I recently returned from presenting my "Seven Success Accelerators" evening seminar in ten different locations in BC, Alberta and Washington State. While on the road I talked to hundreds of small business owners, sales people and budding entrepreneurs about the ProCoach Success System. During those conversations I noticed a disturbing theme that may explain why so many people are struggling in their businesses.
What I noticed is that the vast majority of people I met were focused primarily on getting their personal needs met. Our discussions revolved around how much they wanted to earn, how few hours they wanted to work and how much passive income they wanted to generate. Some were clearly passionate about their work, but even so there was virtually no conversation about how their product or service helped others. It was all me, me, me!
By focusing on themselves, they were overlooking the most crucial element of succeeding in business. You see, people actually don't care how hard you work. They don't care how much (or how little) you earn. Actually, they don't care much about you at all. They are only interested in one thing. Is the product or service you are providing good value for them at this moment? They are happy to pay you money when they see value in what you offer. If they don't see the value, your business is guaranteed to fail. Find a way to provide enough value to enough people and there is no limit to how much you can earn. Just ask Bill Gates or Oprah.
I call this "The Value Proposition." My former business partner, T. Harv Eker, put it this way. "You will be paid in direct proportion to the value you deliver, according to the marketplace." You need to deliver a lot of value to a large number of people if you wish to be financially successful.
Financial success begins when you take a strategic approach centered on providing value to others. Personally I prefer to be involved in a business I love, but that is not essential. You can have a successful business regardless.
Your first question should be, "What product or service can I offer profitably that prospective customers will be willing, even delighted to pay for?" Think in terms of your target client's wants, not their actual needs. Strange as it sounds, giving people what they need will not necessarily make you successful. If you want your business to succeed effortlessly you must give them what they want. It helps to be aware of market trends. No matter how great your service is, repairing typewriters is a declining industry!
Another strategic consideration is supply and demand. If you offer something unique, it will be easier to sell and you are likely to achieve higher profit margins. If you are offering a commodity - something people believe is readily available elsewhere, it will be more difficult to establish value even if your version is vastly superior. Selling a common product is also likely to reduce your profit margins.
Once you have a unique product that people want, the final factor in financial success is the number of people that you can reach. It does not matter how good your product or service is, if you don't serve a large number of people, your business will never generate significant revenues. This is the area that is most likely to take you out of your comfort zone since it involves marketing, promotion and playing a bigger game.
The best way I have found to shift your focus away from yourself and towards the value you provide to others is to change the questions you ask yourself. For example, instead of asking yourself, "How can we increase our sales," ask, "How can we give our customers so much value that they want to buy everything we offer?" or, "Who could we joint-venture with that has a client base that would benefit from our services?"
Instead of asking "How can I get more referrals?" ask yourself, "What can I do to give my customers such a great experience that they tell everyone they meet about my service?"
If you want to start an Internet business, don't ask, "How can I create a website that will allow me to work 4 hours a week and will generate tremendous passive income?" Instead, ask "What product or service could I offer on-line that would solve a serious problem for a large number of people?"
In summary, put your attention to the value you can provide to your clients first. The more successful you are at finding ways to provide value to others, the more money, success and other rewards you will experience as a result.
To your success!
Master Certified Coach
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Andrew Barber-Starkey is a Master Certified Coach residing in Vancouver, Canada. His coaching program, the ProCoach Success System, is designed for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, self-employed and commissioned sales people who want to double their income while simultaneously doubling their time off within 3 years.
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