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What's the difference between successful businesses and struggling businesses?
Have you ever noticed how some businesses seem to do extremely
well, and go from strength to strength, whilst the majority just
seem to muddle along?
Since starting my own business I've met many small business owners
and what I've noticed is that the vast majority of them seem to
just about get by, but few reach the level of success that they're
actually capable of. Some of them end up failing altogether, some
lurch from project to project, and some do OK, but never really
achieve the success or lifestyle they envisioned when they started
On the other hand, I know a handful of extremely successful service
business owners, who are making high 6 and 7 figure incomes every
year (and rising) - and yet they don't work longer hours, their
products and services are not magnitudes better than their competitors
and they aren't geniuses!
So what is the difference between the successful businesses and
the struggling businesses?
In a word: Marketing
Whilst there can be other factors that affect the ability of a
business or practice to be successful, such as the economy, trends,
cashflow and product/service quality or innovation, the number
one difference between successful high-flying businesses and their
struggling counterparts is good marketing.
Here is the lament of one survey respondent which is typical of
the angst felt by service business owners who know they do a good
job, but who don't understand why they don't have a queue of clients
at their door:
"We know our products and services are good - we get great feedback
from those clients we've worked with - but we still have trouble
getting potential customers to buy in. Our services offer real
benefits to clients but we are not as successful as we should
be when we see what other companies offer (not as much) and yet
are still very successful."
If you offer a quality service or product that produces great
results for your customers or clients, and yet you're still struggling
to get all the clients that you want or need, or to charge the
fees you deserve, you probably have a marketing problem.
What do highly successful business owners do that others do not?
The first thing that they do is to realise that their primary
objective is to build their practice or client base. In the words
of Michael Gerber (who wrote The E-myth) they "work ON their businesses,
not IN their businesses". What this involves is making the time
to work on the business - in particular on marketing and product
or service development, rather than spending all of their time
handling clients, delivering services and dealing with administration.
They also look for areas where they can gain "leverage". Simply
put, this means gaining maximum return for every hour they work.
Instead of trading hours for pounds or dollars, they find ways
to do the work once and get paid for it many times. They find
ways to market their services one to many, instead of one to one
(thus reducing marketing and sales effort and time). They delegate
those activities which take up a lot of time (but which don't
add much value in terms of moving the business forward) or which
they are not skilled in such as admin, accounting, website maintenance
They also develop a success mindset, understand their strengths
and weaknesses, take risks, innovate, hang out with other successful
people and build a support network around themselves.
But above all, they learn how to market their businesses and create
a marketing system that keeps a steady stream of prospects knocking
at the door, without taking up all of their time!
About the author:
Jane Hendry helps professionals, consultants and coaches to create
marketing systems that easily and consistently attract their ideal
clients. To get your f*ree Attraction Marketing Starter Kit please
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