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

 

New Business Coaching and Mentor Program

Entrepreneur schoolUpdated June 2nd 2014: Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you the fastest way to move forward in business is to get a good mentor to show you the shortcuts. I recently read Richard Branson often had 3 mentors at any one time.

I also had 4 different mentors that helped me in my business career and they knocked at least 5 years off the time it would have taken me if they hadn’t given me the advice and encouragement I needed at the right time. It’s the kind of tailored advice that you can’t get from a book or a generic business course and it’s absolutely priceless.

For 2014 I am launching a new coaching program starting from next week for only £35 or $59 USD per week. (cheaper if you choose to pay monthly or quarterly).

Because of my other commitments and time constraints this coaching program will be limited to just 10 people.

What you will get:

  • Make your existing business more profitable by creating new products or services, refining existing ones, creating easier revenue streams and winning totally new clients on a regular basis
  • Start a new business. If you have always wanted to start a new business or be self employed but not sure how to start and you want a mentor to get to all the shortcuts then this is the perfect way to get started
  • Help you create and refine ideas for a new venture or business. If you always wanted to be an entrepreneur or be self employed but feel you lack the ideas then I can certainly help you over that hurdle and generating more ideas than you know what to do with.
  • Create an effective marketing campaign to build a bigger and better following. The cornerstone to any successful business is a great marketing strategy to get the message out there to all your potential clients who don’t know you exist and what great things you’re offering
  • Work on new sales strategies to close more sales and generate more income. Telling is not selling. Work on a specific sales strategy that works for you, that gets more money coming in and more happy clients on the books
  • Encouragement and methods to motivate you and move your ideas and business forward more quickly. Running your own business can be lonely and draining at times so staying motivated and pushing forward to better times is easier with a coach and mentor
  • Draw on my experience of various successful business from technology companies to property investment to selling books. Reading books and getting a few bits of advice now and then is OK but sometimes you need the benefit of someone’s experience that has actually done it and can tell you what you need to know quickly and regularly, when you need it

How it will work:

  • A tailored program just for you with one to one coaching on the phone or Skype at a pace that suits you
  • Set targets to work towards through the program and my help to ensure you achieve your targets and real tangible results
  • 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.
  • 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 this so sign up quickly if you are interested. This is the lowest price coaching and mentoring program I have done and will ever do. I would have made it free but whenever I have offered free coaching I get a lot of time wasters and I hope a small payment commitment will keep that to a minimum but make it accessible for all those that want it.

This is for the June/July 2014 intake and strictly limited to 10 people. If the subscribe button is still showing below then I haven’t reached the 10 enrolled clients yet and you can sign up but if the subscribe button isn’t below it’s because I have reached the maximum number but you can use the contact form to register an interest for the next intake later in the year.

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  

Great Product vs Great Marketing

picsmcSo you have the best product or service at a great price, the few customers you have just love your business and what you do but you can’t understand why it’s so hard to get new clients when your competitors with inferior products and services with higher prices are getting new clients and making more money than you? What’s the answer? Marketing!

I get asked all the time why a business is under performing compared to the competition and it’s almost always the same answer; the competition is spending more on more effective marketing. This is often backed up with a more effective sales strategy that is closing more deals because they know that “telling is not selling”.

I am sorry if this sounds rude but the general public are lazy, they want easy, convenient, simple, uncomplicated and often whatever is in front of them now because that’s the easiest option. Even more discerning clients will often opt for what they know because further research is too time consuming and they need something fulfilled now.

If you are not easy to find or (put basically) in their face, you will struggle to get sales and new clients.

What are your successful competitors doing that you are not? Firstly they are probably delegating their marketing to an expert. Every business owner knows that you can end up wearing all the hats in a business; the bookkeeper, the sales person, web designer, marketing manager etc. This is OK but only up to a certain point, it is very difficult to be a master at all of these things and despite what you might think, you may just not ever be cut out to be great at some of these things. Stick to what you are good at and delegate the rest where possible.

I know many very profitable businesses that make awful products, with terrible customer service and bad websites, yet they still get new customers and plenty of repeat business because their marketing and sales are the largest and most important sections of their business. But I don’t know many successful businesses that have an amazing product but limited marketing and sales capacity. Many businesses have been built on sales and marketing strategies alone, very few businesses with only a great product but no sales or marketing survive for very long.

I am not saying that is how it should be and it’s quite sad, but that is just the way it is. Your potential clients’ human nature dictates that.

What marketing should you be doing? This depends on your business and who you are selling to. All marketing is a punt in the beginning but you can make some educated choices. This is where many go wrong. For example it’s easy to phone a local newspaper and pay a large amount of money for an ad or start a pay-per-click Adwords campaign and spend hundreds in a week or two, get no new clients and give it up as a bad idea. Who designed your ad? You? Did you write it based on how it works rather than the benefits? Did you offer something free or cheap and then got surprised the people you attracted didn’t want to spend money? Did you target a demographic that don’t read newspapers or click on Google ads? This is why it’s often best to spend more on the sales and marketing people than on the ads themselves.

Let me give you a personal example from my own experience. When I launched my first book back in 2011 I had no idea how to promote myself or a book. The businesses I had been involved with required business to business sales which I was good at, but I had limited experience at that time of promoting myself and a book. In the first month of that book release it sold about 30 copies. How much did I spend on advertising and marketing in that month; about $1500. So my return on investment was zero, in fact about minus $1350. It has done very well since then but the first month was very poor because I wasn’t experienced enough in the areas of marketing and PR for selling books at that time. After working with (and paying for) advice and training from some of the top people in book PR and social media marketing my next book sold 600 copies in the first week and was a bestseller in 3 categories on Amazon. what was the cost of using specialists and the marketing budget for the new book; about $750 (half of the previous budget for first book launch). ROI? Hard to calculate because there were discounts and promotions but also because the book sales generated consultancy work that I would have to calculate that in too. Put it this way; I made more than my investment back in the first week and it has continued making me money since.

Regardless of the exact figures, it’s plain and simple to see the difference between the two book launches and the returns.

There has been a seismic shift in marketing in the last few years away from old print advertising and old online ads to new media and new online marketing techniques and it has taken me 3 years working with some of the top people in the business to learn what works so don’t be surprised you or “experts” that haven’t kept up are struggling. It’s not an easy thing to get right.

If you would like some help with marketing your business or just to share your experiences I would really like to hear from you. Get in touch via the form below and I will email you back.