7 things business owners say they struggle with


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Mr Ken Varga recently surveyed thousands of business owners to find out what was in their way of generating more revenue. Then he spent several days categorizing the information to make it useful to them and to business owners like you.

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7 things business owners say they struggle with

  1. 1. The 7 Obstacles Blocking You From BIG Success In Business - And How To Overcome Every Single One Of Them!Dear Fellow Business-Builder,I just finished gathering some “street-level stories” of how business people arecoping these days, and I learned some sobering facts. In this report, I want to tell you what Ive learned. It might make a BIG difference to you.But first I want to tell you this:In 2006, I came out of retirement to start a new company called CreatingCustomers, LLC. I “un-retired” mainly because of my passion to see businessowners and entrepreneurs thrive.You see, Ive generated six million customers across 35 businesses that Ive startedduring my 38-year career. Ive written and published my wildly successful booktitled, “How To Get Customers To Call, Buy & Beg For More”, along with 300+other information products.And Ive been delighted to help thousands of business owners and entrepreneursjump to higher levels of revenues with my business-building techniques.You can learn more at www.kenvarga.com.I recently surveyed thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs about whatthey are going through right now- the good, the bad and the ugly.I asked them what they think they need in order to increase their revenues.Copyright © 2011, Kenneth J. Varga . All rights retained. Page 1
  2. 2. And then I spent several days sifting through the responses to understand what theyfelt they needed.I noticed a common theme...in fact, I see there are 7 major obstacles standing in the way of BIG revenues for just about any business person who is struggling right now.In this report, Ill tell you what those seven obstacles are – AND Ill tell you exactlyhow to overcome every single one of them! Ill tell you what Ive done in my ownbusinesses – and the thousands of others Ive helped over the years – to blastthrough these business obstacles and send sales and profits up, up, up! The Good News Is…None of these obstacles are insurmountable. With the proper attention andexperience, they can be overcome. Some of the obstacles you face can beovercome quickly and easily. Others may take more work, and you can showincreasing success over time.. But they can all be overcome.Be encouraged by that, my friend!Sometimes, just changing our perspective on things allows us to see everythingdifferently. When that happens, we can then come up with solutions we couldn’thave seen before. What are the seven obstacles blocking BIG success in business? Obstacle #1 Strapped for cashThe # 1 obstacle many people are facing is being strapped for cash. Many felt theyhad opportunities they could take advantage of if they had the cash, but lack ofcash was keeping them from growing.
  3. 3. Others felt that the business had become a black hole. It was sucking in their cashand not giving anything back. They didn’t know how long they could continuepouring cash into it to make it work.A few people had products that would appeal to a mass market and neededinvestment capital to get mass exposure.So, here we have two “strapped for cash” situations: 1) the business is losing money; or 2) the business wants to seize opportunity and expand.But, beneath the surface, what would you say is the fundamental reason for anybusiness being strapped for cash?My experience shows me that its usually because the business owner has neglectedtwo business fundamentals: 1) “WIIFM” (what’s in it for me?”) and 2) offers.What do I mean? Its simple: Whether you are trying to raise money from venture capitalists, or you are trying to get more customers to buy from you, it’s all about the offers you make to them - and about what’s in it for them.That’s where you start.It’s not about your great product or service itself. It’s about what it means to theperson you are asking to give you money, or the person you are asking to buy fromyou.It means getting in their shoes, feeling what it’s like to be them…understandingtheir beliefs, their points of view, their frustrations, their desires, their fears…andthen making them an offer which they cant easily refuse, and which you can easilyand profitably provide when they buy from you.If you don’t get that right, then getting that cash flow is going to be tough!Copyright © 2011, Kenneth J. Varga . All rights retained. Page 3
  4. 4. So, if you are strapped for cash, you’ve got to ask yourself - why?The answer probably lies in the fact that you are not giving your customers(retail or venture capitalist) enough of what they want so that you are gettingenough of what you want (investment capital or sales).I understand there are forces outside of ourselves (like the economy) that have abig effect on what people are buying or investing in. But they are still spendingmoney…on something. The big question you must ask is,Why arent they buying from you?But to answer that question effectively, you have to ask it from THEIR point ofview…as THEY try to get THEIR needs met, with the limited time and money atTHEIR disposal - not from your point of view...as you try to sell what you’ve got.Getting into, staying within, and coming from, your customer’s point of view canbe really tough to do by yourself on a continual basis. But you must find a way todo this in order to capture, keep, nurture – and, yes, care for your customers.You cant afford to assume anything about your customers needs, desires, fears,hopes and dreams. You must get out of your own head, out of your own way, andbe open to challenging all your basic assumptions about your customers andprospects.If you feel trapped by your own assumptions, or overwhelmed by your situation,then I know exactly how you feel. Ive been there, many times.How did I get un-stuck? I asked for help.And guess what? I got it, every time. And I have profited handsomely, again andagain, from my new knowledge. Expert help from a seasoned pro is worth itsweight in gold.However, if we remain trapped by our perspective, we’ll probably remain strappedfor cash.
  5. 5. Obstacle #2 Not sure who is the best type of customer to targetThis obstacle often raises its ugly head when the business owner or entrepreneurchooses a product or service to sell before choosing the market.See, when you choose the market first, the market can tell you what it needs andwants. It’s much easier to tell if you have been a customer in this market yourself,and been involved with the market for some time.In a market like that, you come face-to-face with the frustrations of that market.Chances are you experience them yourself.When this happens, you know how people feel about it, and what words they use todescribe it. And you understand the subtleties.With these advantages, it’s easier to sell your product or service because you knowwhere to find your audience, you know where they hang out, and you know whatthey want…because you want it too.Add to that the passion you have to change the situation, and you have a winningcombination that will allow you to sell more successfully in your chosen market.On the other hand, when you don’t know the market well, and want to sell to thatmarket, it’s tougher. Which Comes First? The Widget? Or The Customer?Many start-up companies are in this situation. Some saw what they thought was anopportunity and created a product/service to fill the opportunity. Along the way,they made lots of assumptions and guesses about the features and benefits theyshould include in it.Copyright © 2011, Kenneth J. Varga . All rights retained. Page 5
  6. 6. As they developed this product/service, they added more and more features tomake the product/service better.Months or years later, the product/service is finished and they now have a productthey can be proud of.Unfortunately, there are now so many features and benefits to this product that,when it comes to launch the product, they must face difficult questions like:Which features and benefits should they emphasize? To whom should they stresswhich benefits or features? Which part of the market will be most profitable?At that point, too often the decision-making process involved in marketing theproduct/service becomes way too complex, time-consuming and expensive. Eventhe largest companies in the world have made this mistake – and lost a bundle!Dont you do it, too!A similar situation occurs when a business finds a product that they fall in lovewith, or that they believe has the potential to make a lot of money, and then decidesto sell it.They have fallen so in love with the product that they feel everyone else will also.The only problem is, they haven’t yet figured out how difficult, or expensive, thatis going to be! How will they find enough people like themselves who will fall inlove with the product? Where do those people congregate? What it will it cost toreach those people? What will it take to “make” them “fall in love” with yourproduct? (or, at least, like it enough to buy it?)This happens frequently in the network marketing field. People fall in love withthe income plan or the products and decide that is sufficient reason to start abusiness. However, they haven’t figured out how they will find their idealcustomer beyond their family, friends and acquaintances.So, after letting all the people in their circle of influence know what they have,they are faced with a slowdown in recruitment and sales. Who Do You Love More - Your Product Or Your Customers?
  7. 7. So, even though falling in love with a product or service is a good thing, it is notthe only thing to consider when using it to generate business.Without considering your customers needs, how will you even know if they willlove - or even want - what you offer to sell them?Heres the solution...Make sure you know the answers to these questions: • Who really is my target audience? • How large a piece of that audience can I acquire? • What’s most important to them? • What alternative products do they buy and how will I compete with those products? • How do I differentiate myself and my product/service from those alternative products/services? • What’s the audience’s buying process? (Many businesses miss this one. When your selling process and the audience’s buying process do not match, no sale will happen.) • What are the best marketing offers and techniques to use?So, what do you do if you find yourself in either of these two positions… 1) as a startup with a product with such wide application that you don’t know who you should target first, or 2) as a business with a product/service in search of a market? You must find customers!But how do you find the right prospect to target? What do you do? You test.Heres how...Copyright © 2011, Kenneth J. Varga . All rights retained. Page 7
  8. 8. Six Simple Steps To Test Before You Invest1) Outline who you think you ideal prospect would be.2) Outline the various ways to reach that prospect.3) Rank those ways in terms of the cost to reach those prospects, the time it willtake to reach them, and the expected return on your investment.4) Make your best choice and test it. Test it on as small a scale as you can.5) If the test doesn’t work out, then take you next best “guess” and test that.6) Keep repeating until you get positive results. Then scale up.Does this take some doing? Yes, it does. But if you find yourself in the situationwhere you have a product with wide application or a product in search of a market,this is your best choice.Would it be best to get help with this? You bet! Ill tell you how to do that later.Meanwhile, read on... Obstacle #3 Spending too much to get a customerHow do you know if you are spending too much to get a customer?Well, you’ve got to know how much you can make from the customer first.If you know that figure, then you know how much you can spend and still breakeven. And you know beyond what point you’ll make a profit.Can you see how, once you know this “magic number”, it can be almost likehaving a license to print money?The only way to do that is to:
  9. 9. calculate the Lifetime Value (LV) of an average customer for you.I think many business owners bypass this step in their business, because they thinkthey don’t have enough data to make the calculations, or it feels like they areguessing.The fact is, if you are a new business, you won’t have much useful data to drawfrom – except, perhaps, data you have collected about your competitors or yourindustry in general. However, in a new business you are starting off with a lot ofassumptions about how your specific business is going to perform.So, calculating the Lifetime Value of a customer is no different. With a newbusiness, you determine the Lifetime Value of your average customer based onwhat you think will happen in your business, and adjust it as you go along anddiscover what actually does happen.If you are an established business, and you have data, this process is easier.Either way, you must determine the Lifetime Value (LV) of your average customerso that you can judge how much money you can spend to get that customer.Without knowing the LV, you are flying blind.You should always be trying to get more and more accurate figures on LifetimeValue, because, with that clarity, you can be more aggressive in acquiring morecustomers. With more customers you generate more revenues. Obstacle #4 My marketing has stopped working or is producing less and less results.This is frustrating! And it happens way more than is necessary!Copyright © 2011, Kenneth J. Varga . All rights retained. Page 9
  10. 10. You spend endless hours and too many dollars devising and testing marketingstrategies. You finally find one that works! You go gung-ho!Then after a while it stops working.Now you have to find another one. What could be more frustrating!Why did it stop working?There could be many reasons, such as:1) Everybody’s ad now looks like your ad…yours is not standing out.2) The market has changed....and you havent.3) There are more competitors....and you are losing business to them.Obviously, revenue drops when this happens.What can you do?You’ve got one good option… Put a new strategy in place real fast!But how do you get a working, profitable, new strategy in place fast…especially ifyou have to test a lot of them to find the right one?This is something you must figure out to stay ahead of the pack, or you will be leftbehind before you know it.Here are a two things you can do, starting here and now…1) ABT - Always Be Testing new strategies that you can ramp up as otherstrategies die.2) OPE - Other People’s Experience. Talk with others who have gone throughwhat you are going through. Find out what they did and what worked. You canuse OPE as “leverage” to get maximum results in minimum time. Thats because
  11. 11. business people with real-world, real-time experience can take you straight to thegold, without you having to dig the mine yourself.Using their experiences, and verifying it with your own as you go along, you cancome up with better solutions, apply them more quickly, and generate revenuesfaster. Obstacle #5 Not having “the next big thing” that “everybody” wantsNothing excites me more than seeing a business where people are lined up tryingto get in!It could be a restaurant with lots of hungry people waiting to be seated. Or a carwash with lots of dirty cars lined up for their turn to be washed. Or a hot companylike Apple with people scrambling to get their hands on their latest excitingproduct.I just love it! I think “how great for the business owner! How great for thecustomers!”Having a product or service that customers are begging for is the dream of everybusiness owner and entrepreneur.But it’s very rare that a product or service is a big hit from day one.Typically, a business has to nurture its market, and its product/service, into thatposition. It often takes major dollars and “many moons” - more time than theaverage business owner has to wait!Also, please be aware of a little-known, dirty secret. Most of the time when wehear these success stories, the reporter is not giving the complete background storyon the company. Many media people are in the thrall of some PR firm, and giveglowing reports. Unfortunately, this conveys the false impression that thecompany became successful overnight.But when we dig back into the history of the company, we learn of all the trials andtribulations the company founders went through to get to this point.Copyright © 2011, Kenneth J. Varga . All rights retained. Page 11
  12. 12. Why am I telling you this? Its simple. I think focusing too much on the “big idea” can actually slow the growth of a company.Why?Because that puts our focus in the wrong place. It takes our eye off the ball… the customer.Instead of looking for the big idea, we need to be looking for the big WANT thecustomer has.This may seem like a subtle difference, but it makes a big difference in terms ofhow effective you’ll be in claiming your big success.You can think of it this way… It’s the customer that pays you, not the idea.The idea is the vehicle through which you get paid, but it’s the customer whoreaches into his pocket and hands you the cash. That’s where your focus must be.If you focus only on the “big idea,” you can end up wasting your money and yourlife, running in circles, trying to find that one idea.But when you focus on the customer, you focus where it matters… on what the customer wants.To learn what customers want, you have to get below the surface, to what reallymatters – whats going on in the hearts and minds of your customers. You have tolearn to listen to the conversations that are going on in their minds.
  13. 13. Not only that, but you have to get to know the stories they’ve constructed aboutthemselves and their lives, and then figure out how you can become part of thosestories.Luckily, its no secret how to do this.How can you do this? Six Simple Ways To Get “Customer Intelligence”1) Get face-to-face with your customers, and become part of their lives. Unlessyou do this, you’ll just be scratching the surface. You’ll be on the outside lookingin, and you’ll end up guessing about them instead of knowing. This is the mosteffective way of all the six ways explained here..2) Go to Amazon.com and enter keywords for the business category you areinterested in. Then pick the top 10 books that show up in the search results.3) Read the reviews for those books. As you read the reviews, look for theunderlying beliefs, desires, feelings, and frustrations being expressed. Keep a listof these. After a while, patterns will emerge to help you start building a cohesivepicture of your customer.4)Join forums where your customers hang out. Reading their questions andanswers, offers and requests, gives you information and insights about what makesthem tick – and buy.5)Ask questions on forums. The best questions elicit peoples thoughts, feelingsand experiences in the real world. The answers could be a gold mine for you.6) Take surveys on new product ideas, prices, and product features your customersmight want. Finding your customers unsatisfied needs will give you clues aboutwhat products/services they might be ready to buy.Copyright © 2011, Kenneth J. Varga . All rights retained. Page 13
  14. 14. Whats the point of doing all this?Its simple, but paradoxical: The point is this: If you focus your effort and intention on learning about your customers more than on the “big idea” itself, then the chances of you coming up with a big idea paradoxically increase!But more importantly, on your way to the big idea, you will come up with productsand services that better suit your customers, and yield more and more revenues foryou. Forget “the big idea.” Go for “the big money.” Your customers would loveto hand it to you, if you offer them something they love! Obstacle #6 Not being different enough from my competitionIn today’s age, technology has made it possible to duplicate businesses fairlyrapidly, especially online businesses. Not only that, real-time information is soreadily accessible that competitors multiply like jack-rabbits.You may know that you are better at what you do than many of your competitors,but to the prospect who sees you as an insurance agent, a real estate agent, a webdesigner, or whatever category they apply to you, they don’t know the difference.Once they categorize you, it’s hard for you to break through their perception anddeliver your message.So how do you get them to see you as different and to listen to you with different“ears”?Here are two methods I recommend:1) Never categorize yourself when you answer “what do you do?” Instead, givean answer that creates curiosity.For instance, if you are insurance agent and someone asks what you do, you couldrespond with something like: “I protect people’s dreams.” The most likely thing tohappen then is that the person will ask you what you mean. Then you can go into
  15. 15. more detail, giving examples of how you protect dreams. This creates morecuriosity.2) Do what I call “Be Extraordinary” - and what Seth Godin calls “going to theedges”.Heres how this strategy works: Take something that customers want, and go to an extreme edge with it. Make it so extraordinary that people can’t help but notice.Here’s a well-know example…When Federal Express first started, instead of just delivering packages like theircompetitors, they guaranteed to deliver it on time.Their slogan was: “When it absolutely, positively has to be there”, and theydelivered on that promise.In addition, they instituted a follow-up system where they called you. They alsoput in place a confirmation and tracking system that none of their competitors had.In other words, they protected you, they tracked your package, and they could tellyou where it was at any time.They set a standard that none of their competitors could come close to living up to,at least for a while.Federal Express took the delivery of packages, added next day delivery, guaranteedthe delivery, and kept you from worrying about where the package was becauseyou could track it.FedEx took the ordinary delivery of packages and took it to a heretofore unheardof edge…guaranteed next day delivery. And they backed up that edge with trackingand confirmation. What element of your product/service can you take to an edge and Be Extraordinary?Copyright © 2011, Kenneth J. Varga . All rights retained. Page 15
  16. 16. Here’s another example…This example involves a clothier that I worked with. I had him offer freealterations for life to his customers. That’s right, for life. (We added the element oftime and took it to an edge.) How often do we put on a few extra pounds and needalterations?The customers came in at any time they wanted and they got styling and fashiontips. They would get their clothes pressed while they waited.If they happened to be going out, or if they happened to be there at lunch and theirshirt, or tie, or even their pants were wrinkled, they would be given a robe to wearwhile the clothier pressed their item.Extraordinary? Sure. An edge? You bet. The clothier doubled their business in six months!They just extended themselves at the highest level possible, and they also didwardrobe consulting for their customers, absolutely FREE.They even came to your home and looked at your existing clothing wardrobe,made notes, and then came back and laid out all kinds of possible matches,contrasts and complements.They would even come to your home at night if needed.In other words, they did whatever it took to serve their customer at anextraordinary level. By doing this, their business grew by leaps and bounds.Can you go to an edge like this? Sure you can! How will you do it? Who do youknow who has gone to the edges, and been extraordinary? What can you learnfrom them? How can you apply it to your business? Obstacle #7 Too many choices. Not sure what to do next…
  17. 17. Information overload will probably be with us for the rest of our lives. I suspectthat the amount of information that becomes available will continue to growexponentially.Recognizing this, I believe it will become more and more important in the comingyears to remain focused on what we are trying to accomplish, and not allowourselves to be overcome by everything that can distract, de-rail and defeat us.In order to do this, we must be constantly reminding ourselves about why we aredoing whatever it is we are doing.Then we can find and use the information we need to be successful and happy, andlet the rest go by. Here are the two essential keys I have found for avoiding “information overload”:1) Collect information “just-in-time.” It is so easy to collect information “just-in-case.” We see something that we don’t really need right now, but it’s interestingand we may want to refer to it some day. So we copy it and save it to ourcomputer, or we print it out and file it, or we read it and try to retain it.The thing is, after filing that information away on our computer, in a folder, or inour minds, we will forget that it’s there. Or worse, we won’t be able to find it laterwhen we are looking for it. Too much time may have passed and we now forgetwhere we put it. Even if you find it, it may be incomplete or outdated.Never fear – we can find the latest information, when we actually need it – and wecan do it a lot more easily as search engines improve over time.So instead of being an “information pack rat,” work only with “just-in-time”information---just the information you need to move the current project forwardright now. Ignore everything else.The other thing to do…and this is important…is to2) Seek help and advice. Don’t try to do everything yourself. This slows downyour progress.Copyright © 2011, Kenneth J. Varga . All rights retained. Page 17
  18. 18. If there is something you are unsure of, or don’t know, ask someone who knows.As a matter of fact, ask several people who you know are qualified to give youhelpful answers. The most qualified people to ask are those who have “been there,and done that.” - those who have faced and overcome the same obstacles you arefacing now.An experienced advisor can help you sort out and select what is reliable andpowerful information – and what is mere theory or opinion. Then you can act rightaway to increase your chances of BIG success. This will speed up your progress.And save you from wasting your money, and suffering unnecessary grief.Of course, you can try to solve your problems, and find your way, all by yourself.But please realize you are taking a big (and unnecessary) risk, because the “lonewolf syndrome” is one underlying reason why many business owners andentrepreneurs fail!But even if you are successful, if you depend on yourself only, you are stuntingyour growth, and cheating yourself out of your chance for the really BIG successyou could be enjoying..Why?Because no matter what you do, you will always see things only from yourperspective. This means you get a one-sided view of things, no matter how muchinformation you gather.If you want to come up with out-of-the box solutions, you need other perspectives.Other people can provide different perspectives that allow you to see more thanyou can ever possibly see from only your point of view.Most of us were taught from an early age that it was a sign of weakness to needhelp, or to ask for it.The fact is, it’s just the opposite. It takes a strong person to admit that they need help - and an even stronger person to go get it when they do.
  19. 19. So when you start struggling with an issue, get help as quickly as possible so youcan keep the momentum going in your business and toward your goals. Spend aslittle time as you can trying to figure it out on your own.Get input. Use other people’s experience. Most people are glad to help. Whats Your Next Best Step?Which obstacles are you facing? Whats the next best step for you to overcomethem? No matter what is keeping you from making more money, your best bet isto find a guide who has already faced and overcome the same obstacles - and thenask them to guide you past them. This will give you the quickest, easiest, leastpainful path to more profits.If you were going on an African safari, would you go by yourself, or would youhire a guide?If you were going to climb Mt. Everest, would you do it on your own, or havesomeone who’s been there take you?Without a guide, you’d be flirting with “death”.If you are serious about taking your business to the next level of revenues, you tooshould have a guide. It gives you the best chance of success, since you are goinginto new territory.Here’s the irony…if you choose not to get help, you are actually choosing to staystuck. You are making staying stuck more important than increasing yourrevenues.Is that what you really want?Think about it carefully. Shouldn’t you find the best person available to help youget unstuck so you can move forward?This could make the difference between struggle…or even failure…and theultimate success of your company.What would you choose?Copyright © 2011, Kenneth J. Varga . All rights retained. Page 19
  20. 20. A SOLUTIONI’m putting together a new program to help you get past any obstacles in yourbusiness, including the seven obstacles I mentioned in this report. I want topersonally guide a small group of motivated business owners and entrepreneurs toBIG success. This will be the culmination of everything Ive done in my fourdecades in business. I will let you know more about it in a few days.Since you won’t want to miss the other obstacle-busting information I’ll be sendingout….starting in the next few days….you want to get on my priority list now.Make sure you are not left out. Just go here and enter your name and email addresswhile you are thinking of it: www.kenvarga.com/unstucklandingYou owe it to yourself to at least check out what I’m putting together. It may bejust what you are looking for.To your success,Ken VargaP.S. Within the next few weeks I’ll be sending out some additional revenue-increasing ideas you’ll definitely want to get your hands on. So make sure you getnotified by joining my list at www.kenvarga.com/unstucklanding (SEE THE NEXT PAGE FOR A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME)
  21. 21. A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME…One thing that pains me (that I actually hate seeing) is walking by a business thathas only a few, or no, customers on its floor. I think of the damage that can occurfor its owner and his/her family if that problem continues. I immediately want tofix it.A business is not a business if it has no customers. And because of my passion tosee small and mid-size businesses thrive, I decided to come back out of retirementin 2006 and start a new company called, Creating Customers, LLC.Prior to this, I had generated 6 million customers across 35 businesses that I hadstarted during my 38-year career. I had also written my flagship book, titled, “HowTo Get Customers To Call, Buy & Beg For More”, along with several other booksand manuals.Some of the businesses I built included: two banks, a basketball league, an airline,an insurance brokerage, and a multi-level company.So I felt I needed to continue to share what I know for the next few years on aswide a scale as possible before finally retiring. And even though I want to affect asmany businesses as possible, I know that with each business I help, I am making abig difference not only for the business owner, but for his/her employees, family,suppliers, and everyone that depends on that business for their livelihood.If your business is not growing as you know it should, I am here to help.You can email me at ken@kenvarga.com, or visit my website atwww.kenvarga.comCopyright © 2011, Kenneth J. Varga . All rights retained. Page 21