Archive for the ‘Small Business Ideas’ Category

There was a children's TV program aired in England about 20 years ago, where the primary prop in the setting was a lighted floor. Basically, the lights on the floor were off, and only as the people on the show took a step did the light appear.

They had to take a step forward before any light went on.

This is quite the opposite of how people really want to move forward. Most of us prefer to "see the light" before we take the next step. We want to know where we are going, and see all the steps illuminated and lined up, so that we can go from point A to point B, B to C, C to D, D to E and so on.

But the truth is, that is not really how we move forward. The truth is that often, only the first step you take will be visible. The only way to see the second step is for you to be one- hundred percent wholly committed to taking step one.

That is truly what change is like. There's no denying that change is uncomfortable, but if you want to accomplish your goals, you're going to have to step up, move forward and make changes as you go along. The more comfortable you get at doing that, the more stepping up will be a constant experience in your life.

So, if you are serious about doubling or tripling your income, for example, you could go to Vegas or play the lottery, but the real way to accomplish your goal involves doing some things that up until now, you've been resisting.

You may not even realize that you've been unwilling or unable to make changes. It's amazing how creative people can be at avoiding change.

But, whether you want to make ten thousand, a hundred thousand, a million, or ten million, whatever the level or the goal, the process is exactly the same

In order to affect any kind of change, in your life or in your business, you have to take the first step without being one-hundred percent certain about where your foot is going to land.

That takes courage, and it takes faith. That is what change requires.

Commit one-hundred percent to taking step one. You don't need to know what's going to happen after step one if you never get there. You will only know what happens next when you take that step. You won't ever get there if you keep asking questions.

You've got to act, and jump right in with both feet, even when you don't know where that jump will land you.

Once you master this process of change, and just keep stepping through it, you will find yourself more and more comfortable with moving forward without knowing where the next step leads.

As you find the courage to take one step after another, I promise, things are going to change for you.

Bernadette Doyle specializes in helping entrepreneurs attract a steady stream of ideal clients. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, sign up for her free weekly e-zine at

moneyIn your quest for a million dollars, would you rather get:

A) get $10 from 100,000 clients,

B) $100,000 from 10 clients, or

C) $1,000,000 from 1 client?

If you've chosen option C, one single transaction, congratulations for having great business sense. But for the sake of practicality, let's use the first two choices for a model of quantity versus quality.

You know that no single person can provide a service that's perfect for every potential customer. To further that sentiment, I'd like to suggest that no person can serve 100,000 customers as well as they can serve 10 customers.

It's simple math that results in the same $1,000,000 answer for both options A and B, but you, the business owner, benefit most from choice B.

It's no secret that valuable time is squandered when you have to exhaust yourself chasing a large number of clients. Wouldn't it be magnificent to be able to sit, give your attention to a few clients, and make the same, or more, money?

Consider the chain of benefits: More focus on individual clients leads to better results for those few clients; those clients will offer better testimonials; and those satisfaction ratings will attract more high paying, high quality clients. This a circular effect of good business.

Of course, your next question is, "How?"

Scoring those lucrative client relationships starts where all good business does – in the early planning stages, even before lead generation.

Think big before you attract clients. You can't skip this step, because if you do, you'll end up attracting small-fry clients, and when you present them with the top-quality, top-priced program, you'll fall flat.

Here's an example to explain: you're selling a top-notch software program targeted at high-end, complicated tax processing. If you market to general accountants, you might be netting prospects that do anything from A-B-C accounting services to intricate, full time gigs with top corporations. There's no doubt that you'll strike out with the majority of your audience. Accountants that make their living on Joe Smith's bread-and-butter will have no interest in a high-end product like yours. Instead, back up and find a creative way to market to only those accountants serving the best-of-the-best, super-corporations. They will be willing to pay what you're asking. They've been around for long enough to see the value in it, and are successful enough to be able to pay for it.

When asking for the big bucks, keep these things in mind:

• Before you bring people to your website, before you send out your newsletter, consider the caliber of your product or service, and match it to the caliber of client that would be most likely to spend the kind of money you're asking for. Do the research required to find these people, rather than spending time generating dead-end leads.

• Consider your prospects' mindsets. Do they have cheeseburger budgets and milkshake level businesses? Or do they have filet mignon budgets and crème-brulee-level companies? Which would you rather have? Know that fast food customers won't have the money, or the taste, for expensive steaks.

• Don't make quality an afterthought, or you'll have attracted prospects in vain. Aim high, and your prospects won't bat an eye at your price revelations.

Don't assume that high paying clients are high maintenance. Often, they're more understanding and less demanding. They have the experience that it takes to understand the ins and outs of the business world. They understand your challenges, and are more likely to allow you the freedom to run with your expertise.

Low-paying clients are often new to the business world, and may either indirectly (or directly) look to you for advice beyond the scope of your work, or spend too much time highlighting insignificant details.

Don't be intimidated by the lucrative account. Be drawn to it. Recognize it for the gold mine that it is – and for the quality that it can create for your business.

Bernadette Doyle specializes in helping entrepreneurs attract a steady stream of ideal clients. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, sign up for her free weekly e-zine at

Picture it:   an administrative assistant, who is responsible for sorting the postal mail, brings the daily delivery to her desk for opening and distribution.   As she shuffles through the pile of promotional mailings, invoices, payments, and correspondence from customers (she can recognize most types of mail by the envelopes that they're in), she comes upon something peculiar.

It's not flat; there's no way that it could have traveled seamlessly through a postage meter.   It contains more than paper.   It's got depth!   She tries to determine what's inside by squeezing the envelope in the area of the biggest bulge.   With that, she hears the unmistakable sound of a duck, "Quack!"   What in the world?…

Of course, the office employee opens the lumpy envelope first.   In it, she finds a cute-as-a-button rubber duck that quacks every time she squeezes him.   The letter that accompanies the duck is from an insurance company that is conducting a promotion for new customers.   The little quacking duck is a perfect likeness of the insurance company's mascot.

The woman gives the duck a prominent place on her desk.   He makes her smile.   She makes him quack when coworkers walk past, making them smile.   When she knocks him over with a paperweight or telephone receiver, she sees the name and phone number of the insurance company on his bottom.   And most importantly (for the insurance company), she remembers their business name every time she glances at the duck, prompting her to not only recommend the insurance company to her boss, but to her company's own clients.

The power of lumpy mail is two-fold:

• First, lumpy mail begs to be opened.   Can you imagine yourself throwing away a piece of lumpy mail?   Surely, you'd be wondering what was in there, and might even resort to fishing it back out of the trash to satisfy your curiosity.

• Secondly, the item in the envelope that's responsible for its lumpiness will stay with your target for as long as they choose, effectively giving your company's name a front seat in that target's mind.

Many times, business owners focus on the letter that's enclosed in their direct mail envelopes; when, in fact, their focus would be better placed on actually getting that envelope opened.   And it doesn't matter who opens it…even if a gatekeeper at a large corporation is intrigued enough to set to it with a letter opener, your correspondence has a greater chance of completing its voyage to the decision maker's desk.

Emails cost nothing to send.   But with direct mail, you're paying for paper, envelopes, ink, and postage.   Unless people are opening those direct mailings, your spending is in vain.   Even with a conservative mailing list, you can spend hundreds, or thousands, of dollars in the blink of an eye.

Because you're investing so much more in direct mail, high response rates are more than desirable.   Direct mail experts site 1 or 2 percent response rates to direct mailings as satisfactory, even impressive.   But if you want extraordinary response rates to your direct mailings, a lumpy mail endeavor could result in response rates as high as 25 percent.   That means that, even if your budget is so tight that you can only afford to send out 10 pieces of lumpy mail, you can expect a response from 2 or 3 of your recipients.

So lump it up!   Mix up the mail bag.   Make mail interesting again.   Maybe you haven't the budget for big bulk mailing…but there's nothing stopping an honest shot at some lucrative lumpiness.

Bernadette Doyle specializes in helping entrepreneurs attract a steady stream of ideal clients. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, sign up for her free weekly e-zine at

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