This guide is split into two sections, the first is about the future. The second will help you get there.
In 2017, Amazon added yet another patent to their drone delivery technology. It looks like something a school kid would draw up whilst doodling during a boring lesson in the ancient art of Mesopotamia or such like (you can see it here).
Also in 2017, Walmart filed a new patent. This one is for a floating warehouse. It comes complete with a squadron of drones to deliver its contents to anyone who wants it.
In the latter case, how brilliant is that! Who needs the expensive land deals when you’ve got an unlimited amount of un-monetised airspace (“sky-tax” is sure to follow).
Faster Better Cheaper
Humans are brilliant at finding new ways to do things that are faster, cheaper and better. We love short cuts, no matter how outlandish they may seem.
And that’s the point really. Successful people are successful because they spot opportunities others don’t see. Followed by fast execution.
But that’s not all.
The opportunities they spot just happen to include a gigantic ready made audience (and that audience doesn’t even know it yet).
Which tells you all you need to know about opportunity and success. It’s never been about the invention or the product. It’s always been about the audience.
Finding Your Audience
Finding your audience is the key to success. But without some spark of imagination in the ideas department, you’re never going to be able to identify it.
Here’s the steps any entrepreneur needs to take to launch a successful product:
- Dream up something amazing that hasn’t already been done before.
- Identify the number one problem that product or service solves (you could switch this with the first one – but that would be boring, obvious, and no fun at all).
- Do everything you can to identify the people who need that problem solving now.
- Build the cheapest possible prototype you can.
- Try and sell it to them – and listen to every objection they give you.
Objections Are Your Gold
Those objections are your Gold, and the key to building a product they would actually buy (show me an entrepreneur who gets defensive and I’ll show you a loser).
Speaking of ideas, the idea of floating warehouses and goods delivered by drone has sparked off an idea in my head…
The delivery network globally is plagued by one massive problem – people have to be in to accept a parcel of value.
There’s many ways to fix this problem, but they’re usually an inconvenience to the end user.
Since the world will eventually deliver most things by drone, the solution is to deliver them to the roofs of the recipients’ houses.
In other words, a roof bound “delipad”. Just like a helipad, only much smaller. There is of course the problem of the weather, but that’s just a detail 🙂
It might even be some kind of weather protected chute that connects the roof with an internal mail box.
Bring on the drones.
The 3 Golden Rules
Looking at the future is by far the best way to build giant companies, but that doesn’t help anyone who needs to get it done now.
If you’re a start up, then getting investment money to keep you going for a minimum of 6 months is vital (or make sure you have at least that in cash in the bank).
But really you need 12 months worth of cash. Most startups fail due to running out of money (and then it’s back to the job market again).
Once you feel secure enough to know you’ll last at least long enough to get some serious sales in, then you will feel more relaxed about things and can focus on the 3 Golden Rules of business success.
- Know Your Audience (see the bullet points above).
- Experiment with Paid traffic until you make a profit (profit is defined here as getting in more money than it cost you to create the sale – including the cost of any goods you sold if that’s what you do).
- Scale (the first milestone is creating enough profit to pay you a living wage).
Pay Per Click
We’ve already looked briefly at rule number 1 – Know Your Audience, so let’s continue with rule 2 – experiment.
The fastest and cheapest possible experiment is pay per click (PPC) using Google Adwords.
Once you’ve got something to break even or better, you can optimise it and reduce the cost even further, but the key thing is to get it to break even without optimisation.
Do that, and you most definitely have the simplest possible business model that works.
PPC ads on Google need to be simple.
- The headline will be a simple promise.
- The call to action should be straightforward.
- The landing page should align with the ad.
- And the offer should match or exceed the promise.
You don’t need need some kind of fancy sales funnel at this point (that would be part of an optimisation process done later)
It’s not about building a list of prospects you can sell to later (unless that’s your strategy because you know you cannot sell direct in one go for some reason).
You just need to prove there’s a market out there, and it’s willing to pay the price.
Keep experimenting until you have a result.
How To Scale For Success
Part of experimentation is to learn to segment different sections of your audience.
The tighter you define a group within your audience, the easier it is to write compelling sales copy.
Of all the things that lead to success, this is the most overlooked.
People worry that if they only concentrate on one group of people, they will be ignoring others and therefore will be leaving money on the table.
And that’s perfectly correct. Every word.
But it’s not the point.
Becoming successful with one group is far easier than trying to conquer the world.
And if you cannot dominate one segment, you have no hope at all of dominating it all.
There is only one strategy, and that is the strategy of divide and conquer.
It’s the oldest known strategy, and by far the most successful.
And it’s the perfect solution to scale any enterprise.
You become the specialist over and over.
HSBC’s slogan “The World’s Local Bank” is a great example of this – except they’re actually telling you what they’re doing instead of doing it covertly (like everyone else).
If you can make PPC work in one specific market, then you are already at least one step up the ladder on being able to duplicate it in another market.
A Faster Way To Scale
As a bonus, what if there were a way to divide and conquer even faster?
Well there is, and you’re already familiar with it.
It’s called leverage.
Discover leaders in every segment, make friends with them, then make them an offer they can’t refuse by offering them exclusive partnership deals.
By now, you already know your margins.
So you can happily offer them the best possible commission deals that no one else in your market will be able to offer.
Loss Leader Back End Profits
The ultimate way to even more success is to use the loss leader strategy to grow your audience to extraordinary proportions by developing a rich upsell path to existing customers.
That means developing your back end system so you never leave any customer out of the loop.
This is the ultimate in optimisation, and will ensure any competitors find it almost impossible to compete unless they have significant backing themselves.
That’s because they cannot get past first base (getting to break even) because you’re already undercutting them.
This is why it’s so important you ensure you’re offer is exclusive in some way to the market.
Don’t Be A Commodity
If you’re just another option people can choose from, you’re already on a path of intense struggle and frustration.
Try to find that one thing that makes you stand out as the only choice in your buyer’s mind.
Then and only then is it worth persevering with everything you’ve just read.
If you want to find out more about that, check out The Number One Club.