Necessity - the Mother of Invention
Marketing Keys borne of Necessity
Necessity is the mother of invention.
So speak to an inventor!
An inventor of Marketing ideas that really work!
There is a massive amount of useless knowledge 'out there' on-line, written by people who have never done it.
They're paid writers - at best, more likely robots churning out the same unoriginal, uninventive, recycled text. Such robots do exist, for SEO purposes, so you can recycle the same content but written in different ways, to avoid Google penalising you for 'duplicate content'. THAT is why so much of what you now read on line about Marketing is so repetitive.
I read some books on marketing and sales in the late eighties, and applied the ideas and systems to my then job in Insurance Sales. I was on commission and a then reasonable salary of £7k. Within a couple of years I was earning more in commission than in basic, which was not how things were intended by the creators of the commission levels. It was not a business that paid peanuts and forced you to rely on commission - £7k a year was a good starter salary in the 1980's. You could buy a house for £7k around that time.
Within 4 years I was on £30k, a huge salary in the mid eighties. More than the average price of a house at the time. I became area sales manager and was teaching the other sales people to copy my marketing and sales system. The Company did so well out of one product I sold that the MD was able to sell out to Sun Alliance for a few £million.
This was a service that earned the princely sum of 10 pence a unit in commission. All the other sales people did not consider it worth their effort getting out of bed for a few 10 pences. They changed their mind when they saw I was earning £1500 a month in commission on this one product, month in month out, on auto-pilot. For I'd spotted one thing they did not see - a lot of ten pences add up to a diamond and I had a diamond of an idea. The idea was dead simple - all I did was change the label on which the product was sold from an 'opt-in' to 'opt-out' wording. One line of text changed on a sticker. 'Opt-out' marketing was legal in those days, so instead of a 5% sales rate, the sales rate rose 95%, by just changing a stick-on sticker.
Every now and again I will look up a new marketing and sales book for new ideas and do you know, there is hardly anything new in any of them? There has been one extraordinary exception to this recently - a diamond of an idea that is so brilliant I am applying it to great effect in my wedding business right now. Generally though, the writer is simply repackaging basic principles of sales and marketing under different names to make them sound original.
Calling A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) a Principle Buying Reason (PBR) instead, or replace SPACCO with some other mnemonic to measure of the sale process, the principles and ideas are still the same as they were in the seventies and eighties. It is just the means of communication that have changed with technology, from print to on-line.
I agree the Internet did change everything, but that is a different story about which more on other pages. And it is not all about SEO, there are other ways....
Useful knowledge, Useable and Innovative Marketing Keys that you can use right now to unlock hidden cash in your own service business, such know-how is precious and rare, like a Diamond. And of great value.
In our Business Marketing Audit -
let me lay down a challenge to you personally
Could you increase your sales by at least 25%
using our Marketing Keys?
On this rather lengthy website you will learn how I have done this,
a few times, in my own business
Back in 1990 I was 'bankrupted' by Lloyd's of London. I lost £300,000 in 4 years as a 'Name' at Lloyd's (about £1.5m in today's money).
This huge sum was three times the equity I then had in my private residence.
It was 10 times my then quite reasonable salary from a sales job selling insurance.
And it was 30 times my annual profit in a small home business I had been running as a side-line at weekends.
Spurred on by Lloyd's losses, within a couple of years I'd turned that same small home business I ran as hobby/ side-line (a cleaning agency making £10k a year profit), into a £1m franchise, earning £300k annual profits.
After Lloyd's of London lost me £300,000 (based on house prices now, £1.5m in today's money) the pipedream of franchising my Cleaning Agency became a necessity.
Faced with the failure of my first method of franchising and getting subscribers (publishing a book to sell for £96, all about the Agency, that no one bought), and my initial abandonment of the whole idea, yet more Lloyd's of London losses came along a year later. These forced me to sit down, annoyed, and say to myself, "This has to work, I have no choice now."
Necessity is the Mother of Invention. Necessity forces you to turn dreams into reality. When your own life is turned upside down, as business inevitably has its up and down cycles, what is normal and ordinary gets tossed aside. You have to believe in the Exraordinary. Do the abnormal and make some extraordinary things happen. Do the same as before, and the next downward cycle knocks you down.
Making Money in a business for most people is a dream - and yet, 50% of businesses do work. Better odds than the lottery (which we all have a flutter on, despite odds of 14,000,000: 1).
Enough to pay off Lloyd's of London debts within a year, and go on to buy a new London House every second year, for cash - read more here.
Spurred on by my successes with my home business, I got cocky. I got confident. I believed it could never end. That I was invincible. I even thought I was clever (you're only as clever as your last Marketing Idea, leave it a few years between Ideas, and you're not so useful).
OK, so I made a mistake.
I thought my little home business would keep on working forever.
It worked fine until about 2007.
I was so confident it would just keep on working, I actually bought the castle in 2000, without a survey and without running a mile as I should have done. I thought, it doesn't matter what it costs to do up, I need to absorb some of the profits and I can put it in the Company and offset its renovation against the profits from the cleaning agency.
I strongly objected to the tax-take on my £300k profit - over £100k a year - criminal! So I happily blew £3m doing the castle up, which saved about £1mi in tax, as it easily absorbed all the profits and made the combined enterprise 'break even'.
All perfectly sensible for tax purposes, so I thought.
And it worked...
...until the first business went into reverse and I could not fix it.
I slowly realised I had to make the still derelict Castle work as a business in its own right. It had to support itself.
The story of how I did this and am still working on it, began with another useful new Marketing Key - link-building on an industrial and systematic scale. I employed two full time staff on links.
I was not doing link-building by posting on forums etc, this was all done back in the early 2000's long before SEO experts started talking about link-building on every SEO forum going. Read more here.
Since then I have tweaked the marketing of the Castle in many fascinating and novel ways. I have had to continually find some very good Marketing Keys to keep unlocking more cash from it to make it pay its own way and to fund its own restoration.
2018 is proving a very tough year. We're on course to lose £100,000 as our Expenses are exceeding our income. Wedding sales are doubling, yes, but the bookings are for next year and the year after, while this year we are suffering from our own under-pricing, and simply not being as busy as we need to be. In 2016 and 2017 there was over-reliance on Last Minute Packages because we had not forward sold enough bookings in previous years to cover our increased costs.
In 2018 we had a chef who claimed to be Michelin trained who could not cook, so employed an army of staff to cook for him! We had a Front of House who could not manage the Bar or Cellars (part of his job) and knew less than I did, which is saying something. I can at least change the real ale and clean the taps and lines but he was beyond training even in that. He was invited to leave, and was so disbelieving of the fact he was being fired, he smiled at the Manager and said "You're kdding me right?" Aggrieved, he then shopped us to Environmental and we lost a couple of stars on Food Hygiene as it transpired the aforementioned chef could not complete Food Hygiene forms either.
We had a complete changeover of wedding planners yet still sold more weddings than ever.
Marketing is a necessary endeavour. I have no choice. You have no choice. It is also fun, when it works.
Every now and again I discover a real golden key. A key that to any other business could be life-changing for the owner. But for me, it's just another turret or gulley I get to repair.
I would not keep thinking up ideas but for HAVING TO spend £200k on restoring the castle each year, and a similar sum again on the mortgage and just living. I suppose I need about £400k of surplus cash a year. Actually, I could do with double that or maybe triple, to really get on with things.
OK you might say I'm basically just spending too much.
I completely agree.
My own needs are very modest.
Do you know, leaving aside the chore of making money for a moment, what real happiness is?
Let me tell you.
a Bailey Pegasus in a farmer's field
surrounded by mooing cows
- with views over open countryside
Yes, it's true.
To be honest, I'm happiest in a caravan in a field. Green is a known soothing colour. The more green the better - fields and countryside, the most relaxing place to be!
The best investment I ever made was my Bailey Pegasus touring caravan.
I bought it second-hand for £9,500 and have averaged 108 days a year touring in it - Wales, England, France, Switzerland, long stays in Cornwall and Devon. That was before I lived in it permanently, when moving to Dorset for 8 months in 2017.
In 2011 I was once again losing so much money that I went to my bank to borrow another £700k or so, just to tide me over for a year and to carry on renovation work. I thought I was being quite conservative and precise about that's years income needs.
But the suits just scowled darkly, or maybe they were just puzzled. The bankers went away and then told me they wanted all their money back.
Just when I needed the money.
No idea of service! I even had to put my castle up for sale to keep them happy.
Then I found another new Marketing Key and double my castle's event income in a year - read more here.
Do you know you can live in a caravan with a large awning for £10 a night inclusive of heating, lighting, water and waste, in a farmer's field, on a Caravan Club CL site?
It's the ultimate escape to the country, the ultimate freedom. And no overheads. Best done on your own probably. Not so good cooped up in a touring caravan for a whole year (2017) with a regular family.
So my advice, is join the Caravan & Motorhome Club, stay on a CL site for as long as you can get away from it all (OK you do have to keep swapping sites every 21 days to be legally 'touring', which is a bore) and in a year you can save virtually all your salary. Just find a field near where you work and let out the house. Fine if you're single! (and have a house to let out and can manage your business without being there 24/7!)
Not living in a house yourself means you do not need much furniture. You do not pay council tax, oil, electric, water charges, insurance etc, so you save even more. I did this in 2017.
Off we went to Dorset. We moved to Dorset in the caravan for the school terms, so the children could go to a nice school. Climate in Wales is very wet and Dorset is like a different country. Well, England IS a different country from Wales of course.
In our Business Marketing Audit -
let me lay down a challenge to you personally
Could you increase your sales by at least 25%
using our Marketing Keys?
More and More
need adding or refining
Over the years I have added to my Marketing Keys. I now have a key-ring full of them. I know I will need more keys in the future.
The need for more innovative marketing and sales processes to meet and overcome each new challenge or difficulty always creates new opportunities. Whenever costs threaten to overcome income disastrously, I've managed to find more marketing keys that unlock more cash into the business that, up to that point, I didn't know the business was capable of earning.
Had I only known about all my Marketing Keys earlier in the business's life, I would be a much wealthier man. Would this make me happy? That's not a question for this site. What I can say is just as I have made millions with my Marketing Keys, I have also lost many more millions by not discovering them earlier.
One business has all but collapsed, yet would have been saved ten year ago, had I found one of the Keys I now use in another business, sooner.
There is so much written on the internet by people who are not in business, that you cannot see what works because the writers have not applied what works to a real business, as I have done. Top marketing consultants own marketing consultancy businesses, because they can market their consultancy business well, but they are not marketing YOUR business or a business LIKE yours. I am, at least I am if you are in my services sector or a related one.
Each new Marketing Key unlocked new money that was hidden to me, that up to that point, I never knew could be made. Levels of sales and income I previously only dreamt of, remained a distant dream - until they became 'necessary'.
Necessity Makes Possible
the previously Impossible
Believe in this, for it is so true. When you HAVE to do something, you'll do it. Inertia and lack of self-belief are the 'disablers'. An understanding of Nature and Evolution tells you that everything tends to improve, this is your 'Enabler'.
For all successful species evolve, naturally, to cope with the challenges of their environment. Nature just keeps trying till it gets it right. Marketing is no different and success is inevitable as long as you keep trying, just as failure is inevitable if you never get started, if you suffer inertia or a disabling lack of self-belief. If you never adapt or even try to adapt, that is failure.
They say Edison took 1,000 attempts to get his incandescent light bulb to work, yet now we all take light bulbs quite for granted. Indeed there are now many different types of light bulb. It is the same with Marketing and Making Money. It takes many attempts to (i) find, (ii) recognise what you've found, and (iii) apply a Marketing Key that works, and like today's many types of light-bulbs, there are many types of Marketing Key.
It takes many attempts that do not work, to find what does work. You can take a short-cut by following and applying what others have made work. This is why people buy franchises.
More importantly you can also scrap the 'disablers' - lack of self-belief and inertia.
Hire your enablers - a positive can-do success attitude, and get on and DO something.
Every day get up and do something new. Inertia begone! Naysayers begone! Kill that lack of self-belief and you'll just KNOW improvement is as inevitable as Evolution. Provided you keep testing, keep trying, wealth and business success is inevitable. As inevitable as failure, as every failure is a prompter to Success.
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