A sixth form of leverage is Other People’s Ideas. One good idea is all you need to birth a fortune. The more you read, learn, discuss and experiment, the more likely it is that you will come across an idea that, combined with your own abilities and resources, will make you a great success in your field. Of course, ideas in and of themselves are not all it takes. The world is full of people who will eagerly share with you their “if only” tales. How often have you heard, “I had this great idea but before I could get around to doing something with it, someone else came out with it and made millions. If only I’d done something with it!”? It is the person who acts on an idea who reaps the benefits. If it’s your own original idea, good for you. But some research can open your eyes to a never ending stream of Other People’s Ideas that, when wrapped up in a sound plan and put into action, can form the basis of a highly profitable venture.
The fourth form of leverage is Other People’s Successes. You can dramatically improve the quality of your results by studying the successes enjoyed by other people and other businesses. Successful people have usually paid a high price in money, effort, emotions, difficulties and disappointment to achieve a particular goal. By studying their successes, and learning from their experiences, you can often save yourself an enormous amount of time and trouble.
Read biographies of successful people. Study the careers of those who have achieved great success in your field. Seek them out and ask their counsel. You will find that many successful people take great pleasure in helping younger individuals who are sincere about making something of their lives. Their advice can prove priceless. As you become successful yourself, remember the gifts received from those who have blazed the trail before you. Make an effort to give back to those who follow. This will bring you its own store of riches.
The second form of leverage is Other People’s Knowledge. One key piece of knowledge applied to your situation can make an extraordinary difference in your results. It can save you an enormous amount of money and many hours – even weeks or months – of hard work. For this reason, successful people are like radar screens, constantly sweeping the horizons of their lives, seeking continually in books, magazines, tapes, articles and conferences for ideas and insights they can use to help them to achieve their goals faster.
The Internet now makes the job of researching Other People’s Knowledge easier and faster than ever before.
Finally, where you sell your product can have a profound impact on your success. For many years, IBM equipment was not sold in any retail outlet. In the late 1970’s, with personal computers growing in market acceptance, the company made a strategic decision to open their own retail stores, carrying chiefly IBM products and representing the only place these products could be purchased. As more and more stores offering a wide array of computer equipment and accessories became fashionable, IBM was forced to reassess its strategy. Today, IBM equipment is available through many competing retail outlets alongside most of its major competitors’ products.
For many years, doctors made house calls. Today, if you want to see your doctor, there is a high probability you will have to go to his office. Depending on the patient, i.e., customer profile, the office décor will vary widely – homey and comfortable with a range of toys and children’s books in the case of an obstetrician, to severe and even simple in the case of a radiologist. Lawyers specialising in corporate law and dealing primarily with large corporations are normally located in downtown high rise office buildings and their office décor is usually tasteful, elegant and expensive. Smaller law firms might be located in suburban areas and their décor less ostentatious.
Every effort should be made to ensure that the location where you conduct business is convenient for your customers. The facility should be appointed in a fashion that will make them feel comfortable. The object is to make it as easy and as inviting as possible for them to do business with you.
In the late 1900’s, a new, previously unimaginable location emerged. Today, the Internet is one of the fastest growing marketing channels. You should follow its development carefully. Does your product lend itself to marketing on the Internet? If so, do you have a website? Has it been professionally designed? Have you taken the same pains to tailor its appearance to appeal to your ideal customer as you have with your office décor?
Does your site have an e-commerce capability? Do you have someone on staff, or perhaps an outside contractor, who stays abreast of changes in technology and updates your site accordingly? Do you or an employee or outside contractor specialise in the business as opposed to the technology of your site? Do you have a marketing plan for your website? In the 21st Century, the Internet has become an indispensable and ever more important location to conduct business and if you do not keep abreast of it, you will run the risk of getting left behind, a relic in a modern and progressive world.
As you move forward in designing and implementing your marketing plan, be sure to carefully consider the final three P’s of marketing: Packaging, Positioning and Place. Combined with Product, Price, People and Promotion, they form the matrix of a successful marketing initiative.
The purpose of this newsletter is to help focus your attention on those areas of your life upon which we will work during our time together. This act of observing – focusing upon – these critical life elements ensures maximum return on your investment of time and energy.
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A vital consideration in any business plan is how you position yourself and your product in comparison to your competition. With what you know about your ideal customer, how can you best appeal to them? What can you say or do to drown out all of the other commercial messages striving for their attention? What are their hot buttons – and how can you push it?
At the heart of the question is your understanding of why the potential buyer would purchase your product. What is his perceived need and why is your product the best able to satisfy it? When you have answered this question, position your product accordingly.
Is the prospect looking for quality above all else? Then position yourself as the supplier of the best performing, longest lasting product. Are they seeking speed of delivery? Position yourself as the offering the fastest turnaround in the market. Is price of paramount importance? If so, position yourself as the lowest cost provider. Whatever the need, you can jump to the head of the line by positioning yourself as the leader in this area.
Ultimately, of course, you must deliver. Remember the four levels of customer satisfaction. It can be fatal to create expectations in the mind of a customer and then fail to at least meet these expectations. The words of Peter Drucker should be heeded: “Under-commit and over-perform.” In other words, be sure that you are able to live up the promise created by the positioning of your product.