Friday, September 10, 2010

Counterattack! - By Brian Tracy

By Brian Tracy

When you-know-what hits the fan and the survival of your business is endangered, you must begin thinking like a military commander in battle. Often the situation is so serious that you have to step forward and make hard decisions, and make them immediately. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Military Strategy

Top military leaders have been studied going back to 600 B.C. Over the centuries, several principles of military strategy that lead to the victory of defeat have been identified. They are now taught to student officers in every military school in the world. By applying these principles of military strategy to your life and your business, you can often turn the situation around and achieve extraordinary results.

Be Clear in Your Objective

The first principle of military strategy is the Principle of the Objective. It requires that you be perfectly clear about the goal (or goals) that you want and need to get through a crunch point. In business, the practice of this principle is usually focused on goals related to sales, revenues, and cash flow. You need plans, schedules, and the right people doing the right jobs to achieve your most important objectives. Everyone should be absolutely clear about what they are expected to do, and they must be committed to success, to victory, no matter how serious the crisis.

Take Bold Action

The second strategic principle is the Principle of the Offensive. It requires that you take action—that you move forward boldly to confront your difficulties and solve your problems. As Napoleon said, “No great battles are ever won on the defensive.” Since your natural tendency when you hit crunch time is to withdraw, cut back, and play it safe, you must resist this urge and instead dare to go forward, to seize control of the situation, and to attack your difficulties with firmness and decisiveness.

Crunch Point Mantra

Whenever one of my companies has experienced a cash crunch, my mantra is, “When in doubt, sell your way out.” You cannot cost-cut your way out of a financial crisis. You have to generate revenues, and the only way to do that is by selling something to someone. Always think in terms of generating revenues from sales. Become very aggressive and focused in this area. Every single company that has rebounded from a crisis, including companies like IBM in 1991, turned itself around by focusing single-mindedly on generating sales revenues. You should do the same.

Action Exercise

Discipline yourself to focus single-mindedly on this number-one target, resisting temptations to clear up small things at first.

Advertising Magic

By Jack Lavis

Ever wondered how one creates image of one's business. How people relate a product to a specific company? Many times people ask for products by the company's name. For an example, if they want a blender they won't ask for 'blender', they'd just name the company. There might be thousands of other companies in the same manufacturing line but only a few are able to leave an impression on the customer's psyche. It's not always that the product of that company is an exceptionally good quality product; it's just that the company has managed well to create its brand name; rather it means the company has successfully reached the mass through the right advertising medium the right way.

When planning to start advertising your product, try to answer this question- What image do I want to be associated with my product? And this can be answered when you know which age group you are targeting.

For an example - you deal into aerated drinks, you can relate your product with freshness, energy, passion etc. So while advertising you would keep these things in your mind. Campaigns, banner postures- everything would reflect these ideas. The same applies to any product. It's important to know what image you want to render to your product.

Reflecting bubbly, chic, or sensual postures are commonplace. Going a bit on a different track can attract people. Your ideas and the related visuals should draw attention. Banner stands welcoming you to shops or roll-up posters are certainly good idea. Indeed customized banners are like value additions to your business and they draw instant notice.

In some events, may be exhibitions, canopies reading out name and other relevant information can be really beneficial. It has been observed that people are drawn to unusual things or perhaps, things differently shown. They associate your product to the way you advertise it. Going retro is also a good thought; anything that catches instant attention and it becomes irresistible for the customer to enter that point of sale/purchase. Giving a different look, it may mean using out of the box advertising gimmicks, can yield the desired output.

Just canopies is not the only promotional material, one should promote the product by other material as well such as outdoor banner stands. However to impart it a special appearance, one can go for banner stands available in atypical shapes like flag ones. Even bamboo display boards look really classy and perfectly go with canopies. Then the interiors also must be taken care of. It should follow the overall theme. Style, elegance can't be compromised and nonetheless, the point of purchase/sale should be spic and span. Product display also matters a lot. How you package, how you talk can make the difference. Apart from this, you can decide an elegant uniform for the sales people at your stall. The inviting style, posters, setting, and welcoming tone all together can write your success story.