Questions You Must Ask and Answer to Succeed in Business

A – Is your product suitable? You might have an amazing product, and maybe even an incredibly reasonable price, but if the product is not suitable for the customers, they won’t want to spend any money on it. No matter how good that product may be, if it’s not something that the customers will use, they won’t buy it.

B – Have you analyzed the market? Before you can really put out your product, you first need to know if there is even a market for it. Run test mailings and give free samples. See what happens. Check into what people are buying and see if your product can be put into the pile too. You can even look around to see if there is anything similar to your product and see how well that is selling.

C – Who are your customers? While you are researching what people are buying, also look at who your customers or desired customers are. Age, sex, geographic region, and so on. It’s much more important than so many companies realize. You would be quite surprised and how many companies do not even bother looking into who their potential or desired customers even are. Then end up marketing to the wrong group!

D – Why would they buy from you? Chances are there are a number of other companies people can choose to purchase from. You must set yourself apart from the others and give them specific reasons to buy from you, and not from your competition. You have to set yourself apart from the rest, either via price point, benefits of using the product, your own and your company’s trustworthiness, and so on, are quite valuable to those potential customers.

E – What alternatives are available? For that matter, since you know why they should buy from you, you must know what else is available so you know what you need to differentiate yourself from.

F – What does each customer cost (cost of acquisition)? Here is a more advanced question that some businesses don’t really figure out very well, if at all. First you have to figure out how much you spend total on advertising, then you need to see how many customers you have, divide the money by the number of customers and there you have the CoA. You may have the best product in the world, but if you do not sell enough quantity, or your profit margin is too low, you cannot make your business a success.

5 Proven Steps To Starting An Online Home Business

Starting an online home business is not as difficult as you may think. People from all walks of life have taken advantage of the internet and created their own businesses. An online home business allows you to reach customers from around the world. It’s a business that can stay open around the clock, 7 days a week. Here are the 5 proven steps to starting a successful online home business.

1. Your Products

One of the great advantages of running an online home business is that you don’t have to create or produce your own products. You can very easily sell other peoples’ products and get paid for doing that. There are countless numbers of different products and services available for you to sell online using this affiliate marketing model. The product owner arranges all the payment systems, delivery and customer queries. Your job is to find the customers.

2. Build A Website

To start an online home business you need a website and it’s typically this component that people worry about. But there is a wide range of easy to use software that can get your business online in no time at all. You don’t have to be a computer expert or have lots of specialized knowledge. The other option is to outsource the website build. There are plenty of website designers wanting work on freelance websites like Elance or oDesk.

3. Advertise

Adverting online makes it possible for you to put your products and services in front of large numbers of people for very little cost. This coverage is simply not possible in the conventional offline world. When you know how to advertise and market your products you can get your messages to people who are looking for what you are selling.

4. Build A List

Adverting will drive potential customers to your website, but to maintain contact with those prospects, you need to capture their email address. This will enable you can then go to them with information instead of waiting for them to come back to you. List building is the life blood of an online home business.

5. Provide Value

When somebody gives you their email address they don’t want to be bombarded with sales messages all the time. So, when you provide information that is useful to your subscriber they will start to like and have confidence in you. Then, when you do make an offer for a product, they will be more likely to buy from you because they are able to make an informed decision based on the high quality of your business and the value you provide to them.

Regardless of your age, education, technical skills or qualifications there are no specific requirements for being a successful online entrepreneur. However you will be more successful with a solid business model to work from, clear direction, training and support. If you don’t know where to start or you’re not achieving the online success that you want.

How To Make Money Using A Money Matrix

Making money can be sort of a haphazard process or it can be organized, driven and automated. In this article we will look at how the Money Matrix can be used to change your income process from haphazard and stagnant to methodical, regular and dependable.

How Money Is Made

If you are familiar with my work you know that I teach how money is made by exchange. One person has a product or service they are willing to exchange for money and the other person has the money they are willing to exchange for the product or service. When the two people or parties come to an agreement on terms, such as price, delivery and warranty, then the exchange is made. That is wonderful when it happens, but often it doesn’t happen and no money is made. What can we do then? We can take specific actions to drive the process instead of waiting on the process to happen by chance.

The Two Models For Exchange

When it comes to sales or money exchanges, there are two basic ways for an exchange or sale to happen and in the real world a sale is often the result of a combination of these two ways. Money exchanges can be either passive or active, those are the two models. When I do consulting work with people and businesses I always look to see if their business model is mostly passive or mostly active. Knowing that is crucial to understanding where the leverage points are for improvement.

For an example of the passive model suppose a store is built, the shelves are stocked and the doors are opened. Now we wait until someone comes in, looks around, finds something they want, decides they are willing to part with their money for it and makes the purchase. If we are fortunate there is even someone there to accept the money. It is a wonder anyone makes a living with this model, but if the natural traffic in the store is high enough, the products are attractive to the shoppers, the pricing is acceptable and the sales clerks are a little helpful the store will survive and the owners or investors might even make money after expenses.

The second model is the active model. Think of the active model as driving sales instead of building a “sales trap” (which in business is what we sometimes call stores) and waiting for someone to wander into it. The passive model is a bit like a mouse trap where you bait it and wait (the term in business for this is “bait and wait”) for someone to wander in and trip the trap by biting on the merchandise for a sale. In the active model we take steps to “bring them in” to see the bait or merchandise instead of waiting for the prospect to find it on their own.

You may think of this as just advertising, but bear with me and I think you will see it goes far beyond advertising. This is more of a matching process.

An example of the active model would be an art dealer that has obtained a new painting by a moderately well known artist. The dealer might go to their book of clients and prospects to see if any are collecting art by this artist or have shown interest in the artist’s work. We will suppose as they review their notes they find four clients that have either bought art by the artist or have shown interest in the artist’s work and the art dealer one by one gets them on the phone, inviting them to a private showing of the new work of art.

The four clients come in to see the work of art, refreshments are served, background on the artist is presented and the highlights of the painting featured are discussed. It is made known that the artist would like to see this piece sold before their next exhibition to create interest and publicity for the exhibition and that you are accepting sealed bids tonight on this work of art. Three clients make a sealed bid, they all come in above the reserve price, the highest one wins and this piece of art is sold. No waiting for someone to wander in to the art gallery is involved.

More Than One Way To Use A Trap

In our story with the painting and the art dealer we have a structure in place to facilitate sales or a “sales trap” much like the store where we stocked the shelves and waited, but in this case we are driving clients to the facility for sales and not waiting for someone to wander into it. We are actually inviting them, but when the art dealer touches on benefits that peak human drives you could say from a physiological view they are driven to come to the art gallery by their human drives. They feel special for being invited and who doesn’t like to feel special?

I don’t want you to think I am disrespecting the client or our prospects when I use the term sales “trap,” I am just saying when we find an interest in our product we need to capture that interest for our benefit and the benefit of our prospect or client. If the products and services you are offering have true benefits, then anyone that buys them are well served and better off having purchased them.

Don’t let the terms products and services confuse you, if you have services you offer, then your services are your products. If your products are of value your clients benefit from your sales efforts and owning or receiving the products. If not, then don’t expect repeat business or referrals and those two things are the foundation of almost any profitable business.

A Book That Makes Money

One of the necessary elements for our little story about the art dealer is they had a book of clients and prospects. Many years ago when I sold insurance I had one of these books I had compiled. Before computers were as popular as they are now and a tablet was likely to be an aspirin, I used a three ring binder and had a separate sheet for the information I had gathered on each of my clients and prospects. Clients were the people that had bought from me and prospects were people that were prospective buyers or people I hoped would buy from me.

My first goal with these sheets was to move the prospects in the front of the binder to the back of the binder behind the divider that separated my prospects from my clients and I did that by converting them to buyers. When I sold something to a prospect they became a client and were moved from the front section to the client section. The second goal was to sell more to my clients based on events that created new needs in their lives or after an interval of time had passed that we called the “sales cycle.”

If you don’t have such a book or record of clients and prospects you probably are not driving your business, you are probably waiting for someone to wander in and buy something. It doesn’t have to be a book, but you need some way to capture the name, contact information and all other available information about everyone you know. You want to put on record what they do for a living, their spouse and children if they have them, their interests, hobbies and resources available to them.

You have to know your prospects and clients if you are going to help them and helping people is what this is all about. Are you planning to make your living by providing service to people through your products and services or by doing a disservice to people? While we are on the subject, who are your prospects? We can go to the bible for that answer to where the lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” The answer in the bible was a man in need, not someone that lived nearby, not even someone the man knew, but it was a person in need.

And who is your prospect? A prospect is a person in need that you can help.

At times we all need something, even many different things. That makes pretty much everyone a prospect and worth knowing a few things about them. If they never buy anything from you they still may be able to help you with a sale or project and if not, then help them anyway. You can’t help people without in the long run it helping you.

This information on your prospects and clients is the first part of the money matrix.

The Definition Of A Matrix

There are several definitions for the word matrix, but this one serves our purposes: “A gathering or array of things that in combination are the origin of something new or result in an outcome created by ordering and connecting elements.” It is almost like someone said, “Let’s write a definition that no one can use!” That is a bit vague and not something you would talk about at parties, but it is a start, let’s find an example that helps us understand the definition.

In math we often see a column of numbers that are arrayed or arraigned in a way they can be more easily added together to show us the total of the numbers. This column is a matrix made of individual items that create a new result when arrayed or arraigned to be easily combined into a total.

Scott’s useable definition of a matrix: “A matrix is a way of moving things around until they are in some sort of order where they make sense or are actually useful.”

For the Money Matrix we record information and move it around until it is useful for us and we see a sensible way to use it to make money.

I can give you a dozen numbers to add together with each number on a separate sheet of paper and the total won’t be obvious or easy to determine, but write them down in a column and you can easily see how they add up and where to carry over numbers into the ten’s and even hundred’s or thousand’s columns. Arrange a few small, single digit numbers so that they form a column and you can often tell the total at a glance. In this case the total is the answer. Getting the answer at a glance is the power of the matrix.

The Money Matrix

Think of a Money Matrix as being like a spreadsheet or a checkerboard. In either of those there is a place, little boxes or squares, where you can put something. In our matrix we have an entire column for the names of our clients and our prospects, with separate boxes or places in that column for each of them. We also have little boxes to put all of the information we have collected about them. We have their contact information, their spouse’s name and employment if applicable, their occupation, their interests, their hobbies and any resources they have. It wouldn’t hurt to know the names of any children, all of the birthdays, anniversaries and any other social bit of information we can reasonably find.

I don’t stalk people, I chat them up. That means I ask questions and I listen. I pay attention to what they are saying. Ask a man what he did for the weekend and if he spends the next ten minutes talking about fly fishing you can be pretty sure he is interested in fly fishing. Ask a woman what she does in her spare time and if she proceeds to explain the intricate points of scrap booking or making custom cakes you can be pretty sure she is interested in those things.

Don’t prejudge people, women may be computer programmers and engineers these days and men can be participants in cupcake competitions. Listen and let them tell you their interests. Ask a few questions and most people will be glad to talk to you if the two of you were properly introduced and you aren’t following them around with a recorder and a clipboard in hand as you ask questions.

Using The Matrix

Now the fun begins, you are going to play matrix match maker. Your friend Bill at work has been trying to sell his old car that he didn’t trade in when he bought his new one and it isn’t going well. The wife wants the thing out of the yard by the weekend. So you say, “Hey Bill, if I could help you out by selling that car for you would it be worth a couple hundred dollars?” Bill says it is worth that and more.

You get out your matrix and it jogs your memory to remember that you know three people that have children about driving age and just might be needing a good used car. You get them on the phone, one mother says she is interested and come Saturday her daughter has her first car, your friend has a few extra greenbacks in his pocket and a happy wife. You? Well you have an extra three hundred in your pocket out of appreciation from Bill and for playing matrix match maker. Not bad for a few phone calls.

The car story is just a fun little example, but it teaches you the basic process. This is just the start. What if you substituted companies for people? Your company has a new product to offer, but you don’t have an existing market. Get out the matrix and see what lines up. You may have to make a few phone calls to find that one of your existing customers has a branch that just might could use your new product and that the people that do your document storage has a division that markets new product lines to key buyers in your field. If you had not done a little small talking with people and made a few notes on the conversations you probably wouldn’t have remembered that the sales manager from the document company just came from his company’s marketing division for this job.

I know a man that makes a living by playing “matrix match maker” with odds and ends. He matches people up with everything from cars and furniture to land and boats. He doesn’t have what most people would call a job anymore, but he makes more now than when he was working in a professional career. After a few years of doing this type of thing people now ask him to find things they want to buy, but they can’t find or just when they don’t care to spend the time looking for them. Matrix? He has lists and lists and is putting them into the matrix format all of the time.

One Matrix, But Many Uses

I hope you can see how anyone can use a Money Matrix. If you are a store owner that wants to sell old stock to make way for new merchandise and uses the matrix to find and invite their special customers to a private sale or a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company that is looking for a way to get an appointment with the director of a new medical center and uses the matrix to find someone that can provide the introduction, you can use your own matrix for your own purposes and profit as you help others. If you want to make money by exchanging products and services the Money Matrix is a tool you can use to drive sales and create income in an active business model.

Don’t wait for money to wander into your pocket. Use a Money Matrix to find connections that you can use to drive sales and make money while serving people.

What To Do Next

Don’t wait for someone to come looking for you to make a purchase, start looking for them. This is only an introduction to using a matrix to drive sales, but I think you can see how powerful it is when used with a little discipline and some creativity. Put some thought into how a Money Matrix can work for you and then work on your own matrix. Put some work into making a matrix and it will work for you.

If you would like to learn more about making money and building wealth I am pleased to offer you my new eBook, “Empty Pockets” as a free resource. It is a book covering the reasons most people are not wealthy and how to fix them.

Just click on the link: Empty Pockets for more information. You will also find more free resources and a few offers on my list. My website is:

I not only do coaching in the area of wealth, I am a Strategic Life Coach and as my schedule permits I offer a no obligation coaching experience to show you the value of coaching in areas of life from wealth and health to relationships and careers for people from all walks of life. Allow me to help you achieve your goals and change your life. Just click on the website to contact me and schedule your coaching experience as my schedule permits. There will be no expense to you, the appointment and materials for this introductory session are all on me.

Best and be blest, Scott Hogue The Strategic Life Coach

Disclaimer: In any area where there is risk you must consult a professional in that field that knows your unique circumstances. Scott Hogue is an educator and does not offer professional advice. If you chose to use any information provided you proceed at your own risk. Any companies or trademarks mentioned in this article are the property of the owners and any reference to them is not to be considered an endorsement of the author or article and neither does the author endorse them.