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Why do some businesses grow to enormous while others fail in the first five years?
90% of businesses fail in the first five years and of the survivors, 90% will fail in the following five years. Business is not an easy game.
Consider the average realtor; Average realtors make less than $40,000 per year and do 12 transactions or less. You see realtors printing their faces on park benches, printing their faces on note pads and mailing them to strangers, and sending letters that say it's the "perfect time to buy and sell your home" (which makes no sense). If it's the perfect time to buy, it's not the perfect time to sell and vice versa. However, because Realtors make such great commissions, buying and selling is always good for them (perhaps not for you).
These self employed salespeople do some of the most ridiculous things to hunt and "kill" new prospects every month. It's a proven fact that it takes 7x more effort to sell to a new customer than an old customer and yet, most realtors, business people and entrepreneurs are running around chasing new business when they should be focusing on their existing business. Existing customers are much more likely to do business with you than new customers, yet most of us do not consider the lifetime value of an existing customer.
This year I did 12 joint venture deals and I learned very quickly how valuable pre-existing customers are. I was originally planning on doing 12 deals with 12 different partners. However, after acquiring 6 partners, my existing partners were lining up to do more deals with me and I didn't have to pick up the phone to call on new business; such is the magic of existing customers.
My goal in this upcoming year is to strengthen my current relationships with my partners and grow my business organically by emphasizing my new mission to create partners for life. If we do the math, we actually do not need very many customers to make a decent living. I saw a book a few years ago targeted towards independent musicians and the premise of the book was "you don't need a record label". The message of the book was that with 1000 paying customers, you can make a decent living in the music industry. Many bands have more than 1000 fans, yet the bands do not bother to create ongoing relationships with those 1000 people. Since most bands don't build 1000 relationships with their fans, the band members have to work at McDonalds to keep the music dream alive.
If you are in real estate investing, you need less than 10 customers to make a very comfortable living and can even become very wealthy by establishing less than 5 partners for life. The lifetime value of a few good relationships is more than enough to send both you and your partners to higher levels of wealth.
Build your relationships vertically rather than horizontally, keep in touch with your customer base, know your audience and give them what they want. We are all standing on very fertile soil, we just need to work the land and reap what we sow.
Thanks for reading,
Thanks for reading,
By: Stefan Aarnio
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