8 Ways to Make Millions in Business

White Paper 8 Ways to Make Millions in Business In association with 8x8, Inc. 8 Ways to Make Millions in Business By Roger Pierce, BizLaunch Co-Foun...
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White Paper 8 Ways to Make Millions in Business

In association with 8x8, Inc.

8 Ways to Make Millions in Business By Roger Pierce, BizLaunch Co-Founder

A Free How-to Guide for Small Business

Contents Review & Renew: Always Cover the Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Review your business annually. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Understand the “why” behind your results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Renew your business plan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Tap into Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Know what technology can do for you. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Know your technology options. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Master your Marketing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Take a look at your brand. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Current customers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Prospecting for new customers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Embrace Social Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Social media tools and how to use them. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Always be Selling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Sales strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Sales tactics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Sales channels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Manage your Numbers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Cash flow counts!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Get the money in your bank account fast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Improve profit margins by controlling expenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Manage Yourself . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 S.M.A.R.T. Goals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Know your time management issues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Tips to manage your time effectively . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Learn from the Success of Others. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Traits of successful entrepreneurs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Do what successful entrepreneurs do. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 About the Author. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 About 8x8, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

White Paper 8 Ways to Make Millions in Business

Review & Renew: Always Cover the Basics

As a small business owner, you need to constantly work on sales, marketing and customer service. You need to watch your financial position and optimize operations. There are many demands on your time yet it’s also important to pull yourself out of the daily details and review the basics on a monthly and quarterly basis. On an annual basis, you should take an even closer look at the big picture. Review your business annually

Renew your business plan

Every year your accountant pulls together

If you don’t yet have a business plan, you

your year-end numbers. You get to see:

should. Write a business plan to achieve

• Your profit/loss position

to rewrite it, but review it and make the

• What products or services sold best

changes required to ensure that you’re

• When the sales were made

prepared for the coming year.

• The length of the sales cycle

The analysis you did of your results

• What sales were most profitable

from last year will help you do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,

This data is rich with information that can

and Threats) analysis for the coming year.

help you review and renew your business.

Take an hour to consider the strengths,

Understand the “why” behind your results When you see your financial results, take a bit of time to understand the “why” behind them. Were the results due to: • A one-time opportunity or challenge in the marketplace? • A new market trend for your business to address? • New competition or a change in the competition’s business strategy? • Technology changing people’s purchasing methods? • Internal issues that need correcting?

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your vision. If you have one, you don’t have

weaknesses, opportunities and threats you have for the next 12 months. With a solid understanding of these, you can update your plan. Adjust your business plan where it is affected by your SWOT analysis paying particular attention to: • Your vision • Your brand and its position in the marketplace • Sales and marketing • Financial projections • Operations and lowering costs

White Paper 8 Ways to Make Millions in Business

› Know It Making money and strategically saving money both improve your bottom line.

Tap into Technology Using technology effectively lowers the cost of sales, marketing, operations and more. You can save money in just about every aspect of your business. Keep up with the latest trends and you can even lower the cost of your technology.

• VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) offers full telephone comunications services over the internet and delivers a significant cost savings over traditional phone services. Plus you get more advanced features like larger companies. –– Local number porting with VoIP lets you have a local number and presence

Know what technology can do for you Looking at your business plan, consider how

anywhere. –– Voice mail-to-email lets you receive

your business will run in the next year and

voice mail messages via email

how technology can help you:

automatically.

• Streamline sales • Lower your cost of marketing • Improve communications

• Virtual Meetings – employees and customers can meet on the web. –– Use the conference bridge provided by your VoIP service provider.

• Lower communications costs • Lower transportation costs

AbiWord for word processing; WordPress

• Increase the value of your assets

and Bebo for blogs. There is free

customers

Know your technology options

Technology helps you coordinate and streamline your business for success.

• Cloud computing, by definition, is using online services rather than buying software for your computer(s). –– Virtual Office Systems let you

software for just about anything.

Master your Marketing Simply put, marketing is building awareness with customers and motivating them to buy. Accomplish those two things and you’ll be a master marketer.

coordinate documents like a larger

Take a look at your brand

company.

Start by thinking in terms of your ideal

–– Basecamp is a web-based project collaboration tool. –– Central Desktop lets staff and

customer. Does your brand still work for them? Identify the values, quality, price point and social position you want your brand to represent. Your brand shouldn’t

customers collaborate, communicate

change often but sometimes a small

and share files.

tweak can make a big difference. Tweak if

–– Time to Note tracks communications with customers and suppliers. –– Remember The Milk reminds you of important tasks via Twitter, SMS, iPhone, etc. –– Ta-da Lists allows you to make lists for yourself or to share with others.

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editing; Google docs, OpenOffice or

• Improve office efficiencies

• Provide insight into your operations and

› Know It

• Free software – Pixlr or Picnik for image

necessary, then decide on your marketing strategy and develop it into a marketing plan.

White Paper 8 Ways to Make Millions in Business

› Know It Your brand tells customers to trust you. Handle it with care.

Current customers

• Free samples – let your product speak

Keeping customers is less expensive than

for itself but ensure that it is only given

finding new ones. You know who they

to high quality prospects.

are, how to reach them and when they

• Advertising – magazines, newspapers,

buy. Don’t forget your existing customers

and online advertising are expensive, so

when developing your marketing plan.

target carefully.

Reach current customers via a newsletter (electronic or hard copy) or your website and provide them with value-added information such as: • Product and service updates • Free offers or specials • Industry news and events • Reprints of valuable articles and recent research • Case studies that show new ways

• Referrals – getting new customers through existing customers is the most effective and efficient way to build your business.

Embrace Social Media Like traditional marketing tools, social media can be used to deliver information to a targeted group. Unlike traditional marketing tools, it has a farther reach and encourages discussion. Traditional media

customers are successfully using your

is one-way communication whereas social

offering

media is two-way communication. It’s about

Prospecting for new customers

engagement.

Growing your business requires new

When social media discussions take place,

customers. Market to them efficiently with:

the word spreads. If the word is good, your business will benefit. If it is bad, your

• Website – having a website is as

› Know It Social media conversations about your business will happen. It’s important to be part of them.

of the conversation so that you can help

cost of hosting is negligible. Ensure that

grow the good and address the bad.

the design reflects your brand and your marketplace. Keep it up to date. • Networking – it takes some time but the financial cost is very low. Make sure that you are networking with the right people and go to the same groups often so that you become known as stable and reliable. • Public relations – hire a publicist or

Social media tools and how to use them Facebook Facebook is great for connecting with consumers. You can have a Facebook page, a Facebook Fan Page and a Facebook Group. According to comScore, nearly ten percent of users’ total online time is spent on Facebook. If Facebook is where your

spend some of your own time on a few

customers spend the majority of their time

highly-targeted media outlets.

on the Web, then that’s where you should

• Trade shows – though expensive, they can be very effective in reaching quality prospects.

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business can suffer. It’s important to be part

fundamental as having a phone. The

be investing your time and marketing dollars as well.

White Paper 8 Ways to Make Millions in Business

Twitter

Groupon

› Know It

Twitter is good for connecting with

These services take word of mouth viral.

There are free places where you can promote your web pages.

consumers and other businesses. You sign

Companies put forward special offers that

up and follow people of interest to you to

will only be valid if a specified number of

see what they say. People follow you and,

people purchase the offer within a specified

if you tweet something interesting, they

period of time. This encourages those who

will re-tweet what you said so that their

want to buy the offer to email their friends,

followers would then see it. They may then

tweet it, like it, or digg it so that enough

follow you and your network and influence

people buy. Essentially, your customers are

grows. More and more people have the

marketing for you.

chance to hear about you. LinkedIn LinkedIn is primarily for business-tobusiness networking. You set up an account, find people you know and ask to add them to your network. Join groups and invite people to connect. It all grows your network and contacts for business purposes. News Feeds Give your customers the opportunity to subscribe to your latest events, special offers and more from your website. With a news feed, they will receive this information via email or on their desktop.

Always be Selling A business can’t survive without sales. It is the lifeblood of every profitable business and must be a priority in everything you do. There are essentially four ways to improve sales results. You can: • Attract new customers • Increase how much each customer purchases • Encourage customers to purchase from you more frequently • Keep your customers happy and loyal Notice that three of the four ways to

› Know It

Blogs

It is estimated that it costs up to five times more to find a new customer than to keep a current customer happy.

or can be part of your website. They are

Sales strategies

informal opportunities to communicate your

These sales strategies are useful for both

Blogs can stand separately on the net

message. Your readers can comment on your information. Stumbleupon, Digg, Reddit... These are social media bookmarking sites. They are free places where you can promote your web pages and blog posts. As more people indicate that they like your submissions, more people will see them.

increase sales focus on current customers.

current and prospective customers. • Customer service: keep in contact and respond to customers’ needs promptly. • Cross-sell: educate customers about other products you offer. • Up-sell: when the time is right, encourage your customer to upgrade. • Volume discounts: offer discounts on bulk purchases or long-term agreements.

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White Paper 8 Ways to Make Millions in Business

• Targeting: understand who your best

› Know It

customers are and why they buy from

Keep in touch with customers and prospects by staying top of mind with valuable information in Newsletters and emails.

you; then target your sales efforts to attract more of them. • Referrals: ask for referrals from happy customers. • Networking: connect online and face-toface with quality prospects. • Cross-promotions: collaborate with suppliers that sell to similar markets to expand your sales reach. • Samples: offer samples to introduce your product, then follow up and close the deal. • Special offers: develop special offers for both new and existing customers.

Sales tactics • Develop and maintain a quality database. • Schedule regular contact with

• Manufacturer’s sales rep • Sales agent • Wholesale

Manage your Numbers Business success all comes down to dollars and cents. Work with your accountant and bookkeeper throughout the year to stay in tune with your financial picture. Monitor your bank account carefully for any unusual activity and know where you stand every month when compared to the projections in your business plan.

Cash flow counts! A business can exist for a while without being profitable, but it can’t exist at all without cash flow. To be able to spend the money necessary for success, you need money coming in, whether it’s from investors, loans or sales. To improve your cash flow:

customers. • Contact customers before they should be ready to reorder.

› Know It Develop a cash flow forecast so you know when your cash flow might be down and plan for it.

• Stay top of mind with your customer with added-value information.

Sales channels The right sales channel for your company will depend on your product/service and

• Make more sales • Collect on sales promptly • Keep expenses down • Control when you pay your expenses • Know when your cash flow might be down and plan for it • Sell off under-used assets

your client. Are you selling to the end users? Is it a consumer? Is it another business?

Develop a cash flow forecast based on

Here are the most common options:

anticipated sales and expenses to identify and plan for any gaps in cash flow that

• Online sales • Telephone sales • Retail store front • Broker • Distributor

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could endanger your company.

White Paper 8 Ways to Make Millions in Business

› Know It Cash flow is like oxygen. It comes in, it goes out and you won’t survive long without it.

Get the money in your bank account fast Some small business owners find it difficult

your bottom line. • Consider leasing over buying – it spreads

aside; it is an important part of running any

the cost of the expense over the life of

successful company. These tips will make it

an asset’s use.

• Accept credit cards. They may charge

Manage Yourself

a commission but getting the money

All small business owners struggle with too

in sooner can be worth it. You might

many priorities and too little time. Be clear

also be able to build the cost of the

on what you want from your business and

credit card commission into your price

develop goals to get you there.

structure. • Offer a discount for those who pay upfront in cash. • Require a deposit before work on a job has begun. • Invoice promptly on completion of a sale. • Require cash on delivery. • Offer a discount if they pay on time. • Check on a customer’s credit rating before accepting the sale. • Collect on overdue accounts promptly.

Accepting credit cards can help you get your money sooner with less hassle.

to make sure that it will contribute to

to collect on accounts. Put those concerns

easier.

› Know It

• Think twice before you acquire an asset

Improve profit margins by controlling expenses • Compare prices and terms before making a purchase. • Negotiate for a 60 day payment term (if possible) to slow cash going out. • Be loyal to reliable suppliers, but if their prices are out of line, ask them to bring them in control. • If you must pay up front, pay by credit card to defer the payment by 30 days. • Control and limit your employee expense cards.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals Setting effective goals requires a bit of thought. They should be written down and they should be S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timespecific. To make them even smartER, they should be evaluated and reviewed regularly.

Know your time management issues Before developing the right time management plan for you needs, it’s helpful to identify your time management issues. Do you have time management problems due to: • Difficulty making a decision or constantly changing your mind? • Avoiding certain tasks such as cold calling or accounting? • Spending too much time on personal calls or chit-chatting rather than getting to the point in a conversation? • Unexpected meetings or people dropping by your office? • Underestimating the time a task will take? • Not delegating tasks? • Being disorganized? • Micro-managing employees?

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White Paper 8 Ways to Make Millions in Business

If you take the time to learn how you spend

› Know It

your time, you will also learn how to use the

Success is a matter of how you rise to your challenges.

time you have more effectively.

• A positive outlook

Tips to manage your time effectively

• Confidence

• Develop practical, precise and achievable “To Do” lists. • Identify what is important and what is urgent. Do the things that are both first, and what is simply important second.

• Discipline • Organizational skills • Perseverance

Do what successful entrepreneurs do Building a successful small business doesn’t

well as yourself. • Plan your week in advance. • Invite people to meetings electronically to avoid long discussions about availability. Schedule as few meetings as possible and keep them as short as possible. • Learn to say no and don’t make promises you can’t keep. • Delegate all tasks possible.

You can only spend a dollar and use an hour once. Use both wisely.

• Passion

others have promised you as well as • Develop “To Do” lists for departments as

› Know It

for the future

• On your “To Do” list, keep track of what what you have promised them.

• Plan for time to catch up on items undone. • Turn off your phone and email to stay focused.

Learn from the Success of Others

happen overnight. Entrepreneurs work hard. • Network strategically because who you know counts. • Share your ambition with others. Verbalizing makes it real and by sharing it you’ll uncover opportunities. • Know that you can’t do everything or know everything, look for and accept help. • Be a student of success. Keep learning. Take seminars, read business books, etc. • Ensure that your financial foundation is solid. • Focus on cash flow almost as much as profits. • Accept only the best from yourself and your suppliers. • Know your customers and your

Learn from the success of those around

employees. Stay connected and support

you. Be curious. Why is the restaurant

those who count.

you’re eating at successful? What made you choose that supplier? Break down successful companies to learn what makes

• Know your strengths and put your energy into what you do well.

them so – then apply what you can to your

• Delegate your weaknesses.

own business.

• Schedule and plan carefully.

Traits of successful entrepreneurs

• Set reasonable goals.

Whether they come to you naturally or you

• Surround yourself with supporters.

have to work at them, here are some traits to cultivate for success:

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• Vision – work in the present while aiming

White Paper 8 Ways to Make Millions in Business

About the Author Roger Pierce is passionate about helping entrepreneurs achieve success. BizLaunch co-founders Andrew Patricio and Roger Pierce came together in 2003 to begin sharing their “been there, done that” knowledge and experience gleaned from launching 22 small businesses. They formed the company to pursue one simple mission: To help new entrepreneurs succeed through education and training. BizLaunch has advised over 20,000 new entrepreneurs worldwide, employs a growing number of head office staff and works with over 40 regional BizLaunch Small Business Trainers located in cities across the country.

About 8x8, Inc. In business, it pays to have connections you can rely on. At 8x8, we’re focused on delivering business communications solutions that are outrageously affordable, amazingly easy to use and incredibly advanced. From business phone service to web conferencing, managed hosting to unified communications, we’ve got innovative technology that just works better. 8x8 offers complete business phone systems that delivers affordable, feature-rich phone service right over your Internet connection. More than 20,000 businesses have chosen 8x8 as their connection for better business communications. Find out more at www.8x8.com.

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