Guess who’s stopping you expand your business?

big-vs-small

If you asked the question – ‘Guess who’s stopping you expand your business?’ – of a group of ambitious entrepreneurs who were focused with full determination and energy on building theirs, they might come up with a range of reasons. Lack of resources, downturn in markets, changes in external conditions might be some of their responses. Very few of them would stop to look at how they themselves might unwittingly be the very cause of their business limitation.

 

True story of two entrepreneurs

Let’s illustrate this with the true story of two entrepreneurs who both started their own businesses from scratch at about the same time in the same industry, selling similar products and services. We’ll call them Aaron and Barry. For the first few years, their results were similar, but their approach to running their businesses was very different.

 

Investing 100% and getting 100%

Barry was a natural salesman, and had received several sales performance awards in the corporate job he had before starting his own business. He knew he could win business within a couple of meetings with a client. He was giving 100% of his time and energy, and receiving 100% return on his efforts. He was focused on developing his skills and strengths as well as on achieving business growth. He did delegate administrative tasks, and took on a team of sales people under him, but always remained the top sales person.

 

Aaron however was not a natural salesman and yet within ten years his profits were ten times Barry’s. Within fifteen years they were 100 times, and by twenty years they were 1,000 times. His focus from the outset of his business was solely on its expansion.

 

Aaron realised from the start that if he put in 100% of his time and energy, he could get a 100% return, whereas if he delegated to others who weren’t as skilled or knowledgeable as him, they could only give him a 75% return on the investment of their time and energy. However, that still left him with 100% of his time and energy free to focus on developing them and on expanding the business.

 

Sharing secrets of success

He also recognised that if he shared the success secrets he had learned with his team, they would go on to perform better. He wanted them to perform even better than he could. Unlike Barry, he was not afraid of people copying the secrets of his techniques, being aware that people will always copy successful people. By the time they’ve copied him, he would have grown further in his experience and wisdom.

 

Barry still wants to be the star performer, the main driving force of his small company, whereas Aaron guides his mammoth one with a light touch, leaving his team to deal with all the day to day management. He long ago learned not to let himself be the very hindrance that holds back the expansion of his business.

Is your business stuck on a growth plateau? Working with a mentor like Dr Chopra, the Profit Mentor, who is an expert in innovative strategies, could shift your business to its next level. To explore the possibilities for increasing your profits and for creating winning strategies, book a Strategy Session with Dr Chopra by filling in the form http://www.angloindia.co.uk/book-your-strategy-session/

The step you’ve got to take if you want your business to expand

you-are-fired

Like many business owners, John and his business partner Chris* had a strong desire to continue expanding theirs year on year. They had built their manufacturing business from scratch, and after ten years were achieving a turnover of £10 million, with a net profit of £1 million, but had hit a growth plateau for several years running. A plateau is that stage of a business where it has stable and profitable operations but its growth has stalled. Reaching a growth plateau tends to appear at various stages throughout the lifetime of a business, and is a clear signal that changes are overdue.

 

Growth plateaus are frustrating!

Even though John and Chris were enjoying a comfortable lifestyle through the proceeds from their business, they still wanted to expand further, and were frustrated with the growth plateau they had been stuck on for several years. Working more hours didn’t bring the breakthroughs they wanted, and added to their dissatisfaction. They recognised that repeating the same strategy that wasn’t working for them was never going to produce different results.

 

What’s your potential enhanced worth? 

What was required to shift them through the growth plateau into the next level of expansion was a completely different strategy than they had been using. Their desire for that next level demonstrates that John and Chris already had within themselves the worth to achieve far more than they were currently. If their enhanced worth wasn’t there as a potential, the urge to expand wouldn’t arise, and they wouldn’t be thinking about it. It’s as if the urge comes from a creative wellspring within, and your job is to grow into being the person who achieves that expansion.

 

Expansion needs space

The first step of an expansionary shift is to create the space for it. John and Chris had talked about expansion and had hired a profit mentor to assist them with creating innovative growth strategies that would shift their business over the plateau. However they found they were so occupied with handling day to day business issues that they were only tinkering at the edges of the implementation plan. Their frustration multiplied; they now knew what was required for growth but just weren’t getting it into action. Their mentor pointed out to them that their worth in the vision of their expanded business was £100 million per year, and yet right now they were doing work that had a worth of £60,000 per year. Thus they had reduced their worth from £100 million to £60,000.

 

What they needed to do was to promote themselves out of their current roles and responsibilities, and to appoint someone with a worth of £60,000 to take over their roles of handling much of the day to day business matters.

 

Rinse and repeat….

Only with the additional time and freedom that doing this gave could John and Chris create and implement the detailed action plan that would shift their business beyond its growth plateau. And this won’t be the last time that they have to fire themselves from their existing roles and promote themselves to a higher position if they want to continue the expansion of their business as per their vision. Hopefully in the future they will see the growth plateau coming long before they reach it, and plan their systems and strategies accordingly.

 

No matter the stage of your business, from start up to mature, as the business owner you’ll need to be prepared to shift your role and promote yourself to a higher position if you want your business to continue expanding.

 

John and Chris* – not their real names so as to preserve their privacy.

 

Is your business stuck on a growth plateau? Working with a mentor like Dr Chopra, the Profit Mentor, who is an expert in innovative strategies, could shift your business to its next level. To explore the possibilities for increasing your profits and for creating winning strategies, book a Strategy Session with Dr Chopra by filling in the form http://www.angloindia.co.uk/book-your-strategy-session/

Do you qualify to learn how to multiply business profits?

LOGIC

A young entrepreneur in his early-twenties contacts a Profit Mentor. He says to him: “I’ve come to you because I wish to learn how to multiply my profits.”

 

“Do you have any experience in business?” the Profit Mentor asks.

 

“No, but I have just finished my Business and Management degree. So now, I would just like to round out my education with your wisdom.”

 

“I seriously doubt,” the Profit Mentor says, “that you are ready to learn to multiply profits. It is the deepest understanding of the knowledge in any business. If you wish, however, I am willing to examine you in logic, and if you pass that test I will help you learn how to multiply.”

 

The young man agrees.

 

The Logic Test

 

The Profit Mentor holds up two fingers. “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face; the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

 

The young man stares at the Profit Mentor. “Is that the test in logic?”

 

The Profit Mentor nods.

 

”The one with the dirty face washes his face“- he answers wearily.

 

“Wrong. The one with the clean face washes his face. Examine the simple logic. The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. So, the one with the clean face washes his face.”

 

“Very clever,” the young man says. “Give me another test.”

 

The Profit Mentor again holds up two fingers. “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face, the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

 

“We have already established that. The one with the clean face washes his face.”

 

“Wrong. Each one washes his face. Examine the simple logic. The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. So, the one with the clean face washes his face. When the one with the dirty face sees the one with the clean face wash his face, he also washes his face. So, each one washes his face.”

 

“I didn’t think of that,” says the young man. It’s shocking to me that I could make an error in logic. Test me again.”

 

The Profit Mentor holds up two fingers. “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face; the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

 

“Each one washes his face.”

 

“Wrong. Neither one washes his face. Examine the simple logic. The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. But when the one with the clean face sees that the one with the dirty face doesn’t wash his face, he also doesn’t wash his face. So, neither one washes his face.”

 

The young man is desperate. “I am qualified to learn to multiply profits. Please give me one more test.”

 

He groans, though, when the Profit Mentor lifts two fingers. “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face; the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

 

“Neither one washes his face.”

 

The Qualifying Wisdom

 

“Wrong. Tell me, how is it possible for two men to come down the same chimney, and for one to come out with a clean face and the other with a dirty face? Don’t you see? The whole question is nonsense, foolishness, and if you spend your whole life trying to answer foolish questions, all your answers will be foolish, too.”

 

May we all have the wisdom to ask, and answer, wise questions as that qualifies us to learn how to multiply profits in business.

How to make a fortune by selling at cost

innovative

One of the keys to shifting from increasing your profits to multiplying your profits is to employ innovative strategies in your business. If you want to add a zero to your current bottom line, rather than continuing to grow your profits incrementally, you’re going to need a new strategy to achieve that. You’re going to need to rethink your business model so that it can generate multiplied profits.

 

Here’s a true story of two business owners, both selling the same commodity but with completely different results. One of them approached his business with a traditional business model and made just enough profit to scrape by on. The other used a completely different business model and made his fortune.

 

No Profit No Loss

Both business owners were poor young men living in rural India twenty years ago who decided to migrate to a big city to seek their fortune. They both set themselves up as sugar retailers; they bought large bags of sugar from the mills and then sold the sugar in small quantities in the local markets.

 

The first man calculated the cost price of a kilo of sugar and added a ten per cent profit margin to give him his selling price. There were a lot of other sugar sellers selling at the same price so it was a constant fight to attract business, but he managed to make a small profit each week.

 

The second man also knew the cost price of a kilo of sugar, and sold it to his customers at that price. He was undercutting everyone else in the market, and so gained a large turnover. He went on to become a wealthy man.

 

So what was his innovative strategy for multiplying profits?

 

He was selling at cost, so where was his profit coming from? When I ask this question at talks and workshops, the audience give many bright ideas – maybe his large turnover enabled him to buy at a lower cost? N0 – because he was determined to sell sugar only at cost, so buying at a lower cost than his competitors enabled him to sell at that lower price. .

 

Maybe he set up partnerships with his customers in their businesses by selling them sugar at his cost price? No – because he made money from what he was doing only.

 

Maybe by selling sugar at cost he became a favourite of the people, stood for election in the Government and became a minister. No – he kept his focus only on growing his business.

 

The answer is so innovative but simple that no-one guesses it.

 

The Secret

The sugar was delivered from the sugar mills in large jute bags, and the clever business man was able to sell these bags at a profit that was far higher than the profit from the sale of the sugar. Because he was selling the sugar at cost, he gained a large turnover of sugar sales, which resulted in a large supply of jute bags. It was the sale of the bags to customers in the packaging industry that gave him his multiplied profits in the long run, not the sale of sugar. He then set up a system of buying small quantities of jute bags from the other less successful sugar sellers, and selling these on at a profit to his packaging industry customers. His innovative business model made him a wealthy man while selling a very traditional commodity.

 

Age old innovative concept

What he did was to generate a huge database of primary loyal customers by not charging them profit on the cost of their day to day needs; he made his profit from his secondary customers. There are many examples of businesses like this today: Google, Facebook and LinkedIn are a few online examples who are giving their primary customers maximum benefits at zero cost and yet have become very wealthy organisations. Their primary customers are not where they get their profit from. There are examples in the offline world too. Costa Coffee’s main profit generator is the sale of coffee machines and not cups of coffee. McDonalds’ main profit generator is their real estate holdings and not selling burgers. Newspapers are sold at nominal cost, the main profit generator being the advertisements; the higher their circulation figures, the higher the cost to advertise becomes.

 

Could this approach be applied in your business? Where is the true profit in the product or service you are selling? Just like for the sugar salesmen, it may not be where you think it is. Just focus to be innovative and creative and add value to your customers.

 

Working with a mentor like Dr Chopra, the Profit Mentor, who is an expert in innovative strategies, could help you explore where the true profit in your business lies. To explore the possibilities for increasing your profits and for creating innovative strategies, book a Strategy Session with Dr Chopra by filling in the form http://www.angloindia.co.uk/book-your-strategy-session/

How to get the best out of working with a mentor

expert

Should you become ill and have to be seen by a hospital consultant, they’ll prescribe a course of treatment to cure your problem. Generally people follow what the consultant says because they know that they don’t have the same knowledge and experience that he or she does. They accept that the consultant is an expert in the medical field.

 

The same applies if you consult a lawyer. It’s usual to follow what he or she advises, because they are an expert in the legal field and you’re not.

 

So it’s fair to suggest that anyone working with a mentor would follow what he or she advises, because they’re an expert in their field and you’re not.

 

Our experience is that those clients who take on board what the mentor suggests as the solution for increasing their profits and then implements it fully go on to achieve success.

 

The role of the mentor

 

The role of the mentor is not to prescribe solutions to be implemented. The role is to discuss the client’s goals and problems as per their specific and relevant background and from that basis to make relevant suggestions. These suggestions are discussed with the client as per his situation. The information shared by the mentor and that shared by the client is organised and fine tuned by the mentor so that together they arrive at the strategy that is to be implemented. This decision once implemented with total commitment will surely lead to success.

 

Do people who know everything need a mentor?

 

It seems that some clients have a false feeling that they already know everything about their field. It is true that they do know everything on a scale from zero to twenty but it is unlikely they have the conceptual depth from twenty to one hundred that their mentor has. Those that judge the mentor’s suggestions by their own knowledge and experience, and then alter what they implement to what they think best, do achieve some success. However this success is nowhere near as much as would have been achieved had they trusted in their mentor’s expertise.

 

The best method for gaining the maximum

 

If you have a mentor, the best method for gaining the maximum out of the experience is to implement what you have both agreed is the best policy to achieve your stated targets. If after your mentoring session you discover that you have further or different ideas, it’s wise to discuss these with your mentor rather than rushing forward to implement them. The plan that you should implement is the one jointly decided upon by you and your mentor. In this way you gain the benefit of your own inspiration and information plus it is tempered by the wisdom of your mentor who is an expert in his or her field. Your mentor will always welcome your idea and will help you arrive at a practical step by step strategic plan leading to your continuous ongoing success.

 

Your mentor is perhaps the only person aside from your loved ones who is happy for your success and will celebrate it along with you.

 

To book a Profit Strategy Session, contact Dr Chopra by filling in the form http://www.angloindia.co.uk/book-your-profit-strategy-session/

 

Are you secretly committed to failing in business?

business-secret

Ask an entrepreneur what they want in business, and it is likely they’ll say to be successful, to make profits, to improve people’s lives etc. However, whatever they say they want and are committed to, the reality is that it is only their results that show where their true commitment lies – and it’s not always where they say it is.

 

Some entrepreneurs claim that they are committed to profits but the evidence of their results shows that they are actually committed to losses. These kind of entrepreneurs treat their results as their goals and forget the most important part – their performance. They have a secret commitment to something other than profitability.

 

Is hard work the key to success?

Some business owners are committed to working very hard for little return, because that is what they are actually doing. They have a deeply held belief that only hard work leads to success. Without having defined the right strategy for profitability they focus only on working hard on whatever is visible in front of them. Whether they have the right competence for the task is immaterial to them, they are meeting their need to work hard. They probably have a subconscious belief that this is the only way to run a business. As a result their precious energy is wasted on irrelevancies. Then they console themselves about their poor returns by blaming their luck, or Government policies or even their own team. Their family doesn’t understand why there isn’t enough money to spend when the business owner seems to be working so very hard.

 

Where is your focus?

Some business owners say they want to expand their business and profits, but their results show that their unspoken true focus is on developing a large following on social media so that they can be known as an expert in their field. They seem to be unaware that all the praise from their social media groups will never pay their bills.

 

Another example of the business owner being committed to not being profitable is when they persist in marketing the product or service they feel they need to deliver when the evidence of the results shows that the market’s not that interested in it.

 

Business simply means profits

Profitable business is also about customer service, about passion for your product, and not just about the money. However some business owners delude themselves that they’re focused on profit when their true commitment is to delivering their service or improving their clients’ lives, and then complain that they can’t make a sustainable living doing what they love.

 

True business growth starts the moment the entrepreneur fully understands that business and making profits are synonymous and they make a conscious commitment to profitability.

 

Look at your results in business and you’ll see where your true commitment lies. Is that working for you?

 

To book a Profit Strategy Session, contact Dr Chopra by filling in the form http://www.angloindia.co.uk/book-your-profit-strategy-session/

Obstacles to business growth: A Cautionary Tale of the Entrepreneur brimming with brilliant ideas

African American businessman falling on wet floor in office

Entrepreneurs are a special breed of business people, often characterised by their effortless ability to create brilliant ideas. But in their brilliance lies their potential downfall, as illustrated by the cautionary tale that follows of an Entrepreneur called Chris.

 

“Chris knew that he was very intelligent and many of his family, friends and colleagues agreed with his opinion. Even as a young man, he was brimming with brilliant business ideas, not just in outline but in full strategic detail. He was clear on how to launch each of those ideas and turn it into a successful business. His family, friends and colleagues predicted a rosy and profitable future for the budding entrepreneur.

 

Scroll on twenty years and Chris’s success has not materialised. He’s still scrabbling around for ways to earn enough to keep the roof over his head. Buy him a pint and he’ll share with you his latest brilliant idea for his next profitable business.”

 

So what went wrong

Imagine you’ve got £100,000 in capital to invest in your own business. One approach would be to invest this amount in just one well researched idea for which you’ve developed a step by step strategic plan. Another approach would be to invest your £100,000 equally across 20 different good ideas, each with their own strategic plan. What will happen? In the second case each idea has had an investment of only £5,000 compared with investing £100,000 in a single well researched idea. Not only has the single project received a far higher monetary investment, it will also have received a far higher investment in terms of your time and energy, and thus stands to deliver you far greater rewards. This is not the approach that Chris followed, unfortunately for him.

 

Entrepreneurs by their very nature produce many brilliant ideas

Unlike Chris, successful entrepreneurs know how to handle the temptation of getting distracted by each new possibility and chasing after it, thereby not paying attention to their main business. They know that the risk is that they can end up with many half started projects and achieve no real results. Their solution is to focus on one business at one time, establish it so it’s successful and someone else is handling the day to day running. Only as that stage is coming into close focus do they start their next business, even though they’ve had the strategic plan ready for it for some time.

So what to do with all the brilliant ideas that come to you while you’re establishing the first business?

 

One approach

Allow yourself a limited time (set an alarm if necessary) to write down the idea, visualise its full potential, plan it in outline and then put it away in a ‘future projects’ journal, a tin on a shelf, a file, whatever works for you. It’ll be quietly simmering and percolating. When you’re ready to select the next project or business to focus on, look through all the ideas and select whichever seems the most appropriate.

 

Another approach

Set up a business of developing your brilliant ideas to the point where they can be sold as a business package to other entrepreneurs for them to establish on a stand-alone or, ideally, a joint venture basis. You’ll not only profit from your ideas in the short term but also have the opportunity to see them grow into large profitable projects You’ll need to have a thorough knowledge, both theoretical and practical, of how to run a successful business before this is fully viable.

 

Whichever of the approaches works for you, what they give you is a way to capture and profit from your brilliance rather than letting it become an obstacle to your growth. Poor old Chris!

 

To book a Profit Strategy Session, contact Dr Chopra by filling in the form http://www.angloindia.co.uk/book-your-profit-strategy-session/

How to increase prices when tied into fixed price contracts

fixed-price1

Some clients who start working with us on the journey to multiplying their profits feel that it’s an impossibility for them to increase their selling prices because they are tied into fixed price contracts. They can envisage saving a little from their costs to squeeze a little extra profit from their sales, but can’t envisage how it’s possible to multiply their profits as they can’t increase prices.

There is a way to solve this problem and I illustrate it to clients with my true story:

The Initiation

In early 1980s, long before formally working as a profit mentor, I was a doctor running my own hospital in India. The fees for a consultation with me were 100 rupees which was the maximum the general population would pay to see a doctor at that time.

 

One day as an experiment I altered the sign hanging above the reception desk so that it read: “Fee for consultation with Dr Chopra: 100 rupees. Fee for Special Consultation with Dr Chopra: 1000 rupees.”

 

Patients would ask me what the special consultation was. I told them that as well as dealing with their medical problem, they could also talk with me about any life problem for which they hadn’t found an answer to date. It was the beginning of my mentoring services.

 

To my surprise, from then on a percentage of patients every month requested the ‘Special Consultation’, willingly paying ten times the normal fee for what they saw as a premium product.

 

Strategy

Many profit mentoring clients have used the principle of my story to increase their profits. They have maintained their current product or service as their basic level offering. They have then developed an additional two to four quality premium products or services across a varying price range. These have been offered both to existing clients or customers where they have fixed price contracts, and to new potential clients. A percentage of customers and clients will not be as price sensitive as others, and will opt for the premium product or service with its superior quality and benefits, thereby increasing your revenues and profits.

 

It’s a principle that you’ll have seen used in many different areas of retailing and public service, from ready meals to handbags, from petrol to cinema seats, from hairdressing to air travel. Are you using the principle in your business to help increase your profits?

 

If you don’t already have a premium product or service on offer, what could you develop that would be your version of ‘the Special Consultation’?

 

To book a Profit Strategy Session, contact Dr Chopra by filling in the form http://www.angloindia.co.uk/book-your-profit-strategy-session/

Dragon’s Den – How to present a winning pitch to Deborah Meaden

Deborah Meaden1

Deborah Meaden is an English businesswoman who ran a multi million pound family holiday business, before completing a management buyout, but is now best known for her appearances on the BBC business programme Dragons’ Den.

Dr Chopra, the Profit Mentor, has turned his visionary spotlight on Deborah Meaden to understand her personality and to suggest how entrepreneurs can best approach her to gain her investment in their business and on making the most of that opportunity over the long term. Dr Chopra has over 40 years experience of visionary understanding of people’s personalities and of foreseeing their strategies for success.

Personality

Dr Chopra says of Deborah Meaden: “She is a very sharp and a very focused person. She is a visionary leader and can easily feel the prognosis for a project within a few minutes. As she makes up her mind so fast, only strong logic presented with full respect by the entrepreneur pitching to her can convince her otherwise. She is intelligent but holds rigid perceptions with minimal flexibility in her approach. She becomes highly uncomfortable if somebody challenges her directly in public. If she decides to support someone then she showers all her love and resources on them and their project. She has a golden heart if everything goes as per her perception but becomes stonehearted when people do not accept her authority.

Question 1:

As well as having a great product or service that will provide a healthy financial return to an investor, what else will persuade Deborah Meaden to partner with an entrepreneur?

Dr Chopra’s answer:

“ She believes that the people with whom she works must be hard working so the entrepreneur’s efforts must be visible in his presentation to her. He must convince her that he wants to work directly under her leadership. Even giving her genuine praise about her perceptional wisdom can help her make a decision to support him. However one must remember that nobody can impress her with fake and vague perceptions.”

Question 2:

Once the initial partnership deal has been struck, how does the entrepreneur need to deal with Deborah Meaden to make the most of the opportunity?

Dr Chopra’s answer:

“ The entrepreneur must have the clear understanding that it is wisdom to share his ideas about the project with Deborah and not his decisions. Sharing ideas and seeking her expert opinion on the subject will motivate her to extend her wholehearted support. One must be prepared to value her wisdom and never to challenge her in any circumstance. If she says, “You are wrong.” then the entrepreneur must accept that and apologise immediately.”

 
Would you like Dr Chopra to turn his visionary spotlight on someone? Many clients have used his insights to aid them with important negotiations. To book a Strategy Session, contact Dr Chopra by filling in the form http://www.angloindia.co.uk/book-your-profit-strategy-session/