“Ready, Fire, Aim”
“Zero to $100M in no Time flat”
by Author Michael Masterson 12/09 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Getting the Best from your Business
The areas that a business must be very good at, to achieve desirable results.
1. Coming up with new/useful product ideas
2. Selling those products profitably
3. Managing processes efficiently
4. Finding great employees to do work
Four Stages of Business Development
Stage One: Infancy – Zero to $1 M in revenue
Problem: You don’t know what you are doing
Challenge: Making the first profitable sale
Opportunity: Continuing to sell until you have achieved a minimum critical mass of cust.
Stage Two: Childhood – $1 M to $10 M
Problem: You are only breaking even or may even be losing money.
Challenge: Creating additional, profitable products quickly.
Opportunity: Becoming a business of innovation, increasing cash flow, and becoming profitable.
Additional Skills Needed: Coming up with a constant stream of new and potentially tipping-point ideas.
Stage Three: Adolescence – $10 M to $50 M
Problem: Your systems are strained, and customers are noticing.
Challenge: Turning the chaos into order.
Opportunity: Learning how to establish useful protocols and manage processes procedures.
Additional Skills Needed: Running your business with just 3 or 4 simple Mgt reports.
Stage Four: Adulthood – $50 M to $100 M ++
Problem: Sales slow down and may even stall.
Challenge: Becoming entrepreneurial again.
Opportunity: Getting the business to run itself.
I think one of the most important features of the book is what Michael calls the Optimum Selling Strategy or OSS. While these may seem like common sense guidelines, I think you’d be surprised at how many people don’t ask themselves these questions:
1. Where are you going to find Customers? Imitate your competition, then do it your way.
2. What are 1st Products to sell?
3. How will you convince Customers to buy it?
Once you’ve determined your OSS and you’ve gotten the ball rolling, ask these questions to optimize your OSS:
1. What other similar products can we sell?
2. How can we make the offer more enticing?
3. What other media should we test?
Dont play the Cheap Game. Cheap price means to the customer that the quality is also cheap. If you want to have a lower priced item to attract customers, surround it with more expensive items to give it perceived value.
Stick to Core Values. Remain only one step removed from your original product / service that you know how to do well. The further away you get from your original, the less likely you are to succeed.
The “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach is the premise that some planning is involved, but don’t spend extensive time on a Biz Plan,
1st make sure someone wants to Buy your product.
2nd Create a short Test Marketing plan and then try it out! If your product gets good acceptance, great! If it doesn’t, modify it or try something else.
The aim of Ready, Fire, Aim is to accelerate failure to figure out what works & what doesn’t. In shortening the amount of time spent on planning, you are able to try many ideas quickly and at a low risk, low cost. Both of these benefits are music to my ears! Once you do find an idea that works, work on it – to make it better.
Comments: What do you think of this approach? Is there anything you could add to this?