Growing fast is not nearly as important as growing strong

18 12 2010

People always ask me for ideas that can grow their sales fast which is very easy for me. The problem is they get annoyed when I tell them to slow down and build great systems underneath the business before I build or while I build the sales. Here’s the thing everybody doesn’t realize to many sales can kill you your business faster than low sales because if the systems/ methods /structure you have in place can’t handle the growth. It will crush you and your customers will be very upset and probably leave . So I ask my clients “Do you  want to be here in five years or do you just want me to double your sales now?” If you interest in working with me be prepared with an answer I’m going to ask you as well.





the Next big thing in business — Advertising revolution

27 04 2009

Marketing and advertising is going thru the biggest changes right now you just don’t see it yet.  Within every failure there is a greater opportunity that rises from the ashes. Right now there many failures that are happening as our world transitions from a physical world into a purely virtual one. we have literally destroyed the value of many of the products that we used to own are now a completely invisible medium. your going from a world where you used to touch and feel things in order to understand their value to a world that is going to completely become dependent on how companies communicate to us why and how things will be valuable. Think about that because it is by far the most mind blowing thing I have  ever written in this blog. You used to judge the value of things by their physical medium and look at this list of the things where  you used to literally “judge a book by its cover” but can’t anymore, CD’s books, newspapers, balancing your checkbook, faxes, hand written letters, waiting AT HOME for a phone call or walking through a shopping mall. Now how are you going to judge the value of things because you are not personally invested? The less involved and invested you are the more dependent you become on the world around you to show you what the value of things are. You want proof –the housing crisis. This is crazy but the whole entire thing was predicated upon changing your belief of what your house was actually worth. Up until that point the value of your home was based on what you could afford with your paycheck but at some point we stopped believing in living in our housing and value of  a lifetime of memories it become a tool of which we could just make incredible money fast. All of the sudden we went around and started looking at looking at how much money we could be making and here is the key we somehow bought into the belief that housing prices were going to continue to accelerate like an Ebay auction. The whole time our income never double but our cost of our houses did and we believed that somehow we were going to be able to afford it. We trusted  what everybody around us was doing and saying we stopped trusting ourselves and what we could afford. So we learned our lesson hopefully but it still brought to the surface a much bigger truth that our lives are going to become more and more or new ways of perceiving value. True value is built on trust and since we learned a huge lesson in who we can’t trust the opportunity  NOW is in learning who we can. The new business model will be based on TRUST since being able to touch is no longer the medium we can judge products on. FOCUS on building TRUST in your communication. Thats why Apple has Microsoft scared. APPLE is based on one thing TRUST of the customer by delivering products that do one thing they ALWAYS work better then you expect.





U R L—-Ubiquity now –Revenue Later–

7 12 2008

URL– early internet term had a hidden meaning during the dot com days that I feel is unbelievably relevant with the state of the economy to every small business now.

 

I was on the phone with a client of mine and we we talking about the fact the everybody is in complete budget lockdown right now. No company is will to spend any money they can’t recoup immediately that line –cash is KING is the only truth in business right now. He said I remember this speaker years ago when the internet was first taking hold and it was all about getting people to remember your URL or (website address) and people just beginning to see the possibilities of making money online. He had this great quote that literally became the foundation of the “dotcom” era — URL–Ubiquity now –Revenue Later.

The idea making a business that people not only remember its so strong they can’t forget it if they tried.  

 

As a pure statement it is great but it also allowed bad investments in that era cause nobody knew what the financial payback of what that ubiquity was worth caused alot of turmoil. However on the flip side you could  never forget the pets.com puppet that now staring in in car insurance commericals–now that ubiquity. Great companies use downturns to exploit mindshare and marketshare of their customers. It was the companies that didn’t go broke and those that  came in right afterwards that reap the greatest benefits of that ubiquity.

 

Now to the present day when the nobody is going to be making money now is a great time to build the uniqueness of your business so that when consumer confidence does come back you’ll be the first business of your kind to make money ask yourself “what do I really want this business to be remembered for ?” Use the bad economy to build brand share, customer service excellence, going above and beyond for the customer BEFORE they have to ask you too, or heck ask your customer what times works best for them to shop be there, or personally deliver the product when they would never expect you to. Build the Ubiquity is easy now because everybody is so focused on their fears that when you go above and beyond for them you are literally saying “I still have a lot of faith in you right now” EVERYBODY needs to hear that right now. When you say it with your deeds customers Hear you big time!





Five Guys Burgers — How to Absolutely ensure Customer Happiness

4 07 2008

 In yet another great and revolutionary statement “5 Guys Burgers” does it again!!!!   This is the sign in the famous eatery.YOU DESERVE TO BE 100% SATISFIED– If not please inform the manager who will make things right.  I love that last part “WHO WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT” there is no doubt to what their intent is when it comes to your satisfaction. All small business should adopt this very strong stand when it comes to the customers experience while they are guests in your establishment.





How many customers have you lost in the last year?

14 06 2008

This is a question that focuses one the harder facts in business but shouldn’t be avoided out of fear. Actually this tough question has the enormous potential of really growing your business once again. It stems from that quote” you don’t know what you got till its gone”. You need to find out what your attrition rate is.If you are adding new customers to your business but not looking at the ones you are losing and more importantly the reasons why they are leaving then its like catching fish in a boat that has a leak in it (it does you no good cause you will still drown.)

The first part of this inventory is looking at how big that leak is and then determining what it will take to fix it. Find out what percentage of customers are leaving is crucial to putting programs in place to find out what you are doing wrong in their eyes so you can make your business stronger. There are only a few reasons why they left and often times the fix is so simple it will amaze you. #1 reason they don’t feel they have a need for your product or service anymore. In this case all you need to do is follow up with them and show them they are still important to you and how they can still use you business to their advantage in their life. It’s strange how the only thing that businesses FAIL to do is follow up with existing customers to find out what is it going to take for them to purchase another product or a second time . All you need to do is create an AUTOMATIC process for you business to do this. If you write to me at tom4change@gmail.com I can show you exactly how to do this to get the best return of customers possible. 





How much is it REALLY Worth? A guide for SERVICES pricing PART 1

10 05 2008

I have many clients that all the time undercut their value to give customers great pricing. Unfortunately it completely BACKFIRES on them and here is why. The job you do is directly tied to your price. Customer can’t see a service so they HAVE NOTHING to compare it against except itself. What I mean is this — if a customer has had the same service done in the past then they will judge your price and quality against that. However that being said if they have never needed a service like you offer in the past (and the majority of the time they haven’t) them they have nothing to compare it to. They can’t SEE the product before you complete the work they can only see the problem or challenge that they need to be solved. So they are really trying to your compare price against the RESULTS that you will produce for them.  The old FEAR about “you get what you pay for” is definitely true in the service sector your clients are scared that you are not going to be able to solve their problem to their satisfaction AND they will have to pay for your services. 

So when you undercut your price it direct correlates in their mind to the quality and your ability to deliver. Customers do not shop around for services the way they do for products because they do not understand what it will take to resolve their challenge (that’s why they are calling you). So NEVER EVER say to the customer you are the cheapest . What you perceive as helping them out actually does the opposite it provokes fear. This is why you may find customers don’t end up choosing you. So what do you do?

First of all spend more time with your customers understanding how much solving this problem is worth(more on this in future parts). Show them how you can solve their problem a little better then they expect(fear reducer). Guarantee your RESULTS (not enough service people do) it builds serious confidence in your potential customers in your ability because you are TAKING the risk(fear) away from them. Then OVER DELIVER and ask for referrals when they feel that you have.

 





Why Steve Jobs and Apple’s success has NOTHING to do with the Ipod,Iphone,Imac or any Iproduct they make

10 04 2008

Yep you heard me right. The reason why they are growing so fast has (almost)nothing to do with products they make. Tom Titlow  you have officially fallen off your rocker I can hear you now– no I haven’t just hear me out. What I am about say will blow your mind then make so much sense.  Then you can use it to grow your business with same exponential power that Mr. Jobs has used to grow Apple from pretty much broke to $165 Billion dollar company in less then 10 years. He used and continue to use a very few extremely simple rule to grow his company which EVERY business owner should be LIVING everyday they open their doors and yet they DON’T. Hopefully this post will show you why right now is the time for change. But first things first … the Apple products.

Do you realize how many amazing products are created every year that would have a greater impact on your life than your iphone or ipod and yet you never see them?  Hundreds if not thousands. 

So why don’t you find out about them somebody along the way lost the TRUE BENEFITING VALUE or the idea. They started believing in the product and lost sight of the abilities of the idea they had at its birth.

For example the idea of the cellphone was to be able to get in contact with people you wanted to WHERE you wanted and when you wanted. So to define this– it made human communication monumentally easier than it was when you had to use a landline phone. Then over the next 20+ years they added features to that device that made it much more than a phone (speakers, colors , internet, camera.. there are thousands of new features) these manufaturers[yes thats right becausue they just added fat to the idea if the phone–no true value to the original concept]. All the while because they where giving you all this stuff they made it HARDER to use so you were less likely to go to a competitor when a new feature arrived. They put so much on this thing you stopped using it for the original idea –Easier Communication. Finally somebody got frustrated enough to do something about it and he asked one question that NOBODY had bothered to in twenty years. How can I make this device Simple, easy to use and  give people back the ability to communicate with each other? Really dumb question but has caused epic shifts in a several industries. The key to what Steve Jobs does is this he look at things at the purest level of human interaction and has pretty much one goal how can we make this as simple yet universal as possible. Just goes to show you that the greatest ideas are usually those that rely on simple, profound truths that we all experience as human beings.  

OHH just wait for the SDK then your WHOLE idea of what a computer is will change too!!!

NEXT UP the IPOD- Getting music OUT of the Physical world–Finally