I just finished completing the Altitude Business Quiz created by Eben Pagan at http://www.freebusinessquiz.com.
Below are the results.
Here’s your rating and analysis based on the answers you gave to our online quiz. It looks like you have some fantastic opportunities in your business!
Question 1: How often do you communicate with your prospects and customers?
Your Answer: More often than once per week
If you are really communicating with your prospects and customers more than once per week, then you are in the TINY minority of businesses who are “on track” in this area.
Inside of our businesses, we try to communicate with our prospects and customers at least three times per week, and often more.
Money-Making Tip: If you don’t know what to send to your prospects and customers, ask THEM to tell you. Send out an email that says “Hey, I’d like to know if you have any questions for me that you think others like you would want to know the answers to. Please email me your questions, and maybe I’ll feature them in my upcoming email newsletter.”
Simple, effective, and ENGAGING. You can then take the questions you receive, answer them at your leisure, and create an email newsletter that you can broadcast to all of your prospects and customers – virtually for free. This makes a FANTASTIC high-value communication sequence that converts prospects and customers to additional sales like crazy.
Question 2: How would you describe your marketing “lead generation” systems and conversion process?
Your Answer: I generate the leads personally, and convert them personally
If you are actually the one generating the leads and converting the leads to sales… personally… then I have some very disturbing news. You ARE your business. And there’s no two ways about it.
Your business cannot survive without you. It can’t grow without you. It has no value without you.
In fact, it’s even worse than that. I had to give you that bad news before I could deliver the real bad news:
You don’t have a business. You ARE your business. And the business is you. You cannot sell your business (most likely) because no one wants to buy a business that’s holding a hostage!
If you want to make your business more valuable, more fun… and give it the ability to grow and scale rapidly… then you’re going to need to learn a new way…
Question 3: Once you have acquired a customer, how many of your own products and services do you offer them, and how long does the relationship realistically last?
Your Answer: 2-10 products or services, relationship could last at least 90 days
This is what I consider to be “about average” for a business. A few products and services, and a relatively short customer relationship “life span.”.
Fortunately, you’re in a place where you have an AMAZING opportunity right now.
If I were you, I would take out a piece of paper and spend an hour brainstorming the following:
-A list of products and services that deepen your relationship with a customer
-A list of products and services that are “higher end” than your current products
-A list of products and services that create “recurring revenue” or “continuity revenue” – meaning that the customer “subscribes” and pays monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc. for them
Next, I’d choose the products and services that combine making the most profit with extending the relationship with the customer the longest, and then get out and test them as soon as humanly possible!
You could be sitting on a CASH COW, so get out the feed and let’s make this thing grow!
Question 4: Which marketing approach or philosophy creates the highest short and long-term profits?
Your Answer: Word-Of-Mouth Or “Viral” Marketing
This is actually a trick question.
Each type of marketing, or each philosophy of marketing is right. In fact, they’re all right. But, until now, every marketing “camp” has argued that it is the only “right” way, and that all the others are wrong.
This is complete insanity.
The reason why Direct Response Marketers say that “Branding” is stupid is because the Direct Response Marketer doesn’t UNDERSTAND Branding.
The reason why Word-Of-Mouth marketers don’t like Direct Response… is because the Word-Of-Mouth marketer doesn’t UNDERSTAND Direct Response.
Would it surprise you if I told you that there were more than 10 approaches or philosophies to marketing?
And would it surprise you if I told you that most businesses only use ONE form of marketing, thinking that it’s the “right” way?
I believe that if you understand each of the key marketing philosophies, approaches, and techniques… and then you COMBINE them together to form one marketing strategy, you can not only attract far more prospects and customers, but you can create a competitive advantage that is almost impossible for your competitors to overcome.
Question 5: How fast has your business been growing on an annualized basis?
Your Answer: 20%-50% per year
At this pace, you are probably experiencing some of the minor “growing pains” that we all go through with a rapidly-growing business. You’re creating and changing teams and departments, launching new products or services, and putting infrastructure and systems in place rapidly.
At this rate, you’re in between “slower growth” and “hyper growth” so you have some wiggle-room to make decisions, plan for the future, and install systems.
If you want to grow faster, you’re going to need a very important ingredient: EXPERIENCE.
You need to find experienced businesspeople who have grown businesses to many times your size. This will be your “secret weapon.” They’re not easy to find and recruit, but it’s worth the time and energy to find and hire them. They’ll save you massive amounts of wasted time and energy trying to “reinvent the weel.”
Question 6: How often do you track and report your key business metrics and numbers, such as incoming leads, conversions, sales, expenses and cashflow?
Your Answer: Every 30 days or longer
I hate to say it, but you are very average in this area. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing!
But seriously, not tracking your numbers creates a massive problem that you don’t even know about…
Let me explain: Most of us business owners have a common feeling inside. It’s a feeling that we can’t quite put into words, but it’s always there. It’s the feeling that something might be going wrong in our business, and we don’t even know it. I think you know exactly what I’m talking about.
So why track all of the key numbers in your business, anyway? Well, the simple answer is that tracking your numbers gives you a feeling of SAFETY and STABILITY. It is like a heart-rate monitor that’s hooked up and running every single day… and giving you valuable feedback about the health of your business.
I recommend that you choose your top 3-5 key numbers in your business (and I’m talking about metrics like number of leads, number of sales, dollar volume of sales, expenses, bank balance, etc.) every single day. It takes a few minutes to look them up and put them into a spreadsheet, then press the “charting” button to create a visual display.
The daily visual display of your key numbers creates a “dashboard” that will act like the instruments in the cockpit of a jet. It will update you virtually in real-time, and even better, it will begin to program your mind in a way that gives you an AMAZING sense of control and stability in your business.
Try it for 90 days, and if it isn’t the single most important thing you’ve ever done to bring a feeling of understanding and control of your business, then email me and I’ll print these words on a piece of paper and eat it!
Question 7: How many times do you interview someone before hiring them?
Your Answer: 3-4
You’re doing better than most companies that I’ve worked with, but you can still make some fantastic improvements.
Here’s a quick story: I went to a business networking meeting about four or five years back, and I got into a conversation with a man who was familiar with Google’s hiring practices. He told me that Google interviews candidates seven times before hiring, MINIMUM.
Seven times. Seven interviews. AT A MINIMUM.
As soon as I heard it, I knew that Google had more under the hood than anyone realized. I knew that they were putting together a talent ARMY that was going to dominate.
How did I know? Because I was interviewing some people up to 10 times before hiring them, and I could see the benefit!
Why is it a good idea to interview someone so many times? Because you can have several people on your team meet them, and different people have different ways of perceiving and understanding other people. You’ll get insights from your team that you would have NEVER come to on your own.
If you don’t have a team, ask friends and other business owners to interview prospective team members. Get several opinions, even if you have to PAY for them. You only see the world through your eyes, and there’s a LOT that you’re missing.
Another reason to interview someone this many times is because you’ll get to see how consistent they are, how well they follow up, how pro-active they are, and how detail-oriented they are. Patterns will emerge. It’s like getting a “free trial” working with the person as you get to know them.
Interview prospective team members 7-10 times, if possible. Trust me, you’ll thank me down the road.
Question 8: What is the percentage of your time you spend working on the structure, strategy, and systems of your business vs. the percentage of your time doing the actual work of the business?
Your Answer: I spend about 50% of my time on the structure, strategy, systems and around 50% doing the actual work
When you reach the point that you’re spending half of your time working “on” your business, and half or less doing the “work” of the business, you are definitely moving in the right direction. You are evolving to become a successful business leader, time manager, and value creator. And you’re on the road to creating a business that has value apart from you.
Now it’s time to turbo-charge your growth and success, and I’ve got a surprise for you: You’ll most likely get MORE growth, MORE optimization, and MORE success if you take MORE time to work on the higher-level aspects of your business.
The more systems you build to automate processes, the less you’ll have to pay attention to them later. Next, you must continue to invest time to learn how to create streamlined, predictable, automated systems that get the work done and report the numbers back to you reliably and consistently…
Time Leverage Tip: There is always a way to better leverage your time and energy, get more results with less effort on your part, and set up systems so that you don’t have to worry about whether or not your business is stable. As an exercise, write down three things that you currently do in your business that take up your time, but that SOMEONE else could do if you found them and trained them. Now go find them and train them! Every time you can free up more of your own time and energy you free up the most valuable resource in your company.
Question 9: How often do you get away from your business to relax, rejuvenate, and recharge… and to get some “Altitude” and perspective on your business and your life?
Your Answer: I regularly take time off, and get away for at least a solid week every 3-6 months… where I completely unplug
Good. This is the minimum that I’d recommend to anyone who doesn’t want to feel like a slave to their business, and to anyone who wants to get some of the benefits of renewal, rejuvenation, and getting perspective on their life and business.
If you will start spending more time “unplugged”… on a more regular basis… I think you’ll see that it just continues to yield more of a payoff and more results
Question 10: What do you plan as the “end game” for your business?
Your Answer: I’d like to grow my business, keep it, and run it profitably
If you’re planning to keep your business and run it as a “lifestyle” business, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First, you may not be able to attract certain “Star Talent” because they’re looking for a business to work for that might someday be purchased… or that might someday go public… so they can “cash in” on their hard work.
Second, you may wind up involving yourself in many areas of the business that would be better off without you… because you identify yourself with your business, and you want to be “needed” by your business. This may not be the case, of course. But it’s valuable to keep in mind, because it reminds you to create a business that runs without you, so you’re freed up to enjoy your life, spend time with family and friends, and continue to grow and contribute as a person.
Finally, when you’re building a business to keep and run, you might not be looking for the “highest level” expert advice… and instead think that “good enough is good enough” in key areas.
Even if you don’t plan to sell your business or raise money, it’s probably a good idea to get experienced experts to look at your operation, advise you on how to grow, and continue to “up your game” in every way. This is the path to building a strong, profitable, stable business that will go the distance and give you an income stream for many years to come.