If we are what we eat, then I might be in trouble. Among other things I was thankful for last Thursday is that I've become better about my nutrition. But in the past I've enjoyed everything from steaks to hot fudge sundaes, so I sure hope I don't become a big hunk of meat with a cherry on top.
Here, though, I'm not talking about food. I'm talking about the eight "Ate" words that can get you to financial freedom in a Cash Machine. A Cash Machine is the best way to build wealth, even when the economy is slow. And the steps are as easy to digest as applesauce.
1. Generate. First, generate a few product or service ideas that would make good businesses. These ideas must be simple enough to quickly become viable, revenue-generating ventures.
2. Percolate. Pick the best idea. Get help from friends and advisers. The winning product or service should convert into a venture in days, not months, and generate revenue in months, not years.
3. Duplicate. Find a successful, similar business. No need to reinvent the wheel. Scope out your community, give the company a call and see if its leaders will advise you. We're not talking about competing tycoons here. If the local market is small and you're viewed as competition, check out another town or search the Internet.
4. Delineate. Paint By Numbers meets Business Plan. Define the model company's product or service, the basics of its operation, its marketing strategy, the revenue model, its team and their jobs. Then outline the same plan for your business, changing the particulars to fit your specific offering, capacity, constraints, and market. Distinguish your Cash Machine with a distinct benefit.
5. Motivate. Despite the myth, there is no such thing as a self-made millionaire. A team will help you get your Cash Machine up and running fast. By enrolling others to help you, you can help them get on the road to wealth and achieve their own dreams. Find complementary skill sets. No team needs two accountants and no marketers.
6. Activate. Many people are very good at steps 1-5. It's the actual action-step that stumps them. I'm all about action. Better to move forward and make a mistake than to sit still in security. You can learn from a mistake and move on, better off. The only thing you learn from sitting still is that your butt gets bigger. Once your model is chosen and your team is in place you can go-go-go. Find your customers and share your idea. Word of mouth, emails, a web site and flyers can be efficient marketing tools. Then follow through with quality and excellence.
7. Accelerate. Offering the product or service to several consumers will most likely yield you a few. The key is to place the message with the few and yield the many. That's why advertising works well. Find cost-efficient ways to cast a wide net through much-seen venues such as web sites, newspapers, radio and even inexpensive cable TV spots. Or, find your target audience in concentrated groups, such as specific organizations or locations. For example, if you're offering a high tech workout sock, see if the local fitness clubs will let you put a flyer on their billboards.
8. Replicate. Once you've figured out how to go through the stages of a Cash Machine, do it again. In other words, rinse and repeat. Then you'll get the bonus-ate, and you can celebrate.