I usually don’t read magazines with a highlighter in hand, but Jason Fried’s article on making money in the March issue of Inc. had me scrambling for one. Paragraph after paragraph, I found quotes I wanted to remember because they were so dead-on.
Below are my four biggest takeaways, in the order they appear in the article. I recommend you read the article for yourself – -there’s a lot of food for thought there.
“Making money is not the same as starting a business”
How often do people launch a business because they have a technical skill? What they don’t realize is they also need to know how to turn that skill into money. It’s one thing knowing how to fix a car. It’s another knowing how to market that skill, to charge for it appropriately and ensure you turn a profit.
“People’s reasons for buying things often don’t match up with the company’s reason for selling them”
You may want to sell your product because it’s got this nifty new feature in it that’s highly technical and really gets you excited. But your customer couldn’t care less. What they want to know is that this new feature will save them time or money. Beware of using technical jargon when trying to sell your products; don’t think in terms of what you find interesting. Think in terms of what benefits the customer will get from buying the product.
“People will pay for things they love”
The above quote was from a section on charging for your products. So many times businesses are afraid to charge what the product is worth. Fried says if you have a quality product you should be charging for it. After all, you invested your energy into creating the product, so be proud of it. He also says charging for a product makes you want to make it better.
If you give something away, what incentive do you have to keep your customer happy? On the other hand if they’re paying you for the product or service, now you’re motivated to make sure they keep liking it and buying more.
“Remove the fear and people will be more willing to pay you”
This is about overcoming your client’s hesitation to try your product. To put this concept into practice think of a way to reduce the risk of a purchase for your potential clients. Maybe you can offer a money-back guarantee. If you provide training maybe you could offer a free repeat of a class.
When we ran our custom picture framing business we had a design guarantee. Sometimes clients would be afraid to make a decision on a mat or frame. Even though it looked great in the store, they were afraid they’d get it home and it would look awful. We told the clients if they got home and decided they didn’t like the design, they could bring the frame back and we would only charge them for the difference in any new materials that were used. This removed the hesitation about placing their custom framing order.
Time to read the rest
The above are just my lessons learned from Fried’s article. When you read it, something different may jump out at you. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.