look for the one thing that’s wrong with this investment that could cost my client a lot of mo ney. And do you know something? In 99 out of 100 cases, I find the fatal flaw. I find something in a contract or a mor tgage agreement or something in the way the land is laid out or the way the distribution arrangements are designed.
Find Out Why It’s For Sale I often find something that is fatal, something that if it were not caught, would lead to the failure of the business. When you’re thinking of getting into somebody else’s business or if somebody else is trying to sell you an existing business, look for the reason. There’s always a fatal flaw when someone is trying to sell you a successful mo ney -making opportunity. If you can’t find the fatal flaw, only then should you go ahead with it.
Don’t Lose Money The third thing that you can do when considering a business that is for sale is find out why it’s being sold. Very few people will try to sell you a successful business. Usually people who are selling a business are selling it because they’re losing mo ney on it. Many people say they’re selling a business because they want to concentrate on something else. No. The reason they’re selling the business is that they’re losing mo ney on it. And you must find out why a person would sell a successful business.
Think Long Term Finally, number four, look at the business before you go into it as though you were going to be in it for 20 years. The long-term perspective sharpens short-term decision-making. If you look at any business venture, any product or service, as though you were going to be doing this 20 years from now, you’ll find that you’ll make much better decisions.
Action Exercises Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.
First, look for the fatal flaw in any investment that someone tells you is a good idea. Look for a critical weakness that could cause the business to fail.
Second, think about being in this business, or selling this product or service, for the next 20 years. When you think long-term about business decisions, you make much better decisions in the short-term.
More than 5,000 years ago, in the ancient mystery schools of Egypt, the mental and spiritual laws and principles of success were taught to students who dedicated their entire lives to learning in what was called the “Esoteric Arts.”
One of these “secrets” was the Law of Attraction, which said that your mind is a magnet and that you invariably attract into your life people and circumstances in harmony with your dominant thoughts, especially your dominant thoughts emotionalized.
Today we say, “Like attracts like” and “Birds of a feather flock together.” From ancient times, it was known that your mind sends out vibrations, like radio waves, that are picked up by the minds of other people who are tuned into the same rate of vibration.
The force that determines the sending power of your mental vibrations is the amount of emotion, positive or negative, that you put behind a thought. If there is something that you intensely desire, something that excites you and enthuses you, you will send out powerful, high-frequency vibrations that can travel large distances in split seconds and cause your phone to ring from someone you have not heard from for months or even years.
Because your mind is so powerful, especially when backed by emotionalized thoughts, you must handle it carefully, like a child handling a gun. The Law of Attraction is neutral. It works on both positive and negative thoughts. It brings into your life whatever you are thinking about on a regular basis with either fear or desire.
When the book, “The Secret” came out, along with the movie, I was happily surprised to see that the first half of the movie comes from my audio program and seminar, “The Psychology of Achievement” which was produced initially in 1981. We videotaped the live seminar which explains the Law of Attraction along with thirty-one other laws, plus how this law is applied in every area of life, and then distributed the video seminar world wide, including New Zealand, where the Author of The Secret comes from.
The weakness in The Secret is that it is “necessary but not sufficient.” Of course, it is important that you think positive thoughts and that, by so doing, you will attract positive people and circumstances into your life. But it is not enough.
In response to The Secret, I decided to write a book which is called “Flight Plan – The Real Secret of Success.” In this book, I explain that life is very much like a long distance flight. When the plane takes off, it will be off course 99% of the time. But nonetheless, the plane will eventually arrive at its destination, even thought it was off course most of the time.
In my experience, the real secret of success consists of three major factors: First, you must be absolutely clear about your destination. By this I mean that must have clear, written, specific, measurable goals, committed to paper and organized into specific, step-by-step plans of action.
Before you can set your goals, you must know exactly who you are and what you want. You must do a thorough analysis of yourself, your life, your hopes, your dreams, your ambitions, and where you want to be sometime in the future. Then, you create a “Flight Plan” to get you from wherever you are today to wherever you want to be in the months and years ahead.
The second part of Flight Plan is that you must “take off!” You must have the courage to step out in faith with no guarantee of success. You must be prepared to launch in the face of your fears, doubts and natural reluctance to break out of your comfort zone. “To achieve something that you have never achieved before, you must be prepared to do something that you have never done before.” (Les Brown).
Once you have launched toward your goal, like an airplane, you will meet with unexpected turbulence, headwinds, updrafts and downdrafts, lightning, storms and every sort of mechanical problem. You must be prepared to make continual “course corrections” as you move toward your goal.
Perhaps the most important quality for success is, and always has been, the quality of persistence. You must resolve in advance to persist in the face of any difficulty or problem that you experience. You must resolve in advance that you will never give up. You must resolve in advance that you will view every temporary setback or difficulty as merely a signal that you need to make a “course correction” as you move inevitably toward your goal.
This is a great time to be alive. The very best days of your life lie ahead of you. The highest income of your life is still to come. The greatest experiences of your life are still to be experienced.
There is very little that you can not accomplish if you will file your flight plan. Determine exactly what it is that you want to achieve, take off toward your goal with no guarantees of success, and then make continual course corrections until you finally succeed. If you resolve to do these things, nothing can stop you from creating an extraordinary life.
There are seven formulas for business success. Number one, set a specific goal and visualize it as a reality. Play the picture of your goal as already realized on the screen of your mind over and over again. Number two, look for a problem you can solve with a product or service that is high quality and good value. All successful businesses are based on products or services that are high quality and good value. Number three, start small and learn your business thoroughly. Be patient. Invest time rather than a lot of money.
Bootstrap Your Way to Success One of the best ways to build a business is to start off on a bootstrap. This means that you start off with very little money and you grow your business with the money that you earn in the business, rather than outside financing, borrowing, loans from friends and so on.
Test, Test, Test Number four, test every major move before you invest in it. Test, test, test. Don’t plunge into a business. Move ahead carefully, one step at a time. Number five, expand on the basis of your successes, out of your profits, as you move along. In other words, only expand your business on money that you’ve earned in the business, not on borrowed capital.
Pick Your People Carefully Number six, carefully select the people to help you expand and grow. The biggest mistakes you’ll ever make will be in picking the wrong people to work with, so be very, very careful in picking the people you’re going to work with in your business.
Use Financial Leverage And number seven, use financial leverage. Financial leverage is business borrowing, lines of credit from the bank, which are based on the cash flow from your successful business. The whole aim of starting a business is to develop a consistent, predictable source of cash flow in excess of cost and expenses and then to hold to the money. Banks will lend you all the money that you can service as debt with your cash flow.
Start Off Part Time One final thing that you can do, and I’ve recommended that many people do this over the years, is if you’re starting off with no money, go to work part-time for a business in a field that interests you. It’s a valuable form of on-the-job training. Work evenings or work weekends. Or work on your holidays if you like.
Learn What You Need to Learn Remember this, though, most businesses fail because of managerial incompetence. So take the time to learn what you need to know to succeed. Be patient. The time you invest before you start will pay off over and over again in the months and years ahead.
Action Exercises Here are two things you can do immediately to implement these formulas for business success:
First, be prepared. The number one reason that people succeed in starting their own businesses is that they have the knowledge and experience, in advance that they need to succeed. Do your homework.
Second, start small. Some people think that they can be successful faster by putting all their savings at risk at the very beginning. The opposite is true. Start small and grow out of your cash flow from successful operations.
Imagine that it’s possible for you to earn 10 times your current annual wage.
If you’re earning $25,000, imagine for a moment that it’s possible for you to earn $250,000, a 1,000 percent increase.
Believe in Yourself The first reaction of most people to that exercise is to smile briefly and then to begin thinking about why it isn’t possible. One man said to me, "If you knew how many years it’s taken for me to get to what I’m earning today you wouldn’t be suggesting that I could earn 10 times as much."
There Are No Excuses Mark Twain once wrote that there are a thousand excuses for every failure but never a good reason. The tragedy of the average American is that whereas his or her main preoccupation seems to be money, or the lack thereof, the average person has the inherent potential to earn far more than he or she is earning currently.
Can Someone Be 10x Better? Is the manager earning $250,000 per year ten times as smart as the manager earning $25,000? Ten times as experienced? Does he or she work 10 times harder? Of course not. None of these are physically or mentally possible, but there are people in every business earning many times more than others with the same average age, experience and intelligence.
I.Q. Doesn’t Really Matter In fact, a few years ago in New York, a thousand men and women were selected at random and tested for I.Q. Between the one having the highest I.Q. in this sample and the one with the lowest, there was a difference of only two and a half times. But between the person earning the most, who by the way, was not the one with the highest I.Q. and the one earning the least, who was not the one with the lowest I.Q., there was a difference of 100 times in income.
Action Exercises Here are two things you can do to start increasing your income.
First, identify the highest earning, most successful people in your field and find out what it is that they are doing differently from others who aren’t doing as well. Copy them every day.
Second, set a goal to double your income over the next two or three years and then figure out what you’ll have to do to achieve it. Get started!
How do you do fast, cheap market research? How do you find out whether or not the product will sell before you get into it? Before embarking on any new business venture, considerable time must be spent in research. Your payoff will be in excess of ten to one in time and money saved or earned. For every dollar, for every hour that you put into research, you’re going to save ten or twenty or thirty dollars or hours later on. So here’s what you do.
Check Every Detail Number one is find out every detail of the product or business. Study it carefully. There is a story about Walter Chrysler, who formed Chrysler Corporation. What he did is he went out and bought several of the most popular selling vehicles in America. He then took them home to his garage and took them apart down to the very last nut and bolt. He then put them back together again. By the time he had done that with several automobiles, he had some very, very good ideas on how to create a car that was superior to any other car in America. He went out, formed Chrysler Motors and the rest is history.
Discover how to live your business dreams, create massive wealth, and make your competition green with envy. I’ve got some exciting news for you. You can launch your business and personal life into the world of super success – you can make your life a huge success – simply by following the "laws" of business.
You see there are "universal laws" that lie behind the success of business people everywhere. If you follow the laws, success comes easily. But if you break the laws, you will struggle just to survive.
Research Your Product Carefully Number two, before you embark on a new business venture, read trade magazines, articles and stories on the business, industry or occupation. Here is a piece of advice that is worth its weight in gold. At every major library, there is what is called the periodicals index. The periodicals index lists every article that has been written on every subject in every publication in America. The librarian can guide you to the periodicals index. There’s one for every year, and as publications expand, sometimes there’s one for every three months. This index is now available on the Internet as well.
Take Advantage of the Information Available You can go back and you can retrieve, usually from microfiche or from the library files, all the articles that have been written on a particular product or service in the last week, last month, last year, last five years, and you can make your self an expert on a particular subject area by using the periodicals index. I know many consultants, when their clients ask them about a particular subject, go down to the library, or onto the Internet, and they go through the periodicals index. They become well-informed on what is going on in that area, and then they sell that advice, sometimes for hundreds of dollars an hour, to their client. So check the periodicals index. Check the Internet. Become intimately familiar with the business before you begin.
Action Exercises Here are two things you can do before you start any business:
First, find out every detail of the product or business before you invest any serious money in it. All of this information is available if you will just seek it out.
Second, do your research in depth. Sometimes, superficial research indicates that it is a good business but in-depth research can show you that it is not a good business at all. Be careful.
The Invitational Close is simple, low-key, classy and powerful.
You use it at the end of a sales conversation to conclude the transaction. It is preceded by a Trial Close such as: "Mr. Prospect, do you have any questions or concerns that I haven’t covered up to now?" Or, "Mr. Prospect, does this make sense to you, so far?"
Probe for Lingering Objections You ask these questions to be doubly sure that the prospect has no final objections lurking in the back of his mind that would block the closing of the sales process. You then invite the customer to make a buying decision by saying, "If you like what I’ve shown you, why don’t you give it a try?"
Invite the Customer to Buy Inviting the customer to buy is very powerful. This is a gentle way of nudging the customer into taking action. "Why don’t you give it a try?" If you are selling services, you can ask, "Why don’t you give us a try?" If you want to be more bold and direct, you can simply ask, "Why don’t you take it?"
Change Your Wording One of my seminar graduates doubled his sales by changing his words in the endgame of selling. After his sales presentation he would ask the prospect if he had any additional questions or concerns. If the prospect said "no," he would then ask, "Well, if you like it, why don’t you take it?"
He was amazed to find that many prospects could not think of a good reason not to go ahead with his offering immediately. Both his closing ratio and his income soared.
Action Exercises Here is something you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.
The next time you complete your sales presentation, simply issue an invitation to the customer to make a decision. "Why don’t you give it a try?"
This is the first of 3 very powerful videos! For the other two videos, please put your email address in the box below.
I recently held a Total Business Makeover video in San Diego where I worked with 125 business owners to restructure their businesses. I realized that there were 7 key mistakes that many of them were making.
So, it got me thinking…what if I created a series of videos that could save any business owner or entrepreneur thousands of dollars and months of time by telling them what NOT to do?
I called it “The 7 Business Mistakes that Businesspeople Make.”
My good friend and one of the greatest speaking trainers in the world, Steve Siebold, flew out from Florida to interview me for the series. Here’s the first of 7 videos total…I’m going to be giving you two more for absolutely free to make sure you keep an eye out for them!
This is the third of 3 very powerful videos! For the other two videos, please put your email address in the box below.
Hello again… In this video Steve and I talk about the failure to develop and execute a successful sales process. 70% of small to medium-sized businesses don’t have one. I give you a 7-step sales process in the video.
This is the second of 3 very powerful videos! For the other two videos, please put your email address in the box below.
Hi again…In this video I explain the importance of having a great product and how it affects the success of your business. I also explain the jelly donut model…Watch the video and please share and comment.
“Building an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society flourish.�?
Last week, Barbara and I flew up to Vancouver to meet with Ib Muller and drive to the Whistler Ski Resort, two hours north of Vancouver.
We skied for most of Saturday and Sunday, had dinner in a wonderful restaurant Saturday night, and stayed at the Fairmont Hotel at the Vancouver Airport Sunday night prior to our return flight on Monday morning to San Diego.
On Tuesday, we boarded our flight to Atlanta for a four day meeting of the Heritage Foundation at the Four Seasons Hotel in Downtown Atlanta.
The Heritage Foundation is the “800 pound Gorilla” of conservative think tanks in the world today. It started as an idea in 1973, funded by several friends of liberty and free enterprise, and has since grown to more than 200 professionals working out of a large office complex on Massachusetts Avenue NW in Washington DC.
The motto of the Heritage Foundation is, “Building an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society flourish.”
For three days, some of the best thinkers and speakers on economics, welfare and entitlements, employment, national defense, and the environment came together to share ideas and experiences, and to suggest policy prescriptions to assure that America remains the “Best hope for mankind.”
There are two basic philosophies that define our political system today. The first philosophy, the Heritage position believes in limited government, lower taxes, less regulation, and greater freedom and opportunity for the individual. Heritage believes that non-government activities provide more effective solutions to the inevitable problems that arise in a large country with 300 million people.
The other side of the political spectrum believes in greater government, higher taxation, more regulation on businesses and individuals, and a welfare state where as many people as possible are depended upon the government in some way.
Each person, each voter in our society, must eventually make a choice. Do you believe in greater freedom and opportunity for the individual, or do you believe in greater taxes, regulation and control of individuals by the government?
Ludwig Von Mises once said that every society exists along a spectrum of total enslaved to totally free. Of all societies, the United States has offered greater freedom and opportunity than any other society in human history. But what Von Mises, and others, concluded was that every growth of government taxation, regulation and control over the individual American moves the society along the spectrum toward total slavery. It is a gradual process, one degree at a time, but it is the reason and explanation why, throughout the centuries, countries have gone from relatively free to completely un-free.
Fortunately, American’s are an exceptional people in that they love their personal freedom and liberty more than that of virtually any other nationality on earth. No matter how many government officials or bureaucrats attempt to limit personal freedom with taxes and regulation, the American people continue to fight back through their representatives and alone, if necessary.
At the Heritage Foundation meeting, we heard from Karl Rove recently the personal advisor to President George W. Bush, and the architect of his electoral victories in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Karl Rove is a warm, witty, charming man, telling stories and jokes about people and politics in America. His talk was scheduled for 20 minutes but he went on for almost an hour, to the delight of everyone in the audience. This is the second time that I have met Karl Rove and on both occasions, he has been a friendly and enjoyable person to associate with.
On Saturday night, Edward Meese III, previous attorney general in the administration of President Ronald Reagan, spoke to us for almost an hour on the evolving political situation in America, and especially the legal situation.
I have known Ed Meese for almost twenty years. He is a real gentleman, and an incredible brain. He has a wonderful ability to pull together threads of ideas from many sources and weave them into a spellbinding talk that is funny, informational and uplifting.
As the political silly season continues its relentless march toward the republican and democratic conventions this summer, it is important for each person to keep in mind the issues that are at stake. One group wants greater freedom and opportunity for more people. Another group wants more taxes, regulations and government control on more people. The individual voter will be forced to decide which of these two visions represents what he or she believes is best for American in the long term.
Subscribers and readers of this blog are usually among the smartest people in American. This is why it is so important that you take the time to inform yourself and fully understand the issues rather than being caught up in the emotions and contradictions of the campaign. I will talk to you again soon.