"It's almost like a management report card. By getting a valuation done on some periodic basis, it can give a business owner a sense of how much their business increased or decreased during some certain time period."
BB, the legendary copywriter and one of my biggest clients, is a constant articulator of powerful, business-building ideas. Recently, in a memo to his senior executives, he discussed the difficulty of starting and growing new businesses, and offered a brilliant synopsis of "what it takes to make
(such) businesses work."
"You have heard about the Four P's of salesmanship: Promise. Picture.
Proof and Payoff.
Those are very effective guides in creating sales packages that produce. But I have five more P's I'd like to share with you.
These could be helpful in launching and/or growing your business."
BB's Five P's of business-building are...
1. Programme: You need a business model that works - one that can produce reliable, long-term profitability with an acceptable level of investment and risk.
2. Product: You want to sell products that are easy to sell the first time and even easier to sell thereafter. In other words, you want to sell products that give people what they are looking for at a price they can rationalize.
3. Prospects: You need people to sell to. And you need a sufficient number of them to meet your business's long-term goals. They have to be plentiful.
And they have to be profitable. Where do you find such quality customers?
Mailing lists? Websites? Keyword searches? Telephone calls? Finding potential buyers is a big part of any business.
4. Proposition: Every market is unique. So is every product. Figuring out the optimum way to sell your unique product to a given market segment is your first and most important priority. Until you do that, you can't produce profits.
5. People: Every business, no matter what it does, where it's located, or how automated its processes are, depends on people to create and maintain its profits. Taking a business to the next level - even to keep it from falling backward - is most easily accomplished by the hiring, promotion, training, and nurturing of a team of key people who can work skillfully and efficiently. You have to find them and then motivate them and then hold on to them.
To BB's very good list, I would add four more P's that you have to pay attention to...
6. Promotions: Discovering the right proposition for your business is the first - but only the first - priority of selling. To be able to keep your business profitable, you have to be able to produce a continuous flow of successful, customer-grabbing promotions (sales offers that attract attention, offer benefits to the customers, and persuade them to buy your products). A business that can't produce breakthrough promotions on an ongoing basis is a business that is doomed to mediocrity or even failure.
7-9. Procedures, Protocols, and Processes: If you get the first six P's working right, your business will never suffer from a lack of sales. But if you don't have effective operations - order-taking, fulfillment, accounting, and customer service - your profits will always be half of what they should be, and your stress will be double what it needs to be.