Measure The Intangibles!

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. - George Burns

There are lots of concrete things business owners can do to measure the performance of their businesses. You can measure profit and loss, the number of clients you have, your market share, or the number of widgets that you can produce in a day.

These are all important measures that can be seen in black-and white reports, but there are other less tangible items that should be also be measured.

Train to Sell!

Double your income in 60 seconds! Sounds ridiculous right? I mean, if increasing business was that easy you’d already have thought of it and EVERYONE would be doing it, right? Actually, no. In fact, you’d be astonished at how easy it is to increase income. It’s so simple that no one ever seems to do it! Before I give you the answer, let me share one old and a couple of recent experiences with you.

Several years ago I toured a very high-end Florida real-estate community with my wife. During the 45-minute tour the salesman on four occasions told us what he thought of “rich” people. (Apparently, as we told him we were looking for only a million dollar house, he did not think us one of the evil rich people!) He trashed the president (Bush), which I know was a popular sport back then, but he should have found out which way I learned before doing it. To top it all off, at the end of the presentation, he said, “That’s it, no high-pressure sales here!” FINE, and there are no sales happening there either!

Do You Feed Your Brain for Success?

Think of your mind and the knowledge and skills it contains as you think of your body. What would happen to you physically if all you ate each day were large jelly-filled doughnuts? If, on top of that, you cut down your exercise to zero and drank only chocolate milkshakes? Within a very short period of time, you would gain a huge amount of weight and be physically incapable of even simple activities. Your health would fail rapidly, and eventually, you might even die.

If, on the other hand, you eat three balanced meals a day, work out regularly, and sleep eight hours each night, the chances are you will wake up feeling great each day. You will live a long, healthy, productive life. By investing in your body in the form of eating the right foods and exercising regularly, you maintain your body in good shape.

So it is with the brain, if all you feed it are sitcoms, soap operas, dime novels, and sensational magazines, you are, in effect, giving it jelly doughnuts for food. If the only parts of the newspaper you read are the sports page and comics, you are drinking high fat chocolate milkshakes that will put on pounds and slow you down.

There is a large sign on the door of my dentist’s office that reads, “Ignore your teeth, and they will just go away.” If you do not work out your brain by providing it with new and interesting material, you are simply letting it waste away. You will also be hurting yourself because new and interesting material could help you better your life. The less you stimulate your mind, the less inclined it becomes to help you accomplish your goals. The more you stimulate your mind, the more information it will crave, and the faster and more substantial your progress will be.

The very fact you are reading this post means you are making an effort to upgrade your business and personal skills. This is a great start, but don’t let it end there. You should put aside time each week to work out your mind just as you do to your body. Seek other books and information, attend seminars, and listen to audiotapes on a variety of topics that will aid you in your business and your life. The time and money you invest in the pursuit of knowledge will return to you one hundred fold far quicker than you ever thought possible.

Brian Tracy, President of Tracy Learning Systems, a company that specializes in human development, and author of many excellent audio programs, says “The single most valuable piece of advice I could ever give anyone is to invest three percent of their income in themselves.” He maintains that people who follow this rule ultimately become the most successful people in the country in their chosen fields.

Life is too short to try to find all the answers for yourself. By drawing on the knowledge and experiences of others, you can shave months or even years off the time it takes you to achieve your goals and objectives. The more of this specialized and boiled down knowledge you acquire, the quicker you will move ahead. “This amazing cunningly clever series is loaded with practical, proven methods and techniques to attract more customers and make more sales than you will be able to handle. These little known marketing strategies are the keys to great business success!” – Brian Tracy, world-famous sales, management and motivational author of over 45 books.

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Start with the End in Mind

Notice I didn’t put this well-repeated piece of advice at the start of the blog as hundreds of other authors of “success” books have done. Why? Because as important as it is, it’s not nearly as important as the REAL-life stuff I’ve told you about: marketing, sales, and kaizen!

Most people would rather dazzle you with their visions than talk about boring stuff like training people how to sell, or profit and loss statements!

It is important to have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. This should be written down and take no more than a single page. If it takes more to explain, it’s most likely too complicated to succeed. That’s why many of the world’s best business plans were written on cocktail napkins!

Look for Holes in Your Market

Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared. - George Clason

Sam Walton became the world’s richest man in the 1990s using one fundamental strategy. He built his stores in smaller towns where his competition didn’t go because they thought there weren’t enough people to support a store. (Which just shows how wrong you can be.)

Southwest Airlines used the same initial strategy in building their company on less-traveled routes and secondary airports, where the gate fees were less.

I built a multimillion-dollar business in an industry no one had thought about—the karate business—that at its peak had 20,000 schools in the US alone. Earlier in my martial arts career, I had the only karate school in two different cities.

Finding the Little Strategy that Gives You a Big Edge

"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." - Sun Tzu

Very often the breakthrough marketing strategy that vaults your business beyond all your competitors can be very simple.

I had a client in New York whose surrounding area suddenly became predominately Asian in its ethnic make up. He had the foresight to put up a Korean language page on his website. (While many Koreans can speak English, far fewer read it well.) By being the only business of his kind in the area with information in Korean, he captured a huge share of this lucrative market while his competitors were sleeping.