Why Would I Need a Business Mentor?

how-to-make-moneyWhy would you or I need a business mentor, coach or adviser? If you know your industry because you’ve done your research or you are an expert in the products or services you are selling why would anyone need a business mentor? Because there’s more to business than meets the eye and most people fail (or just get by and struggle) in business because they concentrate on what they are selling and not how they are selling it or how to create a successful business.

When I started my first proper business I was only about 23 years old, I was humble enough to recognize my own naivety so I sought advice from wherever I could get it. It didn’t take long for me to get hugely disappointed in the advice I got and realized that most people dishing out business advice knew no more than I did.

I spoke to business bank managers, local business advisers, small business accountants and anyone I could find who was in business. I remember clearly my biggest question when starting out was “How do I get new customers?”. Of course, I needed revenue, I needed to make money so I could reinvest that money as well as pay my bills. I had just become a father for the first time, I was a young Dad with responsibilities, I couldn’t get by without making money.

The advice I got was basic to say the least, such nuggets as “Have you thought about setting up a website?”, I know the internet was fairly new back then but of course I already had a website. Another gem offered more than once; “Have you got a yellow pages ad?” (this was when that was still important) and of course I already had more than one decent size ads.

It began to dawn on me that these people were either used to dishing out advice to local self employed plumbers or other micro businesses, or their own business was built on something they inherited or fell into, none of them had any experience in building a proper business enterprise from scratch.

The next thing that dawned on me was finding people who had built a big business from scratch was next to impossible and even if I could, finding one that would give me any of their time or advice was even harder. The people who knew nothing were quite happy to throw their opinions around but the rare few that knew something were hard to track down and tight lipped or bereft of time.

Thankfully I did track down and get help from some very experienced business people and it didn’t stop me from going bust because by the time I found them I was just about scraping a living but what they did do is propel me forward in business at a much faster pace than I would have done alone. They gave me shortcuts that shaved years off doing it through trial and error. It’s possible I wouldn’t have even achieved some of the things at all no matter how long I’d kept at it.

So why do I still need business mentors, coaches and advisers? Because I like to do new things and I know the difference between those that succeed in business and those that just get by or fail is the willingness to get advice and delegate to the right people. We can’t know everything and we can’t do everything. We can learn as much as we can and we can try and cover the tasks ourselves in the beginning but there comes a point where you have to admit your own limitations and get help, or get stuck within your own limitations.

I don’t care what your aims or goals are for your business, they all come down to money, even if you want to save the whales, you can save more whales when you’re making more money. So if I’m starting a new venture I want to prove it works by making money or at least generating some revenue as quickly as possible. Time and time again I’ve proved that my past experience in business and what I’ve learned from previous mentors, plus seeking advice from the right people in the industry (or related industries), gets results fastest. Reinventing the wheel, pretending I know it all and getting bad advice from people who haven’t achieved anything is the recipe for the slowest results.

Some of the key things I learned from my mentors that I put into practice and now teach others:

  • How to effectively market a business to generate interest
  • How to harness the interest from marketing and engage with potential clients
  • How to sell to potential clients, not just pitch but close sales
  • How to make sure I always get paid quickly without fail
  • How to price products and services so they are profitable
  • How to sell to the right clients who will pay and come back and how to ditch the bad customers who will eat your time, never pay promptly and create more problems than they solve
  • How to add value to products and services that don’t cost too much in time or money so clients are happy to pay more and a larger profit margin is created without more investment

I could go on but I think you can see a theme here; these are all things that can be applied to almost any business and they revolve around generating revenue. Guess what? If you can do these things effectively then you can pay other people to do all the other stuff. Believe it or not the points mentioned above are the things that are hardest to get right. You can have THE BEST award winning products and services but if you can’t get clients, can’t sell to them, can’t get paid or get repeat business then you have a broke business that is destined to fail. on the flip side if you can find clients, build relationships and trust, sell to them and take their money, you can find someone else’s products or services to give them, you don’t need any products and services of your own to have a successful business.

My first decent mentor helped me transform my tiny business that was ticking over on a few thousand very month (as it had been for a couple of years) to making 15 grand a month in just 2 – 3 months. And this was done without any external help just me and his advice. This was just the start of my proper entrepreneurial career that went on leaps and bounds from that time onward. If this has peaked your interest and you’d like to know more about my business mentoring and coaching fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch.

The Value of a Book

How To Be Lucky - BestsellerWriting and self publishing one book created thousands in additional monthly income, purely by chance but now I know how I did it, I can replicate it. I had no idea of the value of a book until I wrote one.

Writing my first book How To Be Lucky was more for my own amusement than anything else and I probably would never have had the time to write had it not been for some specific circumstances that left me with time on my hands in a quiet place to write for a few months.

Despite being a firm believer in making your own luck, writing my first book did just happen by chance and I wasn’t expecting anything out of it, I didn’t even know if I would publish it while I wrote it, I seriously considered just keeping it to myself because some of it was personal and I really only wanted to get some thoughts down on paper for myself.

Despite having some publishing offers I decided to self publish as that’s what some other published authors recommended because it’s so easy now and the cut from publishers for unknown authors is small and they expect you to do most of your own PR and marketing anyway. So I released my first book and not a lot happened.

Initially I sold a few books but not many and I guess this is when I got the bug for the first time I felt like I had put a lot into getting the book out there and now I wanted as many people to read it as possible. So I spent about 6 months researching and talking to as many of the top people in book PR and social media marketing that I could. I discovered what worked and what didn’t work and after a lot of graft, toil, trial and error my book was a number 1 best seller on Amazon. I was shocked and elated but relieved that it had all been worthwhile.

So what did I discover after becoming a best seller on Amazon? The first thing was that you can shift hundreds or maybe thousands of books in a few weeks but after the cuts that companies like Amazon and printers take, an author ends up with a fraction, plus when you factor in the costs of marketing etc. you end up with very little indeed. That didn’t bother me because it’s not what I did it for and had enough money anyway. However the second thing I discovered was the book generated income indirectly, quite a lot of money and I wasn’t expecting it at all.

Because my book had a large business, entrepreneurship and self help element to it I got people contacting me asking for advice. Purely by accident this created a mentoring and consultancy business out of nowhere without even trying.

Purely by accident I saw the value in writing a best selling book, it’s instant credibility, PR and advertising for yourself as an expert in your field. Every time I send out the screen shot above of my book at number one on Amazon I get book sales, I get inquiries, I get business, I make money but mostly in ways others don’t expect.

Brendan best seller2Immediately I wondered if it was a fluke, so after writing another book I used the same methods to make that a best seller within a few weeks. Then I wondered if it was just my books I could market in this way so approached some other coaches in other fields of expertise and created best sellers for them too. The first was for a strength and conditioning coach Brendan Chaplin and his book It’s Not About Sets And Reps. This proved to me that it wasn’t just business books and I had a formula to create best sellers for any expert, consultant or coach. So I then helped a few others create best sellers and the formula never failed.

Recently I was approached by someone who mentioned they probably couldn’t write a whole book but they could see the value in having a bestselling book and I realized that quite a few others might be in a similar situation so currently I am working with a group of people in business who have written just one chapter for our book that we will be releasing soon. They will get the benefit of being a co-author of a best selling book and having their area of expertise advertised in a book but they’ve only had to write a short chapter.

The technology and services exist now so literally anyone can put out a book but if not enough people see it and read it then there’s not a lot of value or satisfaction in it, as I initially discovered. But having a bestselling book creates a huge potential income indirectly (even if not from book sales directly) and an enormous amount of satisfaction, credibility and achievement.

If you’d like to know more about this, if you have a book you’d like to make a best seller or you’d be interested in writing a chapter for our collaborative book or even if you’d like our help getting a book written for you if you don’t have time, I’d love to hear from you. Get in touch via the form below.

Budapest Business Conference and Training

bpNew annual Budapest Business Conference and Training – Friday 5th of September to Monday 8th of September 2014 at one of my favorite hotels in Budapest.

  • How to start an additional business to run alongside your existing one with minimal investment.
  • How to go from small business to big business in a self funded way.
  • Sales training for business owners.
  • Brainstorming together to come up with some great new ideas for businesses.
  • The opportunity to go into business with me with ideas we come up with at the conference.

Because of the nature of how I want to structure the conference and training this will be limited to just 10 people.

  • 4 days in a great boutique hotel in Budapest.
  • Transfers from the airport.
  • All food included which also includes evening meals at top restaurants in Budapest.
  • Tour of Budapest.
  • 3 days of business seminar, training, brain storming and Q&A with yours truly (topics and subjects TBC).
  • Price includes you and a partner/friend.- Option to stay longer and spend additional time (with or without me) in Budapest.
  • Meet like-minded business people and make new contacts
  • Everything including food and accommodation is provided in the price of the conference, all you have to pay for in addition to this is flights (which we can help with if you need assistance finding the best flights).

The price for this fantastic trip including the conference is just £1850 GBP or $2950 USD

If you would like to join us and would like more information please fill out the contact form below so we can arrange a call and discuss it in more detail:

Are You Marketing But Not Selling?

marketing (2)In any company or business there is a major difference between marketing and selling that emphasizes all the differences: marketing departments get given a budget by the business to spend and the sales department get a target amount of money they need to make for the business.

I have seen the arguments between sales and marketing departments that go something like this: marketing dept – “We spent x thousands on Adwords, SEO and social media marketing this month and you didn’t convert enough sales, the sales department aren’t doing their job, it’s not our fault!” Sales dept – “Most of the leads were useless and you need to get us more quality leads to sell to, it’s not our fault!”

In a small business you as the business owner might wear both the sales hat and the marketing hat but are you doing both? Or are the people you employ doing both effectively?

Anyone with an amount of money can go right now and pay for instant online advertising to get clicks from Google, Likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter and any number of other offline advertising to generate interest. But does that translate into sales on it’s own? Almost never. Marketing people won’t like me for saying this but marketing is easy for most business owners; they know their “product”, they know their target audience and if they have a budget they can pay to advertise to those people. Selling and generating income is not so easy.

The major sympathy I have for marketing people is that when they execute an effective campaign but the business owner doesn’t know how to sell or hasn’t instructed the right people to sell, then the marketer will get the wrap when they actually did a good job. Equally a business owner trying to do both jobs might wonder why the money and time he invested in marketing didn’t pay off when it was his selling that let the whole thing down.

So you’ve thrown a bit of money at advertising and marketing how do you close those sales down and generate some income? Here are my top tips for selling to your leads:

  1. Make sure your marketing messages have a call to action that will lead to a sale (not just any call to action); contact form so you can call them and close a sale, buy now button, request a visit or sales call, toll free phone number to call, offer something free that will give an opportunity to speak to the potential client or email them, give special limited time offers if they buy now.
  2. Don’t try and automate everything. People still like to buy from people, get a conversation going either by email or phone. Increase your prices to make it worth you while if you have to but it’s more likely to work even with a higher price if you close a sale face to face or on the phone.
  3. Make it easy to buy. Use services that give plenty of options for payment (credit cards, bank transfer etc) and varied price levels. If they come in at a lower price service/product you can up sell later.
  4. Consider how much money you need to make every month, times that by 12 to give your annual target, divide that by 52 to give a weekly target and divide that by 5 (if you run a Mon – Fri business) to give you a daily sales target. Stick to it and work on achieving your target daily. Noticing you missed your sales target at the end of the month is too late to do anything about it.

Would you like more help and advice on this but specific to your business? I offer business coaching and mentoring from only £35 GBP or $59 USD. This is an incredibly low price compared to others and the value offered but the truth is I don’t need to do it and just enjoy helping others in business, I just charge a small fee to weed out the time wasters. If you are interested, get in touch, I’d be happy to help you increase your business income:

Why Did I Fail in Business? And How I Learned To Succeed

businessfailIf you have found yourself asking “why did I fail in business?” or “where am I going wrong with this business?” you are very far from alone. A large percentage of current fortune 500 company owners were once declared bankrupt in their past. So if they got it wrong once, there’s hope for everyone to try again and get it right.

Although I’ve never been bankrupt I was close to it at one point because of some bad decisions about who to involve in my business and my inexperience about how to generate consistent income to cover the very regular costs. Because many consultants and business authors only talk about their success and positivity, I thought I’d write a post on the things that can knock us back but also teach us the most in the shortest space of time that can propel us to success. IF we learn the lessons and don’t take it personally.

We have all heard of the American dream but actually it’s more of a western dream that in most English speaking countries we are taught from a young age. The story goes something like this: you pick a good idea, you work really hard and never give up, then you will have a great life. You are only limited by your own ambition and how hard you are willing to work.

So when you do this and fail you think; it’s my fault, I didn’t work hard enough, why didn’t it work for me? There must be something wrong with me, I’m not cut out to run my own business.

This whole idea is a fallacy though and let me explain why. If I wanted to build a huge bridge tomorrow that had to carry heavy trucks and also trains across a great span of water, that had to deal with all types of weather conditions and cope with a shifting sand bed, I would fail. I am not a civil engineer or architect, I have no idea what materials to use or what design would hold up, it would take me years to learn what I needed to know. No matter how hard I worked or how many hours I put in or how ambitious I was, if I wasn’t going to delegate the design and I wanted to do it myself then it would take a long time to learn the technical details. Why would being good in business be any different?

So many people think great ideas and hard work make successful and profitable companies. Wrong! Well executed bad ideas by good business people will beat any good idea poorly executed by a newbie almost every time.

So to be good in business you have to go back to school and study? No. Look at most of the top entrepreneurs in the world and they hardly hold any higher education between them, let alone in business subjects. They learned from their mistakes and also had good business mentors so they could take shortcuts.

I like to think of myself as a fairly humble person, I am happy to admit what I don’t know and find the best person who does. I don’t listen to friends or big mouths who shout around about their “advice”, I look for the best people and ask for their help. I have been very fortunate to have some great mentors around me that didn’t let me consider defeat but also guided me out of some very difficult situations, often propelling my business forward in a few short months by solving problems I had been quietly battling with for years.

So to summarize, here are my top 5 tips to survive failure and succeed in business:

  1. Admit to yourself that you don’t know what you don’t know. Business is a skill and an art, just because you had a good idea, you have seen others run a business and you read the Forbes website a few times it doesn’t make you Donald Trump or Richard Branson. Even they took advice from others regularly years ago AND today. I am still on a steep learning curve about business and will be until the day I die, any good and successful entrepreneur will tell you the same, no matter how long they’ve been doing it or how old they are.
  2. Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t beat yourself up because you made mistakes. Learn and move on. Restarting a business with a better plan and experience of what works and what doesn’t, without all the dead weight, debts and bad staff can often be the best and quickest turnaround.
  3. Get help from people who know business but specifically those that have created businesses of your size and made them successful. Industry sector is not so important but experience in different sizes of company is. People who have worked with a diverse number of companies is also worth way more than someone who had success and experience with just 1 or 2.
  4. Sales is king. Sales creates income and with the right level of income you can do almost anything. Great products and services DO NOT sell themselves despite what others say, especially in the beginning. Sales strategy and creating a sales focused business is not easy, it’s another set of skills and techniques that have to be learned and mastered.
  5. Don’t get comfortable. There’s a reason why shareholders in major companies like to see continuous growth even if it’s just slow and steady. That’s because standing still or even slow declines can lead to bigger problems. Any growth and progress in business, no matter how slow, is better than sitting still.

I have been doing business mentoring for a few years and since the beginning of 2014 I have been doing it on a more structured basis with great results. I used to do it for free but unfortunately that also attracted the least committed people so I charge a nominal amount of £35 GBP or $59 USD per week to weed out the time wasters and get a level of commitment. There is no minimum term so you can cancel at any time. So if you’d like to see how I can help you with your business and give some advice that will grow your business rapidly, use the subscribe button below and we can schedule a call.

This is open to anyone from any country and you can pay in any currency (PayPal will do the conversion), I have just setup the payment buttons below in the 2 main currencies my clients usually use (£ GBP and $ USD) but you can use either they are essentially the same amount.




You can enroll and subscribe for £35 GBP using this button




You can enroll and subscribe for $59 USD using this button

 

Free Business Coaching and Mentoring

cp-pAs a rule I don’t usually give anything away for free (especially my time) because people don’t always value it or take it seriously when given away but I am about to break that rule for 1 week only.

I have some free time slots over the next 10 days and I will be offering a 40 minute one to one business coaching/mentoring session on Skype to 5 people that contact me using the form below. This is not for a webinar, video or ebook, this is one to one time talking to me so you get my advice and input on your business or start-up idea.

Whether you want advice on starting a business, growing your existing business, making more profit, ideas for new products or services, marketing, selling, online strategies or just refining some thoughts you have or just generally make more money.

I have experience of starting businesses from scratch with minimal investment, turning failing businesses into profitable ones, property investing, juggling various projects at once and much more. I have written 5 business books and a few have been bestsellers so I know I have something to share with you and help you succeed in business. Get in touch. This is a limited time offer for 5 people only.

This offer is now closed. However I am still accepting a limited number of people on my business mentoring and coaching program which is only £35 or $59, click here for more info

Change From Small Business Owner to Entrepreneur

radio-micRecently I did a radio interview with Australian business consultant Mick Hawes (you can listen to it below). One of the topics we discussed is the difference between small business owners and entrepreneurs and techniques small business owners can take to become entrepreneurs, create more profit and reduce the burdens of small business.

Obviously during a short interview it’s not possible to go into depth about strategies to grow small businesses into large businesses and change from a small business mindset to an entrepreneurial one so I just wanted to highlight a couple of the points:

  • Don’t allow a business to become an emotional attachment, a business is a separate legal entity and it should never be your “baby”. This will enable you to make logical decisions instead of emotional ones.
  • Don’t buy into the myth that you can build up a business yourself then take on employees to do your jobs so you can then go and sit on a beach while your business runs itself.
  • Develop an exit strategy NOW. This could be selling to a competitor in 3 years or it could be selling shares or getting management to buy in and leave you with a controlling stake and profit share. The options are endless but be clear how this will work and stay focused on achieving your exit and when you want it to happen.
  • Delegate. Small businesses often stay small businesses purely because one person can only be responsible for a certain amount, there’s a ceiling that will be reached very quickly unless you learn to give responsibility to others.
  • Develop other projects, businesses or products that can run alongside (but separately) from your existing business. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  • How can you keep costs and commitments to a minimum whilst still allowing your businesses to grow? Can you outsource instead of employing? Can you “partner” with a supplier with exclusive supply rights to tap into their resources?
  • It’s OK to go back to the drawing board and start again with a clean sheet. Does your business have too many overheads? Is your pricing correct? Are your products and services providing enough or appealing to your client base? Can you “re-engineer” your products and services or create new ones to break into new markets and appeal to clients at different levels and create a better profit margin with minimal effort?
  • Is your business sales oriented? Telling is not selling. You must learn how to set sales and revenue targets and make sure they are met. Not just monthly quarterly and annually but daily and weekly. Do you know how to calculate those targets correctly and motivate your sales team because you know how to generate and close sales for your products and services? If you don’t have a sales team do you know how to effectively do those things yourself so you can build the revenue to get a sales team?

If you’d like to know more I am now running a business mentoring program and taking on only 10 people for the next intake this June and July. You will get direct access to me and we will talk regularly to go through your individual business circumstances and work on strategies together to create a more profitable and valuable business for you.

Here is one of the many great testimonials I have had from the last group I mentored:

KrKerry Jackson-Rider
“After having had ‘one too many’ less than positive experiences with a so called ‘mentor’ I have found Matt to be a breath of fresh air.

Naturally, I started off with an air of misplaced cynicism but the fact is there’s no BS, just plain hard facts and I have learned a lot about myself and how I have dealt wrongly with things in the past. 

Matt has encouraged me to ‘man up’ effectively and I have become much more commercially minded about my business, which I always felt guilty about before. I now know that I can develop my business whilst retaining and enhancing my desire to help and empower others.

My coaching sessions with Matt are always full on and, no matter how weird a question I ask, he is able to give me clear, actionable advice which I try to implement straight away.

I have already seen a marked increase in the number of enquiries I am receiving and, because I am handling all aspects of my business in a clearer, more focused way, I’ve also seen an increase in my revenue streams across the board. For example, my upcoming workshop for Aspiring Wedding Planners in May is almost completely sold out already due to Matt’s valuable experience in sales and marketing. I would fully recommend signing on with Matt to anyone who really wants to make a positive difference to the way they approach their business and, by definition, their life.”

What my business mentoring includes:

  • Initial Skype or telephone call with me to discuss your current situation, whether you are just starting out or whether you want to improve your existing business we will look at what you want to achieve and some initial steps and plans to put in place.
  • Direct advice from me on all the topics already discussed above plus sales and marketing strategies that really work, increasing profit margins, developing new products and services that can be sold instantly to existing customers and new markets easily, business growth without breaking the bank, growing a small business into the type of business you want and many more with the ability to email me with any questions or updates whenever you need to.
  • A separate 1-to-1 Skype or phone call every 2 weeks to discuss progress, new strategies, which steps to take next and how best to implement them.
  • My personal email address so you can email me and ask questions or get feedback any time.
  • Private group page so you can share ideas and ask questions for me to answer that might benefit the group. Network and discuss ideas with others in my mentorship group (past and present). Plus a regular online meet-up on the group page to share ideas on a set topic and do a Q & A.
  • No minimum term so you can opt out at any time when you feel you have got what you need from it.

Because you will be getting real time from me and it requires a serious commitment from me I can only take on 10 people for each group intake so sign up quickly if you are interested, the last group was fully subscribed in 6 days and because of the success of the last group and the low price of only £35 GBP or $59 USD, I suspect it will be fully subscribed even quicker this time. This is the lowest price coaching and mentoring program I have done and will ever do.

This is open to anyone from any country and you can pay in any currency (PayPal will do the conversion), I have just setup the payment buttons below in the 2 main currencies my clients usually use (£ GBP and $ USD) but you can use either they are essentially the same amount.




You can enroll and subscribe for £35 GBP using this button




You can enroll and subscribe for $59 USD using this button