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The importance of business home study courses [PODCAST]


PreneurCast is a marketing + business podcast. Each week, author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.

7Levers.com is LIVE! In this special edition, Pete and Dom talk about the 7 Levers of Business Home Study Course, and also Preneur Platinum, the private members area where they hang out, give insider info and answer your questions about all things Preneur.

Pete and Dom give insider info on the 7 Levers Course and Preneur Platinum

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Episode 057:
7Levers.com is LIVE

Pete Williams: Mr. Dominic Goucher, how are you doing?

Dom Goucher: Mr. Peter Williams, I am well.

Pete: Got some exciting news for this episode.

Dom: Indeed. Welcome, everybody, to this week’s very, very special episode of PreneurCast with me, Dom Goucher, and him, Pete Williams.

Pete: That’s it. Let’s get down to it. Let’s cut to the chase. Very excited to announce that 7Levers.com is finally live, active, with its doors wide open!

Dom: Yep. We’ve been talking about it for weeks and saying, “It’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming,” and we have got it there. We’re very pleased that it’s finally live. It took a little bit longer, but the reason was, Peter?

Pete: There are some additional support services, community area thing that goes along with it that we can explain and give some context to. For those who are new to the show, new to the PreneurCast podcast, welcome to the show. It’s our weekly podcast where we talk about all things ‘entrepreneurialist,’ ‘marketingist,’ and things about ‘strategery.’

Dom: You’re going all out with made up words this week, aren’t you?

Pete: I am, aren’t I? But, I guess what’s become a core, underlying current of the PreneurCast is this framework that we call the 7 Levers of Business. They’re, fundamentally, seven key factors that drive every single business, no matter what industry you’re in- whether you’re a retail store, an online marketer selling information and eBooks, or even ecommerce-type products, or you’re a services-based business like an accountant or even a tradey who does roof tiling or carpentry, or whatever it might be.

These seven drivers are the drivers of profit for every single business. It’s become a bit of the framework for the show, so it’s been really cool to dig deep on various levers and talk about them quite regularly on the show. But, a lot feedback we got was people wanting a bit more depth, a bit more structure, a bit more support around pulling the 7 Levers in their various businesses. So, we have been working behind the scenes to put together this new website and home study course called 7Levers.com.

Dom: That’s right. What we’ve done with the course is to collect together not only the things that we’ve already talked about and mentioned in the podcast; all the people have said, “Hey, this stuff is spread out across the last year’s worth of episodes and finding the particular thing is difficult.” So, we’ve collected a lot of stuff together, but we’ve also added more information- things that we’ve thought of, extra ideas, things that you can do. We’ll talk about that in a minute.

But, it is about bringing it all into one place and bringing it into a study course that you can basically go back to time, and again, just to work on these levers. So, can we just talk about, again, not just what these things are, but what we’re trying to achieve with the 7 Levers course, Pete?

Pete: First thing we’re trying to achieve is not ridiculously- how do I answer that?

Dom: Outrageous claims?

Pete: Outrageous claims? At the end of the day, the whole idea of the 7 Levers is if you actually increase each one of the 7 Levers by just 10.84%, to get mathematically correct, you’ll actually double the profitability of your business. Which is just phenomenal when you think about it- you just increase seven things by only 10%, the actually compound effect is a doubling of your business’s profits, which is pretty cool.

So, no matter where you are in business, that math stands true whether you’re just doing $10,000 a year on the side, or you’re doing $10 million. If you can actually increase every one of the 7 Levers by 10%, mathematically, it’s impossible not to double the profit of your business. That’s the whole idea of the program, to give some core, structured advice around each of these levers.

We’ve got a video that I’ve done where we dig deep in what the lever is, how to measure that lever, then also, more importantly, how to actually improve that lever, and pull it and increase it by that 10% goal. And, you’ve done a whole bunch of supporting material for each lever as well with downloads and things like that, haven’t you?

Dom: Yeah, that’s right. The whole idea with this- and we’ll come back in a second and actually list these 7 Levers so that you realize that they aren’t really huge things. They’re everyday elements of every business, and they’re easy to approach and address this 10% gain. But yeah, the idea is not that this is a one-hit thing. This is an ongoing thing for you to draw your attention to areas of your business.

On top of Pete’s videos, which are extensive and in depth and give you the whole context of the lever, and as Pete says, what it’s about, how to measure it, how to improve it, I’ve gone in and the first thing I did was create summary videos that I’ve tried to keep really short, right to the point, that just remind you of what it is that you’re going to be doing with that lever.

So when you revisit each lever, and we recommend that you go back through this and focus on it one lever at a time, when you do that, after the first time through the course, you can just watch those reminder videos just to refresh your memory and maybe give yourself a new idea or something you can try.

Pete: And that’s the biggest key; something we have hopefully passed along and sort of beaten into the listeners over the last year of the podcast is you really should be spending some level of time on your business every single week. The ideal structure, from our perspective, is the 7 Levers. So, if you could sort of have this seven-week rotating cycle where every week, in your Critical Focus Time (the time that you critically sit down and focus on your business) every week, you pick on lever and you work through that cycle on a rotating seven-week period.

Week One, you’re working on increasing the traffic to your business- whether that’s via AdWords, or Google Local, or maybe you’re putting an A-frame in front of your store, or whatever it might be. Any of the various plethora of traffic generation we talk about in that first module of 7 Levers, you put a system in place, and a structure in place to make that work for the next seven weeks. Then, over that following time, you work through opt-in to conversions.

Then, you come back to traffic seven weeks later and put in another strategy, another technique, another tactic to drive traffic to your business. That sequential working on your business every single week is what we hope people will get out of this 7 Levers program. That way, they’re going to be continually working on their business and continually pulling this lever and getting even more results than just a 10% increase.

Dom: Absolutely. Let’s just go through what the 7 Levers are and what the big concepts are, and what it means to a particular business in general. Just explain those, then maybe we can talk about the other area of support that we’ve put in place. Let’s start with the framework of the 7 Levers.

Pete: Sure. As we touched on earlier, the 7 Levers are seven drivers of profit for your business. No matter what industry you’re in, these are the things you have to work on that affect the profit, the take-home cash you get to put in your back pocket. The first thing is traffic. That’s people who walk into your retail store, people who come to your website, whatever it might be. This is just getting new prospects into your funnel, and into your world. Traffic, then you’ve got opt-ins.

This is the amount of people who take that first step, put their hand up and almost select themselves into the next step of your marketing funnel. That might be opting in and giving your email address on a website. The example we often give is in a retail environment. So, people who sit down, try on that pair of shoes. It’s the people in your utensils-type store, asking you some questions about the skillet or frying pan you’ve got on sale and then having a conversation about that.

It’s them showing further interest and actually interacting with your business. That’s the opt-in. The third lever is conversion. These are the people who actually take the next step, open up their wallet and transact with you. That’s the first three levers- traffic, opt-ins, and conversions. That’s where a lot of people stop when they’re focusing on growing their business. They think, “Let’s just worry about increasing those three things and everything will take care of itself,” which is true to a certain extent.

But, with compound effect, there’s four more levers that people still go through that affects the overall revenue and profit of your business. That’s the actual items per sale- how many actual items do people purchase when they actually transact with you at that conversion stage. For so many businesses, it’s generally just one item. They come in and buy one pair of shoes. They don’t buy cleaner, insoles, socks, laces, a second pair of shoes, whatever else it might be.

If you’re an online store, it might just be, in an ecommerce environment, they might just be buying one pair of headphones, that one book from Amazon.com. Whereas, if you can put systems in place to increase so every 10th person buys a second book, or that pair of insoles, or earrings to go with that dress, or whatever it might be; if you have a system in place in your business to try to increase that items per sale, it will definitely affect the profitability of your business.

The next lever is the actual item values. How much are you charging for your product? If you can obviously get people to buy more expensive products through better sales and better service and better guided discovery in your sales process, obviously just increasing your price is another way to get more revenue per item. That’s a big thing that drives, obviously, the profitability of your business as well. Average transactions per client- this is one that a lot of people are aware of and think about.

But if you really break down and sit down and think about your business, so many businesses don’t actually have a system in place to increase the average transactions per customers. That is, how do you get them to come back to your store and purchase more? If you use that footwear retail example again, how do you get them to come back and buy shoes more often? How do you get your accounting clients to come back more than once a year when they’re doing their tax return? How do you, as a local coffee store, get them to come back and buy more coffee?

What can you do as a hairdresser to get people coming back and getting their haircut more often? And, just booking in the next appointment at the end, or during that first appointment, is a very simple thing to do. If you actually put a rule in place, a reward program or incentive program in place for your staff, you’ll be surprised at how much increase in actual revenue you actually get. I’ve seen store like hairdressing spaces and things like that simply incentivizing their apprentices and hairdressers.

That if they can actually convince someone to book their haircut six weeks out from now, they’ll actually reward them for doing that. If you can get that happening with every single client, or every second or third client, you’re going to fit in two or three more cuts a year for that person. That’s increasing the average transactions they have with you on an annual basis, which will definitely affect the revenue, if you can fit in one or two more dealings with the customer purely for being proactive.

I know housecleaners, or mechanics, if they just did this and pre-booked that stuff in, you would get your car serviced possibly one extra time a year, or get your house cleaned a couple extra times a year, because you want to get that done every 6 weeks, but you kind of forget about it and it drags out to 8 weeks before you call and book that in. So, that’s 2 lost weeks of revenue your business could have otherwise had. Then, finally, your margins- that’s a big ticket play here.

Obviously, the greater your margins in your business, the more net profit you have per transaction or per item, increases the overall take home cash you have in your back pocket. So, the whole idea of this is to actually give you techniques and systems that you can easily implement on a critical focus basis. Whether you’re doing that Critical Focus Time once a week or once a month, whenever it might be, having some systems you can take off the shelf- the virtual 7Levers.com shelf- implement into your business that will help automatically put something in place to increase that lever.

Which in the end of the day, if you increase every one of these levers by 10%- just getting one person out of every 10 to buy a second item, is not that hard to do. Getting 10% more traffic to your store is not that hard to do. Doubling your traffic can be, getting a 10% increase isn’t. If you can get that 10% increase across each of the 7 Levers, you will double the profitability of your business. It’s absolutely phenomenal.

Dom: Yeah, and just to clarify with this, you said something as we were going through there, that the first three levers of traffic, opt-ins, and conversion, are where most people focus. Some people only focus on one of those. Some people only focus on getting more traffic. A lot of people who work online and use the internet as a traffic source just focus on getting more traffic; and that can- yes, if you can double your traffic, potentially you could double your profit.

Or, if you could double your conversions with the same amount of traffic. But, we’re talking about addressing things in a sequence to get, as you said, the compound effect of a small increase, which is easier to get, which is then multiplied by the next lever. But, we’re not just stopping at those first three. We’re going past the sale and into the business. So, this really is a business course, and it’s applicable to every business.

It’s not just for people online or just for bricks-and-mortar stores. This is applicable across every business. And that’s why I think it is really our framework. It’s why we talk about it and address a lot of what we talk about in the PreneurCast episodes back to this framework, because it is a universal framework. But, it does stand out to me- it did when you first brought it to me and we first discussed this.

It stood out to me because it really does cover the whole of a business, not just some small element. It is a continual system that people can keep putting in place and going back and continually tweaking. And yet it’s so simple, this idea of increase by 10%. Some of those levers are incredibly easy to increase by 10%. In some cases, it’s just a case of measuring, paying attention in the first place. Something else we say is you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Just by paying attention to these things, and it draws your attention, you might realize that you’re actually letting an opportunity go. Or, that there’s an opportunity right in front of you to get that extra 10% there and then. And the results can be quite amazing. And yet, that’s simple math. This isn’t hype. This isn’t speculation or average returns, or any of that. It’s real math. We’re not talking about any given business particularly. Because if you do the math, 10% in each one of these levers- just 10%, or what was it?

Pete: 10.48% according to my calculator.

Dom: 10.48% according to the calculator of the Williams’ household, on each lever, will result in a doubling of the profit in your business. You’ve got to agree that increasing any one of those things by 10% is a lot easier than increasing one thing by 100%.

Pete: Exactly right. Absolutely. So, since the whole idea of the program is to give people some structure, some reference material, to actually be able to implement that, and then beyond that, we’re putting a bit of a support program- for want of a better term- for the next eight weeks to help people work through that. Because, as important as it is to spend that week, every week for the next seven weeks, implementing and getting a foundation set so you can increase these levers, we’ve put together access to Preneur Platinum.

It’s our premium online mastermind community where we interact one-on-one with everybody inside that, answer their questions, let them look over the shoulder of what we do. We’ll touch on that in a moment. But, more importantly, and the reason we’ve coupled this eight weeks of access there with the 7 Levers is so over the next seven weeks, inside that closed community, we can work with you to actually pull that lever and implement those tactics and strategies and systems in your business together with the support of Dom and I.

It’s not just, here’s a course, have fun, walk away-type scenario like so many home study courses and in particular book-style where it’s very one-way. We wanted to support everyone who came to actually take this framework and apply it to their business. So, we’ve given access to this so we can actually, for want of a better term, hold your hand.

Dom: Yes, this is all about us working with the Preneur Community and doing the best that we can. We started out with the 7 Levers and we did run the mastermind groups, and they were incredibly popular. But, we’re limited with the resources and time that we have, so we could only have so many people on those. We wanted to get this home study course out, but we wanted to give the community the best possible support that we could without having to go to the full extent of the resources needed to run that mastermind program.

So, we’ve include access to the Preneur Platinum area because that’s a place that Pete and I go, and we are interactive in there. We see everything- we react and read and comment. We’re in there every day reading and commenting and helping people already. There’s a specific area dedicated to the 7 Levers framework inside of Preneur Platinum with separate sections for each one of the 7 Levers itself, so that we can give focused help and advice to people going through.

And, if you follow the program as we advise and go through it one week at a time, then that eight weeks’ access gives you enough time to review the material, look at how you’re going to implement it in your business. And then come in to the Preneur Platinum area if you want some help, and have a chat with us. Or, if another member of the Preneur Community can offer advice if they’re in a similar space to you. We think that it’s a great way to enhance and support the cause.

Pete: That’s the whole support when it comes to the 7 Levers. But inside Preneur Platinum, which is this community that we’re talking about, there’s some other sort of cool bonuses, or solutions or services, that members get access to, which is the over-the-shoulder training. We’ve got our hand in a lot of different projects and doing a lot of really cool stuff.

So, we record the “what we’re doing” type things in an over-the-shoulder fashion, so you can sit and learn and see what we’re actually doing in our businesses. It’s not just some theoretical, “this kind of stuff works.” You can see exactly how we’re creating, structuring, producing, marketing the various businesses that we have- be it LD Magazine, Stitch Software (our app development company), the ecommerce sites that I have, and the real-world company that I’m involved in as well.

You’ve got access to a lot of the actual “be a fly on the wall” type scenarios to the stuff we’re actually doing. In many different ways, we’ve done this before, have gotten huge value out of that because it’s not theoretical, it’s actual. You can see what we’re doing and you can actually see the results we’re getting as well. We’ve got some Spotlight opportunities in there as well. So, if you’ve got a marketing piece or a website or something that you’re working on in your business and you want Dom and I to really pull it apart, you can put that in there.

We’ll actually spend 10 or 15 minutes going through it, discussing it, recording a video and pulling it apart for you to give you our personal, one-on-one advice on how to get the most out of that particular marketing piece, marketing strategy or something like that. That’s what the Spotlight is all about. The other thing that I find really cool about this Preneur Community we’ve got building up now inside what is Preneur Platinum, is an extended advisory board. There’s entrepreneurs all across the globe who are in that do-it-themselves mentality as small-business owners, and it can get quite lonely and quite tough.

So many businesses aren’t big enough to have a serious board of directors. But having access to entrepreneurs, not only Dom and myself, but other entrepreneurs from across the globe who are actively doing stuff, and ask questions of them and get their advice, and their support, and experience. It’s having that virtual mastermind, board of directors, advisory board type situation, which is valuable to people inside that community, which is very, very cool.

Dom: That’s absolutely right. That’s really what we’ve put in place here, is a virtual mastermind group of likeminded people, members of the Preneur Community that are into the same things that we’re into- into improving your business, into entrepreneurship, and all the different topics that we discuss on the podcast. But, it’s not a one-way thing like we have with the podcast, which is predominately one-way. Although anybody who has emailed us knows that we will respond.

But in the past, it’s been either that or go to the other extreme of either a mastermind or consulting client, as Pete and I have our own consulting clients. We wanted to put something in place that was accessible to more people. So, the private members’ area that is Preneur Platinum, just has all those opportunities to have, the conversations with Pete and myself, and other people of a like mind, that maybe you wouldn’t have or be able to have, or wouldn’t feel that you’re able to have just because you’re out in a different part of the world.

You don’t get out to the events you might get to, or meet the people or whatever. Inside the membership area, as Pete says, you can ask us everything about what we’re doing. We’re going to put the information in there about all the projects we’re working on. Some of them, we haven’t talked about yet on PreneurCast, and we probably won’t talk about them until they’re complete. But, inside the members’ area, you’ll get an over-the-shoulder look at what we’re doing. You’ll see what goes on behind the scenes.

You’ll be able to see why we did it, why we made the decisions, what thinking we did to get to where we got to. And, in some cases- here’s gold for you- Pete’s even put swipe copy in there of some of the mail-outs that he’s done for some of our projects. So, Pete’s actual marketing materials are in the membership area for you to look at and see how we’ve actually gone through this process from beginning to end.

Pete: Absolutely. So, if you’re in a situation where you feel a bit lost in your business, there’s too many silver bullets and quick wins flying around your inbox, you’re not quite sure where to start and what to do, the whole idea of 7Levers.com is to give you that structure to actually know what to do, when to do, and have that system in place.

If you’re feeling a bit lost and you’re not quite sure where to start, or you simply just can see the value in doubling the profit of your business. If you have a system that’s proven, that’s mathematically tested, that is all there, that’s what 7Levers.com is all about. We do encourage you to take a bit of time out and head over to the site. There’s a big video that Dom and I have done, you’ll actually get to see his face on camera, which a lot of you probably would be keen to see.

We walk through a lot of what the program is all about, what you get in the course, and Preneur Platinum that you’ll have access to for eight weeks- two whole months of support from Dom and I to get you up and running, and get the ball rolling in the right direction with the implementation of the 7 Levers of Business. So, 7Levers.com is where it is at.

Dom: That’s the number seven, 7Levers.com. Go ahead, watch the video, read the extra stuff, sign up there. And, as Pete says, you get the eight weeks of Preneur Platinum included in the course. And if after those eight weeks, you don’t want to stay in Preneur Platinum, that’s OK. That’s up to you. But, if you do, you can continue as a member of Preneur Platinum and you’ll continue to get all the benefits of that membership area and being able to talk to us directly.

Pete: It would probably be remiss of us not to mention that this whole program is only $197. It’s not $2,000 or any of those ridiculous prices that people charge for downloadable eBooks and stuff like that. This is just simply $197, super cheap. But, if you’ve got a business of any level, if you can just increase one of those levers by 5%, and that’s all you achieve, most businesses should be able to easily double their investment of $197 at a worst-case scenario. There’s a lot of value in there for a lot of people.

We’ve had mastermind guys who have implemented one thing and improved their traffic by 10%, improved one of these levers by 10% but is implementing one small tweak to an autoresponder series and things like that. It’s very powerful. We’d love to have you onboard. We’d love to hear a bit more about your business and support you through the Preneur Platinum program if you want to stick around, or at least just through that eight-week period that you get along with 7Levers.com. Look forward to seeing you inside, guys!

Dom: Absolutely. Looking forward to meeting people and having real conversations with you in that membership area, as well as getting your feedback about the course and if you just want to know more about what we do.

Pete: Sounds good. See you there- 7Levers.com!


Sign Up For Our 7 Levers Home Study Course: The 7 Levers of Business Home Study Course is now live. Sign up today at http://www.7levers.com and get 2 months free access to our Preneur Platinum private members’ area.

NOTE: We’ve included 8 weeks of free access to our paid membership area at Preneur Platinum to make sure you get as much support from Pete and Dom and the Preneur Community as possible for your first run through the 7 Levers of Business. While you’re inside, be sure to check out all the other cool stuff we’re putting in there, like our over-the-shoulder series about how we produce our products and run our businesses, or submit your marketing piece or Web site for a Spotlight so Pete and Dom can give you some hints and tips to improve it and help you pull one or more of those Levers.

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