We've all been in a spot in our business where we're trying to work out how to get from A to B or how to get to the next level. But what is the next level? How many levels are there?
Luke Fatooros from Ideas Into Business shares with us the 7 steps to building a smart business engine to give you time, money, and freedom.
Play and listen to the podcast below or scroll down below to learn how you can optimise your mindset, the fourth step to having a smart business engine.
4. Optimise Your Marketing
Luke: If we look back at why many businesses fail in marketing, the reason is when you try and talk to everyone you, no one hears you.
We looked at your niche, and we determined the difference between your ideal customers and your real customers. Then we looked at what products and services these people buy from you the quickest and the easiest. Now that you understand who you are selling to and what you are selling to them, that's the time to market.
Josh: You've brought up before not to sell meat to a vegetarian. If you're in a position that you're now marketing meat to a vegetarian, you have to change their belief systems, their core values and everything for them to start working for you. That's a lot of work. That's a lot of friction. Why not sell meat to a carnivore?
Luke: That's exactly it. As a smart business owner, you should gear your energy, effort, marketing, sales pitches, and presentations towards that. But a lot of businesses don't do that. They keep doing the same old thing every day, and that's hard work. That's not what you call a smart business.
Now that we've established this is the right time to market.
Most people want to start with marketing. They want to build a website. They want to get into digital marketing, get their Facebook page up, get their Instagram going, and get a LinkedIn page, etc. And they pay companies $2,000 to $3,000 a month to do this stuff and they wonder why nothing happens. It's because your first few steps have not been cemented.
In my first business, we were selling computers, but who buys a computer? You can have an IT manager for corporate, a small business owner, gamers, bargain hunters, and families. Those are five very different niches.
Josh: They have different problems but need the same equipment.
Luke: You have to create a resonating message. I call it the X factor. You can't have a resonating message talking to all those people in five different niches.
What we found was families were our lucrative niche. They came and bought from us quickly. The IT managers were a real pain. We were not geared up for hi-tech level stuff. We sold to some gamers, but they were hard work. The families resonated with us.
We then get every single piece of marketing towards families. All my sales staff were geared towards communicating with family. They weren't allowed to talk about gigaFLOPS and terahertz.
They talk about what is this computer going to do for you as a family? Is it right for you and your family?
Eventually, one of our suppliers saw potential in us and made a deal. They were going to help us with marketing and pay for advertising if we explicitly sold their computers. The reason this big national company saw potential in us is they connected to our resonating message.
Eventually, our slogan became "your family computer store." Being open seven days a week was not by chance. A competition is open from Monday to Friday, but when do families want to shop? On weekends. It was like a glaring gap that was plugged in a hugely competitive market.
If you listen to where customers are buying, how they want to buy, and move your business towards that, money just comes to you.
Josh: When I started our business, Dorks Delivered, in 2007, we were working with Education Queensland, Logan City Council, Brisbane City Council, homes, mums and dads, and small businesses. We were the one-stop IT shop for everyone. After doing that for about a year and a half, we realised we were spending more on marketing and advertising for the verticals that weren't working for us than we're bringing in. So we got rid of Logan City Council, Brisbane City Council, mums and dads, and we just focused on businesses with 5 to 150 employees. That was the gap that we found that we're filling. People were believing in the product. They understood how it was working, and it wasn't a hard sale. We weren't spending the money on marketing. When they called us up, they knew what we're doing. That also made it easy to streamline our documentation, processes and procedures for onboarding new staff.
Are you looking for affordable business solutions? Talk to a dork about your small business.
Luke: We have to get rid of all the madness and spend 80% of energy, time and effort for 20% revenue. Just follow where the money is going. That's how you optimise your business.
Go into lucrative niches. I often get resistance when I talk about this. They say, "No one's thought of this idea so there's no competition. We should go there." No, you shouldn't. Smart businesses go where the money flows. If no one's doing it, that means it's a dead niche.
However, when you go to where the money is flowing, there's competition and that's okay. You can establish your X factor by doing the following:
1. Know the deepest pains and problems of your real customers.
2. Find out their most powerful desires, which I call your anchor points.
3. Analyse your competition. What is the competition doing wrong? Do not do it.
One of the other businesses that I created from scratch was a cartridge distribution business. Many people find it hard to remember their printed model number. People walk into a shop, buy a cartridge, and come back because the ink wouldn't fit in the printer.
So to create our X factor, we put pictures on the cartridges. Granny could go and then just buy the "parrot" or you could tell your husband to just pick up the "strawberry." There's no confusion. My X factor is simply no more complicated numbers.
Josh: If you mix up a parrot and a strawberry, you got some serious problems.