Article courtesy of Joe Gracia of www.GiveToGetMarketing.com
In today's PowerTips article I'm going to reveal for the first time my five-step method for achieving business success -- or success in achieving practically anything.
I devised this system during my many years of consulting with small business owners.
Here are a few of the results my clients have achieved with this simple five-step plan:
1. One small business owner grew her annual sales from $300,000 to $1.5 million.
2. Another business owner never made more than $2,000 a year from her hobby business. After I showed her how to use the 'Five-Step Plan' her sales immediately shot up to $150,000 and are still rapidly growing.
3. One small business owner was losing clients at a rate of 4 per month and was down to just 13 clients when I shared the plan with her. Within 2 years her client base surpassed 260 clients. She sold her business for a hefty profit and then started a new, successful business using the same plan.
4. Another not only increased his sales by $600,000 per year with this plan, but also dramatically improved his hiring system, his employee training results, his customer satisfaction ratings and more.
5. One travel agency client went from 13th place in her niche market to number 1 in just 2 years. Before using this plan, only 50% of her planned tour packages managed to make a profit. After the plan, that percentage of success rose to over 80%.
6. Another business owner had been stuck at $200,000 in annual sales for about five years. After he learned how to use the five-step plan it took just one year for him to exceed $400,000 in annual sales.
I could keep listing the successes that this five-step plan has helped to produce, but I'm sure you are ready to learn just what the five steps are in this remarkable plan.
Here they are:
Don't be fooled into thinking that these steps appear to be too simple. There is tremendous power in each step.
I guarantee that if you apply these steps to all aspects of your business, you too will see amazing results.
Here are the details of each step:
Important: Your goal should always be a number. (Examples: $33,000 in sales, 50 calls from this week's ad, 45% conversion, etc.)
In order to get anyplace you need to know two things.
-- where you are now
-- where you want to be
Where you are now:
Start by determining yout current results during a specific time period (daily, weekly or monthly, etc.) For instance, how many calls you are getting from your yellow pages ad each week, Or how many units of a particular product are you selling each week.
Now, turn that number into an average. If you get
Week 1: 10 calls
Week 2: 7 calls
Week 3: 13 calls
Week 4: 19 calls
Simply add those results together and then divide by the number of weeks. (49 divided by 4 = 12.3 Average Calls Per Week.
Now you know where you are.
Where you want to be:
Next set a new goal. Perhaps you want to generate 20 Average Calls Per Week.
Each week you will determine your new results and then average them each month. Once your average reaches 20 Average Calls Per week -- and stays there, you have achieved your goal.
Time to set a new goal.
Your deadline is the ultimate date by which you want to achieve your goal. Do you want to achieve it in one month? One year? or in 10 years?
If you don't set a deadline, there's a good chance you will never achieve your goal.
Imagine a school teacher telling her students that they must complete an assignment, but never telling them when it is due.
Human nature guarantees that most people will keep putting it off until the deadline looms near. No deadline, no action.
Here's an important element to setting a deadline:
You need to break the deadline down into shorter term deadlines so that you won't wait until the last possible minute to begin working towards your goal.
If you set a deadline for 1 year from today, then you need to set monthly and weekly deadlines.
If you want to achieve $50,000 in annual sales, then you will divide $50,000 by 12 months and 52 weeks to see that you need an average of $4167 in sales each month, and an average of $962 in sales each week.
Even though you have a long-term deadline of 1 year, you have broken it down into much shorter-term deadlines that will keep you on track to reach your ultimate goal.
This is the heart of this plan.
Having a goal and a deadline won't do anything for you unless you have an 'effective' method for achieving that goal. We call that method a system.
A system is a specific sequence of steps designed to achieve a specific result. A cake recipe is a system. Tying your shoes is a system. In fact, everything is a system when you think about it.
But there are effective systems, and there are ineffective systems.
If you are not getting the results you want from your current business efforts, for instance if your newspaper ad is not producing profitable results for you, then you are using an ineffective system.
The only way your results are going to improve is by improving your system.
The number one activity I performed while consulting with small business owners was showing them how to turn their ineffective systems into effective systems.
If you pass out flyers to generate sales for one of your services, and you get zero sales from that effort, then it should be obvious that your system was ineffective.
In order to make it more effective you must test possible improvements.
Perhaps you handed the flyer out to the wrong people. Try targeting different people.
Perhaps your headline on your flyer was weak, or perhaps your offer was weak, or perhaps you didn't make an offer at all. In that case, you need to learn how to write more effective headlines, or how to make more enticing offers.
You've probably heard the old saying about the definition of insanity:
'You keep doing the same things, and expect different results.'
It's not going to happen. If you want improved results then you 'must' improve your systems.
Suppose you don't know how to improve your systems? Then you need to learn how from someone who does know.
That's when you turn to books, courses or seminars from successful people.
And then you test those improvements to see if they improve your weekly or monthly numbers. If they do, then you have a new system that produces better results.
Continuous improvement of your systems is what business building is all about.
That's the question I would ask my clients every week concerning each of their business goals.
I wanted to know how many calls, units, sales, etc. their systems had generated the week before.
That is how you 'measure' your progress towards your goal.
If you determined that you need an average of 100 sales per week to achieve your annual goal, and as you measure your weekly progress you find that you are only generating an average of 50 sales, then you know that your system is not producing the number you need.
It's time to improve your system.
In order to measure your results, you need an accurate method for determining what your weekly numbers are.
When it comes to ads, flyers, brochures, etc. I always recommend assigning a tracking code to each marketing piece. One easy way to do that is to use a fictitious Extension number next to your phone number.
For instance for an ad in your local newspaper you could put the words Ask for Ext. 21 next to your phone number. When someone calls, simply ask them for the Extension number and record it on a tally sheet. You will then know exactly how many calls you received from that particular ad.
You can then gather your weekly numbers and add them up for the month.
By having your measures for each month you will have a clear record of your progress towards your goal.
Which brings us to our last step...
If you just gather your numbers on a sheet of paper, it will be very difficult for you to absorb what they are trying to tell you. You will quicly become overwhelmed by all of the data.
Here's the method I use.
I create a simple chart for each goal we are trying to achieve.
Along the left axis I put the numerical values we are trying to achieve (calls, units, dollars, etc.)
Along the bottom I put the time units (weeks, or months).
I call this chart our weekly or monthly report.
By recording a dot on our chart representing this week's or month's numbers we can see instantly where we've been and where we are right now.
If the dots are increasing towards our goal, then we are doing very well -- our systems are performing effectively.
If they are flat or decreasing away from our goal, then our systems are not performing as they need to, and we need to improve our systems.
These chart reports are powerful tools to keep you informed of your progress and focused on your goals.
Article courtesy of Joe Gracia of www.GiveToGetMarketing.com