Now this is how you treat your best employees…

written by john c ashworth

I just happened to discover this photo while spending a few minutes on twitter this morning. Adam Witty, pictured to the right, is the founder of Advantage publishing. He is an authority marketing expert and his company specializes in helping you publish and promote your next book for maximum effectiveness. I have also noticed, he spends a great deal of time and effort on the culture of his companies and in cultivating the loyalty and commitment of his employees. Always very nice to see…

You don’t have to wait ten years to reward your loyal employees. Turnover is costly and your best people deserve recognition and increased compensation on a regular and consistent basis. I guarantee you it will improve performance. -John

Stop everything you’re doing right now and read this! This is One SIMPLE inexpensive and mostly ignored idea that has the potential to change your life and your business for the better, forever.

john c ashworth support socks

written by john c ashworth

Repeat after me…

“I’m a marketer in the business of…(fill in the blank here with your type of business)”

You MUST embrace this.

If you can’t, well, I’ve got bad news for you. You’re going to continue to struggle.

Here’s why…

Most small business problems in particular are lead-generation problems. Otherwise known as marketing and sales problems. Mostly marketing problems. When you can fix this one thing, you have solved many problems all at once. If you’re reading this right now, I’ll bet you understand this completely. If you don’t understand it yet, and you instead feel a little repulsed by the idea, that’s good too. You’re growing. Stick with me for a few more minutes while I make this very very important point. Albeit it in a somewhat roundabout sort of way…

Continue reading “Stop everything you’re doing right now and read this! This is One SIMPLE inexpensive and mostly ignored idea that has the potential to change your life and your business for the better, forever.”

How to structure your product and services for maximum profit

How to structure your product and services for maximum profit

written by john c ashworth

You should always sell Good, Better, and Best. Never sell yes or now. Especially when times are tough like the recession we’re living in right now.

Why?

You’ll make more money.

At least 20% of your customers will choose Better or Best regardless and 5% will choose Best by default every time. So, take your current product or service and label that as your Good Version. Then, get to work creating a story about what Better and Best could be and charge more for those versions. Typically, this won’t be hard for you to do, because it’s very likely you’re already doing it for your better and more demanding customers. It’s just that you might not have every thought of taking advantage of it.

Many will fear that showing a Better and Best options at higher price points will scare people away. This almost NEVER happens because most of the time, you have under-priced your offerings.

Second, and this is important, price elasticity is a very very important idea and concept to understand and embrace. There is always a limit to how much you can charge for what you do, but most of the time, you have not even come close to reaching that limit and you won’t actually know until you push that price elasticity theory farther and farther until you reach a clear point of distinction where it does in fact start to affect your ability to sell.

The worse place you want to be with your pricing is in the middle so that leaves you the choice of being the lowest or the highest priced product on the market and the latter will not only bring you a lot more money, but it will also bring you a lot better customers.

-John

PS Spend some time running these numbers in your business and you will quickly see that the affect on your bottom line is dramatic.

PPS Please, Please, just because the economy is struggling do NOT lower your prices. This will only hurt you in the long run and might just lead to your demise. Think different. Think more strategically and really take a close look at your numbers. And when you run into the fear associated with making this kind of fundamental change inside your small business, please also remember that the reason you feel you might not be able to get there is that you don’t have the marketing and sales system yet that will generate these results. It’s going to take some work, but you can certainly build one. I can help.

[video] Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail…

emerson quote


written by john c ashworth

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -emmerson

That’s a quote by Emerson and it’s my favorite one of all time.

My wife of 25 years shared it with me on a card when I opened my fitness studio back in 2006 and then worked like hell to keep from losing everything I had when the great recession hit in 2008. I made it out and with a large duffel bag full of wisdom that I share with you one post at a time here on the ash flash each week.

There’s NEVER been another more relevant time than now to embrace this idea.

What path will you blaze for yourself as we move through a new and life-altering era?

*Note: there is a VERY VERY important message about how to relate to your small business marketing at minute 5 in this video. Be sure to at least watch that part!

Godspeed to you, my friend and thanks for being here. -John

Why YOUR small business marketing MUST lead with MESSAGE and Not media

Why YOUR small business marketing MUST lead with MESSAGE and Not media

written by john c ashworth

This idea is like a bucket of cold water dumped on you in the middle of the night – it’s ALARMING, probably even confusing, because what I’m about to share with you will likely be in stark contrast to anything you’ve come to know about sales and marketing. And the toughest part about this, is that if you’re truly willing to listen, the truth is that this is the TRUTH. This is what WORKS! Please, for the sake of your small business, keep reading…

This is one of the BIGGEST mistakes small business owners make when it comes to their small business marketing program. There are often many mistakes, but this is a BIG one and one of the MOST common.

The major mistake most small business owners make in their marketing efforts is that they focus almost exclusively on MEDIA. Think about it for a moment and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. Especially if you’re a small business owner right now, and you’re willing to take a very close look at what you’re currently doing, you’ll likely find that when you launched the marketing you have in place right now, you almost certainly focused on your attention first on which MEDIA you might use to get your message out there.

One of the reasons this happens is that most small business owners relate to their marketing in the wrong way from the start. They need customers. They want to make sales. So, they focus on their need to do some marketing. On the surface, that makes perfect sense. In fact, right about now you’re probably thinking the same thing, and wondering why you might keep reading. But if you want to solve your small business marketing troubles, I encourage you to keep reading.

Tons of money gets wasted because small business owners focus almost exclusively on their need for customers. This is actually one of, if not THE worst reasons for your marketing efforts. Does that surprise you? I bet it does.

Because what you’re marketing should really be designed to do, is to communicate a compelling and relevant message to your prospects, your network, your customers, and the communities you serve. Until you have a compelling message that resonates with your target market, you have NOTHING. So, you need to start with your message and expand outward from there. This is not easy to do, which is why it is so often ignored.

Your message starts with your unique selling proposition, or USP. Most small businesses in particular focus too much of their efforts on tag-lines and not their USP. They then take this weak and ineffective idea, which is not a message at all, and put it into the wrong MEDIA and then wonder why it doesn’t work.

The reason it doesn’t work is that your marketing must always find its way, not just to the right message and USP, but also to the right target market, and then to the right media that reaches that market. Void of this happy little triad, you are doing the equivalent of taking your piles of money out back by your dumpster and lighting it on fire.

-John

How to make better decisions, earn more money, and increase your confidence.

written by john c ashworth

How to make better decisions, earn more money, and increase your confidence.

Think Different.

A marketing slogan initially created by Steve Jobs that was brilliant and that represents the fundamental shift most people need to make when they want to achieve MORE and get better results.

Changing your thinking, however, is not always that easy. Most of us discover as we get older and wiser that unhitching ourselves from engrained belief systems is hard and often very uncomfortable.

Or, we discover that choosing a new way of thinking and acting can be fun and exciting at first, but that it’s all too easy to quickly go running back to the old way of doing things when the new way feels so unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and scary.

The truth is that if you want to achieve MORE, Be MORE, and Earn MORE money, YOU need to start thinking differently MORE of the time. Doing things the same way you’ve always done and expecting different results is a common and silly form of denial.

Change is hard because transformation takes great courage. In this case, the courage to explore new ways of thinking and acting that will make you feel uncomfortable and force you into new territory. Often very uncomfortable territory.

That’s OK. But you have to be ready for it. Otherwise, what happens is that we make changes, start to think differently, and quickly realize that we have walked into the room naked and afraid. Vulnerable. Suddenly, our survival instincts tell us that the easiest thing to do is to run back into the other room and put all of our old clothes back on as quickly as possible.

Yes. In the short run, that will alleviate the feeling and fear of being exposed; and ultimately make you feel more safe.

But safe from what?

I’ll finish with a quick example of what I’m referring to here.

Most small business owners spend the majority of their time trying to manage their businesses and the people that work for them. That’s their job, of course.

The problem is that when problems and challenges arise inside the business, owners often don’t take a close enough look at what they might be able to do or change personally that would help them correct their course.

Try spending a little more time focused on managing yourself and not others, and you will very likely discover that with a little humility, open-mindedness and honesty, you will be able to find the courage to admit you’re wrong about stuff and correct your course.

Try spending some time managing yourself, your bad habits, your compulsions, your environment, and everything else that has the potential to negatively influence your personal growth, and by extension, your business. This presence will help you make better decisions that lead to more personal growth and MORE income.

-John

PS One of the best ways to begin this process of better managing yourself is through regular exercise. Not only will regular exercise bring you more energy and more clarity, but the simple act of deciding to commit to it day to day will force you to take a much closer look at how you’re managing yourself in general. This is why so few people re able to make it happen. It requires a little more than good spandex and a fancy watch.