Academy of Business Owners Blog

Training, Guidance & Insight for Business Owners

What does "best" really mean?

Some time ago I visited IKEA. Nobody can claim that their products are technical paragons of our age. Nor stylistic icons. But they offer a fine mix of product, service, marketing and selling. I had bought a desk from them with electric height adjustment six weeks before. The IKEA version...

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Email Marketing Works for Offline Ventures

Email marketing works for offline ventures. One morning one of my students shared my email-marketing course with her daughter. Her daughter ran an offline business that sold leotards and shoes to ballet schools. That same afternoon her daughter sent her first email marketing campaign. (It...

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Direct Marketing for Free (Almost)

Direct Marketing for Free (Almost). When I started my first venture in 1984 I read a book on finding clients. The author wrote that small firms cannot afford to outmarket big rivals. For every R100,000 IBM spent on marketing, he suggested, a startup might afford 50 cents. At the time I...

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One Thing Most Experts Don’t Know

Most sellers of expert services think that we clients buy their expertise. This applies to lawyers, doctors, accountants, and any consultants. But most of us prospects do not know enough: to tell a good tax return from a bad one, or to tell a clever motion in court from a bad one, or to...

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Building Stories That Sell...

People remember your stories long after they've forgotten you. I still have folk reminding me of stories I told in seminars 20 years ago. Store stories about the clients you have helped. Describe the problem they faced and the solution you offered. Describe how much money and time they saved. Or...

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Don't Sign Surety Contracts

Easter always brings back memories of the worst month of my adult life. At the end of May 1992 I was wrestling with a decision. Close my business? Or not? Most business owners face this decision. It was my turn after eight wonderful years. I did what I thought was the most honourable thing for...

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Why Waste Money Attracting Strangers?

We waste real money to attract strangers. We don’t invest a few hours to stay in touch with people who already know us. We try to find strangers in magazines, on billboards, via car signage, through Google Adwords, via Social media, ... I’ve studied thousands of small business owners since...

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Borrowing Brilliance - The fastest way to succeed...

David Murray Kord wrote an excellent book, Borrowing Brilliance. He suggests that you keep close watch on your rivals to see what they do better than you. They might well be sneaky, thieving crooks. But they form the league you play in. If take sales away from you then find the reason. Find it....

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Stop Taking Failure Seriously

Don Miguel Ruiz presents four guidelines for living a great life in his superb book The Four Agreements. The second guideline is: Don’t take anything personally. This is perfect advice for any person who needs to sell to survive. He says nothing others do is because of you. What others say...

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Business success in two sentences

Business success in two sentences. The two crucial things I have learned at the helms of my own businesses since 1984 are: Call prospects within 30 minutes. Each call offers massive upside and zero downside. More here... Don't sign a suretyship. Each signature offers zero upside and massive...

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