EPISODE 125: BUSINESS LESSONS FROM THE BOOK "READY, FIRE, AIM" BY MICHAEL MASTERSON
On today’s episode, I wanna share a couple of business lessons from the book Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson.
Michael Masterson is a self-made multimillionaire and bestselling author, and in this book, he shares the knowledge he has gained from creating and expanding numerous businesses and outlines a focused strategy for guiding a small business through the four stages of entrepreneurial growth.
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"Selling needs to be your first business priority and the one thing you should never stop doing. There are different major functions of an online business - the one that should always be given top priority in a business is marketing."
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Topics Discussed In This Episode:
- The five areas to be great at for a business to grow into a successful business
- Why selling needs to be your first business priority and the one thing you should never stop doing
- Your priorities during the first two stages of growth
- How to use Optimum Selling Strategy to sell
- How to determine the Optimum Selling Strategy for your business
Resources Discussed In This Episode:
Hey guys, welcome back to Hack Your Online Business podcast episode number 125. On today’s episode, I wanna share a business book that I recently read and a couple of business lessons in the book that you might find useful.
I am an avid reader of business and marketing books, and I thought it would be interesting for me to share a couple of business lessons from the book Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson.
So who is Michael Masterson? Michael Masterson is a self-made multimillionaire and bestselling author, and in this book, he shares the knowledge he has gained from creating and expanding numerous businesses and outlines a focused strategy for guiding a small business through the four stages of entrepreneurial growth.
Although this book is about going from zero to a hundred million in no time, that wasn’t the reason why I picked up this book. I picked up this book because Haley Burkhead, a past guest on the show episode 107, mentioned this book in another podcast interview.
And because Haley is so smart, I thought it would be wise of me to also go check out this book.
Before I dive into the business lessons from reading Ready, Fire, Aim, if you want some sales generating activity ideas, then go to the website hackyouronlinebusiness.com/freesaleschecklist to download a list of 10 sales generating activity ideas.
Now if you want to learn more about online business and online marketing, then I encourage you to subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify or anywhere you tune in from. Even better, leave a quick review for the podcast on Apple Podcast, and if you do, take a screenshot, and then tag me on Instagram @thisischrystan.
The first lesson from Ready, Fire, Aim is businesses don’t grow big and become profitable by accident. It’s not because of luck or pure hard work. There are reasons why the great businesses succeed.
For a business to grow into a successful business, it must be very good, if not great, in five areas:
1. Coming up with new and useful product or service ideas.
2. Selling those products or services profitably.
3. Managing processes and procedures efficiently.
4. Finding great employees to do the work.
5. Getting people, procedures, products, and promotions going.
In order to be good or great in each of these 5 important areas, your business needs to be led by a person or a team of people who are very good at getting each of the 5 jobs done.
When you’re started out as a new online entrepreneur, only some of these 5 essential skills are absolutely necessary. So don’t worry if you’re not yet good at hiring great employees or creating procedures.
Now as your online business grows, more come into play. And eventually, you’ll need to have all 5 areas covered.
The second lesson from Ready, Fire, Aim is selling needs to be your first business priority and the one thing you should never stop doing.
There are different major functions of an online business — there’s product development, customer service, accounting, operations, and marketing. The one that should always be given top priority in a business is marketing.
And here’s why. All the other functions of a business are important, but without marketing, you will not have sales, and without sales you will not have cash flow. And without cash flow, you will not be able to pay for all the other functions in the business, except by going into debt, which is simply borrowing against the cash flow of the future.
Without sales, there is no online business. Before your business makes its first sale, it is just a set of unproven ideas that you are spending money on.
So in the book, Michael shares that if you are in the planning stages or the early stages of a business, this is what he recommends that you do: eliminate most of the other things you are inclined to do, such as renting an office space, buying furniture, creating name cards, creating a beautiful website, buying a CRM software, and focusing on getting that first, real sales transaction.
So if you are a creative person who decides to sell your handmade graphics on Etsy, don’t think that you’re a designer so you spend all your time designing.
Instead, selling should be your number one priority and you must act accordingly. That means spending the lion’s share of your time, 80% of your time, on marketing and sales-related activities. 80 percent of it goes toward selling and only 20 percent toward everything else like designing.
This is what Michael recommends. During the first two stages of growth, your priorities should be in this order:
2. Pushing (to make sales)
3. Improving (products and sales)
The third lesson from Ready, Fire, Aim is when you are a new entrepreneur, during the early start-up stage of your business, all you really want to learn is how to sell one particular product to one particular market.
You don’t need to acquire any generalized marketing expertise or dozens of selling skills that won’t apply to your situation. In essence, you are going to become a one-trick marketing pony - someone who can do one thing, and perhaps only one thing, very well: selling the hell out of your lead product.
And the way you do this is through something called the Optimum Selling Strategy. For Masterson, he believes that for every business at any given time, there is one best way to acquire new customers.
To determine the optimum selling strategy for your business, you need to answer four questions. These four questions are:
1. Where are you going to find your customers?
2. What product will you sell them first?
3. How much will you charge for it?
4. How will you convince them to buy it?
So question 1, where are you going to find your customers? You’ll need to start by looking around in all the likely places. Your objective is to find out not just where your competitors are advertising, but also how often they are advertising and, if possible, how much they are spending.
You want to know where the most popular locations are and what locations your competitors go back to time and time again.
Question 2, what product will you sell them first? The way you can know that is through five simple steps:
1. Find out what products or services are currently hot in the market.
2. Determine if your product or service idea fits that trend.
3. If it does, you’re set to go. If it doesn’t, follow steps 4 and 5.
4. Come up with me-too versions of several hot products or services.
5. Improve them in some way by adding features or benefits the originals lack.
Question 3, how much will you charge for it? When it comes to pricing, you need to recognize that your initial marketing goal is to achieve a certain critical mass of customers. To do that, you need to determine an allowable acquisition cost (AAC), so how much you are able to “pay” to bring in a new customer.
Generally speaking, the less you charge for your lead product or service, the more customers you will acquire. So the trick is to bring in as many customers as you can without degrading their quality (i.e., the amount of money they will spend with you in the future on your back-end products or services) or running out of cash.
Then the last question, how will you convince them to buy it? Remember there is one best way to present your offer to your prospective customer, and your job is to find out what that is for your product or service.
The book talks about how marketing copy matters when you’re trying to persuade people to buy. When you are starting your online business, you may have a few ideas about how to sell your product or service - what features and benefits to emphasize and what words to use. But the only way you can discover the best copy is by testing it.
And to be able to create great copy, there are four marketing concepts you need to learn:
1. The difference between wants and needs
2. The difference between features and benefits
3. How to establish a unique selling proposition (USP) for your product or service
4. How to sell the USP
So let’s talk about wants versus needs. Even when it comes to our needs, like food and clothing, our buying decisions are often based on wants.
Recognizing that you are in the want business will help you become a better entrepreneur, because you will recognize that you have to create want in your customers’ hearts.
You want to use emotions that will help you sell your product. So how do you create those emotions? You need to get potential customers thinking about how your product is going to enhance their lives, and the way to do that is to subject them to copy that demonstrates one or several benefits of your product.
Now what about features vs benefits? Very often, entrepreneurs talk about the features of their product or service when they are selling. But buying is not entirely rational. So to figure out the benefits, you need to ask yourself, “Who are my target customers? And why, exactly, would they want this?
Deconstruct every benefit you list into deeper benefits. If you feel that your customers are looking for success, define success in concrete terms. What, exactly, do they want? More money? More prestige? And if so, why?
Do they want a bigger home? A nicer car? What? And why do they want those things? To please their families? To impress their friends? And why do they want to please their families and impress their friends?
Keep going until you have described very specific benefits or desires that feel important and true to you. They should be based on emotions that are tempting or taunting your customers, fantasies they dream about during the day or fears that keep them up at night.
Once you figure out how your product or service can provide benefits to your customers that satisfy their deeper and stronger emotions, your marketing copy will be powerful.
So I hope you found this episode useful. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the number of business lessons you can learn from this book Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson. I bought the book from Amazon and I’m going to leave a link to the book on the episode page on the Hack Your Online Business website.
Now, don’t forget if you want to get more sales generating activity ideas, then go to the website hackyouronlinebusiness.com/freesaleschecklist to download a list of 10 sales generating activity ideas.
So I hope you find this episode very useful. Now don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast so that you don’t miss my weekly Monday and Thursday episodes.
Lastly, go connect with me on Instagram. I’ll love to get to know you and your online business. You can find me on Instagram at @thisichrystan, send me a DM and tell me you listened to this episode.
Anyway thank you so much for listening to this episode. Please leave the show a review on Apple Podcast if you have not already, it means the world to me. Alright guys, talk to you soon.
Thanks For Listening, My Friend!
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