Do you have to make some hard decisions in your business?

When It’s Time To Make A Change

 (Sneak peek into a private consultation session I did)

I spoke to three different entrepreneurs this month in our private consulting who had some big challenges. They each wanted help for their business. Each was making a big life change. It was time. Making the final decision was where they struggled. Do we jump or do we stay? Do we chance it or do we wait? Is it time or are we ahead of ourselves?

How do you make a good decision for your business when you know, it’s time?

Mary came to me because the business she had been running for the last four years was being hit with what she thought was an ‘economic change’. Her painting business has supported her family for many years, grossing $650,000 per year in sales. A specialized type of painting she was very good at was high in demand, and provided her team with regular work for many years. Most times, they couldn’t even keep up! But now, sales were down, and she was really in a hole. A big decline in orders had really put her in a bind.

About a year ago, I taught her how to create videos showing how to do small DIY projects her clients could do in their own home. It was an “Information Marketing Business” at it’s finest. She had excellent skill set and information that people would be willing to pay her for.  Her first month was a huge success! $12,000 in sales from a video that people could buy while she was sleeping (meaning she did it once and then resold it), and it took her only 2 hours to create, start to finish. It wasn’t a mentorship, it was a 45 minute-1 hour video, showing start to finish, one project. She went on to create several more videos and made $58,000 in total sales in under 6 months. Not bad at all! But now, she said no one was buying. She posted them on her Facebook page, which by the way had over 200,000 people because she used our Facebook Ads training for a year, and for some reason, NOTHING was happening anymore. Her faith was low, and so were her sales.  She asked if it was because Mark had jacked up the newsfeed. I knew this wasn’t why, so we dug deep. 

We reviewed what her options were. Should she go in a new direction or should she try to push through and keep doing what she knew worked, even if sales were so slow? At least this is what ‘she’ thought her options were. She had tried to sell a coaching program (because she heard that this was a great way to make money!), but she concluded that maybe her ideal client just wouldn’t pay money to coach with her. As you can imagine, she was at her wits end. Maybe you’re feeling the same way in your business, lately?

Let’s look objectively at the options Mary thinks she has, and the options I actually see that are in front of her. Maybe it will help you to make good decisions in your business when you know, it’s time!

Pros and Cons are a good tool to use in decision making, but it can also be misleading if your pros and cons are skewed. Mary thought that the economy or current trends were destroying her business. Then she thought her customers just didn’t want to fork out cash for programs all the time. As we reviewed the situation and her pros and cons chart, she had left out some very important pieces. 

First off, when Mary made $12,000 that first month with her video, she was super excited about it, and it showed all over her social media profiles. She wasn’t trying to pitch people her products, she just couldn’t help herself when she was talking about things. She’d be doing a video first thing in the morning sharing some personal time and ‘oh by the way’ she went off on those videos. She did some ads and they were converting! She was proud of herself for doing them, people were buying and she just couldn’t shut up about it. Guess what was happening? People were BUYING!

Now when she mentioned her DIY videos, all she thought about is how low her sales were, were the current trends destroying her business and what is the best CTA: call to action she could write. Her passion about the videos were gone, and I had to point out to her that it showed. Not only was her copywriting weak, but she was expecting sales to increase simply because she posted her offer and scheduled it into her daily content. She saw her first mistake. Pay attention to your personal beliefs as an entrepreneur before you blame an economic shift or current trend change. I was able to show her that DIY projects were still super popular on all the major television network sites, and THEY were still making great money with them. I also pointed out to her that the images on her blog had pushed the DIY videos to the bottom of everything. Now her social media sites, affiliate offers and other things were dominating the viewers attention. Not only did her Facebook page show she didn’t believe in herself, so did her blog. It was time for her to make a change.

Then we looked at her coaching offers that she was trying to roll out. As we reviewed her page, and her website, it looked like a desperate effort. She had 11 different coaching options for her prospects to consider. Several monthly programs and several specific painting type programs. As we reviewed the sales pages, there were a few that she was ‘live’ on and the others said, “The LIVE event has already been held. Buy the recording”. I showed her that instead of saying the live event was already held, great copywriting always gets the prospect excited. So if she was reselling a course (which we do by the way every single day to the tune of thousands and thousands of dollars in sales!) she had to write the copy like it was a video mentorship. If she didn’t do this, people would be disappointed they missed her and she’d be losing sales as they waited for the next session. Because she had no plans to do another live session, missed sales were happening every single day.

Her sales pages were very small. Written as if the client already knew who she was (like they were BFF’s forever) I had to point out that a lot of prospects didn’t know who she was yet, and it was important to share that. It was also important to talk about WHY they needed her training, why she solved their problem and did it in such a unique way it was super useful and ultra-specific. (The training I gave was actually on the Four U’s Of Copywriting, see my article on that here.) It was critical that she write her copy to each client like it was the first time they were ever meeting. Most of her sales pages were written to her current clients her BFFs, in an attempt to get them to ‘buy’ the product. Not only is this a weak sales offer, it leaves out everyone who doesn’t know her, has no idea what she offers, and doesn’t know they NEED HER STUFF!  We had to review and edit every single one of her pages. 

We did a recap on what we had just done.

It wasn’t an economic downturn or a current marketing trend that was fading. Her own belief that things were fading and she was going to be in trouble financially had been showing up in her copy and her actions. I told her a story of when this happened to me a few years ago. In a very difficult situation personally at the time, my sales pages looked like a gobbly mess. They no longer had the ‘urgent need!’ on them and no human connection. Many times it looked like I didn’t even write it. Our sales were low and I was discouraged. When I did the same kind of assessment I was doing with her now I also realized I had to make a big change, and I did, and sales went back up, instantly. We both had tears in our eyes because she was finally able to see that the situation could be remedied and her sales could indeed GO BACK UP, if she were to put into place everything I had given her.

On a more personal note, this is a very hard place for me as a mentor and consultant. Showing the client where their weakness is, knowing they can easily correct the problem and hoping they will. In all honesty, only 1/16th will. Human nature in many struggling entrepreneurs has showed me that MOST typically won’t. This is why in 2016 I am opening my own Venture Capitalist Corporation. I’ll be injecting $100,000 into 20 small businesses in exchange for a 20% profit share for 3 years. This will give me the opportunity to control some of these struggling companies and to make ALL OF THE BUSINESS DECISIONS. I won’t have to sit in my office frustrated because people have everything they need to succeed,  but are doing NOTHING, anymore.  I will jump in there, if a client has the right business, and make it profitable. I’ll OWN part of their company. On a side note if I did this with Mary, I’d be able to take this company to $3 million dollars in very short time, no doubt. It would be a lot of work, and she’d have to step aside in the business decisions and do everything I tell her. She’d get more focused, be doing less mentorships on every topic under the sun, and have a LOT less stress and a LOT more money. But I honestly don’t even know if she’d ever let anyone do that for her, as she’s very personally attached to her business.

That’s another big problem a lot of small business owners have. They are just too darned personally and emotionally attached to every single thing they’re doing! When it’s time to make decisions and go bigger or go home, they sit, ponder, pray, wait and unfortunately, go NO WHERE.

Back to Mary.

After all of this consulting looking at her online presence, we began to assess her other problem, her main business, where she did specialized painting in homes. She believed that this current type of painting was no longer a viable option for a profitable business. I thought she was full of beans. It was just a by-product of her belief system. I found over 3 million search results in Google in under .03 seconds. Sure, the presentation, marketing, and delivery might have to be REINVENTED, but it definitely was not making a fast exit in the market. There were other things she could be doing as well, IF she was willing to reinvent herself and let someone else make the business decisions.

Are you at a place in your business where you need to make sure your pros and cons are accurate? Or maybe you’re at a place where you really need to make a big change in your company. I’m considering REINVENTING my Inner Circle Monthly Coaching Business into a Facebook Group where I take applications and I review, on a screen sharing webinar with our 250+ members, what I would do if I were to own their company. As I set out to do some big things in our company, and make some big changes, I’m reviewing how I can continue to serve our small business community of over 2 million business owners in a big way.  What do YOU think? If you think it would be incredible to be able to pay just $47 to watch me REINVENT and REDO the entire marketing of a few businesses every month, let me know in the comments below. Maybe YOUR company could be next! 

Have a fantastic Sunday and remember this. Making decisions IS NOT the hard part. Getting your facts clear and then walking it out is. Be brave. Be more.

With love,
Sandi Krakowski