Top Personality Mistakes In Business…

Are you in business? Or about to be? Then take note of this interesting list of personality mistakes in business

Personality Problems

  1. Not Mentally Strong: A certain attitude is required of successful entrepreneurs. Do you have what it takes to lead rather than to be lead?
  2. Inability to Analyse: Successful entrepreneurs need an analytical spirit. Can you be analytical and even a little bit critical in order to guarantee business success?
  3. Inability to Self Critique: As a business owner, you need to be willing to self critique. A business owner who is not critical of his or her self is an unsuccessful one.
  4. Lack of Desire: You have to be passionate about your industry, niche or business in order to succeed. Do you lack desire for your business? Then you are destined to fail.
  5. Low Motivation: Just like desire, motivation is critical for business success. If you are lacking motivation, perhaps you are in the wrong business. Get motivated or get another job.
  6. Over Confidence in Expansion: While expanding may be a necessary part of business, if you become over confident in your ability to expand, your business will surely flop.
  7. Making Rash Assumptions: If you walk into your business making assumptions, you will have trouble acting on real information.
  8. Failing to Take Responsibility: When you are an entrepreneur, you have to accept responsibility for failures in your business; you cannot simply shirk them off onto someone else’s shoulders.
  9. Procrastination: If you procrastinate, or are lazy, or otherwise simply cannot get things done, you are NOT suited for entrepreneurship.
  10. Overzealousness: Your business will not go from 0 to 60 on day one. You need to be prepared for a slow battle, and shoot for “slow and steady” business growth.

See the whole article of 50 mistakes here –

Trade A Cell Phone Line For A Website… If You Hurry!

What’s worth more? That cell phone line that isn’t bring you business, or a corporate website worth $200, no monthly hosting fees and a strategic advantage over your competitors?

You Tell me.

If you’d prefer the website…let me know today – i’ll be swapping with cell phone lines for an up coming promo i’m doing. This is just for the first 5 takers…then it’s over.

Fill in your contact details below and i’ll get back to you… or give me a call on my office line – 04 756 411 (ask directly for Max).

3 Ways To Grow Your Business

Looking to grow your business? Expand your market share, increase profits and so on?

Truth is there are probably hundreds of learning options available to you. The internet, libraries and book stores are full of info on tactics you can use. Problem is, there’s so much of it out there it’s hard to make heads or tails of it. Consultants make a lot of money by complicating simple concepts – but grasping it is simpler than you may think

Actually there are just three ways to grow ANY business

  1. Get more customers.
  2. Get each client to buy more frequently
  3. Increase your profit off each sale.

Every startegy or tactic will fall into these 3 categories.  Simple right? Yet thinking of it this way allows you to see what you should be focused on.

For example, Should you be focused on bringing in more leads?

That’s the first place most businesses turn – yet it’s often the hardest and least profitable. It requires that you spend more marketing dollars to get the word out, which is always more expensive than just marketing to an already established customer base.

However if you’re a new business or you have a thin customer database, then you’ll want to attract new leads. In the customer theif you’ll learn how to do this faster, easier and more profitably – check out the draft version here – no fancy graphics, no grammar checks and a few missing chapters – yet already a few people have sent me testimonials – like this one

“…was surprised when my cousin emailed this to me. It definitely doesn’t look as ‘finished’ as Cash Baron Secrets, but the ideas in there have totally changed my business strategy. Within two days of using the info in there my advertising results in the Herald went by about 50% – thanks (looking forward to the final version” Kuda Moweni.

“This is tight Max, thanks. If i focus on these principles, i can easily increase my earnings with in the next 1 week.” Jason Kolani Muwenizani.

Of course , with in each of these 3 ways are hundreds of tactics and nuances. My advice… don’t use the same old tactics your industry is used to seeing. Borrow and steal ideas from other industries, companies and organisations.

If your industry is used to focusing on newspaper classifieds, maybe it’s time you tested an aggressive internet strategy? A referral program, cross-sale, up-sale, deap-sale, joint ventures, newspaper advertising, direct mail — i could go on and on.

Let me know how it’s going

Max

P.S. You know the drill… Right click, save, read, make money.

Customer Thief Cover

You Can also download Cash Baron Secrets or even just read it online CLICK HERE

Use Zimbabwe Newspapers To Steal Customers

It’s easy to steal customers in Zimbabwe. One way is with killer newspaper advertising.

To be clear, i’m not talking about killer LOOKING ads, i’m talking about money MAKING ads. For the next few days I’ll cover the strategies, tactics, mindset and insights needed to steal your markets attention with your advertising. (Customer Thief: Have you read the book?)

Effective advertising goes far beyond just placing a big ad in the Herald newspaper with lots of colour and a nice logo…I’m talking about the principles that get results. Once you learn the science of advertising – in Zimbabwe you can practically rule, I know, I’ve done it.

Firstly understand that the following is a list of principles – not short term techniques. That means it

  • Doesn’t matter where – Herald, Sunday Mail, Fingaz, Zimbabwean, Independent  or a magazine etc
  • Doesn’t matter whether you’re doing display or classifieds ad
  • Doesn’t matter what product or service – selling property, car sales, computer, cell phones, furniture, events management, consultancy, etc…once you know how – you know how.

So here we go, in no particular order 15 tips on creating winning newspaper ads in Zimbabwe…

1. Focus your time on developing a strong headline for your ad. The headline is the ad for your ad and has by far the greatest impact on your results. I typically write between 10 or 20 headlines before I settle on one. Don’t settle for the first thing that enters your head…it’s probably not nearly as smart as you think.

2. Capture attention and speak directly to the reader about something that’s important to him immediately in your headline. Forget what’s important to you, forget your logo and your company name…your focus now is completely on your prospect.

3. Once you headline has done it’s job (which is to attract the interest on the right reader), then focus your ‘body copy’ on presenting a compelling offer with as many benefits as you can afford to include (You’re being charged per-word).

7. To catch a prospect, think like him. It’s about what he want to know, not what you want to say. Benefits are what your prospect is most interested in…give him what he wants.

8. NEVER ever try to close the sale in a (short/small) classified ad. You’ll waste your money and get less response than you could’ve. Use the two-step formula for maximum results. Use your classified ad to find hot leads. When those leads contact you (via phone, email, whatever) that’s the time to go for the close. There are multiple reasons for this…trust me – it works.

9. Make it easy for people to contact you. This is especially important in Zimbabwe with cell phone networks as bad as they are. If they can call/email or visit…that’s the way to do it.

10. Write your ad as though you’re talking to one person. Have that person in your mind when you write. This makes your communication more personal, effective and it’s easier to build rapport.

11. Use simple design options to make your ad stand out. A double thick border, a different colour, a block on the headline…be creative without wasting money.

12 Use the F word. Offer something Free if possible. People respond to that like nothing else. A free report, info pack or even a free quotation – whatever.

13. Evaluate your competition. I’m amazed by how so many are content to pay and publish ads that look exactly like their competitors ads. Just go through the herald classifieds and look at the real estate/ computer or vehicles for sale section. It’s dumb – don’t duplicate your competitors…stand out. A better offer, a different design layout, a unique approach.

14. Forget grammar – delete words in classified ads. Edit your ads for unnecessary words that take up space and cost money without contributing to the marketing effort. ‘the’, ‘and’ etc. This isn’t an English exam, it’s a business exam.

15.  Choose your category or section carefully. This is worth very careful thinking and can often make a huge difference – especially in classifieds ads. If you’re wise, you’ll test different sections with the same ads and key the results.

There you have it, that’s it for today. Advertising works, if you work it. It’s probably the most used marketing tactic…yet one of the least understood. An ad that has been tested over time and maximized based on solid strategy and market feedback is worth gold to you. I’ve done my part…now do yours.

Tomorrow – 10 questions to ask before you write a single word of your advert. These questions are what make the difference between an amateur and a master customer thief.

The Customer Thief – Max Soutter

Actually, Some Thieves Sleep VERY Well At Night!

Stealing customers is not only profitable and satisfying, it’s also ethical and legal. In fact, once you learn and apply the 5 keys taught here in, you’ll feel great about your business AND your newly stolen customers will thank you for it.

The Customer Thief Book Cover

In “The Customer Thief”, Max Soutter explains shows you what to do when your customers won’t buy and your competitors won’t share. Isn’t time you started snatching wallets and picking pockets in your market place?

CLICK HERE to download The Customer Thief

Please take note: the download is an insiders ‘Pre-release version’ Fill in the form below if you want the final version when I’m done with it.

Zimbabwe Business: Get Clients For $10usd Or Less – 5 ways

After years of working with Zimbabwean businesses all shapes and sizes, I’m amazed by how difficult and expensive some people make their marketing. They see full page ads, high priced websites, huge bill boards and massive sales teams and assume that marketing has to be expensive to be effective. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Here are just 5 (of many) ways to get more customers, make more money and grow your business in Zimbabwe (or anywhere) with a ridiculously small budget.
1) Classified ads. Classifieds can cost as little as 3usd at the Herald newspaper. Unfortunately, the way most classifieds are placed means that you waste even the little budget that you do have. Here are a few tips…

a) Don’t attempt to SELL in a classified (or any kind of small ad). If you don’t have enough space to tell a convincing sales story and present a decent presentation, DONT! Instead write a sentence or two to get the attention of your target market and arouse their interest enough to enquire for more info. This is where www.getmoreinfo.wordpress.com can work great for you. Refer clients to your specific page/link where you’ve put enough info for them to make a buying decision. The more expensive, unique or complicated your product, the more important this is.
b) Don’t be boring! The average classified section in the paper can have anything from 10 – 1000 competitors – all selling the same product the same market. Unless you’re different or special there’s no real reason to call you instead of your competitor. Remember in results based marketing, it’s more important WHAT you say, than HOW you say it.

2) Email It! It cost’s less than 2usd for 30 mins at an internet cafe and ‘free’ at your office. Developing an email database of clients and prospects is basic strategy for a business that’s going anywhere. Write an attention grabbing subject heading (one that will get your email opened) send it to everyone on your database. Offer them valuable info, then refer them to your getmoreinfo page for more info on your offer

3) Sacrifice a $1usd! That’s about all it costs to send an SMS classified to the Gazette newspaper! Come on… they’ve been advertising this for ages and so few people still use it. All the better for you if you’re the only one in your market promoting your product in a half empty classifieds section of a national newspaper! Follow the tips above for effective classifieds.

4) Develop a referral program. There are dozens of ways to do this that ANY business in Zimbabwe can take advantage of. Basically, it mostly comes down to these three things
a) Develop an offer worth talking about.
b) Make it easy for people to refer people to you.
c) Reward them for their efforts. By the way, ‘reward’ doesn’t always mean cash…there are many other ways to do it.
5) Join www.getmoreinfo.wordpress.com Even before it’s official launch, it’s gaining lots of interest. Having your company/product/services info on that site, well written is worth gold to you. Nothing beats being able to advertise your business to potential thousands by simply sending an email! Get in while it’s still free to join – or even better, for just $50 get Gold Membership. Listen, the site isn’t even finished being designed yet, but has already received over a hundred visits – get in early for a great advantage. Find out more here.
By the way if you haven’t read Cash Baron Secrets, why not? Once you’ve read that, you won’t ever have to be limited to ‘cheap marketing’. There’s a story in there about how i got a company to ‘finance’ over 12 months of marketing FOR me…100% FREE! Download it at no cost here.

Regards

Max Soutter
p.s. Thanks to everyone whose been following my estate agency challenge. www.propertyplace.wordpress.com – in record time, has overtaken 96% of local property websites including most of the ‘Big Boys’.

Do you know of any more ways to market effectively alcheapo? Do share with everyone…

South African/ Zimbabwe Visa Restrictions Removed: What This Means for You

So, visa restrictions to South Africa have now been removed. It’s great news for most Zimbabwe consumers and even businesses… but not for all. I’ve been telling entrepreneurs that things are changing for over a year now – get ready.

This development is just the beginning… Zim entrepreneurs will soon be facing serious competition from out SA friends…will you be ready? Here are a few things you can expect to happen (over time)…

1) Most obviously, prices will become more competitive. As more Zimbabweans now have access to products and even services from ‘the source’ you can expect prices will go down even further in most areas.

2) More people may venture into your type of business. Every time a barrier to entry is removed in business, more people will enter that industry. This represents both opportunity and challenge for you as an entrepreneur.

This is why it’s important for you to know how to create competitive barriers in your market. If your business is vulnerable just because Visa requirements to South Africa have been removed, you’re in trouble.

3) More people will become interested in 2010. Almost every person with at least a teaspoon of entrepreneurial juice – you’ve thought about what opportunities 2010 may avail to you.

4) Over-time I hope and suspect that business ideas in Zimbabwe will improve. I believe we’ll see entrepreneurs move from short cut, instant gratification business models, to more substantial longer-term models.

5) We’ll see an improvement in the quality of local goods and services. Those who got away with terrible services or products will soon find themselves out of business if they don’t move with the times.

6) Of course as Zimbos get increasingly fussy, knowing they can get the same or better service in SA or from SA businesses, Zim entrepreneurs will have to shift gear and go to another level in customer service. Smiles, prompt service a free extras will become a more common feature of Zimbabwean business!

7) New types of businesses. Whilst many of the usual will grow stronger, we’ll see new ideas begin to infiltrate Zim. As things slowing improve, individuals become less survival oriented and start looking into what else they want in their lives. As they become more exposed to other options, it opens up opportunity for smart businessmen and women to take advantage.

8) Marketing will all of a sudden matter! Now instead of merely putting your logo in the newspaper, you’ll have actually have to have something to say – something more than “Hurry While Stocks Last!” or ”Sale Now ON”. Strategy, market info and so on will increasingly from now on gain in importance to Zim business. When you cant sell merely on scarcity or price…real marketing begins.

9) The Internet will become a much more important medium. With internet cafes springing up everywhere these days, it’s already happening. Those who know how to use this exciting medium will gain a massive advantage, especially in communicating to regional or international markets. But even those targeting local prospects will gain exciting new strategic advantages. It’s amazing how few local businesses actually have a website, let alone know how to maximize it’s use. The time is soon coming when not having a website, will be the equivalent of being illiterate – you’ l be relegated to the ‘rural areas’ of the business world.

10) Businesses will increase outsourcing to SA. With access to more skills, not readily available in Zimbabwe, wouldn’t you? Naturally, this affects the value of skills and the security of jobs here. It also avails opportunities to those who can facilitate the process.

I could actually go on and on. I don’t know how to predict the timing of all this, but it’s most likely sooner than you think. The point is, recognize that things are changing a lot faster than most business people realize. Investors are coming in, partnerships are being created, plans are being put in place etc.

What should you be doing about all this in your business? Get to it!

10 STEPS TO SUCCESS IN DIRECT SALES (ZIMBABWE)

In Zimbabwe, direct sales in far from a common concept to many Zimbabwean Entrepreneurs, yet every year thousands of men and women across America sign on with direct selling firm-Tupperware, Amway, or a cosmetic company-hoping to make money enough for new draperies, a new davenport, or some new clothes. They sell a little merchandise to a few relatives and close friends. Then they are through. They quit before they give themselves a chance to learn the basics of success in sales. “I am simply not a born salesperson,” they often say.

No one is born a salesperson, any more than one is born a doctor or born a lawyer. Sales is a profession. To be successful in any profession one must learn not only the basic techniques, but also how to apply those techniques. Success in sales makes use of all the abilities one is born with, plus all those acquired through education and experience.

If you are looking for a career opportunity or “extra income” to help with the family budget, direct selling offers you dream-fulfilling possibilities. However, you must give yourself time to learn the techniques of sales. Ask yourself. “How long does a doctor to be study? A lawyer to be study?”

WHAT IS DIRECT SELLING?

Direct selling is marketing a product directly to the consumer with no middleman involved. Most reliable firms are members of the National Association of Direct Selling Companies. They bring to the public fine products that are modestly priced in order to insure mass consumption.

Most direct selling companies furnish their representatives with a starter kit and essential supplies below-cost prices. In many instances the investment is under $100.

There is an old adage which says “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Many of them were able to change their lives for the better. They took their families on nice vacations. They purchased a piano or an organ and provided music lessons for their children. They saved money for college education. They redecorated their homes, bought needed furniture. One highly successful saleslady built a new home.

The rewards of direct selling are many

1. You can be your own boss.

2. You can set your own hours.

3. You can own your own businesses with little or no investment.

4. You can pay yourself more than any boss would ever pay you.

5. You can give yourself regular raises as your business grows.

It is only fair to tell you that there are failures, too. There are people who will not work for themselves. When working for a boss, they rise early, are well-groomed, and get to the office on time. However, when they are their own boss, they are still in a bathrobe, drinking one more cup of coffee at 11:00 A.M.

If you can be your own boss and discipline yourself to do what has to be done when it has to be done, direct selling offers a most unusual earning opportunity.

THE TEN STEPS

Here are ten steps that will assure your success:

1. BE A GOAL SETTER. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to save for college education for your children? A new car? A new home? You can have whatever you want, but you must want it enough to do the things that have to be done to get it. Whatever your goal, write it down and set a target date for reaching it. Divide the time period into blocks of achievement that are reachable. Work consistently toward accomplishing each day, each week, each month what you set out to do. Goal-setting is a must in every area of life. Little is ever accomplished without definite goals.

2. BE A LIST MAKER. Each evening list all the things you want to get done the following day. That gives you an organized approach to each day. As each task is finished, mark it off your list. It is amazing how much gets done when one works with a “things-to-do” list. Also, have a notebook listing appointments, potential clients, repeat clients, and referrals, and keep it with you at all times. You will be adding to it constantly.

3. BE ENTHUSIASTIC. Enthusiasm is the high-octane “fuel” that salespeople run on. Enthusiasm generates its own energy. Energy and good health are synonymous with busy, happy people, people who are achieving.

4. RECOGNIZE THAT THE MAGIC WORD IN SALES IS “ASK.” In direct sales we don’t have to wait for business to come to us. We create our own business by asking for it. Ask for appointments, then you can do business. Ask for business, then you will close sales. Ask for referrals, then you always have a full list of potential clients. Be quietly, yet firmly aggressive.

5. EXPECT NO’S. Realize that no’s are not personal. In sales, as perhaps nowhere else, the law of averages works. Every no gets you closer to a yes. Keep track of your ratio. It will help improve your techniques. Are you getting ten no’s to one yes? Is your ratio five to one? Remember, the yes’s are your income. Also remember that “no” does not necessarily mean “no.” Often a “no” is simply a stall for more time to think. It may be a request for more information about your product or your service. What your client is actually buying is assurance. Assure here by your helpful attitude and your complete honesty, that you want what is best for her. She will most likely respect you and do business with you.

6. SCHEDULE TIME WISELY. A schedule is the roadmap by which salespeople travel. It takes the frustration out of the day. It assures that the necessary things get done and get done on time. Plan your work then work your plan.

7. BE POSITIVE IN YOUR ATTITUDE. Success in sales, as in all areas of life is 90 percent attitude and 10 percent aptitude. All of us must work at developing habits of constructive thinking. I am proud to be a salesperson. Sales make the wheels of our economy turn. Bernard Baruch, advisor to several presidents, is quoted as saying, “If every salesperson sat down and took no orders for twenty-four hours, it would bankrupt our country!” Every company that manufactures any kind of product depends upon salespeople to move that product. Without salespeople business would be paralyzed.

Remember, sales is one of the highest paid of all professions. Statistics show that good salespeople enjoy incomes far above the average.

8. HAVE AN OFFICE AREA. Most direct salespeople work from their own homes, but it is essential to have a place where you can work in a organized and efficient manner. An office plus a strict working schedule gives you dignity. Both are absolutely essential for efficient operation and accurate record keeping, so important to the success of any business.

9. BE INVOLVED. Most sales organization offer contests to stimulate production. Include winning contests as part of your business goals. Contests make your business fun as well as adding considerable dollar value to your income.

10. LEARN TO HANDLE MONEY INTELLIGENTLY. A regular nine-to-five job usually means a paycheck at the end of the second week. Direct sales “reps” handle money constantly. Direct sales is instant income and constant income. Therefore. it is absolutely necessary to become an efficient money manager.

Deposit every penny collected from clients into a checking account set up especially for its business. Since bank statements show an exact record of all monies collected, and business expenses can be verified by canceled checks, record keeping becomes simple and accurate. Everything except a few “petty cash” transactions can be directly taken from bank statements.

Money saved regularly and put at interest, soon develops a second income in addition to earned income. A long-term goal, which is realistic in direct sales, is to be able to live in retirement off the interest earned on savings. Would financial security mean a lot to you? If so, ask yourself these questions:

* Am I honest?

* Do I really like people?

* Am I willing to learn?

* Am I willing to work?

* Am I capable of being my own boss?

If your answers are yes, to find a good product for the direct sales market, one that you like, one that fills the need of a lot of people, and go to work for yourself! You can turn dreams into reality.

Zimbabwe Newspapers: Bad News is Good News

Zimbabwean journalists aren’t interested in writing any Good news in the newspapers. They don’t look for it and i suspect, even if they found it, it wouldn’t make it into the paper. That said…there is A LOT of good news and business opportunities in the papers. Not intended, but it’s there – especially for businesses.

Shocking right?

Of course, to see it, you’ll have redefine what good and bad news really is for your business.You’ll have to learn to see the opportunities revealed in the bad news.

For instance if you read that businesses are closing down. Is that goodnews or bad? Depends.

  • Can i buy assets cheap from the business that just closed down?
  • Maybe that means less competition for me.
  • Can i find out why they closed and avoid the same mistake – free education
  • What if i can go after their experienced and qualified employees, that ordinarily maybe hard to find…
  • Or what if…i think you get the picture.

The point is businesses exist to solve problems. No problems, no opportunities and no businesses. Entrepreneurs, Businesses and institutions and even economies fail when they start to take bad news at face value. That’s when they become problem conscious. They start to blame MDC/ZANU PF, they blame their parents, their pastor etc. You’re not like that are you?

Here’s how i look at it

Bad news happens when needs arise. Good news happens when someone saw the need, ignored the negativity and turned it into an economically viable solution. You’ve got to decide how you’ll interpret the news around you. They’ll be lots of good, or bad depending on what you’re looking for.

Max

p.s. Here’s an example. You want to start a business but you’ve got no money? Well if you’re creative and determined here’s how to turn that into good news!

How To Start A Business With No Money

Want to start a business but have no money? Now’s your chance.

For the next 7 days only, you can get a Business Setup Kit on a purely barter trade basis.We’re accepting all kinds of things…cell phones, lines, laptops…be creative. If you’re really serious about starting your business, then this could be a chance of a life time.

Remember the Business Setup Kit is worth thousands of dollars and already under priced for now. Find out more by reading our brochure.

You’ll get everything you need to get going with your new business so don’t miss out.

Finally, ‘Customer Thief’ is almost done (way over due), so if you want a free copy, stay tuned…i’ll be posting it for free download for just a few days… dont miss out.

Max

p.s. be creative about the barter trade deal, nothing is out of bounds so send me an email or give me a call to propose a trade. See the Business Setup Kit brochure here.

p.p.s. Check out my last book free to find other creative ways to do business without money –