Category Archives for Strategy

Why You Should Enter a JV

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oining together in a joint venture (JV) agreement with another person or business entity is a common way to join forces without changing the structure of either business. When you join with another business temporarily, you can share resources in terms of people, technology and finances. This can make the combination stronger than each individual business.

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    Grow Your Business - By having access to your partner's connections, you can get your business known by new people and new connections that you wouldn't have access to as quickly otherwise.
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    Expand Your Brand - When you want more people to know about your brand, having someone else mention you, and you mentioning them, can create a discussion that helps expand awareness of both of your brands.
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    Build Your Email List - By giving each other access to your individual lists, telling your lists about the other, some of the people will cross over to become members of both lists. This is a great way to build your list with targeted individuals as long as you chose a partner who sells complementary goods to yours, to the same audience.
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    Enter a New Market - There are often several markets for one service or product. Finding a JV partner who deals with a portion of your audience that you've never dealt with before is a great way to get your foot in the door to the new market. 
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    Develop a New Product - Sometimes two entities can come together using all their resources and create a brand-new product that neither business could accomplish on their own. This is a wonderful reason to form a joint venture partnership. For example, two business owners could come together to create a live event which is recorded to become a new information product.
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    Improve a Current Product - If you both already have similar products but both products are lacking, you could combine the good from each product or service to make a brand-new product or service that provides more benefits.  
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    Bring in Skills You're Lacking - If you are lacking in a skill and don't want to outsource it, find a JV partner who has the skill that you don't have. Then you can each do what you do best to contribute to the JV partnership. 
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    Improve Your Authority Level - When you hang around other smart people, you become one of those smart people just by association. Surround yourself with really smart people in a JV partnership and you'll achieve more than you thought.

There are many reasons to enter a JV agreement with the right person. But, before you get started, know why you want to do it so that you understand, based on your goals, who you should work with. Remember - join with someone who has a complementary business to yours, not your direct competition, and not when it has to do with your main source of bread and butter.

What Is Passive Income?

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hen people see the term “passive” income, they often think of earning money with no work. However, nothing can be further from the truth. The fact is, it does require work to make passive income. However, the work you do is done once, and then you keep making money later on the work you did before. It’s different from service-based work where you must do the work each time to produce income. With passive income you create something today that keeps earning money later.

 Examples of Passive Income

Some examples of passive income that you may be aware of are savings accounts, investments, and real estate; all of these enable you to spend money one time, or spend some money one time, and keep earning income into infinity. But, you can also earn passive income online today. Some examples are information products, membership websites, eCourses, and eBook sales.

The Benefits of Passive Income

People who want to earn money from passive income understand how trading hours for dollars can be limiting. They want to put their time and money to use one time and keep earning from those efforts. It's the way insurance sales people have made money for years. They earn a little commission from each person that buys and keeps paying for insurance; then the more people they sell the insurance to, the bigger and bigger their monthly income becomes. It might take a lot of work to get there, but eventually through momentum it seems like everything becomes a lot easier.

The Two Types of Passive Income

If you would like to earn an income via passive income, there are several ways to do so online. However, mostly you can break it down to two different ways.

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    Promote Other People's Products - This is one of the fastest ways to get started. Figure out who you want to sell to, know the audience well, and then find products and solutions for them to promote. There are even membership websites where you can promote to them so that you can earn a monthly residual income that grows.
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    Create Your Own Products - This is another way that you can get involved with making passive income online. At first, creating the product is a lot of work, but once you get a number of affiliates promoting the product, the income will grow exponentially, month after month and year after year.

The main question now is who your audience is, and which way you'll go. Most people actually choose both methods. They sell other people's products, and they create their own. Most people start with selling other people's products, then eventually create their own after they get some experience with building a list and other marketing methods.

How to Turn Picky Shoppers into Buyers

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ost shoppers are picky these days. People are turned off by the hard sale and by many of the tactics used by professional sellers. But, the fact is that some of the tactics work. If they did not work, people wouldn’t do them. Here are a few tried-and-true practices you can use to turn shoppers into buyers.

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    Nurture the Relationship - Get them to sign up for an email list to receive news about your products and or services. This works for bricks-and-mortar businesses and digital businesses alike. People like feeling special and getting special notice of sales and events happening surrounding the products they like.
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    Automate Your Processes - Thankfully, you can put things on autopilot with the right email marketing software like AWeber.com or MailChimp.com. These systems allow you to send people information automatically, leading them through the buying cycle with information that they long for.
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    Consider Pop-Ups - Yes, some people hate them, but the truth is they DO work. They increase sales by more than 20% in some cases. You can make beautiful pop-ups using software like Thrive Themes, which helps you create converting sales pages and pop-ups.
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    Retarget Website Visitors - A really useful feature of online marketing today is the ability to put a cookie on your web site that any visitors automatically receive on their computer. Then when they go to Facebook or Google, the things they left in their cart, or the things they looked at, are shown to them again.
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    Always Include a CTA - You'd be surprised at how many people forget the CTA. This includes actual bricks-and-mortar stores. If a sales person doesn't ask for the sale, or you don't send them a reminder of what they want, you may not make the sale. 
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    Incentivize Your Sales Process - Give your customers incentives to buy. The more they buy, the larger the discount. Let them have an opportunity with each purchase to win their purchase. Give the 1000th buyer a prize!
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    Encourage Referrals - Ask current customers to recommend and refer their friends and family and earn incentives. You can do it by points, by monetary reward or any number of ways, but make sure they want to refer you and that they're real customers. 
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    Add a Live Chat - When you sell high-priced items, it's a good idea to have a live chat open at least part of the day to help people with questions that they have. A live chat can push shoppers over the edge to purchasing.

Turning picky shoppers into buyers will work on all your customers and future customers. It's important to know your audience and then leave no stone unturned to make those sales effortless.

Why Product Launches Begin Weeks in Advance

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aunching a product doesn’t start on the actual day of the product launch. It starts weeks in advance, building up to the day of the launch – sometimes even before the actual product is actually ready for prime time. Shoot for starting 8 to 12 weeks prior to the date you’ve chosen for your product launch and you’ll have that much more of a successful launch day.

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    Invite Influencers Early – Send anyone who can influence your audience review copies or partial review copies and information about your product that you’re planning to launch. Ask them if they can talk about it, announce it to their lists or do a review on the product.
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    Seed Your Social Networks – Every now and then you should mention the exiting new product that you’re creating. Getting your audience involved in some way helps, too, such as asking them to pick names of products and even prices.
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    Seed Your Blog – Like with social media, you want to tease your audience with mentions of the new product that is coming soon.
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    Submit Press Releases – When you have any event related to your new product launch, send out a press release.
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    Create Sneak Peak Videos – At some point during product creation, the bones of the product are good enough to offer some sneak peeks via video to your audience to get them super excited. If you show excitement, they will too.
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    Create Interesting Infographics – If your product is solving a problem, make infographics that depict the problems to get your audience aware of these problems and salivating for the solution to the problems.
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    Plan a Launch Event – A great way to launch the product is with a series of webinars with limited entry. Get your affiliates involved in having branded webinars to talk about and give early, limited access to your product.
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    Create Bonuses – Early purchases by early adopters often include bonuses and discounts that no one else will get. It’s a great way to entice people to buy your product early.

Aside from creating the product, you have to plan and organize all the events surrounding the product. These activities can take some time to create, and it’s always better to build up to the big launch date. To start, choose a launch date based on how long you think it’ll take you to create and finalize your product. Next, organize the creation of all the content, reviews, webinars and bonus products that will accompany your product launch.

Move through your calendar, creating the dates that each item must be finalized. Some things will be done simultaneously but others have to be done in a particular order. You’ll need to organize all the parties involved including your vendors, affiliates, and reviewers. What’s more, things don’t end with the launch date. Keep producing more content about your product or service and keep the buzz going for the best results in the days, weeks and months to come.

Why a Lack of Integration Can Cost Sales

All parts of a business work together.  I like to break it down into People, Process, and Technology.  They need to do more than co-exist, in such a way that it is seamless.  Whether it is planning, marketing, sales, delivery, or customer service, it all needs to work together so that you can please customers and make more sales.  All businesses must figure out the following for themselves.

  • Put Your Customers Needs First – Everything you do must be thought of and seen from your customer’s perspectives, not yours or your workers’.  If your workers are not on the same page they might accidentally insult your customer.  Create a mission statement that you can use to share your vision with your team.  Using a customer relationship management (CRM) service that works with your shopping cart will help.
  • Be Able to Explain How Your Solution Is Different – Everyone in your industry is marketing to your customers, often offering the same things that you are.  But, if you can explain how you are different you will win the sale.  The only way to do that is to continuously watch the competition, incorporating the lessons learned into your product development and delivery.
  • Distribute Your Products/Services How Your Customers Want Them – The channels you use to sell your products or services are important, too.  If you are not selling where your customer is, you will not succeed.  You may need to invest in professional shopping cart software or have something built especially, but it should work with your CRM system so that sales and customer service can communicate.
  • Know How you will Advertise and Market – When you put all the above together, which ways will work best to advertise and market your business? Will you use a website, a blog, video, pay-per-click marketing, email lists or something else? Can your CRM help better segment your market?
  • Understand Your Budget Inside and Out – Everything comes down to money.  You can only do what is within your budget to do.  If you are on a shoestring right now, do not waste time looking at solutions outside that budget
  • Ensure Strategies Are Doable – Each part of your business will start with a strategy, the big idea, and you may have to tone these down based on your budget and resources.
  • Know What Tactics you will Use to Reach Your Goals – Tactics are based on strategy and what consumers will respond to.
  • Understand How It All Works Together – Finally, you need to know how all these activities will work together effortlessly.  How People, Process, and Technolgy works is that you define your process based on your strategy and tactics, then you select the right technology, and then train your people to follow the process and use the technology.

The aim is to put together the strategy, operations, finance and marketing of your business in a way that each works together seamlessly.  When you make a list of everything you need to do in your business, it is important to then seek out solutions that help these items work together.  Remember, it’s all People, Process, and Technology.

What Business Is Right for You?

Starting a new business is the hardest and most rewarding thing that you can do in your lifetime.  When you determine you want to start a business, the next step is to find out which type of business is right for you. The way to do that is to participate in self-reflection that is brutally honest so that you can get started on the right foot with the exact right business for you. It can be a very difficult time to choose the right business.

Here are eight tips to help you.

There Is No Such Thing as a Sure Thing – No matter what anyone says, there is no business idea that is a sure thing. That is why one person can make a pizzeria into a million-dollar business and the other person goes bankrupt in the first six months.

Do What You Know or Can Learn – If you start with what you already know and where your resume leads, that is usually best. However, if you really want to change directions, take the time to learn new things instead of jumping into a situation where you have no idea what to do.

Study Other Businesses – When you get an idea about the direction you want to go, start looking at those businesses that are already successful to find out a common reason why. If you can determine what they are doing well then you can emulate that later.

Ensure There Is Sufficient Demand – With any business idea that you have, it is important to make sure there is enough demand to support your income requirements and needs. This is a mistake people often make when trying to turn a hobby into a full-time income. There just is not enough demand.

Develop a Business Plan – When you have zeroed in on something you like, try making a one- or two-page business plan which will force you to analyze every aspect of the idea. The business plan is an essential component of choosing the right business, and people make the mistake of thinking you only do that when you have already picked the business.

Ask for Assistance from Others – If you know people in the field, simply ask them what they would do differently, better, or if they would do it again at all. They are likely to be very honest with you about the mistakes they have made and the successes they have had if you ask.

Work for Someone in the Field for a While – One way to learn whether you even like a certain type of business or not is to work in it. Ask people you know to let you volunteer or work for low pay in their business.

Look for Market Trends – Match your skills with current market trends to see if you can find a good match that excites you. Do not let this be a substitute for ensuring there is a market for the trend today and in the future, but it is a good start.

Choosing a business that is right for you takes some work. But, if you do the work before jumping in, you will have that much more chance to experience success with your business idea.

 

Business Market Segmentation

Business market segmentation has some main variables which are used to separate the market. It’s not much different from dealing with personal segmentation, more commonly just referred to as segmentation but focused on consumers. It is a little more difficult to sort out. As you look at this list, you will note that there are similar points with personal (consumer) and business segmentation – with the exception of operational practices and business type.

  • Location – Which country and the region does the business operate, and how many offices do they have?
  • Business Type – What industry are they in? Do they have a staff? What size are they? What types of products do they sell? What type of technology do they use? Who owns it and what are they like?
  • Operational Practices – Who makes the buying decisions in the company? Are they loyal to a particular brand? How fast do they make their buying decisions?
  • Culture – Some businesses are early adopters of new technologies, and some are slower. How do they make decisions? Do they make decisions with emotions or data? Are they innovators?
  • Goals – What are their overall business goals in terms of growth, marketing and so forth? Do they want people to be loyal to them?

Knowing these segments is different from knowing how to apply the segmentation to build relationships and increase sales. Once you divide the market into similar groups, you can get started with the education of the market to boost sales and conversions.  Here are three things to keep in mind.

Segmentation Improves Business Decisions

Proper segmentation can improve customer acquisition, retention, response rates and more. It will help you evaluate the customer in a new way, including understanding the costs that will be incurred to market to them versus the potential earnings possible.

Segmentation Helps Identify the Best Customers

When you have the market divided, you’ll be able to determine exactly which portion of the market consists of your best and most promising customers. This can help you avoid wasting time with people who will never convert.

Segmentation Can Help Determine the Best Way to Market to Them

When you segment your market you can learn a lot about them, which will enable you to create marketing messages that are more targeted. Even though it’s all the same “market,” there are huge differences within each segment of the market. This makes it imperative to use different methods to send them information that is tailored to their demographic.

When you make segmentation decisions you need to know why you’re grouping them together. Ensure that you have some sort of marketing decision to make based on that segment before you go forward. Determine the cost of resources, including time involved in your decisions. Using business segmentation to help drive marketing decisions will inform your choices, and will allow you to gain a huge competitive advantage over your competition.

 

 

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