Stop Doing So Much Stuff
Chances are that 50% of the things are doing aren’t producing results. It happens to all of us. The question is, do you know what these things are? The only way to figure it out is to analyze everything you’re doing. You need to know how much everything is costing you and making you. Some good ideas:

  • Break down your revenue and costs per client or group of customers (such as men between 25 and 35 years old). Pretty much every business has at least one client so demanding that it’s not profitable to keep them. Same with groups of customers that aren’t worth much to you: stop wasting your time with them.
  • Do an ROI analysis of all your marketing campaigns. By the way, nothing is free. If something isn’t costing you money, calculate how many hours it’s taking you and multiply it by your hourly value.
  • Get rid of products nobody is buying. The less you have to worry about, the better job you can do at selling the most popular products to the most profitable segment in your industry. That’s where the money is.

Listen to Your Employees
As bosses, sometimes we become very arrogant. But it’s important for us to understand that we don’t have all the answers. The people who are in the trenches understand our business problems better than us. Give them room to come up with ideas and acknowledge them in public every time they do so (even if you don’t agree with their ideas).
The same goes for when you’re stuck or don’t know what the right decision is: Ask your employees.
Find Your Customers Where They Are
The wrong way to do marketing: read a lot of marketing blogs and do whatever the “gurus” recommend. If they say you need to post to Facebook every day, blindly do so. If they say you should use a new tool and you’ll start making millions, do whatever they say.
The right way to do marketing: do read marketing blogs and books. Do listen to gurus. But don’t believe everything you read. After all, if you make $20,000 a year, you’re making more than 90% of the gurus out there. Instead, trust your gut. You know your business better than anyone else. You know who your customers are. And more importantly: you know where to find them. Advertise in the magazines they read. If they use Google, rank high on Google. If they go to conventions, become a speaker, get a booth or just show up and network.
Think, “where are my customers? How can I reach them?” And then do just that. Keep reading marketing stuff for inspiration and ideas, but you need to trust your instinct above everything else.
Be Different
If your customers left you today, could they find another company similar to yours right away? If the answer is yes, you’re in a really difficult spot because you’re competing on price. There are stupid competitors in every industry, and they sell their products for much cheaper than you. So the question is, “What can you do that they can’t?”
If you sell brooms, here are a few ideas:

  • Sell brooms for left-handed people, or very tall people.
  • If your competitors are selling brooms at the grocery store, sell yours at convenience stores or hardware stores.
  • Sell a cleaning bundle instead of individual brooms.
  • Sell an electrical broom that does more of the work. Or a broom that is also a vacuum.

Stop Selling Your Time
If you’re a consultant or a teacher, you’re basically selling your time. This isn’t a good position to be in for two reasons:

  1. You only have a limited amount of inventory to sell
  2. It’s hard to take time off because the less you work, the less money you make

The solution? Turn your service into a product. A few examples:

  • If you’re a guitar teacher, create an online membership site where people can subscribe and watch your lessons.
  • If you’re a consultant, develop a proprietary methodology or software that you can sell an unlimited number of.
  • Hire other teachers and consultants to do the actual work. You can manage the business and concentrate on getting new clients.

I hope you liked the ideas. Have an amazing day!