Business Whisperer

“Big Business Daddy” & the Dirty Business News with Diamond

Reading business news can get boring…but not if a sultry sex operator named is reading the headlines to you instead. That’s exactly why we brought on my new friend and phone sex operator Diamond to my radio show the Business Whisperer.

From time to time, we give Diamond a call and she takes us through the top business headlines of the day. Diamond’s prices keep going up but it’s worth it…it is my fetish, after all.

Here are the headlines she read on last week’s episode, all from top news stories:

Uber wants you to catch the bus or train if they can drive you there. Ride-sharing giant is forging links with public transit systems, seeking to move from being primarily a taxi-like service.

Asian skin care shakes up the U.S. beauty market. Upstarts and legacy cosmetic companies are looking at the skincare category to boost sales.

Apple bug enables eavesdropping on FaceTime users. The feature linked to the bug has been disabled but it is a setback for a tech company that touts its commitment to privacy.

Norwegian Air seeks cash injection. Norwegian Air wants to raise 3bn Norwegian kroner ($351m) through a rights issue to improve its finances.

Army vet says he was told not to wear Trump shirt at gym. Missouri man says he was told his Trump shirt made people “uncomfortable” and was asked not to wear it to the gym anymore.

But you don’t have to take it from me…you can find out what a difference it makes to hear the news dirty style right here. Full episodes of the Business Whisperer are here, too–you might just get lucky and hear an episode with Diamond on it.

If you want access to more business advice, check out the full episode of the Business Whisperer episode that this came from on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, or right here.

Golden Gloves & a Get Fit Quick Moneyback Challenge

So…you have a business you’re proud of. You have the right talent with the right skills to draw in your target demographic. And you’ve got an untapped market RIGHT under your nose…but you just can’t seem to get them in the door, even though you know they’d be hooked if you did.

What do you do now?

Let’s say your business is a kickboxing, boxing, and general fitness gym. It’s less than 5 miles away from the largest medical center in the world–the perfect target audience. And you’re marketing to them left and right, but they just aren’t coming in.

That’s what’s going on in for Leonard, a Houston-based entrepreneur who’s ready to expand the reach of his kickboxing gym. They have a boxing champ in the house–40 years of experience and 10 championships under his belt. And right now, their demographic breakdown is 95% women and their kids program is thriving, but they’re looking to broaden to attract a wider variety of clientele.

So what have they been trying that hasn’t worked?

Right now, their highest price point is $170 a month for an unlimited package, followed by $120 a month for 3 days a week of classes. They offer personal training, but it only accounts for about 10% of their revenue. They do lots of contests with their clients–Biggest Loser style, most of the time–where they give away personal training or once, Beyonce tickets, to the person who enters and loses the most weight. Their price point is affordable and they have the talent and interesting weight loss incentives, but they only have about 52 members right now. Their goal is to get to 110 by May.

Here’s what they gotta do:

Go for Groupon

Leonard says he’s tried Groupon before, offering 75% off a monthly membership, but only 3 or so members have come in as a result. The thing is…he’s doing it wrong. This is what he’s going to do next time: He’s going to promote the unique elements of his gym on Groupon and then once he gets people in the door, he’s going to make sure they stay and bring other people in the door too. It’s passive advertising that you don’t want to miss out on.

Turn Customers into Advertisers

Every month, Leonard is going to start a new contest, and the winner gets their money back–all of it. To enter, they have to be enrolled in unlimited classes and share their updates on Facebook, so other people are seeing it. That way, they’re not only super engaged themselves…they’re also engaging the people in their networks. Then, do a refer-a-friend deal, where both the person referring and the new member get deals when a current member refers. I’d go so far as to say that those people should get a month free on either end if the friend actually signs up.

Try Co-Branded Events

If this guy’s saying 95% of his audience is women…where is he marketing? He has to partner with Nordstrom or Saks…places where lots of women shop…and do a co-branded event. Nothing major, just call the general manager of the Nordstrom and tell him, “I have a list of clients I want to give you and I want to do some sort of cross branding thing. I’m going to use you on my advertising and on my fliers.” And maybe what you’d give away in the contest would be a makeover at Nordstrom–$500 worth of clothes, because they’re going to fit into new clothes once they lose those inches. Go beyond retail too…think about where your target audience eats, goes out, hangs around, and co-brand with them. You should be getting back 25% of the referrals that come in through you.

If Leonard does these things and does them right, I can guarantee that he’ll get to at least 110 by May. Let’s see what you got Leonard! If you have a similar business, try these things out and let me know how hard you crush it.

If you want access to more business advice, check out the full episode of the Business Whisperer episode that this came from on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, or right here.

Selling a Niche Product: How to Connect Your Audience with Your Brand

How would a former marine go about developing a successful jewelry line?

Those two things don’t appear to line up at face value, but they absolutely can and do. Greg called in to the Business Whisperer podcast from Bangkok to talk about his businesses. First, he’s got a jewelry manufacturing business for other people’s brands. They design it and place the order, he makes it in his factory, they sell it.

The second brand is all his. It’s a jewelry company called The Jewelry Republic that he actually designs and then manufactures, then sells himself. The part that makes this really unique is that he wants it to align with his military past–selling sentimental pieces to military wives and the like. His target audience is people who see value in the military brand and are interested in commemorating their attachment to it with jewelry. Pretty niche, but could get big.

But when you head to the company’s website, there’s literally nothing that ties it to the military. No imagery, no copy, no related design. So it was no surprise to me that it wasn’t translating. If you’re going to go for a super niche market, you need to make sure the connection between your branding and marketing and that audience is really strong.

The best way to do that is to take his jewelry design in the military direction, integrating elements like dog tags and bullet casings into his pieces. Niche markets want niche goods, not basic and somewhat irrelevant goods that are just marketed toward them. Trying to sell basic jewelry in the already crowded market just isn’t going to work. You can’t sell jewelry that looks like it could be on Amazon to a target market of military wives–they’ll just buy it on Amazon too cause it’s quicker and cheaper.

If you’re working with a product right now and have a specific audience in mind, really think about why the hell they would choose your brand over a cheaper option. What is your angle that sets your stuff apart from the rest? If you’re a jewelry designer for military wives, the military connection is your unique angle. Make sense?

The other option is the social way of doing it where you get military wives to sell your jewelry at parties. If your jewelry doesn’t scream military, it’s not gonna go viral and you’re gonna spend a lot of money on advertising just to compete in a crowded market. But if you find military wives to rep it and give them 20% or 25%, like Avon does for example, that would be another potential option without changing up the design too much.

The bottom line is…if you have a super niche target market and that’s critical to your business model, tie everything back to that. I know a lot of guys who have lost a lot of money in jewelry because it’s such a crowded market. Don’t be one of those guys.

If you want access to more business advice, check out the full episode of the Business Whisperer episode that this came from on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, or right here.

How to Sell Beard Care Products in a Brand New Market

How do you BUILD a market for a product that people don’t even know they need until they try it? I recently advised a guy named Canuto who is trying to get beard care products on the market in Chile–a place where men haven’t typically cared about beard care like we do here in the United States. He’s selling beard oils, beard wash, and mustache wax–very niche products.

The first thing to consider is how you’re selling. This guy was targeting hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, motorcycle garages…all the niche spots where you could imagine someone might care about beard care. They were selling online, but very minimally. We’re talking 15 million pesos in salons and brick-and-mortar stores annually as compared to 670 pesos online. Big difference.

When I asked who’s out there in the stores doing the selling every day, I found out it was Canuto himself–the CEO. They’re in 28 stores, which means that he can only hit each one up about once a month in order to keep up with everything else too. When you’re selling AND running the business, you’re gonna get stuck at a certain level. The only way to get out of it is by hiring a sales rep. Hire someone talented and put them on commission. Get them to visit each of your existing points of sale monthly, checking in and re-stocking, and then give them a goal for the number of stores you want to be in by the end of the year. Say it’s 100–give them that number and tell them to GO. If they get to a point where they’re at capacity–say that’s when they hit 50 stores–hire another sales rep to do the same thing. Give them a goal and set them out to manage existing contracts and get new stores on board.

At the same time, you have to think about online sales. When it comes to online business, the secret is continuity. Take the Dollar Shave Club’s model is an example. Their whole thing is continuity and those guys are printing money. I hung out with those guys a couple times and we talked about how critical continuity is for them. In Canuto’s case, it’d be a subscription model. Someone orders beard oil and they’re automatically signed up to get another round in 30 days. They don’t have to come back and order more–they just get it.

At a certain point, the CEO needs to be the big picture thinker–the one who is creating new scents and products and coming up with ways to expand your line to include things like Vitamin E supplements that will appeal to your ever-expanding market. If you’re in the weeds selling every day, you’re never gonna get past a certain level. It just is what it is.

If you want access to more business advice, check out the full episode of the Business Whisperer episode that this came from on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, or right here.

If You Want to Succeed in Business, Set Boundaries

Here’s the thing: When you’re an entrepreneur with a big heart, you gotta be discerning or you’re gonna get screwed.

Take Clinton for example. He’s got a couple of businesses–dog training is the primary business, plus dog daycare and boarding. On top of that, his company trains service dogs for people in the community free of cost. He’s a good dude…wants to believe the best in people and focus on the good work he’s doing. Not bad qualities at all…but ones that can lead to disaster in business if you aren’t careful–tricky for an entrepreneur.

On top of that, his training business has slowed to almost a halt–and he has no idea why. The daycare element is keeping them afloat–which is why it’s critical that every business has multiple revenue streams whenever possible.

He has a lot of roadblocks. He bought a tub to give the dogs baths while they board as an upsell, but can’t do grooming cause he can’t find a solid groomer. He’s at the higher end of the daily rates for boarding in his market. The list goes on…

But the REAL problem is that this guy is a kind-hearted people-pleaser. He doesn’t set rates and sticks to them…he says “Hmm…give me $10 for this dog cause it’s small.” He doesn’t go out and sell his services far and wide cause he doesn’t want to get in people’s faces. He’s never going to be successful in his business this way.

He has to have boundaries that show that you’re worth your love and care. You gotta put a value on your work and have limits and then be proud of those limits. You can’t be everything to everybody and if people can’t pay, then you can’t get attached. You have to create a system in your mind where you break it off and say no…that you’re worth more than that, and that’s all there is to it.

Instead of expanding your business to try to make revenue through other sources, focus on growing the dog training and boarding side of things. Learn how to market your business and how to charge for it. How many dogs can you handle a day? How much will you charge for each dog? What are the upsells that a pet owner, who loves their dog like a child, can tack on? Is it food? Grooming? Flea medication? Think all of those things through and set pricing for them–non-negotiable pricing.

Come up with a plan for four strings of income and create pricing strategy for each. Then, determine how you’re going to market–how are you going to run ads and get people in for the boarding and the day care? If traditional online advertising doesn’t seem to be working, try other outlets like hospital newsletters, flyers, Groupon. Give people a week for free to try it out and then keep them off and upsell them as much as possible. The hardest part is getting people in the door. Once they see what you have to offer–the above and beyond care–they’ll be sticking around and the ad or Groupon investment will be well worth it.

Once this business is thriving, then you can do other things, like training service animals, on the side to help people for free. Think of yourself like Robin Hood–taking money from rich pet owners and using it to fund things that are really important.

If you want access to more business advice, check out the full episode of the Business Whisperer episode that this came from on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, or right here.

How to Dominate a Big City DJ Scene

I recently connected with Megan, aka DJ Ree, an Atlanta-based DJ and promoter, and she had questions about insurance coverage for the DJs she books for certain venues and how that would impact her tax-wise.

A lot of the time, DJs and promoters end up doing contract work, which can get tricky when it comes to important administrative details like insurance and taxes. DJ Ree shared one example in which a hotel she recruits DJs for needs a separate certificate of insurance for each DJ they bring on. It’s a huge hassle for the hotel and it would help her business a lot if she could take it off their shoulders. But how?

One of your best options is to get incorporated. This way, you can get your own insurance coverage that the DJs can use, so the hotel doesn’t have to handle it. Because you’re taking a huge inconvenience off of the hotel’s shoulders, I’d be willing to bet that you can ask them to pay you more too–so your margins will increase.

You can also pay the DJs you book yourself and it’s a tax write off for you, so it’s kind of almost like a wash through in a way. You’ll only pay taxes on what’s leftover after you pay the DJs, not off the top line. You can also deduct more expenses when you’re incorporated. So, there are some major tax benefits.

Plus, being incorporated protects your personal money. If someone ends up being unhappy with something you or one of your DJs does and they want to sue you, they can only get at the money that is a part of your corporation–not your personal finances.

If you want access to more business advice, check out the full episode of the Business Whisperer episode that this came from on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, or right here.

Taking Your Auto Detail Business to the Next Level

First of all, you gotta start with an entry point. You want to make sure that people who are considering taking Irish dancing lessons know what levels they can come in at. Does it require any experience? Most of the time, the answer is yes, but that’s up to you.

Then, you need to give them additional levels they can aspire to. It’s a lot like karate–someone can come in with zero karate experience but know that what they ultimately want is to be a black belt. When you set up levels, you ensure that the person isn’t going to just sign up for one round of lessons and then hit the road. If they enjoy it or even just feel driven to reach that next level, they’ll be back again and again hoping to progress.

I would recommend breaking it down even further to get as many people in the door for lessons as possible, no matter how new or advanced they are. It could look something like this:

Pre-Competition Beginner: For people with NO dance experience. — You could even offer this one for free to get ‘em hooked.

Pre-Competition Novice: For people who have danced before, but not specifically Irish dance.

Novice: For those with less than 1 year of Irish dance experience — this would be when they start competing. This is where it really gets good.

Intermediate: For those with over 1 year of Irish dance experience, but not quite expert level yet.

Expert: The instructor would determine who goes into these classes–might be a pretty small bunch, but you can charge more at this level.

Whether you’re working with adults or kids, setting up a level system that you can share with participants or parents right when the person starts will get them on track to stick with the practice over time.

That’s where marketing materials become really important. You need videos that tease the lessons–giving those away for free will get people in the door like you wouldn’t believe.

You need flyers that explain the levels and really dig into the reasons why Irish dancing is such a great activity to pursue. When you’re working with kids–and even adults, to a degree–you’re selling kids being active, fighting obesity, not playing video games, social interaction with other kids…that’s the stuff that’s important right now to parents. Include success stories about past participants who have crushed it in competition. Help people see that they can also become an advanced and accomplished Irish dancer if they take your classes.

Once they’re indoctrinated into the dream you’ve established, you won’t have to re-sign them every 4 weeks–they’ll come to you. Once someone makes it to a competitive skill level, they aren’t there just for fun…they’re there to win. So they’ll keep showing up and wanting more.

If you want access to more business advice, check out the full episode of the Business Whisperer episode that this came from on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, or right here.

Taking Your Auto Detail Business to the Next Level

When you’re always working for the business, how do you find time to work on the business?

In the automotive detailing business, it can be easy to get caught up in the detailing itself rather than building out the business. If all you’re doing is detailing and not selling your services, your growth is going to go stagnant pretty quickly. So what do you do to keep your business expanding?

First, you gotta look at your company’s specifics. Do you service individuals or businesses? What does your pricing structure look like? Are you charging by the vehicle or by the amount of time it takes to complete a detail?

Then, you gotta find your sweet spot for hiring really good detailers. What are the crosshairs between what you’re able and willing to pay a detailer and the amount that would actually attract a good detailer to work for you?

Say that number is $20 an hour–that’s how much you can pay and it’s enough for good detailers that will do the job right with little to no supervision to want to work for you. That supervision part is key…if you have to stay on top of this person all the time and you can’t fully trust their work, it won’t work out. And let’s say that it takes about an hour per detail, so you’re paying this person $20 per car.

Next, consider whether you’d be able to go out and get enough new business to cover that $20 per hour if you passed the detailing off to someone else so you could go and sell. You’d go to used car lots and dealerships to sell rather than spending all of your time actually doing the detailing. If you can say that you’d feel confident that you can get new business if you have more time, which most people could, then you can totally justify paying someone $20 for each new car you bring in, because you’ll be bringing in so much new business.

And it’ll be good for that person too, because they have a steady stream of work at a good rate…all because you’re out there selling. So you could keep doing it that way until you need to hire another good detailer cause you’ve got so much business coming in…and so on and so forth.

If you run into the issue of finding and retaining good detailers, you might be structuring your payments wrong. If, for example, you’re offering a lower hourly rate with a commission or bonuses, that can get confusing. People want to know upfront what they’re making, even if the commission or bonuses would have ended up being more than the flat-out hourly rate.

When it comes to auto detailing, quality matters. I have yet to see a detail shop that’s really good that isn’t booked out. It’s just how you go about it as the business owner–you have to step back and get solid people doing the labor so you can curate the culture and the feel and the sales of your business. It might take you a month where you’re paying somebody else to do what you would normally do yourself, but if you spend two or three hours a day going out and shaking hands and kissing babies, and really listening to potential clients about their needs, and just keep checking in with them, eventually they’re gonna throw you a couple cars. And then if you and your team does a great job, you’re gonna get their business.

Your job is a, as the owner of the business is to be a marketer and a salesperson. The best entrepreneurs out there that I know get good at sales. So get good at selling it. And hire detailers. Your weakness is gonna be that you are a detailer, so to you it’s easier and more comfortable to revert back to detailing. But where your freedom and the money is at is in selling and marketing. Don’t do the easy thing. Do the hard thing.

If you want access to more business advice, check out the full episode of the Business Whisperer episode that this came from on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, or right here.

 

From Traditional Business to Horse Dentistry: How to Communicate & Set Expectations With Clients

 

I’ve worked with thousands of businesses over the years, from more traditional marketing firms to automotive companies to equine dentists. That’s right…I recently talked to a man named Jamie in Australia who does dental and bodywork on horses. Pretty cool gig, if you ask me.

Jamie’s main issue in growing his business is client communication. He’s the technician, the manager, and the owner, so he basically does it all. He often finds himself in a position in which his clients want their horse’s performance to improve–they want the results–but they push back on his feedback or methods.

So…he wanted to know how to he can convey what his business, brand, and processes are to his clients effectively so he can cut through the bullshit and get to the results.

First of all, right off the bat, I like to tell clients up front who I am and what my goal is in working with them. I want to make sure it’s crystal clear that I’m here to get them results. To set the tone, I might say something like this to a potential client:

“I’m not for everybody. When somebody hires me, I’m expecting that we’re going to do whatever it takes to get the result. The result here that I understand that you’re looking for is you need to go from losing money to making money. You have to understand that the habits that you have got you to that point. You might take everything personally. This isn’t personal. I take what I do very seriously.”

Some people will love it. They’ll gravitate to it and, most importantly, they’ll get it. Then, we can work together effectively. It’s okay if you aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. You won’t be. Your job isn’t to appeal to everyone or to take care of people’s feelings. Your job is to get things done and, above all else, to get to result that you or your client is looking for.

Now that you’ve been real about who you are from the start, it’s time to focus on a common goal. And use those words: Common Goal. Jamie’s clients, for example, want their horses to perform at maximum capacity. So does Jamie. Everything in between where they’re at now and getting to that point is focused around that directive…and it’s not personal. It’s about efficacy and results.

So for someone like Jamie, it could go something like this:

“You are hiring me because I have a reputation for being able to fix things that nobody else has been able to fix, right? Let’s understand that’s our common goal here: to get this horse performing at the highest level.”

Trust me, the sooner you’re real about who you are, the sooner you’ll come to an understanding about how to work together most effectively, and from there it’s all results, all the way.

If you want access to more business advice, check out the full episode of the Business Whisperer episode that this came from on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or right here.

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