My book has one purpose: to Grow Your Business FAST. That’s it. That’s why I’ve written it, and that’s what it’s intended to do for you. It’s not for entertainment or intended for anyone with merely passing and idle curiosity about what’s required to take pretty much any small business and dramatically improve its fortunes, and vastly increase its profits — all ethically, morally, legally, and entirely above board.
But you need to understand much of what you’ll discover here in our time together is going to be very uncomfortable for you; some of it may even be offensive, and you might be tempted to ignore the message because you don’t like the me, the messenger, or the way I present myself.
That’d be a shame, but if you do have that reaction you’ll not be the first, nor will you be the last.
And I really don’t much care if I offend you or not: the truth is here, and it’s up to you to heed it and succeed, or ignore it and perhaps allow your business to become one of the 80% going bust in the first five years of trading because you insist on seeing the business world as you think it is rather than how it actually is.
Nor is this a book stuffed with woolly theories, vague hypotheses, and half-baked ideas about what works or doesn’t work in the unforgiving reality of the marketplace. Nor is it written by some pompous old egghead, snug and warm in his tenured University professorship, who’s never actually run a business of his own out here in the real world.
Because everything I share with you in Grow Your Business FAST has been “battle-tested” and proven to work by me, personally, as well as thousands and perhaps even millions of business owners just like you from all over the world — of every race, in every culture, and of every religious persuasion (including those of none, like me).
And it works.
In short, what you have in your hands is a complete Blueprint for all serious and determined business owners who are sick and tired of working ever longer hours for less and less reward, running faster and faster just to stand still, who want to make more money with less work, less hassle, and fewer headaches selling their products and services at higher prices than their competitors to premium-quality customers and clients not only glad but actually eager to pay whatever price asked of them.
Best of all… the strategies, tools, tips and techniques I share with you in these pages are so simple and easy, you can start putting them to work in your business today and see increased profits tomorrow, or even sooner. Most of what you do to grow a business takes time, but some of the simplest strategies I share with you take effect literally instantly.
The Prize: Sovereignty
Ultimately, the intended end result is to deliver into your hands a business where you have what I call Sovereignty — doing what you want, when you want, with whom you want, at the price you want… and only if you want to do it at all.
In business terms this means being able to pick and choose among the people who are queuing up to buy from you, and realising at a deep and visceral level you are not dependent upon or beholden to any one customer or client. Yes, you do need customers and clients, but no one individual or company should have the power to hold you to ransom with the promise of fees, contracts and purchases, or future orders. If you find yourself in that position, then you don’t actually have a business at all — you have what we can describe as being a terrible job at the very best; what we can call it at worst is unprintable.
But, here’s my promise to you: if you follow the steps I lay out in Grow Your Business FAST, then Sovereignty is well within your grasp. And by the time you’ve got to the end of it and got to grips with the sometimes uncomfortable and counterintuitive truths I share with you, you’re going to have all the strategies, tools, tips, and techniques at your fingertips to put to work and make it happen for you.
Because the truth is, the secret to business success in any economy, regardless of recession, crap governments and tight-arsed banks, is actually no secret at all.
The Dirty ‘M’ Word No One Likes to Say
The difference between successful businesses and unsuccessful ones is effective marketing — and what works and doesn’t work in marketing has been known for a long time. And it all boils down to a surprisingly small number of equally surprisingly powerful fundamentals.
What’s more, these fundamentals never change, and there are never any new ones. That’s why they’re called fundamentals. So next time you see someone promising a “brand new way of marketing”, and you’ve got to buy this funky new widget because all the old ways of marketing no longer work, just take pause for a moment and think about what they’re really saying.
Truth is, most of the time they’re just repackaging something old in a new way. We see this all the time with the Internet — every time a new technology becomes available, or cheap or simple enough for the business owner in the street to use, some slimeball stands up and claims he has discovered the brand new, never-seen-before One True Way of Marketing.
And it’s all bullshit.
Marketing is Marketing is Marketing
As long as you’re selling to human beings the fundamentals will always, I repeat, always be the same. You’ll discover why this is as we go through Grow Your Business FAST, and you’ll soon be proving it for yourself, but just for now I simply ask you to take it on trust. Any differences you discover or perceive will be differences of style, not substance.
In fact, some of the most powerful marketing strategies I know date back over 150 years and spank the pants off the more modern methods, most of which have gained traction among business owners because they’re cheap and easy, and require very little thought or effort. But more on that later.
Now, I know the very word “marketing” conjures up some very negative images in most people’s minds. Most people when they think of marketing imagine fast-talking BMW-driving yuppies with big mouths and even bigger expense accounts swaggering from wine-bar to sushi restaurant pontificating on “brand-identity”, “brand awareness”, “getting out there”, and other meaningless crap.
Fortunately, while these lamentable creatures do exist, they have very little to do with the kind of marketing I’m talking about in Grow Your Business FAST, which is the kind of marketing driving the engine of small business, and which in turn keeps the economy trundling along, and to everyone’s benefit. We call it direct response marketing because in every single thing we do we ask the prospect, customer, or client to take an immediate and direct action we can measure. We are not interested in pouring good money after bad into marketing we cannot tell is working for us.
But that’s not all.
Because on top of the common misconceptions held by business owners of what marketing is, I often hear people on the other side of the counter say marketing doesn’t work on them.
Well, perhaps; perhaps not.
But I think it’s much more likely they don’t understand what marketing is. Because when I dig a little deeper and try and find out what they actually mean, it turns out they are invariably talking about the hard-sell tactics you sometimes come across, or the cheesy kind of marketing built on tricks and gimmicks, dripping with false sincerity.
In other words, they’re saying the kind of marketing they don’t like and doesn’t work on them… they don’t like it and it doesn’t work on them. This kind of statement is hardly pushing back the frontiers of human knowledge.
We, all of us, have marketing strategies we detest and that leave us cold. Take me, for example. I can’t stand telemarketing calls, cold or otherwise. The way I run my business means no-one calls me without an appointment. Not even my solicitor, my bank manager, or my accountant do that. So when the phone does ring and it’s a marketing call, even if it’s from a firm I do business with, they get short shrift.
In other words, telemarketing doesn’t ever work on me.
But this doesn’t mean telemarketing doesn’t work anywhere at all, because it obviously does. I personally know people who have kicked off their own businesses by making literally thousands of cold-calls. It’s not something I’d want to do, and it’s not something I’d respond to favourably, but that’s not the point.
It just doesn’t work on everyone who receives a call, and for many reasons, it might not work for every business (and the only way to know if it’s going to work in your business or not is to test it and see what happens. That’s an important observation we’ll see cropping up all over the place as we get into the detail of how to market your business effectively).
These people who claim marketing doesn’t work on them are probably sincere in their beliefs and in what they say, yet they’re not only misinformed or uninformed about what marketing actually is, but they’re also wrong about it not working on them.
They just don’t realise what’s working on them because they have no reason to notice or object to it. When things go smoothly and we’re having a good time, we scarcely notice it other than to feel good.
Understanding this is crucial for your success as a marketer, because then you’ll understand what anyone but your target market thinks or feels about your marketing strategy, tactics, and implementation is irrelevant — and the only vote worth counting is a vote your customers and clients make with their wallets. I say this because you are inevitably going to get a lot of pissers and moaners, even in your target market, and you’ll be tempted to believe their negative reactions are representative of the whole. They are not. Focus on your sales, and to hell with the rest.
More on this later, but for now, just embrace the fact marketing as a strategy for selling more products and services works on everyone, because it’s really about helping people solve their problems. And we all like to have our problems solved, don’t we?
Alas, this isn’t the worst of our problems, because we have to contend with…
The Myth of the Better Mousetrap
There’s a small but sizeable minority of business owners who, for reasons I have never quite been able to fathom, seem to believe their products and services ought to “sell themselves”, like a better mousetrap is supposed to.
Authors, painters, chefs, and other arty people are particularly prone to this, and they frequently wax lyrical justifying the reasons they have for not marketing their work effectively, while at the same time complaining to anyone who’ll listen about how little money they’re making.
These two things are not coincidental.
I suppose in an ideal world the sheer power of Art would magically reach out and draw the Enlightened in; but the world isn’t like that.
As I hinted a few pages back, at the root of many a business owner’s problems is a refusal to see the world accurately. They insist instead on trying to shoehorn their own subjective experience of and beliefs about reality into some warped idea of how they think things should or ought to be, hoping reality will comply.
Sadly, this refusal to deal with the world as it actually is rather than how they think it is, should be, or ought to be, is a guaranteed path to ruin, and is, in my opinion, one of the chief reasons 80% of businesses go out of business within the first five years of trading.
And like it or not, if people aren’t buying form you, it’s your own fault (and even of it wasn’t you’re still the one responsible for fixing things).
FACT: Your Business Lives or Dies on the Strength of Its Marketing
Because, marketing is the one and only thing bringing people through your door.
And… marketing, in effect, is everything and anything about you, your business, your products, and your services, your prospects, customers, and clients perceive about you.
You might want to think about that for a moment.
It does not mean you have to put up a façade and pretend to be something you’re not. On the contrary, one of the most effective marketing strategies you’ll ever put to work for you is to let your personality permeate everything you do. Most business owners won’t have the spine to do this because they (correctly) think it’ll drive some people away. While this might be a frightening prospect, it’s actually A Good Thing, as I hope you’ll come to understand, because it’s far more important to think about the people it’ll actually draw to you. I cover this in a lot more detail in a later chapter.
But what it does mean is if you want to succeed in business you have to consider the people who are paying your wages: your customers and clients. After all, they are the only reason your business exists. What I’m talking about here is unparalleled and unmatched levels of service with your customers’ and clients’ needs ahead of everything else, including your own immediate profits.
I’ll explain more about this later, but right now let me just put your mind at rest, because I am not talking about your becoming a doormat and buying into the soul- and business-destroying idea “the customer is always right”. That way lies madness and poverty.
Rather, I’m talking about attracting customers and clients who see you in an entirely different way, as a trusted advisor to be respected and heeded rather than the hired help to be abused and discarded as soon as a cheaper option comes along.
I am reminded of a quote at this point, one I think you’d do well to print out and stick on your wall where you can see it as you go about your day’s work:
“There is hardly anything in this world which some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper and the people who consider price alone are this man’s lawful prey, as it is unwise to pay too much as it is to pay too little.
When you pay too much you lose a little money that is all.
When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the job it was supposed to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying too little and getting a lot, it cannot be done.
If you deal with the lowest bidder it is as well to add something extra for the risk you run and if you do that then you will have enough to pay for something better.” ~ John Ruskin 1819-1900
Mr. Ruskin had this one dead right, and as you’ll discover for yourself by the time you reach the end of this book, finding those men and women to whom price is not nearly so important as value is a lot easier than you might think.
In the meantime, just remember:
- No marketing means no traffic. No people coming into your store, no phone calls, no mail, and no visitors hitting your website.
- No traffic means no sales. You can’t sell to people who aren’t there talking to you on the phone or writing to you, or aren’t face to face with you in the flesh, or virtually, online.
- No sales means no profits. I hope you can see this is self-evident.
- And no profits very quickly means no business. I hope this is self-evident, too. Even non-profits and charities need to keep the lights burning and their staff paid.
So, given you have to be marketing effectively if you want your business to thrive and prosper, rather than just grind itself (and you) into the ground before going bust… and given you’re marketing anyway, by default, simply because you and your business exist, whether you like to think that or not… doesn’t it make sense to ensure you’ve actually got a handle on it all and you’re marketing deliberately with a proven strategy and to a definite plan, rather than letting it just “happen” by accident?
The only sane answer to that is, “Yes, EBG, it does”.
What Kind of Business Do You Really Want?
Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of business owners and helped thousands in one way or another. And while they’ve all had different aspirations and motivations, not a single one of them has ever said to me they wanted to work harder than they were doing, have more hassles and headaches, and endure it all for less reward.
Instead a common refrain was, in effect, they wanted to be making more money with less work, less hassle, and fewer headaches, and they wanted to enjoy doing it. Sure, the audience is somewhat self-selecting and biased towards business owners who want or need help, but within it there lurks an important point: we all want to be doing better in our businesses, even if we’re going OK now. No one wants to take a pay cut, and we’d all like to be paid the same or more for doing even less work. Moreover, you can’t stand still in business even if you want to: if you’re not moving forwards with the world, you’re effectively falling behind.
It might surprise you to discover I, myself, am not motivated just by money. Yes, I like making money and you won’t see me selling myself cheap, because doing that heaps all manner of other problems upon us aside from the cut in income. I am unashamedly proud of being the highest priced copywriter and marketing consultant in Ireland and the UK, and quite possibly in the whole of Europe.
But it comes down to far more than just the Groats.
See, when you’re a business owner the buck stops with you. If you don’t make a profit, then you don’t eat. Your employees share none of this risk and get paid regardless, of course. The moment they don’t get paid or things get too tough, they’re off to another job.
And very quickly, unless you keep on top of things, your business starts to run you instead of you running it. And I know from personal experience how draining and demoralising this is. It begins to take over your entire life. It affects everything, from your health to your relationships with others.
Yet it almost always comes down to two things:
- Bad customers or clients.
- Not making enough money.
And each feeds into the other if we’re not careful and suck us down into a spiral of misery and despair.
Fortunately there’s a simple cure for both of them, and instead of having a business hanging like the proverbial millstone around your neck, it’s surprisingly easy to have one giving you the personal Sovereignty you hoped for when you started your business in the first place.
Sounds like a tall order, perhaps, especially if you’re struggling in your business and at rock bottom right now, but I promise you change can come remarkably fast once you start taking action.
A Word of Warning
Several words, in fact.
Despite the promises I’ve made you, I also need to be clear about something: you’re not going to turn your business around and make it a monumental success just by reading this book.
It’s a very practical Blueprint to turn your business around and dramatically improve your profits and the quality of your life.
But you have to take action… and every action brings an equal and opposite reaction.
So my first warning is…
Fact of Uncaring Reality No.1: Nothing Comes Without a Price
And business success is no exception.
The price of a successful business is discipline, more than a little hard work, many late nights, and frequent setbacks and disappointments; but a struggling, so-so business has a price all of its own — and perhaps the unceasing pain of regret, the headaches, the frustration, and endless fruitless hours scratching around to make a profit is a price you’ve already keenly felt being extracted from you an inch at a time.
More than that, there’s no guarantee you won’t ruffle a few feathers and even make one or two enemies, particularly among your competitors. And you’re definitely going to need a thick skin, because, as does anyone who becomes successful at anything, you’re going to draw more than your fair share of criticism, sniping, and envious and back-biting comments.
There’s also a good chance you’re going to run into a lot of resistance from friends and family, maybe even your spouse. Chances are your employees aren’t going to be too keen on some of it, either.
All of this is unavoidable.
A large part of the secret of business success is to stop trying to be everything to everyone. If you try to be all things to all men and women, you very quickly end up being nothing of consequence to anyone.
You can’t please or even serve everyone, so it’s just as important to say loudly and clearly to whom you don’t want to sell your products and services, as it is to say to whom you do want to sell them. And that can be emotionally very difficult, especially in the beginning when you’ve been used to taking every customer or client who came along because you were afraid of losing their business. You also need to stop being nice just for the sake of being nice. Nothing wrong with good manners, but compromising your integrity for fear of offending someone (especially someone who isn’t giving you money) is a waste of time and energy.
So before you agree to pay the price… are you sure you’re willing to pay it?
Fact of Uncaring Reality No.2: You Are Not a Special Flower
As I mentioned above, everything I share with you in Grow Your Business FAST has been proven to work in the real world of small business in probably every single country in the world, and in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of industries and niches.
So while it’s possible you have somehow contrived to be in a business and dealing with customers and clients in a way you can truthfully say “My Business Is Different”, it is highly unlikely — to the point where it’s vastly more likely you’re just plain wrong and are merely feeling uncomfortable about what needs to be done and hiding behind a shield of irrationality.
Because you are not a Special Flower.
The reality of the market will be utterly heedless and uncaring of any sincerely held belief you have of deserving a break, or how people “ought” to buy from you just because you “need” the sales. That’s not how business works, and avoiding taking the marketing bull by the horns and wrestling it to the ground because you believe, for all sorts of manufactured reasons, marketing simply doesn’t work or ought to be unnecessary in your industry or niche, is guaranteed to make your business crash and burn.
Human beings are wired up a certain way. It’s how we’ve evolved. And marketing systems and strategies have themselves evolved to influence people to react in certain ways, ways dictated to a large extent by the way we’re wired up. In other words: if you’re dealing with actual human beings and you’ve not discovered some strange race of aliens to sell to, then what I share with you here will work for you, of that I am certain.
Which leads me neatly to my third warning.
Fact of Uncaring Reality No.3: Stuff Doesn’t Do Itself
Nothing I share with you will work to any degree or in any respect whatsoever unless you actually put it to work in your business.
If you leave this book lying on your desk or stuck on your bookshelf, then, even if you agree with every word I say and see the value in it, nothing is going to change for you.
If you keep doing the same things you’ve been doing in your business up to this point, then you’re going to keep getting the results you’ve been getting. Moreover, if you follow the herd and mimic, ape, and mirror your competitors, you’re going to get pretty much the same results they get, too. As Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
At this point you can probably see the truth in this and make a silent promise to yourself: “this time is going to be different”. But the chances are it won’t be, not unless you radically change your past behaviour. If you’re anything like me you’ve bought “how to” books before, read them, seen the wisdom therein and… done absolutely nothing further with what you’ve discovered. I know a guy, already very successful and wealthy, who has a garage full of unopened courses and programmes, covering everything from copywriting to Internet marketing. He’s spent more than $100,000 on it all, and by his own admission, it’s money wasted.
It’s an easy trap to fall into, though, because of the emotional comfort we get from the buying process. We tell ourselves, even if not in so many words, “if I just buy this product… it’ll solve all my problems”.
I can tell you from long and painful experience that doesn’t work.
And… it’s never going to work.
So, please, whatever you do… do something.
Take just one thing I share with you in Grow Your Business FAST and give it a try.
And how do you choose what to do, and, more important, what to do first?
Well, my fourth warning is this…
Fact of Uncaring Reality No.4: Strategies and Principles Work; Tactics Sometimes Don’t
What I mean by this is for every part of the Grow Your Business FAST Blueprint, there are a dozen different ways of putting it into action. And while they all work, not all of them are going to work the same way for everyone every time. You may even find some of them might not work at all in your particular case. This is no different from two people having the same bug but responding slightly differently to different treatment.
The cure is available, though — we just have to go about it slightly differently. But here’s the thing: if you don’t try for a cure, you won’t get one. Few things in life are certain. Death and taxes are two of them; and there’s a third: uncertainty. One thing you can be certain of is life and business are full of it.
There’s one thing I’ve noticed about business owners all over the world: when it comes to this marketing lark they love to talk about it and get all moist about the possibilities, but no matter how much they love the concepts and ideas, and ostensibly agree with and embrace the need to test things, when it comes to the crunch they falter, beset by doubts and fear of failure.
Get used to failure, Bubba, because my fifth warning is…
Fact of Uncaring Reality No.5: Most of What You Do Is NOT Going to Work
As a veteran marketer, I can tell you a sales letter sent out in the post is doing very well if it makes a sale to five people in a hundred. You can make a lot of money very quickly with a conversion rate of that size. But look at the other side of it: 95 out of 100 are still not buying from you. Whatever you’re offering them has failed to tickle their fancy. It’s even worse if you are selling face to face — just imagine how demoralising it can be, if you let these things get to you, to find 95 people out of 100 reject your sales pitch.
To look at it all in a wider context, what professional copywriters, who love to crow about their amazing successes, don’t tell you is perhaps seven out of eight campaigns either flop or just about break even, and only one in eight hits that profitable sweet spot.
But that’s when the magic happens… because when you do find those sweet spots, they’ll pay you back for the failures many times over. You can make a fortune on that 87.5% failure rate.
The annoying thing is… it’s impossible to tell ahead of time what’s going to work and what’s not. That’s why we have to keep testing stuff until we find what works. Yes, I can look at your ad or sales letter or website, and tell you with great confidence whether it’s a good one or a bad one. But — and here’s the crucial point — even if it’s a good one, it can still bomb. In other words, I can tell you if your ad is good; I cannot tell you if it’s going to work.
In fact, there is only one certainty I can offer you.
And that is… you will fail to achieve every result you don’t go for.
So, every direct mail letter or postcard you don’t send, every email blast you never do, every book or “special report” you don’t write, every video you never make, every irresistible offer you don’t test… every single one of them will make you no money at all.
That I can guarantee.
Fact of Uncaring Reality No.6: There Are Two Big Mistakes You’re Making In Your Business Right Now
Most business owners make one of these two very common mistakes with their marketing — and the real problem is many of them make both of them at the same time.
The first mistake they make is having unrealistic expectations. I know we’re all impatient for success, but it takes time and it takes effort. It can be a lot easier than we think, and it can come a lot faster than we’d believe, too, but it comes neither effortlessly nor overnight.
Why anyone thinks it should is a mystery, but it’s a situation not helped by the number of over-hyped sales letters out there on the Internet making all sorts of bizarre claims.
And the second mistake they make, which really follows on from the first, is they give up too quickly. They’ll, say, pick a strategy like direct mail and send out one piece to a small list. And when they don’t make the Big Bucks as promised by the sales letters and the “cookie cutter” systems they peddle, they simply give up and move onto the next Bright Shiny Object.
Unfortunately, outrageously profitable marketing systems are built piece by piece over a period of time. They do not spring into being overnight and almost never turn an enormous profit from the outset. Sometimes you don’t even manage to break even. The marketing “gurus” who sell you the lie overnight success is likely, or even possible, hide from you the sweat they put into doing the groundwork to make their ridiculously profitable systems possible.
A good example is my wife’s blog.
This is just Mrs. EBG’s “hobby blog” yet it’s enormously profitable for her, and she regularly releases $47 ebooks to her email list and makes a healthy $12,000 or so over a weekend.
And from the outside it looks so easy — easy enough anyone can do it. But what they don’t see or think about is the 180 or so blog posts she wrote to get “authority” in her niche; they don’t see the hundreds of forum posts she made for the same purpose; they don’t see the daily emails she writes to her list to grow and nurture the relationship with her readers; they don’t see the research we both put into it even before she bought the domain name.
All this takes time and effort, and you’ll find it’s what’s behind every “effortless” and “overnight” success.
So man up.
Grow a pair.
And stop dithering and waiting for the certainty no one with integrity can offer you.
Fact of Uncaring Reality No.7: There Is No “Secret of Success”… Except This One
Virtually every business owner I talk to is searching for that one thing, the secret sauce, the silver bullet, the Holy Grail, or whatever metaphor you like to use, to fix their business and send their marketing off into the soft-focus sunset on My Little Pony where presumably everyone will live and profit happily ever after.
Well, we can dispense with that nonsense right now. As adults and business owners we don’t need fairy tales.
Fact is… the secret of success is there is no secret, not in the sense of a magic spell or shortcut. Loads of people will offer you one and even take your money in return for some bulllshit mumbo-jumbo promise, but they’re liars, every single one of them.
Everyone knows deep inside it really boils down to hard work and finding a few things that really work and repeating them over and over again until we master them.
It’s really that simple.
The trouble is, this view is very unpopular. And it’s unpopular to the point where some people get angry with me, personally, for pointing it out to them.
Imagine everyone who ever read this book somehow got together in a room. If I was then to conduct a survey, a rough headcount, I can tell you right now what we’d get in the way of results.
Around 20% of the people there would hate the book and everything in it. Maybe 5% of them would hate me, personally, too, and disagree violently with everything I said. Then, maybe 60% would agree with me to a greater or lesser degree, but not feel strongly either way. And maybe the top 20% would love it and declare themselves my loyal fans, some of them to the point where they’d offer to bear my children.
Now imagine we fast-forward a year and we get only those loyal fans, the top 20% back into the room again and ask them what they’ve done over the past 12 months.
And this is where it gets depressing and frustrating.
Because once more I can tell you what the results would be.
Probably 20% of them would have gone to work and put the ideas I share with you here to work in their businesses, and a small percentage of them, maybe just 1%, would have done everything and a whole lot more besides. Then 60% of them would have done a bit here and a bit there, but never really knuckled down to it. And finally 20% of them would have done Jack shit.
Oh, they’d have a whole bunch of “reasons”, but they’d really just be excuses; and as someone once said to me: “excuses are like assholes: everyone has one, and they all stink”.
All these different people would nevertheless have one thing in common: they’ll all get the results they deserve for their efforts over the long haul.
In a later chapter we look at this strange but predictable distribution of numbers in more detail but the important thing to realise for now is the only way to make all of this work is to apply the strategies and, in time, master them. Use makes master, after all.
At first it’s going to be hard.
Everything is going to be new to you and much of it counterintuitive and very uncomfortable.
And what you’ll do is concoct all sorts of reasons in your own head why these uncomfortable ideas and strategies won’t work in your particular business, even without trying them. I mean, there’s no point in trying them, because you somehow magically “know” they won’t work, don’t you?
You don’t. I don’t know whether any given strategy will work for you or not, no matter how well it’s worked for me and others — but you don’t know it, either.
You can’t know it.
What you’ll actually be doing at this point is avoiding doing something just because you find it uncomfortable but want to justify that irrational decision to yourself.
While this is understandable, and it’s something we all do, I’m afraid it’s not going to help you grow your business (or do anything else worthwhile, either).
As I’ve often said, marketing is actually pretty boring, because once you find what works, you just keep doing it. For me, the excitement comes from finding ways to make what’s working already work even better.
But if you’re looking for that one easy and effortless answer to your problems, you’re going to be disappointed. And I strongly urge you to face that disappointment and get over it right now and then move on.
The only way to succeed in business is with dogged stubbornness and refusing to give up.
After all, you don’t fail until you stop trying to succeed.
More Praise for Grow Your Business FAST from Business Owners
“AWESOME – I tell you Grow Your Business FAST has fired me up all over again about the truth of the matters of business, clients and life.
There is so much in there — in addition to the amazing business wisdom, fabulous and devastatingly simple copywriting tips, it’s got so much life assistance and mindset improving information I reckon it should be called Grow Your Business (and Sort your life out!) FAST.
Already an addict of the EBG style, I love the fact that it doesn’t sugar coat a single thing – and that it speaks to the reader as an adult. I also love the fact that this is NOT a ‘done for you’ solution builder but a ‘do it yourself – and here’s how’ solution builder. That said, you were a lot tamer than usual!
The one thing that jumps out at me is how simple you have made growing a business — this allows the reader to really focus their efforts on implementation – as what you have written is so easily understood.
I think it’s a great place to start for a new business owner — as it’s all in there and (not that I’m accusing you of plagiarism) it lends from and simplifies enduring principles from some of the greats, which will make it a must have guide for Business Owners who refuse mediocre.
It’s structured in a logical way which really helps a business owner to build on the principles step by step.”
“For the small business owner Grow Your Business FAST is a must have ‘how to run a business’ manual. People get manuals for car repair (Haynes) and for DIY (Readers Digest) generally giving them tips on how to save money.GYBF helps them make money but just as important how not to waste money on pointless advertising and marketing (by giving them examples). Most business books are based on theory but this is a hands on in the trenches book.And it is not a book for dummies but a serious attempt to show people how to run their business.
It is for start ups and more established businesses who may be struggling. Also great tips on how a business owner can grow and develop as a person (so not just about growing the business).
Key points for me were:
- Easy to read and to follow the flow of the book.
- Balanced opinion throughout the book. Jon tells you about the importance of testing and not just taking his word as gospel.
- Explains the myths and misconceptions out there which are probably in the mind of the business owner.
- Pointing out the pitfalls and how to overcome them (with examples).
- Focusing on the important numbers… ROI and lifetime value of a client.
- Dangers of Social Media… not to disregard it but to be aware it will not solve all their problems (balanced opinion).
- Minute details… even down to the font type and the line length of adverts and sales letters making them easier to read for the end user.
I have been a following Jon’s work for years so much of what he says I am familiar with.
However the book highlighted a lot of stuff I know but am not implementing… a kick in the backside for me!!
Grow Your Business FAST will be my ‘go to book’ in growing my and my clients’ businesses.
Cartoon Coaching and Consultancy,
“This book is one of the best I have read in a long time. Written with expert knowledge on a subject that many business people think they know but nearly always get it wrong.The character of the writer flows off the pages.
It is written with honesty, integrity, wit and a down to earth, no bull attitude, putting the real facts of business life on the table for all to see.I would recommend this book to anyone who needs to get a better understanding of the whole concept of marketing and its key function in business.
It is a must to any small business looking for a key insight into the world of marketing. I will be recommending it to all my clients and may even use this as a free book to every new client.I could mention 5 or 6 elements from my first read of this book, but I have to start with ROI (return on investment), this alone is the key to me building my business. I know how long we retain our clients and that could be worth over £50,000. Its time for me to find some an impressive ‘attention grabbers’.”
David Taylor, Sheridan Accounting Solutions Limited
“I am a very keen and capable golfer but I didn’t get to that standard without some very good coaching from the pro at my club.
If you are looking to start out in business, or grow your business, then doing so without the help of this book would be just like turning up at the first tee with all your new golf gear, having never had a lesson in your life, and expecting to shoot below par (in golf below par actually means you are very good).Get Grow Your Business FAST if you want to get good at running your own business as Jon is a complete pro and will show you exactly how to avoid the hazards and keep the ball bang in the middle of the fairway.
Aarif Merali, d2rCrossmedia,
“If you’ve previously trusted graphic designers, web designers, or the art department of newspapers and magazines to produce your advertising, and you’re frequently disappointed with the results, this book will blow your mind!
Jon McCulloch gives you a complete overview of the kind of people you need (not want) to be selling to, how to craft a marketing message that appeals directly to those people, and how to choose the most effective media to deliver your message.Jon’s strategy for using email is probably the quickest, easiest, and most profitable thing you could ever do for your business, and I would happily bet none of your competitors are using this method.
Entering into the world of direct-response marketing is like going on a journey. And if you follow the steps laid out in Grow Your Business FAST, you’ll probably look back on this day in the future and think to yourself ‘That was the day everything changed…’.”
“What a great read. Grow Your Business FAST drove home a simple but very crucial message for our vintage bike business: all customers are not equal.
We absolutely must stop trying to be all things to all customers and concentrate our efforts on the 20 % of clients who account for 80 % of the sales.Of course I knew this already, intellectually, and had started to do something about it by compiling a Best Customers list made up of the 20% of top spenders each month. But I haven’t targeted the list in any way and consequently haven’t yet reaped the rewards.
A quick check of figures proves Jon’s point: we have over 5,000 clients on our database yet the combined annual spend of the 250 clients on the Best Customer List represents 70 % of our total annual turnover.
I’m flabbergasted. And very determined to find ways to a) deter small spenders and time-wasters and b) improve rapport and services with our best customers initially via a new monthly printed newsletter. This must be the key to success.
Thank you indeed, Jon, for such valuable insights.”
Lorraine Harris, Classic Motos France,
“This is the first book I have ever read that grabs you by the throat and makes you understand how, without vigorous, intelligent marketing, anyone running a micro or SME business is wasting his or her time.
The Evil Bald Genius does not do pussyfooting: be warned.Unlike the thousands of mealy-mouthed marketing authors in the past who try to sell you half-assed marketing ‘solutions’, The EBG shoves his methods right in your face and makes you see how they’ll work for you.
And he has hundreds of stonking success stories to prove that they work. Grow Your Business FAST is not for the faint-hearted, but if you’re faint-hearted, you won’t go far in business anyway.
This book is a brilliant piece of prose that will turn you into an evil genius of a marketer, too.”
Suzan St Maur, Online business writer and best-selling author
“This book comes with a big promise — and it’s a promise fulfilled. Packed with tested strategies, Grow Your Business FAST tells you in plain language how to get more leads, produce more sales and make more money.
And in business, that’s really all that matters.Its easy-to-read style means you can whip through the whole book in a day or two, though putting just 20% of the strategies to work is probably enough to revolutionise any small business — and very quickly at that.”
“In an era of clueless Social Media experts spouting endless nonsense like ‘brand awareness’ and ‘engagement’, Jon’s Grow Your Business FAST lifts the lid on what really works and gives specific advice as to how any small business can ramp up their profits within a short period of time.
It’s an unfortunate fact that most businesses have been lied to by everyone from newspapers trying to flog them advertising space to these aforementioned ‘Social Media’ experts. For most SME owners this has led to almost a morbid fear of marketing, coming to think of it as something of a black art, something that they just aren’t supposed to figure out.
I should know, I used to be one of these people.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, by learning how to concentrate your efforts on the fundamentals of marketing and developing strategies like Premium Pricing that attract a better class of higher paying customer, your business can begin to turn itself around and grow like you’ve never imagined.
One word of warning though, Jon’s advice is often quite brutal and unforgiving, but rest assured you’re always getting the gods honest truth. When there’s money on the line, that’s the way it should be.”
“GYBF is the essential guide to small business marketing. Jon takes you through all the vital steps you must know as a small business owner to be able to do effective marketing which works — and which your competitors never will understand.One particular section of the book which simply is excellent, and will shake the world for most business owners, is the part about the deadliness of low prices.
Jon brilliantly explains why competing on price will lead to a slow, painful death for your business — and gives you the strategies and step-by-step guides you need to build a solid business where you no longer have to struggle with competing on low price and getting tiny profits.
I wholeheartedly recommend you read this book today, as every day going by without you taking action is a day you’ll lose money.”
Vegard Svanberg, Monsternett AS (in Halden, Norway)
“The Good: it reads easy and flows well.The bad: it kicks you in the nuts immediately by giving you some straight to the point facts, take it or leave it. (I hope anyone that’s my competition would leave it!).
The ugly: you realise if you want to get ahead, you simply got to get off your arse and start doing some of this stuff.I have to say Grow Your Business FAST is a brilliant book and I’ll be using it as a business reminder manual as well as a blueprint to remind me of the stuff that I’m sure I’ll miss trying to setup or grow my business.I genuinely hope my competition do not get hold of a copy of this book.”
“Timing is everything, last night I was away from home on business, sat in a hotel not much to do, so I started to read, and read, and read. I think I started about 9.00pm and fell asleep still reading about 2.30am.What a read!
I’m sure this was his intention but reading Grow Your Business FAST is just like sitting talking to Jon over a pint. It flows, the arguments make sense, and even when your mind questions things Jon seems to answer these as well. There are so many nuggets in there that need to be referred to over and over again.
One thing I am going to do, (tonight probably) is go through it all again and write down bullet points from it, reminders if you like, which I know will keep me going.
What I found most helpful was although a lot of the subject matter was known to me, I found when I was honest with myself, that I was only going part of the way — 60, 70% is not good enough, and already I have identified ways I can make my business better. After all I am not in the Licensing Business, I am in the business of marketing my Licensing Services.
Now the hard work begins. I am going to take 5 ideas at a time, perfect them, then move on to the next 5 and so on. Number 1 is undoubtedly to create a set of rules for myself. Easy to ignore when you work for yourself on your own.”
Liquor Licence Specialist,
“Right from the get go there’s no time wasted on warming you up and it jumps right into the action steps (a style I personally enjoy). I hate chit-chat. I wish someone had written something like this a few years ago. There is no hype and it’s a complete no-nonsense approach with a step-by-step guide — like a paint by numbers blueprint, albeit with very straightforward advice which is typical of Jon’s style:
- Several things guaranteed to not make you any money.
- The hardest, most time-consuming and expensive (and least profitable) thing all businesses tend to do in their marketing first and how to avoid it and increase your ROI dramatically.
- The 4 Simple Keys that make any marketing message extremely effective (and even irresistible).
And a lot more before you even touch page 40. The section of polarizing your audience is best explained by Jon who does it quite a bit himself. Then you move on to other topics like Premier Positioning including
- What is so attractive about a ‘Rolls Royce’?
- How you can increase your profits by 39% or more by making this simple tweak to your prices.
- The MOST effective marketing vehicle with perhaps the best ROI and why your competition isn’t using it.
And there’s a lot more such as how to get your ad prices as cheap as you possible, how to get it all done — even if you take baby steps, and there’s an appendix which could have been the topic for another book — How to write a profitable ad or sales letter. This belongs on the desk of every business owner (and more important, in their heads after they’ve read it).