Monthly Archives: February 2011

Keys To Building A Successful Business – Monthly Review

It’s time to wrap up our February theme!  Here’s a review of what we covered this month….

1)  It All Begins With You If you think you can you’re right, and if you think you can’t, you’re right.  Having the right attitude and the right mindset is essential to your business success!

2)  How Quality Control Helps You Sell Again and Again It’s important to maintain a high standard and continuously give your customers what they want.  This is called quality control.

3)  The One Thing You Absolutely MUST Have In Order To Make Money You may have created the best booklet in all the world.  But, if you don’t know how you’re going to sell it, you’ve wasted your time.  A marketing plan is an absolute must for every business – including yours!

4)  How To Create Loyal Customers Who Come Back For MoreHaving good customer relations is vital to your business.  Delivering a good product makes customers happy, but delivering a good experience is what makes customers come back for more.

5)  An Extremely Important Asset You May Have Overlooked Good vendors are like gold!  They are an essential component to your business.  Without them, you wouldn’t have design, layout, printed copies, and a host of other services needed to run your business.  Make sure you treat your vendors well!

6)  The Single, Most Important Thing You Must Know In Order To Make Money In Booklet Publishing Know your numbers!  While doing the math isn’t as exciting as doing the writing, it’s exremely important if you want to make serious money.

7)  Growing Beyond Yourself And A Single Booklet If you’re serious about growing your business beyond a single booklet, you need to be prepared to hire others to share the workload.  Remember, you want to RUN a booklet business, NOT work in it!

Stay tuned for March’s theme – Making The Most Of Your Time. Everyone is crunched for time, including me.  I’ll be sharing a few tips to help you make the most of the time you have, so that you can reach your goals faster!

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS: Are you ready to join the ranks of published authors and write your first booklet?  If you are, click here!

PPS: Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you never miss a single, important post!  Remember, it only takes ONE idea to start the riches flowing to you!  To subscribe, click here!

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Keys To Building A Successful Business – Growing Beyond Yourself And A Single Booklet

The first phase of your booklet adventure is an easy one.  You come up with an idea for a booklet, create it, and publish it.  The next phase of your booklet adventure happens when you begin to think beyond that first booklet.  This is when your booklet business begins to grow.  Growth is a wonderful thing because it means not only growing your business, but also your profits.  However, there is one very important thing, which if overlooked, will stunt your growth and your profits and keep you small.

Be Prepared

When you first begin your booklet adventure, your focus is a narrow one.  You have one booklet to create and publish.  This is simple because it’s just you and your booklet.  That’s not too much for one person to handle.

As time goes on, however, you may decide to add additional booklets and other products to your business.  And once you do, you’ll have more business because now you have new things to offer those customers who have already purchased your first title, as well as something for those potential customers who were not interested in your first title. This is what every business owner hopes to achieve because more business means more profit, but you must be prepared to handle the extra workload or your business will suffer.

Do you have a job or a business?

Nearly everyone who starts a business does so in order to achieve autonomy.  That is, they want to be in control of their own life.  They want to have the freedom to choose how they spend their time, and how much money they make.  Unfortunately, most people who choose to start a business never achive this goal.  Instead, they end up with another job – albeit one where they can call the shots – rather than living the lifestyle of their dreams.

Rather than looking at your booklet adventure as something you DO, you must train yourself to look at it as something you RUN.  There is a huge difference here.  Imagine a large corporate with only one employee.  This single person does it all.  They’re the janitor, mail room clerk, accountant, file clerk, marketing direction, and on and on right up to the CEO.  It would never work.  No one person can do that much.  Nobody could ever run a corporation alone.  And your business is just like that corporation, only on a smaller scale.

Let Go And Watch Your Business Grow

Have you ever heard of a business that started in someone’s kitchen or living room and grew into a large scale business?  There has been quite a number of these over the last several years, especially since the dawn of the internet.  The one thing these kinds of businesses have in common is that they started out very small, with one person at the helm, and grew from there into a company that employed other individuals in order to handle the workload.

If you are really serious about growing your business beyond a single booklet, you will need to be prepared to hire others to share the workload with you.  That’s the only way it can be done.  There will come a day when you will no longer be able to single handedly run your business.  That doesn’t mean that you need to have a large building with hundreds of employees.  Today, there is virtual help which is far less expensive for someone with a small business.  But, it does mean that you need to be willing to let go of some things, and allow other people to handle them for you.  Your goal is to run a business, NOT work in it, so that you’ll have more time to do the things you enjoy – both in your business and in your life!

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS: Are you serious about writing that first booklet?  Click here!

PPS: Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you never miss a single, important post!  Remember, it only takes ONE idea to start the riches flowing to you!  Subscribe now!  Click here!

Keys To Building A Successful Business – The Single, Most Important Thing You MUST Know In Order To Make Money In Booklet Publishing

Today I want to discuss with you what is probably the single, most important factor to building a strong, successful publishing business.  While all the keys I have mentioned are important, if you miss this one, your business will never get off the ground and your booklet adventure will come to a screeching halt!

The Statistics Are Grim

Approximately 81% of people alive today would like to write a book.  Most will never get started.  A handful will start and never finish, and fewer still will actually complete their work and end up with a book to place on the market.  Of those who do complete their book, the majority will sell less than 500 copies.

Why are the statistics so grim?  Because like most entrepreneurs who go into business for themselves, the writers focus on what they love to do – write – and forget that what they are really doing is starting a business. Anytime you create a product or service to offer to the public, you are starting a business.  Writing books or booklets and offering them to a particular audience is a business, and it can be a very lucrative one, but you MUST be able to look beyond the writing and the finished product before you ever write a single word.

Why The Most Important Thing Is NOT Writing

As a booklet author, you probably think that the most important thing you do in your business is your writing.  After all, if you didn’t write your booklet(s), you would not have a product to sell.  But, the writing is really only a small fraction of your business.  There is something far more important that you need to focus on in order to make your booklet adventure a success.  What is it?  It’s the math.

Before you publish your first booklet, there are some numbers you should know.  These numbers are extremely important because without them you can’t make a profit, and a business without profit dies.  Profit is the lifeline of any business, and the larger the profit you can bring in the better your business will do – and the more successful you will be!

The Most Important Number You Need To Know

What are these numbers you need to know?  First, you need to know your production costs. If you were writing a book, I would say you would also want to figure in your time for creating your work, but booklets take very little time to write.  So, production costs are first on the list.  Why is this important?  Because you can’t figure out how much profit you will make if you don’t know your production costs.

Many authors overlook this.  They look at the sticker price of their book or booklet, and not until AFTER production is finished do they realize that they won’t be making as much per booklet as they originally thought they would.  Knowing the cost of production up front will help you price your booklet so that you make a profit rather than breaking even or worse, accepting a loss of revenue.

Other Numbers You Need To Know

While the cost of production is an extremely important number to know, it’s not the only one you need in order to be a successful booklet publisher.  You should also know the size of your market, how much competition you have, how much your market buys from competitors, and how much each new customer you get is worth to you in terms of lifetime sales. Will a customer buy from you only once, or are they likely return for more?

Other numbers you should consider are the costs of reaching your market and product delivery. These numbers can range from very small to very great, depending on your budget and the methods you choose to use.

Knowing your numbers up front will help you keep costs down and profits up.  Doing the math may not be as fun as doing the writing, but it’s essential if you want to make serious money.

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS: Would you like to discover the profitable way to write a booklet?  Click here.

PPS: Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you never miss a single, important post.  Remember, it only takes ONE idea to start the riches flowing to you!   Click here to subscribe now!

 

 

Keys To Building A Successful Business – An Extremely Important Asset You May Have Overlooked

When you began your booklet adventure, you probably didn’t give your vendors much thought.  You needed help with editing, design or printing, found someone to do the job, paid them, and that was the end of it – right?  Wrong!

Bad Vendors Cost Time As Well As Money

Good vendors are hard to find.  While there are plenty of people who can get the job done, not all of them will get the job done right the first time, on time, every time.  Many vendors will gladly take your money and then deliver services far below what you might expect.

If a print job gets messed up, the vendor may be willing to reprint, but that puts you behind schedule.  This is especially bad if you have an anxious client waiting for a large quantity order.  Or, if the vendor isn’t particularly good at project management, they may take on more work than they can handle, and your job may be shoved further and further out as they continue to accept new jobs from new clients or customers.

Good Vendors Are An Asset

If you find a vendor who is honest, knowledgeable, helpful, and able to do a good quality job and finish it on time – HANG ON TO THAT VENDOR!!!  They are a HUGE asset to your business!  Even if that vendor didn’t have the best price, they are worth whatever you are paying them.

In your business, you rely on good vendors.  Without good vendors, a business can, and probably will, fold. You may be an entrepreneur or a solopreneur, but almost nobody is ever really in business alone.  Even people who run online businesses by themselves still rely on the services of vendors for things such as website hosting, online advertising and marketing, shipping of products, etc.

Maintaining Good Vendor Relationships

Once you’ve found a good vendor, it is of the utmost importance that you maintain a good relationship with them. For your part, this mainly means paying them on time, but it can include other things such as tipping when appropriate, refering others to them who can use their services, or sending them a handwritten thank you card for their timely service that they can show other potential clients or customers.

Good vendor relationships are also important because if the vendor feels they know you well and they trust you, they are more likely to offer you discounts, credit, and accept a late payment should something come up that causes you to be unable to pay on time.

Good vendors are like gold.  They are extremely valuable to your business and should be considered an asset.  Treat them well!

Kim Hillman

PS: Ready to write your first booklet?  Click here!

PPS: Be sure to subscribe to this blog.  Remember, it only takes ONE idea to start the riches flowing to you!  Click here.

Keys To Building A Successful Business – How To Create Loyal Customers Who Come Back For More

Have you ever ordered anything from Zappos?  If you have, you probably had a very good experience.  Zappos understands that they’re not in business to sell shoes.  They’re in business to get customers.

A Mistake That Will Cost You Big

When you began your booklet adventure, you probably gave alot of thought to selling your booklet.  You imagined what your finished booklet would look like and who would buy it, and how many copies you would sell.  But, you probably didn’t give much, if any, thought to your customers’ experience in buying from you.  This is a mistake that can cost you UNTOLD SUMS OF MONEY!

The whole point of starting your booklet adventure is to get customers. Without customers you can’t make money.  You can create the finest products available anywhere – booklets or otherwise – but without customers your products won’t sell, and you’ll be out whatever time and money you put into their creation.

The Key To Making Repeat Sales

Customer relations is a buzz word heard in corporate circles, but it applies to every business, including yours.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re a one man band running your own show, or you’re the head of a giant corporation.  Without good customer relations your business will become anemic, which is something you want to avoid.

What is customer relations?  It is the relationship you have with your customers.  Every company has a relationship with their customers.  That relationship is based on the customer’s experience when they come into contact with your company, and it is the key to making the sale and getting the customer to return.

Why It’s All About The Experience

When a potential customer first discovers your booklet, they probably won’t reach for their wallet.  They’ll want to learn more about you, the author, and about your company before they consider a purchase.  This is a crucial time because the speed at which their questions are answered and the way those questions are answered can make the difference between a sale and the customers going elsewhere – never to return.

Once the customer does decide to make a purchase, the way that purchase is handled is of the utmost importance.  If their experience is a very good one – they get all the information they need to make the decision to buy, the sale goes smoothly, and they receive their booklet or other product very quickly – that pleasant experience will be remembered.  Likewise, an unpleasant experience will also be remembered.

The key to good customer relations is to make your customers love you or your company, and your products.  Delivering a good product makes a happy customer, but delivering a good experience makes a loyal customer, and loyal customers come back for more.

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS: Are you ready to start your booklet adventure?  Click here!

PPS: Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you never miss a post.  Remember it only takes ONE idea to start the riches flowing to you!  Click here now!

 

 

Keys To Building A Successful Business – The One Thing You Absolutely MUST HAVE In Order To Make Money

You can create the best booklet in the world, but if you don’t know how you’re going to sell it, you’ve wasted your time. Every business, from the kid’s lemonade stand on the corner to the mega corporation that sells millions of products ever year, must have some kind of marketing plan for how they will get their product into the hands of consumers or they are doomed from the start.

Why A Marketing Plan Is So Important

The majority of writers who become book or booklet authors don’t usually give much thought to how they will sell their work once it is finished.  They get an idea and the excitement that is generated from that idea carries them forward to finishing their project.  And then it hits them.  They need to sell their now finished product.

If those writers had created a marketing plan before creating their booklet (or book), they would not have had to stop working once their writing was finished and their booklet created.  They could have easily transitioned from the creative phase to the sales phase of their booklet adventure.  In fact, they might have even been able to sell copies of their booklet before it was printed, or even completed.

What A Marketing Plan Is

A marketing plan is part of your business plan, but they are two different things.  Your business plan is a map of where you want your business to go within a certain period of time, and how you plan to get there.   It shows you which areas of your business to focus on, and what steps you need to take to achieve your overall business objectives and goals.

A marketing plan deals with one thing, and only one thing – how to get your booklet into the hands of people who will pay you for it. Unlike your business plan, which is more general and applies to your overall business activities, your marketing plan should be very focused and very specific. It should tell you exactly who your market is, and how you will tell them that your booklet exists.

What To Include In Your Marketing Plan

Just like your business plan, your marketing plan doesn’t need to be complex. It just needs to have enough detail to push you in the right direction toward making sales.  Your marketing plan might only be one page in length when you begin your booklet adventure, and later it might expand to two or three pages.  The important thing is that you have one.

Your marketing plan should tell you who your audience is, who your buyers will be (if they are different from your audience), how you will reach those buyers, how much you expect to make from sales, and how you will measure your sales tactics and progress so you know how to chart your course and make corrections when necessary.  These are the basic components of a good marketing plan, and they are probably all you will ever need throughout your booklet adventure.

If you don’t have a marketing plan, take a little time and create one today.  It’s a crucial key to making real money with your booklets.

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS: Are you ready to write your first booklet?  Click here!

PPS: Be sure to subscribe to this blog.  Remember, it only takes ONE idea to start the riches flowing to you!  Click here to subscribe now!

 

Keys To Building A Successful Business – How Quality Control Helps You Sell Again And Again

If you’ve ever spent any time in the corporate world, you’ve heard of quality control.  But what is it, exactly, and how does it relate to a smaller business like yours?  Quality control is another essential key to your success.

Maintaining The Standard

Have you ever eaten in a fast food restaurant or at a restaurant that was part of a franchise or chain?  Nearly everyone has.  And, chances are you’ve eaten in more than one location of the same restaurant.  Have you ever noticed how the food was the same at each location?  The burgers are just as juicy, the milkshakes are just as sweet and creamy, and the fries are just as perfectly crisped on the outside and soft on the inside from one location to the next.  This is due to quality control.

Quality control is a way of maintaining a certain level of quality in your products across the board. In the case of a restaurant, that means all of their locations must meet the same standard and level of quality.  But, in the case of your booklet business, which doesn’t have multiple locations, it means that all of your products meet a certain level of quality.

What Is Good?

When you sell your first booklet, you are setting a standard and level of quality that your customers will come to expect from you. That standard can be low, in which case you may have few customers, or it can be extremely high, in which case you may find it difficult to meet that standard with every product you produce.  The best standard is one that is in the middle. It’s not perfect – anyone who has ever produced anything and sold it will tell you there is no such thing.  But, it’s not a poor quality product either.  The product you produce should be good.

Every product you produce, whether you decide to write only booklets, or whether you branch out into other media, should be good.  What’s good?  Good is good enough for YOUR audience. That means they like your product and they buy it.  The booklet author who sells to doctors may have a different standard of what good is than the booklet author who sells to parents of toddlers.

Give Them What They Expect

Some people think that good enough applies only to the physical look of their product, but actually it goes much farther than that.  Your booklets and other products need to look professional and they should be eye catching to your audience, yes, but, they also need to have compelling content. This is something else that quality control will insure.

While it’s easy to create booklets that look the same, it’s more difficult to create booklets that sound the same.  That is, they speak directly to your audience in a voice your audience will pay attention to.  Once you have their attention, you want to keep it.  Quality control will help you do that.  How?  By making sure you maintain the same standard from one booklet to the next, one cd to the next, and so on.

Quality control makes it easy for you to employ the same standard of quality from one product to the next, and give your customers what they expect each and every time. Think of it like starbucks.  You go to starbucks and order your favorite drink.  You have a certain level of expectation, and if your drink is disappointing, it ruins the experience.  Your booklets are just the like the starbucks drink.  Make sure each one meets, or better yet exceeds, your customer’s expectaions, and you’ll be able to sell to them again and again.

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS: Just starting your booklet adventure?  Click here!

PPS: Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you never miss a post.  Remember, it only takes ONE idea to start the riches flowing to you!  Click here!