I’m going to teach you the three keys to having a successful business. Now, this is something that I had to learn the hard way because truth be told, I always thought business was too complex for me… I’m not saying that I’m not a smart person, I’m just saying that the idea of understanding business just seemed really difficult.
“Surely running a business is something you have to go and get a master’s degree for it. Some expensive institution before you can be successful.”
It took a while for me to realize that most of the business owners that I knew didn’t have higher education. Most of them fell into the business from a skill that they were naturally good at. Ultimately it looked like anybody could run a business if they could just understand it. In order to be successful at something, you have to take something complex and make it simple.
You need to learn the key elements that make something easy for you so you can be one of the best at it. I realized that business seemed so complex, I had no way to narrow it down. So I spent a lot of time rather than reading business books, spending time with business owners. It was something that my dad had instilled in me, the importance of hanging out with business owners.
The Three Elements to a Successful Business
It’s something I kept up with and the more I spoke to business owners, the more I realized that there were really only three elements to a successful business. Sure there was understanding the hiring processes, accounting, your financial department, marketing, data metrics and all this other stuff. But ultimately it only came down to three things that every single business needed to be successful.
If you could get your head around just these three elements, then you could run a successful business, or at least a business that was capable of making a hundred thousand dollars a year or more. Those three things can be remembered by AIM. The three elements are an Audience, the ability to Influence and Merchandise.
I’m going to break down each one of those in full and explain to you not only what it is, but how you can get better at it and how you can use it to build a business. But in short, to give you the overview, with the three elements of Audience, Influence and Merchandise, you have a business.
The First Key of Business: Audience
So first you need an audience. A group of people that are willing to purchase what you have because ultimately you can have the best merchandise in the world, but if no one knows about it, then no one’s going to buy it. So you need to think, where is your audience? Who is seeing the things that you have to sell next? You need to focus on your influence. That’s your ability to sell something to someone.
If you’ve got the best product in the world and you’ve got a giant audience of people that you can talk to, but no one in that audience knows about the product or knows how it will help them, how it will serve them or why they need it, then no, one’s going to buy it, and ultimately, if no one buys your product, then of course, you don’t have a business.
The Second Key of Business: Influence
So you need the ability to Influence. Even the best products in the world need a way to be sold. The purple mattress was one of my favorite elements of this. The purple mattress is something that’s been all over Facebook, there’s ads for it everywhere, you may have seen it. Famously they would put an egg on the mattress then dropped a very heavy glass sheet on it. The egg wouldn’t break because the purple mattress is so conforming to your body. But before it was purple, this mattress actually didn’t sell very well and they hired a marketing company to come on board and help them sell more of the mattresses.
So you can imagine the Purple Mattress is now one of the highest sold mattresses in the world. It used to make no sales whatsoever, simply because people didn’t understand it or why they needed it. The same thing happened to the Ora Brush Tongue Scraper as well. Once again, the Ora Brush Tongue Scraper was out on the market for years and no one wanted one.
Then they hired a marketing company to come on board and help them understand the best way to sell it and improve their influence, and it started making more money.
So you need influence. If you want to be successful, you can’t just rely on having a good product. Then finally, we come down to Merchandise, which is the product itself. Merchandise doesn’t have to be a physical product. It can be a service that you offer. Maybe you clean cars. I had a car detailer that worked with me for a while and we helped them build their car detailing business. But it can also be a physical product.
I’ve worked with some clients in the food and beverage industry and they’re, of course, selling a very specific product. Or it can even be education. I’ve got a number of education clients that are selling trainings and lessons. The point is, the merchandise can be anything, but you have to have merchandise. Otherwise you’re going to have some very unhappy customers who’ve given you a bunch of money and not received what they want.
The Third Key to Business: Merchandise
So in order for you to have a successful business, you really do need to simplify it down to the simple concept. If you can simplify it down to just these three elements, do you have an audience?
Do you know how to sell to that audience and influence them so they’re willing to purchase?
Lastly, do you have a merchandise, an item or a service that you can sell them?
As long as you have these three things, you have a business and all of the other bits you can learn separately.
You can learn about the correct business structure, whether you should have an LLC or an S corporation or a sole trader or whatever it is you’re going to do, you can learn about what legal requirements you need. These elements are all out there and easier to understand, but don’t start with those little elements that keep you in the weeds, start with these three key things.
Do you have an audience? Do you have the ability to influence or do you know how you’re going to influence it? And do you have merchandise? If you have these three things, you have a business and you can be successful.
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