Recently our team was lucky enough to see world-famous business speaker and author Brian Tracy give a keynote speech. He recounted the story of a friend who managed to double business revenues (in the millions) during the recession – and asked him his secrets. Tracy’s friend outlined seven ways that a business can maximize profits, in any market.
1) Become a Great Leader
You don’t have to be an extrovert to lead. What do you need? Clear vision, established values, and defined goals. Lead by example and take completele responsibility. Tracy emphasized a leader’s ability to use these three statements that alleviate negativity and earn the respect of your team.
i. I Was Wrong.
ii. I Made a Mistake.
iii. I Changed My Mind.
2) Develop a Great Business Plan
Idealize your future vision using what Tracy calls “Back from the Future Thinking.” Take the bottom line you want to earn in annual revenues, and make it your top line. Reverse-engineer how many sales per month you need to hit that year-end, how low you need to keep costs, and every other income and expenditure.
Your attention to the financial numbers is key to your success: all business activities have a finite value.
3) Surround Yourself with Great People
Seems like a no-brainer, right? There’s still a process to find great people.
i. Define the Ideal Person for the job on paper.
ii. Interview thoroughly – three times, in three different places, with at least three different people.
iii. Give hires clear instructions with established standards of performance.
4) Offer a Great Product or Service
According to Tracy, 90% of business success comes from having a great product. Since your reputation is your most valuable asset, offer something that makes you stand out from your competition. Deliver consistently on your promises. Measure what percentage of people say, “This is a good product.”
5) Design a Great Marketing Plan
Great marketing attracts a steady stream of qualified prospects to your business. There are four areas to focus on:
i. Specialization – filling a specific need
ii. Differentiation – developing your arm of excellence
iii. Segmentation – targeting the ideal customer for your business
iv. Concentration – putting all your resources into your best customer possibilities.
6) Perfect the Sales Process
Thousands and thousands of books have been written about perfecting sales. A few tips:
i. Focus on consistently converting prospects into customers.
ii. Use your website to eliminate objections that prevent customers from buying.
iii. Identify your customers’ needs to build trust and credibility.
7) Create a Great Customer Experience
Make people happy to do business with you! Make these points your focus:
i. Meet expectations every time. (bare minimum)
ii. Exceed expectations every time. (much more challenging)
iii. Delight your customers. Think warm, friendly, personal.
Whew! So there you have it – seven ways to maximize profits in any business climate. It’s a lot to chew on so focus on a couple at a time. Write down your goals and outline the steps you need to make progress.