Identify the things that people don’t have enough of and provide them
Every successful business produces something valuable. The world is full of opportunities to make people’s lives better, and your job as a business owner is to identify things that people lack, then find a way to provide those things. The value you create can be of different forms, but the goal is always the same: to improve someone else’s life. Without creating value, a business can’t exist. The most successful companies in the world are the ones that generate the most value for other people.
Some businesses flourish by delivering a little value to many, and others concentrate on providing massive value to a few people. Regardless, the more value you create for other people, the better your business and the more profitable you’ll become.
Let’s define a business as a repeatable process that:
- Creates and delivers something of value
- Others want or need
- At a price they’re inclined to pay
- In a way that fulfills the customer’s needs and expectations
- So that the business yields enough profit to make it worthwhile for the owners to continue operation
It doesn’t matter if you run a billion-dollar brand or a solo venture. Take any of these factors away, and your business ceases to be. An experience that doesn’t yield value for others is a hobby. A venture that doesn’t generate enough money to keep operating will inevitably close.
Make something people want. Nothing is more valuable than an unmet need that is just becoming fixable. If you find something broken that you can fix for many people, you’ve found a gold mine.
At the heart of every business is a collection of 5 Interdependent processes. Each of these processes streams into the next:
- Value creation: find out what people need or want, then create it
- Marketing: call attention and build demand for what you’ve created
- Sales: turn prospective customers into paying customers
- Value delivery: give your customers what you’ve promised and guarantee their satisfaction
- Finance: bring in enough money to keep going and make your struggle worthwhile
Business is not rocket science — it’s simply a process of identifying a problem and finding a way to solve it to benefit both parties. Anyone who tries to overcomplicate business is either trying to impress you or sell you something you don’t need.
Did you know? Most businesses thrive for a while and then die off — or don’t thrive at all — because they start to put revenue before people at one point or another. To succeed in the business world, you must make it your ideal to sell on value versus price.
Marketing: The art and science of finding people who are actively interested in what you have to offer
Offering value is not sufficient. Without marketing, businesses will find it hard to survive. Every successful business attracts the interest of the right people and calls their attention to what’s being offered. Without prospects, your business won’t sell anything, and without the completion of profitable transactions, your business will fail. Marketing is the art and science of locating “prospects” – people who are actively captivated by what you have to offer.
The best businesses in the world look for ways to rapidly attract qualified prospects’ attention rapidly and with little cost. The more prospects you attract, the better off your business will be.
Marketing is not the same as selling. While “direct marketing” techniques often try to underrate the time between drawing attention and asking for a sale, marketing and selling are two distinct things. Marketing is a way to get noticed; Sales is about closing the deal.
Modern life is filled with demands on your attention. Everyone has a lot of things to do and too little time to do them all.
The number 1 rule of marketing is that your potential customer’s attention is limited. Keeping up with everything in your world would need more attention than you have to work with. You have to get to them through their filters to get someone’s attention. High-quality attention must be achieved. When you seek someone’s attention, it’s helpful to take a moment to remember that you’re competing against everything else in their world. Be noticed; you need to earn that attention by being more interesting or useful than the competing alternatives.
People ignore what they don’t care about. One of the primary functions of the human brain is perceptual filtering: determining what to pay attention to and what to ignore. The fastest way to be ignored by anyone is to start talking about something they have no interest in.
Receptivity illustrates how open a person is to your message. It has two main components: what and when. People tend to be receptive only to specific areas of things at certain times.
The medium you use in transmitting your message matters. The form of the message influences how receptive people are to the information that the message contains. If the form of your message implies that it was built just for them, you’re far more likely to get your prospect’s attention.
Sales: Successful businesses sell what they have to offer
Every successful business trades what it has to offer. Having millions of prospects isn’t reasonable if no one can pull out their wallet and say, “I’ll take one.” The sales procedure starts with a prospect and ends with a paying customer. No sale, no business.
The best businesses in the world gain the trust of their prospective customers and help them understand why the offer is worth paying for. No one likes to be taken advantage of, so sales mostly include helping the prospect understand what’s vital and convincing them you’re able to deliver on what you promise.
Sales are the point in the business cycle where resources flow into the business, which makes finalizing transactions critically important. Businesses overcome by bringing in a profit, and there’s no way to do that without completing transactions.
Transactions can only be done with economically valuable things. If you have nothing your prospective customers want, they won’t buy from you. This may seem obvious, but it’s unbelievable how many prospective business people enter the market without something the market wants. That’s why it is crucial to develop and test a Minimum Economically Viable Offer (MEVO); it’s the best way to find out if you’ve created something valuable enough to sell before you invest your life savings.
When you start a new business, the goal is to get to the point where you make your first profitable Transaction as fast as you possibly can because that’s the point where you shift from being a project to being a business.
Without a particular amount of trust between parties, no transaction will occur. No matter what agreements are made or how good the deal sounds, no customer will willingly part with their hard-earned money unless they believe you can deliver what you promise. Similarly, it’s usually not advisable to accept credit or IOUs from customers you don’t know.
Build a credible reputation over time by dealing fairly and honestly. You can also take steps to show you’re trustworthy: organizations like the Better Business Bureau, credit and background check services, and financial arrangements like escrow accounts are there to help endure an initial lack of trust between parties in a Transaction.
Lastly, a fundamental principle you must always bear in mind is that every successful business provides value that other people need at a price they’re willing to pay in such a way that will satisfy the purchaser’s needs and expectations and provide the business with enough income to make it worthwhile for the owners to continue operating. Having a clear understanding of this principle will definitely help.
For the next few days, think of ways you can make people’s lives better, ways you can create value for them. Once you can figure this out, you are ready to embark on your journey towards a successful business career. Remember, if you find something broken that you can fix for many people, you’ve found yourself a gold mine.