Here is a transcript of an interview Siimon had with Jack Delosa. They talked about business marketing, money and why people fail.
“What are the reasons people fail?”
I ask Siimon as he sits across from me in a black Mercedes.
“Well there’s a stack of them…”
He says laughingly,
“and I’ve experienced most of them.”
Although he’s built one of the largest and most successful Business marketing Sydney groups to come out on Australia, Siimon remains intimately connected with what entrepreneurs in the start-up phase must do to stay ahead.
His overall message is clear, “Pick one thing and become the greatest in the world at it.” Siimon illustrates the importance, particularly in the early stages of business, of knowing your core business activity and sticking to it. “There’s so much competition, unless you specialize and unless you focus, why should anyone go to you?”
Although SME’s and corporations can diversify into other markets, Siimon argues that that’s not how they got there.
“What happens is that we see successful companies and see that they do many things, but what we sometimes don’t realize is, how they became successful is they owned one niche and they became an expert at it.”
While building The Photon Group, Siimon went from a two-man band, to owning over 50 companies, most of which were still in the growth phase of their business.
He talks about the importance of business owners and entrepreneur not only focusing on one thing, but being efficient in the way they develop their model.
“We get stuck having meetings, talking to staff and doing emails, all this peripheral stuff that is not actually generating new income.”
“70% of your time within the first year of a new business should be spent on sales and business marketing. And that’s not the case; the research shows that 11% of a business owners and entrepreneur time is spent on sales and business marketing. But that’s the stuff that keeps you alive.”
Siimon indicates the keys to marketing are what he refers to as “recency and frequency” and that by systematizing, and wherever possible automating the way you market to prospective clients you will create a cash-generating machine. All it takes is focus and discipline.
“Often it’s the recency and frequency with which you have contacted a client that gets you that client. It gets you on the short list and gets you top of mind and this makes them want to ring you or go and buy your product and service.”
By automating this frequent contact with your target market, Siimon explains that you will remain top of mind for the client.
While in advertising business coaching, Siimons’ companies would contact prospective clients 16 times a year. Most of these contact points were automated, and some were managed by a person who had it diarized to contact prospects each and every week.
“We moved from people hearing from us once a year, to people hearing from us 16 times a year. And that’s everything from articles that were useful, phone calls, presentations or inviting them lunch or sending them gifts or sending them books or giving them a birthday card.”
A move which obviously paid dividends, “What happened was that numerous times we’d be put on short lists for big accounts, simply because we had recently contacted them when they wanted to look for a new ad agency.”
For small business owners and entrepreneur Siimon explains the importance of applying this strategy.
“Have a calendar of contact points, so that you know that over the course of 12 months you’re going to be hitting your target market, this many times and in this many ways. And diaries it.”
He encourages entrepreneurs to experiment, particularly during the early stages, with different business marketing strategies and different business models.
“Keep refining the model, the organism gets healthier and eventually you’ve so refined it that it looks magic to a competitor because they can’t understand that it was tiny changes that did it. It just looks so far ahead of everybody else that it’s incomprehensible.”
Siimon indicates that having the right mentors around you, who have “built a business themselves or can show you tangible results they’ve produced with other clients” can make the difference in the success of a venture.
In a protest against the slow and theoretical based teachings of universities, Siimon has recently built a business school, The Fortune Institute, best business coaching to educate entrepreneurs who want practical business education, quickly. With all his successes Siimon still spends an hour every day, learning something new.
“People with a learning mindset beat everybody else. They just beat everybody else.”
He explains in business coaching that talent is overrated and that the persistent learner will out-perform the talented every time.
“I don’t have to brighter than everybody else, I don’t have to have more money than everybody else, I don’t have to have more luck than everybody else, I just have to out-learn everybody.
And that’s a very easy thing to do because almost no one is focused on continual learning.
If you spend even one hour each day learning, and then the rest of the day applying what you learnt, you would revolutionize any industry. You would be a top-performer.”