Posts Tagged ‘Cherie Eilertsen’

The Stupid Business: Fifteen Guaranteed Signs That Your Business Will Fail

May 10, 2012

If you have a few minutes now, stop what you are doing, fasten your seatbelt & read this. Hectic stuff! Best advice ever! If you “like” the Cherie Power Coach page on facebook & you will receive great articles regularly.

by Cherie Power Coach on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 5:59pm ·

Following is a copy of our most popular article ever. Business owners nationwide and overseas have downloaded and requested reprints, and business people use it successfully to attract clients & reframe their businesses. 

Here is the article: 

The Stupid Business: Fifteen Guaranteed Signs That Your Business Will Fail 

There are smart businesses and stupid businesses.

Smart businesses grow profitably, generate cash flow, increase in value over time, and operate without significant input from the founders. Stupid businesses aren’t set up to do any of these things, and are destined to eventually fail. 

Following are fifteen signs that you might have a stupid business: (with kind permission Andrew Neitlich) 

1. Marketing is not a priority. It is a sad but true fact that the most successful businesses do not always provide the best products or services.

Often, less deserving businesses do better because they make marketing a top priority. If your business isn’t using at least seven different channels to get visible, then it is at risk. 

2. You do not have a detailed cash flow budget and projections. Cash flow and profits are not the same thing, and the number one reason businesses fail – even those with strong potential – is because they run out of cash. It is essential to know how much cash you have, and how much you will need in the near and mid-term. Use a variety of different scenarios to assure enough cash in case of unanticipated problems or delays. 

3. You aren’t developing sources of leverage.

Businesses that last learn to operate without depending on the founders or owners. Smart businesses have standards, systems, and documented processes in place to provide leverage for owners and grow without depending on one or more key people. 

4. You don’t have an “edge” in your marketplace.

If you are a me-too business offering the same service, pricing, and products as everyone else, you won’t last long. You need some sort of edge that matters to your prospects and customers and keeps them coming back. Your advantage can include proprietary technology, product leadership, operational excellence, unique distribution channels, protected sources of labor or supplies, and more. 

5. You provide lousy customer service. No business owner ever admits to providing lousy customer service, and yet too many businesses do just that. It is crucial to understand your customer’s expectations, know the “magic moments” when you can make or break the customer’s experience, measure results, train employees to delight customers, and put in place standards and processes to assure consistent service. 

6. Your business lacks focus. Entrepreneurs love to start new things up, and this can be deadly for cash flow and customer perceptions. Know what you do well, and for whom, and be the best in that niche. Don’t have visions of grandeur. Don’t try to own the whole world. It is expensive to launch new products and enter new markets. For instance, a local boxing gym decided to get into kickboxing and mixed martial arts. They quickly lost their loyal base of boxing clients, without attracting enough new martial arts clients. Fortunately, the owner saw his mistake and regained his focus on boxing. 

7. You don’t have the right people to succeed. Businesses need talent – “the right people in the right seats on the bus” as Jim Collins writes.

If you don’t have systems in place to recruit, train, reward, and retain top talent, your business won’t last as long as it otherwise could. 

8. You spend too much money on things that are unrelated to getting more customers and meeting their needs. Larry Ellison of Oracle used to say, “If you aren’t making it or selling it, what are you doing here?” Prune your business expenses to focus on those activities that add direct value to the customer. For instance, I worked with one business that had huge legal expenses related to contracts, trademarks, and patents. The business ran out of cash because of these costs. It would have been smarter to first test its products, use do-it-yourself legal services, and then spend money protecting its assets after proving market demand. 

9. You don’t set a clear direction that every employee understands and embraces. Many business owners keep their strategy and goals in their head, without communicating clearly to employees.

It is much more powerful to have a dialogue with employees about where you want to take the company, what it can do best, how it can make more money, and resources required to get it there. 

10. Your fixed costs are too high. Constantly find ways to reduce fixed costs. Thanks to technology and the increased acceptance of contract labor, you can have a lean, mean, virtual organization and avoid huge overhead. 

11. Your attitude is wrong. One of the biggest reasons businesses don’t last beyond the life of the original owner is because the owner cared more about ego, status, and maintaining control than on having a successful business. Strong business leaders surrender control to top talent, and place greater emphasis on bottom-line results than on their status or ego. 

12. You don’t live by metrics. The best businesses pick a few key things to measure and constantly improve on those metrics. Examples include:number of leads, conversion rate, dollars spent per transaction, repeat business, and gross profit margin. 

13. Your business fails the five forces test.

Michael Porter devised the five forces model of competitive advantage. If you don’t have lots of control over your vendors or customers, face significant government regulation, work in a highly fragmented industry with lots of competition, and anyone can easily enter your industry, then your business could be set for lots of trouble. 

14. Lots of cash goes out before cash comes in.

If your revenue cycle requires large outflows to generate cash inflows, then you are perpetually at risk of losses. For instance, imagine an event promotion company that needs to put down huge deposits in the hopes that lots of people will come to the event; that is a highly risky business and it is no wonder that so many promotion companies come and go. 

15. You can’t easily predict future revenues.

The best businesses know that $X in marketing will generate $Y in sales, every time. The worst businesses face highly unpredictable revenue streams. To bring back the example of the promotions company, it is extremely difficult to know on a given date whether lots of people will come to an event or not, especially events with large ticket sales the day of a show. Poor weather, competing events, local traffic jams, and shocking news can all ruin an event. 

If your business meets even a few of the above criteria, I wish you the best of luck. You are going to need it.

Cherie Eilertsen

HOW TO DEVELOP A “TARGET PROSPECT” STRATEGY.

April 30, 2012

Some members have had excellent results with this “Target Prospect” strategy.

Here is what they do: 

1. Choose about 100 prospects with whom you would love to work. (Adjust the number according to your capacity). 

2. Develop a series of personalised e-mail letters to reach these prospects. Each letter should demonstrate your value up front with facts and data that get attention – as well as information that your prospects will value. 

3. Send your e-mail letters to your target prospect list.

 4. Follow up with a phone call, or an sms, a facebook note, a tweet etc and perhaps even a visit to introduce yourself. 

5. Repeat. Don’t be a pest, but do continue to follow up with educational, valuable information. 

6. Over time, some of these prospects will want to meet with you. They will all know who you are. 

7. Replenish your list as prospects become clients, or as prospects tell you they are clearly not interested in what you have to offer. Always have 100 target prospects (or whatever number you choose, given your goals). 

8. Continue to get visible with your target market using the other two strategies described in the last 2 posts on this  facebook page. 

 If you want to learn more about these, & 100’s of other strategies & tactics, join our live SA program program in June 2012, conducted by Harvard MBA & business coach, author Andrew Neitlich (21 million copies sold) 

Cherie Eilertsen

FOCUS ON SPECIFIC NICHE MARKET(s).

April 1, 2012

Too many professionals mistakenly think that “everyone is a client.”

While that may be true, this mindset leads to superficial, generic, and expensive marketing. It is much more powerful to focus on a specific niche market.

That way, you can develop a targeted message that will really get your audience’s attention – and get them to spread the word about you.

Also, you can set yourself apart from other professionals who are “all things to all people.”

By choosing a specific niche, you can reach targeted prospects & decision makers.

Cherie Eilertsen

How to Attract Clients

March 10, 2012

To attract clients, you need to know some key skills, including how to: 

Talk about what you do so that prospects see immediate value in your solutions. 

Get visible in your market so that prospective clients perceive you to be a credible expert. 

Educate the market about what you do in ways that has them calling you to learn more. That way, you don’t have to chase them; they come to you. 

– Use low-cost, high-impact ways to attract clients, including using online tactics and social media

Convert interested prospects into paying clients. 

Charge based on your value, so that you don’t fall into the trap of having “low pricing self- esteem” or getting paid hourly rates as a generic. 

 – Simple, but powerful advice. Try it! Don’t ask yourself whether you KNOW this, ask yourself whether you are DOING it. 

This platform gives you the strategies, tactics, and action plan that you need to fill your practice with clients. 

Until next time

Cherie Eilertsen

How to become the Trusted Advisor

February 10, 2012

Today, lets look at the importance of becoming a trusted advisor to your clients.  

Most people don’t want a salesperson.

This surprises many people – especially given that I train people around the world to be salespeople. But it is true, and the reason is that you want to position yourself more powerfully.

 Therefore,  engage in discussions with your clients about their most pressing issues, and position yourself as someone who can help to provide valuable solutions over the long term. Be there to help your clients succeed, both personally and professionally. Be objective,  have no hidden agenda, and  focus like a laser on providing value and support. When your clients know that, they will become willing to open up and share with you, challenges that they would not share with colleagues, teammates, board members, investors, or key employees. 

As a result, your clients stay with you for a long, long time. They set you up to provide solutions to others in their organizations. 

Because you know how to be a trusted advisor, you don’t need many clients to make a great living. 

Try it. 

This frees you up to go from being a solo professional to building a real business that is growing and generates wealth….which you will learn about as we continue these posts

Cherie Eilertsen

How do you rate?

December 11, 2011

Today I just want to ask 3 simple questions. Don’t underestimate the power that lies within easy reach of the answers:

  1. What do you know something about? (In what area or market sector do you have a body of knowledge. What business area or hobby do you know well. Have you taken any courses, gained any experience or built up know-how in any particular area?)
  2. Are you blogging/facebooking/tweeting/emailing/sharing it? (your platform of choice does not matter. Your information does) 
  3. Who is following you, listening to you or reading what you are sharing? (track your followers. Give them what they want)

by Cherie Eilertsen

Is conventional advertising dead?

November 17, 2011

If not dead, it is dying. The audience has changed. Their likes, needs & wants have changed. Their attention span has changed.

For advertising to work, it needs to adapt to its changing market. The ads of yester year will no longer interest or captivate the target of tomorrow.

Ads today, need to speak directly to the interest of the reader. Social media allows advertisers to know their target. It facilitates & enables a transparancy which allows for direct, targeted, niche, specific advertising,  to particular segments.

Your ads are working, if they are talked about. They are working if they are watched or read by “choice“. They are working if they are passed on, & googled. They are really working if they go viral.

  • Rethink your advertising
  • Rethink your target
  • Rethink their interest in your product
  • Rethink your message
  • Rethink your delivery

by Cherie Eilertsen

What is “experience” marketing?

October 10, 2011

Experience marketing is when a product is presented or marketed in such a way, that it is an emotional, encompassing, involving & emotional experience.

Experience marketing involves the target market.  It includes the target market. It appeals to the senses in a way that is important to the audience, & not the just the marketer.

Experience marketing is an event. It is not just a product transaction. It goes beyond the transaction & enters a whole new realm. It sweeps up the target market & takes them on a journey. It is more like a story than an advert. It is more like the feature film than the ad break. It works!

When last did you lead your target maket through an experience?

by Cherie Eilertsen

Why is Connectivity important?

September 18, 2011

It is important to be connected. It is important to stay connected.

It is important to share your information & your stories with like minded people. We are seeing a shift in people dynamics, as people who may not even know each other, congregate into groupings, based on unseen threads which bind them together.

Who are you connected with?

by Cherie Eilertsen

Is Knowledge a currency?

September 16, 2011

Yes, it most certainly is! It is one of the most relevant currencies of our time.

  • What do you know?
  • Do you share it?
  • If not, how could you share it?
  • Do you have readers?
  • If not, how could you cultivate readers?
  • Do you write, blog, facebook, or tweet, your knowledge?
  • If not… start today!

by Cherie Eilertsen