Advice In Business – Why You Need an Exit Strategy

Goal setting can stir up the emotions in a lot of people, but when done properly a target of achievement can be one of the most inspirational things that you will ever create. The best goal setting processes always start with the end in mind and when you think about where you would like your business to be in the future, it’s a great place for you to start too.

When you think about the future and all the twists and turns you may encounter over the next 10, 20 or 30 years it would be wise to have a business that was ready to sell with maximum profit for you and tremendous future value for your buyer, wouldn’t it?

This is an example of how planning your future proves to be totally worthwhile.

I have listened for years to individuals who will tell you that you can’t create your future, and that your destiny is all down to fate and the hand that you’re dealt in life. Now, if we’re realistic, there has to be an acceptance that the world can sometimes throw you a few dodgy cards! But as with everything, there are some players who can take advantage of a poor hand and eventually play themselves into a better position, even if a few temporary losses are incurred along the way. And I’m suggesting that this applies to you and your business too.

If you’re continually striving for your business to be in a peak condition – in other words, ready to sell, then you really will be able to maximise the return on your investment at any point in time -right?

The focus here then is to find out what will make your business attractive to prospective buyers? All you have to do is put yourself in their shoes – If you can offer a fantastic return on investment with a minimum risk of any loss, then the potential sale value of your business will be
at its peak.

Here are some of the areas of focus you might want to consider:

• A business that can operate without you the owner, which means it’s more or less self reliant. One of the things to remember here is that you will always need to make sure you’re business stays this way, so rather than never being around to test it out, you just have to play a different game.

• A team of people that have been trained and developed to make your business work, most importantly a group of leaders or managers that can run the business for you. But you will also need a motivated and productive team that are loyal to the business and work in a positive and forward thinking environment.

• Products that have a place in the market and can be developed and adapted in time.

• A business model that is flexible yet routine enough to keep replicating strong growth.

• Your business must not have met its full capacity, there must be opportunities to grow and /or diversify.

• You must be financially secure with a good cash flow,well managed cost structures and sound profits.

• You must be able demonstrate that your processes are embedded and that they work.

By reviewing your business and comparing your current performance to these focus points you will be able to clearly evaluate where you need to make progress.

What would make your business stand out from the crowd and what can you do to make sure that at any point in time in the future you could sell it and get the best possible return on your investment? If your “in it” for the long term, you still need to think about what you should be expecting at the end of your journey.

So you see, an exit plan makes sense in a number of ways and can even be the template for your business plan.

Start thinking about how this information can help you and your people to improve, grow and develop your business. Who do you need to help and when will you start?

Best Regards

Martin

Building a Strong and Efficient MLM Team

Building an MLM team can really be difficult and challenging. Making it strong and efficient is another. But the inevitable and essential fact here is that you should be able to create and sustain a strong and efficient team to make your MLM business successful. Remember, this is a numbers and team game.

So to help you build and motivate your MLM team, here are some tips and information that you will definitely find useful.

For one, you should be able to make certain investments.

And your first investment would be in the dreams of the people in your group. As a leader and business builder, you should genuinely listen to what your people have to say. It is very important that you give your people the opportunity to open up and express their dreams and aspirations.

You should know your people’s goals. Remember, these goals are what brought them to your MLM business; thus, it is essential for you guys to go back to them every once in a while for inspiration and motivation to keep going. Also, knowing what your people want will help you adjust accordingly. You should bear in mind that for people to be happy and efficient in a business, you have to keep them happy and satisfied. Find ways to do so.

The next investment you should have is in the training of your team. It is not enough that you get a whooping number of people to join your business. The next part of that is to prepare them for the multi-level marketing industry. To do this, you should make them as knowledgeable about the business and industry as possible.

Teach them the basics and principles of your business and the industry as a whole. Then you should be able to enhance their skills. It would also be best if you can share with them some of your secrets to success. A startup kit would be highly recommended. Here, you should have a list of the frequently asked questions as well as your people’s possible resources.

This is not to say that you should spoon feed your team. You should just have to properly equip them before you push them into the water to let them experience it for themselves and eventually learn how to swim their way through. Make them know that you are there to guide them all throughout the business; but at the same time, build their independence. It is all about support and assistance.

Finally, provide inspiration. This is something internal. It is a perspective by which you and your team will look at the things in your lives and business. This will, by a large part, give you the power and ability to take action and progress in the business. Remember, the key here is to empower yourself and your people.

And the best way to do this is to lead by example. Practice what you preach. Walk the talk.

The 3 Levels Of Building A Business

There are three stages involved in building a business. Each of these stages are very crucial for the success of the business. Understanding these stages by the entrepreneur is key.

The Three Levels Of Building A Business

LEVEL ONE: PLANNING YOUR BUSINESS AND PROVING IT’S VIABLE

At Level One, you are designing and planning your new startup. You’re gathering your initial team, raising any required startup capital, and executing your launch plan. Your focus at Level One is to plan your new business. And get immediate market feedback to learn if your business concept and model is economically viable. This is a fancy way to say you’ll be testing your product or service to see if you can sell it at a price that allows your business to be profitable.

A Simple Formula To Know Which Business You Should Start.

After observing thousands of entrepreneurs start businesses and seeing which ones thrived and which ones struggled, which succeeded and which failed, I’ve developed the following simple formula to help you know the business you should start.

You will find your highest likelihood of success when your business falls within the overlap of these three areas:

  • Your passions
  • Your talents
  • Your advantages

Your passions: what are you passionate about? What do you love to do? What thing do you find absorbing? Engaging? Engrossing? To build a successful business requires focusing on your business long after the blush of the initial excitement has faded. Your passion keeps you in your business and enjoying it even when you’re faced with the inevitable challenges.

Your talents: what are you great at doing? What skills come easily and naturally for you? What do other people say looks easy when you do it? In what area are you consistently improving?

Your advantages: what are the resources, both financial and non-financial, that you can bring to your new business venture? What life experiences have you earned and want to apply? What relationships have you built that you can tap into? What skills and proficiencies have you invested the time and money to cultivate? What financial resources can you access? What symbolic capital have you earned?

The most successful startups live in the overlap of these three areas: your passions, your talents, and your advantages.

Before you decide on which business to start, clearly list your passions, talents, and advantages. From there, look for a business opportunity that addresses the overlapping area of all three. More on this in a subsequent chapter

The 4 Action Steps You Must Take In Level One

Action step 1: Clarify your basic business idea

Let’s say you’ve been dreaming of your new business for months or even years and playing the “what if” game in your head. It’s time to get serious and turn your dreams into tangible, concrete ideas on paper. To clarify your core business concept, start by answering these seven questions:

  1. In two or three sentences, describe your business idea.
  2. Who is your ideal customer? Describe that person’s characteristics in as much details as possible.
  3. What exactly will that ideal customer buy from you? Describe your product or service including the key features and benefits that will prompt your customers to buy it.
  4. How much will your ideal customer pay? How and when will you collect that money?
  5. Who will be your main competitors? List the most important ones.
  6. What will separate you from your competitors? How will you find space in your market or niche to generate sales?
  7. What is your dream for how you will expand and grow your business? What do you imagine it will look like in three to five years?

Action step 2: Conduct your market research

Before launching your business, invest time and energy to do an intense period of market research. Study your prospective customers, your key competitors, your likely key vendors, and you business advisors. Use this chance to sharpen your thinking, gather raw data, and record the information you’ll need for your planning process. Get online and start Googling away. Phantom shop your competitors. Interview your prospective vendors. Talk with your advisors and mentors. See if you still want to move forward with your business idea. If you do, determine how you can refine it to increase your odds of success.

See chapter 5 for more details.

Action step 3: write your business plan “draft”

A business plan is the written outline for how you’ll launch your new business. Too many business owners never take time to write one because they find it intimidating. However, you don’t need to create a perfect business plan; you just need to use it as a template. It will help you refine your thinking, organize your thoughts, identify the questions you need to ask. You don’t need to have all the answers, but you need to identify the questions you must pay attention to- immediately and over time. Your business plan will help you create a clear action plan with defined next steps, timelines, and deliverables. In addition, if you need to raise outside capital, your business plan will be essential to helping you fund your new company.

Note that I suggest writing a “draft” of your business plan. This is to reinforce the concept that your business plan will always be a work in progress and you don’t have to get it perfect. It’s the process of doing the plan and updating it regularly that is useful.

Remember, writing a ‘draft’ gets you to start organizing your thinking and capturing the questions you’ll need to answer as you launch and grow your business.

You will learn more about writing business plans in a subsequent chapter.

Action step 4: test your product or service to make sure it will sell

If your new business involves selling a product or service that customers are already buying from someone else, then you just need to know how you can attract new or existing customers to buy from you so that your business will succeed. But what if your product or service is new? Then you have to find a quick, fast, and cost-effective way to see if people actually will buy it before you go to the expense of investing time and money in large amounts. This might mean creating and selling a prototype. Or you can canvass members of your target and gauge their feedback on whether they will buy if it were available. In any case, use your best efforts to get objective feedback and test the waters on the viability of your business idea.

Proving your idea is viable means determining if the market will buy your product or service from you at a price that can be profitable. What is the best guarantee of getting accurate information? Actually close a sale! You can sell a prototype and deliver later; you can sell someone else’s product or service that you buy wholesale; you can even sell the product or service and just go back the next day and refund the money, explaining you have a delay in your ability to deliver. Yes, you might lose a sale, but at least you’ll know you can actually make that sale! This confirmation is worth the world to you in Level One when you are wondering if you can sell your product or service at a profitable price for your business.

So what happens if your test marketing shows you can’t get any sales? Does this mean your business won’t work? Not necessarily. It just means your business won’t fly in its current form. But before you redo your entire product or service, experiment with your sales and marketing efforts. Tweak those first. Not only are they the cheapest elements to change, but they’re the most likely reason no one is buying. Check out the chapter on sales and marketing for more strategies.

If your offering still doesn’t sell after improving the way you sell and market, then re-examine the product or service itself. How should you change it to make it sell?

Do you need to:

  • Simplify the product or service?
  • Add more features or more depth?
  • Change the tune of the product’s delivery?
  • Tweak the way you package the product or service?
  • Bundle your offer with other products or services?
  • Consider other possibilities?

The goal of Level One is to plan your new business by drafting a business plan, and then get a direct market feedback to prove that it’s viable. That is the scope of this book. The rest of the chapters shall take you deeper into the Level One action steps in detail.

LEVEL TWO: THE “SELF-EMPLOYMENT” STAGE OF YOUR BUSINESS

At this level, your business works, but only if you’re there every day to make sure it’s working. At level two, you haven’t really built a business so much as you’ve created your own job. In essence, the business works as long as you the business owner are there each day to make sure it stays working. At level two, you have the control, but with that control comes long hours and the sense that all the decisions, all the risks, all the responsibilities- all of it rests on your shoulder. Everyday, you have to keep going because if you stop, it all ends. You have the control, but no real freedom.

Note that this is a crucial transition stage of your business so don’t despair if you find yourself at this stage. You are just passing through.

LEVEL THREE:the real target of your business- a system-reliant enterprise that profitably creates value in the market place independent of you the business owner.

A Level three is one where the business no longer needs your daily participation to make it run. There are intelligent business controls in place, clear processes and procedures, and a winning management team to guide the venture. Your business’s success is independent of you. Working for your business is now a choice, not an obligation nor a requirement. You’re the owner of business that runs without needing your presence and efforts every day.

Okay, there you have the RoadMap to building a highly successful business. Now let’s start the journey….