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!

Look Outside of Your Industry to Find Innovation

"There’s a way to do it better - find it." - Thomas Edison

Ninety-five percent of your competitors in any city or industry will be manufacturing, selling, and marketing in exactly the same way as you are. That’s why it’s so important to look beyond your locale and your industry for ideas and opportunities.

In the late 1990s I enjoyed tremendous success by looking at what type of business-to-business services were available in the “real” world and then adapting them to the martial arts business.

Save Time, Earn Money, Increase Quality – Outsource Everything!

"If it flies, floats or fornicates, always rent it... it’s cheaper in the long run." - Felix Dennis

In this day and age, the more you can outsource, the better. Outsourcing reduces fixed overhead for wages and space. Outsourcing allows you to change vendors quickly and easily if they are not meeting expectations or deadlines. Outsourcing allows you to gear up or gear down easily. Outsourcing allows you to get specialized help rather than forcing your existing staff to do things they are ill-trained or ill-equipped to do well.

Outsourcing usually costs more per hour than doing it in-house, but overall you will save money. For example, a lot of my clients try to do telemarketing in-house, especially when things are slow in the winter. The employees they reassign to make the calls are usually untrained, hate it, and generally fail without finishing the job. It would be far cheaper and more effective in the long run to outsource this to a telemarketing company and let them deal with the headaches.

Become a Business Sponge

Invest three percent of your income in yourself (self-development) in order to guarantee your future. - Brian Tracy

Before you start your new venture, commit to becoming a business sponge. Soak up every bit of key information you need to rapidly increase your competence in sales, marketing, time management, and other key entrepreneurial skills that will dramatically affect the ultimate success of your business.

It’s a pretty simple yet seldom discussed fact that competence in various disciplines of business brings success, lack of competence—failure.

Never Fall in Love with Your Product

"Experience is what you get when you are looking for something else." - Mark Twain

Mark Twain lost his entire fortune on a series of entrepreneurial ideas, most notably a typesetting machine that never actually worked. Twain, like many of us, fell in love with the idea and simply didn’t know when to say stop.

I have a friend in the exotic car business whom I visit quite often. Every time I’m down at his house, he has a Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bentley, or some other beautiful car in the driveway. He lets me drive whatever he has, which for a car nut like me is heaven. Invariably I say, “Why don’t you keep this one?”

Hire Slowly

The key for us, number one, has always been hiring very smart people. - Bill Gates

In this section, you could easily get the impression I am an ungrateful ogre of a boss. I am not. I have had some brilliant employees without whose help I would not be where I am today.

I have helped many of my former employees (several of whom are now millionaires) in countless ways: from loans to buying them cars to paying emergency vet bills. I have paid many people very well, trained many in new skills, and been flexible with time off and bonuses—but that’s for the good ones, the keepers. These will, unfortunately, be among the minority of people you hire. But you can minimize your pain. You want to be careful when hiring as, make no mistake about it, the vast majority of your headaches will come from your employees’ performance or lack of it, NOT YOURS.