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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

The 25 Profit Thieves And The 14-Day Turnaround

Why Some Photography Businesses Thrive While Others Struggle Just To Survive

ideapage.

The fast way to build your business

7413 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45231

(513) 521-7307 Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

YOUR RIGHTS This electronic publication is for your own personal use only. It does not automatically come with any rights of distribution. You do not have the right to reproduce, redistribute or resell this publication in any form. If your friends want a copy, just tell them about http://www.ideapage.com where they can sign up for their own copy - without cost

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoriative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the author and publisher are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. - From a "Declaration of Principles" jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishersand Associations Copyright 1994-2008 Don Schenk. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced without permission lf the author/ publisher. Exceptions are made for brief excerpts to be used in published reviews with the author's website www.ideapage.com being mentioned in the review. Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

Page

What is in here to make your business grow?

4. Introduction - how this came about 9. The important fact your business must tell customers 15. What you must do with every customer and potential customer 22. How to make customers return again and again... for years 26. The one piece of knowledge you need about your marketing 32. 45% of your customers will buy more... I’ll show you how 34. What you must do to focus your marketing 38. 2 words that gave me a 1000% increase to my Yellow Page Ads 40. Your backside, it’s not what you think 43. The simple way to get good referrals - lots of them 47. Why you might be losing customers, and what to do about it 50. Where to spend your advertising dollars 52. 3 ways you must leverage the results of your efforts 57. How get off the roller coaster - business up, business down 58. What your customer is really buying 62. Why you shouldn’t advertise to everybody 64. Who had better be answering your telephone 67. What do you mean they don’t want it? 70. How something you didn’t do 3 months ago is effecting you now 72. What is the best price to charge for your products and service 74. How many directions you can go - all at the same time 77. You’re tired of it - so what? 79. How you might be be your own worst enemy 82. How to build customer loyalty 84. The best, simplest, fastest source of new customers 87. It’s a peculiar new world out there 104. In closing © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

What about the 14 Day Turnaround? You use a combination of Profit Thieves #3, 5, 8, 23, and 24. Read the entire book first, then come back to this page. Only then will it make sense. You need to (as quickly as possible) contact as many customers as you can. Let's assume you have a list, now you go to this list and begin to offer a "special" by telephone or by email as these are the quickest two ways. If you don't have a good customer list, the solution is covered in Profit Thief #24. I really don't like discounting to create a special because it takes money of the top and diminishes the profit while your overhead remains the same. Instead I like to offer a special add-on. It is like giving a Baker's Dozen, something extra of value, yet you still make the markup needed on the primary item or service sold. For example - with the purchase of a certain perfume the customer would receive a free make-up case, compact, and lipstick. With the purchase of X,Y & Z, you give your customer a free A,B, & C. where A.B. & C. do not have a huge up front cost to you, but have a great deal of perceived value to your customer. Offer additional add-on products and back-end products or services. Sign people to a continuation for repeat service, collecting their money when they sign up. Begin regular communication by mail and email. And find other merchants who have the customers you want, then work out a trade where you give them a sample of your product or service to give to their customers in order to attract those customers to you too. It looks like a gift coming from the other merchant.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

A Profit What? A Profit Thief is a small glitch, a minor mistake in marketing that you don’t yet know about, but it is greatly hindering the flow of money that should be coming into your business Each Profit Thief is actually a simple strategy, which when ignored will greatly lower the money coming into a business (steal it away - thus I call it a thief)... but if put to good use will build your business lightening fast. Whether yours is a one-person business working from your kitchen table to make a little extra cash or a mega-corporation listed in the Fortune 500 , you are about to learn the truly fast ways to have your business bring in more money. Among the discoveries you are about to make are... •How get off the roller coaster - business up, business down •2 words that gave me a 1000% increase to advertising •How to make customers return again and again... for years •The simple way to get good referrals that actually works - brings lots of them My name is Don Schenk. (Pronounced like Shank.) But this isn't about me. It’s about you and about what to do for your business. It’s about how you can be more successful... in as short a time as possible. I’m a business owner... more than 38 years now. And I really don't © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

like to tell anyone that some years ago my business was failing. It's an embarrassment, but the fact remains that twenty-two years ago (1987) I was ready for bankruptcy, and of course it was what I didn't know that was a large part of the problem. Many of my close friends know the story, but it's not something I have talked about in my writing. My business wasn't working, and I developed an attitude problem that eventually left me sick, broke, and hopeless. I never felt so worthless. I was desperate for a turnaround... a way out of the madness. Don't worry, I won't bore you with my history, I'll save that for another time. Yawn, yawn - big yawn. But what happened to my business is nothing short of phenomenal once I learned the strategies you are about to discover. At last... I found the simple solution, an easy way to take a small failing business to massive success. I haunted book stores and the library and read an average of 3 or 4 books a week. So much of what I read turned out to be junk written by self-proclaimed experts and consultants... theories they had never even used themselves! Many of these of these were people who worked the speaking circuit and wrote books to help publicize their own public speaking programs. Or the authors turned out to be working in academia and wrote about theory on businesses they had never owned or even worked in. Does this really occur? I have a friend who is a professor at a the leading business college here in the United States. He is one of the few who actually took time off from his schooling to spend time working in the commercial world, in his field of study before going on to earn his Ph.D.. Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

Yet he tells me the college assigns him to teach courses about which he has no practical experience. He says he just has to stay one chapter ahead of the students in the textbook. Go figure! Because I knew this happened, I had to be careful about what I studied. Little by little I managed to uncover the real secrets... a piece here, a piece there. And as far as I could tell, not one other person had disclosed the entire set of secrets. Nowhere could I find them all put together in one place. It didn’t exist until now. Did they work? Here’s what happened... My business turned around completely. This was the miracle I needed. And I even added a large addition onto my building because I needed more space. As my business grew I bought the building next door so my business could expand even more! And during the years since, I've developed two other successful small businesses. One took me to a healthy net worth, and then I have been able to repeat that again several times over. At the end of the past year, one of my employees took over my main business which let me retire. At lease I call it "retire." I now have more time to travel to our vacation home in Park City, Utah, and to write, and teach. In a moment, you are going to discover exactly what it is I learned so you can let it work for your business too! But again, this isn’t about me. It’s about you. It’s about your business. Where do you want your business to be? Where do you want to be personally?

© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

Let these secrets work their magic for your business too. You will soon know... •The most important fact about your business that you must tell customers •The simple technique to have 45% of your customers buy more •Why you might be losing customers, and what to do about it •The 3 ways you must leverage the results of your efforts •How something you didn’t do 3 months ago is effecting you now •What is the best price to charge for your products and service So often, when we each look at others in our own industry, we will copy a strategy or advertisement or an idea from another business, one that is in the same business as ours. But what happens most often is we wind up copying the other business owner's mistakes... and we don't know it. The advertisement or the strategy you see at a convention in your industry really didn't work for the other business, but you don't know that. Then you get to wonder why it isn't working for you. You may also find yourself copying a style or strategy that helps your business look, sound, and feel just like other businesses of the same type... then you look like everybody else. This as you will soon see is a problem. It is exactly the wrong thing to do! Your business needs to stand out - be different - look better. I'll cover that in much more detail in a moment. © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

Why is it that some business owners make a fortune while others struggle just to survive? It is because they understand The 25 Profit Thieves... called Profit Thieves because if you ignore them, and if you fail to let them do the work for you... ...the Profit Thieves will steal the profit right out from under you and make your profit go elsewhere. But if you employ their service, use these 25 strategies, the money will come to your business. When you let these strategies work for you, they will help you direct more money into your pockets... big money! Many of the strategies I am going to show you can even pay for this course ebook, today... this very day... many times over... by increasing your sales within the next few hours - or even within the next few minutes... with the next customer or client you talk to. Add just one or two of these techniques and your business will increase. Add one a week for two months and I think you can be unstoppable Let's get on with it. Here are the 25 Profit Thieves so you can see which are negatively affecting your business. Then you will understand Why Some Business Owners Make A Fortune, and let it work for you too.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

Profit Thief #1 — Not knowing why (and not telling customers exactly how and why) your business is better than the competition. In other words why should someone buy from you? What is the major difference between you and all the others? A real difference! Specifically... very specifically what do you, your product, your service, or your business do for customers that they can not get elsewhere? What makes you unique? If you and all your employees don’t know why you are better, how can you expect customers to know? Customers haven’t a clue. What first comes to mind is value. I hear business owners say "We give our customers value." Nahh, that's too nebulous, too vague. Exactly how do people value by buying from you? What specific value do they gain? How about, "We give quality and service?" Nope. Too little information. And besides, all your competitors use these words. Specifically what does your “better service” mean? This most important concept applies whether you are running a small business from your home or running a large corporation... whether you are a one person micro businesses or have several dozen employees... whether you have an Internet business or one with a physical location visited by customers. Do you send three people on the job when your competitor sends only two? Do you guarantee your work for ten years when others only offer 90 days? Do you solve customers' problems faster, more thoroughly, an more economically? © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

Does you product last longer, feel more comfortable, keep your customer safer or more secure than competitors' models? Does your product include more bonuses, supply instant gratification, help customers make more money? Will your product attract more visitors to your customer's Website? Do you get their carpets cleaner, their teeth whiter, make their car run smoother, give it better mileage? Or do you sell them paint that will cover their walls in only one coat? What’s better about your product or service? Is it price, or durability, or your attention to customers needs? And if it is attention to their needs, do you demonstrate this by the questions you ask and by the way you service their account? In short, why should customers buy from you instead of from someone else? Let me tell you a story about an interesting fellow named Claude Hopkins. He was an advertising copywriter who worked for the J.L. Stack Advertising Agency. And under their direction he wrote a book called Scientific Advertising. Its purpose was to promote the agency. While it is an excellent book, it helped J.L. Stack earn more money rather than helping Claude Hopkins. Then Hopkins had a revolutionary idea. He went on his own so he could design and write advertising on which he would be paid by the client based on the increased business the ad would attract. If the ad worked, the client would have greater sales and thus have additional money to pay Hopkins. If the ad didn't work, Hopkins wouldn't be paid. Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

By writing effective advertising he created a win/win situation and he was paid a percentage of the increased sale. When Hopkins left the agency he wrote his second book, My Life In Advertising to promote himself. Both books are still in print even though today they are in the public domain. In the My Life In Advertising book Hopkins goes into more detail about what advertising he found to work best. One of the systems he invented while still at J.L. Stack is called Pre-emptive Advertising. (By the way, Hopkins also is the fellow who invented grocery store coupons.) He created pre-emptive advertising as a way to advertise how and why a business is different or better than other businesses when it really isn't different. When your business is really the same as all the other businesses, people have no specific reason to come to you. Hopkins found a unique, simple way around this dilemma. Here is how pre-emptive marketing works... reprinted from my Cash-Flow Right Now! ebook... Beer is beer, it’s a commodity. Oh sure, different brands taste a little different, but when the beer manufacturers are all saying the same thing in their advertising it is hard to distinguish the difference. Back in the days when Schlitz Beer was in fifth place, all the beer manufacturers were using similar words in their advertisements - “Our Beer Is Pure, Pure Beer, Pure, Pure, Pure”. They all sounded alike. Every one of Schlitz’s competitors used the word “Pure” in their © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

Ads. So did Schlitz! But Schlitz wanted to jump ahead in sales so they hired a new advertising agency called J.L. Stack. To get right to the heart of the beer making process, Stack’s top copywriter, Claude Hopkins, asked to be sent to beer brewing school. Then he insisted that the Schlitz people give him a detailed tour of their brewery. They showed him the glass enclosed-room which the Schlitz people explained they used to cool the beer slowly to maintain its flavor. The showed him the large pipes out of which beer flowed in the cooling room, and they showed him the charcoal and wood pulp filters used to filter the air going into the room. They showed him the stainless steel tanks used for storage and explained how they shut down the brewery twice a day and scrubbed everything to keep the beer pure. Then they showed him the Mother Yeast strain they keep growing - developed after over 1200 experiments to find just the right yeast that would give their beer its flavor. And they showed him the artesian well some 4000 feet deep from which they get their naturally filtered water to keep everything about their beer pure. Schlitz Brewery was located right on the shores of Lake Michigan and could have used the same water supply as all of Milwaukee. Hopkins wanted to use all this information in the Schlitz advertising - tell the people why Schlitz Beer is pure. It’s made with artesian well water and cooled gradually in an air-filtered glass room, and he explain about the Mother Yeast and the Stainless Steel tanks and the brewery’s twice daily scrub-down. The Schlitz Beer people thought he was crazy. They said, “Everyone brews beer this way. We all make it exactly © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

the same.” But Hopkins knew the beer buying public didn’t know how beer was brewed. They didn’t know why or how a beer could be PURE. When Hopkins began to explain the Schlitz brewing process in Schlitz’s advertising, he gave Schlitz an apparent USP, a Unique Selling Proposition, and sales began to rise. Within eight weeks Schlitz jumped from number five up to first place. They stayed there for years. And, of course, their competition could not use the same information in their own ads without sounding like they had changed to Schlitz’s way of making beer - without sounding “me too”. - Cash-Flow right Now! Pages 14-16 One of the Internet forums I haunt is dedicated to marketing via the Internet. Hardly a week goes by without one or two forum members asking for a critique of their newly designed website. Most of the time these new Websites have nothing to differentiate them from other sites selling a similar product. The graphics may look different, but the words and sometimes the product are sooooo much alike. The Website being critiqued may be an Internet mall site offering dozens of products, and it looks like all the other mall sites out there. The site being critiques might be a local business's site that describes what the business offers, but does so in such a way the business looks exactly like most other businesses of its type. For example, I have been totally amazed at how many professional photographers' sites look the same. The photos look the same, the Website design looks the same. The photographers are all copying one another! And the Websites all take the same, long time © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

to load because they use large amounts of Flash animation. Then I found out what happened! One Internet Marketing company has designed a couple hundred Website templates that all look very similar. They specialize in selling these sites to photographers. And since it is all about "images," the photographers fail to write interesting copy about how and why they are better. Why should customers buy from you? This is a tough question, especially if you are selling the exact same product, from the same manufacturers as is your competition. This is also a tough question if you have a service business and are giving the exact same type of service as are others. What little thing, or little things, are you doing better? It doesn't take a great leap forward to win, most times a race is won by only a fraction of a second. You just have to be a little better. Go ahead, ask many of your customers why they buy from you, and keep asking until you get every little reason out of them. They will tell you why people buy from you. Then it's up to you to tell everyone else about it.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

Profit Thief #2- Failure to capture the name, address (or email address), and phone number of each and every customer who buys from you, contacts you, calls you, or writes to you. Whenever your business needs an instant shot of money, the best place to find that money is by selling something to your past customers, and/or to people who, at some time, have shown an interest in buying from you. You can’t call them or mail to them, or email to them a special offer if you don’t know who they are and don’t have a mailing list ready. I assume your business is computerized. One friend of mine owns a business that isn't computerized. He needs to "get with the program," but then he doesn't do any mailings. In talking with one of his employees, I am hearing about a decrease in income problem his business is having because of a sudden large influx of chain stores and Internet stores also selling what he sells. In fact he has now put his business up for sale. Since he has NO CUSTOMER LIST he his having trouble getting others interested in purchasing his business. Your list IS what's valuable in your business. Your list is your business. He bought the business from his father, and his particular business has a really good reason for people to buy from him instead of from the chain stores. It makes him unique, but he doesn't tell it to anyone! He is selling complex, technically oriented products for which customers usually need a certain amount of hand-holding in the beginning. He and his employees do this better than any other store in

© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves town in his industry. ter.

He expects everyone to somehow magically know why he is bet-

He needs to mail, email, and telephone his past customers. He has no records of who they are or how to communicate with them. He only has records of what products were purchased, but not by whom! What? You don't like to do the mailing or the emailing you say? Even a small mailing can be a pain in the neck. There are letter shops where they will stuff envelopes, seal the mailer, put postage on the piece, and get the best postage discounts available for you from the Post Office. And the letter shop will even address all the envelopes for you, electronically from your computerized mailing list. Assuming you have a computerized list. They will do it for a few letters or tens of thousands of mailing pieces. You will find these listed in your local Yellow Pages under the heading of "Mail" or "Lettershop." Usually if you ask the printer printing your mailing pieces they too will know a lettershop. You pay the lettershop a small fee (it's pennies) per mailing piece because the process is automated. And the postage savings the lettershop can get for you is often enough to pay for their service. You don't even have to do the work! How cool is that? What about email? No you don't need to sit at your computer and email separately to each of your customers. There are email list companies who do Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves

the mailing for a small fee just like the letter shops who send your regular mail. And if you do try send out an email to a large list on your own, your Internet Service Provider is probably going to think you are spamming everyone and block your email... shut you down... dead in the water! But you are emailing to your existing customers, and you do have a right to email to them just like you have a right to telemarket your past and present customers. Convincing your Internet Service Provider of this can be a different story. So how do you send an email to a large number of customers without creating problems? There are email companies that will do this for you and also manage your email list. Their software lets people unsubscribe at will, and their software can even automate the acquiring of email addresses for you. They store your customer email list on their server. (Yes, you need to keep backup copies for yourself.) And they handle all the emailings. You just need to send them the email letter or flyer you want them to email and tell their software when you want it sent. These email list companies also supply autoresponder service to you as part of their regular business, and it's usually included in their low monthly fee. An autoresponder can send a series of mailings spaced any way you wish...one a day, one every few days or weeks. As of this writing you can get unlimited mailings and list storage up to 10,000 names for about $20 a month. What a bargain! If your list is larger than 10,000 names the cost for additional names is minimal.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

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The largest and most popular list server company is found at http://www.aweber.com. Their prices are a little higher than the $20 per month, but they offer a lot of additional services that will help you analyze where your business is coming from. Aweber has a series of tutorials on their site which you can go to and learn the process. Go check it out. A couple of other popular list server/autoresponder sites are http://www.getresponse.com and http://www.constantcontact.com An autoresponder service also automates the acquiring of email addresses of people who contact you from your website and want more information. Here's how that works: They supply a form for you to put on your Website that viewers fill out. This form has a field for contact name and an email field, and sends the customer's contact information to the autoresponder. Don't worry, the auto responder company will show you how to add their for to your Website by copying and pasting this contact form into the HTML code of your Website. It really is easy. It's all part of the autoresponder setup system. When a customer puts their name and email address into the form on your Website, then clicks "Go," the autoresponder sends them a short email response instructing them to "click here" in the email. This lets the autoresponder verify that the person who has asked for more information really is the person who wants more informaŠ 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

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tion... and not a prankster sending them to your site. This is called double-optin and protects you from being considered a spammer. What about a non-Internet list? My neighborhood dry cleaner never captures addresses or email addresses when he writes customers’ names on the laundry tickets. If he did he could double his business by sending a letter to all his customers and then offer customers a “reward” for sending their friends to his business. When he keeps their friends coming back as customers by writing each one a nice “thank-you for doing business with me” note, he will have extra business for life. And they never would have received this note from any of his competition. How about the names and addresses of people who contacted you but didn’t purchase from you at that time? If at one time, they had a need for what you offer it’s a safe bet they will need it again at a future date. If you don’t know who they are, you can’t keep trying to sell to them. Hey! What's the best, fastest way to gain customers when you don't have any to begin with? Simple. Find someone who already has the customers you want, and work with that someone. We will look at that in great detail later on in one of the other Profit Thieves. A couple weeks ago I worked on images and marketing for a display at large home and garden show. The man who hired me for this assignment owns a business that rids lawns of moles. We sat down to brainstorm about who already has the custom© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

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ers he wants, and it turns out to be lawn services. The guys and gals mowing lawns will be first to see if a customer's lawn has a mole problem, and the lawn service guys can pass these customers on to his business. But it gets even better. He acquired the rights to sell a unique brand of mole traps that are much easier to operate, safer to the user (no squashed fingers), and more durably made than any others on the market. Now he realizes he can sell these unique mole traps to lawn services in other parts of the country, help them capture the "mole market," and not cut into his own business! So he put it on the Internet, hired a package fulfillment house to mail out the traps others buy from him. He also put together a video about how to trap moles using the traps, and he sells it as a kit to people all around the country. Who has the same customers (and quality of customers) as you. I'm not talking about your competition, I'm thinking of other businesses with whom you can network. Their extra names help you, assuming they have a list. As example, a florist can (and should) trade customer names and potential customer names with a wedding cake bakery to help each business reach brides-to-be. A neighborhood hardware store can effectively trade sets of customer names with a neighborhood lawn and garden store to compete with the big-box stores because do-it-yourselfers will need products from each. An automobile supply businesses can trade names with hardware stores since each sell to the same buyers. But you need the names, address, email, and probably the phone number of all who buy from you, and as many as you can from those who call but don’t purchase. Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Steve, a friend of mine manages a group of tuxedo rental shops in the malls. He has a registration box where everyone can register to win a free set of tuxedo rentals for their wedding. This gives him a mailing list and emailing list of every bride and groom who comes looking at tuxes in the mall. He then networks with a limousine service, a wedding photography studio a baker, a caterer, and a bridal dress shop. They all mail to each other's captured lists. I will cover this in more detail in a later Profit Thief section, but first you need a list.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Profit Thief #3- Not actively setting up a system to insure that customers do return again and again for repeat sales. I’ve had my carpets cleaned by several different companies. Not once did any of them ever contact me again about future cleanings. Nor did any offer me a prepaid package of several cleanings. None of them ever did anything to insure I would return! Maybe they don't want me. ;-) Gain a new customer - you make money. Attract them back by mail or telephone - you make more money. All with little additional cost. Double the times they come to you, double your money. Triple the times they come to you triple your money. Quadruple the times... well, you get the picture. Sign them to a series of purchases at a reduced rate when they agree to buy today. Or offer a continuation where they return to purchase every two weeks, or month, or three times a year. If I had to pick one concept that has made the greatest improvement in my bottom line, this is it. I put into place two separate programs that bring customers back to me 4 times a year, and another program that has customers repeat twice a year. I'm selling a product people don't normally purchase several times a year. We only offer these special programs to customers who have demonstrated a good history of buying. We don't offer these programs to the tire-kickers. I saw an ad yesterday for a Health Spa where they offered one Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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month for $9 and would then “help� customers sign-up for a longer term. The longer term was at only $25 per month for 36 months. The customer could pay all at once or monthly. If paid monthly the spa charged interest which would raise the payment - in effect giving a discount for prepayment. Once committed to a long term offer, their customers will retune again and again, and that is when customers purchase additional products from the spa. A fellow I've know since college days bought a chain of music stores where they offer a price break on lessons when a student signs up for and purchases a month or two worth of lessons at one time. Any business producing an often repeated product purchase or service really should be using this. I suspect you have seen the television ads and infomercial for a company that teaches people how to use a computer. They will send you a free lesson on CD, you just pay shipping and handling for the disc. At the time you "sign up" for the Free disc they ask you what software programs you would like to learn and offer to put you into a continuation where you will receive additional lessons on computer software about which you have expressed an interest. Every month... forever... or until you tell them to stop. What comes to mind is continuation marketing like a music CD club, or a book of the month club. Time-Life sells a set of "Hits from the 70" and Hits from the 80's and Hits from the 90's. One CD each month... forever. Just think... someday rap music will be sold as golden oldies! Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

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Likewise video rentals, book clubs, tennis clubs, membership websites, newletters, beauty salons, barber shops should be selling continuation programs to their customers. Why even the neighborhood bakery can have a pastry of the week club. Set up a system to make every customer return just once, and you can as much as double your income without any advertising expense! Give them a reason to return two times, three times, etc., and I believe the sky is your limit. In fact I just came across a couple of situations that really indicate anything is possible. One internet marketer I know has a membership site with just over 2,000 members each paying $67.50 per month for the service he offers which is to help them with their websites and online marketing. This creates a $135,000.00 per month income to him without doing any additional advertising. I recently had a conversation with a fellow who is in a membership program where he pays $2,700.00 per month to a marketer who helps him increase his sales. Yes, that is twenty-seven hundred dollars each month. And the fellow to whom he is paying this, has 20 business owners in the program. That comes out to $54,000 per month in additional income to the owner of that membership program. How do you know a membership program will work for you without putting a lot of time a money into it first? Well, that brings us to the very next Profit Thief.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Profit Thief #4- Failure to test all concepts... from advertising copy to product price, from packaging to sales presentations by comparing results of using one concept against using another. Do you ever test two different prices for a product to learn which will sell more? Sometimes the higher price turns out to be the better seller. Do your sales people ever test two different sales presentations by giving one presentation to half of the prospects and another presentation to the other half while tracking results? Do you ever run an advertisement twice in two different places in the same newspaper and tag it with two different phone numbers to determine which Ad or which headline on the ad brings in more business? For example, whenever mail-order companies test a new direct mail piece they write two different Ads with two different headlines and mail each to half of the address list. They put a keycode on the order form to learn which of the two ads works better. To test price, they take the ad that worked and print two batches of it with half of the ads pricing the product at one price and half listing it at another price. They again split another mailing list, mail the two different priced Ads, and track the results before deciding which Ad to mail to their entire list. When you test and track the results you learn what works better, and I always find it amazing how much a price change of a just couple of dollars varies the results -sometimes the opposite way we would expect. In a momen I will show you two easy ways to test that are quick

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

The 25 Profit Thieves and inexpensive.

I used to offer a product that didn't sell well at $19, sold much better at $29, really sold well at $39... but when I tested $49, the response rate dropped to almost zero. But I wouldn't have known that $39 was a much better price than $19 at the time if I hadn't tested it. I sold that product for years testing price it again and again. Over the years I found the magic number eventually jumped to $89. Test one way of packaging products against another way of grouping products. Test one price against another. Test one sales presentation against another. Test one headline against another. Test body copy in your Ads against others. Test one promotion against another. Test everything and keep testing to learn what works better - one concept against another. I met a wedding photographer who was charging in the $4,000 range for all day wedding coverage. That is with custom retouching, custom printing and album. Then she made a simple discovery that doubled her average sale. Here is the story... Recently I meet a wedding photographer from Illinois who shows prospective brides and grooms a $20,000.00 photography album as one of the sales packages she offers. Yow! $20,000.00 for wedding photographs! You’ve got to be kidding. But then she explained, “I’m really not expecting anyone to purchase this package. It is my “whopper,” a package so extravagant it makes all my other photography packages seem more affordable by comparison.”

© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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It makes customers choose to take their purchases a few notches higher on the price scale because they now want more than they originally planned. All without any sales pressure! Simply by offering the “whopper” she was able to double her sales averages. Not in her wildest dreams did she ever expect to sell one. To her complete surprise during the past 12 months not only has the “whopper” doubled her sales average, but three couples actually bought it – the $20,000 photography package for their wedding photographs! What is it you are NOT offering because you believe people won’t spend that much? What have you not been offering that could help raise your sales averages?” How can you package products or services to generate your own “whopper?” A business selling pool tables tested having sales people show the $3,000 tables first and leading customers up to the $10,000 tables. They tested this against doing it just the opposite way $12,000 first then down to $3,000. By testing these two ways of making their sales presentation they discovered that one of these methods doubled their average sale. Which of the two ways worked better? It was showing the most expensive item first and working their way down to the least expensive. Social psychologists call this "contrast principle." The expensive items make the lower price items look cheap... even if they aren't cheap, and most people want something better than the cheapest Without making this test and tracking the results the salespeople © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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at this company would not have known how easily they could double their average. I said I would show you two easy ways to test. Are you familiar with Google's Adwords program? With Adwords Google will place small 3-line Ads for you on search pages in Google. You pay per click which means whenever someone clicks on your Ad Google will charge you a small fee ( anywhere from $.05 to a couple dollars).

I've drawn red boxes around the Adwords on this page.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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When I test I usually put $50 to $100 into my Google Adwords account then run the test Ads. When a person searching clicks on my Ad, Google sends them to the Webpage I have attached to the Ad, and Google tracks how many went to that Website. Google will alternate two or more Ads that you write, and tell you how many clicks each Ad attracts. This is an easy way to test several short headlines, or product names, or the desire for various products. The second way to test online is by having a Website and making two different home pages for the site. Google will alternate these two pages for you, and they will analyze which home page gets a better response. You can test different headlines, different Ad copy, different prices, length of sales letters, and preferred products. If you have tested in Adwords first and found an Ad that works best, you can continue to use that Ad as an Adword Ad and send people to the rotating home pages. Information about how Google Adwords works is found at http://www.adwords.google.com. You will find Google's Website analysis and rotation information is found at: http://www.google.com/analytics When buying Google Adwords you can pick the geographic area to which Google will run your Adword Ads. If you are advertising to your local community, you can tell Adwords just to run in your metropoliton area, if you wish to advertise throughout the world you can pick the countries to which Google will send your Adword Ads.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Look at the two Adword advertising campaigns above. For the top one I picked Greater Cincinnati and for the bottom one I picked several English speaking countries I wanted to target.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Profit Thief #5- Not suggesting add-ons (additional products or services) every time a customer makes a purchase. Yes, it’s a fact, 45% of your customers will agree (on the spot) to buy an add-on product if you just propose it. With no high pressure! Just because you made the suggestion. Think about TV infomercials. When you call the toll-free number, you reach an inbound telemarketing company that takes your order, and the phone operators read a script that offers one item after another until you buy something additional. I called the 800 number after watching a popular infomercial that offers a set of audio tapes or Compact Discs with a handful of video tapes given as a bribe to get people to order the $200 set of tapes. The operator offered one add-on after another, and when I said, " I don't want any of these additional products. Please, let's get on with placing my order." She said, " I have to offer you all of these, and more, they require it of me. In hindsight, In wish I had recorded all the offers. It would make interesting study about how to effectively use add-ons. Try grabbing lunch at a fast-food restaurant. Today, they always ask if you want to "make that a combo" or "Would you like to up-size your order?" Another (sit-down restaurant) here always asks, "Would you like fries or onion rings." Later they say, "What would you like for dessert... the apple pie or the chocolate cake?" Notice, they don't just ask, "Would you like desert?" Too many people will say, "No." Years ago, they didn't ask about an add-on. Why do you think is it that now they do? When your customer agrees to buy, you simply suggest an addŠ 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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on, an additional related product in which they might have an interest. You can easily increase your business by up to 10% or even 20% - starting today with your very next customer. Just ask, and between 23% and 67% (that's a 45% average), will say, “Yes”. It is money in your pocket day after day without any extra work.

© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Profit Thief #6- Not tracking how customers come to you so you can define what makes up your best customer and focus your marketing efforts specifically at people who fit this target profile. Fifteen years ago I made a simple change to my Yellow Pages advertisement (The Ad. cost about a bizillion dollars a month.), and suddenly it began to pay for itself 8 to 10 times over... every month... year after year by bringing in more customers. In the next Profit Thief... #7, I will show you what that change was. The reason I could tell it was this simple change to the Yellow Pages that increased businesses is we have a field in our invoicing database in which to write how the customer comes to us... how they first hear about us. And all the new business was coming from the Yellow Pages Ad. So, when the Yellow Pages salesperson came to see me about renewing, and increasing the size of my Ad I simply went to the computer and took a look at the amount of business that had come to me through the Yellow Pages over the past year. I could then make my decision based on facts. By tracking customers' zip code I can tell which of the six local Yellow Pages they are using. Who is your best customer? What type of person makes up your best, most profitable customers? How or what has made those customers come to you in the first place? If you don't know how customers come to you, it's expensive to waste your advertising. You might as well throw money down a sewer. And if you don’t know how your customers come to buy from you in the first place you’re spinning your advertising wheels-going nowhere. When you can prove what attracts your best customers, only

© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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then can you focus your marketing in your most effective direction. 20% of your customers will give you 80% of your income... you want more people exactly like them. First define them. Are they... Women? Men? Teenagers? Married? Single? Old? Young? Do thay have children? What age are their children? Have pets? What kind? What income bracket? Do they rent or own home? Where do they live? What type of automobile do they drive? What foods they choose? What personality traits in common with your other "best" customers do they have? What type of language will they respond to best... gentile, crude, humorous, serious? What are their activities, hobbies, interests? Are they online on the Internet? What search engines do they use? Do they read magazines or newspapers? Which ones? Do they listen to radio... satellite, rock, NPR, classical? Do they listen to CDs and MP3s? What advertising do they respond to? What else do they enjoy doing? How do they usually communicate with friends... by email, phone, text messaging, in person? How are they going to use your product/service? What is the main benefit they want from your product/service? Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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What secondary benefits are they looking for? I get calls almost every day from telemarketers offering to me the opportunity to advertise in their little "soccer team" directory, or on telephone book covers. I no longer buy these for my business because by having run testing I can prove they don't work for my type of business. They do work for others. For what it's worth I find referrals, effective Yellow Page advertising, well written, tested direct mail, and a great Website have worked best for me. It's easy to track customers. Insist that whoever has contact with your customers ask each one how he/she came to do business with you. Keep a notebook by the sales desk and write down their answers. We added a field to our sales invoicing database in our computer to make a note about what promotion or what referral brought each customer to us, and we enter their answers when we type in information for their invoice. I am almost dumbfounded at the number of businesses for whom I am a customer who don't track how I came to them. They haven't a clue about what is really working... or not working. When you do this, at the end of a few months you will have absolute knowledge about where to put more of your marketing efforts to reach the people who are prime targets for your product or service. Interestingly over the past 3 years I am starting to see a trend where fewer and fewer new customers are calling us from the Yellow Pages Ad. Instead they are finding us on the Web! In some cases my Yellow Pages Ad sent them to the Web, in other cases they Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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found my business by doing a Web search. If I had not been tracking customers I would not have even noticed this. Some interesting situations are happening with advertising effectiveness due to the Web. I would have expected the effectiveness varies with the age of the customer we are trying to reach. But surprise! All ages are using the Internet. I will go into this later when I talk about using the Internet.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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PortraitGold.com The the fast way to build your business

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Profit Thief #7- Not giving a guarantee and not telling people about your guarantee in your advertising and in your sales presentations. You stand behind your product or service. Right? And if a customer has a problem, you make it right, don’t you? That IS a guarantee. You already give one, but do you tell everyone about it beforehand, when you are trying to attract them as customers? Here’s what happened when a local pizza restaurant chain made an outlandish guarantee - and advertised it. The pizza chain had been a favorite for over 40 years, but found its customer base divided by the many national pizza franchises and other local pizza restaurants that had opened in their market area. It was all too much competition, and ate away at their profits. So to fight this huge amount of competition, they gave a simple, no-question asked guarantee: “Absolutely love our pizza or dinner is on us.” Not only did they advertise the guarantee, but they used it in all promotional coupons. And within 6 months, they captured back a good part of the market share they had lost to new competition. The guarantee brought in so much business that the owner could easily afford any make-goods that he might have to pay. When I put a guarantee in my Yellow Pages Ad... I printed the words "Your Guarantee" larger than my business name... I watched the business increase from my Yellow Pages ads by a factor of 8 to 10 times per month... virtually overnight. Just by adding a guarantee! (Remember, I track everything.) To add that wording was at zero cost to me. And over the course of 15 years now that I have been offering that written guarantee, © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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I can count with less than the fingers on one hand the number of times I've had customers use it. Adding a guarantee changed an ad that was just breaking even, bringing in its own cost in additional sales each month turning it into a real winner. I taught this strategy to a friend of mine who owns a business near Cleveland, OH. He has always tracked how much business come to him from his various promotions and advertising. A few months after he began running a strong guarantee in his Yellow Pages ads he call to thank me for that strategy. He said, "I've gotten' a 20 to 1 increase in my ads response. Thank you Don." Interestingly I have a friend in another part of the country who is in the same business as I. When he placed the same guarantee in his Yellow Pages ads, it did nothing to increase his response! Or so he claimed. Hmmm... I thought, "How strange!" Then I saw his ad. He printed the words "Your Guarantee" followed by the same guarantee wording tha I use with the guarantee printed in a little, itty-bitty, intsie-tensie type font. No one could see it! No wonder it didn't work. Years later I was able to decrease the size of the font for my guarantee because I needed the space to send Yellow Pages readers to my Website. The guarantee is still in the Yellow Pages, it's just a bit smaller. However on my Website I put a link to an entire page devoted to my guarantee. You already stand behind your product or service don't you? Now go ahead - tell everybody about your fabulous guarantee - beforehand. Put your outrageous guarantee in your advertising, in your sales presentations, and on your Webpage. So what, if a handful of people try to take advantage of you? If your business triples because of your guarantee, so will your income. Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Your competitors are afraid to openly offer a no-risk guarantee. In fact during all the time I've been stating my guarantee, out of the 350 or so people I've seen who have started businesses like mine in my local area only one of my competitors has picked up on the idea. How strange is that? So don't worry about your competition. For the most part they won't even notice. And if they do, they won't believe it works. Your customers and potential customers will notice it though. It makes them trust you assuming you really do stand behind your product. Even if a customer is wrong, but you honor the guarantee anyway, you'll make a customer for life, and they will tell their friends how wonderful you are. They will post it on forums and bulletin boards. One Major Word Of Caution To Wedding Photographers Obviously weddings are an emotionally stressful event. Whenever a group of professional photographers get together at a convention or seminar, discussion around the dinner table always seems to get around to the topic of weddings from hell. Every now and then you will photograph a wedding only to find out a few weeks later the bride and groom are already headed to divorce court! They will find some excuse to want their money back under the guarantee. Or a couple will get the previews or disc and say they want their money back under your guarantee when actually they have copied the files, and are trying to steal the images. If you photograph weddings, you may want to severely limit your guarantee, or not offer a stated guarantee.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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The 25 Profit Thieves

Profit Thief #8- Having only a front-end product or service without a back-end follow up. In direct sales, mail-order, and Internet sales the first product a customer buys is called the front-end product. Any subsequent purchases we call the back-end. The real profit is usually made on the back-end because at that point there is little if any additional advertising expense needed to gain the customers trust and gain their purchases. The same is true in any retail, wholesale, or service business. Once someone becomes your customer you can sell other products or services to them at a future date with little if any difficulty. They have confidence in you. That is why they will buy from you again, but to do so, obviously you must have other products or services they want. A dry cleaner also cleans leather and suede, curtains and draperies, and washes and irons shirts. A carpet cleaner likewise cleans upholstery and draperies. A health spa offers aerobic exercise, weight lifting, karate, and sells exercise clothing. A shoe repair shop sells shoe and boot polish, various laces, waterproofing, dyes, shoe horns, shoe trees, toe warmers, etc. These are back-end products. My friends Tom and Brian own a music booking service and supply musicians and DJs for weddings and receptions. They work closely with a woman named Janette, who owns a bridal dress shop. And they and Janette work closely with Steve, who runs the tuxedo rental store I mentioned earlier. Janette sends the brides who buy from her over to see Tom and Brian about hiring music for their weddings, and Janette has the bride send the groom to see Steve about renting tuxedos. Steve has grooms who come to him for tuxes call Tom and Brian, and everyŠ 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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body suggests to the brides that they should call Janette. You get the picture. Thus they help keep each other supplied with customers. This is standard networking practice. But here is where this gets interesting... ...They give each other a commission, a finder’s fee for each bride and groom who become their customer. Their prices cover this cost of business. When a bride who Janette sends to Tom and Brian hires their DJ service, Tom and Brian give Janette a finder's fee. Janette does that for them and Steve. The last time I met with them to help with their marketing, they had expanded the group by adding a wedding cake baker, a photographer, a limousine service, and a caterer to their network. By supplying customers to each other and sharing commissions, they each become a profitable back-end for the other’s business. I'm not an attorney and am not qualified to give legal advice, but as I understand it, in some licensed, professions such as real estate or law or medical this commission sharing back-end may be illegal. In some professions this commission is legal only if the person sending the referral is also licensed in the same profession.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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The 25 Profit Thieves

Profit Thief #9- Not always asking for referrals. I know it feels funny - almost like begging - to ask customers if they will send their friends. But the fact is they are delighted to do so if they are happy with your service. Satisfied customers brag about you. And because they spend money with you, they want to rationalize it - have friends’ approval. They are happy to send you new customers. All you need do is to ask. You can even make “sending referrals” be something all customers expect to do. Tell customers you will give them a gift or a special if they will send you two people who are much like themselves. Then new customers they refer to you will come to you already expecting to give you more referrals because their friends told them about your offer. A moment ago I mentioned the networking system used by Brian, Tom, Janette, and Steve to supply brides and grooms to their businesses. The wedding photographer they added to their networking group gives a gift to each couple who’s wedding his studio photographs when the couple sends two referrals who hire his studio. Each couple receives a $200 wall portrait when they refer two other couples who hire his studio for wedding photographs. Of course the couples send the friends from their own wedding party when these friends become engaged. They tell me the brides and their grooms all scramble to give him referrals because they want the wall portrait “reward” he makes for them. And the portrait can be from their wedding photos or from another portrait session at his studio. He used this referral system as his main method of advertising to build a studio whose photogra© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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phers photographed several hundred weddings each year. I had "full color" business cards printed with product photographs, logo, and phone number printed on one side. And this wording on the other... This gift card is worth $30 toward your first order, and when you use it, you friend.... The name of our customer who just purchased goes here

_________________________________________ will also receive $30 towards their family's next order. Just give us a call and we will help you with any questions you may have. Our hours are...blah blah bla...phone number and address. We give a dozen of these cards to each customer who can then "earn" as much as $360 toward future purchases by simply sending their friends. Think about it for a moment, with only half of your customers each sending you two more customers you should triple your business - the first customer plus the additional two - with zero advertising. But this won't work unless... ...you contact customers regularly to keep reminding them to refer their family and friends to you. The allergist I see on a somewhat regular basis has a sign on his waiting room wall that reminds patients to send their friends. The people who see him every week for shots, see his reminder sign every week. Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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At one time an employee who worked for me decided to take up the sport of Taekwondo - Korean karate. She managed to interest my wife in the sport, and between the two of them the got me involved. For quite a few years we kicked, yelled, and got to break boards an bricks. It was great fun and exercise. My wife, Mary Ann, and I use to bundle up in protective gear, shin, knee, and elbow pads, chest protectors and head gear, then get in the fighting ring and go at each other. We looked like the Michelin Man and Michelin Woman in our padding. And while this was all done in fun, we really were able to do quite a battle with each other without getting hurt. She has a kick like a mule and managed to send me flying right out of the ring a few times. I certainly shouldn't need to be concerned about her protecting herself. Karate schools live and die by referrals, and we can all learn a lesson by watching their referral marketing. Karate is about competition, and what better way to find new customers than by a referral competition among customers... competition prizes for kids - bicycles and video games, prizes for adults like fun stuff for around the house. Later on in this program I will talk with you and show you how to gain a large customer base quickly by working with other businesses that are not your competition. It becomes a secondary source of referral business. However right now let me mention an additional way to work with other businesses that is not in that section. It involves using your customer list to help promote the other business. It looks like you are doing your customers a favor by giving them something from that other business. Here is how it works... Let's say there is a restaurant nearby. You call the owner and Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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say, "I have 800 of people on my customer mailing list. Can I advertise your restaurant for you to my customer for FREE?" If you can give my customers a special like complimentary dessert with purchase of an entree, or an extra dessert with purchase of one dessert, I will print a coupon for it in my next newsletter. Ideally your newsletter would be online and you just add a coupon to your email newsletter. How? Design the coupon, scan it, and save as a jpeg to size at about 100 pixels per inch. Include it in your emailing as an attachment. You just given the customers on your mailing list something nice from the restaurant, and when you ask them again to refer their friends to you, they will feel more obliged to do so.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Profit Thief #10- Making it difficult for customers to do business with you and not realizing that you are doing so. This is one mistake that business owners almost always say never happens at their businesses. Then they take a closer look and realize it does. Sometimes owners or employees don’t make doing business with them be fun, or exciting, or enjoyable, or rewarding, or comforting. In some businesses, employees who have contact with customers are negative, surly, or have a “don’t bother me” attitude. If you have any employees who are acting this way, you need to be rid of them. I stopped at a large national office supply store and filled a baskcart with “stuff” I needed. There were five checkout counters, but a clerk at only one of them. He was talking on the telephone and his register was closed. He pointed for me to go to the register at the service desk, but the cashier there was busy pulling calculators out from behind the counter for a customer to look at, and she was not the least bit interested in taking any money from other customers who were starting to line up. This is not the employee's fault, it’s the managers fault. I drove to visit a computer manufacturer that used to be located in West central Ohio. I went there because their ads in the national magazines looked inviting, and I wanted to try out a new portable notebook computer before buying it. They had a display room filled with computers for people to tryout, but no notebook computers in the display room! Go figure! The employee I spoke with refused to show me one because they are a mail-order business, therefor he wouldn’t get one for me © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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to try out the keyboard, but as I already mentioned they had the display room filled with desk-size computers for people to try out. I'm a fast touch-typist, and how the keyboard feels is important to me, therefore I wanted to try the keyboard on the notebook. Then this employee told me that if I wanted to see a notebook computer I would have to buy one at the then price of $3,000.00 just to learn what the keyboard was like! If I didn't like it, I could always send it back for a refund... less shipping of course. It's no wonder they are now out of business. I watched a salesperson at a ski shop try to sell a pair of ski boots that were the wrong size for his customer. Instead of pulling out a pair that did fit, this salesman put on the pressure and insisted that the customer buy these particular boots until he angered her so much she huffed out of the store. I was the next customer in line, and I didn't buy from him either. My neighbor Jim wanted to purchase a software product manufactured by a Canadian company, but before making a buying decision he needed a small piece of technical information. Any of the manufacturer’s sales staff could have answered his question if only he could have gotten through the company’s stupid voice menu system to reach a live person. Within the sales department's voicemail there was no way to talk to a human! Finally he worked his way through their telephone maze until he got to the technical support part of the voice mail. At this point the phone system instructed him that he would have to call another phone number and be charged (in addition to long distance charges) $2 per minute to his MasterCard or Visa, just to ask a question before he could decide whether or not to purchase their product. He bought their competitor’s product instead. © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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While I'm on my soap box complaining about service, if you have a voice mail system, please test it from a location outside of your businesses. Call it. Pretend you are a customer trying to acquire a piece of information. In fact, think of questions customers have asked in the past and just try to get the answer from or through your voicemail system. Some voicemail systems are impossible for customers to use. The mortgage servicing business that handles loan payments on one of my rental properties changed hands. The new company sent a single payment coupon for the first month, then misplaced the account in their system, and failed to mail a coupon book to us. I called trying to reach a live customer service person, but there were none! The voicemail system did not have a way for callers to reach a human being. The only help questions that could be answered were those pre-programed into their voicemail system. Even hitting "0" for operator didn't work. Fortunately I had made a copy of the first month's coupon and kept sending in copies with the payments. I finally found a fax number and faxed a request. They then sent a payment book. Welcome to voicemail hell. You and I have dozens of examples of this nonsense. AAAAaaarrrrrgggghhhhhhh! Are we having fun yet? I think not.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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The 25 Profit Thieves

Profit Thief #11 - Wasting money on name-recognition advertising instead of using effective response advertising techniques. This mistake really has two parts: The first part of the mistake is: wasting money putting your name out there to the public without using effective direct response advertising techniques to give people a reason to buy from you... and without showing them what's in it for them. Why should they buy from you? Putting your name in front of people is not enough. Unless your advertising has a catchy headline, holds their interest, builds a desire to purchase, and gives potential customers an easy way to respond to the you, people will pass right over your Ad. You have to grab them and hold them! You have got to ask them to buy while you have their attention. And give them a way to reach you. An attention grabbing headline can increase an Ad’s effectiveness by as much as 1900%! For every one person an ad or promotion attracts, that it can be made to bring in as much as 19 times as many people by switching to a good direct response headline. Most of these name recognition Ads are what I will call "headless wonders." The use the name of the business or product as a headline! Sometimes these are just little business card size Ads that are just a copy of the business card. Who cares? The name of a business is not a benefit to the customer. It doesn't give them any reason to buy. Sorry to be ego deflating, but your name is not important to anyone except you. The second part of this mistake is the actual spending of money Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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on advertising at all when some other marketing techniques may be ten times more effective at much less cost. Like using referrals, news releases, displays at other locations, trading customers with other businesses... etc. I am not knocking advertising - I spend a lot of money on it. But I know that changing my advertising style to request a response and then combine that with other marketing techniques brings much better results than just putting my name “out there somewhere�. Your advertising and promotions must bring you new business. Otherwise you would do just as well to throw thousands of one dollar bills into a paper shredder. And using a proven marketing technique such as having another merchant recommend you to his/her customers, or having your own customers recommend you to their friends will produce more new business for you at little, if any cost.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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The 25 Profit Thieves

Profit Thief #12- Failure to look for and discover new (or different) methods of marketing and use them in addition to the marketing you are already doing to greatly leverage the results of your sales efforts. Other than merging with another business or buying your competitor there are only three ways you can increase the income of a business, and by studying these three and learning to work with them you will build more income. At first these seem obvious, but let's find out where we can go with them. The results are fascinating. 1. Attract more new customers 2. Have existing customers return more often 3. Have each sales transaction bring in more money The income increase in these three areas compounds because they each area of increase supports the other two. Pretend you have 500 customers a year who each spent $200 = $100,000 from that group of customers. Increase the number of customers you attract by only 10% 550 customers at $200 = $110,000 Increase number of times a customer returns by 10% then you take the 550 sales up to 605 customer sales transactions at $200 = $121,000 Increase each sales transaction by raising prices 10% so these customer’s average sale goes from $200 up to $220 and... 605 customers at $220 = $133,100 Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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In this example 10% + 10% + 10% , these increases don't equal 30%...they equal 33.1% because these 3 increases together compound each other. But do a 25% increase and watch what happens: 500 customers at $200 = $100,000 becomes... 625 customers at $200 = $125,000...This is only 2.4 new customers a week. We're not talking large numbers here. Increase the frequency these 625 customers return by 25% you get 781 customer transactions at $200 = $156,250 Increase prices or packaging 25% and you get 781 customers at $250 - $195,250 That’s an increase of 95.25% because it compounds. This almost Doubles your gross sales! Here's how you do each... A.- Gain new customers through: referrals promotions answering the “Why should I buy from you?” question positioning yourself to look more valuable direct mail sequential mailing tell people why you are offering XXX at $YYY use displays free publicity offering guarantee telephoning existing customers about specials using bounce backs signs on building and vehicle better business location © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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voicemail information better training for the people who answer your telephone by advertising in: newspapers radio cable Internet on Google and Yahoo PPC advertising Internet Portal sites find customers by making offers people can’t refuse tell why they should buy give buddy passes use other businesses fishbowl cards target to find ideal customer location community activities networking groups your name & phone number on your product charity promotions follow up on leads Yellow Pages ads marriage mail window displays testimonials sell in bunches to groups and organization fax-back and fax on demand give FREE seminars give Talks to civic and business groups B.- To have existing customers return more often— use back-end marketing where you have a back-end product use continuations - like book clubs and CD clubs do have VIP and customer-only specials use postcard mailings do preferred customer marketing © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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use prepay packaging expand into related product areas buy or merge with another business to have more products build customer loyalty give more value, more help, more information, and give post purchase reassurance give more service and perceived value than expected bring back customers who have wandered to other merchants Use Hello notes and regular commuinication pricing inducements for frequent repeats friendly phone contact thank-you notes make contact more personal make contact more often enthusiasm closed events for special customers VIP sales and give pre sales-event contact to customers You do need to keep contact with regular customers periodically by mail or by telephone to have them remain your customer and keep them loyal to your business. C. To increase the transaction amount and have each sale bring in more money... raise prices sell add-on products use Point of Sale displays use the scarcity principle use the contrast principle position your product or service as upmarket attract only qualified buyers appeal to their emotions expand your product line to have more to offer bundle complimentary products Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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give large-quantity order discount scripting your sales presentation use reciprocation use the consistency to commitment principle use mirroring improve sales team’s skills test sale-up vs sale-down use demonstrations have sales people learn new/additional techniques offer larger quantities or added packaging offer trade ups use the authority principle give payment terms or accept charge cards become more “upscale” buy/merge with another business to gain products offer a choice between good, better, and best extended warranties require order size minimums give a “free gift” with a higher priced or larger purchase sell in bunches Can you possibly do all these things? Not unless you are Superman and have a staff of 200 assistants. I'd Pick only 2 or 3...use those... add more as you are able.

© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Profit Thief #13- Not having a marketing plan to outline your marketing efforts month by month for the next 12 to 18 months. Without a marketing plan, your business becomes a start and stop proposition. You will have busy times followed by slow seasons - peaks and valleys. When you take action to bring in new business (or repeat business) your business becomes busier. When you use three, or four marketing techniques or promotions all at once your business becomes quite busy. Then what happens is you find yourself so busy that you have no time to plan and execute more promotions. Your hectic schedule will continue until the promotions and advertising you are already running manage to run their course. Then business grinds to a halt and you must start over to take more marketing action. Start and stop, start and stop, start and stop. You need time to write your promotional materials, have them typeset and printed, distribute them, mail them, or publish them in the newspaper, then wait for the business to come to you. Having your plan lets you work on marketing before you need customers. When you plan your marketing by listing for yourself the promotions and advertising you intend to do each week and each month during the time frame of a year or year and a half, you may not wind up doing all of them, but you will do more than if they are not planned. And you can smooth out the peaks and valleys in your business. Check and update your plan regularly. Use it to keep yourself and your employees on track. Make it a viable tool for your business.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Profit Thief #14- Failure to accurately identify your customers’ emotional needs and to focus your product decisions and marketing efforts based on these. A person purchasing an electric drill doesn’t need or necessarily want an electric drill. He wants a quarter inch hole. Actually he wants whatever the quarter inch hole will do for him. A person who purchases a bar of deodorant soap doesn’t necessarily want to be clean. She wants to avoid offending other people during the course of her day. If she only wanted be clean, she could purchase regular non-deodorant soap. A woman who has a portrait made at one of the glamour photo studios in the mall usually doesn’t want a portrait of herself. She buys it to give to someone else. She wants to feel good about herself and have the Oooos and Aaaahs from her spouse, or her significant other when she gives the portraits as a gift. A child who wants a set of Superhero Action Toy figures doesn’t want a set of dolls. He wants to feel like he has the power of Superhero himself when he plays make-believe with the toys. There are three levels to what a customer wants. First there is the external want - the product itself. Second there is the benefit of owning or using the product - what customers appear to want. Third there is the real reason a customer buys - to acquire the emotional satisfaction or security that comes from owning, using, working with, or playing with the product. For example the man buying a quarter inch drill wants the convenience of getting a towel from a towel rack near the wash stand. He © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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needs the drill to make the hole - to take the bolt - to hold the towel rack - to the wall by the wash stand. All so it will be convenient when he washes his face. Customers will rationalize (that is they use reason to support their purchase) when they are buying a product that they really want emotionally. Thus it's important to give customers the reasons why you are having... - a sale - giving a free sample - calling them by phone - or are giving them preferred customer pricing. And give the reasons in your advertising, as well as in sales presentations. When you have a sale, tell customers why. Is it because you have overstock, or because you got a bargain and can pass-on the savings, or because you need to make room for next season, or because you...? Whatever the reason, tell them. For example, master advertising copywriter Robert Collier wrote wonderfully effective sales letters. When he wrote for a clothing retailer he would give a detailed explanation about how the retailer had 172 pairs of slacks leftover and would sell them at half price to make room for new merchandise. But once the 172 were gone - they were gone. Customers knew why they were getting a bargain, knew that only a few were available (psychologists call that the scarcity principle), and customers knew they had to hurry. This helped customers rationalize why to buy it NOW - to fill an emotional need for wearing new slacks.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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And Victor Schwab writing in his book “How To Write A Good Advertisement” says, “If a reduced price is a fact give a good reason for it. The reason for a cut in price (particularly for an unexpectedly low one) is as important as the price itself." He then talks about a series of advertisements offering oriental rugs at a greatly reduced price. The reasons given were interesting and convincing — telling how the wholesale buyer’s years of experience in the bazaars of the Orient had made possible his exceptionally advantageous purchases.” People rationalize their emotional wants. That is another reason to let customers know why they should buy from you - why you are better than the competition. Giving the reasons why you do something builds customer trust, brings verisimilitude, and helps customers rationalize their emotional decisions. I said, "People rationalize with their emotional wants, "Does that mean my next door neighbor "emotionally" wants to be a race car driver because he drives a Porshe? I don't know. I've never asked him, but... Another of my friends really does fantasize about being a race car driver. He even has taken his Corvette to race driving school where he has had the chance to learn (and play) on a race track... while being taught by professionals. Ask a 4 or 5 year old boy what he wants to be and he will either tell you a "Power Ranger," a bulldozer driver, or do whatever he knows his daddy does. Yes, there is a 5 year-old child hidden inside every adult male. This "emotional child" does want to be a football hero, or a rock star, or a race car driver - winner of the Indy 500. I just noticed a new issue of Springwise.com had popped into my email box today. Springwise is a site about new and unique businesses people start. The headline above one of the stories in this week's issue reads: "Playground For Men Features Heavy Equip© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Someone in Germany has opened an amusement park filled with bulldozers, excavators, Catapillers, wheel loaders, and quads. Guys get to pretend they are Bob The Builder and operate the man-size "toys" they have always wanted to drive. What emotional want or childhood fantasy is hidden in every woman's head? Sorry folks, I haven't a clue. I've never been a woman. I have a client who happens to be a well known author of woman's romance novels, and she tells me her husband has a t-shirt on which is printed the words, "I really am the inspiration for her novels." Hmmm, maybe I should read a few romance novels to find out.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Profit Thief #15- Trying to advertise, market, and sell to everyone instead of identifying a specific segment of the market that makes up your best type of customer and targeting all your efforts towards reaching these people. Not everyone is, or even should be your customer. Take a minute to look at your answers to the questions in Profit Thief #6. In the first place, some may have no need for what you offer, and in the second place, others may not be able to pay you. (As a side note: for some who could not normally afford your product, you may be able to help them finance it through a loan company and still make the sale.) A friend of mine sells a product to families with young children. He was using newspaper advertising which reaches everybody from senior citizens to teenagers and college students. I suggested he narrow his focus and use direct mail combined with telemarketing. And I gave him the name of a mailing list company that could help him reach the parents in his target group. He told the list broker he wanted names, addresses, and phone numbers of families who owned their own home, had a family income level over $90,000, and had children under the age of 6 years. He found that, for a few cents per name, the list broker could supply him with addresses and phone numbers for almost 10,000 families fitting his requirements and living in the zip code areas he requested. Now he can zero in to reach that group. Where can you find a list broker? Look under the heading of "mailing" in your Yellow Pages. Go to your library and get your hands on either of two magazines, one is DM News, the other is Direct Marketing Magazine. Look in the ads in the back of these magaŠ 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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zines to find list brokers. A list broker is paid by the person who owns the list. You won't be charged for the service. Online you can find melissadata.com, experian.com, and infousa.com. These are list companies who can help you find the targets you want for mailing. They also have email lists available, but emailing gets to be a bit of a challenge because of the CAN-SPAM Act which prohibits emailing to a list unless the people in the list have either been past customers of yours or have agreed to be on a particular advertising list. Also, listed under the heading of "mailing" in your Yellow Pages you will find the names of lettershops that can do the mailing for you. Most lettershops can also serve as list brokers to help you reach the customers you want. Can you imagine a business that sells business products to other businesses placing its advertising in a home improvement magazine? What good would an ad geared toward men do if published in a Woman’s Magazine? How about an ad written to adults published in a Teen Magazine? I’ve written countless advertisements to go in newspapers when only a small number of people who would have an interest in the products read the newspapers. These were a real waste of money to try to reach the narrow-market for the product I was selling. But what did I know back then? Advertising in magazines specifically geared toward my customers’ interests, or mailing advertising directly to these customers would have made much more sense, and been more cost effective. If you sell a repeat product that appeals to a wide segment of the population, such as pizza or groceries or drug store items, you can advertise it almost anywhere. Even phonebook covers can work here. © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Before buying an “advertisement” for your business on the bowling score cards at XYZ Lanes, determine if bowlers are your market. If they are, then go for it. But go back and reread Profit Thief #11 before doing so.

© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Profit Thief #16- Failure to supply telephone training and basic product information to the person who answers your business telephone. I telephoned a business, one that advertised “Transcription Service” in their very expensive Yellow Pages ad. I needed to have the audio recording of a talk I had given transcribed into written form. When I asked about having a transcription made, the receptionist didn’t know what a transcription was. (and I was thinking... good heavens lady... this is where you work!) Their Yellow Pages Ad said they were a transcription service! I called a restaurant where I was to meet a group of friends. The reservations receptionist didn’t have a clue as to what directions one would take to drive to the place. She gave me very explicit incorrect directions. I don't understand how she manages to get to work every day. Maybe she lives in the restaurant and never goes any where else. Is your location easy to find? If not, does whoever answers your telephone know how to give directions to your business - from all directions? How about from all parts of your city? You may know how to drive there from anywhere, but that doesn’t mean your receptionist knows. I posted a detailed set of directions on the wall by our telephone. Whoever answers the phone can just read from it. I also posted the directions and a map on one of my Websites for customers to read and printout. I telephoned the local Cincinnati phone number for a well known computer company because I had decided to purchase their laptop computer. The lady who answered the phone had no information about the computer, nor could she find anyone who could help me. She also gave me the names of (but not the phone numbers of) several other retailers... ones that sold their competitor's products! © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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It was obvious the phone person I had reached must have had little if any training about their products. Maybe she was new, but if so then why was she answering the phone? Then I called a company near Chicago whose phone number I found in a magazine advertisement, and the salesperson who answered their phone had wonderful knowledge about the very computer I wanted to buy. She had had training on the products, had a computer screen in front of her that would give her more information about any product, and had been given inbound telemarketing training that made her a delight to speak with. I bought it from her. It's no wonder some brick-and-mortar business are losing out to Internet based businesses. Their training is soooo much better. Everyone who finds your business phone number in the Yellow Pages or on your Website and calls you is interested in buying - from someone. If the one answering your incoming phone calls can’t field the call when a salesperson is not available, you lose. Your Website and all your other advertising, all your marketing, and everything you do to attract customers funnels these customers to your telephone. How your phone is answered is as important as all your other marketing combined. Your entire marketing effort can be destroyed by the person who answers your telephone.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Profit Thief #17- Failure to determine if there really is a need in the marketplace for a particular new product or service before putting a lot of money into offering it. If you own or run a business with a well documented sales track record, you already know there is a market for what you sell. But owners of new businesses often jump into a new venture without first determining the real size of their market. This is one of those business blunders that sounds obvious, but even experienced businesses make this costly mistake. For example there was “New Coke”, the soft drink no one wanted. It’s flavor was sweeter like Pepsi so, of course, Coke drinkers didn’t like it; and Pepsi drinkers were not about to switch to Coke. And before that there was the Ford Motor Company’s Edsel - a car ahead of its time that bombed. The resident crazies on television show “Saturday Night Live” did a spoof about a couple who opened a cellophane tape store - complete with plaid decor. Of course there was not enough market to support the store on sales of their only product...79 cent rolls of tape. And the stores owners never seemed to be able to get ahead, but they always remained hopeful. A variation of this is the mom and pop team who open a pizza restaurant in a neighborhood that already has one too many pizza restaurants, and they wonder why they can’t make a go of it. Build a better mousetrap and people will beat a path to nowhere. They are not interested unless they have mice and a desire to be rid of the mice.

© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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IF people do have mice in their home, and if they want the mice gone, and if you can reach these people by advertising and promoting directly to them, and if you can demonstrate that your mousetrap really is better and has an ironclad guarantee, then, and only then you might have a path beaten to your door. It’s all a calculated risk. It seems obvious to know your market first and to try your new idea on a small scale to see if it will fly in the marketplace. Why do people start a business to sell a product not wanted by the masses... or even by small masses? Yes that's an oxymoron. They fall in love with a product or idea that they themselves would want to have and assume everyone else will want it too. Wrong! The man who invents a left-handed piano with the keyboard backwards so that low notes are on the right with higher pitched notes toward the left, would have a heck of a time marketing it. Left-handers who already play piano couldn’t play his new piano - the fingerings are backward. Right-handers wouldn’t want it. And left handed beginners would not care to learn on it because then they couldn’t play piano at someone else’s house where there was a normal piano. I am talking about determining need for a product before ever producing it. By using the Internet it becomes quite simple to identify a niche... a group of people who have an insatiable appetite for a particular product or group of products. Businesses then produce products and advertising to attract and sell to this niche. I am talking about researching the market, studying the competition, and testing first on a small scale. Find the need, find the market, figure out what a large segment of people want, then create the product or service to fill their need. Deciding on a product, falling in love with it, then trying to find people to buy it is totally backwards. © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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You would expect this to be obvious, but it isn't. Would you like a couple of quick, easy ways to research to find a market? The first that comes to mind is amazon.com! Go there, select "Books," then there are two ways to see niches. One is called "Advanced Search" and is first in line on a menu bar about an inch down from the top. In Advanced Search you can search by keyword and find out how many publication are there for the niche you wish to study... a large number of books indicates a popular niche. On that same tool bar (or menu bar) there is a search for Bestsellers. Once in Bestsellers, again select a niche and count books. Another source of what is popular is google.com/trends where you can enter a search term and you will be taken to a graph showing how popular that term has been over a period of years. A general "google search" about any niche will tell you how many Webpages have that search term in them. If you wish to know how many Websites had a particular word (the product you want to research), type intitle: before your search term in the Google search field. To see how many Websites have the words "Great Pyrenees" in the Website title you would search like this... intitle:great pyrenees A light blue color line appears across the Google page with tells you how many sites have that in the title, thus you can figure the relative popularity of that product.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Profit Thief #18- Not realizing that the amount of business you do today is determined by something you did (or didn’t) do three or four months ago. Let’s say a customer orders a product you don’t have in stock, or a customer orders a service you will perform for her a few weeks from now. For purpose of example, let’s also say the date today is the first of May. You place the order and it takes two weeks for you to receive the product - that’s May 15th. You call the customer and she can’t get in to pickup and pay for the product for another week or ten days. Finally she picks-up her product and pays you on May 24th. It takes two days for the check to clear through your bank and you “officially” receive her money on May 26th - almost a month from when she ordered. But more happened than this. You see, she was looking at and pricing the product for two weeks before she came to you. And she thought about wanting the product for another two weeks before that. Somewhere around the first week of April your promotion caught her eye and eventually caused her to come to your business. However, that advertising flyer she received from your bulk mailing was printed three or four weeks before that -around the first of March. And you designed that flyer and had it typeset two weeks before printing. Something you did around the middle of February (planning and designing the flyer) brought you business for which you got paid the end of May - almost three months later. That's why whatever amount of business you are doing today is determined by what happened more than three months ago. And that is also why holiday sales for November and December should be planned during July or even earlier. If you planned a promotion three months ago, you are getting business now. If business is slow today, you didn’t work on your mar© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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keting three months ago. Three months may or may not be an accurate time frame for your business because some businesses have a shorter marketing/sales cycle, and some longer. I know several businesses whose cycle is anywhere from six months to just over a year. How much business do you want three months from now or four months from now, or five months from now. Decide today what you want in the near future... and refer back to Profit Thief #13 about having your marketing plan 12 to 18 months out.

Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Profit Thief #19- Pricing yourself right out of the market you are determined to reach - either too high or too low. Unless the price of your product or service is severely regulated by the government, you can charge anything you darn well please. I think most businesses charge too little out of fear of losing customers. No, I am not talking about conditions such as a price war. Sure I love it when the airlines go at each other and drop and drop and drop prices. Yes, I always take advantage of that. And computers in the direct market channel (read that mail-order) have become ridiculously inexpensive. But if your business is having cash flow problems, your prices may be too low or too high for the market you are attempting to reach. My mother-in-law has a friend whose purebred poodle bred with another purebred poodle and produced a pile of purebred poodle pups. She didn’t want to keep the pups so she listed them in the newspaper classified at only $25 each. Two people called to ask what was wrong with the pups - no one bought. Then she listed them again at $250 each (this was a few years ago) and sold all the pups in one afternoon. I met a man who owned a business in Michigan and priced his products very high to reach the carriage trade. He went after a market who could afford his prices, and no one bought because he got it too high and he couldn't deliver the quality. That landed him in bankruptcy. When I met him, he had moved to Ohio and taken a job with another company. I remember a television detective show where the detective was interviewing a hot dog vendor at lunch time. Their conversation Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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kept being interrupted by customers buying hot dogs. “How much is a hot dog?,” one would ask. “A dollar-fifty,” came the reply. Then another, “How much is a hot dog?” “Two dollars,” came the reply. “Say, just how much is a hot dog?”, asked the detective. “I don’t know. I’m still trying to find out,” said the vendor. Advertising wizard Claude Hopkins wrote in 1927 about a boyhood incident of that occurred some 50 years earlier. His father was in the printing business and young Claude would offer to deliver the handbills his father printed for local merchants to use in their advertising. He wrote: “I would go to the advertiser and solicit the job of distributing. There were one thousand homes in our city. I would offer to place one bill in each home for $2. It meant traveling some thirtyfive miles. Other boys offered to do the same job for $1.50, but they would place several bills in a home and would skip all the far away homes. I asked advertisers to compare the results, and I soon obtained a monopoly.” Customers will pay more if you give them the personal value and top notch attention to detail they expect to go with your higher price. You must turn a profit, or you will not be in business for long. Profit is the margin of safety your business uses for growth and prosperity. And it is your reward for winning the game.

© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Profit Thief #20- Failure to keep your focus on what you do best. I am talking about two kinds of focus: product focus and mental focus because one will affect the other. Allow me to become philosophical for a moment. Dr. Napoleon Hill, when he was a young man, had the good fortune to be granted an audience with almost every famous, successful, wealthy business man in the United States. His purpose was to interview them to determine what each one did to become great at his own profession. Dr. Hill discovered that each of these leaders had the one secret in common: “definiteness of purpose”. Also, writer Earl Nightingale received the first “gold record” ever awarded for spoken-word recordings. This was for his recording called “The Strangest Secret”, which is about the fact that we become whatever we think about - our point of focus. And Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s Hamburgers tells the story in his book “Dave’s Way” about an early Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise that was in financial straits. Mr. Thomas was sent in to “rescue” the business, and he discovered the managers had added over one hundred items to the menu that had nothing to do with chicken. When he limited the menu to do what they do right, chicken, their sales began to soar. When you try to sail your ship in three directions at once, you can lose sight of the island you were sailing towards. Yes, you should expand your product or service line, but you should also keep focus on what is already working for you while you explore new areas. I have known dozens of business owners who, while at a con© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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vention or seminar heard about some “new fangled” way to approach business. They changed their business’s entire focus and fell right on their lack of sales when the market wasn’t ready for their new fad. Isn't A.D.D. a lot of fun? Huh? What on Earth could Attention Deficit Disorder and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder have to do with business? Lots! These conditions are very common among entrepreneurs and can cause focus problems. I have A.D.H.D. - have it in spades. Therefore I've researched it to death. ADD/ADHD in adults wasn't recognized by the medical profession until around 1990 when they began to realize children with ADD or ADHD simply become adults with ADD and/or ADHD. Entrepreneurs with ADD have a mind that jumps in multiple directions all day long. This lets us see more possibilities, but also causes distraction and lack of business focus. Yet ADDers have the strange ability to hyperfocus on a project when it is something in which they have extreme interest. People with ADD are highly creative, and contrary to popular belief are usually people who do learn quickly. The problem for us when we are children in school comes from not hearing the information being taught because the mind is wandering. But when ADDers are interested in the subject they learn very quickly Most ADDers have a high energy level (especially those with the hyperactive component) and can keep track of several tasks and projects at once...easily jumping from one to the other while keeping it all straight.

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They are constantly scanning what is happening because they seek stimulus and are willing to take some risk. So they risk trying too many other strategies and losing focus like selling more items than just chicken when chicken is the product. Or like jumping on every new fad they hear about at conventions and seminars. If you are an entrepreneur there is a good chance you also are and ADDer and will need to have others working with you who can help keep you on focus.

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Profit Thief #21- Discontinuing marketing and advertising tactics that have been working for your business just because you are tired of the tactics. How did you attract your first customers? Are you still using that method today? My neighbor tells the story of his nephew - a dentist -I’ll call him Dr. Nephew. Upon completion of dental school and passing the state exams, Dr. Nephew began his own dental practice. When he first opened his doors, he didn’t have any patients or employees. So he hooked up with a service whose employees distributed his business card and brochure to people new to the neighborhood, and the service also gave him a list of the people’s names and phone numbers. He personally called each one, introduced himself and mentioned that since they were new in town and would need a dentist, they could see him for their first checkup FREE - the visit was on him. As his business grew he hired a receptionist to take incoming calls and schedule appointments, but he himself still made the calls to the new people who had just moved into town himself. After a while, the increased number of new patients made him too busy, and he instructed his receptionist to make the calls. She didn’t enjoy cold-calling and soon stopped making the calls at all. Over the years, little by little as patients moved away or changed dentists for whatever reason, his practice began to fall off. All he did was complain about it instead of getting back on the phone himself and making more calls like he had done in the beginning. Think how many businesses change the style of their advertising because they are tired of it, even though it is still working for them. © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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You will see these changes in print advertising and in television advertising, in mailing pieces and Website design. It is one thing to have an advertisement stop pulling... one that has been working begin to attract fewer prospects. Then you need a new ad. Yet most ads that are working will continue to do so for years because the people seeing it are ever changing. New potential customers see the ad and respond. Quaker Oats used a newspaper ad developed by Claude Hopkins back in the early 1920’s. In looking through some old newspapers, I found a copy of that same ad still running (and working well) in a newspaper dated January 1948 - over twenty years later. Copywriter Max Sackheim wrote an ad for the Sherwin Cody Correspondence School of English Grammar. Cody ran that same advertisement for his course on English grammar for over 40 years! He continually tested new ads against it, but the old ad always drew more business, so he kept using it. Yes, look for new ways to market, but use the new ways in addition to what is already working. If it “ain’t broke - don’t fix” but keep testing to make it better - so your changes are not arbitrary.

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Profit Thief #22- Seeing problems and staying in them rather than looking for and using the solutions. I have two friends in the same business as each other -competitors. And they both sell to businesses. Their own businesses are about a mile apart, and while they do know of each other, they have never met. One of them called me last to gripe and moan about how bad business is. It’s a family business that he has run for some twentyfive years. He is now thinking about giving it up. “We have so little work coming in,” he said, “that we are having trouble meeting expenses.” About a week later, I met with the other friend, the first guy’s competitor. He said, “The market is getting harder to penetrate so I am doing more marketing. Look at the growth it is giving my business.” We talked about the new marketing projects he has going and he tells me, that based on sales this year to date, his business is already way up this year. Same business. Same product. Same quality. Same area of town. Same customer base. Same, same ,same. So what is wrong in the first friend’s business? Why the difference? Let’s analyze what the first friend said when I made several suggestions as to how he could increase his business. I asked if he could contact his past customers to ask for more business. He said, “Yes but, the ones from years ago were customers so long ago I don’t know if they are still around.” I asked if he could contact recent customers. He said, “Yes, but I don’t think we have their names and addresses on file.” © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Then I asked if he had a telephone book and could lookup the phone numbers and call them. Once again he gave me, “Yes but, I don’t like to have sales people bothering me on the phone. I won’t do that to my customers.” So I asked if he would be willing to go to those customer’s offices and talk with them about doing more business with his company. You guessed it. He said, “Yes but, I would feel funny going to them and asking for business.” I mentioned that he could acquire the names and addresses of business that buy his product - get printed labels from a mailing list company. He could then mail an offer to a large potential customer base and not need to bother them in person or by telephone. He said, “Yes but, we don’t have the money to do a mailing like that.” So I said, get addresses of a few past customers from the phone book and mail to them. He said, Yes but, I wouldn’t know what to write to them.” He is the problem. He is waiting for customers to call him, to show up at his door just because he is in business. And he can’t see the solutions. I know by listening to him, it is obvious just what is happening. But staying in the problem is one of those attitudinal things that sneaks up on business owners. Just as a side note... he is now out of business, and the first friend is still doing very well. I don’t mean to sound like a mystical guru when I say we get what we think about, yet for some reason that is exactly what does happen. If we concentrate on our problems we act on our problems rather than acting on the solution. If you do what you did, you get what you got.

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If you think poverty, you get poverty. If you think gratitude and abundance, you act on that and get abundance about which to be grateful. Look at the solutions, not the problems.

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Profit Thief #23- Not maintaining regular communication with customers to build customer loyalty. The story has been around for years about Joe Girrard being the worlds' greatest salesman. He even wrote a book about it. Anyway, Joe earned his listing in The Guinness Book Of World Records as the worlds greatest salesman by selling more new automobiles than anyone in history. He did so by mailing a card to all his customers every month! Essentially what the card said was, “I like you.” And there was Joe’s card, in each customer’s mailbox 12 times each year - forever. You can mail customers a sales piece, you can mail them a newsletter, you can mail a thank-you note, you can even mail them a postcard from your vacation. It doesn’t matter, just so long as you keep in touch on a regular basis. And if you have their email address, so much the better. The daughter of the man who owns a large automobile dealership calls each of their customers after customers bring their new car in for service. She simply says thank-you and asks if the service was satisfactory. Then the dealership mails service reminders and money off coupons every time service is about due. And again, after service, she calls to survey the customers satisfaction level. Not only does this give the dealership instant knowledge of customer problems before they get out of hand, but it also makes customers feel valued. Customers who feel valued recommend the dealership to their friends. I am an audio tape and Compact Disc nut - to the point of thinking about having a Walkman surgically attached to my ears. (Just kidding.) I have “how to” and motivational tapes going several hours © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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each day, and have even been granted “Preferred Customer” status by one of the larger audio tape publishers. I know, big deal - so what? The point is, they mail sales material to me every week, and sometimes several times each week. they now do it online also. A couple of times each year they call me to ask if I wish to purchase some new audio tape goody. And they even call to survey my opinion about new catalogs, to determine what items in the catalog stand out in this customer’s mind. I am reasonably sure they do this to 200,000 other people too, but at least I am one of the “special people” they call customers. And LL Bean, and Lands End, and Sierra all mail catalogs to me monthly to make me feel valued. Yes, the fact that they want to sell me more stuff has a lot to do with it. But the catalogs do work - I keep buying, and so do the millions of other people who receive these mailings.

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Profit Thief #24- Not actively seeking other merchants who will help you sell to their customers. I have a friend in, Colorado - just outside of Denver. He owns a large photography studio, and specializes in portraits of upscale families. He knows that everyone loves a bargain, so he works a bounceback promotion with other merchants in several upscale neighborhoods. He gives these merchants a premium they can give to their customers as a gift to show customer appreciation. It costs these merchants absolutely nothing, yet their customers don’t know that. They think it is a valuable consideration from the merchant. What is the gift? It is a family portrait session in his studio, and miniature portrait from my friend’s studio. Customers recognize the name of my friend’s studio as being one associated with a higher quality level of photography. And those who were thinking about having a new portrait made of their family in the near future are delighted with the merchant’s gift. Of course, once they go to the effort to gather the family together, and in their best clothes, drive to his studio, they certainly will desire to purchase additional portraits in sizes much larger than the “free gift” miniature. My friend charges the cost of the free session and portrait against his advertising budget. He knows he will sell additional portraits to those who come to his studio, and the merchants who give out the “gift” get to show their appreciation to customers. Everybody wins. How do you find other businesses to work with? Grab a Yellow Pages and start on the first page. Here's a few ideas off the top of my head:

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-Churches & Synagogs -Baby and infant stores -Maternity shops -YMCA -Senior centers and grand parents groups -Family organizations -Schools of every kind - dance schools, gymnastics schools, karate schools... -PTA’S -Restaurants -Any local branch of a fast food chain -Stores that sell lawn furniture -Women’s organizations - Junior League and other civic orga nizations -Anyplace with a family mem bership - amusement parks, swim clubs, zoo, museums -Tennis/fitness clubs -Dry cleaners -SPCA - local animal shelter -Veterinarians -Pet store -Pet supply store -Grocery stores -Antique dealers usually have upscale customers -Appliance stores -Automobile dealer -Banks and saving and loans -Customers of receptions halls -Beauty salons -Realtors © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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The 25 Profit Thieves -Daycare/childcare/nursery schools -Better Business Bureau mem bers -Chamber of commerce members -DOG GROOMERS -Drug stores The list goes on.

Do you have any customers who own a business? You already have their trust, and now can help them to supply your product to their best customers. And you can supply them with your better customers by using their product or service as a premium to your customers. Put together a half dozen of these deals and you can be swamped with new business.

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Profit Thief # 25 - Not using the Internet as your ultimate Sales Brochure, capturing names on your Website, and taking advantage of marketing strategies which are pecular to the Internet... such as PPC, Article marketing with your sig, using ezines, and blogs. What? You don't have a Website, or a blog, and have never heard of PPC and Article marketing? You're not alone. Sounds like a whole new world doesn't it? That's because It is. The Universe changed when we weren't looking. Your 12 year old knows all about it! I saw a replay of a TV station's news feature article on youtube.com about a high school age girl who had become a millionaire by designing and selling themes for other teenagers to use on their myspace and facebook pages. Yes, a millionaire! In the TV station's news piece they showed she had just purchased a new house for her parents. They showed the house, and her family enjoying their new house. This young lady knew how to use the Internet, she saw a market that wasn't being met, and she did it! Bill Gates, this planet's wealthiest man says, "If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business." Colleges and Universities now offer degrees and graduate level degrees in Internet Marketing and e-business. Advertising agencies and marketing companies now have electronic media divisions to handle this medium. Let me repeat this... the Universe changed when we weren't Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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looking. And if you have not been keeping up, you will be losing business you won't even suspect you are losing. I may be crazy... or at least you'll think so when I tell you what I had to do to get on the net. In the mid 1990s I wanted a Website, but at the time there were not any really good software programs for designing Websites, and there were very few Website designers. So I bought a book about HTML - that's the computer code used to design Websites and learned it. HTML is a the computer gibberish that looks like this: <head <meta content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1" http-equiv="ContentType" <title>dewlliewopp.net test</title> </head>This is it <body style="background-image: url(file:///C:/Documents%20and%20S ettings/Owner/Desktop/Pix%20of%20Don/ideapage-net-BG.jpg);"> <div style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 700px; height: 300px;" alt="ideapage logo" src="file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Owner/Desktop/ Pix%20of%20Don/ideapage-baner.jpg"><br> <table<body background="images/Brwn-BG-0096.jpg" bgcolor="#a6a5a0" text="black" link="white" vlink="white" leftmargin="0" marginheight= "0" marginwidth="0" topmargin="0"> <div align="center"> <div style="position:relative;width:1262px;height:2 301px;-adbe-g:p;"><div style="position:absolute;top:0px;left:0px;width:275px;height:11 7px;"> <img src="images/Brwnlogo.jpgalt="height="117" width="275" border="0" div><div="position:absolute;top:0px;left:288px;width:973 px;height:2300px;"> style="position:relative;width:973px;height:2300px;backgroundŠ 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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color:#000;-adbe-g:p;"><div style="position:absolute;top:23px;left:67px;width:250px;height:39 px;"> When your computer's Web browser - such as Internet Explorer, or Netscape, or Mozilla Firefox - sees a page of this HTML it turns that code into the Webpage you see on your monitor. All the lines, words and colors are made up of HTML. Photographs and artwork, video and sound, can all be embedded in with the code. I bought a book about HTML, learned enough to be dangerous, and began designing Websites, writing them for myself in Windows' Notepad. Ugggh! It was painstaking and boring. Years later I started learning some of the Web design software and life became a lot easier. Today we have a world filled with Web designers, college students studying Web design, high school students who can design Webpages, and easy to use software that will even let beginners build their own Websites. That way if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t build your own website, you will need to hire someone to do so, and you will have a better idea about what they are doing so you can commnunicate better with them. Here is a quick overlook at the entire process. I will explain each. 1 - Pick a domain name (it's your Web address like donschenk. com or ideapage.com). 2 - Check to see if the name you've picked is available. 3 - Register the domain name in your name or in your business name. 4 - Choose an Internet Hosting company. They will store your Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Website on their server computer and connnect it to the Internet. 5 - Design your Webpages - a Website is usually made up of more than one Webpage. 6 - Upload your Webpages to the Hosting company. 7 - Advertise and market your Website. 8 - Regularly update your Website with more new information and new images. 9 - Start a blog where you just talk about what is going on in general at your business. Why would you want to do that? It turns out the search engines such as Google and Yahoo love blogs, and are more likely to send customers to your blog that to your Website. Are you confused yet? In a way this is like eating an entire bushel of oranges. You do it one at a time. But with Webpages you can hire it done. I will cover the process in a moment, but first... The Short History of The Internet in a Few Paragraphs The Internet, originally developed by the U.S. government during the cold-war as an emergency communications system, could route and reroute messages around the country even if the phone system in one part of the US was knocked out. As the cold-war fizzled the U.S. Government turned over control of the Net to the National Science Foundation. In 1993 the NSF developed a Website InterNic.net to handle domain name registration, and the Internet proved to be a fast, convenient way for university scientists to share information about their research. The Internet also began to be used en mass by college students. There was no commercial use of the net at this time. Later Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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the NSF set up an organization called ICANN to take over registration. From the InterNIC.net Website is this, "The InterNIC Website is operated by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to provide the public information regarding Internet domain name registration services. Visit the InterNIC website to: ·Search domain records in the ·Registry Whois ·Find registrar contact details in the ·Accredited Registrar Directory ·File a registrar complaint through the ·Registrar Problem Report Form ·Report inaccurate Whois data through the ·Whois Data Problem Report Form" About ICANN the same InterNIC.net says, "The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for managing and coordinating the Domain Name System (DNS) to ensure that every address is unique and that all users of the Internet can find all valid addresses. It does this by overseeing the distribution of unique IP addresses and domain names. It also ensures that each domain name maps to the correct IP address. This was all handled by the National Science Foundation until the mid 1990's when the NSF turned control of registering domain names over to a commercial venture...Network Solutions, a designer of software for the net. About this time Prodigy and AOL came along, and little by little commercial use of the net began to filter in.

I've heard that originally the price to register a domain name was © 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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around $100. By the mid 90s when I was getting interested, the price Network Solutions was charging was $35 per year to register a domain name, and NetSol as Network Solutions was known, was the only place you could go to register a domain name. They had a nice little (or maybe not so little) monopoly on it.

Eventually ICANN and the InterNIC began to open registration to other companies, and today there are hundreds of registrars. Prices have come way down. The largest, well known registrars are more likely to still be around years from now. So lets go back through the steps, taking each one in more detail. The first thing you do is...

1 - Pick a domain name (it's your Web address like donschenk.com or ideapage.com). You do have a domain name don't you? Come up with a couple you would like and a few you could live with. By the way, you will want one that ends in .com because that is what people will look for first. If the nameyouwant.com is already taken but nameyouwant.net is still available and you choose that, your advertising might accidently send potential customers to nameyouwant.com (someone else's Website) because people will almost always type in .com when doing a search.

2 - Check to see if the name you've picked is available.

You do this by going to one of the registrars and searching. So, for example, I use http://www.cheapnames.com and I also use htp://www.namescheap.com. They are not related, but the names Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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And I use http://www.godaddy.com. In these sites you will find a field into which you type the domain name you want, click "go" and in a few moments it will tell you whether that name is available or not. Then you keep trying other possible domain names until you find an available name you want.

It can be a little frustrating because most of the single-word names and the two-word names are already taken. Once you find a name you can live with (or hopefully you get the name you want) then you to the third step which is...

3 - Register the domain name in your name or in your business name. Next just follow the process through cheapnames.com or godaddy. com to register the name in your name or your business' name. Cheapnames.com actually does its registration through godaddy. com, but charges a little bit less per year to register the names. Go figure! And as of this writing, godaddy.com also handles tech support for cheapnames.com. Take your pick.

You can also register a domain name at many Internet hosting companies. But the rule of thumb in the Internet Marketing community is to register your domain name at one place and host your Website somewhere else - so they are not related.

That way, the Internet hosting company can't hold you hostage if they don't like something about your Website. Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Be careful, you will want to be certain to register the domain name in your name. There are a few unscrupulous hosting companies and Web designers who will register your domain name for you in their name. They then own your domain and can hold you hostage, charge you whatever they wish, and you can't to another hosting site or designer without losing your Website.

4 - Choose an Internet Hosting company.

Think about file folders on your computer, they contain files and information you or your computer that you have put there. And just like the files in a folder, all the files that make up your Website will also be stored in a folder on a computer at an Internet Service Provider you choose. This is called hosting or Web hosting. Yes, you want to keep a backup of those files on your computer and on a backup disc at some other location.

I began using a small local Cincinnati company to host my first Website, and that hosting company was later sold to a larger company. All was well with the new hosing company for about a year. Then they began to "misplace" some of the accounts which were purchased from the Cincinnati company...including my account. They actually lost all my account information, quit billing me, and said my account didn't exist...but left my Website up and running just fine. I did not trust them enough to let them keep my "misplaced" account. I moved to networksolutions.com for hosting.

Today, as of this writing I am using 3 different hosting companies: networksolutions.com, godaddy.com, and bluehost.com. Network Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Solutions is a little bit higher in price than the other two and has excellent tech support via an 800 phone number. Godaddy and Bluehost are about the same price as each other, but Bluehost gives much more space and bandwidth (the amount of viewing done by those looking at your site). Godaddy also has excellent tech support, but it's not with an 800 number.

A brief mention here about trying to design your own Website. It is good to know how to do so because that will give you a whole new picture of just how much work it really is to build a nice site, and will help you communicate better with your Web designer. I have close to 50 hours in building one of my more complex sites.

Bluehost has some of the better "do-it-yourself" software for you to design your own site in case you want to experiment with doing so. And Bluehost software for do it yourself design is free, however at Godaddy they charge for their do it yourself system. And you can only work with it at Godaddy.

I mention these hosting companies because you will want to be the one who chooses which hosting company will put your Webpages on the net. This isn't a problem when you have found a really good designer with whom you enjoy working. It can be a problem if get a dud and then decide to change designers.

If you let whoever designs your Website pick the host, you could be held hostage and find yourself stuck using that same designer and the designer's favorite hosting site forever - every time you want to make a little change on your site. The designer is usually earning a commission from the hosting Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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company as an affiliate. This isn't a problem until you decide to change designers because the one you picked really didn't know what he or she was doing.

You also want to be given the ID and password to access your account at the hosting company plus the ID and password to access your Website's folder on the host's computer. Having this information will let you oversee any changes to your Website and prevent a designer from having total control over your site.

5 - Design your Webpages - a Website is usually made up of more than one Webpage.

When someone connects to your site the Web browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox, etc.) they use looks at your site for a file called "index.html," this is the main page, it is the front page or home page of your Website. All other pages of your site are linked to this homepage, but the home page must have the name index.html. The other pages can be named anything you want as long as the names end in .html.

If you have a little bit of computer geek and graphic design geek in your blood and wish to acquire an appreciation for the amount of work it takes to build a really nice Website, you will find free software on the Internet which will let you build your own site from scratch.

If you wish to have an easy to use, Webpage design software that is FREE on the Internet, and it works for Mac or Windows, it is called KompoZer, So go to http://www.Kompozer.NET and download the Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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To find a tutorial for this go to http://www.thesitewizard.com. About half way down the front page on the left (It's a pretty 'fer piece down) is the tutorial for KompoZer. It's excellent. In fact that entire Website is excellent if you want to know how to sell online, how to add PayPal or other payment possibilities to your site. Just read through the site.

If you use Microsoft Word you can build a Webpage in it. Just hit "Save As" and select HTML or Webpage. It will build a Webpage, but you will need to add links to multiple pages if you want multiple pages, and for that you will need to know HTML or have a Web design software like Kompozer.

Most of the larger hosting companies have software and predesigned Webpage layouts (templates) for you to use and do-ityourself when you choose them to be your hosting company.

When running a business it is usually more efficient to outsource or at least delegate as much of the work as possible. For this you will need a Web designer. While the obvious place to look is on the Web, if you want a local designer, I'd start with the Yellow Pages and look under "Internet" The art and design school at your local college or university will have students who are studying this. They already know how to design Webpages. They probably figured it out when they were in high school. Any independent art/design schools will have students who can do Webpages for you. Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Online you can find designers at http://www.elance.com or http:// www.rentacoder.com

There is a Website forum popular with Internet Marketers who sell products and information via the Web. You can join the forum and ask for a designer. The site is http://www.warriorforum.com. It is an excellent place to ask questons.

It is a well moderated forum with no nonsense. It has rules and the rules are enforced which is what keeps it nice. Most of the serious Internet Marketers, who really know the subject on that site, use their real first and last names instead of an anonymous "handle."

6 - Upload your Webpages to the Hosting company.

To upload your site to the Web it is basically a simple copy and paste of your Website files into your location on your hosting company's computer. While your web designer can do this for you, it might also be handy for you to know how.

You need a File Transfer Protocol software. There is an easy to use one like WSftp from http://www.ipswitch.com/ or the one I am using is a program called CuteFTP from http://www.cuteftp.com. There is also a popular free program for FTP. It is called Filezilla and it is at http://www,filezilla-project.org.

Another name for this type of software is FTP Client software because you are a client of that hosting company, and you are going

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The 25 Profit Thieves to upload it to the hostine site.

You host provider will give you the hosting address, your user ID and a password to give you access to your place on their server. Many hosting companies also have their own FTP software for you to upload your files to their site, and some even have it built in to their Web design software.

7 - Advertise and market your Website.

Now your Website is up and running, but nobody is looking at it! Why? Because it take a little time for the search engine spiders (robots that search the Web for site information) to find and index your site. And once indexed you might find your site listed as site number 8,296 out of 79,442 sites selling whatever it is you also sell! This would put you so far down the list in the search engines like google or yahoo or dogpile that nobody will ever find your Webpage. You need to be listed higher on the search engines.

Entire books have been written about how to do search engine optimization, called SEO - the process that lets the search engines place your site high on the list, and what the search engines want from your site does change from time to time. Additional books have been written about ways to advertise and promote your Webpage using everything from articles you write (with your Website listed in the signature) submitted to ezines, enews releases, epress releases, to blogging.

If yours is a local business, then local advertising is still a good bet...Yellow Pages, mailing, networking with other businesses while Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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putting your Website on every piece of advertising you do.

Google and Yahoo will each let you pay for advertising by means of something called Pay Per Click. Do a search on PPC or go to google and do a search on "adwords" ... google's name for their own PPC. You put certain keywords into the title of your Website, into the description of your Website (these are called meta tags and are part of the HTML code that makes up your site. The Web designers and Web design software will do this.

When someone searches on Google for a particular keyword, they are sent to all sites that have that particular keyword. Again yours might be site number 8,000 out of 70 or 80,000 sites.

But there is a technique here that most of your competitors don’t know about, and that is Google will let you buy adwords for a specific geographic region, an area, your own city, your own town or a given distance around it. Thus you are not paying for advertising to the entire country or world when your business is a local business.

When you purchase some Pay Per CLick advertising through Google’s Adwords, and you tell Google’s adwords to only send customers to you who are from your immediate vicinity, when people near you search on your keywords, you’re going to come up on top.

These keywords are words and combinations of words that potential customers might use for a search.

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For a detailed explanation of this at google go to http://www. adwords.google.com or better still just do a search on adwords.

With google you pick a words and combinations of words that potential customers might use for a search. So if you have an insurance business in Peoria, keywords would include, insurance, Peoria, Peoria insurance, life insurance Peoria, automobile insurance Peoria, and every possibility you can come up with.

You deposit an amount of money (keep it small) and let google know your keywords. Google will give you instructions. Then when someone searches on "insurance Peoria" google lists your site first and charges a small amount from the money you have deposited into your adwords account.

Google has a wonderful tool called the keywords tool that can help you decide what keywords and what combinations of keywords can work for your website. Just do a search on Google for the Google Keywords Tool.

8 - Regularly update your Website with more new information and new images.

The search engines' spiders do not "see" photographs or logos on your site. They only read words. Having good content describing what you offer or what you do, and describing it using those keywords you want people to search on will tell the spiders what words you want searched. Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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Adding new articles and new information regularly will keep your customers interested, and keep Google's spiders interested.

9 - Start a blog

A blog is a Web Log...and ongoing series of articles or little pieces of interest to your customers. The search engines love blogs and will list them high on the list. What do you write to put into the blog? Anything you please, but hopfully something of interest to your customers.

I know a couple people who just write about what is going on at their business like who is new, who just had a baby, who recently returned from a fun vacation, chatty stuff, but keep it short. They write about any specials or new products. You could about how your customers can have more fun or make more money, or engage in their hobbies. The sky is the limit.

I said the search engines (like Google, Yahoo, Dogpile, etc.) love blogs and will put them high up in the search results. This will depend upon how you use keywords. Keywords are what people type into a search program to find what they want, words like shampoo, tires, carpet, laptop, monitor, and there are "long tail" keywords people use too. These are groups of words that describe a concept or product, like rug shampoo, Pyrenees Mountain Dog, left handed utensils, how to cook pork chops.

Use the keywords you wish people to search to find your blog, Š 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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use these keywords in the title of the article you write, use them especially in your first sentence, and in your first paragraph. Then scatter some more keywords throughout the short article you put in your blog.

You can find FREE articles to use on your blog at ezinearticles.com., articles on just about any subject. The only catch is you must include the author's name and Website just the way it is in the signature (bottom) part of the articles you use. Read about it at ezinearticles. com

A blog is actually a type of Webpage, and you blog using blogging software to create it. Once you design your blog, you store it... 1 - in a folder right on your site or 2 - at the Website of another URL (domain name location) or 3 - at a free blogging site like Google's Blogger

You simply put a link on your Website that will take people to your blog, and put a link on your blog that will take people back to your Website.

If your blog is in a folder on you site it will be at a location like this http://www.yoursitename.com/blog. If you choose to store it on another site or at blogger.com that will be the location to which you point the link from your main Webpage.

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If you use the free blogging at google's blogger.com they have the software already there for you to use. It's easy. If you wish to host your blog on another site, get a free software called Wordpress. You can get it at http://www.wordpress.net and if you wish you can hosts your Wordpress blog for free at http://www.wordpress.com. Note the difference. One is a .net and the other a .com.

You get the Wordpress software at the dot net.

You simply add to your blog occasionally, and I know people who add to theirs every day, and others who add once every few weeks. The more often you add articles, and the more relevant to your product are your articles, and the more your articles contain your keywords, the higher up the list the search engines will place your blog.

Many business send regular email to their existing customers to remind them about the blog. First put an interesting article at the top of your blog, send your customers a short email with the title and maybe a few sentences of the article, and have a link in your email customers can click to go to your blog. Make the article something interesting, maybe something unusual or funny, and suggest readers send the article to their friends.

Autoresponder services such as Aweber.com or GetResponse. com can automate the sending of your email so you don't have to sit there and manually send emails. Don't worry, they will show you how.

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I was thinking about a short piece I saw on television about a housewife who invented a better mop. She didn’t like to stoop to reach the wringing lever on sponge mops. She wanted the rope type mop in a self wringing model. It didn’t exist so she invented it. Instead of waiting for manufacturers to beat a path to her door, she had the plastic parts manufactured herself, and began selling the mops from her home. They sold well and eventually she got a 20 minute spot on the shopping channel. THERE, IN those 20 MINUTES SHE SOLD 18,000 MOPS!

She built a factory to mae mops and began to invent other useful household items ... HER TARGET AUDIENCE IS HOUSEWIVES... HER PRODUCTS APPEAL TO WOMEN products like a jewelry ring box and octagonal self storage, self-stacking boxes. She started with the mop idea in her kitchen in 1991. Nine years later she had 120 employees and sales of $25,000,000. __________________ I heard my friend Jim say, "What you know, is what got you to where you are today. But will that knowledge take you where you want to go tomorrow? Where do you want to go?"

Here's a thought that comes from my friend Leo. He says, "I can’t choose what ideas pop into my head, but I can choose what I do with them." What will you do with the thoughts and knowledge you now have? What will you do with the ideas popping into your head?

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About Don Schenk

Don Schenk has been self-employed for more than 38 years â&#x20AC;&#x201C; owning a half a dozen businesses. Actually it is 10 years more than 38 years, but he thinks this makes him sound absolutely ancient. His creative parents, who met in art school, gave Don his first camera when he was age 5, and about the same time began teaching Don to play music - guitar and piano. By age 13 Don was playing music at teen dances - thus began his first experience at being self-employed. At age 16 Don began renting a teaching studio at a local music store where he taught guitar, electric bass, and keyboard as a selfemployed instructor... and continued to do so during his college years and beyond. While still in high school at St. X he joined forces with a couple of his music students, to form what was to become the most popular local teen band during the mid 1960s. He and his band members rented a large reception hall where they put together teen dances, attracting up to 2,000 kids each week. He says this is when he decided to always remain self-employed. Upon completing college at Xavier University Don started his photography business as a sideline while working in the recording business, playing bass in a jazz trio, and still giving private music lessons. Eventually music became a side interest while his lifelong passion for photography became his career. Over the years Don has owned a half dozen businesses including a recording studio, a photography studio, and still owns a real estate rental business.

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Around 1987 his photography business was having some dificulty, and he began his quest to discover exactly what it would take to make it (and any other business) be much more profitabe. As an offshoot of turning the phototography business around, he started ideapage to publish “how-to” books and spoken-word audio courses for other business owners. November 1, 2008, Nicole Saupe (the other photographer at his studio) took over the business. And after 38 years of photography Don “retired.” He retired from being in the studio all day. This is giving him time to devote to ideapage, training, writing, and travel. Don’s passions include downhill skiing, playing music, writing, teaching, publishing, photography, and spending quiet time at his other home in Park City, Utah.

© 1994-2009 Don Schenk

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