Your email list is losing subscribers instead of gaining them.
You haven’t made a sale in weeks.
It’s been too long since you signed a new client.
We’ve all experienced a bad month (or months) in our business, but do you know why?
There are five major threats that are facing your business at any given time.
Before I share those ideas, I want to go over the five major threats that are facing your business at any given time.
- Your direct rivals
A direct rival would be a company, individual, or organization that does exactly what you do (or pretty darn close) and offers the same kind of results that you offer.
In 2019 I would be surprised to hear that someone is operating in a category of one with no rivals. There are ways to reposition yourself within your space to put you closer to being a category of one, which is a very powerful position to be in.
But for the most part, that’s really difficult to do.
Coca Cola was a category of one at the beginning, but they Pepsi Cola and other soda companies got into the market to build out that category.
In many cases, there are people who have been doing what you’re doing a lot longer than you have. There are companies who have been in the market longer than you have been, companies with deeper pockets, more authority and credibility, etc.
All of that can be a huge threat to your business.
- Substitutes and alternatives
A substitute or alternative is someone who doesn’t do exactly what you do, but it’s close enough that a potential client can go to them as a substitute for the product or service you’re offering.
For example, at Best Seller Publishing, we have our ghostwriting program and our book coaching program.
There are companies that don’t have the ghostwriting piece, but they do have elements of the coaching piece.
There are also plenty of individual ghostwriters who don’t really know how to have a business or attract clients, making it difficult for individuals to find them.
Regardless, both of these are substitutes to what we do. Another example would be someone who is deciding that they’re ready to write a book, but they’re not ready to do it now.
So an alternative would be someone who’s not ready to do anything at all.
In fact, what we see on most of our one on one strategy session calls, are people choosing to kick the can down the road saying it’s not a good time for them, or they’re not ready to get started.
So that thing that’s been on their bucket list for the last five or ten years just gets kicked down the road and their process of waiting continues.
To us, that’s a major threat because we’re unable to bring on those people as new clients to our business.
- Powerful Buyers
The internet has obviously been an amazing tool for the last 20 plus years, but it’s really taken the power out of the hands of the sellers and into the hands of buyers.
If someone wants information on what it is that you do, or maybe they just want to learn how to do it themselves, they can figure out how to do it via YouTube or Google.
If they have the desire to do it on their own, they can.
- Powerful Suppliers
Most of what we do lives on the platforms of other companies.
For example, most of the marketing and advertising that I do is done on Facebook and Instagram which are both owned by Mark Zuckerberg and his company.
They’re a hugely powerful supplier.
At any point, they can say that they don’t like what you’re doing on their platform and they can cancel your ad account.
That actually has happened to me.
It ended up being a huge misunderstanding but they choose to operate with the method of shoot first and ask questions later, which is not the most ideal when you’re spending $50,000 a month on ads.
The same goes for Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc., where a lot of our content lives. These powerful suppliers can choose to turn the key and shut us off which could potentially be a huge threat to our businesses.
- The threat of Market Entry or a High Fence
Maybe you’re a new business and you’re not on people’s radar yet, or maybe you were successful doing one thing for a long time and now you’re moving into consulting or coaching so you’re not well known in that area.
This would be called a market with a high fence.
There are other companies or individuals who are far more well known in the space than you are. They’re at the top of people consciousness in that space. They don’t think about you, they immediately think of X.
That’s a high fence.
Someone like Tony Robbins has built a very, very high fence in the world of personal development because of the amount of marketing he does, the number of huge events he’s done, and the number of clients he’s helped in the past 40+ years.
So these five threats to your business are there at any given time.
There are other things too, such as a good economy vs. a bad economy, trends, etc.
Why do I bring these threats to your business up?
To talk about how you can use your book to combat these threats.
When it comes to direct rivals in your industry, you are going to find that only the people at the top are the ones who have written a book and only a percentage of those books have become best sellers.
If you’ve already written a book on your industry, you’re already putting yourself on the same level as those individuals. When your book becomes a bestseller, in addition to great PR, you are then put at the very top of your category.
If you have direct rivals as competition, and you most likely do whether you know who they are or not, then you should insulate yourself with your bestselling book and media appearances at the top of the food chain, instead of somewhere down the line with everyone else.
The same is true in terms of substitutes or alternatives.
Only the best clients will want to work with you because of what you’ve done.
Today I had a one on one call scheduled, which is a little unusual for me because I don’t do those often, but someone reached out directly to me who was a C Suite Executive for a Fortune 100 consulting company.
He runs the entire Russian division of this company.
His email caught my attention because he emailed me directly saying he purchased and read “Publish, Promote, Profit” and he was amazed by it.
I kept reading and he explained a bit about who he was and I thought wow, this guy really is somebody I want to have a conversation with especially because, amongst all of the substitutes and alternatives out there, he chose to read my book and reach out to me.
We had a brief call and we talked about his ideas for his book and what he wants to do with it. He told me he really wanted a book to position him in the space as something more than just a C level executive at a Fortune 100 company.
I explained what we do at Best Seller Publishing and our process. He said “Great, what’s the next step? How do we get started?”
And that’s how the conversation ended.
There was no selling that needed to take place. There was no posturing, no Ben Franklin close.
It was simple.
I’m viewed at the top of the food chain because he got my book, on his own, went through it, and saw me as a direct fit for what he wants to do.
This is someone who’s looking to work with the best of the best.
If you have someone who’s looking for a substitute or alternative to what you do because they don’t have enough money… to say it nicely… let those people go to your competition.
If you have enough of a flow that people see your value, you’re going to be able to charge more which means you’ll be able to offer a better product or service to give them the results they want.
When your book becomes a best seller and you have some great TV, radio, and other media coverage, what will happen?
You’ve built the fence.
You’re the one who’s built this high fence that your rivals will need to climb over to get potential clients attention because now people are looking at you, because of your book.
However, this means there’s work to be done.
Sometimes someone just buys your book and is ready to get into a contract with you, like what happened to me today, but for the most part, you’re going to have to do something proactive with your book.
Being proactive with your book means you’re putting it in front of your ideal client.
I often talk about doing that with paid advertising and using other people’s platforms such as podcasts, print, TV, etc.
I also talk a lot about creating your own media channel which could be a podcast where you talk about elements within your book, starting your own blog, a YouTube channel, etc.
All of that gives people great content and it also positions you at the top of the food chain.
You wrote a book to be the Nordstrom in a world of Walmarts or Burberry in a world of knock offs.