Is There Enough Business to Go Around?

"And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department." - Andrew Carnegie

Once you have decided that there are enough people to support your business, you must then look at what competition already exists that might dilute your market.

Let’s use a golf instructor as an example. What if you’re planning to start a golf instruction business and there are already other golf instructors in your area? If so, you must share the pool of potential students with your competitors. If there are three competing instructors in your area, you have a problem. Unless your competitors are totally inept, your business, fourth in line for the pool of golfers, will have a tough time breaking even.

You may think there’s still room for you to prosper, and for all four instructors to average enough students to make a good living. However, this is very unlikely. There’s one elusive element that upsets the entire equation: the establishment factor. Your top two competitors may have been in business for more than five years, and may have established deep roots in the community.

Marketing Without Spending a Dime

Most marketing sucks. I came to that exact realization one October morning in 1987. What followed was a decision that changed my life forever. After acknowledging that I didn’t REALLY know the first thing about marketing, I rushed to the local bookstore and bought all eight of their marketing books. The first was David Ogilvy’s classic, Ogilvy on Advertising. I was amazed to learn how changing a simple headline could produce a 500% increase in response. How adding a picture of scissors next to a coupon could increase redemption by up to 35%, how reverse type (white letters on black) sharply decreases readership, and so on.

Before I finished the second book, I ordered 20 other books! I was like a man possessed… highlighting, underlining, and taking notes for 30 straight days. All through the Christmas holiday I soaked up marketing information like a sponge. After taking it all in and completely changing my approach, I designed some new ads to run the second week of January. Bingo! The phone rang off the hook.

The 20 Top Reasons Why Most Marketing Fails!

In the TWO minutes or so you will spend reading the next few paragraphs , I am going to save you hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of trial and error by detailing exactly why most businesses fail to reach their marketing goals. This is not subjective; this is not my opinion; it is based on over 20 years of research into the science of marketing and the analysis of several hundred clients.

Here are the 20 top reasons why businesses fail at marketing.

Read them, believe them, and resolve not to do them!

Biggest Database Wins!

Like it or not, that is a fact!

This is a fact most business owners are not really very happy about since the total sum of their data collection efforts over the last 20 years amounts to 750 names and addresses and the 113 emails they collected this year but haven’t yet gotten into the computer!

This may not be you but — trust me on this — I talk to hun- dreds of business owners a month and this example is better than average!

The size and quality of your database is your foundation for the long-term success of any marketing campaign yet the simplicity of this fact is lost on many. When I ask seminar audi- ences full of business owners and marketing executives what’s the first thing they would do to market a new business, buying a database of people who have an interest in that product is rarely, if ever, mentioned. When it is, it comes way down the list of suggestions after running ads, going to trade shows, and even renting billboards.

Before You Spend a Single Dime on Marketing, Do This First

The most important thing is not which system you use. The most important thing is you have a system! - Zig Ziglar

It amazes me that the vast majority of golf clubs, resorts, and real estate developments that I work with think that someone paid a modest salary has any clue how to sell a $25,000 membership or $500,000 villa without training—let alone memberships or real estate that are priced far higher.

Even if your product or service is cheap, allowing anyone to handle leads without formal sales training is not much better than just throwing them away.

Do NOT start ANY MARKETING campaign without a written sales system in place and the sales training to back it up. A sales system will take ONLY one sale to pay for itself and will keep on returning the favor with every employee you hire from now until you retire.

Even a small change, such as how the phone is answered or how an objection is countered, can have an astonishing effect on your sales performance and overall success.

Imagine if you closed two out of ten leads instead of one. You have just doubled sales at NO cost!

Now think of this concept for telephone inquiries, referrals, or dealing with objections. Incremental improvement at each phase of the sales process leads to ASTONISHINGLY greater results. This is why NO marketing campaign should ever be undertaken without first having a sales system and training in place.

The system should include:

• step-by-step instructions
• phone scripts
• qualifying scripts
• a presentation script
• objection scripts
• closing scripts
• a referral program

To go forward with any marketing campaign without investing in a written sales system is, quite frankly, insane. Just a 5% improvement in sales skills can easily increase your bottom line by 30% or more.

Countless millions are squandered on campaigns to generate leads, yet little to nothing is spent on the back-end sales system or follow up. Do NOT make this cardinal mistake.

Before you invest a dime in advertising or marketing of any kind, invest in a sales and training system to back up your efforts.

The 60-Minute Marketing Plan

Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood. - Daniel Burnham

Many business owners never develop a marketing plan for their companies, usually because they are too busy. However, armed with a pen, paper, and the right questions you can give yourself a huge edge in an hour or less by creating a simple marketing template.

Step 1: Determine where your business is now.

• How many clients do you have?
• How much money did you make last year?
• Gross?
• Net?
• What is the size of your potential market?
• What did you spend on marketing?

Step 2: Write down your goals.

• How many clients do you want?
• How much money do you want to make?
• Gross?
• Net?

Step 3: Determine how much you are willing to spend on marketing. The typical answer I get to this question is “as much as it takes,” which of course is never true. Other answers include “I don’t know” or “I’m willing to spend it if I get a return.” However hard it is to come up with a marketing budget, you have to do this in order to have any chance of measuring your results. Despite what you may have read, there is no typical percentage or formula. Budgets should be based on what you want to achieve. If you want a 50% increase in business, it’s not going to be achieved from a percentage of last summer’s miserable income.