7 Secrets of Business Success

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If you know these secrets and apply them to your business, your path will be smoothed – without them you’ll almost certainly be struggling…

Hi! My name is Derek Dearden, and I have been running businesses from my home since 1981. My businesses have given me a great life, but I was baffled by the fact that sometimes everything I touched turned to gold, and at other times it was a horrendous struggle to even make a bare living. It would have been a lot easier if I knew the things I know now – the secrets I am sharing with you here. There’s almost nothing in our educational system to let us know what it takes to make a success of our own business, but I’ve discovered these principles which are at the root of the matter -regardless of what sort of operation you are running.

These are the Principles that apply to any business. Specific business models, and how to find the one that best suits you, are topics that I’ll deal with later. If you are already running a business, this page will ease and accelerate your growth to new heights. If you are on the point of starting out, this will ensure that you have a firm foundation from the word Go.

1. The Critical Question to ask yourself before you even start (but almost nobody does).
2. The 3 Reasons why it’s essential to have a specific target for your Earnings.
3. The two Activities that you as business owner must spend as much time on as possible.
4. How to find out whether your business stands a chance – before wasting your time and money.
5. Why 97% of Advertising is a waste of money – and how to make sure yours is in the other 3%.
6. How to ratchet up Profits relentlessly.
7. The one Essential Strategy on which all else depends.

I’ll run through each of these in turn for you now:

1. The Critical Question to ask yourself before you even start is:

“What do I want my Life to be like?”.

Most business owners never asked themselves that question – they just set out one day and got on with the job. Is it any wonder that – even if they become successful on one level, they all to often end up with a life that they don’t really Love?

  • maybe working long hours
  • maybe not having the time they’d like to spend with their family
  • maybe not developing themselves in other areas of life
  • and maybe even not having fun while running the business !

If you don’t create a vision of where you want to be in say five or ten years’ time, it’s like going on a voyage without a destination. You will have no way of navigating, and never know whether you’ve arrived or not. With a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, you can evaluate the opportunities that unfold before you. Do they contribute to the journey to your chosen destination or not?

As part of the free follow-up to this report, I’ll make available a simple guided visualisation exercise that will help you in this essential creative process.

2. The 3 Reasons why it’s essential to have a specific target for your Earnings:

Many people go into business with the financial goals vaguely defined: “to get the pressure off”… “to have more money”… “to make millions” etc. etc. Vague goals don’t serve you as well as specific numerical goals for your earnings for the following reasons:

a) You work most effectively when your subconscious mind is aligned with your conscious desires. The subconscious takes in the thoughts and self-talk you have, whether you intend that or not, and it takes things very literally, and deals far more powerfully with specifics than with generalisations. By having a specific amount of money defined, you will get the maximum empowerment from your subconscious.

b) You’ll know whether you are winning your game or not! Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Specifically, the money you want make is the money that is required to enable the life you created for yourself in the previous step. (I’ll be giving you a simple structure to help cost that out). When you’ve reached your target, maybe it’s time to relax a bit and start spending and enjoying it. Otherwise you might end up like all too many business owners – running like a hamster on a wheel, chasing an ever expanding goal.

In the second lesson of the follow-up, I’ll give you a structure to support you in costing out what it would take to support your chosen lifestyle. Remember – money is a means, not an end in itself.

c) You get to know what your time is worth: For example, suppose in the lifestyle exercise you specified that you want to work no more than forty hours in a week and to have ten weeks holiday each year, and that in the costing exercise you found it takes £135,000 per year to support that lifestyle (obviously this is an illustration – you will use your own numbers here).

Now you can work out the income you need to generate on average in each hour you spend on the business: in this case, 40 hours times 42 weeks comes to 1680 hours worked in a full year, and that divided into £135,000 would work out at an hourly rate of £80.36.

This means that – as soon as possible – you will want to outsource or delegate every activity that can be done by somebody else in return for less than £80.36 per hour, so that your own time is freed up to focus on the creative wealth-building aspects of the business. (What activities you should be spending your time on, you’ll find out in the next secret). But how many business owners that you know that spent their time typing letters, going to the post, sweeping the floor and every other thing under the sun? I’ve spent far too much time working like that myself. It’s called “working in your business, not on it”. Of course you’ll have to do these things yourself at first – you’re not bringing in that money yet. But if you are on the look-out to free up your time as soon as there is a bit of cash-flow, you’ll vastly accelerate the rate at which you can expand your income.

One final point – you may be daunted by the ‘hourly rate’ that you come up with and may wonder how you can be capable of that, especially if you’ve spent your life so far being paid by time. The great thing about being in business (as long as it’s the right sort of business) is that you get paid by result, not by time spent. It might take no more effort to sell ten items than to sell one, especially if you are selling things that are internet delivered, or drop-shipped, or contracted fulfillment. Once again I’ll be explaining all those procedures in the free course.

One great bit of news is that its easier than it ever has been to get all kinds of work done by subcontractors at knock-down prices via the internet, and I’ll be showing you how to do that.

3. The two Activities that you as business owner must spend as much time on as possible.

Most business owners assume – without really examining the assumption – that their time is to be spent on the core activity of the business. Actually producing and delivering the goods. I’ve done this myself; I spent a disproportionate amount of time writing computer software, but I made far more money when I delegated that to others and spent my time going out and finding the opportunities and working out the deals.

Obviously it is essential that your operation does create and deliver a sound product, responds to customer support calls, performs the necessary accounting and administrative tasks and so on. But almost all of the operational aspects of any business are tasks that can be carried out by employees or (much better) sub-contractors at a relatively low fixed hourly rate. Any time you as an owner are spending your own time on those, you are eating into the time you could be spending on the two activities that will build your long-term wealth and prosperity.

These are Innovation and Marketing.

Innovation means expanding the scope and range of your business: new products (whether you create them, pay someone else to do it, or find ones from other vendors that you can sell or promote), new communication channels, new markets, new campaigns, new strategies.

Marketing is the whole process of:

  • finding prospective customers,
  • engaging in their conversations,
  • nurturing them to become tryers,
  • then first-time buyers,
  • then loyal repeat customers,
  • and then raving fans,
  • and finally your ambassadors

Your ability to effortlessly move ever increasing numbers of customers along this conveyor depends on just two factors:

a) Your grasp of a handful of simple techniques relating to the structure and style of your communication, including the three questions in your reader’s mind that you must answer (I’ll explain these in more detail in day 3 of the free follow-up course).

b) Your having put in place the Essential Core Strategy I reveal in Secret number 7 below.

4. How to find out whether your business stands a chance – before wasting your time and money.

Again and again, aspiring entrepreneurs developing a product and its promotion and delivery mechanisms – only to find out that no-one is interested!

You can avoid this heartache and frustration (not to mention the emptying of your bank account) by investing a few hours and a few pounds in carrying out some elementary research.

Make sure that there’s a population out there who want your product. It’s easy to sell people things they already want and are looking for – but next to impossible to persuade them to buy something they hadn’t even thought of. It’s also important that they are easily reachable and have a readiness to buy.

For the moment, I’m focusing on markets that are easily reachable via the Internet. There certainly are viable business opportunities that don’t lend themselves to a web-based operation, but the barrier to entry is inevitably going to be far higher in terms of investment, time and effort.

Once again, I’ll be going into more detail in the follow-up course, but here’s a quick overview:

a) Search activity – jot down a few keywords that you’d type into a search engine if you were looking for your product. Then use a research tool such as Wordtracker or KeywordDiscovery, or the free one at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal to see how many searches are being made and how long is the list of variants of those terms.

b) Advertising Review - put some of these terms into Google or Yahoo, and see how many advertisers are placing pay-per-click entries (these are the “sponsored links” down the right-hand side of the page). It’s also possible to get an estimate of the sort of prices they are bidding.

If there are lots of advertisers paying high prices for visitors, it’s a sure sign that there’s money to be made.

c) Competition review – click through to some of these sites, see what they offer, how much they are charging, and how they present their products.

d) Do a Survey – In a matter of minutes, you can create a web page with a simple survey, send some traffic to it and find out how responsive the market niche is, and what are the burning issues to address – I’ll show you how in lesson 4.

5. Why 97% of Advertising is a waste of money – and how to make sure yours is in the other 3%.

Take a look through any magazine – you’ll see that 97% (or more) of the advertising has the following characteristics:

  • Mostly pictures
  • Few words
  • Lots of empty space
  • Little information or explanation
  • Gimmicky – sometimes to the point of obscurity
  • No call to action
  • No tracking codes

On the other hand a few are the complete opposite (including – tellingly – those placed by the magazine proprietors! Perhaps they know something they are not letting on to their advertisers?):

  • All or mostly text
  • Any picture is captioned to contribute to the conversation
  • Every bit of space used
  • Strong headline
  • Informative, educational and advisory in tone
  • Several sub-heads or bullets
  • Focus on the benefits to the reader
  • Editorial in style
  • Strong call to action (maybe several response mechanisms – phone, post, email etc.)
  • Reason to act now
  • Tracking code to measure effectiveness of the ad

The first style of advertising is “Institutional” and is a massive waste of money; the second is “Direct Response” and is the only sort that you as a small business owner should ever need – and these principles also should be applied to your web pages, direct mail pieces and all other promotional material.

In lesson 5 of the free course, I’ll give you a checklist to run through every time you write a sales piece that will give you the best chance of getting the maximum response rate.

6. How to ratchet up Profits relentlessly.

Now, if you’ve created your sales page, advert or mailshot in accordance with all the above principles, will it be the most effective possible communication? Of course it won’t (and this is nothing personal – the world’s greatest copywriters and marketers will readily confess as much).

But the good news is that there’s a specific, infallible scientific process that you can apply to make steady incremental improvements. You simply think of an alternative version of your piece – different headline, altered wording, another colour or whatever it may be. If it improves response, you keep the new one. If it doesn’t, you stick with what you had and think of a different variation.

The technique of split-testing allows you to serve two versions of an advert or webpage to see which one performs better. In this way you can only improve or mark-time – you can’t degrade the performance.

In lesson 6 of the free course, I’ll show you exactly how to do this and also give you some simple rules of thumb to know when you’ve let the experiment run long enough to have confidence in the result – without having to get involved in complicated maths.

7. The one Essential Strategy on which all else depends.

This is so simple and so direct that it may not occur as a strategy at all, but whatever you call it, neglecting it would drastically reduce your chances of success. It is:

“Deliver Outstanding Value”

Your reaction may be something like: “Isn’t that a bit idealistic?” or “But won’t that mean that my margins are cut?”.

Let me make a couple of things clear:

a) Outstanding Value does not mean cheap – Ferrari owners feel they get great value!

b) Outstanding Value does not mean low margin – for example manuals, CDs and DVDs can sell at 95% profit and still be perceived as great value as long as the content is good quality, and meets the needs of the buyer and exceeds their expectations.

Even physical products can have high margins and still give great value – I’ll be sharing a case-study of an electronic module I sold at 91% gross profit margin in lesson 7 of the follow-up.

There’s a lot more to say on this topic, but for now, think of these consequences of giving Outstanding Value:

  • Your customers will buy from you again and again
  • They will recommend you to their friends and colleagues
  • You will find it easier to write compelling copy
  • You will get testimonials which increase your sales
  • You will find it easy to get Joint-Venture partners and Affiliates to promote your products
  • You will have fewer complaints and returns.

Obviously the essentials are to have a great product that satisfies an existing desire and ships at a price that seems reasonable. But there are more aspects of “Outstanding Value”, and I’ll share some of those with you in lesson 7 of the free course.

I hope this has been helpful.

Get the Free 7-day follow-up course now

Necessarily the treatment has been brief, so I’ve prepared a free follow-up course to treat each of these topics in more depth – including the exact details of how to carry out the procedures. Just fill in the boxes below to get immediate access to the guided visualisation of the Life you really want, then you’ll get an email directing you to the subsequent lessons each day for the next week. You can cancel at any time.

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