Increase Your Profits by Being a Big, Juicy Orange

Posted by chucktrautman on September 14, 2017

In a world filled with apples, if you want to boost your profits and grow your business, you need to be a big, juicy orange. In simplest terms, here’s the strategy: Set yourself apart.

No matter what business you’re in, the last thing you want to be is perceived as a commodity. Why? Because people buy commodities based on price alone, and that is the least profitable, most unrewarding arena to play in.

When you’re a commodity, the only way to get clients to buy from you is to offer the lowest price, and that does two really negative things. First, obviously, it cuts into your profit margin. Every time you lower your price, you lose valuable margin. But what’s even worse, the second negative—the customers you gain by winning on price have no loyalty. As soon as they find what you offer for a lower price, they’re “outta there.”

The name of the game to boost your profits and really grow your business is customer retention, and you’ll never score customer retention when you’re a commodity . . . when you’re like all the other apples. Your repeat customers are your most profitable ones, and I’ve preached a lot about the importance of getting your customers to stick with you.

The True and Real Nature of a Successful Business

Posted by chucktrautman on September 7, 2017

Entrepreneurship is the ability to profit by solving problems for others… or in effect, curing their pain!

You may not equate solving problems with curing pain, but I assure you they are one and the same. Now the guy I overheard in the airport was possibly referring to businesses that profit from their customers who may be dealing with a catastrophe. However, even those types of businesses must be profitable in order to continue serving other customers… to continue easing their pain. And where would we be without those businesses when we needed them?

Look at a company like SERVPRO® – the fire and water damage restoration service. If it wouldn’t be for catastrophes like fires and floods, this company would not be in business. None of us wants to think about that sort of catastrophe hitting our homes or businesses, but the reality is that fires and floods do happen. If a company like SERVPRO® didn’t turn a profit, they’d close up shop and wouldn’t be there to serve the next customer who needed them. And if a company like that were not in business, who would you turn to after a catastrophe when you were suffering the pain of property loss and needed a cleaning and restoration service?

There are also pro-active examples: alarm companies. If there were no break-ins or burglaries, there would be no need for alarm companies. If you’ve ever been the victim of this type of crime, you know how very unsettling the experience is even if nothing of value were stolen or vandalized. These security companies provide a certain level of peace of mind and may help prevent a break-in in the first place. Peace of mind eases pain.

If rocks or the occasional thug didn’t smash car windows, there’d be no need for window repair companies. If bugs and other vermin didn’t invade your home, there’d be no need for exterminators or pest control. There is no shortage of examples like this, and aren’t you glad these companies are there when you need them? Are they profiting from your pain? In a sense, yes; however, they aren’t causing you pain… they’re easing it. They’re solving a problem you may have, be it a cracked or smashed windshield or termites.

No doubt you have skill that can solve someone else’s problem, and that’s the very heart of the business you’re about to launch or may have already launched. You have an opportunity to solve a problem or ease a pain and in the process, create wealth for yourself by being profitable.

If you’re skilled at getting clients and some business owner desperately needs clients, you can solve his problem and ease his pain. Depending on his situation, it may even border on being catastrophic: He could lose his business without an influx of new clients, and his business supports twenty employees who would then be out of work. Is this a catastrophe on par with someone losing their house to fire or valuables to burglary? Just ask any of the twenty employees who may be facing a lay off.

Being a Person of Influence

Posted by chucktrautman on August 31, 2017

Who are you and what do you stand for?

Branding. We’re all exposed to continuous advertising. Yes, it’s now continuous (rather than “continual”) because it’s impossible to escape. You know it. I know it. It’s everywhere. And the businesses that are most effective are the ones that have established their brands. Brands are critical to recognition, and recognition is critical to successful advertising.

There has to be something that sets you apart from your competition. Who are you? What is your USP (unique selling proposition)? What’s your field of expertise? When people mention your name, what’s the first thing they associate with it? No matter what type of business you have, figure out what sets you apart and establishes you as the expert, the go-to person of influence. What do you offer that your competitors don’t?

Review your strengths. Review your competitors’ weaknesses. By doing so, you’ll quickly hone in on your USP and have a clearer sense of your brand.

When you figure out who you are, speak up—boldly, confidently, and continuously promote yourself to your customers and prospects. As you define who you are and build your brand, the goal is to have it linked, so that if someone said your name, a prospect would say, “Oh yeah, he’s the ____ guy,” or “She’s the one who. . . .” And fill in the blank with whatever your expertise is.

What you stand for is now as important as what product or service you offer. Marketing is becoming more about talking to your customers and prospects, not talking at them. It’s all about interactions and building trust. Be honest about who you are, what you stand for and what you offer or your customers will see right through you and walk away.

Branding Builds Recognition

Posted by chucktrautman on August 24, 2017

Branding helps build recognition and recognition is one of the first steps in creating the “know, like, and trust” factor. Great branding is when your prospects respond with, “Oh yeah, he’s the ____ guy”, or “She’s the one who . . .” and fill in the blank whenever they hear your name – and that’s powerful marketing!  

You Are Worth It!

Posted by chucktrautman on August 17, 2017

Your skill and talent, combined with the way you deliver it is what makes you and your business truly unique. Beware that you don’t fall into the typical mindset trap of thinking that what you do is common, simply because others do it, or because you’ve been doing it for a long time.

When you adopt this dangerous mindset, it leads to lower prices and that is the worst possible scenario when you want a profit explosion!  If you provide incredible value to the marketplace, – charge what you’re worth!