Starting a business is risky. Very few businesses last 10 years, and even fewer actually achieve massive profits. So why do so few businesses achieve this level of success? A more important question is, what do the businesses that achieve massive profits do differently from the other 99 percent of businesses? My experience over the last 30+ years of working with thousands of business owners has taught me that successful companies add action to good ideas.
These owners see what their competitors are doing and do the opposite. Why? Because it makes sense! Remember, 80 percent of start-up businesses don’t last five years and only five percent of the surviving companies actually achieve massive growth and profits. So why copy your competitors if 99 percent of all startups fail to survive or make massive profits? Obviously, most of them are not doing the right things. See what they are doing and then do something else!
Industrious business owners have good ideas and are able to identify and market their Unique Selling Proposition (USP). They know how to advertise their product or service to the consumer in a way that answers that all-important question: Out of all the choices available to the customer, including doing nothing, why should they buy from you?
Successful business owners know how to increase sales. They understand that every business is a marketing business. They become experts at marketing and selling their products and services. These uber-successful businesses spend the vast majority of their time getting new customers and upselling to their current customers. They work at providing legendary customer service that leads to happy customers and regular referrals.
They understand that profits, not sales, are what really matter. They work hard to control their costs. They concentrate first on controlling employee costs and the cost of goods sold (COGS). This is where 50 to 75 percent of costs are in most businesses, but most owners spend more time managing their phone bill than cutting costs in these two critical areas.
Successful business owners make decisions based on documented data. They are also masters of productivity and time management. They understand that the most valuable asset in any business is the owner’s time, so they learn how to maximize it so they can work on what really matters: increasing sales and profits.
Successful business owners are always trying to come up with new business ideas. All business owners who have taken their business to the next level do the following:
- They read at least one business book per month.
- They subscribe to multiple general business and industry-specific publications to spot trends early and get ideas on how to improve their business.
- They all have had the help of a business coach to guide them through the steps necessary for growing a successful business.
- They are not afraid to take ideas from other industries. Think of Netflix who took an idea from product-of-the-month clubs and applied it to movie rentals. This idea literally destroyed the market leader, Blockbuster.
Finally, every successful business owner has a laser-like focus on taking action. They understand that successful businesses occur when the owner makes consistent improvements.
They start by making a list of their long-term business goals. Then they figure out what they have to do this year in order to reach them. What do they have to do this quarter, this month, this week, and today to reach those annual goals?
Successful business owners know that the secret to massive profits is the combination of good ideas with a laser focus on monthly action. This is the mantra you must follow. Think of how much better your company would be if you committed to working four hours per week on improving your business. Do that for 50 weeks this year, and you will have worked 200 hours on improving your business. How many of your competitors are making this kind of investment? Worse yet—what if one of your competitors does and you don’t? How far behind will you be?
So steal an idea from Nike and “Just do it!” Review this issue and our past issues and find the articles that discuss the one area you feel needs the most improvement. Print out the homework for those articles, do the work, and implement the changes.
Do this every month and I guarantee that 2016 will be your most profitable year ever.